[ 2016 May - August | 2016 January - April | 2015 September - December | 2015 May - August | 2015 January - April | 2014 September - December | 2014 May - August | 2014 January - April | 2016 May - August | 2016 January - April | 2015 September - December | 2015 May - August | 2015 January - April | 2014 September - December | 2014 May - August | 2014 January - April | 2013 September - December | 2013 May - August | 2013 January - April | 2012 September - December | 2012 May - August | 2012 January - April | 2011 September - December | 2011 May - August | 2011 January - April | 2010 September - December | 2010 May - August | 2010 January - April | 2009 September - December | 2009 May - August | 2009 January - April | 2008 September - December | 2008 May - August | 2008 January - April | 2007 September - December | 2007 May - August | 2007 January - April | 2006 September - December | 2006 May - August | 2006 January - April | 2005 September - December | 2005 May - August | 2005 January - April | 2004 September - December | 2004 May - August | 2004 January - April | 2003 September - December | 2003 May - August | 2003 January - April | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 ]
Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
My intention is to make links only to publicly accessible, stable URLs. If you find a link to a page that requires subscription, please report that as you would report any other broken link.
The Chinese state proposes to imprison Ni Yalun for protesting, but its beating already left her crippled.
China has learned to use normal-sounding nonpolitical charges against dissidents such as Ai Weiwei. We see them in this case, but it has not been completely sanitized of obviously political charges.
The US is far more advanced: the mayor says he sent the thugs for your safety, and the thugs can cause lasting internal injury without an external mark.
Swedish journalists who snuck into the Ogaden have been sentenced to 11 years in prison in Ethiopia.
I disagree with the mother who said they should be punished only for entering Ethiopia illegally. Excluding journalists from an area, whether it be Ogaden or the vicinity of Liberty Park in New York, is a sign of evil intentions. To punish journalists for entering that area — regardless of what the nominal "crime" might be — only compounds the government's wrong.
Google should not get away with presenting Google+ as a "public space" while making private rules for it.
Obama has resisted linking the billion dollars a year given to the Egyptian military with respect for democracy.
The presence of Arab League visitors inspired 500,000 Syrians to protest.
Americans need to protest like this against the banksters and the 1% and the politicians that work for them.
A new "anti-terrorism" law in Argentina could be used against protesters.
Mossad chief: Iranian nuclear weapons do not threaten Israel's survival.
Afghan women depend on men to advocate women's rights because hardly anyone there will listen to a woman.
Chilean students ended 8 months of protests with only small gains. But they may start again in 2012.
Ten years later: the three most dangerous provisions of the PAT RIOT Act.
The many methods used to rig US elections.
I've already seen information about most of the methods of rigging listed here. I don't know about dishonesty in exit polling — if you can point me at the facts about that, I'd appreciate it.
It is too bad they ask people to organize on Facebook. I won't be doing that. If I can find another way to contact them, I will ask them to provide another way.
Two thirds of U.S. "Foreign Aid" is military aid for armies.
Human Rights Watch: Syria has transferred political prisoners to military sites so that Arab League visitors can't see them.
The US aimed a slap at the Afghan Press Center because it held a press conference with an official commission that criticized US night raids.
Obama has set up a global high-tech US death squad based on drones.
Drones are not fundamentally different from manned bombers or sniper rifles. Used in a war zone, they don't raise a special issue. However, using drones to kill people in other areas ought to be as controversial as sending manned bombers or snipers into those areas. Thus, the real significance of drones is that they have bypassed obstacles that used to restrain the US use of death squads. In effect, they have made it the general operation of a death squad acceptable, while all the details remain secret.
Israel pressures Gazans to turn informer in order to travel for medical treatment. Woe to whoever has no information to sell them.
Some Israeli Taliban leaders have got the same treatment usually reserved for Palestinians.
I have no doubt that some of these people merit imprisonment for crimes, but not this way.
At this point, Israel will either react against these practices, or abandon the idea of human rights entirely,
Congress Places Conditions on Military and Police Aid to Honduras.
This alone won't restrain the government installed by the US-backed coup as long as Obama still supports it.
Egypt's military rulers have raided a number of foreign-funded organizations that promote democracy or human rights.
Since some of these organizations are funded by the US government, it is not inconceivable that they might have some harmful purpose. But I doubt Egypt's generals would object to that.
It is interesting to compare this with Israel's plans to prohibit foreign funding for human rights organizations.
An Egyptian army officer writes about the army's attempt to stir up division in Egyptian society.
The UK will save money by moving heavily to renewable energy, once the damage caused by global heating is accounted for.
Greek parents are giving up the children they can't afford to support.
While this illustrates the depth of suffering that the banksters have imposed on Greece, it also shows that people should have fewer children.
After Hamas said it will fight only defensively, Israel is talking about attacking Gaza some day.
The Israeli hawks need Gaza as a dangerous enemy, so they can't allow peace to break out. If Hamas won't commit the necessary aggression, Israel must do it.
Bahrain: Last Night It Rained Tear Gas.
The suppression forces shot teargas into houses.
A progressive government would fine this company so badly that it would sell all these hospitals to someone else, even at a loss.
GoDaddy's policy of shutting down domains whenever anyone complains about them gives a foretaste of what SOPA would do.
It should be illegal to shut down a domain without a court order, and a permanent shutdown should require a criminal conviction of the domain owner.
The Japanese government hid information about the Fukushima meltdown as it was happening.
It also pretended that the danger from a tsunami was "unforeseen". when the truth is that designers rejected the concern when it was reported to them.
The most important protective measure is to prevent human population from growing by 80 million per year.
Those who condemn Bradley Manning, and his prosecution, are following the course of those who condemned Daniel Ellsberg and tried to prosecute him.
Some sweatshop jobs are moving from China back to the US.
In other words, "free trade"'s effect on the US was to knock down wages and shaft everyone but the 1%.
Right-wing lies about renewable energy standards.
A proposed giant coal mine in Australia would drive the world into climate catastrophe.
Thousands of Israelis protested gender segregation, but the Israeli Taliban are ready to fight.
Comedian Louis CK sold recordings without DRM, and was amazed how much money he got.
The Israeli court that allowed torture in "ticking time bomb" situations fell for a foolish misunderstanding of torture. It is not good for getting information. It is good for false confessions. If the person being tortured really is involved with the bomb, all he has to do is tell a lie that will stand up until the bomb explodes. And if he was arrested by mistake and knows nothing about the bomb, he will do the same thing.
Much of the danger of nuclear power plants exists because businesses cut corners on safety. And businesses will always do that, because otherwise nuclear power plants would not be profitable.
(I am not convinced they would be entirely safe even if businesses did not cut corners.)
Republicans and Democrats are preparing to destroy Medicare by privatizing the most profitable cream and letting the rest sink.Why this plan would destroy Medicare.
Kazakhstan's tyrant is torturing prisoners and suppressing press coverage of a violent riot. The same thing happens in the US.
How whaling continues, and how it is actually done.
That $335 Million Bank of America Settlement: The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly.
The Israeli Taliban have started harassing and threatening girls going to school.
The Unending Legacy of Torture
Texas will cancel a women's health program to spite Planned Parenthood. And to spite women, who are the ultimate targets of right-wing hatred.
An Egyptian court ruled that subjecting protesters to "virginity tests" was illegal. The victims may get compensation.
French journalist Florence Hartmann faces possible imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for publishing documents stating the reasoning of the judges.
Bangkok's vulnerability to floods, combined with incresed rain and sea level rise due to global heating, is leading some to talk of moving part of the city.
Karzai dropped his objections to a Taliban office in Qatar for peace negotiations.
However, his list of preconditions will prevent any negotiations, for now.
The CIA has nearly suspended drone attacks in Pakistan, but not 100%.
After the condemnation Iran received for planning execution by stoning, its government is considering hanging as a substitute.
I appreciate this statement also for condemning SOPA thoroughly and deeply, avoiding the usual fundamental concessions that grant legitimacy to the War on Sharing. Some other name registrars have criticized SOPA for its side effects but have taken pains to legitimize its unjust purpose. I could not endorse their statements.
One other little good thing that Positive Internet does, which I have reason to appreciate personally, is donate the hosting for stallman.org.
Why almost everything the TSA does is just security theater, not relevant for stopping terrorists attacks.The TSA's measures might stop poorly planned attacks, but it could achieve that just as well while harassing us far less. There is no need to confiscate cupcakes, for instance,while gaping security holes remain elsewhere.
Was security theater a plan to reassure Americans that later went awry? Maybe some had that intention, but I think there was a more subtle and fiendish plan.
There is one purpose for which security theater is supremely effective: making Americans afraid, so they will surrender freedom without resisting. For those in the state who hate our freedoms, this is the goal.
The messages repeated in our subway trains and buses, telling us to be
very afraid of bombs, are further evidence of this. Americans did not
need reassurance to continue taking buses and subway trains. We did
not demand that the government do something to protect us from
terrorists there. Thus,
reassurance as a motive doesn't fit.
Although I admire this lawyer's pro bono victory, I have to say it
would have been better if the article had avoided the misleading term
IP. That term lumps together many laws that are totally different
in practice. The resulting confusion lends itself perfectly to
intimidation by vague threats.
SOPA would ban TOR as well as DNSSEC. And nobody can tell how much else.
It is probably unconstitutional, but we can't count on our current Supreme Court to value freedom of speech for human beings.
These articles have the flaw of using the propaganda term
intellectual property. That doesn't make their substance invalid,but it spreads confusion needs to be counteracted by this paragraph.
The gay community of Minnesota has apologized to former Speaker Amy Koch. She told them that their campaign to legalize gay marriage would cheapen the concept of marriage. That must be why she had an affair with a staffer, outside her marriage.
I would not criticize Koch for having an affair, if it was for sincere love or sincere pleasure. I disagree with the idea that love, or sex, ought to be limited to one partner, and I think it is wrong for society to pressure people into making promises of monogamy that they cannot keep. It is only natural that some people will cave in to this pressure, then not carry through. The fault is in the pressure.
How David Gessner came to support the Cape Wind project.
Maybe it's not such a bad idea for us to see just where our energy
is coming from.
It is unfortunate that windmills kill some birds, even not enough to endanger them. Is anyone studying methods to warn birds away from windmills?
This sort of manipulation had been prevented by a SEC regulation, but in 2007 the SEC withdrew the crucial regulation.
The crisis resulted from the bursting of a bubble. The bubble was able to grow (and later burst) due to deregulation, including the repeal of the Glass-Stiegel law. The cause of this deregulation was the banksters' political power.
We must take back control over the US government from the banksters and the other rich people and corporations. We must restore democracy. Until we do, the US government is no more legitimate than King George.
The US government refuses to state its legal argument for killing Awlaqi, or the evidence it was based on.
This means, in effect, that Obama claims the right to assassinate anyone and never explain why.
Thousands of women protested in Cairo against the brutality of the military thugs.
Obama is taking US government secrecy to absurd new heights.
At least 70,000 domains have been moved away from GoDaddy, and the protest move continues.(I wonder how many domains remain registered with GoDaddy.)
However, punushing one SOPA supporter is not enough to eliminate corporate support for SOPA. Who else on the list can we punish?
Museum directors stood up to pressure to bury an old skeleton that demonstrates acromegaly.
In the US, the NAGPRA law which required museums to dispose of the indigenous skeletons in their collections was a blow to scientific research. And since it failed to block scientific study of the 8000-year-old skeleton of Kennewick man, some want to extend it to do so. Scientists should stop trying to justify or excuse this misguided requirement, and start criticizing it.
Canada's business-controlled government proposes to let the US control Canada's border, trade, food and privacy policies.
GoDaddy tells us it no longer supports SOPA. It tells Congress that it still supports SOPA.
Macy's dirty secret: selling gold obtained from mines that harm workers or the environment.
The Kimberly Process, intended to discourage trafficking in
diamonds, is falling apart.
Can anyone tell me the situation of blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who started a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment?
Republicans want to make Americans take drug tests to get unemployment
The argument for this is clearly invalid. If a person was laid off, not fired, his drug use clearly didn't stop him from holding a job before, so why wouldn't he be able to do it again. Republicans are simply looking for every possible way to oppress someone.
Another inventive way to shaft the unemployed is to make each person
report five jobs he applied for each week.
When few jobs are available, it is pointless to make people bang their heads against closed doors. It will have no effect on the number of unemployed people that find jobs. It is just a way to deny benefits to some of the unemployed.
US police are using drones for surveillance in ordinary criminal cases.
Maybe it was proper that a drone be used in the specific case described here. But you can be sure that police will misuse this power if nothing stops them. With newer, more capable drones, they will be able to watch and record everyone's movements, if nothing stops them.
Secrecy without sense: State Department Censors Cables Already Published by WikiLeaks.
US citizens: Tell Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
Obama signed a bill requiring a decision on Keystone XL within 60 days. A rushed environmental impact investigation is no investigation at all.
The reason is it would effectively eliminate any hope of avoiding global heating catastrophe.
Police in China attacked protesters and tried to discourage press coverage.
Facebook in Europe may be required to discard some user data after a time, without sending it to the US.
This may reduce the harm that Facebook does, but is not even close to enough to make it ethically acceptable. Most of the criticisms reported in this site remain valid.
Censoring flu virus research to keep the information out of the hands of terrorists is likely to do more harm than good, because the biggest danger comes from nature.
I also point out that members of real Qa'ida-affiliated groups are probably smart enough to realize that an artificial epidemic would not limit itself to their enemies. It would spread around the world, and would kill the people they believe they are fighting for. The only terrorists likely to want to develop an epidemic disease are the naive Walter Mittys that get entrapped by the FBI, who couldn't do anything without FBI help and probably wouldn't even try.
It would be useful to contact the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the National Governors' Association (and your governor), the National Sheriff's Association (and the sheriff of your area), and the US Conference of Mayors (and your mayor).
The 60 Plus organization, Americans for Tax Reform, and Concerned Women for America must either be astroturf (phony) grass-roots organizations or real grass-roots organizations whose support has been purchased. (Remember how AT&T purchased the support of GLAAD and the NAACP for its merger with T-mobile?)
Can you find out which they are?
The US government is considering forcibly closing a Twitter account used by the Shabab militia in Somalia.
I detest the Shabab's Islamist policies, but Somalis might prefer them to the endless war that the US has imposed on Somalia or the "government" whose only support is foreign-imposed.
As long as they are not arranging crimes on Twitter they have a right to state their views.
Google and Facebook are being sued in India for presenting "religiously offensive" material.
Imprisoning people for what they say is tyranny, but freedom of speech is threatened around the world in supposedly "free" countries. In the US, investigating and criticizing agribusiness is called "terrorism" and punished by imprisonment. In the UK, speaking "racist insults" is punished by imprisonment. In France, some opinions about 20th century history will be punished by imprisonment. In India, books are banned; Taslima Nasrin's book "Shame", about oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh, was banned in West Bengal — and now ideas distasteful to any major religion are likely to be banned too.
Whether you like a work, or find it disgusting, please don't refer to it as "content".
The FBI considers investigations and protests at factory farms as "terrorism", and many other governments do this or propose to.
Taking and "rescuing" some animals might properly be called theft, but theft is not terrorism.
Republicans want to eliminate temporary hunting and fishing bans on federal land.
The Republican Party Principles:
Clinton is threatening economic warfare to stop an EU plan to make airlines pay for their carbon emissions.
Since the plan would affect US and European airlines alike, airlines in the US cannot claim it is unfair. What they object to can only be that making airlines pay for their pollution would tend to discourage flying.
When Clinton opposes this, she says that airline profits are more important than limiting global heating. She cannot help knowing this. She must be totally corrupt in her heart.
Russia followed the EU in banning import of Canadian harp seal fur.
I approve of the decision, but it hardly outweighs Putin's contempt
Turkey has arrested over 25 journalists for their writing. They are associated with the cause of Kurdish independence.
The accusation that these journalists' articles contain prearranged coded messages directing specific people to launch violent attacks is absurd. The BBC did that during World War II, but the method is obsolete today. It would be easier to create a Gmail account and mail the prearranged code phrase to some other Gmail account.
This absurd accusation shows that Turkey's government is lying.
Some imprisoned journalists in Turkey are accused of "membership in a terrorist organization". If a government can arbitrarily declare an organization "terrorist" and make membership in it a crime, that is evident tyranny.
Police thugs occupying US schools regularly use tasers and pepper spray on children, in addition to breaking their arms.
National security advisers to the Republican presidential candidates have ties to military and energy contractors companies that get billions in US government contracts.
Not surprisingly, they plan to spend more on these companies and take it out of poor Americans.
Christmas: Brought to You by Chinese Slave Labor.
I decided 40 years ago to stand aside from holidays whose main purpose is to make people buy things.
The prosecutors in Bradley Manning's pretrial hearing were unable to present evidence that Manning had hurt US national security.
The Justice Department blocked a South Carolina voter ID law.
It was obviously right to do this, but why haven't all the other voter ID laws been blocked? They are all designed to suppress votes by groups that typically vote Democrat.
Governor Haley promised to give poor voters a ride to the DMV, but refused to do it when someone actually tried to take her up on the offer.
The FDA abandoned a plan to block the practice of giving farm animals small amounts of antibiotics.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died in recent decades from the infections that cannot be treated because of the resistance stimulated by that practice.
Clearly this is the work of agribusiness and pharmaceutical companies, and shows how many Americans they are prepared to kill to avoid a decrease in income. But the real scandal is that our governmental system allows them to do this.
Eliminating the politcal power of business is the only way to restore legitimate government in the US.
Obama reached a prisoner-release deal with the Taliban, then let Karzai veto it.
Any plausible peace deal means Karzai will lose power, so he will veto any deal if he is permitted to.
The U.S. Double Standard on Elections in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Protests against government and business secrecy over the Fukushima meltdown have broken a social barrier to protest movements in Japan.
Mona Eltahawy describes how Egyptian police found her in a protest, broke her arms, and sexually assaulted her.
Boycott Go Daddy is still a good idea, even though it now says it doesn't support SOPA any longer.
But don't sign the pledge if that requires a Google+ account. It still requires users give their real names, and Internet communication services with such a policy need to be rejected.
Here's what GoDaddy actually stated.
It seems ready to support something similar to SOPA.
A Christmas message from billionaires to the rest of the US, saying effectively that the rest of the country means nothing to them. They regard it as prey.
2011 broke records for many kinds of weather disasters.
Sponsorship of art by big corporations is used to inject subtle propaganda — for instance, for strip mining.
"Piracy" and "intellectual property" are comparable examples in the computing field.
Pakistan rejected the US report on what happened when US airplanes attacked a Pakistani army base.
I find the US report basically credible, not based on any special information, but simply because the US had no plausible motive to knowingly attack Pakistani troops.
Chinese dissident Chen Wei was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
His trial was probably bogus too. However, what the US Congress advocates is worse: life imprisonment with no trial at all.
Call on Obama to declare a truce in Afghanistan for Grav-mass.
Occupy Wall Street takes on Congo's 'debt vultures'.
Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a unity government for Palestine.
Now that Hamas has agreed to cease military offensives, Israel will have only the most strained excuses for refusing to recognize this unity government. And the US will have no grounds for calling Hamas "terrorist".
However, since the US government is thoroughly submissive to the Israeli hawks, I expect it will support their policy no matter how absurd.
A US night raid, sent to arrest one of Karzai's drug-war officials, killed his wife.
At least the US apologized for that. Less prominent innocent victims are not even get recognized.
The fact that a goverment official was arrested in such a violent fashion is a sign of how bad the Karzai regime is.
I won't say arresting him was unjustified, since I'd expect any "counter-narcotics" official in Afghanistan to be receiving protection from drug traffickers. On the other hand, I doubt the arrest was motivated by a shocking discovery that he was on the take, since everyone probably knew that all along. Perhaps it was a dispute about what fraction to pay to some higher official.
Thus, the arrest reminds us of what we already know: the Karzai regime, which was imposed through a rigged election, is too corrupt to win a war, and too corrupt to deserve support.
US citizens: thank Obama for the new EPA regulations on toxic mercury emissions.
It's so rare that Obama does something good that thanking him makes sense.
In Obama's twisted American exceptionalism, crushing human rights is horrible except when the US does it.
Republicans in Congress censored C-SPAN.
Putin's latest tactic: tapping phones of opposition leaders and publishing edited recordings to make them look bad.
Indian companies are joining Chinese companies to buy up farmland in Africa to grow food for export.
Africans who face starvation because governments have kicked them off their land ought to use their last ounce of strength to fight. Even if they don't win, they can make this practice less attractive to the investors, and thus protect other potential victims.
Microwave body scanners have a high rate of false alarms, especially when using the software that hides what bodies look like.
I'd rather they use the microwave scanners without that software. If TSA employees can survive seeing me naked, I am sure it won't kill me. I am willing to go through a microwave scanner if asked; but when asked to go through an x-ray scanner I always say "No way -- feel me up!"
Most Americans drift on placidly as the TSA spreads its security theater into train and bus stations.
The purpose of this security theater is to focus American's attention on an unlikely danger (terrorists who inexplicably choose to bonb an Amtrak train rather than a New York City rush-hour subway train), and away from the big and real danger: the crushing of democracy and human rights by the US government.
No freedom of expression in the UK: prosecution for a "racial slur".
Meanwhile, France proposes to make it a crime to deny the genocide of the Armenians.
That too attacks basic human rights.
This issue is not about the treatment of Armenians in 1916. This is about freedom of expression in France today.
UK Uncut will sue the government for its sweetheart tax deal with Goldman Sachs.
100 Syrian soldiers tried to defect, but were cut down by other soldiers.
Argentina has foisted a ban on Falklands islands ships onto other countries in South America.
I have zero sympathy with this demand, which treats the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands as if they were mere adjuncts to the land, like the grass on it.
All the rest of the security council condemned the US for blocking peace by supporting Israel's colonization of the West Bank.
A new Israeli checkpoint separating Shu'fat refugee camp in Jerusalem from other Arab neighborhoods has a secret nasty purpose: to revoke the Jerusalem residence permits of the people who live in that camp.
182 countries (out of 193) in the UN General Assembly voted to support Palestine's right of self-determination.
Israel is considering a bill to imprison asylum seekers, and imprison anyone who gives an asylum seeker assistance (such as a glass of water).
I did not make this an urgent action note because it looks like the action is for Israelis only.
The US said it will attack Iran if it tries to build a nuclear weapon.
The UN must acknowledge that it brought cholera to Haiti, and pay compensation.
The CIA drone attacks in Pakistan have killed 60 people since September. The Obama regime has covered up the identities of 59 of them, as well as all other relevant information.
Human Rights Watch says the CIA must cease its drone attacks.
Iraq may be headed towards an authoritarian Shi'ite government and sectarian war.
If this is true, what I said recently, about Iraq's having enough democracy to make the Bush forces leave, would be incorrect. Iraq may once again be worse off than it was under Saddam Hussein.
Selling toxic sewage sludge under the name of "biosolids".
A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.
Egyptian government thugs attacked protesters with hatred.
It appears that they see Egyptians as the enemy and have dehumanized them.
We have seen the same attitude in New York City, Berkeley, Oakland and LA,
US citizens: tell the FCC to require TV stations to disclose information about who pays for ads and infomercials.
Occupy the Food Supply: to reduce corporate power, we must eliminate the giant agribusiness corporations.
Kazakhstan's tyrannical rulers say they will continue to shoot protesters.
Corruption in Birmingham, Alabama, has driven up water and sewer rates to the point where many poor people are being cut off.
If many people can't pay the rates, will they need to raise the rates even more? The end result of that path is obvious: everyone kicked off and no money coming in.
The bankruptcy must be used as an opportunity to void all the debt so that the rates can be lowered again.
The protest movement againt water-destroying mining in Peru is spreading despite its betrayal by President Humala.
Note that tyranny in Peru, with a few people deciding for everyone, did not start with the Spanish conquest. The Inca empire was just as tyrannical, even more narrowly regimented, and practiced human sacrifice too.
Poisoning your water is morally equivalent to shooting at you, so it isn't wrong to fight back using a gun. However, peaceful protests do less harm if they work.
Seattle high school students walked out to protest education cuts.
Facebook has been sued for putting users' faces in ads.
Unemployment is pushing large numbers of Americans into poverty.
2 million people started using food stamps in the first 9 months of 2011.
Outright lies used to support SOPA.
It makes me think of the way Putin lies to demonstrate that truth has no meaning.
Egyptian military thugs have attacked protesters for 4 days.
A protest at the World Bank in DC condemned its plans to help a mining company force its way to poison El Salvador's main water supply.
El Salvador should withdraw from CAFTA. In fact, why hasn't it?
Negotiations between the US and the Afgan Taliban are showing hope of success.
The US admitted that Afghan local police have committed crimes against civilians.
The Taliban do that too, but we their supporters so the fault does not fall on us.
Victoria's secret is child labor.
Obama is considering supporting the Robin Hood tax.
Geithner opposes this because he is "the bankers' man in DC".
Israel is considering declaring violent West Bank colonists as "terrorists".
A couple of comments are called for. First of all, lots of Palestinian youths are interrogated (i.e., brainwashed/tortured) and confess to something, but that doesn't mean they really did it, because torture extracts false confessions. It's wrong to do this to Palestinians and would be equally wrong to do it to Jews.
Second, the Israeli state created this monster by sponsoring the West Bank colonies in the first place.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj has sued the UK for handing him over for Gaddafi to torture.
The UK police have apologized to a photographer who they accused of terrorism for taking photos of a parade.
Christians in Leesberg, Virginia, are angry that other groups get to put up their own end-of-year displays, and it isn't limited to Christians any more.
Next year, would anyone in Leesberg like to put up a Grav-mass display?
Evidence that a radical Palestinian group was known to be responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103, and al-Megrahi was framed as part of political machinations.
North Dakota flood victims still await aid from the incapacitated US government.
The only things Republicans are willing to spend money on are weapons. Unfortunately you can't live in a weapon (unless perhaps it's a personnel carrier).
The National Academy of Engineering finds that major safety problems in undersea oil drilling have not been corrected.
In other words, nothing has been changed to prevent another Big Spill.
Tell Obama he should veto the NDAA (imprisonment without trial bill).
Blackwater's wanton violence in Iraq is now fully documented, aside from a few celebrated incidents. They shot Iraqi drivers on the slightest hint of an excuse, and lied afterwards.
Once, when the victim was an Iraqi judge, he was paid compensation for damage to his car. (His wounded leg apparently did not call for compensation.) But even he did not receive an apology.
Universal Music used the DMCA to censor a news show that covered its censorship of Universal's censorship of the Megaupload song.
Gingrich says he would arrest "activist judges" that stand up for civil liberties he considers "risky".
I wonder, would he have arrested the Supreme Court after the Citizens United decision?
The UK government plans to protect against bank-induced fiscal crises with a separation along the lines of the former Glass-Stiegel Act.
That law protected the US from bank-induced fiscal crises from the 30s to the 90s, when legislators corrupted by the banks eliminated the law. The new UK separation doesn't go quite as far, but might do the job.
The US congress remains so thoroughly under the control of the banksters that it has been unable to reestablish this crucial separation in any form.
However, in general the UK government continues to support the power of unregulated banks, which it unleashed on the world 25 years ago.
Hamas says it will use violence only to defend against attacks by Israel.
That means its position is now comparable with that of Israel, which also reserves the right to use violence when attacked.
US citizens: phone your senators' offices to oppose PIPA, the Senate version of the Internet blacklist bill. Also sign this petition.
SOPA would prohibit secure domain name lookup via DNSSEC.
However, let's not focus on the bad byproducts of SOPA. The worst thing about it is its purpose: to stop sharing. Sharing is good, and anyone who calls it "piracy" is antisocial.
Police seeking to crush Occupy London are twisting the facts.
(What else would police do?)
Mugabe is financing his terror by selling diamonds to China, and the Kimberly Process, which was supposed to control sale of "blood diamonds", has neutralized itself by letting him do it.
Some public spaces in New York are privately owned. The New York Thug Department uses that as an excuse to attack and arrest protesters and journalists.
Two wealthy groups will decide what election messages the US public sees on TV.
I am glad I won't see any of those messages, since I don't have a TV.
Republicans pushing voter-suppression laws cite imaginary voter fraud. There is no evidence it exists, but some newspapers feel obliged to present two sides of every disagreement.
Election rigging may exist in the US, but that's a different issue.
The FBI admits, more or less, having information obtained via the Carrier IQ spyware in mobile phones.
Senator Wyden demands the goverment explain itself about domain seizures.
US courts need to subject domain seizures to stricter control before the whole Internet gets epilepsy.
The article should not have used the term "intellectual property lawyer" to describe Mr. Lyon, because that term spreads confusion.
Congressional staffers who helped write SOPA have been paid off with jobs at media business associtions.
SOPA appears to be unconstitutional; here's why.
It would be folly to rely on the US Supreme Court to defend human rights — it is too pro-business. We need to fight this injustice at every step along the path.
Hollywood movie studios do lots of peer to peer movie downloads.
The article makes the mistake of suggesting, at times, that it's wrong for the employees of these companies to do file-sharing. Sharing isn't wrong, sharing is good. The wrong here is punishing others for file-sharing.
An interview with Mohammed el Gorani, who was sent to Guantanamo and tortured at the age of 15.
He was released and sent to a country he had never seen, and still bears the brunt of US malice.
Sarkozy established HADOPI, the first law to punish Internet users without trial by disconnecting them. His own household meets the criteria for punishment.
Will Sarkozy be disconnected?
The NIH decided to put strict limits on use of chimps in experiments.
I agree with this overall; I don't know enough to comment on the precise rules.
Uri Avnery refutes Gingrich's hogwash about Palestine.
The Fukushima reactors are now in "cold shutdown", but dismantling them will cost at least 5 billion dollars. It is not clear when the inhabitants of the nearby region will be able to return home.
Policies to save banks are adopted in days. Policies to save the biosphere drag on for decades.
In the fiscal area, governments obey the banks. In the area of fossil fuels, governments obey the oil companies.
Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov is on hunger strike to protest his imprisonment.
Putin wants people to recognize that he has people arrested on false charges, because his aim is to intimidate. He does this to show people that the truth won't protect them, because his lie is louder than the truth. We have seen the same behavior in US police attacking protesters. Putin came to power through the KGB (or whatever they call it now), so it's the same thing.
Desmond Tutu asked a New York City church to let protesters camp.
Several China internet microblog sites will demand users' real names.
US citizens: call on the IRS to investigate the "charity" that is supporting Wisconsin Republican candidates.
Obamacare will require all Americans to buy health insurance. Insurance companies are lobbying to give them insurance which is junk.
US citizens: sign Reddit's petition against SOPA.
Please keep taking actions against SOPA. We had a partial victory in that the House committee decided not to vote, but we must keep up the pressure.
The software that oil companies use to inspect pipelines has been rigged to overlook some problems. These problems can cause deadly explosions.
Here's Greg Palast's own statement.
Animal rights activists have sued to overturn the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which punishes criticism as "terrorism".
I only partly agree with their cause — some experiments on animals are vital for progress in biology, just as experiments using embryonic stem cells are — but they have the right to try to convince others.
Broad definitions of "terrorism" threaten the rights of everyone.
The SEC has sued some executives of state-organized mortgage lending companies for fraud against investors.
If you or I were accused of fraud, we would be prosecuted. Why are these ex-executives merely being sued?
The House committee adjourned without voting on SOPA, but the threat is not over.
Today is Bradley Manning's birthday. His pretrial hearing already appears to be rigged.
This article explains why the defense claims the judge may be biased: he is a prosecutor.
If Manning is indeed responsible for leaking the Wikileaks cables and the Collateral Murder video, the whole world is in his debt. Next year, if the trial has found him guilty, we should celebrate his birthday.
20% of the children in Catholic institutions in the Netherlands were sexually abused.
UMG says that Google has given its broad powers to censor YouTube.
US citizens: call on Congress to investigate use of US tear gas to kill Palestinians.
The IMF warns that Europe may be heading for a bigger recession, and could pull the rest of the world with it.
It's not strange that austerity during a recession makes it worse. What is strange is that so much discussion of austerity policies fails to mention this.
Another Russian journalist was murdered, apparently for investigating corruption.
Since 1977, the life expectancy of wealthy US males retiring at age 65 has risen 6 years. For poor men, it has risen 1.3 years.
However, plans to raise the retirement age are once again shafting the poor.
If we someday have low unemployment, so that requiring one old person to work longer doesn't mean tossing someone on the dole or the street, it might make sense to raise the retirement age — but only for the higher incomes.
Netanyahu says he will treat Israeli vandals like Palestinian protesters: imprisonment without trial.
Does Netanyahu think applying injustice to Israelis will make it acceptable? It's wrong in one case and it's wrong in the other. These vandals deserve a fair trial, like anyone else acused of a crime.
UN troops in Haiti attacked three Haitians for no apparent reason, robbed them, and left them for dead.
Most Haitians already wanted the UN troops to leave. They are called "peacekeepers" but their real function is as an occupting force.
Gingrich says he would launch an all-out war with Iran, the goal being "regime change".
As I said when Dubya was planning to replace Saddam Hussein in Iraq, an intervention to overthrow a tyrannical government is justified provided (1) the people ruled by the tyrant want that kind of help and (2) we can be confident that the new government will be democratic and respect human rights.
A religious school in Pakistan held students prisoner, brainwashing them for terrorism.
