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US citizens: call on Congress to keep the sabotage citizenship question out of the census.
US citizens: Tell the Department of Agriculture not to let hog butchers inspect their own work.
Here's what happened when it allowed some chicken factories to use private inspectors.
The EU has a formal policy of autonomy for universities. The UK has turned all of it into a dead letter, giving the government detailed control over university activities.
BBC employees, from the 1930s to the 1990s, were secretly judged by government spies.
Georgia thugs left the armed Nazi protesters alone, and violently arrested many of the unarmed, peaceful counterprotesters.
Thugs tend generally to be right-wing. Perhaps they extended their sympathies more to the Nazis than to the antifascists.
Republican legislators in Colorado seek to fire teachers that strike, and jail them.
If the teachers have the courage to go to jail in large numbers, as civil rights protesters did, they will win.
UK thugs have been infiltrating all sorts of movements for non-plutocratist social change ever since the 1880s.
In the US, they have been especially active against union organizing.
The bullshitter has switched suddenly to praising Dictator Kim.
When he does this sort of thing, it shows that his condemnation means nothing more than "You're not giving me what I want," and his praise means nothing more than "You're giving me what I want."
New York Governor Cuomo is becoming a progressive, because Cynthia Nixon is running against him. Some other "centrist" (plutocratist) Democrats are doing likewise.
I don't have confidence they really mean it; I think they might become "centrists" again if reelected. Best to replace them with real progressives.
Arctic record: 12,000 Microplastic Particles Per Liter of Sea Ice.
This is a noteworthy example of a practice that is not unusual in the US, when the suspect is white. It's blacks that tend to get shot on the tiniest hint of suspicion.
The Irresponsibility of "Fiscal Responsibility".
In Bangladesh, factories making clothing for western sales-front companies now get careful safety inspections. The rest are still unsafe.
It sounds horrible: "UN peacekeepers accused of child rape in South Sudan." But the article makes it pretty clear that the "children" involved were not children. They were teenagers.
What about "rape"? Was this really rape? Or did they have sex willingly, and prudes want to call it "rape" to make it sound like an injustice? We can't tell from the article which one it is.
Rape means coercing someone to have sex. Precisely because that is a grave and clear wrong, using the same name for something much less grave is a distortion.
The narcissist hates leaks that make him personally look bad. A few of them, by coincidence, also include dirty secrets that make the US government look bad, so he gets them prosecuted.
People in West Virginia are living in trees to block an oil pipeline.
The local effects will be bad for them, but the contribution to global heating will increase the resulting deaths by an amount that increases every year.
India is showing the world that massively fingerprinting citizens puts them at risk — of theft, and of future tyranny.
Now that Assad is in control of Douma, his forces are keeping chemical investigators away saying it is too dangerous for them, while shepherding journalists on guided tours to tell them there was no chemical attack.
Some of the people say there was a chemical attack but it was a false-flag attack carried out by Islamist rebels.
It is hard to determine what parts of this are true, but if one of those stories were true, I don't think anyone would be asserting the other one. Therefore, I think that Assad carried out the chemical attack. But I can't say that is proven.
Monsanto's chemical factory poisoned the town of Anniston, Alabama, with PCBs. Many of the residents are sick as a result.
Monsanto uses the power of its money to fight to avoid or delay compensation and correction.
This is one reason we should not allow companies to be that large. Suitable policies can compel them to split up. Foreign companies that are too large should not be allowed to operate directly. They could sell goods to a special importer that would resell them.
The Open Society Foundation has been forced out of Hungary by a new law that is explicitly politically biased.
The UN has accused the Burmese army in a report presented to the Security Council.
Varoufakis: the prediction in the Communist Manifesto, that capital would own and control all aspects of life everywhere, seems to be coming true today, 150 years after.
State control of the means of production might be OK, but state control of the means of surveillance will not make them safer.
The mother and father of a refugee family are both in Australia, but the government forbids them to live together. Meanwhile two of their children are stuck on Nauru alone.
Once a government adopts cruelty as a goal, the cruelty naturally comes to override every principle of decency, mercy, or justice.
(Satire) Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea, and defected.
If only he would do so; he couldn't do as much harm to Americans there as he can in the US.
The character Superman started out, in the first story about him, was a "champion of the oppressed", fighting against the injustices of power rather than merely against "crime".
Who is low enough to work as the cheater's lawyer? Rudy Giuliani says his job will be to put an end to Mueller's investigation.
After a few more centuries of human domination, the largest remaining land animal could be the cow.