US companies that make solar panels accuse China of dumping them.
That might be true — I would hardly expect the Chinese state to deal fairly or honestly with anyone. However, it appears that the cut-price solar panels have stimulated other US businesses, creating jobs and helping the US move away from fossil fuels.
China responded by accusing the US of dumping the material the solar panels are mainly made from.
Instead of penalizing Chinese solar panels, the US should subsidize domestic producers so they can compete. This way we will move even faster to solar energy.
A police thug shot a 14-year-old girl with a taser after grabbing her and choking her.
Russia proposes to filter the Internet, citing the usual excuses including "child pornography" and "extremism".
Once Russia has filters, we can expect that "Putin rigged the election" will be considered extremism. Censorship must not be tolerated no matter what the excuse.
LA's mayor says he had police shut down the Occupy LA encampment to protect the protesters.
The thugs "protected" them with cruel violence, causing pain and lasting injury.
I disagree with Meighan's decision to forgive the thugs on the grounds that they were "just doing their jobs". That's as much as to say they were following orders, which is not an excuse.
As a person, you are personally responsible for every thing that you personally do. The mayor and others who gave those orders have a deeper responsibility, but that does not exonerate the individual thugs who obeyed them.
If you are literally forced to do evil, as were the Syrian solders who were going to be shot if they did not shoot protesters, that might be a valid excuse, though you must still try your best to undermine your orders. The LA police thugs faced no such threat. If a policeman refused to be a thug, refused to initiate violence against people sitting on the ground, I doubt he would even have lost his job.
Naomi Klein: Saving Earth's climate will taking away corporations' power, and global heating deniers know it, and that is why they deny the danger of global heating.
Here's a follow-on interview with Naomi Klein.
Thousands of Americans are in prison for unpaid bills.
Some had not even been informed about attempts to collect the money.
This practice, even in defiance of state constitutions, illustrates the way governments use verbal trickery to disregard human rights that they have agreed to respect.
This practice, in regard to debtors prison, started with laws imprisoning men that didn't pay child support. The laws that authorized this pretended it wasn't debtors' prison by finding another way to talk about it.
The self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in the US" has been condemned for systematically violating the human rights of Latinos.
Migrant farm workers in the US work for 10 hours a day and often don't receive their pay.
Secret reports from the Bush forces investigation into the massacre at Haditha were found in a junkyard and rescued.
They show that the Bush forces troops killed civilians often, and frequently for no reason at all.
This is par for the course, when an army occupies a hostile population. Bush should have known that the occupation of Iraq would lead to this.
A massive Indonesian offensive, four battalions carried by helicopters, has attacked villages in West Papua. 26 villages were burnt, and the inhabitants were forced out of 130 others.
Indonesia fought for years to win independence from the Netherlands. Now in West Papua Indonesia is the colonial power.
Obama's surrender on imprisonment without trial is a historic tragedy for human rights.
Ralph Nader: Congressional Tyranny, White House Surrender.
The "smallest fingerprint swipe sensor" is apparently going to be put in Chinese mobile phones.
Present-day cell phones are Stalin's dream. With this added, they will be Stalin's orgasm.
Over 20,000 Libyans protested in Benghazi demanding changes in the new government.
Obama agreed to sign the bill to give him the power to imprison anyone without trial.
This follows the general pattern: Dubya starts an atrocious attack on human rights, and Obama makes it officially permanent. If indeed Obama was scared of being called "soft on terrorism", that only demonstrates he is a coward as well as evil.
Human Rights Watch says that torture in Uzbekistan is getting worse.
The US and Nato countries disregard tyranny and torture in Uzbekistan in order to pass supplies to Afghanistan.
In other words, all the people of Uzbekistan are casualties of this war.
Syrian soldiers who defected tell of the torture and death meted out to soldiers who refused to shoot unarmed protesters.
US citizens: support the RESTORE the American Dream for the 99% Act.
Israeli troops murdered a Palestinian by shooting him in the eye at close range with a teargas canister.
Those are supposed to be fired at the ground, not at people. Any time a person is hit in the head, and a trained soldier fired the canister, that soldier intended to maim or kill.
The Palestinian was throwing stones, but there is no indication that these soldiers needed to defend themselves.
Israeli soldiers who shoot Palestinians in cold blood have no need to fear the law.
Asia Pulp & Paper created a "tiger reserve" on its land but cuts the trees anyway.
Thiessen, a Washington Post columnist calls Amnesty International foolish names because it wants US torturers to be punished.
I suspect he sees this as a pre-emptive strike to undermine the condemnation that Amnesty International will surely make of Obama's shiny new imprisonment-without-trial law.
Thiessen's argument can be summarized as, "Anyone who calls for Bush to be tried for his crimes is despicable because few others say this." But why are they few? Because others are scared of bullies like Thiessen.
Bush is guilty of worse crimes than torture. The conquest of Iraq was a war of agression launched based on lies. Bush should be tried for crimes against humanity.
Palestinians made homeless by Israeli demolition hit a new record in 2011.
Walmart spends a lot of money to elect anti-environment candidates, including global heating deniers.
Chevron's undersea oil leak in Brazil still has not been capped.
Oil companies' energy investments are devoted 98% to dirty energy.
Top US executives had pay gains of 25 to 40% in 2010. This shows that the system is still totally broken.
Gulnaz, who was imprisoned for reporting that she was raped, has been released from prison after two years. But she is being pressured to marry the rapist.
This shows how little Karzai's government respects women's human rights. The Taliban might be worse, because things can always get worse, but it is no use killing thousands of people to defend such a small amount of women's rights.
Honduran police attacked people protesting the unpunished murders of journalists.
The coup-installed president said the police were not supposed to do this. I suppose the people who murdered the journalists weren't officially told to do that either.
Pakistan talks about a tax on NATO supply transport to Afghanistan.
Americans seem to care more about the monetary cost of the war than its human damage. The more Pakistan adds to the expense, the better our chances of ending the war sooner.
Japan is subsidizing the whaling fleet using funds for tsunami relief. Say you object.
Sign this petition against the proposed US law for imprisonment without trial.
Here's what makes that bill un-American.
Obama called the war in Iraq a "success" and pretends that Iraq is better off now than in 2002.
Obama should get an award for world champion barefaced lying.
A few years ago, Iraqis generally said they were better off under Saddam Hussein. I don't know if this has changed. However, at least Iraq does have enough democracy that it can make the Bush forces leave. So it has gained something.
Police in Aceh arrested 65 people for attending a punk rock concert, then humiliated them.
This is not as bad as putting gay people in prison, but it remains inexcusable.
Requiring women to wear headscarves is also tyranny, of which the French law banning face covering is an equally tyrannical mirror image. Perhaps secularist women in Aceh should constitute themselves as a militia, and groups of them should grab solitary men and whip them for not covering their faces. It might teach them a lesson about tolerance.
In Jerusalem, Shufat refugee camp has been converted into a controlled ghetto.
The Peres Center for Peace was told it could have a tax exemption, if only it abandoned the plan to train doctors from Gaza in Israeli hospitals.
In any other country, training doctors is exactly the sort of activity that would qualify for a tax exemption. In Israel, however, the policy is to punish Gaza in any way possible, even in its medicine.
Small changes in the House version of the Internet blacklist bill don't change anything important.
New York thugs systematically arrested journalists covering an Occupy protest, and threatened to shoot one of them.
What must New York City do to crush this armed menace?
House [Republicans] Tack Health Care Law Rollbacks Onto Payroll Tax [Cut] Bill.
In other words, Republicans treat even a tax cut as an opportunity to cause mischief.
Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto protocol.
Canada's logic is, "If the US and China are pushing the world towards catastrophe, why shouldn't we push alongside them?"
This probably has something to do with the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
El Salvador suffers from a US-imposed foreign exploitation treaty and US-backed militarization of society.
This provides a basis for understanding the harm that the Trans-Pacific Partnership plans to do.
China's equivalents of Twitter are censored, but the censorship is insufficiently effective to block information. So now China is pushing a "real names please" policy in order to discourage "rumors".
Even insignificant extrapolations from real observed facts are being punished. There are false rumors in China, but since official news is false too, it can hard to tell the false rumors from the true ones. However, some false rumors can be identified: the HIV-spreading rumor had to be false because nobody would gain anything from doing that.
The US medical establishment has been greatly corrupted by the pharmaceutical business. This saps the credibility of whatever they say, even when it is true. The result is that false rumors about vaccines can spread. These rumors are deadly.
Of the 140 who died from whooping cough in the US from 2000 to 2005, most of whom were babies, 90% would never have got the disease if their parents and siblings had been vaccinated against it. One person not vaccinated against measles can expose thousands of others to the disease.
The false rumor that global heating does not exist, or has nothing to do with our greenhouse gas emissions, could destroy our civilization. But this rumor is not spreading on its own power. The oil companies pay to spread it.
The IMF abandoned absurd predictions that the Greek austerity would lead to economic growth.
Thousands of Libyans protested that the new government is not democratic and transparent.
Bicycling could cut the EU's greenhouse gas emissions 25%.
Israeli colonists in the West Bank attacked an army base to protest plans to disassemble colony outposts that didn't have government permission.
They didn't use guns, but nonetheless went well beyond what Palestinian teenagers do alongside protests, I bet that the army's reaction will be far gentler than the way it treats those Palestinian teenagers, and even the way it treats the nonviolent protesters.
Declaring a unilateral ceasefire in Afganistan might be the best way to lead the Taliban into peace.
The Occupy protest at the Port of Oakland was partly successful.
Blackwater has changed its name again, but not its business.
The Republican Party has declared war on Americans' drinking water.
Italian workers have started nationwide strikes against austerity programs imposed by the banksters' man, Monti.
The bankster's regime kills: 5000 additional suicides in Greece.
Using Debt to Crush Democracy.
Police attacking Occupy Boston covered their badge numbers and pushed journalists away to disguise their dirty work.
When the nonviolent protesters get out of jail, they will tell us whether the police attacked them with violence.
Every time Mayor Menino gives a speech, he should be reminded, with fresh protests, of his dishonest excuses for attacking protesters.
How right-wing newspapers in the UK cover up society's major political problems, and defend their perpetrators, with a cloud of distractions, side issues, and double standards.
Various political and environmental leaders comment on the Durban agreement.
Inching forward is progress of a kind, but it falls short of what's needed to avoid climate catastrophe.
Developments in brain imaging suggest that humans up to the age of 20 may not be ready for the legal responsibilities of an adult.
Brain maturation occurs at different rates in different people. To treat everyone as a minor until age 20 would be unfair to many. Perhaps a brain imaging test — or a practical test — could determine whether someone is ready for legal adulthood.
A French uranium mining company has agreed to monitor the health of its workers in Niger.
Canada has banned wearing a full face covering while taking the oath of citizenship.
I don't see anything wrong with this particular rule. There is no possibility of anonymity in becoming a citizen of a country. However, if it is extended to merely being in a "government-funded institution", that goes too far. There are many things that one can do in some of those institutions without need to identify oneself.
The pirates who attack YouTube, claiming to hold copyright on public domain works and getting them taken down.
Although the Bahraini monarchy accepted a report condemning its violent repression of protesters, the repression continues unabated.
In effect, the report is being used to pretend that state violence will be stopped, while in fact doing nothing to stop it.
The "war on drugs" has morphed into a war on the people or Mexico, Colombia, and to a lesser extent other countries in Latin America.
Those countries must disregard the US and legalize drugs enough to end the war (or at least, to get it off drugs).
Don't Embarrass My Moneyed Friends! As Fundraising for Congress Goes Up, Hearings Go Down.
The hearings that do occur are rigged, like the ones about SOPA.
The last of the official Bush forces are leaving Iraq, hated by the relatives of the civilians that they killed.
This represents a defeat for Bush, which is good, but Iraq continues to suffer from his crime.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter again to oppose the Internet blacklist bill.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Occupy the Food System.
Thousands of Bedouin protested in Israel against plans to destroy their unrecognized villages and forcibly relocate them.
Australia shows it is possible to defeat the global heating denialists if you fight them hard.
Obama has a lot to be ashamed of.
The Koch Brothers' pressure group claimed credit for sticking most Republicans' heads into the hot sand.
The Republican Party should replace the elephant with the ostrich as a symbol.
Karl Rove says, Elizabeth Warren is a corporate flunky.
Isn't it interesting that the bad guys' false accusations resemble their own actions? Perhaps those are the misdeeds they understand best.
This shows Rove realizes that Americans hate big business and hate its flunkies. But it also shows Rove thinks he can drown out the truth by spending corporate money, and I can't be sure he is mistaken.
Human Rights Watch criticized police attacks on US protesters, but the criticism is strangely weak. If the same thing had happened in Belarus, we would have seen a strong denunciation.
Republicans voted to cut unemployment insurance.
Their strategy is to do everything possible to hurt most Americans, then hope to put the blame on Obama. If Obama campaigned hard to fight them, their claim would be a lie. But he's so weak that he makes it partly true.
Obama should run for president on the Republican ticket, so a real Democrat can run against him.
Republican Senator Mike Lee says he filibustered the confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because he wanted to prevent the agency from functioning.
It would have been better to confirm Cordray, but at least he confirmed our suspicions.
The New York Times pressures its readers to use Facebook; that is the only way they can become "trusted commenters".
This is shameful and disgusting.
I do not post links to articles on nytimes.com. This is because of its paywall. However, what I object to is not the paying as such, but rather the requirement for users to identify themselves. If people could pay anonymously, I would not mind; I would even pay, sometimes.
A review of the book Reckless Endangerment, which describes how the banksters corrupted and controlled the US government, and crushed resistance by state governments.
Pakistani officials say they are not talking peace with the Pakistani Taliban.
Cory Doctorow explains clearly and thoroughly how SOPA is bad,
The EPA has finally taken notice that Monsanto's genetically engineered bt-corn has generated resistant insect pests. But Monsanto still tries to cover it up.
The EPA might have prevented this, but Monsanto was so powerful that it overrode the EPA. In effect, Monsanto was defeated by its own power and greed. But it has not learned any lesson, and unless the EPA throws off Monsanto's power and does its job, it may destroy the follow-on product too.
Agencies do their job when they are given political will by the executive that appoints people to them. Obama doesn't do much of that, because his spirit is subservience to business.
Fighting the Family Friendly Fiends of Internet Hate.
UK universities are getting injunctions to declare protest camps a crime.
The response these enemies of democracy deserve is a sit-in so large that they don't dare apply the injunction.
Interviews with Syrian soldiers, who say soldiers defect if they think their families will be safe from reprisals.
If a tyrant holds hostages against you, you must not let that give him victory, since that proves how important it is to defeat him. So declare the hostages dead, hold a funeral for them, and fight the tyrant.
The Palestinian Authority says Gingrich repeated Israeli lies about Palestinian education and Palestinians, and dares him to present evidence to support his claims.
These claims about Palestinians remind me of the false accusations that Nazis and other anti-Semites told (and still tell) about Jews.
Speaking of Nazis, some right-wing Britons, maybe including a Tory MP, may face prosecution in France for dressing up in Nazi uniforms and pretending to be Nazis.
Even if they thought of it as a joke, it still deserves criticism. But not prosecution. To prosecute people for their opinions is tyranny.
Bigotry against Jews, or against Arabs, is nasty. However, censorship is nastier.
Megaupload commissioned famous musicians to make a music video to praise it. One of the big record companies censored the video by sending YouTube repeated false accusations of copyright infringement.
Please don't follow the example of Megaupload in using the term "content" to refer to a song. That term disparages this song, as well as any other works it is applied to.
Likewise, McSherry of EFF should know better than to confuse the issue by saying the vague term "IP" instead of the specific term "copyright".
Everyone: call on Delaware to revoke the charter of Massey Energy.
Debunking the cult of the CEO — specifically Steve Jobs.
I am pleased to see broader progressive circles take note that Jobs was nasty to the users of his products, not just to the people who designed them and the people who build them.
Rajasthan, in India, offers lottery prizes to women that get sterilized.
This is a great idea. Reducing India's birth rate is crucial, both for reducing poverty in India and for reducing CO2 emissions.
The other proposed methods should be used also.
US citizens: support a tax increase on millionaires.
It is not enough, but it's a start.
A gouging US bank demanded $229 to close a bank account which had been left with a $4.85 balance.
If the depositor hadn't paid that bill, the bank would have demanded more.
This shows that bank fees need to be regulated. In particular, a bank should not be allowed to charge anything because a fee drives an account below zero, as long as the account is not active.
Rep. Berman wrote to the State Department calling for reevaluation of US aid to Honduras' suppression forces.
The letter lists many crimes that they are suspected of, including torture and murder.
The Gates Foundation gave $370,000 to ALEC to bust teachers' unions in the US.
US citizens: Tell Obama to approve the morning-after pill without a prescription.
The banksters are the West's equivalent of Mubarak and Gaddafi.
The Supreme Court puts the US in danger of patenting medical knowledge.
The world agreed to adopt a binding climate defense treaty. Even India and China, even the US, said yes. But it won't enter force until 2020, and that may be too late to avoid global catastrophe.
U.S. Says Mexico Tortured American in Custody.
If police discover that teenagers have made nude pictures of themselves or their lovers, even though they have done nothing to hurt anyone, 18% of them face arrest.
The article wants to see this glass as 82% full, rather than 18% empty. That would be valid if the harm facing those 18% were small.
Pakistan is negotiating peace with the Pakistani Taliban.
Such a peace deal could be good, unless it helps the Pakistani Taliban grown and subvert more of the country. The effects on Afghanistan won't matter, because Karzai's corrupt government can only stand as long as foreigners prop it up.
Tens of thousands protested in Moscow against Putin's election-rigging and his attacks on political criticism.
The EPA has recognized that fracking pollutes water wells.
This pollution has been seen before, but the EPA didn't want to recognize it.
Police evicted the Occupy Boston encampment.
It appears the large crowd of defenders did not come again.
The Occupy movement is going to shut down US west coast ports in support of a port workers' union.
Strangely, the union says it does not want this form of support. The Occupy movement says the union leaders are legally compelled to say they don't want it, since the union is not allowed to strike now.
However, this is still strange. Are the union leaders legally required to denounce their unofficial supporters? And if the port is violating the contract, isn't that a basis for a strike?
It is hard for Republicans to explain why they object to Obama's cut in the employers' contribution to social security, compensated by an increased tax in employers whose income is over a million dollars a year. They need help from unquestioning journalists.
By contrast, another reporter asked to talk with the heroic "job-creators" that the Republicans say would be thwarted. They couldn't provide any.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose imprisonment without trial. The House will vote on a final version of the NDAA in the coming week.
PBS's Mediashift website argues that we should rejoice in business influence over the substance and position of journalistic publications.
PBS was corrupted in the 1980s or 1990s by accepting corporate "underwriting" for programs. The corporate "underwriters" (i.e., sponsors) decide what is acceptable for the show to say. (They also get commercials, though PBS pretends they aren't commercials.) Funds from viewers and the government add leverage to the companies' money.
The result not as right-wing as Faux News, but it is still compelled to be right-wing. I can't see why Republicans want to stop it.
I was never a regular PBS viewer. since I have not had a TV set since 1970. However, I noticed the same thing happen to NPR (Not Progressive, Really) in the 1990s, and that is why I stopped donating.
There is still some good NPR programming, and even occasionally good journalism (another note today links to an example). However, many of its principal journalists have been right-wing for a long time and its new head decided to make it worse to placate Republicans.
Thanks to media consolidation, Matt Romney's radio company has eliminated progressive talk show in San Francisco.
The UK government recognized that riots will recur unless "structural reforms" are made in poor communities.
However, it surely won't recognize that this requires steps to give young people in those communities the possibility of work with decent wages. They probably can't find anyone in their communities who succeeded through hard work in the last 10 years.
Gingrich promises he would be more subservient to the Israeli government than any US president before.
Supporters (servitors) of Putin are trying to flood Twitter to drown out real postings by opposition.
They are also shutting down phone lines by constantly repeated robocalls.
Microsoft plans a new backdoor in Windows 8 for disabling installed applications, similar to Apple's backdoor in the iThings.
ALEC fights to ensure children and eagles in the US continue to get sick from rat poison.
House Republicans have voted for obstacles designed to make it impossible to regulate business in the US. They call regulations "job killers", which is false, but without regulations many businesses are people killers.
US health insurance companies are lobbying to defeat one of the good parts of Obamacare: the requirement for simple, clear descriptions of what a plan covers and what its charges are. I am sure Wendell Potter is right that the companies profit from confusing the public. But it may go beyond that. They also profit from having rules so complex that few would ever try to understand them.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter and senators to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
Phoning them as well is good; it carries more weight.
US spy drones have apparently found no additional evidence of nuclear weapons development in Iran.
It strains my credulity to believe Iran would work so hard to develop uranium refining capability merely for nuclear power plants. It must be trying to do something with nuclear weapons. However, the theory that Iran plans to get fairly close to being capable of building nuclear weapons, but defer the last steps for later, seems plausible, given the lack of signs Iran is taking the last steps.
Hamas is leaving Syria; Assad has become too embarrassing.
When will the US exit Bahrain? Has the US no shame?
Pakistan threatens to move anti-aircraft missiles to the border areas that the US might attack.
I don't believe that the US intentionally attacked Pakistani military forces, mainly because the US government would not have wanted to exacerbate conflict with Pakistan.
Israel threatens to cut off Gaza's water supply and electricity.
The inhabitants of the Syrian town of Benish defend its independence from Assad's army using guns and IEDs.
Some of them may have learned to make IEDs from others who fought to liberate Iraq from Bush's invasion.
Gingrich's choice for Secretary of State is a man who lied to launch the invasion of of Iraq, and wants to bomb Iran.
Is the Mojahedin-e Khalq really a terrorist group? The US government said it is; if you think the US government would never lie, or even make a mistake, then you can take it as certain. I consider it an open question. The MeK, like any group accused of being terrorist, deserves a fair trial to determine whether that accusation is valid.
The US government censored a blog site for a year based on no evidence, and refused to let the blog site's lawyer have even a hearing. Instead, the government kept the case secret — from the public and the victim.
Thousands of protesters supported Occupy Boston all night and deterred police from attacking the encampment.
Former CIA agents showed where the CIA operated a secret prison and torture operation in Romania.
Occupy Wall Street protesters occupied foreclosed homes in 20 states.
Here's more information on how the bank smooth-talked Ana Wilson into getting a new mortgage.
This is a good action, but since only small numbers participate, it is not a substitute for the encampments. The movement needs to find a way to put the mayors back on the hook.
Four members of the US Congress who are pushing to approve the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline also own stock in the company that wants to build it.
The European Investment Bank has loaned 5 billion euros to fossil fuel projects, directly undermining efforts to save Earth from climate disaster.
A whistleblower in the UK tax agency reported how Goldman Sachs was allowed to pay too little tax. He is now threatened with being fired.
It makes perfect sense if we understand that the UK government is subservient to the megacorporations, including the banksters.
The US has only partially agreed to the EU climate plan: it has accepted a binding treaty but rejects any timetable to reach it.
Meanwhile, China has not decided, and India has rejected it.
The Netherlands has formally apologized for murdering 400 civilians during Indonesia's war of independence.
A Honduran radio journalist was killed, and a newspaper was attacked, apparently as retaliation for criticizing the US-backed, coup-installed governmenmt.
Here's a new reason not to use the self-checkout at a supermarket. Or at least, only pay cash (which you should do anyway).
I never use self-checkout machines unless a store gives me no choice. The biggest problem in the US today is unemployment. Why help stores eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs? I'd rather pay slightly higher prices and keep them employed. In fact, states should consider banning self-checkout.
The US backed the EU proposal for protecting the Earth's climate.
Romney spent his own money and wasted state money to destroy records from his term as governor of Massachusetts.
So what if this didn't break laws? It was still hostile to the public.
Massey Energy (actually its successor) will pay $200 million in fines and compensation.
It is good that Massey will pay a lot of money, but it avoided something else that should have been demanded: a criminal conviction. Massey will use this later to pretend it deserves a good name.
The important question about low-level looting in the UK is not, "How did the looters communicate" but "Why do so many young people hate the police?"
Another important question is, why doesn't the government take steps against the big, rich looters such as TopShop.
Capturing CO2 from the atmosphere will be so expensive as to be totally impractical.
Capturing CO2 from power plant exhaust is advancing, but it is still small-scale.
A leading Israeli right-wing politician says that "Joe McCarthy was right about everything."
Muhammad Attoun was imprisoned by Israel for years for being elected to the Palestinian Parliament. After he was released, Israel arbitrarily banished him from Jerusalem, where he was born. He stayed in the Red Cross office, but Israeli agents snatched him from there.
Arab residents of Jerusalem face expulsion on numerous pretexts, and even arbitrarily.
Fukushima #1 may be forced to release water with radioactive material into the ocean because water tanks will be full.
Joe Gordon translated part of an unauthorized biography of the King of Thailand and published it in the US. He later visited Thailand and was sentenced to prison for that publication.
I won't risk visiting Thailand after posting this note. Why give them a chance to do harm?
The news about Spain's Ley Sinde is not as good as it sounded. This unjust law was not withdrawn. Zapatero's decision was not to adopt regulations to implement it. This doesn't prevent such regulations from being adopted later, and the new ruling party will probably do that presently.
The head of the Motion Picture Assocation of America admitted that SOPA, the Internet blacklist bill, would impose Chinese-style censorship. According to Variety, he said:
When the Chinese told Google that they had to block sites or they couldn't do [business] in their country, they managed to figure out how to block sites.
US citizens, take action now.
US citizens: call the Office of the United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk at 202-395-6890 and tell him to release the draft Trans-Pacific FTA negotiating texts.
We know they are planning an injustice because the whole point of "free trade" treaties is to surrender the country to the hands of private owners.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose SOPA, the Internet blacklist bill.
Tell Congress to reject the National Defense Authorization Act provisions that require military prison and military trials.
The Indian government has backed off plans to let Wal-Mart attack employment.
Everyone: call for an agreement to limit global heating.
Amnesty International called on the US to stop sending ammunition to Egypt's military rulers until they stop using it against protesters.
To call a tyrant's army "security forces" is to propagate distortion. Adoption of these partial lies leads to a thoroughly false world view. Please join me in refusing to use that term.
The government finds money to crack down on food stamp "fraud." The reason Obama does not prosecute the banksters is that he is working for them.
Governments are fiddling while the Earth burns.
Seas filled with ships are as noisy, for whales, as a night club is for humans.
Pile driving under water is so loud it can kill them.
The Dead Sea dried up 125,000 years ago, during a warm period, so it is likely to dry up again thanks to global heating.
The Secretary of Health has vetoed an FDA decision to allow women under 16 to get the morning-after pill without a prescription.
It appears Obama is being sensitive to the wishes of parents who would feel that if their young daughters have sex, they ought to be punished with an unwanted child.
He must be seeking support among the Christian extremists that normally vote Republican. Perhaps he figures that the voters who elected him will not vote for him again.
Assad said he has no control over the Syrian military and cannot stop it from murdering civilians.
If that's true, he should ask for foreign help in subduing the murderous mutineers.
The European Union's unelected executive wants the power to take control away from national governments in order to impose austerity. In effect, unelected officials would have power to crush any country in the name of the banks.
The EU already suffers from a lack of democracy.
We need to defeat SOPA, but parts of it may be implemented by courts even without an explicit law.
The NAACP has complained to the UN that 14 US states have adopted laws that impede blacks and hispanics from voting.
The Justice Department could have taken action, but seems not to care. Did you think a Black president would defend equal rights for Blacks?
Italy is increasing the retirement age with the goal of balancing the budget by 2013.
Increasing the retirement age for healthy people makes sense, given increased modern life spans, but not when many younger people can't find work. And balancing the budget is a lunatic policy in a recession.
Instead of crushing the poor and causing a deeper depression to appease the banks, European countries should be correcting their economic systems so that the banks no longer have this power.
Another aspect of the situation is that Germany's exports to the rest of the EU are pushing the other countries into difficulties.
85-year-old Lenore Zimmerman says the TSA strip-searched her in her wheelchair.
The TSA says it wasn't a strip search. Why the differing claims? Knowing the habits of goverment officials, I think the TSA could be using some minor distinction, of no real significance, as an excuse to duck an accusation that carries opprobrium. For instance, perhaps they only required her to remove her clothes below the waist, rather than entirely strip.
The TSA says that a two-dimensional gun design is an illegal "replica of a gun".
What would they say to someone who has a gun tattoo?
CBS misrepresented the number of Iraqis killed by Bush by presenting a partial figure as the total.
An intelligent combination of the Iraq Body Count records with the US records disclosed by Wikileaks leads to an estimate of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed.
Congress proposes to ban diplomatic contacts between the US and Iran.
It is crazy in terms of rational US interests, but maybe not for those proposing it. If their aim is to push the US into war with Iran, this might be an effective method.
Militant ultra-orthodox Israelis think they are entitled to impose segregation of the sexes.
Secular Israelis had better make peace with Palestine without delay, so they can focus on the long term threat.
Witnesses in Bassem Tamimi`s Trial: We were Instructed by Interrogators to Incriminate Him.
Israeli torture and brainwashing of children and adolescents is especially likely to lead to false confessions.
They cannot resist torture the way Bassem Tamimi did. This abuse does permanent psychological damage to the children and their families.
Some of the Palestinians freed from Israeli prison in exchange for Shalit were exiled. They cannot see their brothers, spouses, or children, because Israel arbitrarily forbids those relatives from leaving the West Bank.
This reminds me of the Soviet Union, which did not allow Jews to leave the country.
The Jewish National Fund finds it embarrassing that it prohibits selling apartments to non-Jews, and plants forests over evicted Palestinian villages.
Israel plans to kick 2000 Palestinians off their land near Jerusalem.
But this is just the beginning: 20,000 more inhabitants of the West Bank will follow.
In rare positive news, an Israeli court blocked the demolition of a Palestinian village in the Negev.
We need to defeat SOPA, but parts of it may be implemented by courts even without an explicit law.
Republicans propose to solve US transportation problems with more oil drilling.
The UK's priority in European negotiations is to protect the UK banks' privileges.
Britons, you will be ruled by the City of London until you overthrow its dominion.
Although the insurgency in Kashmir has almost ended, Indian troops can still torture and murder there with impunity.
Occupy Wall Street and Organizing for Occupation aim to set off a mass occupation of foreclosed homes.
Governor Perry accused Obama of attacking a traditional American value: bigotry.
The government of India demands that web sites censor postings so that people cannot criticize high officials, make fun of religion, etc.
What can one expect from a country that is trying to impose national ID cards except tyranny?
The major web services are not complying, but their defense of freedom of expression is weak.
The strongest of them, from Google, expressed a willingness to censor any postings (please don't call them "content") if it is illegal, with no hint that such laws might be unjust.
Putin mobilized a private youth organization as well as police to attack protesters in Moscow.
France and Germany want to impose balanced budgets on the entire eurozone.
This is crazy — a balanced budget in time of downturn makes it worse.
The UK government showed secret, privileged Greenpeace court submissions to nuclear reactor companies, and coordinated its press statements with them.
London police listed the Occupy movement in a list of terrorist organizations.
Jill Stein condemns White House blockade of Durban climate progress.
The tyrant of Uzbekistan is never criticized by the West since NATO supplies flow to Afghanistan through there.
Craig Murray is sure that Karzai will flee Afghanistan in 2014. I hope so, but I have less faith than Murray has.
Thousands protested the fraudulent election in Moscow; then police arrested opposition leaders.
BP accused Halliburton of destroying computer modeling records about how it cemented the Macondo well that turned into the Big Spill.BP Halliburton Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
If Halliburton did this, it was culpable. However, if BP did not require that Halliburton turn over those records before proceeding with further operation on the well, BP was culpable.
South Korea requires all large web portals to demand users' real names. This leads to leaks that harm millions of people.South Korea Hacking Problems
I applaud Google for refusing YouTube uploads in South Korea to defend
anonymity. However, Google+ goes in the opposite direction. Google
should eliminate the real name requirement on Google+, and you should
insist on this before considering use of Google+.
Read More about Stallman's view of social networking.
Russian independent media organizations accuse the state of secretly attacking their web sites and putting them out of action.Russia Press Freedom
It is interesting to compare this with the Anonymous protests, which are the virtual equivalent of crowds protesting outside the door of a building. These attacks, if indeed carried out by the state, are the equivalent of a police raid on the building.
It is a shame that the article misuses the word
Read more on hacking. There is no evidence that these saboteurs enjoy playful cleverness.
US senators want to legalize torture.
(Ayottes Torture Amendment Kaput)
The Army Field Manual already permits interrogation methods that are generally considered torture.
(Ayotte Amendment Secret Torture)
The Fukushima disaster has polluted the ocean with strontium 90, in the largest discharge of radioactive material ever into the ocean.Radioactive Water Leaks Report
The big question is, how much strontium 90 is anyone likely to ingest from eating fish in the course of the next century? Is it enough to be significant, or is it lost in the vastness of the ocean?
Millions of Russians voted
no to Putin.
Millions Vote Against Putin in Russia
Last week in Moscow, people told me that Russians mostly ignore the elections, having given up on the process. It seems they have seen a reason to participate.
UK MPs are pushing to revise the unfair extradition treaty with the US. MPs Backing Extradition
Since probable cause is much less than what is required to convict someone of a crime, there is no need to allowing extradition without probable cause, and that would lead to the extradition of many people that cannot be convicted in a fair trial.
Lobbyists claimed they could sell access to UK high officials, even
Bell Pottinger Claims Access Politicians
They also offered a service to make or break reputations.
The latest from the Neocons: the danger of Iranian nuclear weapons is not that Iran might use them, but that it might change the balance of power just by having them (and not using them).Read More
That may be undesirable, but it cannot justify war.
Israeli drone bombings have killed over 800 people in Gaza. Read full story. Most of them were civilians. Children hear the drones daily and are scared.
grassroots political group gives legislators
awards for defending the rights of old people. But many of them are
Republicans. Republican Ties
Florida police systematically lie to get search warrants against people that have visited Simply Hydroponics.Read more. And they destroy evidence that shows they were lying.
One of many reasons to end the War on Drugs is that it makes the police dishonest.
This article also explains the falsehood in the media companies' claims that sharing hurts jobs.
A former Chase banker says his bosses encouraged him to make high-rate mortgages to naive people who could not pay them back. A banker's Confession.
The Gingrich that Stole Congress — a parody from the 90s — explains what may have made Gingrich endorse heartless policies.
Peru's President Humala has abolished human rights to protect a mining project from protests.
8 opposition MPs in Turkey are imprisoned for political reasons.
Foreign organizations are replanting forests in Mozambique with alien species of pine and eucalyptus.
The EU proposes to extend the Kyoto treaty, but give less developed countries more time before the requirements apply to them.
The UK rioters were motivated for hatred for the police.
It would be good for the police to act in a way that arouses less hatred. Less racial profiling, less attacking protesters, not searching people without probable cause.
How the Gingrinch Stole Christmas.
This is from the 1990s, when he advanced the Contract on America.
The US unemployment figure fell to 8.6%, but it's mainly because 300,000 Americans gave up on looking for work.
Putin's party no longer has the support of most Russian voters, so it has resorted to widespread falsification.
Although Egyptian elections were peaceful and might have been honest, many opposition figures remain imprisoned by the military.
Even the Democrats' supercommittee plan would have been harmful. A small tax increase on the rich could have been reversed by Republicans next year, but Social Security cuts, if made, would have been effectively impossible to reverse.
The European Union has created a "debt crisis" to impose austerity.
Canada's Plan B to roast our planet, if Keystone XL is not built, is to ship the tar sands oil to China. This involves a dangerous pipeline to the Pacific coast where dangerous supertankers would collect it.
Once oil spills and global heating have made the Canadian west look like the coast of Nigeria, it could be used to resettle a hundred million Africans who are starving due to global heating.
The idea of REDD is that companies pay communities in poor countries to preserve their forests, for carbon offset. It's great in theory, but it seems that companies are pressuring communities to sign secret contracts that they can't even read.
The mayor of LA says he arrested hundreds of protesters for the sake of a few children who stayed in the protest camp. Strangely, he shows much less concern for the 13,000 homeless children in the city.
India massively surveils the Internet, with no legal restraint.
The Cyber Intelligence Bill threatens US software users' privacy.
African women, facing destruction from climate change, are protesting the inaction of the Durban climate summit.
The police prevented the protesters from reaching the summit. The callous politicians there can sentence millions of Africans to death without feeling the slightest odium.
Canada's secret police told the public they did not use torture. They told a minister that they couldn't operate without torture.
An anti-sharing campaign in the Netherlands used music without a license and refuses to pay the composer.
I believe everyone should be free to noncommercially redistribute exact copies of all published works. I do not, however, call for legalizing commercial use without permission. Thus, I believe this composer has a valid grievance.
The Swiss government decided to do nothing to discourage unauthorized file sharing.
The article has the flaw of using the propaganda smear term "pirate" to refer to unauthorized copies. Please don't repeat the propaganda of the companies that want to restrict us.
The reason Israel let the Palestinian Authority have its funds was that Germany insisted on this as a condition for the sale of a submarine to Israel.
Germany has eliminated the network filtering to block access to sites that distribute "child" pornography. Instead it will aim to shut down the sites.
This is an improvement, since it doesn't create an excuse for filtering, but it is still a kind of censorship, and it is based on a persistently repeated falsehood: the claim that all "child" pornography is an image of real abuse of a real child. For instance, this article quotes someone saying, "These pictures and videos have to come from somewhere. Children are being abused."
In the US, if two 17-year-olds have sex and take a photo of it, they can both be imprisoned for "making child pornography", but only a twisted sex-hater would say they "abused" each other. This is why I put quotes around the word "child". Once humans are sexually mature, it's normal for them to have sex, and with cameras ubiquitous it's normal for them to take a photo.
I don't know whether Germany's definition of "child" includes 17-year-olds, but the European Cybercrime Convention's prohibition includes drawings and animation made without living models. Who is "abused" by the act of drawing a cartoon?
Lots of children are being sexually abused in the world today, mostly by family members. Many have been forced into prostitution by their families. Adults are being sexually abused, too. But censoring art has nothing to do with ending that.
Western countries have used bribery and tricks to manipulate climate negotiations against poor countries.
What Sinclair says is classic misdirection: true in general, irrelevant in particular. It's true that giving each of 200 countries a veto over any agreement would make agreement difficult. However, requiring unanimity is not the only way of allowing all countries to participate fully in the negotiations. Meanwhile, as we know it is a few powerful countries that are blocking this agreement.
Thousands of secularists and Islamists held rival protests outside the interim parliament in Tunisia.
Cable-TV set-top boxes do surveillance of their users.
I don't think this becomes acceptable just because it has been snuck into many systems without people's noticing.
Why can't people disable this surveillance? Because the set-top box runs nonfree software, which evidently is malicious. It also implements DRM. And nowadays it can be remotely replaced with a new version, which means that the fact that this is a computer running nonfree software cannot be disregarded.
A US campaign to resist banning cluster bombs (and merely regulate them) was rejected on humanitarian grounds.
The New York Times twisted the issue, pretending that the US campaign was to ban cluster bombs.
US citizens: tell congressional leaders to oppose Republican plans to force approval of the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
Speeding up Obama's decision, by itself, would be tactically advantageous since it would make Obama face election pressure about it.
Zapatero's last act as Prime Minister of Spain was to cancel the Internet censorship law (the Ley Sinde) that he had enacted, when it was supposed to be rubber-stamped.
If the PSOE renounces this policy, it may perhaps be acceptable to vote for the PSOE again.
Further news: this law was not really retired.
The current UK government's plans will make it the most environmentally destructive ever.
Governments often state policies of the form, "Business B is harmful, but as long as it continues, we aim to have as much as possible done in this country." In the abstract, this is not self-contradictory. In practice, it results in promoting business B and blocking the efforts to reduce the harm it does.
We see this in banking as well as in the environment. The UK government resists all measures to reduce the power of the banksters, supposedly so that banks won't move out of the UK. This means that the banks effectively control the UK government and use it to control the whole EU.
States must put aside the short-term minor goal of competing for a bigger share of deadly polluting businesses, and prioritize reducing the pollution.
The media companies have paid 5 million dollars to congressional supporters of SOPA.
This may not be illegal, but it is corruption.
Governor Walker wants to make protests prohibitively expensive by charging protesters for repressing them.
A tolerable alternative to SOPA has now been proposed.
Meanwhile, the MPAA has suggested it might approve small changes in SOPA, in effect acknowledging that the part of Congress that supports SOPA is obeying the commands of the MPAA.
Anyone in office that takes orders from business has betrayed his country.
Senator Franken's questions about Carrier IQ.
After police arrested the protesters of Occupy LA, they kept them handcuffed in small cages for 7 hours, and forced them to urinate where they sat.
Occupy Wall Street plans to "re-occupy" a vacant foreclosed home.
Occupy LA disrupted a foreclosure auction, but didn't stop it. With ten times as many people, they might have stopped it.
The water pump in Illinois was not sabotaged. The person who logged in to the control computer from Russia was an engineer on vacation there.
This isn't the worst confusion that these confusion centers have spread. An ACLU report showed how they had targeted dissident groups for investigation as "terrorists".
The US is not planning to give Afghanistan enough money to fight the Taliban. This is just as well, because Karzai's government has a fundamental shortage: it provides little basis for anyone to be loyal to it. No quantity of money could replace that.
Thus, whatever money the US gives to Karzai's government will wasted anyway.
I hope that this is Obama's plan to slowly pull troops out and let Karzai fall. But it is too slow.
The US Federal Trade Commission ruled that Facebook's violation of its stated privacy policies was illegal.
It is proper to make Facebook keep its promises, but this does not go far enough to make Facebook acceptable to use. It does not limit Facebook's data collection — for instance, it doesn't stop Facebook from collecting of data about browsing through "Like" buttons. It only limits what Facebook can do with that data, and certainly does not stop Facebook from handing it over to Big Brother under the U SAP AT RIOT act.
US citizens: call on the EPA to ban the pesticide atrazine.
It interferes with reproduction of vertebrates (including humans).
Faced with Palestinian complaints in court against illegal expansion of some West Bank colonies, Israel retroactively declared them legal.
The refers to colonies that were constructed in violation of Israeli law. All Israeli colonies in the West Bank violate international law.
Cell phone manufacturers and networks have been sued for their use of Carrier IQ.
This door must be shut, but not just part way. We must stop all the ways that phone companies track the location of portable phones, beyond the unavoidable minimum needed to know how to communicate with the phone.
The Muslim Brotherhood, having come out on top in the election, demanded that Egypt's military let go of power.
Sacrifice Yourself to the Golden Calf of Capitalism.
Indian stores went on strike against plans to allow wage-crushers such as Wal-Mart to operate there.
For the mainstream media, it's newsworthy that US troops kill turkeys, but not newsworthy that they kill children.
The banksters have created a student loan bubble which is very profitable to them. So US students now demand the forgiveness of student loans.
Amnesty International says that Saudi Arabia has arrested thousands of dissidents, calling them terrorists.
The bad example of the US casts a maligh shadow around the world.
Brazil plans to protect its torturers until 2035.
Activists protested the latest ALEC meeting and made the participants well aware of public resentment.
US citizens: send a comment to the FCC opposing increased media concentration.
I edited my comment to make it stronger: I suggested that the FCC should look for ways to reduce existing media concentration.
Paradoxically, the increasing economic inequality in the US makes the economy smaller, which leads to high unemployment.
Massachusetts has sued the big US banks for foreclosure fraud.
US citizens: call on Congress to investigate the use of the Carrier IQ telephone spyware.
US citizens: sign this petition not to create loopholes in protection of national forests.
Pesticide companies must be held responsible for the destruction of honeybees.
Egyptian videographer Mostafa Bahgat courageously went close to the troops who were shooting protesters, to collect proof.
The US Senate voted to speed the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The Colombian oilworkers' union's organizers received death threats from the paramilitaries.
The US unfair trade treaty with Colombia was adopted on the supposition that Colombia now respects workers' rights. Of course, that was empty words.
Wikileaks has documented how governments around the world use digital technology for massive surveillance, through computers, GPS, and portable phones.
Some in Congress have plans for cutting the military budget.
The Russian-backed ruler of South Ossetia "annuled" an election after someone else won.
Russia's troops established South Ossetia's independence from Georgia and apparently also imposed its dependence on Russia.
US citizens: sign this petition also to ask Obama to veto the bill for imprisonment without trial.
Also sign this petition, but a phone call carries more weight.
Sign this petition criticizing Starbucks for its imposed requirements for arbitration.
A UK soldier in Afghanistan, who stabbed a child with a bayonet for no reason, was punished with nothing more than dismissal.
Can't he be made to pay the costs of the boy's medical care, etc?
Venezuela's President Chavez has organized an international group for the Americas without the US and Canada.
I would say this represents not so much the fact of decreased US influence as an effort to further reduce its influence. Given the way the US has used its influence in Latin America — for torture, dictatorship, and treaties to subordinate governments to business — reducing its influence may hamper its ability to do more harm.
The banksters gained 13 billion dollars from the US government's secret loans.
In addition, they gained a free hand to continue their abuses when the government had them over a barrel and could have imposed the regulations that we need.
Russians have begun to boo Putin, who plans to be alternatingly president and prime minister for life.
It is a sure thing that this won't affect the outcome of the next election, because Putin does not allow viable opposition.
Toronto police were ordered from the top to make illegal arrests of protesters during the G20 meaning.
Legal analysis of the arrest of Ray Lutz while registering voters in Civic Center Plaza in San Diego.
A policeman in California handcuffed and arrested a five-year-old child.
US citizens: tell the Federal Election Commission not to let Karl Rove stretch campaign finance laws.
A US court attacked sites offering imitation Chanel products, ordering the domain names seized and ordering "all search engines" to delist them.
Having decisions to shut domains made by a court is potentially much better than the administrative decisions we have seen before, but only if each site threatened with closure gets its day in court. Also, the order to remove information from search engines seems dangerous. Does this mean that it is illegal to publish the list of these sites on the net?
Meanwhile, the US continues seizing domains arbitrarily without trials.
The article misleads when it uses the term "IP". That term is used to refer to a dozen or so unrelated laws, which are totally different at the practical level.
Only copyright law and trademark law have been the basis for domain name seizures.
Artists' income from live performance continues to increase, making the question of how to charge for recorded copies less important.
Please join me in rejecting the perverse word "monetize" which appears in this article.
Fukushima 1 reactor 1 had a complete meltdown, and the fuel melted through the pressure vessel and 2/3 of the way through the concrete containment structure.
British MPs write to the US Congress to plead for the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo.
Wikileaks plans to document the world-wide scope of massive govermnent surveillance.
African countries should arrest Bush when he visits them.
The crushing of the Occupy protests means that the US has, in effect, arrested an idea.
"Abstinence-only" sex education (or should we say, sex non-education) correlates with high rates of teen pregnancy.
The high pregnancy rates may be caused by sex non-education. Or perhaps the high pregnancy rates are caused by the up-tight religiosity which was the motive for this perverse practice.
Police in Kashmir attacked journalists, as they often do.
Military Police State: Why is the Senate so determined to allow the U.S. military to arrest and detain U.S. citizens?
The government and the big banks deceived the public about their $7 trillion secret loan program.
They should be punished as anyone else would be.
Iraq Veterans Against the War says the 1% are profiting from their sacrifices.
And not just veterans. The banksters are suspected of foreclosing illegally on 5000 people on active duty.
An Israeli man on trial for death threats against peace groups got a gag order so he cannot be named, using family connections in the state.
Rally Dec 6 at noon in Boston against the Internet blacklist bill.
The Fukushima 1 nuclear plant was planned to cope with tsunamis up to 5.7 meters, and the owners ignored warnings of danger if a bigger tsunami were to arrive.
In effect, the owners bet that they wouldn't have a bigger tsunami than that. They had bad luck and lost the bet, but was it a good bet? I don't know if it was a good bet for them, but what's clear is that many of the losses fall on others. A good bet for the power company isn't necessarily a good bet for society.
The developer of pepper spray condemns the use of his invention to suppress protests in the US.
San Diego police arrested congressional candidate Ray Lutz for registering voters in Civic Centor Plaza, at the Occupy protest.
They confiscated his voter registration forms. If they had voter registrations on them, isn't that a crime?
The UK government urged Oxford to accept Gaddafi's son as a student.
Amy Goodman: Why Durban is the Kyoto protocol's last chance.
The US is now the biggest obstacle to success at Durban.
Meanwhile, the EU demands that China take strong steps to reduce emissions.
I think that is a valid position, not because of taking one side or the other, but because we need all the major CO2 emitters to take strong steps.
The inhabitants of Kivalina in Alaska are trying to sue oil and gas companies for washing away the land under their village, but courts have rejected them.
The large banks, while shamming concern about global heating, have invested heavily in increased coal burning.
They are blocking any attempt to stop global heating.
Occupy London has published a political program.
Apple is censoring information about abortion providers,
Gingrich's neocon advisors.
Minnesota is pressured to divest from Israel government bonds due to state law requirements.
US citizens: tell Obama to insist on birth control coverage in health insurance.
US citizens: phone Obama to say, veto the NDAA because it of its un-American imprisonment without trial.
The White House comments line is 202-456-1111.
A lawsuit aims to block the practice of US doctors' demanding copyright-assignment contracts to suppress critical comments by their patients.
Obama is even worse than Dubya in overriding regulations on behalf of business.
Except for a few policy areas, Obama is another Dubya, except that he has made the Democratic Party useless for opposing these Dubya-style policies. I am proud to support Jill Stein for president.
The pesticide atrazine interferes with reproduction of fish, frogs, and mammals including humans.
Reducing human births is a benefit, but I doubt it is sufficient to outweigh the damage.
Cambodians who make clothing in sweatshops for US companies are on strike.
The New York City Council is suing Night-Mayor Bloomberg for pushing homeless people out of shelters.
Until recently, Liberty Park housed some homeless New Yorkers, so Bloomberg is responsible for two ends of the problem.
Even some Republicans favor upgrading privacy rights in the US.
The bill is two steps forward, but it falls short if it does not cover access to a person's past geolocations. Without that, carrying a portable phone that is transmitting signals remains orwellian tracking.
Protests in Kuwait have a victory: the prime minister resigned.
Florida Governor Scott hopes that handing out turkey to homeless people on one day of the year will make up for cutting the funds to take care of them.
Malaysia plans to impose strict limits on public protests.
Malaysia also practices imprisonment without trial, following the evil example of the US.
The owner of a mine in Peru has "suspended" the project in the face of protests by people worried about water pollution.
I think "suspended" means that they will wait a year and try again, hoping that the opposition will disperse.
Iceland has recognized Palestine as a state.
Israeli vandals destroyed 7000 Palestinian olive trees in 2011.
But the biggest damage to Palestinian agriculture comes from blocking Palestinians from access to their farmland.
Israeli troops have demolished 170 Palestinian houses in 2011.
In the most recent incident, they sprayed teargas on some of the inhabitants and then arrested them.
Candidate Jill Stein endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement, and says, "Occupy the White House."
Palestinian protest organizer Bassem Tamimi is getting an unfair trial, and it is clear that the teenagers were coerced into testifying against him.
Israel regularly imprisons Palestinian children as young as 12 after torturing them and pressuring them to sign confessions they can't read.
2 million public employees went on strike in the UK against austerity.
The UK recently admitted that the austerity measures are likely to cause another recession.
The new Libyan government holds 7000 prisoners. Some have been tortured, and some have not been allowed a lawyer.
The war is over and Gaddafi is dead. There is no need to hold anyone as a prisoner of war. Except for those accused of war crimes, which must be based on specific evidence, all should be released.
CBS interviewed Ron Paul, and tried to distort his views and condemn the idea of criticizing US policies for provoking hostility.
He put the interviewer down very cleanly.
I agree with Ron Paul on human rights and peace issues. However, I agree with Jill Stein on these issues and on economic and social issues too.
Pakistan is displaying outright hostility to the US in many ways in response to the air attack on a Pakistani army base.
I think that it was inevitable this would happen sooner or later, given the amount of conflict in the situation. I believe the accusations that Pakistan supported, and still secretly supports, the Afghan Taliban.
I don't believe the US government decided at a high level to attack Pakistani troops, simply because I think it would have expected what the consequences would be, and would not have chosen them.
Warnings about the need for an "overall Afghan settlement" are pointless because there is no possibility for such a settlement. The US should pull its forces out, and the sooner the better.
An opposition candidate in the Republic of the Congo says that the election was rigged.
Some shopping malls have stopped tracking visitors through their cell phones, but they will surely want to try again.
Note the vicious argument that physical stores ought to be able to track visitors as much as on-line stores do. Most people don't realize how much websites track them, but I have some idea, which is part of why I refuse to buy from them.
US citizens: Transcanada, that wants to build the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline, is using suing farmers that refuse to sell land for it. Sign this petition to stop that.
Aboriginal peoples around the world have noted the effect of global heating on their climate.
Automatic License Plate Recognition cameras are turning the US into a total surveillance state.
The Egyptian election was held, with high rates of participation, and protests temporarily ended.
Many secular candidates said they would boycott the election; I hope that does not put the Muslim Brotherhood in power.
Washington State plans to tax the poor and cut off medical care for the poorest.
The Federal Reserve kept Congress in the dark about massive bailouts to the big banks, and this may have killed the chance for proper regulation of those banks.
UC Berkeley professors call for the resignation of the chancellor.
Student protests disrupted a meeting of the University of California Regents.
Students called for the resignation of two chancellors that ordered violence against protests.
A proposal to reduce long-term US deficit due to Medicare by allowing Americans to get their health care cheaper, in other countries.
I am not sure whether this idea will really work. Most Americans would find it hard to travel to Canada or the UK for health care, especially if they are old and sick. Other countries would involve a language barrier for most Americans.
Putin ordered the RIA-Novosti press agency to stop publishing Russian translations of stories that criticize him.
Total Information Awareness has been privatized, and the result is a company called Palantir.
The article assumes that toll booths recognize license plates and put them immediately in a database. It is feasible to do this, and this sort of technology is being rapidly installed across the US. It amounts to a great threat of tyranny. It should be impossible for police to get access to that data without a court order about a specific car.
The article assumes that surveillance camera photographs are indexed by the name of a person. This presumes that the images are immediately given to the police and the police run face recognition software which works reliably. I am not sure how much of that is currently feasible, but we don't want the kind of society that would give us.
An importer of fruit from Israeli colonies in Palestine was picketed in London.
Student protests in Chile inspired protests in 13 other Latin American countries.
Cities have attacked protest camps, claiming that giving homeless people a place to stay is endangering them.
That explains why these cities are cutting the budget for homeless shelters: to give homeless people a place to stay is to endanger them. These cities figure that the cheapest place to put homeless people is the cemetery.
The cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions is being gamed by treating new, more efficient coal power plants as CO2 savings.
They would be savings if they replaced older inefficient coal power plants, but often they are new capacity.
The cap-and-trade system has been gamed and scammed in many ways, and in Europe it has been ineffective in reducing emissions. This is why I advocate taxing the fuels instead, to discourage consumption. If all fossil fuel is taxed, there is no way to game the system. The tax funds can be spent in many ways to facilitate reduced CO2 emissions.
New EPA regulations on toxic emissions from coal burning power plants could save lots of lives and lots of money, but Republicans are against them anyway.
Cyberattack false alarm: the water pump was not sabotaged.
US citizens: phone your senators to support the Merkley and Paul amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, which would push to end involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, and oppose the Kirk amendment, which would facilitate war with Iran.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Also call on them to support the Udall amendment, to remove the part that would allow arbitrary imprisonment and military trials of anyone whatsoever.
See this urgent note.
The Egyptian military rulers insist on proceeding with an election that appears to be rigged.
The UK is secretly promoting use of Canada's tar sand oil.
Nobelist Nadine Gordimer, whose books were banned by the apartheid regime, accused the ANC of imposing the same sort of censorship.
Renewable electricity is receiving more investment than fossil fuel electricity.
What this says to me is that the world could now afford to ban new fossil fuel electric generation construction. It would be painful, but not disastrous — much better than what will happen if we increase the CO2 emissions.
US and Pakistani troops got into a battle, which each side says it didn't start.
The soldiers on one side or the other might be lying to their superiors to cover up a mistake. That happens often, and the superiors might prefer not to question the lies.
However, it is also possible that neither of them started it. The article hints at another theory, that Taliban fighters attacked the US troops from near the Pakistani base. Maybe the US retaliation hit the Pakistani troops by mistake instead of the Taliban.
It takes active coordination for troops in a battle zone to avoid shooting at each other. The US army and Pakistani army clearly don't have that.
At previous climate summits, rich countries tried to buy poor country votes.
When that didn't work, they lied to trick the poor country representatives into missing crucial meetings.
The Department of Homeland Subjugation was directly involved in the nationwide wave of attacks on Occupy protests and journalists.
Obama must have approved this.
Pakistan says its list of words to ban was preliminary, but still plans to impose censorship of text messages.
5 myths about the supercommittee.
Global heating is damaging the catch of fisherwomen near Cape Town. It threatens to devastate fishing all around Africa.
Alternative medicine superstition is the cause of the extinction of several varieties of rhinoceros.
Can a "fake" substitute be developed? Such a substitute could be cheaper than poaching, and most buyers would never notice the difference.
Many powerful countries, some developed and some not, are blocking the climate treaty that is the world's last chance to avoid disaster.
The weak countries, that will be unable to cope with the consequences, are no longer inclined wait quietly.
Protest to close Guantanamo on Jan 11 with a human chain around the US capitol building.
The last two winters in the northern hemisphere were cold, overall. But they had unusual warm periods, reflecting global heating.
The cost of air pollution in Europe is estimated at something like 200 billion dollars a year.
"Corporate social responsibility" reports are full of glaring errors because they are hardly ever checked.
In other words, you can't count on this to get businesses to stop their abuses.
The US budget cuts planned in the name of "deficit reduction" will cut programs that save lives world wide.
If US cuts were necessary, one would have to argue about whether to preserve this program or some other beneficial program. However, the US should be increasing deficit spending now. The only place to make cuts is in the military and corporate welfare.
Peruvians are protesting against a gold mine that could poison their water supplies.
It makes sense that President Humala would like to boost exports, but he shouldn't do it in a way that endangers the environment. Once he said he would not cancel the trade treaty with the US, which is harmful to the people of both Peru and the US, I realized he would not make things much better.
Over 1/3 of US states are putting debtors in prison.
Is this an election issue yet?
India's sell-out-to-business government has opened the door to foreign retailers.
Based on US experience, this is likely to increase poverty and unemployment.
Mexicans have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the president of Mexico, and drug dealers, for being responsible for murders.
Greece has started arresting wealthy tax evaders.
Reportedly, preventing tax evasion would have avoided the euro crisis.
This raises the question of why the EU prefers to impose austerity on the poor rather than close the tax loopholes. Perhaps it's because the tax-evading businesses control crucial governments.
It's not just Big Brother tracking movements of cell phones; shopping malls do it too.
Even worse, they are using face recognition in real time.
Apple left a security hole in iTunes unfixed for 3 years after being informed about the problem. During that time, governments used that security hole to invade people's computers.
Belarus sentenced a human rights defender on charges of tax evasion because he did not report his organization's funds as his own personal income.
The Pentagon says that scheduled budget cuts would be a disaster, but it can't keep track of how it spends its money. Its budget has doubled in the past ten years.
Kuwaiti protesters started a hunger strike in jail.
Egypt's generals appointed a new minister, but the protesters are having none of it.
The generals are losing support, but refuse to budge.
Republican ads quote Obama deceptively to make false accusations.
It's common practice for right-wingers to make deceitful claims, but here we have it at the highest level.
Craig Murray reports on the UK coverup about relations between Fox and Werritty and Ambassador to Israel Gould.
Thousands protested to close the School of the Americas, which has trained thousands of officers who since have carried out torture and coups.
A Filipino tribe protests a plan to start a mine in their land.
Romanian activists gathered 100,000 signatures against a proposed gold mine.
They are concerned the mine will pollute their land and water, as often happens.
Bernie Sanders says why it is good to have no Supercommittee proposal.
The UC police gave "beat poets" a new meaning.
Ethiopian Troops Said To Enter Somalia, Opening New Front Against Militants (i.e., the Shabab).
There is so much irony in this that words fail me.
A right-wing third party is aiming for a shot in US elections by calling itself "moderate".
Obama is to the right of the American people on many major issues, including social security, jobs, and corporate power. Anyone wanting to bow down to the empire more than he does is very right wing.
Thailand's government has asked Facebook to implement Thai censorship, something Google did in 2006.
Google implementing censorship for China, for a while, but later discontinued it. What is Google's position now on censorship for Thailand?
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose imprisonment without trial, which the "National Defense" Authorization Act would allow. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: state your support for the University of California faculty who have condemned police violence against protesting students.
US citizens: phone your senators on Tuesday Nov 29 saying no to the Internet blacklist bill, which is now being presented as a jobs bill. See more information here about the situation and who and how to call.
The use of thousands of police to repress Occupy protests costs a lot of money. The 1%ers say this is a reason to repress the protests.
Benny Wenda, Papuan independence activist, is afraid to leave England because Interpol might hand him over to Indonesia.
The Syrian army is using tanks and artillery against rebellious soldiers.
Now that Yemen's president Saleh has ceded power, the opposition has split into factions that are fighting.
Occupy language — rejecting words that carry prejudice for the 1%.
Seymour Hersh explains how the US is preparing excuses to attack Iran just as it did with Iraq.
The new IAEA report, which claimed to have new evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, presents no new information, and some of the information comes from questionable souces.
Wikileaks cables show that the current head of the IAEA has a close relationship with the US.
Even if Iran has not made facilities for building bombs, I think that the underlying purpose of its nuclear program is to gain a nuclear weapons capability. I don't think Iran's government would persist in an activity so likely to provoke conflict merely for nuclear power. However, the absence of bomb-construction activity lends support to an argument that Iran's plan is to reach a situation where it could build nuclear weapons fairly quickly, but hold short of actually building any.
AT&T has "temporarily" withdrawn its bid to take over T-Mobile in the US.
Popular opposition seems to have pushed the government to block the merger, but the fact that this was necessary demonstrates the extent to which US institutions are subservient to business. With the officials we deserve, AT&T and T-Mobile would not even have suggested it because they'd have known it was a non-starter.
Egypt's generals defied the protesters, and said they will go ahead with elections that the secular opposition does not trust.
Nicholas Mercer was the legal advisor for the British troops in the Bush forces in regard to treatment of prisoners. The government order him ignored.
Bob Ostertag: the militarization of police came to my campus.
There is a dispute among officials regarding whether a water pumping system in Illinois was sabotaged by a cracker who took control of its computer system.
See (30 November 2011 (Water Pump False Alarm)) for an update.
The UK is considering extracting natural gas from shale beds, but if it uses even 1/5 of the supply, its CO2 targets will be shot for good.
Meanwhile, US Republicans want to abolish regulations on extracting oil from shale deposits, even though it isn't feasible to extract.
And if it were feasible, it would lock in global heating disaster.
Twenty retired US generals and admirals wrote to the Republican presidential candidates to oppose torture.
An anti-austerity general strike shut down Portugal.
300 people a day are being evicted in Spain, and neighbors protest when it happens.
Foreclosure in Spain is worse than in the US; it does not eliminate the mortgage. Those whose equity is negative will be pursued for the rest of their lives for debts they will never be able to pay.
As a result, there are people in Spain who are "fiscally dead": they cannot have jobs, because their paychecks would be handed over to creditors.
The people who are forced onto the street should organize to make the banksters regret it. Perhaps they can protest outside the homes of the bailiffs and call on them to quit.
Supporters of Ai Weiwei are posting nude photos of themselves as a protest.
Freedom to communicate on the Internet is vulnerable to censorship through intimidation of the many middlemen it depends on.
See also my 2010 article about the US government's DDOS attack against Wikileaks
In the Supercommittee negotiations, Democrats moved to the right, and Republicans demanded even more.
Thus, neither party supported the 99%.
There is a dispute among officials regarding whether a water pumping system in Illinois was sabotaged by a cracker who took control of its computer system.
US citizens: call for an investigation of "Prosperity USA", the "charity" that pays Republican candidates Herman Cain's expenses.
US citizens: support the corporate nonpersonhood constitional amendment.
US citizens: sign this petition, saying congresscritters who voted against Medicare/Medicaid shouldn't accept taxpayer-funded health insurance.
Crackers have leaked climate scientists' emails again, together with misleading out-of-context quotes, apparently trying to sabotage the Durban climate treaty meeting.
With the refutation so clear and fast, I think this attack will not achieve much. But it doesn't need to, since the Durban talks were already going nowhere. We have come to expect the world to continue on course to disaster.
Climate change denial is a well-funded PR campaign, and we know at least part of the funds have come from oil companies.
The United Nations' environment chief says that postponing a climate rescue treaty to 2020 is "very high risk".
Facebook tries to discourage users from visiting other web sites.
(This article uses the word "content" to refer to published works. I think that is a bad practice since that term disparages the works. See.)
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to say, defend the military cuts called for by the absence of a Supercommittee deal. Also sign this petition.
We can at least derive some partial benefit out of the misguided idea of deficit cutting during a downturn.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Afghanistan aims to take biometric measurements of everyone in the country and share the info with the US.
Perhaps this is acceptable in a country with a civil war in progress. That situation does justify some things that normally are unacceptable. What I fear, though, is that the practice will spread and be established as "normal". Many countries demand fingerprints from all citizens, and have national ID cards. This is tyranny.
Internet censorship in Turkey was turned on this week.
When it was announced, the state said users could choose between censorship and more censorship. Now the state says that censorship is "voluntary". Do users really have the option of no filtering, or does "voluntary" refer only to a choice of how much filtering? If the former, some people may in fact have censorship imposed nonetheless: those who use public access points that impose the filters.
Yemen's president Saleh signed an agreement transferring power to his vice president.
This could mean some change, but it's not clear it will result in decent government.
A journalist in Southern Sudan was arrested and tortured, and his newspaper blocked from publishing, for harsh words about the president's daughter's choice of husband.
I don't see why marrying a foreigner should be bad, but people should not be arrested — let alone tortured — for their opinions, even bizarre opinions.
Bahrain's king accepted an investigation which accused his men of cruelty amounting to torture in repression of protesters.
That is a good first step — many US politicians refuse to go that far — but this by itself does not achieve respect for human rights in Bahrain.
More about the investigation and its report.
Seattle police apparently caused Jennifer Fox a miscarriage with their blows to her stomach and their pepper spray.
A new twisted low in the War on Sharing: a Texas judge beat his teenage daughter for file-sharing.
I am skeptical of the claim that what she did was illegal. It might have been copyright infringement, but that probably wasn't a crime when done noncommercially on a small scale.
Under the cruelty of Islamic law, an Afghan woman who was raped faces years in prison for adultery unless she marries the man who raped her.
An additional, preliminary injustice is that she wasn't offered a morning-after pill or an abortion. The article does not discuss this, but I suspect it too is due to Islamic law or the sexism and cruelty that goes with Islamic law.
I will not claim the Taliban couldn't make things worse. But even if Karzai's government is a lesser evil on this particular point, it is too evil for us to defend.
Veteran Mitch Green calls on US soldiers to obey their oath by refusing to obey if ordered to attack protesters.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center told Norman Smith that he is not eligible for a liver transplant because he uses marijuana — following a prescription from his doctor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
US companies have lots of cash, but use it for stock buybacks, while firing workers.
This shows the falsity of arguments that we should reduce their taxes to crete jobs. We ought to raise their taxes and spend the money to create jobs.
Oregon's governor announced a moratorium on executions.
Several states have recently ended the death penalty.
Mass murderers such as Bush should be imprisoned, but executing them is sinking to their level.
Thailand has sentenced a disident to prison for 20 years for "insulting the monarchy".
By doing this, the monarchy insults itself.
Canada's right-wing government wants to turn ISPs into agents of warrantless surveillance.
Iraqis demanding an independent inquiry abuse of prisoners by into British Bush forces troops won a court victory, but it is not clear they will get the inquiry they demand.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians occupied Tahrir Square to call for the head of military to resign.
A group of Wall Street executives in the Pentagon wants to cut soldiers' pensions.
There are gaps in the arguments that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
US sanctions against Iran are building support for the regime.
In effect, they help the regime get away with more mistreatment of Iranians.
Most Republican candidates are getting advice from the same people that supported Bush in conquering Iraq.
However, Ron Paul plans to end conflicts by reducing US intervention nd US military bases.
Earth's biggest ancient mass extinction was caused by CO2 in the air.
CO2 made by human activities 50 years ago is welling up from deep water off Oregon, and killing oyster larvae.
Oyster farmers can take steps to protect the larvae they produce, but wild oysters have no such protector.
Tha Pakistani Taliban declared a cease-fire to hold peace talks with the government.
One bad consequence of the cuts agreement that set up the Supercommittee is that environmental protection will be cut.
This is bad, but any agreement accepted by Republicans would have been worse.
Many states in the US are pushing fracking closer to cities and their water supply facilities.
This risks disaster, and shows that the officials in question, including Andrew Cuomo, are not worthy of elected office.
This is not the first time I've heard he adopted a policy favorable to the 1%. He's just the sort of person that today's Democratic Party would run.
America Is Not Broke.
A South Korean MP set off tear gas in Parliament to try to block ratification of the unjust trade treaty with the US.
It was a heroic defense of democracy in his country (and in the US), but it was defeated.
Everyone: Sign this petition callimg on the University of California to end its violent attacks against peaceful protesters.
US citizens: ask Senator Wyden to read your name out in his filibuster against the Internet blacklist bill.
Climatic disaster is now a virtual certainty, as the world's powerful economies give up on any agreement to avoid disaster until 2020.
Only a fluke can avoid climate changes that will drive millions out of regions which have become uninhabitable.
Obama proposed substantial fuel-efficiency improvements for cars, but only weak improvements for small trucks.
This could perversely promote sale of SUVs.
The Seattle police chief during the Battle of Seattle criticizes the military attitude and structure of police departments, and presents a model of police for a free and democratic society.
Egypt's ministers have offered to resign, as the generals they work for send troops to shoot protesters.
"Occupy The SEC" Scrutinizes The Volcker Rule For Loopholes.
The supercommittee has announced it could not reach agreement.
This is a triumph for democracy, but it is incomplete. The non-agreement is much better than any agreement the Republicans might have accepted, because it includes cuts in the military budget and not in basic entitlement programs.
However, as the article points out, deficit reduction now a is misguided goal no matter how it is achieved. What we need now is to stimulate the economy.
Naturally, Obama has taken a stand in favor of budget cuts.
Perhaps it is actually the military budget that Republicans might seek to increase. If so, I support him on that. But he's wrong on the larger issue.
St Paul's Cathedral is pushing to kick out Occupy LSX on the grounds that schools are cancelling tours.
Schools which do that are evidently concerned to avoid the special opportunity for education in civics offered by the presence of the protest camp. Students and parents should oppose this firmly.
I support the Cathedral in criticizing vandalism, however. The protesters should organize to stop that.
Students in Afghanistan protested against keeping US troops there.
A Republican-connected PR firm proposed to the American Bankers Association a PR campaign aimed at attacking Occupy Wall Street and any politicians that support it.
The Seattle city council endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement.
South Africa is about to adopt a strict press censorship law to criminalize revelation of government secrets to the public.
Kellogg Garden Products has set up a line of children's products just to market sewage sludge as garden fertilizer.
Wisconsin is collecting signatures to recall Governor Walker, and Republicans are talking about sabotaging the operation by posing as supporters, collecting signatures, and destroying them.
Republicans are systematically attacking financial regulation in the US.
If they win, they are likely to cause another financial crisis, but the 1% have ways to profit from that.
Three leaders of the Khmer Rouge are on trial for mass murder.
The formerly Communist government of Vietnam did few good things, but one of them was to force the Khmer Rouge out of power in Cambodia. The US opposed the new government of Cambodia for years because of its links to Vietnam, which was supported by the Soviet Union.
The right-wing Partido Popular won the Spanish election.
When the journalist says that Rajoy will have more power than previous governments but will have little choice, he admits that Rajoy is a satrap of the empire. He will be a cruel master to Spain, and an obedient servant to his masters.
Rajoy can't do miracles, but he can impose austerity that will drive Spain into depression.
The first hearing against Bradley Manning will be held soon.
When the US government accuses Manning of "aiding the enemy", it says that we, the people of the US, are the enemy. In effect it has declared war on us.
SOPA would make the US Internet very much like China's Internet
Iran has banned a newspaper for publishing an interview with Ahmadinejad's press advisor.
US food megacorps use surveillance through cell phones and social networks to pressure teenagers to use fattening food.
Journalists were systematically kept away from Zuccotti Park as the police attacked the protesters.
Authoritarian rule by the banksters is spreading in the European Union.
Before We Bomb Iran, Let's Have a Serious Conversation.
How congresscritters profit from stock trading based on what they know from legislation.
There is a bill to prohibit that.
Defense Cuts Affect Jobs, But Other Cuts Are Worse.
In other words, cutting military spending and transferring it to other areas will create jobs.
The US, in trade treaty negotiations, is attacking access to AIDS medicine in Asian countries.
Aung San Suu Kyi will run for parliament in Burma.
That she can do so indicates Burma has made great strides. However, with a considerable amount of parliament pre-stacked in favor of the army, democracy forces will need to win much more than a majority of the vote in order to gain control of parliament.
Medecins sans Frontieres has published a book describing its responses when oppressive governments demanded to use it for harmful purposes.
Although I respect the good intentions of MSF, I think some of its compromises went too far. It should not agree to actively aid belligerence, or cover it up.
There are many conflicts in the world, and many poor people who could use medical help. MSF can do only a small fraction of what needs doing. If a government makes demands that conflict with integrity, MSF should denounce it, and move the resources elsewhere.
Gaddafi's poison gas shells may have been made by Iran.
This may be a US fabrication, but it may also be true — it would be natural for Iran to providfe chemical shells for another enemy of the US, which Gaddafi was at the time. This doesn't change my views about Iran's government, which is an evil tyranny.
I think chemical weapons should be eliminated, but the US does not always agree — it supported Saddam Hussein in using them against Iran.
Israel shut down a peace-oriented radio station run by Israelis and Palestinians.
St Petersburg is considering a law that would impose censorship in the name of bigotry against gays.
US citizens: Republicans want to gut the US Postal Service (even though it is profitable) and attack its workers' union rights. Phone your congresscritter to say don't do this.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
India's government blamed indigenous people for the pollution caused by a dam project, and burned the floating islands they live on.
The Israeli right wing is aiming to control or neutralize three institutions necessary to protect human rights: the supreme court, the media, and human rights NGOs.
License plate readers are being installed around the US, tracking the movements of all cars and storing the data for years.
My suggestion is to design these systems so that they record only the plates on a certain list. And only a court order should put any plate in the list.
Syria's protests have spawned an underground guerrilla armed resistance to Assad.
Unlike the Libyan rebels, the Syrian rebels hold no territory. I doubt it would be feasible to assist them.
Crackers took control of a US water utility's pump and remotely sabotaged it.
Do you want your home appliances to be turned on and off by a "smart grid"?
Two of the three community leaders asked to advise the investigation into the shooting of Mark Duggan by London police have quit, saying the investigation is shoddy and untrustworthy.
Egyptian protesters have succeeded fighting the police and soldiers, and several candidates and parties have rejected the election that the military proposed to hold.
The American Library Association condemned the New York Thug Department's callous destruction of the library of Occupy Wall Street.
Proposal: make "ecocide" a crime.
I am curious to see the definition of the crime. Can anyone find it?
Israel allowed a limited amount of construction materians into Gaza to rebuild 10 factories.
A protest vigil at a US private prison condemns the megacorporation that runs many prisons and lobbies for more imprisonment.
Green presidential candidate Jill Stein comdemned the police attack against Occupy Wall Street
The New York Police Department has occupied Liberty Park but has not presented a clear list of demands.
The police kept the press away, as thugs and tyrants do. One reporter got close and was dragged away.
The thugs took a library of 5000 books and threw most of them in the trash.
Just a week before he sent the thugs, Night-mayor Bloomberg presented himself as a library sponsor.
Celebrate Buy Nothing Day, Nov 25 in the US, Nov 26 elsewhere.
The UK government compels unemployed people to take jobs in supermarkets — without pay.
That's a great way to generate more unemployment.
IPCC reports that global heating has already increased the frequency of weather disasters.
Police attacked protesting students at UC Davis and sprayed pepper spray down their throats.
A professor responded by calling for the resignation of the chancellor, who ordered the protest broken up.
The US published a propaganda video to show that indefinite arbitrary imprisonment in Guantanamo is a nice life.
People in Kuwait are not amused.
Egyptian insecurity forces attacked protesters in Tahrir Square with armored vehicles. The protesters received more support and pushed the troops out.
New Yorkers should do the same, and push the police out of Liberty Park.
Foreign investors are buying large amounts of land in Mali and using it to grow biofuels.
Rice from an area near the Fukushima I nuclear plant has been banned for the amount of radioactive material in it.
Many shooter video games embody the fascist war ideology: the enemy is human, but the point of the game is to deny this.
Egyptian dissident Abd El-Fattah remains imprisoned and facing a military tribunal (kangaroo court), and Maikel Nabil Sanad's hunger strike has lasted over 80 days.
The Republican governor of Ohio has authorized fracking in state parks.
These Republican politicians act like enemy saboteurs, seeking to do as much damage as they can during whatever time they hold the power. However, Democrats are often little better.
Craig Murray reveals that ex-minister Fox, and Werrity, met several times with Gould, the UK ambassador to Israel, and there is reason to suspect they were planning to get the UK into war with Iran.
US police have been militarized, and now use military weapons and military tactics against protesters.
Freedom of expression is in danger in Tunisia as the head of a TV channel was put on trial for showingn the film Persepolis.
False nasty Internet rumors about US politicians nearly always support right-wing extremists.
This article spreads another false rumor against prominent US Democratic politicians: that they are on the left. What a laugh, calling Clinton that!
US citizens: phone your senators to support the Shaheen amendment that would extend abortion coverage to women in the US military who are raped.
NARAL has a campaign about this, but I cannot support it because it says that these women are "fighting for us". As we all know, the women (and men) in the US military are fighting for the 1%. In supporting this amendment, I must not deny that fact.
China plans to prosecute Ai Weiwei for "pornography".
This demonstrates that censorship of "pornography" endangers human rights. You may find some works "disgusting" — I do — but that is no excuse for censorship.
The House of Representatives rejected a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced budget.
This is good because recessions call for deficit spending.
It is possible to reduce future deficits by $7.1 trillion just by allowing some temporary tax cuts and spending programs to expire.
(This includes 1.3 trillion from rejecting the Supercommittee's plan and allowing automatic cuts.)
However, the idea of reducing deficits now is dangerous. The time to balance the budget is when the economy is strong, as it was when President Clinton balanced the budget.
50,000 Egyptians protested in Tahrir Square against the military government.
Egyptian dissident Abd El-Fattah remains imprisoned and facing a military tribunal (kangaroo court), and Maikel Nabil Sanad's hunger strike has lasted over 80 days.
There is a senate proposal to require a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan.
The European Parliament condemned the US Internet blacklist bill for its interference in European activities.
Many cell phones (including some Android models) come with a built-in general surveillance package, Carrier IQ, whose presence is in many cases completely hidden.
The root cause of this problem is that the users don't control the software on these phones.So if they didn't put in this surveillance package, they would put in some other. The users' only protection against malicious features (surveillance, intentional restrictions, and back doors) is to insist on free software.
London protesters have occupied an empty building owned by a bank to call attention to the plan to make squatting a crime.
Protesters in Berkeley allowed their camp to be shut down by the police.
This sounds to me like a victory for the police.
The designers knew the Fukushima nuclear plants would fail in an strong earthquake.
They planned only for weaker ones and bet that a strong one would not occur there.
After the Burmese government reneged on a promise to free thousands of political prisoners, monks in Burma are protesting again.
However, the National League for Democracy has decided to participate in future elections.
Privatizing Liberty in New York City.
50,000 Egyptians protest against army rule.
China's appetite for wood is deforesting the world.
Massachusetts Senator Brown owned Bank of America stock as he demanded concessions for the big banks.
70,000 Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, but the FDA rejected petitions to take the necessary protective measures.
This is an example of how the political power of business can kill you, even in the US.
If meat farmers couldn't use antibiotics, their costs would go up, and many Americans would eat less meat. That itself would save lives by reducing heart disease.
Brazil's Indian Affairs Department fired an Indian representative, apparently because he opposed the Belo Monte dam.
In other words, he was fired for doing his job.
Why a Catholic organization was rightly denied a federal grant to serve trafficked women.
The Luddites were misrepresented by their enemies: they weren't against technology. They were against using technology to reduce wages.
I get the feeling that the author might appreciate the free software movement but has never heard of it.
Police fought with thousands of protesters in New York, and prevented their protest from impinging on the 1%'s business.
We need tens of thousands of protesters — so many that the police will have to yield.
Haiti is much less violent than its reputation.
There is suspicion that a US company illegally exported Internet surveillance systems to Syria.
Given the US practice of massive surveillance, and its tendency to obey corporations rather than citizens, I think the US should be on the banned list for such systems too.
The US military is not a jobs program. And if it were judged as one, it would be a big failure.
Two mid-level banksters face criminal charges over fraudulent foreclosure.
This is better than no action, but the kingpins are the ones that must be prosecuted.
Pakistan has banned 1500 "rude words" in text messages.
Some are entirely innocent.
People will construct euphemisms for them, and those will be banned in turn. It will add up to a total pain in the donkey.
But why wait — make it happen, and chose the words to make the system untenable. I suggest referring to male genitalia as "car" and female genitalia as "garage", as in "I want to have your car in my garage". When those words are banned, try "digit" and "ring".
Tunisia's largest party's leader threw a scare into secularists by talking about an Islamic state.
US citizens: tell Democratic senators, no compromise on Social Security and medical benefits.
Any Democrat who tried to "meet the Republicans half way" on this is at least half Republican.
US citizens: sign this petition against the Internet blacklist bill.
It's a different petition, so even if you have signed before, please sign again.
European countries are building Internet surveillance systems for repressive regimes.
A CCA privatized prison charges prisoners $5 a minute for phone calls, but pays them $1 a day.
This is standard gougers' logic for a captive clientele.
The new bipartisan plan to cripple regulation of the banksters.
Colombia's military continues to kill civilians and report them as FARC guerrillas. The practice did not end when Santos replaced President Hurrible.
The motive for this practice was to claim a bounty on corpses of guerrilla fighters.
The US military is making wild predictions of disaster to ward off budget cuts.
US media generally exaggerated the IAEA report on Iran, making Iran appear much closer to having nuclear weapons than the report actually claimed.
I continue to believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. I wouldn't trust anything said by the Iranian government without independent confirmation. But I don't believe there is any way to prevent it, other than an all-out war that would kill millions and still might not achieve the goal. That cure would be worse than the disease.
Israeli "settlers" violence against Palestinians has increased this year, after increasing last year.
Bank of America is running ads to say it is doing fine — because it isn't.
It has also set up its Web banking system to make it hard for people to move their money elsewhere.
For general distrust, I don't use the Internet for banking, and I suggest you avoid it too.
Students at UC Berkeley reestablished the protest camp that was violently attacked by police last week.
The FBI is very good at recruiting self-imagined "terrorists" to ruin their lives, though this does little to prevent real terrorism. Now an appeal might put a weak limit on the practice.
The UK will have to eliminate its X-ray body scanners under the decision recently made by the EU. I presume it will replace them with microwave scanners, which are probably safer for passengers' health.
I have never been terribly concerned about the nude image issue. If seeing an image of my flab doesn't kill the TSA agents, I suppose I can survive it too.
Thousands of Kuwaitis occupied their Parliament briefly as a protest against the prime minister.
A team of UK lawyers has launched a campaign to eliminate laws against homosexuality in many countries that inherited them from the British Empire.
Nathan Jones, who cares more about the "local businesses and employees" than about the health of society, is a narrow-minded selfish jerk. He would like us to be more concerned about the few employees in those local businesses than about the UK's millions of unemployed people who need these protests to succeed. I hope protesters picket his restaurant asking people not to eat there until he eats his words.
Republicans want schools to be able to classify the tomato sauce on a pizza as a "vegetable" so that children can have poor nutrition.
Wasn't it Reagan who said, "Ketchup is a vegetable"?
Israeli covert attacks on Iran might be intended to provoke an excuse for a full-scale war.
Thinking outside the Cold War nuclear box.
The US is trying to sabotage the treaty to ban cluster bombs.
Protesters are returning to New York's Freedom Square, but police are searching each one for any sign of tents, or even sleeping bags.
The nastiest parts of this are that the police blocked access by journalists (can you say "Syria"), and that the law is being twisted to attack the right to protest. The judge's decision banning structures was one attack; the police's actions, banning sleeping bags (which are not "structures") was a second attack.
Syrian soldiers have rebelled against Assad's rule and attacked government installations.
Hawaiian guitarist Makana was invited to sing for the world leaders of the 1%. He turned it into a protest for the 99%.
Protesters in Bologna have launched three occupations against the austerity regime imposed on Italy as Berlusconi's parting shot.
The Afghan national bank lost a billion dollars on worthless Dubai property and loans to people identified only as "dear uncle".
Meanwhile, the IMF says the bank can receive more donations now, and the people accused of this wrongdoing seem to be getting off the hook.
Aside from the fact that any further donations to this bank must be considered payoffs to Karzai corruption, I have to ask what possible excuse this bank could have had to buy foreign property with funds that were meant to support Afghanistan. I also wonder who the property was purchased from, and whether they received more than it was worth.
Israeli religious extremists are launching into violence against women, as well as billboards showing women and police who protect women.
This as a natural continuation of their violence against Arabs and against Israelis that support peace with Arabs.
A neo-nazi group in Germany that committed murders for 13 years had an undercover police infiltrator since at least 2006.
The Arab League is going ahead with its already-voted suspension of Syria, where the insecurity forces have killed 4200 people so far this year.
One of the protesters hit and then arrested by the police shutting down Occupy Wall Street was an elected city official.
If your elected officials do not support the protests, replace them!
Sidney Morgenbesser on pragmatism:
It's all very well in theory, but it doesn't work in practice.
In Spain, vote to weaken all the Sinde parties.
Right-wing justices attended a dinner sponsored by the companies that will argue against Obamacare in the Supreme Court. This is not illegal, but it smells corrupt to me.
A peaceful protest of Colombian students was attacked by the police just as it was ending.
If the state continues down this violent path, it will stimulate another guerrilla uprising.
Call on Congress to endorse Rep. Baldwin's resolution opposing immunity for banks that committed fraud.
Endorse Rep. Baldwin
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121,888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: send one more message to your congress critter against the Internet Blacklist Bill.
Demand Internet Freedom
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121,888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: tell the supercommittee to cut subsidies for dirty forms of energy use.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on US mayors (and especially New York night-mayor Bloomberg) to respect freedom of the press, and not attack journalists.
20 journalists have been arrested so far while covering these protests.
This page gives details about how much facebook tracks users' browsing, which applies even to users that don't have facebook accounts.
The UK government inquiry into the invasion of Iraq is being stalled by secrecy by other government departments.
The report. However, there is already evidence of wrong doing by Tony B'liar.
1/3 of all amphibian species are threatened already. And that's before the global heating and habitat destruction expected in the rest of this century.
A Brazilian court reversed itself and approved Belo Monte dam. The aboriginal people who will be flooded out need not be consulted.
Billboards in Florida will say that Christianity is a myth.
This December, celebrate Grave-mass. Newton's work is no myth.
Vint Cerf spoke against SOPA, and seizure of domain names in general.
The article is weakened by its use of the terms "intellectual property" and "cloud computing", both of which spread confused thinking by being so vague that they fuzz all the real issues.
Pledge not to buy from Amazon in this gift-buying season, on account of its sweatshop shipping department.
There are other reasons to refuse to buy from Amazon.
Everyone: sign this statement of support for Palestinian "freedom riders".
The European Commission adopted rules for body scanners: X-ray scanners are banned entirely.
I am not sure whether this decision is effective. If this is an ordinary EU directive, it probably needs to be voted on again by Parliament.
Gush Shalom reproves the proposed Israeli law to ban its funding.
There are rumors that Israel sabotaged an Iranian military base and killed people involved in developing long-range missiles.
I don't criticize this sort of attack against Iran's nuclear weapons program. It was done in a military base and aimed at weapons designer, and it did not threaten to start an all-out war.
However, military means (even a large attack) can only delay Iran's development of nuclear weapons. Only the conquest of Iran could stop it, and such a war of conquest would be a bigger disaster than the conquest of Iraq.
Palestinian "freedom riders" boarded a segregated bus reserved only for Israeli settlers.
They were dragged off by soldiers.
Irish activists, imprisoned by Israel since it captured them on the Gaza aid boat have been subject to pointless body searches and sleep deprivation.
Israeli troops destroyed many Palestinian wells in October.
This is part of a long practice of stealing Palestinian water resources.
The Israeli social justice movement is incomplete because it has neglected the rights of non-Jews in Israel.
Organizations that might require a bailout should be banned from paying bonuses to anyone.
Police thugs arrested, choked and tortured a protester in San Diego for lying down in a sleeping bag.
Transcanada has offered to reroute the Keystone XL pipeline to avoid areas or Nebraska that would be particularly endangered by oil spills.
This article strangely fails to mention the biggest danger of the pipeline, the reason it must not be built at all. Extracting and burning the oil from the Alberta tar sands would condemn the whole world to climate disaster.
Obama also has carefully avoided acknowledging this point.
The world needs a system of binding limits on greenhouse has production, and soon, or it will face disaster. Such a system of binding limits would prevent the burning of the tar sands oil, making the pipeline a total waste of money. Conversely, the interests that want to build the pipeline will go all-out to condemn the world to disaster. Obama is on their side. Millions now living will be killed by him.
The article cites GATT, the agreement that gave us the World Trade Organization, as an example of how an agreement can accumulate signatories one by one. That is a valid point, but we should not let it make us thing of the WTO as a good thing.
Every effort to prevent disaster runs into opposition based on minor side issues. For instance, businesses want the UK to fail to act in order to preserve 6000 jobs mining coal that is dirtier than unusal. The argument also asks us to believe that carbon capture and storage will be a reality soon enough to matter. It is just a research idea; nobody knows if it will ever be practical.
Short-thinking people oppose attempts to increase gasoline taxes. Statesmen would ask, and help, the people to live using less gasoline.
Oxford in the UK demands all cabs install video and audio recording devices that can't be shut off.
Fortunately some are trying to oppose the plan legally.
I encountered something like this in Canberra, Australia. I handed the driver a note saying
Cab is bugged.
Please take me to
NNN Foobar Road
and I refused to speak.
Israeli reporter Uri Blau is threatened with years of imprisonment for his reporting.
He was Israel's leading investigative reporter until the state attacked him.
I think he would have achieved more by going into exile and condemning Israeli "justice" than by returning home to suffer it himself.
Israel is denying the Palestinian Authority $100 million in taxes owed, as a punishment for obtaining membership in UNESCO.
Goldman Sachs helped Greece's government cover up huge debts.
Then made profitable short sales betting that this would get Greece into trouble.
This article defends Goldman for this, but does so with a false analogy with the practice of insuring oneself against random harm. In this case, Goldman led Greece into its current disaster, and did so for profit. The short sales were part of what made this possible.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the Internet blacklist bill (SOPA).
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
See this pol note.
The ball does not roll. Colombia's president Santos wants drug legalization, but doesn't dare start the ball rolling.
Antiabortion right-wingers operate large numbers of "crisis pregnancy centers" which pretend to be there to help pregnant women, but which systematically give false information to discourage abortion.
Morris Davis, former Guantanamo chief prosecutor, says Obama is no better than Bush.
EPA regulations don't just keep us safe — as a byproduct, they create jobs.
The US gives 30 billion dollars in personal aid to millionaires.
Haitians deported from the US are jailed in conditions that endanger their lives.
Congressman Bachus, head of the House Financial Services Committee, profited by short sales after he was warned, in his official capacity, that the financial crisis was coming.
Boehner and Hastert did it too.
The UK army lied that it had done a study about whether Dirty Uranium shells endanger civilians. It also made a fallacious claim that there was an excuse not to need a study.
If officials really misled the minister about the nonexistent review, will they be sacked?
UC Berkeley sent police thugs to take down a student encampment. They beat up the students and told them, "You have no rights".
A protester analyzes the university's policy of using violence arbitrarily to maintain its power to use violence arbitrarily and then refusing to admit it did so.
The students should reestablish their camp as soon as possible. The thugs and their blackwhiting bosses probably won't dare violence a second time.
41 states provide unemployment insurance through the big bankster banks, which frequently gouge the recipients of the aid.
Police roughly arrested anarchists who tried to squat in an unoccupied former car dealership in Chapel Hill.
This occupation didn't immediately hurt anyone, but it challenged the idea that property rights trump all others. The 1% can't stand that.
The EPA found toxins in a Wyoming Aquifer, with chemical signatures suggesting they came from fracking.
Several varieties of rhinoceros have been driven extinct this year.
20,000 protested in Israel against right-wing extremism.
Undercover police infiltrator Mark Kennedy helped the Danish government eliminate a century-old labor and progressive organization.
Burma's government has allowed Aung San Suu Kyi's party to present candidates for parliament.
The Business for Social Responsibility conference has given Chevron a featured role.
In other words, this event is a PR tool for businesses that want to present themselves as "socially responsible". I doubt that business "social responsibility" programs and codes achieve much more than that. They don't seem to follow their own codes very much.
The Coming Fascist Internet.
Religious extremists in Israel are trying to impose public segregation on women.
Spain's indignados have protested again before the election.
20,000 students protested in Bogota against privatization of universities in Colombia.
Modern bestselling video games are not just grotestquely violent, they are violent in a callous macho spirit.
Everyone: phone the New York Police Department at 1-646-610-5000 to rebuke them for attacking the Occupy Wall Street camp.
Keep the moral high ground by keeping your temper. Show them cold condemnation rather than hot rage.
At Blair Mountain in 1921, mining companies used an army of troops and strikebreakers crushed a miners' strike. Now they want to destroy the mountain.
Hollywood's has extended the War on Sharing to a attack software freedom and internet innovation.
MP Birgitta Jonsdottir argues we should have the same rights against government searches in cyberspace as we have in the physical world.
Many US cities are trying various excuses to attack or shut the "occupy" protests.
If the protesters respond with persistence and fortitude, cities will find that this is self-defeating.
When Oakland video journalist Scott Campbell move away from police and asked them, "Is this ok," police answered him with a shot.
Tories plan to privatize an English hospital, and the company privately recognizes its desire for profit will result in worse care.
The UK's National Heath Service is a great achievement for sick people, but a US-style system would be more profitable for business.
Gaza aid boat activists describe the violent attack by Israeli soldiers.
When Israel commemorates assassinated premier Yitzhak Rabin, it tries to hush up the right-wing hate campaign that led to the assassination, as well as the peace with the PLO that the right-wing hated.
US citizens: call on Congresscritters to tell Obama: don't give the big banks immunity.
Reporters touring the Fukushima nuclear plant say it is full of twisted ruins. It could take 30 years to decommission the plant, says TEPCO.
I wonder if there is any estimate about the cost of the disaster, and how that compares with the value of the energy the plant would have produced. 80,000 refugees will never be able to return home. Fortunately Japan is a wealthy country and I expect they will get new homes somewhere else — unlike the Nigerians who were devastated by Shell.
Global heating denial gets special media attention in English-speaking countries.
Liu Xiaobo's poetry has been published translated into English, but there is no way to tell him about it in prison.
Shell has failed to clean up oil spills in 2008 which destroyed the livelihoods of 69,000 Nigerians.
Russia and China plan to start prospecting for oil in Antarctica.
The Arab League told Syria it faces suspension and sanctions if Assad does not end the violence.
Why planting GPS devices should require a court order.
The article argues also for limits on surveillance via cell phones carried on persons and built into cars. However, I am unwilling to hand over that sort of data about my movements at all, which is one reason why I refuse to have a mobile phone.
I think that a court order should be required even to store data about people's movements.
Nebraska ranchers' opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has turned into a big political obstacle.
However, Obama has only postponed the decision until after the elections. I suspect that he is planning to approve it once he no longer has to fear the voters' disapproval. Transcanada said the delay might force cancellation, and we can hope so, but we had better not count on it. The statement could have been a bluff, aimed at getting immediate approval. Having failed to do that, they may "find" a way to go ahead anyway.
Berlusconi il ducino has resigned, but there will be no election: Italians will face a "national unity technocrat" government intended to impose austerity on the poor.
13 protesters were killed by tank fire in Yemen as thousands marched.
US paramilitary police carry out 50,000 raids per year, nearly all about drugs.
Even if you don't have any drugs, you could easily be on the receiving end of a raid. Some of the victims have died from heart attacks.
We need to end the police's drug habit and eliminate most of these militarized police, so that towns don't find some other excuse to keep them in busy.
The Indian army wants to maintain its power to shoot anyone arbitrarily in Kashmir.
European institutions are angry at the US court decision to make Twitter hand over private contact information of various Europeans associated with Wikileaks.
A US court would normally require anyone to hand over information relevant to a criminal investigation, so I can't argue that it should have made an exception in this case. (The investigation into Wikileaks is an offense against the public and the truth, but that's a separate issue.)
I do criticize the court's decision to conceal such searches from the people whose information is sought.
The problem Ms Jonsdottir should attack is that Europeans are giving data to US companies (Twitter in this case, but also others), which makes this data available to the US. The European Union should require foreign companies operating in Europe to entrust their data about their users or customers to a European company, which would be covered by European law about data protection and searches.
For the mean time, maybe people outside the US can access Twitter and other such sites through non-US proxies designed to conceal any private information (such as IP addresses) from Twitter.
US energy utilities procure rate increases to cover taxes they are supposed to pay, then don't pay those taxes.
Businesses are lobbying to neutralize a legal requirement for health insurance to cover certain "essential benefits". They want "essential benefits" to be defined so weakly that this requirement won't do any good.
US citizens: Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Don't allow coal mining next to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Republicans are proposing a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
This would make it impossible to get out of a recession through deficit spending.
Brain scanners show that some people in a "vegetative state" can respond to simple requests with their thoughts.
31 Indians received life sentences for participating in a massacre of Muslims.
Human Rights Watch: Mexico's "war on drugs" regularly involves murder and torture with impunity.
Tasers can kill, but the mistaken idea that they are safe leads police to use them frequently, sometimes with fatal results.
5000 Haitians who got cholera from UN troops have sued the UN.
If the world does not limit construction of fossil-fuel-consuming facilities now, it will be committed to disaster.
Texas Gov. Perry lost most of his support because of a momentary memory lapse during a debate.
It is foolish to judge a candidate by such a superficial and insignificant thing as a momentary memory lapse. That can happen to anyone who is as old as most presidential candidates.
The reason to reject Perry is for his policies that would hurt women and poor people.
Thousands of students protested in London, but were tightly restricted by thousands of police, who set up barricades blocking off streets.
The UK has banned a UK Muslim political group, without trial, just before its planned protest against UK and US war crimes.
The group's activities seem to consist of annoying peaceful protests. It has been banned for its views, which the government says "glorify terrorism". The article did not say what the group's views are — I suspect the Guardian, as a UK newspaper, was afraid to state them. But they don't really matter: banning any political viewpoint is tyranny.
The UK threatens to imprison people for merely appearing to belong to this group, whether or not they really do. Anything that group members frequently did is in effect now grounds for imprisonment, not for everyone, but only for those that the state wishes to persecute. Any statement or action that alludes to the group could be taken as a sign of "membership" and used as grounds for imprisonment. I suspect that participating peacefully in the group's planned protest against war crimes is enough basis to imprison someone as a "terrorist".
This reminds me of China's treatment of Falun Gong.
It is much more efficient to eat sardines than to feed them to farmed salmon.
The US "war on drugs" has casualties among the sick.
China is carrying on climate blackmail, demanding billions of dollars or it will release the long-lasting greenhouse gas HFC-23 into the air.
The UK government is covering up its involvement in US torture, say MPs.
The main US ISPs have contrived to pay little or no taxes.
The Franklin Center provides "news articles" with right-wing spin for major US newspapers.
Kuwait has arrested people for criticizing the monarch.
The leader of an unauthorized army murder squad in Afghanistan has been sentenced to life in prison. (He might be paroled after 10 years).
In this case, justice has been done. But what about the murderers of unarmed Osama bin Laden, who should have been arrested and tried?
Occupy Atlanta is helping to protect a policeman from being evicted.
What the exit of Berlusconi might mean to Italy.
The "chief of staff" of Herman Cain's campaign seems to have set up a tax-exempt organization which he is using to pay Cain's campaign expenses.
Even more sinister, he is connected with the Koch brothers.
US health insurance companies don't want to tell consumers what the policies really cover.
If the rules of an insurance policy are so complex that it is hard to tell purchasers what they cover, those rules should be simplified.
Everyone: support the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.
Everyone: Oppose the US-backed treaty to legalize cluster bombs.
US citizens: tell Obama, delaying the decision on Keystone XL is just a first step — now cancel it.
US citizens: sign this petition to tax Wall Street.
US citizens: sign this petition for Attorney General Holder to enforce the voting rights act against Republican voter-suppression laws.
Saudi Arabia doesn't want the world to know how poor most Saudis are.
There will be an investigation into the corrupt handling of the Keystone XL approval study.
Some unions have been duped into supporting the pipeline, believing exaggerated claims it would create jobs, but they would only be around 1400 jobs, for a few years.
There are lots of ways to spend money and create jobs. They could spend it on solar power or urban transit. No amount of jobs could compensate for the global heating disaster this pipeline will cause.
Gov. Walker plans to give businesses more rights than citizens in lawsuits.
Updated measures show 16% of Americans are in poverty.
This especially includes old people, showing that social security and medicare need to be increased.
How the music and movie companies are paying for the Internet blacklist bill.
The League of Women Voters is going to challenge the Wisconsin voter-suppression law.
Tell California Attorney General Harris not to accept broad immunity for the banks, and to protect foreclosed Americans.
ALEC wants to eliminate paid sick leave in the US.
Wall Street has profited more in 3 years under Obama than in 8 years under Bush.
The fact that Obama kept Geithner in office as "the bankers' man in Washington" probably reflects the subservience that is responsible for this.
US citizens: tell Obama not to give the banksters immunity.
The War Against the Poor.
Some Democrats in Congress are trying to oppose Republican voter-suppression campaigns. But there is little they can do.
Obama could have done something, but didn't, as far as I know.
There is new evidence that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
This doesn't surprise me; I never believed Iran's denials. (I wouldn't believe such denials from Bush or Obama, so why trust Ahmadinejad more than them?) If it were feasible to destroy these facilities with a simple air attack, I might support it. But it is clear that Iran has planned for this and has already made it impossible.
Berlusconi il Ducino has pledged to resign in a couple of weeks.
Natanyahu advocates blocking Israeli human rights groups from receiving foreign financial support.
Global heating will spread sleeping sickness in Africa.
Sarkozy and Obama agreed, privately, that Netanyahu is insufferable.
Anat Kamm was convicted of espionage in Israel for releasing secrets to the Israeli press.
This interpretation of the idea of espionage implies that the Israeli state considers the people an enemy power. If that's how the state views them, it must indeed be their enemy.
Full information about this attack on the press in Israel is in a previous note.
A leak in the US government says that Israels leaders told the US they may attack Iran regardless of what the US thinks about it.
The US proposes to allow some dangerous undersea Arctic oil drilling. Not as much as was proposed, but still dangerous.
Syria's government has killed 3500 protesters.
Protesters have asked the UN to intervene.
The Federal Election Commission is effectively inoperative.
The Supreme Court will decide whether the police can put a tracking device on your car without a warrant.
If I found a tracking device on my car (if I had a car), I'd move it to someone else's car.
The Israeli navy seized the Gaza aid boats violently and abused the passengers and crew.
The 1% claim to be wealth-creators, but they are really wealth-destroyers. The qualities business looks for in executives are not very different from a psychopath.
The Oakland police are concealing evidence about their attack on protesters on Oct 25.
The London police sent letters to hundreds of activists warning them about participating in a protest on Wednesday.
Denmark is trying to cover up cooperation in US torture flights with a limited and ineffective investigation.
Drug terror in Mexico is fueled by the US' War on Drugs.
Iran's nuclear weapons development might have ended in 2003.
Mississippi voters rejected the constitutional amendment to declare that a fetus is a person.
Google can't quite bring itself to say that there should be no software patents.
See endsoftpatents.org for why software patents should be abolished.
Activists propose to occupy the School of the Americas and shut it down.
This school became infamous for teaching South American officers how to repress and torture dissidents, and in response to criticism, the US changed the school's name.
Australia has adopted a tax on carbon emissions.
I think this is necessary to reduce emissions.
Most "honey" in US supermarkets has been laundered, removing all sign of its origin. Much of it comes from China, and it is likely to be contaminated.
This is illegal, but the US government doesn't police it.
Giant mines in Mongolia produce so much dust that the truck drivers need to use their headlights all day.
It seems to me that replacing the trucks with a railroad would eliminate at least part of the problem. It would make all that shipping far more efficient, and it would produce no dust. And many animals might be able to cross it.
US citizens: sign this petition against the Internet blacklist bill.
A hot, dry summer devastated Italy's truffle harvest.
Global heating might come close to wiping them out.
In the US: attend teach-ins on Nov 9 on "How the 1% Crashed the Economy".
The US government now shuns representatives of the Tibetan government in exile, pandering to China.
Thousands marched around the White House to protest the Keystone XL pipeline.
In the US: move your money out of the banks that corrupted our government and created the crisis, and into a local bank that supports your community.
Everywhere: participate in solidarity actions on Nov 12 for the Egyptian revolution: no military trials for civilians.
In the US, you could make this demand about both the US and Egypt.
Republicans are against spending public funds for the sake of jobs, except when it is military spending which we don't need.
Spending the same amount in some other field would make more jobs and could produce something beneficial.
Obama and Congress want to go easy on federal contractors that have failed to pay their taxes — in the name of jobs.
Why not simply hand the entire federal budget to rich people for nothing and hope they will spend it in a way that will create some jobs? On the other hand, that's not so different from what they ARE doing.
The Egyptian protesters, who say the military is stealing their revolution, have asked for international support particularly from the Western protesters.
State police fought with protesters the night after protests shut own the Port of Oakland.
As Kayvan Sabeghi was leaving the protest, police attacked him and beat him so badly that he remained, as of Friday, in intensive care.
The students in Professor Mankiw's Harvard economics class walked out in protest against his right-wing views.
Paraguay is letting multinational companies destroy forests to the point where an uncontacted indigenous tribe has no space to live.
Obama found a sneaky was to cut Medicare benefits.
Since the banksters and the military have priority, Obama takes it out on sick old people.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the TSA for disregarding a court order to request public comment on the body scanners it has installed in airports.
Noam Chomsky on Occupy Wall Street and reversing the despair of the American non-rich.
Statement of Egyptian activists, asking for internatinal support to defend the Egyptian revolution.
Lebanon is attacking freedom of expression on the Internet.
I don't believe a word of the claim that this is a way to protect web sites. Registering them now will do nothing to make it harder to ban them in the future.
Instead of the promised referendum on EU-imposed austerity or default, Greeks will get a national unity government, which means that there will be no elections any time soon, and no parties to vote for if you don't like what they are all doing together.
While US copyright companies say they are harmed greatly by sharing (which they call "piracy"), in fact they are doing just fine.
The greedy psychopaths (corporations) attacking our freedom are not satisfied with making plenty of money. No matter how much they get, they are always ready ready to attack us to get more.
Colombia has killed a leader of the FARC guerrilla group.
I cannot regret this, but the FARC are not the worst terrorists in Colombia. The worst are the paramilitares, are connected with the military and the government and with former president Horrible. They remain at large and immune to punishment.
Sugar and fat in food have brain effects similar to addictive drugs.
Sri Lanka's tyrannical government blocked a dissident web site and demands all we sites register with the government.
Sri Lanka's greatest editor was assassinated by government agents.
Peru's president has dismissed the top indigenous rights official for doing her job right. She blocked a gas project that had not been approved without proper study.
President Humala's first disappointment was when, as a candidate, he agreed not to cancel the free exploitation treaty with the US.
As Nebraska prepares to protect its water supplies from the Keystone XL pipeline, the pipeline company threatens to sue the state.
While pollution of water supplies could be a disaster, the normal functioning of this planet-roaster pipeline would be a far bigger disaster.
Why NPR is wrong (and dangerously stupid) to fire journalists who hold up signs in public.
A previous note refers to an article which mentioned that severa prominemnt NPR correspondents had publicly stated right-wing views (which they did not get fired for). This news made sense of something I began to perceive in the 90s: All Things Considerer was attacking Clinton from the right. This is part of why I mostly stopped listening to public radio around then.
Another reason was that I heard commercials. Officially NPR says that they are not commercials but rather "enhanced underwriting", but I reject their distinction and consider them commercials.
Greenhouse gas emissions jumped 6% in 2010.
Would it be good to have a Steve Jobs in every industry?
BP's executives regarded their Russian partners as "crooks and thugs".
I am sure they are good at recognizing such.
Mississippi's "fetus is a person" bill covers ectopic pregnancies too.
Thus, standard medical procedures will be illegal.
Even if they fix this, it will still be an injustice.
The establishment doesn't want Greece to follow Argentina's example.
The inhabitants of Dimock, Pennsylvania, say their wells are still toxic and say the fracking company should not stop providing them with water.
Some US businesses are moving their money out of the monster banks.
The Free Software Foundation moved its money out of Bank of America this year.
US citizens: tell your federal represantatives to support the constitutional amendment to limit corporations' political spending
US citizens: co-sign Rep. Slaughter's letter calling for an ethics investigation of Clarence Thomas.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on the senate to reject Rand Paul's attempt to stop the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act.
Obama is appeasing China by shunning representatives of the Tibetan government in exile.
The Taliban are feeling the resentment of Afghanis for their killing of civilians.
Exxon continues resisting paying the damages for the Prudhoe Bay oil spill of 1991, and gutless governments don't try hard to make it pay.
The copyright business in the UK wants to make ISPs block access to many foreign web sites.
General Peter Fuller was removed from duty in Afghanistan for rebuking Karzai's hostility to his US sugar-daddy.
Generals must not be allowed to oppose US foreign policy. Hoewever, what he said about Karzai is true, and the US is fooling itself by supporting Karzai.
The protest movement in Spain has led many to reject the two major parties.
However, unless they find a party they can vote for, the government can ignore them.
The FBI used a fake cell phone tower to search all cell phones in the vicinity.
And it argues this is ok because Americans have no general right to privacy about their movements if they have cell phones.
The CIA kills large groups in Pakistan without knowing who they are.
General Motors launched an advertising campaign against bicycling.
Israel boarded and captured two aid boats headed for Gaza.
The Israeli navy is wrong when it claims these boats were violating international law. The siege of Gaza does that.
In the US: participate in an Occupy Colleges teach-in on Nov 9 and 10.
US citizens: phone Obama to tell him not to approve the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
US citizens: tell Obama not to give the banksters immunity for their foreclosure frauid.
US citizens: tell Congress to fix the disastrous weakness in the whistleblower protection bill.
Real ID, the plan to convert US state drivers' licenses into scannable national ID cards, has come to a halt, but continues to do harm to the extent it was implemented.
Global heating is causing tree species in the American west to shift their ranges.
Imagine what will happen with 3 or 4 times as much global heating.
Private prisons in the US use sleazy ties with state governments to increase their business, which includes keeping sentences long.
Chinese companies bring China-style sweatshop conditions to African mines.
The US accused Allied Home Mortgage of fraud adding up to almost a billion dollars.
It waited a long time to do this, and Allied kept making more mortgages.
30 major US corporations paid no income tax for three years.
Homosexuals in Uganda face persecution from strangers and from their relatives.
They can be tortured and even killed if they are sent home, but they may be denied asylum anyway.
The US is growing GMO crops in wildlife refuges.
Why are any crops grown there — doesn't that defeat the purpose of a wildlife refuge?
The Department of Injustice has withdrawn its proposal to authorize lying in response to FOIA requests.
A Texas judge ruled to deny a DNA test to a prisoner facing execution.
This is ridiculous. There may be plenty of reason to think this man was guilty, but there is no harm in doing the DNA test to make sure. If he is guilty, the test will confirm that.
But even if he is guilty, execution is still not justified.
Thousands of protesters shut down the Port of Oakland.
Jacob Appelbaum says governments want to keep computer security weak, so that they can spy on people's computers.
Alaa Abd El Fattah smuggled a letter out of his cell, describing the conditions of his imprisonment for criticizing the Egyptian military rulers.
Even worse, the military seem intent on poisoning the new constitution, and several parties have walked out on the process.
I suspect that Obama has encouraged this.
A study found that the minor looters in London in August were motivated by a "party atmosphere", desire for the luxury goods, and hostility towards the police.
I hope they develop discipline so that they can in the future express their hostility towards the police in a more effective and constructive fashion.
Meanwhile, the major looters of the UK — the banks, and the corporations that transfer their profits out and don't pay tax — are motivated by pure greed.
Israeli prison doctors are turning a blind eye to torture of Palestinian prisoners.
Ann Jones, a Fulbright scholar in Norway, was blocked from accessing her US bank account by a US agency called OFAC — without a trial of course.
At some point, the US government deleted the principle that citizens have rights.
Ordinary Greeks Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
Syria's president agreed to an Arab League plan to end violence against protesters. Protesters will test this on Tuesday with large protests.
Obama responded contemptuously to a petition to legalize marijuana by asking the "Drug Czar" to respond.
The Drug Czar is a state-paid lobbyist against legalization of any drug. Such state-paid lobbying is an outrage in itself.
Thousands of Tunisians have expressed their solidarity with the "occupy" protests around the US.
The Corporation of London, which is the government of the City of London (a small piece of what we normally call London), is elected by the banks, and the banksters use it as a law-free zone to wreak fiscal harm around the world.
Oakland police, in their violent attack against protesters, violated a 2004 agreement the city made after it was sued by a previous bunch of protesters it attacked.
10 protesters were arrested at Occupy Portland but police wouldn't tell them what law they had broken.
Jonathan Billinghurst says he wants criminal charges against the police who attacked his car with baseball bats.
Most wealth is created using knowledge developed by thousands of activities over a long time. Many of these activities were publicly-supported. When the 1% take most of this wealth for themselves, they are stealing it from us.
Employees at the Baum foreclosure mill dressed for Halloween to mock their victims.
The prime minister of Greece reneged on his plan to hold a referendum on new austerity measures.
I don't think Greeks will take this lying down.
Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua, has been accused of personally leading a campaign against women's rights
Perhaps that is why Nicaragua has banned abortions even when they would save women's lives.
PBS NewsHour corrected the error of misattributing a pro-inequality quote to Lincoln, but continues to support the same pro-inequality position.
Why give money to a right-wing "news" program? If it is going to support the rich, let them pay the whole bill.
Americans are pushing back hard against genetically modified corn as food.
Local Money Creates Wealth Outside the Bubble
Totally unrelated bacteria species share genes with very high frequency.
Thus, the use of antibiotics in cattle, which led them to evolve resistance, probably contributed directly to the resistance among pathogens that prey on us.
In other words, the empire of the megacorporations could kill you.
Nurses have protested to demand a financial transactions tax.
A Colombian officer in the unit that randomly killed civilians accused its US-trained commanding general of supporting the practice.
Chile's president and right-wing politicians propose to imprison the protesting students.
Israel to forcibly evict 40,000 Bedouins from ancestral land
There was a large protest in Seattle as an executive of predatory bank JP Morgan Chase came to speak.
We should protest in this way whenever Apple and Microsoft executives speak.
The French magazine Charlie Hebdo was destroyed by arson just as it planned to publish mockery of Muhammad.
This offense against freedom calls for the strongest possible response, including help in setting up new offices that would be difficult to attack again. Moslems must learn to respect the rights of non-Muslims.
US citizens: tell the Department of Health, no employer opt-out for contraception.
Syria is planting land mines along the border with Lebanon.
Industrial air pollution from India is causing big and destructive storms in the Arabian sea.
I support this amendment, but what we really need is a broader one that would abolish the idea that corporations are entitled to human rights.
Republicans want to ban the US from carrying out any discussions with Iran.
The anti-abortion law in Nicaragua has killed 100 women; they needed abortions to save their lives.
Their relatives should condemn the politicians who voted for this law as murderers.
Call on Obama to pay real attention to the petitions he set up a site for.
US citizens: sign this petition against the E-TYRANT Internet blacklist bill.
E-TYRANT = Electronically Trashing Your Rights: Another Nasty Try.
On Nov 5, move your money out of the big banks that caused the crisis and profited from the suffering they caused.
London Police who attacked a man's car with baseball bats and broke its windows will not even be fired.
The thugs said they thought the victim might already harbor resentment against them for killing his brother, and that this excused their attack. Does that remind you of the Bush forces in Iraq? This is the behavior of an occupying army.
The UK is planning how to join the US to attack Iran.
If the other claims of Iranian involvement in assassinations are as weak as the evidence about the so-called plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, they are all suspect.
Such an attack would strengthen the Iranian government, thus harming the freedom of Iranians. The attack might be justified if it would succeed in eliminating Iran's nuclear capability, but it probably can't do that either. So why do it?
I wonder if such an attack is the bipartisan plan to pull public attention away from Occupy Wall Street, increase the military budget, and gag most Americans from complaining as they are driven into poverty. All in the name of "patriotism", of course.
UK judges ruled in favor of extraditing Assange to Sweden.
The most important political issue raised by this is that what Assange is accused of doing, though clearly unkind, would not be a crime in the UK, or indeed most of the world.
US citizens: tell Congress to end tax breaks for oil companies.
Call the State Department: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 202-647-5291 U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro 011-972-3-519-7575 Office of Israel/Palestinian Affairs Paul Sutphin 202-647-3672 Office of Consular Affairs, Kim Richter 202-647-8308
and President Obama: 202-456-1414. Also sign this petition:
(Action recommended by Jewish Voice for Peace.)
The Gates Foundation's supposed malaria vaccine is really just a small step forward.
However, the Gates Foundation 'preferred to assessments rather than cranky ones.'
Students in Sudan protested rising food prices.
I suppose corruption contributes to the high prices, but part of the problem is due to population growth. A government policy can't make that problem go away. The only solution is a long-term one: cut births.
Thailand imprisons web site operators if people post comments on the site that "insult" the king.
The change suggested in the article would only reduce the injustice. Laws punishing "insults" to any part or official of the state are fundamentally unjust.
Thailand tried to censor news about the flooding, too.
Two Tibetans are imprisoned in China for their writing.
Finland's investigation of US torture flights is a whitewash.
A big increase in use of coal is leading to worse global CO2 emissions.
Collapse of a huge dump of toxic coal ash into a waterway has occurred twice in the past few years, showing the need for careful regulation of how to dispose of coal ash.
Anything which happens this often cannot be dismissed as a "freak accident".
The Washington Post uses fallacious reasoning to present an imaginary crisis for social security.
The supercommittee gives bipartisan support to cutting social security, but prevents Congress from even considering a tax on financial transactions.
So you can see whose side they are on.
A Nashville TV reporter's camera showed how police attacked him, then made false charges against him.
False charges against protesters are standard practice for the thugs. A policeman's testimony against a protester should be considered inadmissible in court unless there is a recording to support it.
Unlimited political spending by business has overwhelmed Maine's public campaign financing law.
The Citizens United decision was effectively Clarence Thomas' reward to the people organization that got him his Supreme Court seat.
Debt rating agencies have a fundamental conflict of interest: they are paid by the debtors that want their debt rated.
The Church of England in London has rejected evicting the protesters and expressed great support for them.
Rick Perry and the Bankruptcy of Modern Day Conservatives.
Right-wingers want you to be afraid of shadows in Occupy Wall Street.
Libya's interim leader said Libya's new laws will be based on Islamic law, but since has partially backtracked.
It remains worrysome, especially in regard to marriage, since women's rights might be threatened.
The school staff in a high school (in Hartford Connecticut, I think) held an "intruder alarm", locking the students in their classrooms, as an excuse for police to search the school for drugs.
I suspect the whole idea of these "intruder drills" is bogus. The possibility of murderous strangers in a school is the sort of shocking but rare danger that our society exaggerates, thus distracting people's attention from more important dangers (for instance, the danger the banksters may send thugs to kick you out of your home, or that cigaretts may kill you).
Blue Coat acknowledged that its products are helping Syria censor the Internet.
X-ray scanners are expected to cause from 6 to 100 people in the US to get cancer per year.
Since that is a rough estimate, we can make a further rough estimate that half of them will die from it.
Since there is no sign that these scanners have ever prevented an act of terrorism, this probably means they kill more than they save.
In the US: tell major retailers not to use paper made by destroying rain forests in Indonesia.
Climate researchers say the frequency of major weather disasters is increasing.
And since it is probably due to global heating, they will become far more frequent in coming years.
Israel's latest pretext for building more colonies in Palestinian territory is "punishment" for joining UNESCO.
As a justification, it's inadequate. As an excuse, it's unnecessary, since Israel would have done this anyway.
EU citizens: help stop the EU from ratifying ACTA, the treaty to attack the Internet.
Hermain Cain, who hasn't been despised for his proposal to cut taxes for rich Americans and raise them for everyone else, is in trouble because a woman says he propositioned her.
Whether it's true or not, I think it's unimportant. There's no harm in asking, and people shouldn't get bent out of shape when they need to say no.
The real scandal about Herman Cain is the way he wants to screw everyone in America who isn't rich.
Some clubs in England record the identities of all their customers — and hold on to the data. Even creepier, they offer the "convenient" alternative of using your fingerprint on return visits, instead of showing your ID again. But that seems to be optional. The permanent record is mandatory.
I sympathize fully with the goal of reducing the rowdiness and petty violence of drunks. (I personally detest drunken behavior at a level far below the point at which they would try to punish it.) But I would refuse to go to club that kept records of the fact that I was there.
I would much rather let them hold — but not record — my ID for the time I was there. That would do just as well to discourage rowdiness, wouldn't it?
Everyone: send a message to Israel to release nonviolent protest leader Ashraf Abu Rahmah.
The three nastiest points in the U SAP AT RIOT Act.
Oakland protester Scott Olsen, who was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, is no longer in critical condition, but may need brain surgery.
Israeli troops often fire tear gas canisters directly at Palestinian protesters heads. They are good shots, and wouldn't hit anyone's head if they were aiming at the ground as they are supposed to. Are Oakland police good shots?
In Irvine California, the city council and mayor gave firm support to the protests.
Justin Bieber's lawyers sent a bogus threat legal to freebieber.org.
Since Bieber seems to have stated his agreement with the campaign, this seems a bit contradictory. What gives?
The victory Occupy Wall Street has already won.
In addition to protesting, the assemblies at the protests test a new form of social organization.
Welcome to the Oakland general strike.
Uri Avnery's comments on political developments in Tunisia and Libya.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on Congress to demand an investigation into the State Department's rigged review of the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
The Greek government will hold a referendum on its debt deal with the EU and IMF.
The deal now includes forgiveness of half the debt, which is a big plus. But unless that is enough to make it feasible for Greece to get out of recession and actually pay the remaining debt, Greece will need to default, and there is no benefit in putting it off.
Egyptian protest leader Alaa Abd El Fattah has been arrested by the military, which is trying to blame him and other protesters for a massacre of protesters carried out by the military.
The protest movement has denounced the validity of the military tribunals, which are just as rotten as US military tribunals.
The Northeast US experienced a record snowfall for October.
I personally wish I were home now, because I love snow. However, looking beyond the personal, I suspect this is a sign of global heating. It is expected to lead to increased precipitation in some regions and I think the Northern US is one of them.
UNESCO granted full membership to Palestine, refusing to be bought by the US.
Everyone: tell the G20 meeting to cancel commercial sponsorship by a bank.
Visa and Mastercard are trying hard to use credit card purchase records to target people with Internet ads based on their purchases.
Legislation should be adopted to stop them from doing anything whatsoever with credit card information, even in aggregate, except for scientific research that is published.
Actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been freed, without being flogged, but many Iranian filmmakers remain in prison or under threat of prison.
As the EU plans to impose its carbon emissions cap-and-trade scheme to air travel, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill to fine US airlines if they obey EU law.
If this bill passes, the EU ought go ahead with this plan, and inform the US government, "You don't have to let US airlines fly across the Atlantic; feel free to leave the market to European airlines." But that would require having enough guts to stand up to the US and the megacorporations.
The airlines' claim that cap-and-trade is a "tax" is false. But even if it were a tax, the rest of their argument is the usual right-wing anti-regulation bullshit. Repeated experience shows that if companies have money to invest, that is no reason to suppose they will use it to reduce CO2 emissions — not unless government policies push them in that direction.
Greeks are organizing to resist attempts to collect property taxes from poor people (many of whose income has been cut).
Greece needs to improve tax collection, but it needs to start with those who are wealthy and have substantial income.
While Greeks condemn Germany, thousands are protesting in Germany at the European Central Bank. I would expect most of those protesters are German; thus, Greeks should remember that some in Germany are on their side.
The UK police have devices that can monitor and censor mobile phones in a given area.
If the software in the phones were free, it might be possible to develop countermeasures.
Police in New York arrest children in school, sometimes violently, over trivial excuses. The ACLU has sued them.
In one point the article defeats its purpose: when it accepts the ridiculous claim that "being a smart alec" is "delinquency" it seems to endorse punishing children for a trivial excuse.
US citizens: sign the EFF's campaign against E-TYRANT.
The world's nuclear powers plan to put tremendous resources into more and newer nuclear weapons.
Several of them reportedly envision making a first strike with nuclear weapons (i.e., not having them solely for nuclear deterrence). The US led the way in this; all through the Cold War, the US rejected pledging "no first strike", and I don't think it ever did make such a pledge.
PBS NewsHour presented a right-wing pro-inequality speaker who cited a false Abraham Lincoln quote opposing government welfare programs that tax the rich and help the poor.
Everyone: Call on PBS to issue a correction.
Habitat destruction in Canada is wiping out the caribou. Rather than protect them, Canada proposes to compensate by wiping out wolves too.
Oglala tribe leader Tom Poor was arrested for telling Obama that the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline would violate the US treaty with his tribe.
The US government increasingly refuses to inform people that their homes or belongings have been searched by police.
This is one of many attacks on Americans' rights that was launched in the name of "stopping terrorism". However, as Bush and Obama have shown, a government that disrespects people's rights is a much bigger danger than terrorism.
The Federal Reserve holds its policy discussions in secret, and releases only edited transcripts, 5 years delayed.
Australia's "Labor" government imposed an end to a strike against Qantas.
Now the airline can go ahead with its outsourcing and offshoring plans. Australians should be pleased.
The UK will cut aid to countries that ban homosexuality.
Libyan journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad found and interviewed his former jailor.
There may be good reasons to arrest some of the men who worked for Gaddafi. Some may have to be prosecuted for crimes such as torture. I hope that the new government is taking care to approach this with respect for the rights of the accused.
Obama has proposed a 20-year ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.
This is the right thing to do, though why only for 20 years. Nevertheless, when Obama does the right thing, that's a rare exception.
When British companies ruin the environment, when they torture and kill the people who protest, the victims can sue in the UK and make the companies pay. The UK government now proposes to protect these companies by making it hard to sue them.
Our corporation-subservient Supreme Court is considering whether to exempt US corporations from all such liability.
The British Commonwealth's plans to criticize members that don't respect human rights were blocked by a few of the member states, that apparently want to protect such violations.
Guantanamo guard Brandon Neely says he saw prisoners beaten for no reason . The guards had been told that all the prisoners were hard-boiled killers, though in fact many had only been in the wrong place at the wrong time. But even if they really were hard-boiled killers, that wouldn't justify punching them while they were tied up.
Years later, Neely contacted some former prisoners to apologize for the way they were treated.
Since the US can't keep official troops in Iraq, it plans a "closer relationship" to keep them in other Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Republican budget cuts (which Democrats failed to properly resist) destroyed 370,000 jobs, according to a study.
St Paul's Cathedral in London, which is threatening to evict protesters, has suppressed a report about the morals of banksters.
The banksters are evidently too important to be criticized.
Colonel Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, condemned the prison as a "law-free zone" and called for prosecution of the government's torturers.
If there are grounds to prosecute al-Nashiri, he deserves the same fair trial you would deserve if you were accused of a crime.
100 leading economists warned the UK government that its budget cuts are leading to a deeper economic crisis.
This is equally true in the US, but the Hooverites dominate the media.
The mainstream media continue to promote the nonsense that free exploitation treaties create jobs.
They are more likely to do the opposite.
Occidental Petroleum said it built its pipeline in Ecuador using helicopters. In fact, it built a road, and stationed soldiers to chase away anyone who tried to prove it was there.
Does anyone know where this project stands with the government of Ecuador? Are these gunmen soldiers of the Ecuadorian army, or private security guards?
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the e-TYRANNY Internet blackist bill (now called SOPA or e-PARASITE). Also sign this petition.
US citizens: tell Obama, don't sell arms to Bahrain.
US citizens: tell the Department of Health and Human Services to support availability of insurance to cover abortion.
Activists trying to visit imprisoned Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng have been beaten by government thugs.
I disagree with Chen Guangcheng's cause. I support China's one-child policy, because in this limited planet, which we are already using beyond capacity, people cannot have a fundamental right to reproduce without limit. However, he is entitled to advocate his views without being imprisoned or beaten.
The Injustice Department has sabotaged a Guantanamo prisoner's case about his abuse in Lithuania, which collaborated in his torture, by refusing to give lawyers the document he signed to authorize them to represent him.
The CIA seized his own writings about how he was tortured in secret prisons, and classified them "secret operational documents".
Is this any better than Stalin?
India is examining Blackberry messages with RIM's help, but has to demonstrate that each investigation is authorized. However, the government wants to be able to look at any and all messages with no controls.
Syria continues shooting large numbers of protesters, and is getting increasingly isolated.
Some of the opposition have asked for a no-fly zone. I doubt that it makes sense to do this when military resistance is at this very low level.
In the US: protest in Washington DC on Nov 6 against the Keystone XL planet-roaster tar sands oil pipeline.
Report: South Dakota Removes Hundreds Of Native American Children From Their Homes, Collects Millions In Federal Funds.
The EPA official in charge of water resources advocates privatization of the water supply.
A progressive president would not appoint officials with such right-wing views.
When police testify in court under a false name, it may not be perjury, but it can easily lead them into perjury.
In the US, police frequently commit perjury even when they don't disguise their names.
Laws against abortion and birth control threaten the lives of women in many countries.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the E-TYRANNY bill. Also send email through this page.
The arbitrary US financial blockade against Wikileaks threatens all journalism. Not to mention all political dissidence.
Giles Fraser resigned from St Paul's Cathedral in protest against the idea of forcibly clearing protesters' tents.
US citizens: sign this petition to protect the shinnery oak and sagebrush lizard from oil companies.
The UK tried to stage a hasty and quiet mass deportation of refugees to Iraq, but it was blocked.
The radiation released by the Fukushima meltdowns was much more than the Japanese government estimated.
In the UK, support libel reform at Parliament on Nov 9.
The US Injustice Department wants permission to lie in response to Freedom of Information requests.
A Wikileaks cable shows how the US supports a businessman in Honduras with "war on drugs" funds although he seems to be connected with drug trafficking.
Is this war on drugs, or what?
Sudan is deporting Eritrean refugees back to Eritria, where they face terrible punishment.
The police in the Dominican Republic regularly torture prisoners.
Medicaid cuts proposed by right-wing politicians including Obama could have a harmful ripple effect on state governments.
Massey Energy's former security chief has been convicted of lying to the officials who were investigating the disaster that was caused by Massey's contempt for safety standards.
Defense lawyer Wilmouth is right that they should have prosecuted the executives responsible for the dangerous practices. Not instead, but in addition.
Activists have occupied the site of the Belo Monte dam to block construction.
A court ruled that the dam was being constructed illegally, but that seems not to have prevented construction.
A company selling protected black coral has been fined over 4 million dollars.
This is the sort of thing that we need states for, and the reason why I am not an anarchist.
Meet the real parasites of the Internet: the US Congress.
Libya's former rebels acknowledge that Gaddafi was murdered, and say they will prosecute the killer if they can identify him.
The US has the duty to prosecute whoever decided to kill Osama Bin Laden, even if that person is President Obama. Just because Gaddafi and Bin Laden committed massive crimes, almost comparable to those of Dubya, is no excuse for their summary execution.
53 Gaddafi supporters were murdered in Sirte, apparently while prisoner.
US citizens: sign to protect the ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Reserve) from oil drilling.
Canadian officials crushed the prosecution of Bush for torture.
The world will miss out on the possible contributions of a billion young people, for failure to make the investment to educate them. And will fall into a poverty trap if it does not provide birth control to everyone.
We can thank the IMF for a lot of this.
Assange says WikiLeaks may have to cease operation due to the US payment blockade.
ACLU Sues Government to Find Out Secret Interpretation of Patriot Act.
Republican hypocrites say Obama has created many regulations, but in fact he has made fewer than Bush.
There is nothing particularly bad about regulations anyway — we need to regulate businesses more so they can't hurt us. This criticism of Obama is therefore really an attempt to spread the irrational idea that "regulations are bad".
The E-TYRANNY Act, just introduced in the House of Representatives, would create the Great Firewall of America.
Everyone: tell Oakland Mayor Quan to condemn and investigate the police attack on protesters.
US citizens: rally Nov 6 in DC against the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the Let Women Die bill. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
It seems that ex-minister Fox sold a lobbyist a meeting in exchange for cash to fund Werrity.
Fox clearly didn't do this because Werrity was such a good friend. It was all part of a scheme, and he too must have expected to gain somehow from it.
Scott Olsen, member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, suffered a skull fracture as the police attacked the Occupy Oakland camp.
A former UK police infiltrator called for a full public inquiry, to lay bare the truth of these practices and expose the commanders' lies.
Turkey's president says that the effects of the quake must teach Turkey that shoddy construction is in effect murder.
China said it would increase the censorship of microblogging, since Chinese people have been clever about using it to talk about opposition to the government.
Women protested in Yemen, calling on their tribes to protect them from "the thugs".
I spoke too soon — not all the Bush forces will leave Iraq. The official troops will leave, but 5000 mercenaries will remain.
Wall Street will be proud of the Oakland police and mayor, for arresting everyone in the protest camp, then attacking later protests with tear gas.
The article lists the absurd excuses that they made up for their political intervention.
The UN (working for the US) brought cholera to Haiti. But the reason cholera has been able to spread there so much is that the US blocked Aristide's plans to provide clean water.
Scott Olsen, member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, suffered a skull fracture as the police attacked the Occupy Oakland camp.
When he says that he would hope that I would have all the good qualities of past mayors, there are no good qualities of past mayors to be had. None. None. None. None.
I did not mourn at the bier of the late mayor. I regret anyone dying. I have no regrets about him leaving.
I remembered two sentences ("I regret...leaving.") of what Washington said, but got the words wrong. The error did not alter the meaning, but accuracy requires this correction.
Overall, Washington's statement was harsher than mine. He criticized Mayor Daley as a person; I criticized Jobs' public activity. My feelings about Jobs as a person are not strong, since I barely knew him. The important thing about Jobs is what he directed Apple to do to those who are still living: to make general-purpose computers with digital handcuffs more controlling and unjust than ever before. He designed them to refuse even to let users install their own choice of applications — and installing free (freedom-respecting) applications is entirely forbidden. He even tried to make it illegal to install software not approved by Apple.
Jobs saw how to make these computers stylish and smooth. That would normally be positive, but not in this case, since it has the paradoxical effect of making their controlling nature seem acceptable.
Jobs' death inspired a flood of articles lauding him for these very devices. That further increases their potential for harm, which is why now more than ever we must focus attention on it. We must not let secondary considerations about Apple or Jobs distract us from this threat until we have thwarted it.
Jobs also made it a personal crusade to attack Android with software patents. In practice, Android is not entirely free software, but it is a big step closer compared with the iPhone. If Apple's guns hit Android, they could wipe out all possibility of free software portable devices that are attractive to use. Jobs' final legacy may be the patent disaster we have warned about for 20 years.
Biotech companies are trying to get approval for GMOs in Europe by pretending this will help feed Africa.
You can see this is bullshit because they are talking about selling the crops to Europe — not eating them. It won't be poor hungry Africans that grow these GMO crops, but foreign-owned plantations being created now by chasing them off their land.
If poor Africans do try growing GMOs, they will need loans, and the result will be that they go broke and lose their land, as thousands of Indian farmers have done.
US citizens: tell the FCC not to give a handout to the big phone companies.
US citizens: rebuke NPR for its one-sided crackdown on political opinions.
It's about time Not Progressive Radio got some grief for pretending to be Liberal while really being right-wing.
Everyone: call on the Smithsonian to withdraw copyright claim on public domain images.
Syria's hospitals have become torture centers.
Police in the US asked Google to delete videos showing police brutality.
It must be real brutality or the police would not have cared.
UK police ordered 135 videos deleted in the first half of 2011.
I wonder what the "threat to national security" is. Does it reveal something about undercover police spies? If you know anything — if the cops deleted your video — please write to me.
I also wonder what law gives the police in the UK the power to carry out such censorship.
Right-wing prejudice calls protesters lazy if they don't stay at the protest full time. And also if they do.
Iraqis have given the US a clear message: Bush forces go home!
Ironically, this means that Bush succeeded in establishing a form of democracy in Iraq. Who'd 'a thunk it? Maybe with the Bush forces out Iraq can settle down.
Meanwhile, the US program to train Iraqi police seems to be a total boondoggle.
Everyone: support American Crystal Sugar workers.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the bills that would make new federal regulations effectively impossible. Also sign the petition in this page.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: call your congresscritter to oppose the Internet Blacklist bill, aka "PROTECT IP Act". Also send mail to your congresscritter through this page.
The concept of "intellectual property" distorts the US constition's idea of the purpose of copyright law. Any bill that uses that term is almost sure to be misguided and harmful, and the "PROTECT IP" bill is totally nasty.
As your constituent I expect you to oppose this bill.
US citizens: sign this petition to cut fossil fuel subsidies and tax short-term speculation.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support extending unemployment benefits. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: call on China to treat Tibet with respect.
The Javan rhino is one step closer to extinction — the population in Vietnam is gone, and only 50 remain in Java.
A "moderate Islamist" party seems to have won the election in Tunisia.
As Iraq shows, Islamist government can lead to a tyranny no better than what Tunisia recently escaped from. I hope in Tunisia's case that this party respects democracy and the rights of non-Muslims.
The Vatican calls for weakening the power of the banksters.
Uri Avnery: If all of Israel is drunk with emotion because one boy has been returned to his family, what about [doing the same to] 4000 families on the other side?
The UK sent Sami al-Saadi's whole family with him to Libya to be imprisoned separately by Gaddafi.
A US company made the software that Syria uses for censorship and surveillance of the Internet.
UK undercover police used long-term sexual relationships as cover for spying on political dissidents.
Demonstrable voter fraud in the US is rarer than being struck by lightning.
Nonetheless, Republicans cite this non-problem as an excuse for measures designed to stop a few percent of Democrats from voting.
Here's how it looks in practical effects.
Himalayan glaciers are melting faster than ever, with temperatures last year at a record high.
You have to think for a while to realize that "a 5-decade high" means an historic high (since the records only go back 5 decades).
If China recognizes the danger it is in, it may be more inclined to take action to prevent global heating.
The "green revolution" bought humanity a 40-year breathing space in which to stabilize its population. It has failed to use the chance. Our population is increasing and Earth's ability to support it is dwindling.
The ACLU has sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement for armed raids on people's homes without warrants, and arresting people on no grounds.
Did the thugs that beat up Peter Watts work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement? I think so.
The Deification of Steve Jobs is Apple's Greatest Marketing Triumph to Date.
The article is mistaken at the end, where it says that Jobs chose not to change the world. Apple's app store, which restricts even the user's choice of programs to install, is a substantial change for the worse.
Tens of thousands, perhaps 100,000, protested in Madrid against cuts in education.
The Mayor of Melbourne sent police to attack protesters and remove their camp.
It is surely inconvenient to have protests going on, but it is shallow-minded to give that priority over the important issues of the protest.
The mayor's criticism of the protesters is invalid. If protesters had agreed to leave, it must be because he had threatened them. He did wrong in threatening them, and gains no moral legitimacy from whatever "agreement" he thus extracted.
There were protests across the UK against cuts in welfare for disabled people.
The UK is considering a two-level rule for libel accusations against web sites, which distinguishes between anonymous postings and postings with the author's name.
This would be an improvement compared with the UK's strict current libel rules. However, distinguishing between identified and anonymous comments might be a bad precedent.
Another concern is whether sites would need to verify the names that people give.
Massive protests in Greece turned violent as the government voted to cancel all collective bargaining agreements with workers,
Cancelling contracts is one of the consequences of bankruptcy. In effect, the Greek government is going bankrupt towards the workers and the people, but not towards the banksters. That's the reverse of the priorities it ought to have.
And this is not the end. The banksters will continue to make things worse in Greece until it eventually refuses to go along.
The people with helmets and gas masks, who began by attacking the peaceful union protest — were they protesters, or were they sent by the police? I don't know, but if they were real protesters, why would the attack other protesters?
Why the Food Movement Should Occupy Wall Street.
West Papuan independence campaigners held a meeting at which they declared independence.
Indonesian soldiers fired at the meeting and then arrested some of the participants.
Indonesia took over West Papua by force when the Dutch pulled out in the 1960s, and has ruled the area as a colonial power.
Canada seems to have won UK support for the use of its tar sands oil, against EU efforts to prevent catastrophe.
That point is at the end of the article.
The UK government is concealing the source of Werrity's funds.
Note how the Conservative Party is trying to separate itself from the behavior of its leader, Prime Minister Cameron.
The opposition is not letting the issue fade away.
The US military pays a hundred million a year to companies guilty of frauds against the US military. And that's just fraud that has been proved or admitted.
This is not likely to reduce fraud.
Nine Tibetans have set themselves on fire this year to protest Chinese oppression.
Thousands protested in rural Italy against construction of a high-speed train line to France.
I think that this train line is a very good thing. It can reduce damage to the environment, if it replaces car and air travel. So perhaps the opposition is just NIMBY.
On the other hand, there might be a real problem with specifics, such as the route. Governments often make such decisions with hardly an effort to study the alternatives.
The Libyan government forces now admit that Gaddafi was murdered shortly after he was captured.
They cite the probable US murder of Osama bin Laden as a precedent.
Bahrain is now holding civilian trials for medics accused of treating wounded protesters.
While this avoids the injustice of military trials, civilian trials in Bahrain may not be very fair either. Anyway, there is a basic injustice in the idea that treating a wounded person is a crime.
Another collapse at ancient Pompeii demonstrates that Berlusconi has done nothing to improve maintenance there.
Pompeii is the tip of the iceberg. Italy is full of old buildings that are falling into ruin because not enough is done to protect them.
Karzai's amazing declaration: if the US gets into war with Pakistan, he would side with Pakistan.
It is a strange way of declaring his independance, but it will probably work, at least in the short run — the US will go on keeping him in power anyway.
Bolivian President Morales has cancelled the planned highway and says he will permanently protect the reserve where it would have run.
The EU is investigating the possibility that a big pharma company paid to delay the introduction of a generic drug.
California has put a cap-and-trade CO2 emission system into effect.
The European Union's carbon-trading system has been subject to tremendous cheating, and appears to have achieved very little reduction in emissions. I fear it will be the same for California, but if they can avoid that and achieve a reduction, that will be good.
NPR had radio host Lisa Simeone fired from the show Soundprint because she was participating in the mass protests.
Perhaps this is what the new president of NPR means by "depoliticizing" the organization.
Facebook is bad, of course. I've read that the main jobs sites in the US abuse personal data too. However, I have no reference to offer.
The comparison with the Progressive Budget demonstrates the right-wing bias of the mainstream media.
Sign the "Free Bieber" petition, against the bill that would impose a 5-year prison term for streaming any material without permission.
US citizens: tell the EPA to block the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
The UN has advanced a treaty to ban the export of toxic waste, which the rich countries often dump in poor countries.
However, the US, which rejects the treaty, will continue the stream of poison.
US citizens: sign this petition to extend unemployment insurance benefits.
Since the Citizens United decision, millionaires have systematically begun buying elections.
North Carolina's state government has been totally wrapped up.
As demographers debate whether the human population in 2100 will be 10 billion or 15 billion, others warn that 7 billion are already loading the Earth beyond what it can sustain.
Those who predict a crisis of population decrease more than a hundred years from now are assuming that medicine will not, even in 100 or 200 years, greatly extend the average human life span. I think that is a rather unlikely assumption. I cannot assert life-extension is certain, but they are the ones assuming that the absence of life-extension is certain.
They want us to ignore urgently needed population limitation measures based on that absurd sense of certainty.
The FBI wants a new, secure internet for power plants and banks to use.
It might be a good idea to use this for power plants, but if you let the banks on, you can hardly trust its security.
First State Super bank was told by a client that its security was incompetent, and could be breached in 30 seconds. The bank sent the police after him.
5 behemoth banks hold the US political system hostage.
Trying to block "adult" material (please don't call it "content") from children is ineffective, and harmful to them.
It is also a fundamental injustice to adults when applied in public access locations such as libraries.
Republicans are trying to fabricate accusations of conspiracy against Occupy Wall Street, and Democrats are trying to co-opt it.
I take exception with the article's identification of centrists such as Obama and the DCCC with "the left". MoveOn is really somewhat on the left.
The NYPD's serial pepper spray officer was punished with a fine of 10 days of vacation time.
That's a slap on the wrist. What punishment would you get if you had pepper sprayed him?
One graph summarizes how candidate Cain's tax plan would increase taxes for most people and cut them for the wealthy.
The US policies to support renewable energy are also, through their details, supporting special business interests or the affluent.
I see this as part of the general capture of our democracy by business interests and the affluent.
There are conflicting stories about how Gaddafi was killed.
They disagree even about whether he was shot in the head. This lends plausibility to the idea that he was murdered. The fact that his general Jabr was also killed after being captured gives further support to the idea.
Those who rose up against him had good reasons to fight him, and perhaps even hate him. But they should not have killed him when he was a prisoner.
Republicans claim to be "libertarians" while fighting to eliminate some of our freedoms.
US residents: tell Verizon you won't stand for ISPs that release your personal data to other companies.
Even if Verizon eliminates this recently added abuse, it won't make things OK. It practices punishment-by-disconnection, and it saves data about who its customers talk with, which enables the FBI to collect it all.
Still, it is important to push back when they try to make things even worse. So I signed.
Two "progressive" US congresscritters told Bahrain's main opposition party, in effect, that they support the oppressive government and will continue to do so.
A dangerous law in Louisiana bans selling second-hand goods for cash.
Arab dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Yemen got their weapons from countries including the US.
US support for the Afghan military and police is illegal because of its systematic human rights violations, but the US government has ignored this so far.
If only we could make US government support for the Pentagon and the CIA obey the same rules, the US would greatly improve its human rights record.
Egypt's military rulers say they will keep control until the planned transition process is finished, which could mean more than another year. The US, which only reluctantly gave support to Egypt's democracy movement, supports this.
How the Austerity Class Rules Washington.
Its domination of the media plays a crucial role, and that is probably due to business ties between the media corporations and the billionaire vultures who profit from everyone else's suffering.
Student activists have occupied the administration at Michigan State University, to pressure it to close its large coal-fired power plant.
Striking miners in Peru started a hunger strike to pressure the state to intervene on their side. It has already done so to a certain extent.
The Libyan government says Gaddafi was killed in a crossfire after surrendering.
It isn't obviously false, but may not be true.
Bangkok faces an unstoppable flood. Global heating might play a role in this. If so, there will be worse floods in the coming decades.
How the UK government plans to "investigate" the Fox/Werrity scandal and not see what's really going on.
US citizens: support protection for FDA whistleblowers.
US citizens: tell the FDA you want GMO foods to be labeled.
US citizens: ask your congresscritter to call for an investigation of Clarence Thomas' ethics violations.
Syrian protesters say the government is prosecuting doctors that treat protesters.
Venezuela's opposition television station has been fined heavily for its coverage of a long uprising in a prison.
Although Globovision is the only national opposition television station, there are many opposition newspapers. However, this does not justify censorship of Globovision.
A leading opposition politician has been barred from holding public office administratively, without being sentenced or even charged.
Victims of Bush's torture will prosecute him in Canada thanks to his visit there.
The New York City police work hand in hand with the banksters to do surveillance of everyone in lower Manhattan.
The US Senate is considering a law that could have put Justin Bieber in jail.
Alas, it would be too late to touch him. But it could get your children.
The fact that global heating has occurred, 1 degree C in the recent past, has been confirmed by another line of research.
Saudi Arabia has arrested the makers of a video that criticized poverty there.
A Brazilian judge ruled against a dam project that was designed without consulting the indigenous people that it would harm.
Amazon's browser offers faster browsing, at the price of telling Amazon all about it.
I think it is foolish to trust companies' "privacy assurances", since it is hard to tell what they really do. Besides, under the U SAP AT RIOT Act, the FBI could collect the all the data every week. If all the data is deleted after two weeks, the FBI will get every last bit.
Everyone: rally Oct 29 to support the "robin hood" tax on financial transactions.
Global heating will force millions to migrate from areas of shortage into areas where they face disaster.
The GMOs companies offered famous people opportunities to give prestigious speeches and interviews, and to put their names on other people's writings, if they would promote GMOs.
It would be interesting to investigate which events they offered to give these people speaking slots in, because they must represent other corrupt ties.
Ron Paul wants to abolish the government departments that aim to help and protect people.
A French court ordered ISPs to block access to a web site that shows incidents of police brutality.
I got further explanation that the specific reason is that the site also publishes the addresses of the culprits.
The Fox/Werrity corruption scandal seems to involve the center of the Tory party.
What isn't known is what these donors were told they were paying for.
A radar system is being developed that can see through concrete walls.
Under the anti-human-rights climate that gave us the "Patriot Act", I am concerned that police will be too ready use this to look into people's homes. We need a cheap system to put into our walls and windows to block such spying.
The UK's use of long-term police spies and disruptor in peaceful political activist groups has become a tremendous scandal after it was exposed that one of them lied on the witness stand about his real name.
The practice, overall, is an attack on democracy, but I don't find that one particular point bothersome. If they had found a way to avoid the need to put this spy on the stand, the harm would have been just as great.
The Basque terrorist group ETA has renounced violence.
I think that the question of whether the Basque country remains part of Spain or not is, in general, less important politically than whether it remains part of the European Union and the World Trade Organization.
The EU Parliament considered a proposal to require a censorship "black box" on every computer.
This has been discussed in science fiction, but I have not heard of its being seriously proposed before.
The excuse is, of course, "child" pornography. It is the perfect excuse for tyranny, since an irrational fear of it has already been spread, and politicians fear to question any measure proposed to attack it.
Naomi Wolf relates how she was arrested for resisting the unjust and often arbitrary restrictions that New York City (like much of the US) has imposed to undermine the freedom of assembly.
A UK undercover police infiltrator may have spied on his fellow protesters' conversations with the lawyer representing them all.
The UK government plans secret hearings so that people like Binyam Mohamed cannot get an admission they were tortured.
Of course, the motive for this plan is to bow to the US government, whose evil deeds this plan would help to cover up.
Iran says that the supposed plot to kill the Saudi ambassador was funded by the Mujahideen-e Khalq,
the possibly terrorist opposition group that is seeking to get off the US government "terrorist" list.
I would not trust the Iranian government for this claim, any more than I would trust the US government for the claim that Iran's forces were behind it.
The accusation against the MEK has one point in its favor: that organization would have gained from the results of such an attack, if it were attributed instead to Iran. But that is not proof.
High-tech military surveillance equipment will be used by police against Americans.
Senator DeMint wants to ban use of the Internet for women to discuss abortion with their doctors.
It is unfortunate that NARAL's president spoke of Skype as if it were acceptable. If DeMint wanted to require its replacement with free software, I'd cheer.
ALEC, the right-wing legislative machine, wants to abolish paid sick days.
Illegal immigrants in the US, when detained, are subject to abuses that go as far as rape.
India must repeal the law that allows the army to arrest, imprison and kill civilians.
Gov. Perry's men in Texas are trying to change a scientific report to avoid mention of the expected effects of climate change.
Both houses of Congress want to require holding civilians in military prisons, and one wants to require military kangaroo courts too.
The State Department will "consider" Bahrain's investigation of its own human rights abuses before the planned arms sale.
The State Department surely knows all about these abuses. In effect, it is saying it will take account of those abuses Bahrain's government is willing to acknowledge.
More pressure is called for.
PayPal froze $45,000 of community donations to the Diaspora project and refused to say why.
Later: after a lot of public pressure, PayPal said it would unfreeze the account. I have seen no details yet.
The German trojan surveillance program can collect data from 15 different applications.
I don't know about all of them, but I'd expect most of them are proprietary. This means either the interception capability was developed using reverse engineering or it was done with the cooperation of those companies.
10,000 protested in Kuwaiti to dismiss the corrupt prime minister.
The US has objected to Chinese Internet filtering as an obstacle to trade. But only when it affects business profits.
It would be an ironic benefit if the WTO someday gets China to reduce its censorship, but it won't really be much to the WTO's credit. The US could achieve just as much simply by putting its remaining clout with China firmly behind human rights. And this could not outweigh the harm that the WTO has done.
A French company faces a legal investigation for selling Internet surveillance systems to Gaddafi's regime. These were used to find dissidents and torture them.
It appears that Sarkozy himself approved the sale.
The US and Europe had a cozy relationship with Gaddafi for most of the last decade. Once Gaddafi was willing to cease his former hostilities, there was a good case for making peace with him, despite his being a tyrant. But there are limits to how far a relationship with a tyrant should go, even if he is not also an enemy. This relationship went so far as to include torture; for instance, various countries sent prisoners to Libya for torture.
That is unacceptable.
People who criticize the NATO intervention in Libya should recognize that letting Gaddafi crush the rebellion would have resulted in more of the same cozy relationship. Thanks to the intervention, Libyans have a chance to set up a better government. Of course, it might go wrong and lead to a new tyranny — there is always that chance. There is no guaranteed recipe for good government, just as there is no guaranteed recipe for pulling down a tyranny. To wait for an opportunity that can't go wrong would be to wait forever.
For the same reason, people must try every plausible chance to destroy the empire of the megacorporations. Nobody knows a guaranteed method, so we must try whatever might work, until something does.
Gaddafi's regime was not the only one that does unjust surveillance. The US does it too.
The company's PR head is related to the French defense minister. This is not proof of corruption, but the idea that a desire for corrupt influence wasn't part of the reason for hiring that person strains credulity. Such a close relationship between a company and an official who has influence over the company's business ought to call for an automatic investigation.
Canada's plan B for exporting tar sands oil, a pipeline to British Colombia, faces such strong opposition that it probably can't be built.
Thus, if the US blocks the Keystone XL pipeline, that oil won't be able to ensure a planet-wide catastrophe.
Congress is considering bringing back mandatory minimum sentences, overturning a Supreme Court decision against them.
Most of Congress is not interested in overturning the Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations to secretly buy unlimited influence in elections.
Colombian union leaders fear that the ratification of the destructive treaty with the US may cause the world to forget about the continuing murders of unionists there.
If the AFL-CIO campaigns only not to implement the treaty for a while, that would be weak. The campaign goal should be to cancel this treaty, along with all the other antidemocratic "free trade" treaties.
Iran has sentenced two movie directors to prison, and in addition banned one of them from talking with journalists or leaving the country for 20 years.
This reminds me of Israel's sentence against Mordecai Vanunu.
Nosferatu, the undead movie almost killed by copyright law demonstrates the harm done by the Berne Convention.
Federal Reserve forced to report which banks benefit from loan programs.
Swedish journalists chain themselves to a prison to protest against imprisonment of their colleagues in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The UN special rapporteur on torture has called for an end to solitary confinement except as a short term measure to protect a prisoner.
Uganda has arrested protest leaders, saying that protesting to bring down the government constitutes "treason".
How congresscritters voted on the let-women-die act, also known as Stupak on Steroids.
The US killed Anwar al-Awlaki's son, who had run away from home to look for his father.
If you look at the Facebook page, use Tor from a browser with no cookies.
For the first time, a vaccine against malaria shows substantial effectiveness.
But it isn't clear yet whether the effect is enough, in practice, to make it useful.
Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit and around 500 Palestinian prisoners have been freed in a swap deal.
This has the potential to facilitate peace negotiations, but their success will depend on Israel's willingness to make necessary concessions.
According to Hamas, relaxing the siege of Gaza is part of the deal.
The State Department demonstrated the rigged nature of its decision about the Keystone XL pipeline by hiring an oil company subcontractor to run the hearings about it.
The contractor tried to rig the proceedings subtly so that they would appear honest.
The pipeline developers are spreading false claims that it will create many thousands of jobs. This article shows that the construction jobs will be much fewer; and in the long term, it will make only around 50 jobs.
However, even if it made thousands of jobs permanently, that could compensate for the catastrophe that would result from burning the tar sands oil.
Israel plans a new "settlement" at the edge of Jerusalem, which would create an added obstacle to possible peace.
In economic terms, what justifies the Wall Street protesters' anger.
I think, however, that the reduction of democracy into a form of corporate control is a deeper reason to protest.
Protesters in San Francisco rebuilt their camp after a police raid.
The raid had an excuse, of course, but its apparent purpose was to suppress democracy.
Maikel Nabil Sanad would rather starve to death than be tried again by the Egyptian military for "insulting the army".
He refuses to apologize for his criticism, which he considers justified.
For the most part, I do not mourn the death of people I did not have a relationship with. The exceptions are heroes such as Sanad. I honor him now, and I will honor him if he dies.
Naomi Wolf was arrested at a protest against New York Governer Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo takes the side of the wealthy against tax increases.
The OAS's intervention in Haiti's presidential election was such as to make it more dishonest, not less so.
However, it was wrong to treat the election as legitimate at all, since the exclusion of the Fanmi Lavalas party made it fundamentally invalid.
US-imposed Haitian president Martelly wants to reverse Aristide's most durable achievement: abolishing the army.
After weeks of bloody fighting, Sirte is mostly destroyed.
There was probably no better way to take the city, but was it really necessary to take the city in a hurry? Sirte was encircled, so Gaddafi's forces could not get out and do harm elsewhere. Eventually they would have surrendered.
Law student Max Schrems has had the gumption and the knowledge to put Facebook in legal trouble for many violations of EU privacy and data protection law.
I fear Facebook will escape by playing its trump card: the idea that it is so important that states do not dare punish it in any effectively dissuasive way.
The campaign to repeal prohibition of marijuana in California.
The UN voted to reduce the size of its occupation force in Haiti, which was increased after the quake, but Haitians demand its complete removal.
The UK's National Health Service is suffering greatly under right-wing budget cuts.
It is still better than what 50 million Americans get for health care.
A UK state inquiry into the one-sided extradition treaty with the US concluded it's fine and dandy, and only wishes that the European Court of Justice would get out of the way.
Protesters plan to occupy a square next to the London Stock Exchange.
I support this protest, along with the many similar ones. However, I criticize the hyperbole of saying they will "occupy the London Stock Exchange" when the plan is to occupy a square. Let's not exaggerate.
This article demonstrates a general injustice: giving the public diminished rights in some streets and squares which are designated as "private". If it looks like a street, and the public are normally free to walk on it, they should enjoy the same rights there as in any other public street.
Syrian protests are drifting towards an armed revolution.
The city of Homs has kicked out Assad's forces, and other cities' protesters call on soldiers to defect.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the Arbitration Fairness Act. Also send email through this page.
Facebook says that a user can't have Facebook's data about him, because it's a trade secret.
In the US: call on retailers not to stock tissue products from APP, which cuts down rainforests to make tree farms.
Canadians used a "trojan horse" to protest a treacherous trade treaty that their government is negotiating with the EU.
I have no inside information about the treaty's provisions, but the EU wouldn't consider a trade treaty that wasn't treacherous to democracy.
I would not trust the study's claims about how much economic growth such a treaty might result in, but it might cause some growth. However, it will also ensure such growth mainly benefits the wealthy, making it unhelpful to the rest of society. It is also likely to endanger the environment, public health, and the rights of all Internet users.
Thousands rallied for freedom of expression in Tunis in response to another protest by Islamists in favor of religious censorship.
A US drone fired at US troops, killing two of them.
In the fog of war, avoiding such mistakes is impossible. Every army tries, more or less, and the US armed forces put some care and study into the effort. But no army can entirely succeed at avoiding this.
What conclusion follows?
There are a lot more civilians in Afghanistan than there are US troops. And the civilians look a lot more like the Taliban than US troops do. We don't have enough data to know how often US troops will get mistaken for Taliban with the current (recently increased) rate of drone attacks, but suppose it is once every two years.
How often do civilians get mistaken for Taliban? Every week? Every day?
Those too are errors — frequent errors. However, they are much easier to cover up, so the US claims they don't happen. The US should own up to them.
Plankton near Fukushima show high levels of radioactive cesium.
People don't eat this plankton, but fish do, and those fish might concentrate the cesium resulting in higher levels.
Police in Gainesville, Florida, arrested Ellas Anthony McDaniel, who is Bo Diddley's son, in Bo Diddley park, as he stood on a stone which carries the slogan, "freedom of speech".
I don't like the name "occupation" for these protests, because it is confusing. A government of occupation is what we already have, and what these protests are against.
Senator Sanders endorses the Wall Street protests.
Wendell Potter suggests Washington protesters direct their protests at the health insurance industry.
Gov. Perry wants spending cuts to balance the budget, but his men are prepared to give a gratuitous tax rebate to oil companies.
If Obama is not reelected, we face a new Bush era. And if he is reelected, the same is true.
Before Obama was elected, he told progressives, "Make me do it." Now that he is in office, his message is to get someone else to do it.
EPA whistle-blower Weston Wilson warns that the petroleum companies are trying to force the EPA to cover up the danger of fracking — as it has done twice before with those companies.
How Rumsfeld created the war-logistics industry, which now has a business incentive to continue any and all wars.
Ethiopia's tyrannical government is handing out minority people's land to global agribusiness, and arresting the people when they object.
The UK government wants stronger police powers to stop riots. So far, no sign of a plan to stop corporate looting.
Nobelist Diamond: The U.S. has an unemployment crisis and a debt problem, but many people in Washington are behaving as if we have a debt crisis and an unemployment problem,
The officials that order these priorities wrong are not making a sincere mistake. They are engaging in class warfare.
US citizens: sign this petition in favor of a financial transactions tax.
Also phone your congresscritter — a phone call carries more weight.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
The UK government says it refuses to investigate the Atlantic Bridge "charity" which was central to the Fox/Werrity corruption scandal. What's more, it will change the rules to help hide any other similar cases of corruption.
Former minister Fox's sneaky associations contradict the Tory Party's claims to wish to protect the environment.
Of course, so do their policies.
The opposition wants the investigation into corrupt financial links to continue.
US citizens: tell the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to stop supporting candidates that vote in favor of the Republican War on Women.
Facebook has been sued for tracking users without their permission.
Bank of America refused to let two customers close their accounts because they participated earlier in a protest.
A similar event occurred at a Citibank office, complete with the false accusations you'd expect the banksters to make.
I suggest that the the lawyers associated with the movement sue these banks demanding closure of the accounts.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is raising money based on the Republican War on Women — and planning to spend it in support of Democratic congresscritters who took the Republican side.
The right wing of the Republican Party achieved so much power (with which it is now waging war against non-rich Americans and especially women) by actively opposing moderate candidates. Meanwhile, progressives have let them be sucked into supporting right-wing Democrats such as Obama. It is high time for that to change.
The last time the US had an economic crisis, the Republicans wanted to let it go on, but the Democratic Party offered to create jobs. The Democratic Party was voted in and governed for 20 years. But this option is not available today — today's Democratic Party is only marginally less bad than today's Republican Party.
CREDO Action's criticism of this is the first step of trying to change that. What use is having some Democrats in office if they act like Republicans?
Protesters in London, in the area where the banksters work, have been invited to camp in the yard of a cathedral.
Gays and transsexuals in Indonesia face persecution, as a harsh and bigoted form of Islam gains influence there.
Bradley Manning was not the only US prisoner held in conditions that amount to brainwashing. There may be 20,000 more. One of them is Tarek Mehanna.
The use of brainwashing on people accused but not tried raises the concern that its purpose is to extract false confessions, such as many of the US POWs held by North Korea gave after they were brainwashed.
Meanwhile, to accuse someone of terrorism for translating a book is a clear violation of freedom of the press. People have a right to say that terrorism is good, and we must respect that right even if we disagree with their views.
The Pentagon says that it won't be able to pass an audit in 2017. Large amounts of payments cannot be accounted for because the documents to justify them cannot be found.
Part of the cause of the problem is that the Pentagon's budget is large and growing. Big budget cuts will help correct that problem.
12 Most Absurd Laws Used to Stifle the Occupy Wall St. Movement
When protesters become numerous enough, they can massively defy these laws, and pack the jails until the police give up arresting them.
San Diego plans to build a water desalination plant in Mexico to evade California's environmental protections.>
The US will fully remove the Bush forces from Iraq.
Americans can thank those in the Iraqi government, such as the party of Muqtada al-Sadr, that refused to give the Bush forces the continued immunity from prosecution that Obama demanded.
Chinese are using local protests and even riots to demand correction of injustices, and sometimes it works.
The article says that "calls for pro-democracy demonstrations...received little public support", and appears to assert that Chinese people wouldn't support them, but we don't know this. Government censorship prevent a movement from getting started.
The US government is almost as callous towards the 99% as the Chinese government is. And Americans are learning to follow the example of the Chinese.
Protesters in Brooklyn tried to shut down a foreclusure auction.
Republicans in Congress seek to block EPA regulation of toxic coal ash — a change which could kill many Americans.
Every harmful thing that business asks for, it claims is to protect jobs. When you look closely, it is really a threat to close some plant. "If you won't let us pollute and endanger your life, we will shut the plant." Ok, shut it, should be our response.
But often that threat is a bluff. When it comes time to decide, they might clean up the plant rather than shut it. However, it costs them nothing to say, now, "We will shut the plant." Who knows, we might yield to the bluff.
When it comes to handling toxic coal ash, the threat is certainly a bluff. The companies that burn the coal will pay whatever it costs to dispose of the ash according to regulations. The only question is whether to make them dispose of it in a way that is safe for the public.
Obama's man was directly involved in negotiations to make major US ISPs impose censorship on their users.
Oct 15 protests spread around the world, with 10,000 in New York.
Gaddafi's cult of personality seems to be the reason why some of his soldiers continue fighting in Sirte. However, it seems that they also killed civilians who wouldn't join them.
As tens of thousands protested in Rome, some made violent attacks against banks, stores, cars, and police.
I don't approve of this violence, part of which seems to have been directed randomly. It was a self-defeating tactic for the protest movement, and it was also simply wrong.
The perpetrators may have done this to damage the protest. During the protests in Genoa in 2001, Italian police deployed armed provocateurs disguised as "anarchists", apparently to create an excuse to attack the real (nonviolent) protesters. Maybe they did this again in Rome.
But even if these were real dissidents rather than police stooges, we should not let their comparatively small wrong distract us from the giant wrongs done by the corporatocracy.
US citizens: call on Obama to veto a bill that would make Guantanamo permanent.
Everyone: call on Boston Mayor Menino to respect the right to protest.
US citizens: sign this petition to Congress to end the War on Women.
US citizens: sign this petition to Obama to free Bradley Manning.
The UK government's austerity program has caused unemployment, so few jobs are available. To distract attention from this, it proposed a new plan to help workers move if they find a job distant from home.
I can't tell whether the plan is good or bad, but it certainly fails to address the problem.
As 100,000 protested in Yemen for the ouster of President Saleh, his army shot 12 protesters dead.
Dubya's tax cuts, which the Republican Party demands to preserve, cost the US treasury $11 million per hour — $72 billion a year.
That is a large piece of the US deficit.
The US has arrested an Iranian for trying to pay to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, but some are skeptical about the accusation.
If Arbabsiar is guilty of trying to arrange the assassination, whether he was working for the Iranian goverment is another question. I would not put this past the Iranian goverment, but it is a valid point that it would have had little to gain from doing this. Is there proof that Arbabsiar had state support, other than his say-so? Maybe it was a false boast, or wishful thinking.
There was recently a factional conflict inside the Iranian state, and maybe there still is. Maybe some faction in the Iranian state tried to use Arbabsiar to make trouble for some other faction.
Maybe Arbabsiar set out to harm the Iranian state by getting it into a war, and having failed that, hopes to embarrass it. Or maybe someone with this goal was using Arbabsiar. The Iranian state richly deserves to be harmed, but not that way. The main effect of starting such a war would be to harm thousands or millions of people.
The Saudi monarchy is equally tyrannical, but assassinating its ambassadors won't make it better.
The Wall Street Journal paid companies a kickback to buy lots of copies so as to falsely increase circulation figures.
NATO has systematically exaggerated the effectiveness of its tactics against the Taliban — for instance, by calling lots of Taliban casualties "leaders"
Australia is on track to pass a tax on CO2 emissions.
Prime Minister Gillard is doing this even though it means the possible sacrifice of her political career. That is heroism.
If the tax is repealed, it won't achieve its goal. But it is better to try than to give up at the start. And perhaps it won't be repealed. Perhaps Australians will see they can live with it. Perhaps increased signs of global heating will show them it is necessary.
Ukraine's opposition leader was sentenced to prison after a questionable trial about a gas deal she signed with Russia.
The deal might have been bad, but as long as Ukraine does not repudiate the deal itself, it can hardly justify calling the deal criminal.
One paradoxical good result could flow from this trial: blocking the EU's "free trade" treaty, which I suspect would impose unjust laws to prevent and persecute sharing.
Witnesses blame Egyptian government forces for attacks against Egyptian Christians protesting violence against them.
If you get your email through a US commercial email service, the US government can collect information about it without ever showing you a search warrant.
The wealthiest countries have increased their subsidies for oil consumption.
A study finds that commercial web sites give visitors' personal data to large numbers of other sites.
My response to this is not to identify myself to web sites. I don't buy things over the Internet. In addition, my batch method of accessing web pages fetches the page I asked for, and not whatever else it points to.
Part of Alabama campaign against illegal immigrants is to cut off their water supply.
This persecutes citizens too, if they don't have a drivers' license. It effectively makes the license a mandatory identification card, which is inherently unjust.
People also fear that they will be picked up off the street and deported, leaving their children suddenly alone.
US citizens without drivers licenses could be deported too, if the police guess someplace to send them.
School buses in part of the US (I can't tell where) are checking students' fingerprints.
This is education for citizens of a tyranny.
The tram connecting Jerusalem with a settlement inside the West Bank is another tool used by Israel to make an independent Palestine impossible.
New York Night-Mayor Bloomberg tried to shut down the protest camp on the pretext of sanitation, but retreated in the fact of physical support from thousands of protesters.
The park's owner, Brookfield Properties, is a bankster company.
Was Zuccotti Park created by a private company, or was it a public park that was privatized?
Imprisoned Bahraini opposition leader Hassan Mesheima faces execution through cancer.
Exxon is trying to avoid paying for damage done by its big Alaska oil spill, damage that still persists, and the Department of "Justice" doesn't seem to care much.
The US deserves a president that would call for the most vigorous possible action against companies such as Exxon and BP, and who would support laws to hold them 100% liable for damage they do. Meaning not Obama!
The US will send 100 soldiers to help fight the Lord's Resistance Army.
This is long overdue.
The House of Representatives passed a law encouraging hospitals to let women die rather than perform abortions.
In typical hypocritical fashion, this is called the "Protect Life Act." In effect, it represents the Republican position that human life is sacred except after birth.
One member of Congress said this policy would have killed her.16 October 2011 (US: Drone Bombers)
There was a protest at the base where the US operates drones by remote control.
I am not against drone bombers per se; supposing there is a war, I don't think attacking enemy troops with drone bombers is worse than attacking them with artillery or manned bombers. What is disturbing about the US use of drones is that it uses them against people who are not clearly enemy troops, far from any battlefield. Attacking them with artillery or manned bombers would pose the same moral problem, but isn't often done, because it is not feasible.
The US Congress approved Obama's anti-democratic trade treaties. This list says how US senators and congresscritters voted.
Anyone that voted for these treaties is working to eliminate democracy piece by piece.
Canada should prosecute Bush for ordering torture.
Nasser bin Ghaith has been imprisoned in Abu Dhabi for "insulting the president".
He is boycotting the Bush-league trial that they have given him.
The article calls on the French Sorbonne university, which he is connected with, to condemn his imprisonment, which it has in cowardly fashion refused to do. When it does this, it should condemn French President Sarkozy for punishing French people for insulting him.
Ireland will investigate many aspects of how Facebook tracks its users.
Protests against corporatocracy are planned for 71 countries on Oct 15.
VeriSign withdrew its request for the power to censor several top level domains.
The ACLU sued to overturn a law requiring poor people to get drug tests when they apply for public assistance.
It should be illegal to demand drug tests of job applicants, too — even airline pilot applicants. The right thing to do is test them before every flight to verify they are not impaired in their level of awareness.
The independence of Southern Sudan left the South Kordofan region under Sudanese repression.
House Democrats presented a recommendation to the super committee: raise taxes.
This article does not say whether the recommendation accepts any cuts in areas outside the military. I would like to know.
Imprisoned Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad has been on hunger strike for 52 days.
Congressional Republicans passed a bill to block EPA regulations that would save 20,000 lives.
This is consistent with their general policy that human life is worth nothing after birth.
The UK's defense secretary Fox resigned due to evidence of a corrupt relationship with his friend Werrity.
Werrity posed as an official working for Fox, and seemed to be funded through "charities" that didn't do any visible charitable work.
Craig Murray says that the Mossad provided the money, and that the motive was to influence UK policy.
I speculate that Fox resigned so as to prevent an investigation that would have revealed more about the sources of funding.
Israeli intelligence routinely tortures prisoners, and even kills them occasionally, with total impunity.
Israeli "settlers" attacked Palestinian families who were harvesting their olive trees.
For once, Israeli soldiers acted to stop it: they took the bullies away and let the Palestinians harvest their trees.
For the first time, the Israeli government has arrested someone for violence against Arabs.
However, these were Israeli Arabs. Violence (even arson) against Palestinians has never been punished.
Hamas is demanding high taxes in Gaza, provoking resistance from the populace.
If not for Israel's siege, Hamas might lose power there.
The government of Israel is pushing hard to legitimize West Bank colonies built in violation of Israeli law, and even colonies built on private Palestinian land.
All these colonies are considered illegal by the world outside Israel.
Right-wing business flunkies hope to stop the National Labor Relations Board from protecting workers against business abuses.
Sandblasting jeans, done to make them look worn, causes silicosis for the workers.
Rich countries ought to ban the sale of sandblasted jeans, not just the sandblasting itself. But the WTO would probably call this a "barrier to trade". The WTO's purpose is to defend business profits against "protectionist" laws, such as laws to protect people's health and lives.
The WTO, and all "free trade" treaties that make it harder to do that, must be abolished.
Global heating has created Lake Imja in the Himalayas, which grows every year. Some day the water will send a disastrous flood downstream.
Irish are protesting to resist being made "the next Greece".
A large strike shut down transportation in France.
Israel and Hamas reached a prisoner-exchange deal.
If Hamas releases Gilad Shalit, he will be safe in Israel. The Palestinians that Israel releases may not be free for long: the Israeli army could rearrest them or kill them.
If it does not systematically do this, the deal may make it harder for Israel to say it is impossible to negotiate with Hamas.
US corn-for-ethanol is blamed for driving up world food prices.
The US must drop this policy, but that will only delay the problem. It will be difficult to grow enough food for the 9 billion people projected for 2050, and difficult even to find enough water for them, and meanwhile global heating will reduce production.
The shortage will make itself felt through prices that rise to the level where millions cannot afford food. The population may be limited at a smaller level by shortages — which means that having a baby will mean killing someone (very likely that baby, if the parents are poor; probably someone else, if the parents are not poor).
To avoid that horrible outcome, we need vigorous birth control programs, sufficient to keep the world's population short of the resource limit.
The European Union is planning another bank bailout.
It makes sense to use public money to keep banks from closing only if the state ensures that this does not represent a gift to the banksters. The state must require either shares, or repayment with market interest, in return for whatever it gives the banks.
Some sugar-free drinks and desserts contain acids that damage teeth.
The "rescuers" of Greece say they will keep it from immediate default in exchange for additional painful cuts — and they will come back for more cuts next year.
Greeks now plan to occupy government buildings. If they occupy Parliament quickly enough, they may prevent the current round of cuts from being passed, and force default now rather than later.
The longer it is postponed, the more cuts.
Paranoia about vaccines has become a substantial threat to health.
Europe is considering improvements in subsidies for farmers, such as to limit the amount of subsidy any farmer can receive. (Would this be a cap for the cap?)
The UK is right that there might be a danger that some farms would be "split up" among relatives without real change. But that is a problem to be solved, not a reason to give up.
An experiment shows that Reiki is merely a placebo.
A massage has more real effect.
Global heating will make concrete structures near the ocean fall apart much faster.
Peyman Aref was expelled from university, imprisoned for a year, then flogged, for "insulting" the president of Iran and talking with foreign reporters.
Automatic license plate recognition is being deployed in the US. It is not systematic and ubiquitous, as in the UK, but if there are enough recognizers the result could be the same.
JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Accused Of Overcharging Military Veterans — with illegal hidden fees.
We need to break up large banks, that have so much influence that courts will look the other way when they commit foreclosure fraud , and eliminate mortgage-backed securities, so that the bank that made the loan retains the power to adjust it and give the home-owner more time.
Everyone: sign this petition against Virginia's War on Women.
The US executed Anwar al-Awlaki without a trial, or even a hearing. Obama convinced courts to leave the issue in his hands without question.
The Obama regime's argument seems to be that al Qa'ida is an enemy army and al-Awlaki is effectively an officer in it, so killing him is a normal part of such a war.
That reason would be sufficient. What is questionable is to classify what al Qa'ida does as "war". That error led the US into responses that were self-defeating (as well as, in the case of Iraq, fundamentally unjust).
As for the fact that al-Awlaki was "hiding in a place where he could not be captured", lots of criminals do that. Is that a reason not to indict him and ask him to surrender for prosecution?
The G20 promised to eliminate global tax havens, but has done very little to reduce them.
Two more supposed grass-roots groups that AT&T has corrupted: Americans for Digital Equality and the Hispanic -Technology And Telecommunications Partnership.
This is in addition to GLAAD and the NAACP.
You can tell whether a group is run by sincere activists by their reaction to discovering such corruption. GLAAD's activists cleaned up the corruption and cleared the organization's name, but I never heard that they NAACP has done so.
Tell Amazon you object to the China-style way it treats its US workers. It is considerate of them to have an ambulance standing by for workers that collapse, but that doesn't make it ok.
it forces me to reconsider using Amazon for my online shopping.
I consider it a reason not to buy from Amazon.
since I refuse to buy from Amazon for other reasons anyway:
Greeks are again protesting the constantly increasing austerity program, demanding default instead of surrender.
15 October 2011 (Paid To Fake News)
A right-wing billionaire is paying "journalists" to "mock and undermine" the Occupy Wall Street protests.
15 October 2011 (Official German Malware)
Several German states admitted using malware to spy on people's computers unconstitutionally. The program can "plant evidence" — I think that means, write files on the computer. That suggests it amounts to a universal back door, like the one Microsoft put in Windows.
15 October 2011 (Profiteer Greed)
Bush gave business a temporary tax break on "foreign profits", which hurt the US treasury and did no good for the US economy. Now the same profiteers want it again.
15 October 2011 (Corporatocracy Case Study)
Corporatocracy in action; a case-study in government-business corruption.
15 October 2011 (Connecticut Apologizes)
Connecticut apologizes for Dubya.
Does anyone know if the apology sign is really there on the road?
15 October 2011 (UNICEF Condemns UK)
UNICEF condemned the UK for being too eager to imprison minors after the August riots.
End looting in the UK — join UK Uncut.
15 October 2011 (Contractors Inefficient)
Increasing use of contractors in the US military is leading to less oversight and more vulnerability.
Although the supposed reason for this is to save money, it is probably more expensive.
15 October 2011 (CA Warrants Vetoed)
The governor of California vetoed a bill that would have required police to get a warrant before searching people's cell phones.
Apparently he did this as a political deal for the support of police in his election campaign. Shame, shame!
15 October 2011 (Urgent: Label GM Foods)
US citizens: sign this petition for labelling of genetically modified foods.
15 October 2011 (UK Police Bully Man)
Police in the UK bullied a man for taking photos of his daughter in a shopping mall.
He has called for a boycott of the mall. That's a good response. However, he should know better than to post photos of his daughter on facebook.
Karzai's police and intelligence systematically torture their prisoners.
A right-wing agent provocateur admits leading the group that entered the Air and Space Museum, while most protesters remained outside following their original plan.
Should Labor Fight To Revive U.S. Manufacturing?
I disagree with the article on one point: it doesn't recognize the harm done by "free trade" treaties to all the countries that participate in them. These treaties systematically undermine democracy, so we must eliminate them to restore democracy. This does not imply "protectionism".
One need not be "protectionist" to wish for democracy in the US and Colombia, and therefore oppose the US=Colombia "free trade" treaty.
One need not be "protectionist" to support efforts to reduce smoking in the US and therefore call for elimination of the WTO.
Facebook tracks users that see 'like' buttons, even users who never visited facebook.com and never click on those buttons.
A grounded container ship is spreading oil on pristine New Zealand beaches.
Ships which contain enough oil to present a danger should not be allowed to travel within 20 miles of any land without positive control of their locations.
Americans lean towards favoring recognition of a Palestinian state.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the McGovern-Wyden resolution to block an arms sale to Bahrain.
Coca Cola Company is working together with the Koch brothers to impose unjust state laws.
There is already a worldwide boycott of Coca Cola Company.
If Iran had really tried to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, that would not be very different from what the US does.
Major UK ISPs will offer the option of blocking access to known porn sites.
In principle, I see no harm in this as an option. However, other articles warn that subscribers may be forced to prove their age to opt out of the blocking, and that means identifying yourself. That is an unjust requirement. In addition, public access sites might impose the same censorship.
Republicans want to make it a crime to plan, in the US, to use drugs lawfully in a foreign country.
Even professional advice about lawful activities could be prosecuted.
More on how much facebook tracks users.
US citizens: call on your senators to say where they stand on medicare and medicaid cuts.
Protesters tried to enter the National Air and Space Museum to criticize its glorification of the military.
The residents of the Korean island of Jeju are using every peaceful method to restrict construction of a US/Korean naval base.
In Boston, rally in Boston Common at 1pm for peace and against social cuts.
Powerful resistance seems to be scuttling the Tories' plans to destroy the UK National Health Service.
NAFTA drove millions of Mexicans to migrate; Obama's free exploitation treaties would do likewise in other countries.
Everyone: call on the governor of Missouri to commute Reggie Clemons' death sentence; there was essentially no evidence and his trial was questionable.
US citizens: tell your senators, don't pass a law to allow arbitrary detention of anyone.
Since Assad has crushed nonviolent protests in Syria by force, some in Syria are trying armed resistance.
I sympathize, but I don't see how they could possibly get anywhere.
1/3 of US veterans of the past decade think that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were "not worth fighting".
The conquest of Iraq was much worse than a misjudgment, but given the natural tendency of people who fought a war to resist the idea that it wasn't necessary and justified, it is remarkable that so many have overcome it.
Muslim fanatics in Egypt have attacked Christians and a church.
In February, the protest leaders and the Egyptian people clearly established a nonsectarian stand. They must reiterate this now.
The BBC says Iran is pressuring its Iranian employees in London by threatening their relatives in Iran.
This disgusting tactic was also used by the Bush forces in Iraq.
40,000 "drug rehabilitation patients" are forced to do hard labor in Vietnam, shelling cashews, with constant exposure to the toxic outer parts of the nut.
With 30 years of fighting, the Vietnamese replaced their overt French colonial rule with indirect colonization through a native satrap.
Boston police attacked and arrested 141 protesters for being in a park.
Bahrain has bowed to international pressure and granted a new trial to some (not all) the medical personnel imprisoned for treating wounded protesters.
The new trials will be civilian trials, but that doesn't guarantee they will be fair. In any case, the very idea of that it is a crime to give medical treatment to certain people is inherently evil.
Comparing the right-of-return issue for Palestinians with the comparable issue for Jews.
The proposed Italian law that would make Wikipedia impossible to run there is being used by Berlusconi to interfere with publishing evidence of corruption.
Alaskans condemn Obama's decision to allow undersea oil drilling there.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say, support Donna Edwards' constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision.
You can also phone Rep. Edwards at 202-225-8699 and thank her.
This amendment would specifically allow laws to regulate political "speech" by corporations.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter at 1-800-718-1008 and insist on opposing the unfair trade treaties proposed with Korea, Panama, and Colombia. See http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=4956.
Each of these treaties is unfair to both countries involved, because it gives the advantage to corporations.
The US Congress blocked $200 million aid to the Palestinian Authority.
This can block humanitarian projects that the aid was meant for.
The Palestinian Authority has clearly decided not to bow to this pressure. It has already threatened to dissolve itself and deny Israel a buffer over its conduct of the occupation.
Cutting off its funds would push it towards carrying out that threat.
The Israeli education ministry arbitrarily ordered schools not to talk about riots in 2000 in which some Israeli Arabs were killed.
US citizens: sign this petition for an investigation of Justice Thomas' ethics violations.
US citizens: sign this petition to end the witch-hunt against Planned Parenthood.
How a few billionaires used the White House to profit by screwing poor sick Americans and poor countries.
And they want to do it again.
The latest austerity measures imposed on Greece have led to a general strike that shut down the entire government.
An Iranian actress has been sentenced to imprisonment plus flogging for appearing in a banned film.
Has the US considered developing drone aircraft that can drop leaflets?
Someone told me that the M129E1 could probably be carried by a drone.
Shell regularly paid the Nigerian army to crush protests against Shell.
United Steel Workers support Occupy Wall Street.
As we overload the oceans with CO2, not only will this kill much of the life in them, but the CO2 will start to come back out.
The full membership of UNESCO will vote on whether to admit Palestine as a member.
Several countries signed the Anti-Citizen Tyranny Agreement, which commits them to support media businesses against their citizens by banning devices that break digital handcuffs.
The other provisions that these companies have not got this time, they will come back for with another treaty.
Omar Khadr is being punished for shooting a US soldier in Afghanistan. Video footage suggests he was tortured in Guantanamo, and there is some evidence his confession was false.
Child soldiers are not supposed to be punished for war crimes, but supposed he had been older. It is not a crime for soldiers to shoot enemy soldiers — it is simply war. He should have been treated as a POW, not as a criminal.
I am not surprised that the government of Canada didn't care about the case. What's a mere Canadian citizen against the dictates of the US? What the Canadian government really cares about is selling tar sand oil and roasting our planet, because that's what business wants.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch rebuked the Obama regime for giving military aid to other regimes that use child soldiers.
The European Commission voted to designate Canadian tar sand oil as particularly dirty for its high production of CO2.
Burma's regime showed a small sign of willingness to hear the people's voice, by suspending the planned Myitsone dam project. But this does not mean the regime will allow dissent, or even that the dam won't be built.
Israeli police turned a blind eye to a pogrom carried out by right-wing rioters against Israeli and Palestinian protesters.
After the pogrom, the on-duty police informed the protesters that their protest had been arbitrarily banned.
I think the word "lynching" is not correct here, since it is normally limited to cases where a victim is murdered in cold blood. However, this does not invalidate the article's point.
One of the rioters has been identified as a police inspector.
Another pogrom burnt a mosque in Galilee.
This is part of a spreading threat of Jewish terrorism in Israel.
Naomi Klein points out that the Israeli elite profits greatly from the insecurity that results from not having peace.
Italian Wikipedia has taken its pages off line to warn Italians about a proposed law, being debated now, which would make Wikipedia's operation impossible in Italy.
The UK is investigating 100 incidents where UK troops in Afghanistan were accused of killing or wounding civilians.
In some of these incidents, the soldiers involved acted criminally, but most were simply bad luck for everyone involved. Such accidents are inevitable in a war, which is why launching a war is a crime in the absence of very strong justification.
Civilians fleeing Sirte say that the government forces are firing lots of rockets which are endangering civilians.
Since NATO's mission in Libya is to protect civilians, it ought to insist that the new government not endanger them.
Support the march on Wall Street or another occupation in another US city, or the "virtual occupation".
Republicans want to cut the budget of the Government Accounting Office, which reduces government waste.
I read an article recently which suggested that the way to understand government decisions is to replace "despite" with "because" (or "for the sake of"). I think that applies here too: Republicans want to eliminate this organization because it prevents waste.
After all, what is wasteful government spending? Excess payments to companies. Republicans represent those companies, so they are in favor of wasteful payments to those companies.
Dubya and Cheney set up a system of wasteful spending in Iraq to reward their cronies, and the system was general enough that others took advantage of it to drink from the same trough. This is another example of the same thing.
Furthermore, eliminating waste reduces the deficit, and that undercuts the arguments of Republicans for attacking benefits to poor Americans (which they want to do because they use it to get votes).. If a fairy gave the US $400 billion a year, they would need another tax cut for the rich to create a new the excuse for these cuts.
In fact, that is what Wisconsin Gov. Walker did this year: he cut taxes for the rich, created a deficit, then uses it to attack workers' rights.
The world financial system is in a disastrous loop of debt which nobody is in a position to fix.
Motel owners face the threat of confiscation because, over the years, a tiny fraction of their guests were arrested.
Russia and China vetoed UN sanctions against the Syrian dictatorship.
Israeli troops supposedly attack protests because Palestinian youths throw stones, but an Israeli soldier says that the troops usually shoot first.
The right to protest is respected more in Egypt and Spain than in New York.
The boycott of companies that profit from the Israeli occupation and colonization of the West Bank is hitting some companies hard, and they are moving their production.
Larry Lessig in support of the occupation of Wall Street.
A lawsuit by an Iraqi ex-prisoner has brought about a ruling banning the UK from putting hoods over prisoners' heads.
Bush ordered the US to put hoods over prisoners' heads. Has Obama changed this?
The government of South Africa refused to allow the Dalai Lama to make a private visit for Desmond Tutu's birthday party. It could only be sucking up to Chinese tyranny.
The Occupy Wall Street protest has inspired sister protests in several US cities, and are hoping to get 30 more soon.
A Libyan Jew, exiled by Gaddafi, returned to help the rebels. But his efforts to reopen the old synagogue have been met with threats of violence.
Ralph Nader is trying to organize a primary challenge to Obama. Hooray! Finally, we progressives will have a chance to show Obama how much we despise his right-wing policies.
Protesters are blocking the road to a nuclear construction site in the UK.
Great advances in efficiency of appliances are being nullified by the purchase of energy hogs such as plasma TV screens.
Tzipi Livni can now safely visit London, thanks to a change in UK law which gives ministers a political veto over prosecutions even when the crime cannot be denied.
With typical state hypocrisy, they say that this is to prevent the law from being "used for political purposes", when in fact the result is to authorize precisely that.
With the Lake Wobegon effect, large companies try to pay their executives more than most comparably-sized companies pay theirs.
Alabama's anti-Immigrant law, upheld by a US court, has scared illegal Immigrants into pulling 2000 children out of school. Some of those children are US citizens, but they can no longer get an education.
When illegal Immigrant women are too scared to get prenatal care for their children, the result will be US citizens with incurable birth defects.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support Obama's American Jobs Act. Or use this page to send a message, but a phone call carries more weight.
Here's information on the proposal.
I see only one point here that is specifically bad: that of new computer labs in schools, which I fear would teach dependence on proprietary software to America's children. However, this would be a small part of the plan, not enough reason to reject the whole thing.
A few other points might be of questionable effectiveness - some of the tax breaks for businesses.
Obama probably isn't serious about the issue either, but it is an opportunity for us anyway. The Republicans will oppose anything that helps American workers, but we may as well make them lose something for opposing it.
The lawsuit against Chevron shows companies that if they pollute, they may be made to pay.
Unfortunately there remain many examples where companies were able to avoid paying, such as Exxon for the still persisting damage from the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
For the first time, there was a large ozone hole in the Arctic stratosphere like the one that happens every year in the Antarctic.
A proposed list of demands for the Wall Street protests.
The Keystone planet-roaster pipeline has a booster inside the State Department.
The UK says it has to cut support for the poor because it is out of money, so why does it hand out so much to the rich?
Tuvalu is running out of fresh water due to a lack of rain.
This might get worse with global heating, but not for long; in a decade or two, Tuvalu will be inundated frequently by storms and will no longer be inhabitable.
State Department admits its "Independent" tar sands pipeline review was paid for by TransCanada (the company that plans to build the pipeline).
Thousands protested in Chicago to tax the rich instead of budget cuts.
US citizens: phone your representative and senators to support H. Res 365, to forgive student loans.
Lithuania is covering up for the Bush regime about how it participated in the kidnaping-for-torture system.
Princeton University has adopted the "open access" publication policy, as I have urged universities to do since the 90s.
This policy may be marginally stronger than those of Harvard and MIT. It allows a professor to request a waiver, but are those waivers granted automatically, or does the university have the option to refuse, to make the publisher negotiate?
US citizens: send a comment to the State Department opposing the Keystone XL planet-broiler tar sands oil pipeline.
The UK government says it supports global human rights, but not when the it has an interest in supporting a dictator.
The New York police arrested people for no apparent reason during a recent protest on Wall Street. Was the reason a 4.6 million donation from J. P. Morgan?
Bribing a policeman is a crime; bribing the police department is not.
The current US supreme court persistently favors corporations against everyone else: customers, employees, stockholders, and whistleblowers.
Big Oil Clings to Tax Breaks While Hoarding Tens of Billions.
The US appeals court upheld a bizarre, general patent on using information found in scientific literature.
Thousands protested in Portugal against austerity measures.
US employers are fraudulently describing employees as "independent contractors" to deprive them of pay and benefits.
Mike Daisey's one-man campaign to call attention to the suffering inflicted by Apple on the people who make its products.
Apple will probably try to diffuse the criticism with some sort of "corporate responsibility" pledge, which Chinese companies will then pretend to follow. It will be very hard to get Chinese factories to treat workers decently as long as the Chinese government is corrupt and won't enforce whatever laws they might have about labor conditions.
In effect, the responsibility for these abuses falls on the corporations that decided to move all the manufacturing from the US to China and on the subservient politicians that helped them do it.
Big Pharma companies test experimental drugs in poor countries where they don't bother to tell the subjects that they are participating in an experiment.
We should not allow these companies to run trials of their own drugs. That is an opening for corruption, and these companies, which assiduously research new ways to corrupt medicine, will take advantage of any opening they get. We already know that studies funded by drug companies are less likely to report any problem.
We should tax these companies and run studies which they have no connection with.
Earth Justice is suing for proper environmental impact consideration before opening a new coal mine in Montana.
A congressional committee allowed two witnesses into its hearing to describe the harm done by strip mining of coal, but ignored them.
The fact that political debate in the US is focused on debt and deficit reduction, which is not a real problem, demonstrates the banksters' power to dominate politics.
US citizens: stand up against legalization of torture in the US.
The Kindle was a scheme for knowing what books are read by the fools who use it. The new version, Kindle Fire, will let Amazon track users' web browsing too.
Stallman's Law: under corporatocracy, every advance in technology is an opportunity for corporations to reduce, in practice, the rights of human beings.
Everyone: call on the NYPD to investigate officer Bologna's violence rather that try to feed us the bologna that there could have been some justification for shooting pepper spray at helpless unagressive protesters.
How "social" computer games are subtly designed to get some vulnerable players hooked and paying lots of money.
The article is written in a style that is too clever gets in the way of its point, but the point is visible nonetheless.
Taxing the rich more should not be a means to continue paying for wars that shouldn't be contined at all.
We should end the wars and tax the rich more.
"Pinkwashing" means making questionable or expensive products seem good by linking them somehow with the cause of treating breast cancer. The foundation which started the practice is now selling a perfume with toxic contents.
The latest Republican looney lie: cutting the Pentagon budget would "force" the US to reinstate the draft.
The hypocrisy of Republicans is visible when they say military cuts would cost jobs, but disregard the loss of jobs that would result from the other cuts they advocate. Any given amount of spending creates fewer jobs when it is spent on the military.
The UN found that violence in Afghanistan is up 40% over 2010.
There is no way the US can "win" this war except by crushing the country. The sooner it pulls out, the less harm it will do.
Chilean police massively attacked the protesters.
They sprayed tear gas directly on the leader of the students, paralyzing her. She says that they sprayed her with a burning chemical too.
The protesters have called for a general strike.
This article argues that the European Union is planning for the Greek state to become bankrupt.
Interestingly, it assumes that Greece will use the bankruptcy to shaft Greek workers rather than to cancel debt to banks. I won't say this is impossible but I don't see why it is a certainty.
PACs donated $83,000 to the members of the supercommittee during August alone.
A group of medical doctors asked New York State to study health implications before permitting fracking.
CIA's vaccine ruse in Pakistan has harmed vaccination efforts as well as relations between the US and the Pakistani people.
The phony vaccination scheme may have been wrong, but it is clearly not "treason"; accusing people based on exaggeration is just as wrong in Pakistan as in the US or anywhere else.
By making that accusation, Pakistan effectively says, "To attack bin Laden was to attack the Pakistani state." I hope Pakistan does not really wish to identify itself with a terrorist.
Ten thousand started protests in Portland, Oregon.
More information about the bill to help Americans close bank accounts.
Although the US gained some jobs recently, they are not enough to keep up with population growth.
Sirte seems to be on the edge of falling to Libyan government forces.
I have to wonder why Gaddafi's men continue to fight, even though it is clear they will lose. Is it from discipline? I doubt they had so much of that. Loyalty to Gaddafi? Maybe, but I wonder why. Fear they will not be allowed to surrender? I hope that is not it. Tribal loyalty? If so, the government needs to do something to win the support of that tribe, or it will lead to some sort of problem later.
The UN is investigating the murder of 16 journalists in Honduras since the coup that probably occurred with US support.
Imprisoned Bahraini doctors rebuked the US for its weak concern for their rights.
As parts of the US run short of water, they need to take polluted water and clean it up.
It works, but it takes more energy — which brings us back to global heating.
Syria is attacking dissidents outside Syria by sending thugs to fight them and by torturing their relatives.
Measuring US media's disregard for the Wall Street protest, in its first week.
NPR's new president plans to "depoliticize" the service — which means, increase the right-wing bias.
NPR stands for Not Progressive, Really.
In rural Venezuela, the wealthy opponents of President Chavez murder with impunity.
European companies can buy "carbon credits" from plantations in Honduras that operate on land stolen from peasants.
Citizens of the EU: sign this petition to use public bailout money to help the people of Greece, not the banks.
Human Rights Watch (and many others) have called on Congress to block US arms sales to Bahrain.
India deports foreign journalists who try to cover its bloody occupation of Kashmir, or its cruel war against the tribals. Indian journalists get framed and imprisoned instead.
Banks Successfully Lobbied For Weaker Bailout Repayment Rules So They Could Pay Bonuses.
More information about this.
The latest Republican distraction: Wall Street protesters threaten poor bankers who are "Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet".
Th corporations which rule with their unjust power do have some employees. But what they do with their power, to transfer wealth to the rich, has destroyed millions of jobs and left millions more with lousy jobs. We need to eliminate that power. If the result is that some unproductive jobs disappear, that will be a minor offset to the overall benefit.
US companies are using face recognition and fingerprints to control workers.
A gigantic loophole allows US corporations to designate a low-tax country for their profits.
Narges Mohammadi has been sentenced to 11 years in prison in Iran for representing dissidents in court.
This bogus trial was not as bad as what Obama does, sentencing people to execution by decree.
Small amounts of oil from the Big Spill had devastating effects on fish in marshes in Louisiana.
Internet services such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are making broad surveillance easy and cheap for governments around the world.
Many federal agencies are systematically gagging their scientists.
James Hansen says, "If we stay on with business as usual, the southern U.S. will become almost uninhabitable."
Coal is very costly to society: the economic damage it does is worth twice the price of the electricity generated.
The US-sponsored Afghan Border Police have followed the US lead by practicing torture.
US citizens: send mail to your senators telling them to oppose the resolution to block the FCC's network neutrality rules.
Even better, phone them too.
The FCC's rules are not as strong as they should be, but they are much better than nothing, and nothing is the senators who are working for the telcos want us to have.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the bill to make it easy to move your money to a different bank.
Also sign this petition, but the phone call carries more weight.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Citizens of Massachusetts: support state-level medical marijuana legislation.
Everyone: call on New York City officials to respect the protesters' rights.
Everyone: state your support for the Wall Street protests.
Chilean high school girls have occupied their school for 5 months.
Big US drug companies get away with illegal medical experiments because they are too big to sue.
The US needs to adopt policies that will make large companies split up.
Obama's "free trade" treaties include more financial deregulation (the opposite of what we need), and loss of jobs — but Obama is presenting them as a "jobs program"!
Republicans want to cut off the US government's investment in birth control for poor women, even though this change would increase the deficit.
It would also result in more abortions (slightly dangerous) and more births (more dangerous).
A conservative front group, "FreedomWorks" is trying to hijack public anger and protests and direct them on paths that support the banksters.
The Federal Reserve Bank has been trying to stimulate the economy, but it cannot do so very effectively. The right tool for this job is deficit spending, but Republicans won't allow that, and Obama has mostly embraced the Republican goal of deficit-cutting.
Sami al-Saadi is suing the UK government for colluding with Gaddafi to have him tortured.
Iran has blocked all VPNs, for the sake of censorship.
A movie industry executive says that unauthorized copying is not a big problem. What he really fears is the sort of monopoly that Apple has.
The term "piracy" is propaganda — please join me in refusing call people who share "pirates".
Turkey has imprisoned 500 protesting students using "anti-terror" laws.
If a law is described as "anti-terror", that is plenty of reason to suspect it unjustly restricts citizens' freedom. This is because reacting to a sensational crime often leads legislators to switch off their better judgment.
Obama's decisions about who to assassinate are made by a secret panel of officials that releases no deliberations.
Whatever crimes Awlaki may have been involved in, and no matter what crimes he may have been planning, they don't justify execution without trial.
Transcanada is illegally carrying out preparations for the Keystone planet roaster pipeline.
Some in Congress say the pipeline's environmental impact statement was done improperly and disregarded important pollution risks.
But they do not raise the biggest issue, which is the extra contribution to global heating.
Egypt's military rules are accused of trying to delay the election of a civilian government.
Koch Industries either lied to the US Congress or lied to Canadian regulators.
Israeli Arabs went on strike, shutting down several towns, to protest in Beersheba against plans to kick 30,000 bedouin out of their homes.
New comic Beating up on Canada.
Anwar Al-Awlaqi has been assassinated at the orders of Obama, who seems to have won uncontested power to order US citizens killed.
The Supercommittee said it would conduct its meetings openly, but in fact makes most meeting an "exception" and holds them in secret.
New Forest Company wanted to grow trees in Uganda as a carbon-offset scheme, so it violently chased out the people who lived on the land.
Growing trees as a carbon-offset scheme is bogus in the first place because the CO2 absorption is only forecast, not real.
How the US set up an indiscriminate killing machine in Afghanistan.
Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.
As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone." Nobody deserves to have to die - not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing.
Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.
(I posted a follow-on : 27 October 2011 (Steve Jobs) )
100 protesters against the planet-burning Keystone tar sand oil pipeline were arrested in Toronto.
This article omits the reason why this pipeline must be stopped: because extracting and burning that oil will commit Earth to an amount of warming that is catastrophic.
The US pressured Haitian senators to approve as prime minister a man who has ties to the former dictatorship and is currently employed by Bill Clinton. (See the last paragraph.)
This is after imposing its choice of president on Haiti in a Burmese-style election.
The UK is forcing people to go through body scanners at train stations.
On seeing a photo I find it is just a metal detector, not a body scanner. Fortunately, therefore, it was a false alarm.
Israel's fanatical followers in the Republican Party openly avowed their support for Israel's annexation of the West Bank.
Annexation is what Israel has been gradually doing for a few decades. What we see here is the fading of shame about that goal. The rest of Boehner's statement is typical right-wing disconnect from reality.
Gov. Perry jumped in with more of the same disconnect, accusing Obama for motivating the Palestinian recognition bid by public statements giving them a sign of support.
The truth is exactly the opposite: Obama helped motivate the Palestinian recognition bid by privately demanding that they concede everything, even more slavishly than Dubya and Clinton did.
Greenpeace has pressured Mattel into ceasing to use paper made by cutting down rainforests in Sumatra.
After Palestinian prisoners started a hunger strike, Israeli police responded with violence.
Israeli Rabbis and government ministers that advocate racism against Arabs have created a climate in which others go one step further and commit pogroms against Arabs.
It looks like the New York police told protesters they could march on the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge, then arrested them for doing so. The New York Times recognized this, then mysteriously deleted it.
The Atlanta police chief firmly defends a policeman who repeatedly attacks people without even a shred of a rational motive.
Ossifer Hobbs says he thought victim Hoolihan was drunk. What difference would that have made? Supposing Hoolihan had passed out from alcohol, rather than due to a diabetic coma, would that have made it ok to brutalize and injure him while he was unconscious?
What this demonstrates is the need for an effective system for punishing uniformed thugs, which abound in the US and elsewhere. While few police ossifers engage in random irrational violence as Hobbs does, many commit violence when they feel provoked or offended — for instance, when citizens exercize their rights in ways that the police find distasteful.
New York state legislators want to reverse the First Amendment and declare freedom of speech a "privilege" to be granted when it suits them.
US mobile phone companies vary greatly in how long they keep information about their customers calls and messages — and in how much data they keep.
I expect that the FBI collects it all each month anyway.
Canada's ice shelves have shrunk by 50% in the past 6 years.
A torture dossier about Belarusian President Lukashenka will facilitate prosecution of him if he visits various other countries.
Is one prepared for Dubya?
When a market trader said he "dreams of another recession", some people assumed he was from the Yes Men. But he was serious!
Major unions will support the Wall Street protests.
The major US media bend over backwards to legitimize police violence against protesters in Wall Street.
US citizens: sign this petition telling the FBI to come clean about how it uses the U SAP AT RIOT.
In the US: sign this petition calling on supermarkets not to sell Monsanto's GMO corn.
In the US: make a clamor for peace on Oct 6.
Free Press has sued the FCC for the weakness of its net neutrality rules for mobile Internet providers.
I think their rules for non-mobile providers are too weak too.
The Palestinian Authority rejected returning to peace talks while Israel keeps building its colonies in the West Bank.
Such talks are useless because Israel demands all concessions and will make none.
Bahraini hospital staff have been sentenced to long prison terms for treating wounded protesters.
Has anyone read Captain Blood?
Trichloroethylene, an industrial chemical that contaminates water in large regions of the US, is more toxic than was previously believed.
Afraid to protest in the street, Algerian youth protest during football matches.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on the senate not to oppose network neutrality.
For even more effect, phone your senators' offices.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: tell your senators to end the death penalty.
Support Kentucky Attorney General Conway in not giving the banksters a deal where they won't be prosecuted.
In the UK: go to TESCO and write down the prices you see on the shelves.
US citizens: sign this pledge to work to abolish the death penalty.
My opposition to the death penalty is not based on the fact that the system is broken (though it is), or that it is expensive (though it is), or that it is discriminatory (though it is). For me, the reason is more simple: the death penalty eliminates any chance to correct a miscarriage of justice.
US citizens: sign this petition against software patents.
The petition has some flaws. For instance, it talks of the "software industry" as if its success were unquestionably a good thing, and it misuses the term "antitrust". I am not sure the president has the power to change this policy by himself, anyway. Despite that, the petition is worth signing as a way of showing the amount of public concern.
So I will sign it.
US citizens: Obama proposed to cut health benefits to extend the wars. Tell him you don't like this.
Whatever Republicans propose to hurt the poor and sick, Obama supports it.
US citizens: help the campaign to stop the Keystone XL planet-broiler oil pipeline.
US citizens: take action in your state to end the death penalty.
Everyone: tell Bolivia to stop the planned highway through an important nature preserve.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support reform of the ECPA, the US privacy law about our electronic communications. And sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Saving the rich and losing the economy.
The Supreme Court has been asked to consider the constitutionality of Obama's health insurance reform law.
The Taliban never considered Rabbani's Afghan High Peace Council a serious peace initiative.
That could explains why they assassinated him.
Pakistanis blame alliance with the US for the 355 suicide bombings in their country.
Since the US/Colombia Labor Action Plan started in April, 15 more union leaders have been murdered in Colombia.
Evidently it is ineffective.
General Motors retreated under pressure, and reversed its recent changes in the terms of service for the cellphone spy in its cars.
That means we blocked a bad development, but I hope you think that the very existence of a cell phone inside your car, to spy on you, is unacceptable.
Does anyone know how hard it is to disconnect the cell phone's power lead, in current GM models?
The nastiest part of this lie is the assumption that they should HAVE to pay taxes. Why should the state squeeze money out of people who can barely get by? It should be giving them help, not taxing them.
Ecuador is looking for 100 million euros this year in exchange for leaving a large oil deposit in the ground, but it has received only half that.
Bahrain: Pro-democracy activists convicted of killing policemen appear to have been framed.
A reporter reports on being arrested while trying to interview protesters on Wall Street.
Even passersby who took photos were arrested, in what seems to be a systematic assault on press coverage of police brutality.
Peter Van Buren was part of the US State Department's project to reconstruct Iraq. He reports that it was a pyramid scheme of fraud: nobody even tried to make sure their activities did real good, or could even potentially do so.
He is going to be fired by the State Department for the absurd offense of making a link to a published Wikileaks cable.
Reporter Lisa Romero says the major media's non-coverage of the Wall Street protests looks like a media blackout to her.
New York City police tore down posters telling citizens their rights in dealing with the police.
The "automatic" spending cuts that are supposed to happen if the supercommittee does not reach an agreement are not really automatic.
Nevada says, "Make a corporation here, and you can have it do almost anything, and you can't be sued."
Earth Overshoot Day, which was Sep 27 this year, marks the point of the year when humans have consumed a full year of Earth's natural capacity to replenish itself.
Our consumption for the rest of the year represents long-term degradation of the Earth.
Considering just the US, that point was probably reached months ago.
Chile's President Pinera agreed to talks with the protesting students.
NYC police imprisoned nonviolent protesters in a net, then Officer Anthony Bologna sprayed some of them in the eyes with pepper spray.
Cory Doctorow says, parents who monitor their children all the time are teaching them not to value or defend their privacy. Instead we should encourage them to break surveillance.
The US Senate, in debating the internet censorship PIP Act, allowed its propents to set up an "educational" propaganda display in a Senate office building.
Saudi Arabia gave women the right to vote, but this does them little good since it doesn't give them other equal rights.
There is not much that gets decided by elections in Saudi Arabia.
Why don't the deficit-cutters suggest a financial transaction tax? Because the supposed goal of deficit-cutting is an excuse to attack Social Security.
Congresscritters that want the air we breath to endanger us.
Wikipedia sets an example of refusing to let Facebook spy on its users.
A military-style border with Mexico is causing military-style corruption and waste.
What mountaintop removal coal mining means to the surroundings — to the rivers, to the land, to the people.
A US company specializes in Internet surveillance equipment used by untrustworthy regimes such as the US and Egypt.
Chomsky stated his support for the Wall Street protests.
The police crackdown on Wall Street shows signs of spurring resistance.
Bolivian President Morales is losing support after trying to impose a highway project through a nature reserve.
Senators called on the FTC to stop GM from collecting data from former subscribers to their car-tracking service even after they cancel the service.
This is not enough. Such a "service" would be inexcusable even if it did not collect from former subscribers.
President Saleh returned to Yemen and faced new massive protests.
Corporate pressure groups are directly involved in Republican redistricting activities, which often hide their funding sources.
The US is planning to sell lots of weapons to Bahrain, rewarding its brutal king.
Two US hikers arrested by Iran at the border, and recently released, say that when they complained about their treatment, their captors responded, "This is not as bad as Guantanamo".
The IMF and World Bank have broken their promise not to drop the brunt of worldwide austerity programs on children and the poor. Their cuts in prenatal care can do lifelong damage.
Wesley Dutton and Greg Gonzales say they can't get any officials to investigate their evidence of official corruption near the Mexican border.
Instead, they have been threatened to make them shut up.
"Logging out" of Facebook does little to stop its surveillance.
In particular, every page with a "like" button still knows who you are.
Police attacked protesters on Wall Street several times, and posted videos substantiate the protesters' claim that there was no justification.
ABC's headline was that the "protests turned violent", which falsely accuses the protesters of committing the violence.
Republicans in Wisconsin want to ban all use of fetal stem cells, even for making the vaccines that save thousands of lives every year.
Use of fetal stem cells does not involve an ethical trade-off; there is nothing whatsoever wrong with it. Likewise, using embryonic stem cells from embryos made for the purpose involves no trade-off. An embryo is not a person even if religious extremists pretend it is one.
The article bends over backwards to win over some of the opponents of abortion rights, even calling them "pro-life". I think that is a mistake: by doing that, we legitimize their unjust cause.
The UK government tries to demonize attempts to scientifically understand what occurred in the UK riots, although such an investigation into the 1960s US riots was very useful.
80 people were arrested at the protests in Wall Street.
I am not sure what "cordoned off" means. Maybe the New York police have adopted the tactic known in the UK as "kettling".
Israelis uprooted 400 olive trees belonging to Palestinians.
Abu Mazen says the Palestinian Authority is considering terminating its own existence, which would force Israel to accept direct responsibility for the occupation of Palestine.
Republicans are trying to destroy the US Postal Service.
The world needs to spend less on arms. For instance, Greece could reduce its austerity if it stopped buying fighter jets.
Uri Avnery: Obama betrayed both the US and Israel by embracing lies about Palestine, and then received his pay from Netanyahu.
New York City set up massive and widespread surveillance of places Moslems might go, from mosques to restaurants, and labeled them as suspect for reasons including political views.
On the pretext of deporting "the worst of the worst" among immigrants who are criminals, Obama set up a program that deports thousands of immigrants (even legal immigrants) who are arrested for any reason.
The police say this program provides information "too vital to halt". You can always trust police to say that; you might as well make a policeman doll that says "This information is absolutely vital" when you push a button.
One of the few good things Obama has done was raise automobile fuel efficiency standards. The car dealers are now campaigning against, saying that cancelling these is their top priority.
With a govermnent that had even a shred of civic responsibility, we wouldn't need to give them even a thought.
An Iraqi opposition journalist was murdered, added to a long toll of journalists killed.
The United Arab Emirates has imprisoned people for "insulting officials", after Guantanamo-style bogus trials.
Republican congressional leaders demanded that the Federal Reserve let the US economy slide into depression.
Their strategy is to make people suffer, and blame the Democrats. The sad thing is, they won't be entirely wrong, because today's Democrats are such sellouts that they won't fight against this; and least of all Obama.
The oil companies, to gain permission for their planet-roasting Keystone XL pipeline, hired Clinton's former campaign official to influence her decisions.
If Clinton had an ounce of concern for our country, she would not meet with her former colleagues who have sold out to companies.
For the mainstream media, what "terrorism" is what others do; whatever the state does is automatically excluded from the category.
The article goes too far by labeling all the UK's wars as "terrorism". The clearest error was applying that description to the war to recapture the Falkland Islands from the army sent by Argentine dictators to conquer them. Some other examples in that list may also be inappropriate.
However, these errors don't invalidate the overall conclusion of the page.
Afghanistan's chief peace negotiator was killed by a suicide bomber who pretended to be a Taliban negotiator.
Whoever killed him apparently wanted to poison those negotiations. Who could that be? An extreme faction of the Taliban? Someone profiting from the fighting?
I wonder if the Taliban will punish whoever it was. It would be natural for them to want to.
The US is planning to develop autonomous killer robots.
Thanks to the deficit cutting plan, weapons contractors are fighting to cut your social security and medical benefits in order to avoid cuts to their income.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, leader of the 1968 student protests in France, told the Israeli youth movement that they cannot gain their domestic aims if they disregard the issue of the occupation.
A former US Army intelligence translator heard evidence of an explicit Army plan to attack international journalists.
The text of Abu Mazen's speech to the UN.
Hundreds of Israeli intellectuals stated their support for the move.
Uri Avnery's statement of support.
Although the Palestinian appeal to the UN will not end the occupation, it can make a difference in many ways.
The US Army has officially ended discrimination against homosexual soldiers.
The IMF and the World Bank are behind the global land grab that kicking millions of poor people off their land.
A few decades ago, many governments used to protect their people from foreign land purchases. Now we know why this has changed.
In strategic terms, al Qa'ida defeated the US.
Pages that contain Facebook "like" buttons enable Facebook to track visitors to those pages even if they don't use Facebook.
The ACLU has a different way of enabling users to click a Facebook "like" button, which avoids this problem. Its pages have a link called "like us on Facebook" that leads to a Facebook page where it is possible to push a "like" button for the ACLU. But if you don't follow that link, Facebook gets no information about your visit to the ACLU page.
Here's an example of the practice.
Obama's speech at the UN was a pledge of allegiance to Israel.
I disagree with the writer's position on Libya. The US had a cozy relationship with Gaddafi, and supported him when the rebellion first began. But when it was clear that the rebellion was serious and substantial, the US was effectively compelled to choose one side or the other. Should it have supported Gaddafi instead?
I also disagree in regard to Yemen. The article criticizes the US for not intervening there, but Yemen had no rebellion like that in Libya. To intervene in Yemen would have been more comparable to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Of the various Arab states that have had protest movements, the real shame for Obama is Bahrain. By endorsing the propaganda and justifying repression, he gives Bahrain's bloody monarch the same kind of support that he gives to Israel's extremists.
Law professors have asked the SEC to require corporations to disclose their political campaign spending.
This is a step in the right direction, but the only real solution is to abolish the idea that corporations are entitled to the rights of "persons".
Two Mexicans accused of "terrorism" for repeating reports of violence on Twitter were freed.
However, prosecuting people on a "lesser charge" is equally unjust even if it does less harm to them.
Meanwhile, the narco gangs seem to be also threatening Mexicans for reporting violence.
This means that people need to post these reports through anonymous accounts - which is another instance of how the "real name" policies of Facebook and Google+ are harmful.
The FCC endorsed a weak definition of network neutrality that amounts to network filtering under control of the state.
It also omits a crucial aspect of network neutrality: being able to connect to the network with software of your choice.
US night raids in Afghanistan now target non-combatants.
65% of Israelis say that if the UN recognizes Palestine as a state, Israel should accept the decision.
In Gov. Perry's fantasy land, the increase in droughts, floods and fires are not the result of global heating. Rather, they have been sent by a sadistic god to punish America for tolerating homosexuality.
Perry did not say what the heat wave in Russia or floods in Australia were a punishment for. Perhaps those countries are outside his awareness.
A US appeals court ruled that people in Ecuador, suffering from the pollution spread by Chevron (formerly Texaco)'s oil extraction there, can collect their 18 billion dollars damages in the US.
Wikileaks cables show that Chevron lobbied Ecuador's President Correa to intervene in the court case against Chevron, working closely with the US embassy. Correa apparently did not do what they wanted.
Senators Wyden and Udall accused the "Justice" department of lying about how it uses the U SAP AT RIOT act.
An Ethiopian journalist had to flee into exile as the government demanded he reveal his sources, after he was mentioned in a Wikileaks cable.
It is unfortunate that the Wikileaks cables were released in unredacted form, but this is mostly the fault of others.
Ironically, the Obama regime is cracking down on whistleblowers while the UK regime is trying to use the Official Secrets Act (normally used in cases of espionage) to get similar data from Guardian reporters.
Troy Davis was executed; everyone that could have saved him refused to intervene. This has led to a resurgence of opposition to the death penalty in the US.
Obama refused to comment on the execution, saying, "it is not appropriate for the president of the United States to weigh in on specific cases".
But he didn't let that stop him from pronouncing Bradley Manning guilty before his trial.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on Obama to publicly recognize the protests in Wall Street.
What if the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street?
Of course, that's purely hypothetical. Why would the Tea Party ever want to occupy Wall Street? The Tea Party works for Wall Street.
Berlusconi's supporters have proposed a strict Internet censorship law which would also involve punishing people by disconnection when accused even once of violation.
Massachusetts citizens: tell the state house, don't recriminalize marijuana.
Phoning your state senator and representative is also a good idea, since phone calls carry more weight.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: call on the Attorney General of Delaware to revoke Massey Energy's charter.
Everyone: sign this petition urging Palestine not to yield to Obama's pressure, and to go ahead with asking the UN for recognition as a state.
The Wall Street Occupation: A Sleep-In Protest in the Shadow of Power.
Fact-Checking The Fact-Checkers: The AP Releases Misleading Analysis Of Obama's Tax Plan.
Another reason to reject Obama's Free Exploitation Treaties: they are advocated by companies that have outsourced at least 18,000 jobs (or maybe much more) since 2001.
Whatever they want, they should not get.
The German Pirate Party got 9% of the vote in Berlin regional elections.
I am sure they can do some good there, but they cannot affect copyright or patent policy since that is national, not regional. I hope that regional election success does not distract the Pirate Party from the goal of copyright reform.
The Council of Europe appealed to the State of Georgia for clemency for Troy Davis.
It didn't do any good, because the State of Georgia will kill to avoid acknowledging a probable mistake. If only our governments were so stubborn towards the megacorporations that want to buy laws.
Tax Dodging Corporations Form Coalition To Call For Lower Corporate Taxes.
General Motors cars have built-in cell phones which General Motors can use to get lots of information about the car, including its location. General Motors can make a complete dossier of where someone drives.
Now General Motors has decided to collect all this data and sell it with no further warning.
It is not only General Motors that can collect this information. I suspect that under the PAT RIOT act, the FBI can collect it all from General Motors without a court order. Meanwhile, the cell phone company also collects and saves location information from that phone.
If you don't want them tracking you as you drive, you need to cut the power to that cell phone.
Pentagon contractors will use the influence they have purchased with campaign support to Democrats to make the supercommittee dump the whole burden on the poor instead.
Campaigning to revoke Massey Energy's corporate charter for its repeated illegal endangerment of people and the environment.
The world does little to help end cholera in Haiti, but at least Haitians can now buy small amounts of cholera insurance.
How oil and mining companies evade taxes by shifting their profits and losses between countries.
The EPA gave Shell permission for Arctic undersea drilling — in terms of air pollution caused by the drilling.
In narrow terms, this decision might be correct. The drilling should be blocked because of the danger of an oil spill that would be impossible to clean up.
Non-Islamist Syrian dissidents in exile launched a joint movement for a secular and non-racist Syria.
Chinese are talking about dangerous pollution and protesting it despite the government's strong censorship.
It is now legally possible to indict Rumsfeld in the US for the torture he authorized, torture which went far beyond waterboarding, if only a DA has the guts to prosecute.
The article reports that Rumsfeld and Dubya don't dare visit some countries because they would be arrested and tried. Also, it presents evidence that this torture was never intended to get true intelligence — its aim was brainwashing to get false confessions.
Yemen's suppression forces have shot dozens of protesters dead, and injured hundreds.
More of the Arctic is without ice cover than ever before recorded.
Obama has taken a first step to reorganize regulation of undersea oil drilling, but it won't suffice to resist the tremendous pressure to drill more.
New Jersey seems to have covered up security flaws in voting machines rather than fix them.
Resisting corporate control over seeds is a part of the food movement.
Lloyds insurance company sued Saudi royals for funding the Sep 11 attacks .
A banker described Geithner as "our man in Washington", thus explaining why Obama put Geithner in his post: to appease and submit to the banksters.
Further, Obama's sudden recollection that he ought to try to create jobs is just a sham — he says this because he knows the program won't be passed.
As the Liberal Democrats vote on a position about the Digital Economy Act (punishment without trial for those accused of sharing), someone unidentified snuck a statement into their position paper saying that sharing is "theft" and endorsing prosecution of people who copy.
Hundreds of protesters are camped in a park near Wall Street.
An effective action needs a lot more than that.
Jimmy Carter gives support to UN recognition of Palestine.
A Wikileaks cable shows that Obama directly pressured Zapatero to escalate the War on Sharing in Spain.
This surely makes Obama responsible for the nasty Ley Sinde that provides for filtering the Internet and shutting domestic websites without a trial.
People of Spain, Obama and the US have attacked your country and damaged your freedom.
US special forces are active in almost 100 "unstable" countries ,and the effect of US military involvement is often to make them more unstable and more angry at the US.
US citizens: Tell House Democrats to vote against any supercommittee deal that cuts Medicare or Medicaid benefits.
US citizens: Call on the Supercommittee to do no harm to US employment.
The vote for Palestinian statehood will break US influence in the Middle East.
This article also contains an interesting commentary on Israel's right to exist and be recognized: it needs to specify what borders it claims in order for that to be judged.
Lawsuits by patent trolls do 80 billion dollars of damage per year, of which very little goes to anyone associated with "inventing" anything (even if these patents can be said to be about "inventions").
Not all the trolls' victims get sued, so this is an underestimate of the damage.
Obama wants to give military aid to Uzbekistan despite its atrocioous human rights record.
Craig Murray thinks Obama's motive is to withdraw US military equipment from Afghanistan through Uzbekistan.
I don't see how help from Uzbekistan would make much difference. The only way to get the equipment out of Uzbekistan is by air, and it can be flown out of Afganistan directly too — unless Bagram air base has become a lot more dangerous lately.
But if this really is crucial for pulling the US troops out of Afghanistan, it might do more good than harm.
Wal-Mart's latest scheme for worming its way into cities is donating support for urban agriculture.
Although this farming project is a good thing in itself, allowing Wal-Mart to increase its power by supporting good things is, overall, a threat.
Right-wing extremists now accuse Obama of failing to give Israel's government 110% support, because he asked Netanyahu timidly for a settlement freeze.
Obama has paid the price for breaking this chain without actually doing it. Too bad he didn't do more.
The Afghan local police, which are the latest US scheme to try to have Afghanis maintain security in Afghanistan, are accused of human rights violations.
Palestinians have set up a rapid response news squad to document the frequent attacks and vandalism by Israeli "settlers".
What is the right word for this violence? Terrorism? Pogrom?
The inhabitants of these colonies plan marches into major Palestinian cities as a provocation.
However, some of the "settlers" have launched a campaign against such violence.
New York Night-Mayor Bloomberg warns that unemployment and poverty might lead to "riots", saying that this is what happened in Spain and Egypt.
What it ought to lead to is not riots but protests.
Be it noted that Bloomberg defamed Spanyards and Egyptians by calling their massive disciplined protests "riots".
US companies are keeping cash rather than hiring workers.
Thus, any proposal to create jobs through further corporate welfare are nonsense.
200 people in Ecuador have been charged with "terrorism" for opposing mining and dam construction projects — for instance, by blocking streets while protesting.
The article has a spelling error: it should say "sacred sites".
1/3 of Yemenis are now suffering from food shortage.
This is caused by the worldwide high price of food, which in turn is due to world population increase, speculation, and control of agriculture by megacorporations. However, Yemen suffers also from its aridity and its local population growth.
The Inter-American Court ruled in favor of Leopoldo López, who has been arbitrarily denied the right to run for office in Venezuela.
Tens of thousands protested in Japan to call for the end of nuclear power there.
A mob of Buddhists in Sri Lanka destroyed a mosque, demonstrating that each one of the world's major religions can be used to incite violence.
Sony will demand users of its gaming network agree not to engage in class-action lawsuits against Sony.
This is typical of Sony.
Obama has declared an 11th year of "national emergency".
I suppose they intend to continue this "emergency" without end, much as Egypt has done.
The Pentagon exerts substantial influence on the content of Hollywood movies, and now the CIA offers script suggestions.
Siemens has sworn off nuclear power construction and will now focus on renewable energy sources.
A campaign by Amnesty International pressured RBS to stop investing in cluster bombs, but the US still hasn't signed the treaty to ban them.
The US government, since Sep 2001, has encouraged the misguided idea that terrorism is mainly a Muslim phenomenon, resulting in broad attacks on the rights of American Muslims.
I am not sure it is mistaken to call Mohammed a "cult leader", but the term is equally applicable to Jesus.
The UK government is not satisfied with its direct threats to those who share (the Digital Economy Act), so it plans additional attacks.
These seem to be inspired by the US internet censorship bill.
Obama has endorsed Buffett's call for increased taxes on millionaires.
It is no surprise that the Republicans oppose it. The way our political system is supposed to work is that Democrats make them vote on it and they lose the next election as a punishment. But we haven't had many real Democrats in congress for a long time.
On the Mexico-Guatemala border, Migrants demand an end to the violence.
The violence against Guatemalans heading to the US is committed by Mexican organized crime and police (there seems not to be much difference between the two).
I don't have an overall solution to recommend for this problem, but I know of a few things that would probably help.
Legalizing the drug trade to the US in Mexico might help by reducing the income of the gangs.
Canceling NAFTA, which has boosted poverty in both countries, might help. A government in Guatemala committed to social welfare might improve life for people there and reduce the desire to go to the US to work.
Part of the cause of the migration is population growth. Strong programs of contraceptive aid in Mexico and Guatemala will therefore help in the long run, as will legalizing abortion. However, that alone would not be a full solution.
Cases of people poisoned by toxic substances used for fracking near their homes are mounting up across the US.
A long list of secondary economic reasons to reject the US government's new system to track all people authorized to work in the US.
This is in addition to the main reason: it's a Big Brother system.
Iranian student Somayeh Tohidlou was flogged for posting on the Internet.
It is a standard part of Islamic law, which is represents the ethical standards of 1400 years ago.
The UK government has cut down public assistance to the point that some Britons don't have enough to eat.
Rather than limit the austerity, let alone reduce it, the government will refer hungry and penniless Britons to food banks — but only for 9 days' worth of food. What are people supposed to do after that?
Americans have the right to record the official actions of the police in public, but we need to fight against the police that don't respect this right.
An interview with Camila Vallejo, leader of Chile's protesting students.
Gaddafi's men in Sirte say that NATO bombing killed 354 people in a residence and a hotel.
If this is true, I am sure it was not intended. It is impossible to avoid civilian casualties in a war. However, it raises the question of whether NATO ought to be attacking Sirte. It doesn't seem to fit into the UN-approved mission, and it inevitably endangers civilians.
Protesters in Yemen took over the principal university to make it a protest headquarters.
However, many schools are shut because buildings are occupied by soldiers on one side or the other.
Booths in a big weapons trade show were found to be offering cluster bombs and torture devices.
The House Republicans reduced the American Jobs Act to a small set of tax cuts.
In Boston: see How to Start a Revolution on Sep 18.
Also sign this petition calling on Chatham County District Attorney Chisolm to oppose Troy Davis's execution.
US citizens: call on Rep. Issa to investigate News Corp for phone tapping etc.
(It is a shame they call this "hacking", but the campaign needs our support anyway.)
Cheney's memoir maintains the false history presented by the Bush regime, while condemning everyone that didn't support the lie.
Even as megacorporations such as Monsanto have taken control of the majority of agriculture in the US, its opposition, the Food Movement, is growing around the world and resisting in many ways.
The scientists who found Nanothermite in the ruins of the World Trade Center face mainly ad-hominem attacks.
US citizens: sign the call for an ethics investigation of Rep. Darrell Issa.<