If civilization gets mostly wiped out in this century, perhaps what remains of humanity won't be able to finish off the remaining large animals. On the other hand, large numbers of humans could wipe them out even with spears.
US citizens: tell Congress to pressure for firing Saboteur Pruitt.
US citizens: Oppose the SCROTUS domestic abortion gag rule.
For supporters of the cheater, no lie is too blatant.
The Tories will waive many barriers in UK citizenship applications, for people that moved lawfully from colonies in the 1960s.
The article does not make it clear whether they will waive the requirement to prove when they arrived, or that they resided in the UK since then. But that's where the difficulty is.
1988: Giuliani Had FBI End Investigation of Trump Money Laundering, [then] Trump raised $2M for Giuliani.
The Lies about Sex Trafficking That Brought Down Backpage (and led to the censorship law SESTA).
Online advertising isn't crucial for coercing people into prostitution, but helps them a lot in avoiding violent crime if that has happened.
Religious fanatics that own US hospitals and clinics are threatening to fire, even blacklist doctors for performing abortions somewhere else.
The Republicans that control North Carolina passed a law so that factory farms don't have to compensate neighbors for the many nuisances the farms cause.
A law adopted in 1871 to stop the KKK from intimidating black voters is now being used against Republicans that seek to intimidate black voters and members of other disfavored groups.
Young Americans are joining unions, looking for a way to get more respect at work, as well as better pay.
The Senate foreign relations committee approved Pompeo because Rand Paul and Chris Coons switched sides to support him.
I am sure their supporters will be disappointed in them for this.
The US-based bombardment of Yemen struck a wedding party. This sort of atrocity is, presumably, unintentional. But since it happens over and over, it is not unforeseeable.
Pesticide Executives Are Running Ag Policy for Donald Trump.
In Aceh, mobs of fanatical Muslims attack people found having sex, or otherwise violating Shari'a law.
Indonesia made a bad mistake allowing Aceh's autonomy to include denial of human rights recognized by Indonesia itself.
FAIR: Media Support US Violence Against Syria, But Long for More.
Sheriff's Deputy Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Black Man in Texas Is Fired.
Anyone can set up a company in the UK and lie about who really owns it. This is a major contributor to world-wide fraud.
The only person ever prosecuted for making a phony company was the whistleblower who sought to call attention to this vehicle for fraud.
Everyone: Tell the Sturm Ruger gun company to remove the NRA leader from its board of directors.
US citizens: tell Congress not to weaken the Marine Mammal Protection Act in regard to navy operations.
500 indigenous people from Venezuela are stuck in the border zone between Venezuela and Colombia.
I've crossed that bridge. There were normally no border controls — Venezuelans and Colombians simply cross, while people from other countries who are travelling further on are required to visit an office several blocks away to show their passports. Colombia is treating these citizens of Venezuelans unlike all the others.
How the Border Patrol Faked Statistics Showing a 73 Percent Rise in Assaults Against Agents.
As of 2018, 1/3 of Amazon employees in Arizona get food stamps, their pay is so low. In some other states, it's only 1/9 that get food stamps.
Amazon's office workers are better paid but they have to work 80 hours a week. That's even more time than I spend volunteering!
Finland has cut short its test of a partial universal basic income, apparently on ideological grounds. It is too soon to draw conclusions from the test itself.
Nicaragua has backed off from cuts in support for poor and retired people, which sparked riots.
It looks like the former Socialists are obeying business, now. Nicaragua, like other countries, needs to break their power at all costs.
Egypt has put the Sinai peninsula under curfew all the time for weeks. People can't get gasoline, electricity, food, or water.
The cause of this is an anti-guerrilla operation against violent Islamists. It is hard to say which are worse, the violent Islamists of Egypt or the military rulers of Egypt.
The Pakistani army demonstrated its political power by shutting down a TV station and making it agree to censorship. The other media are already censoring themselves.
The Tories prosecuted their War on Immigrants by turning the UK into a society where you have to "show your papers" for anything you do.
The bully's War on Immigrants threatens to do the same thing.
Palestine Files Complaint against Israel under Anti-Racism Treaty.
Courts are giving US state governments carte blanche to arbitrarily declare properties "blighted" as an excuse to seize them by eminent domain.
An even bigger injustice of eminent domain in the US is that the Supreme Court has authorized its use by governments on behalf of private business projects. This means a local or state government is allowed to elevate one private entity's success over anyone's mere rights.
Why would a government even think of doing that? Partly, due to corruption. However, it is also a matter of values and ideology. For those that have surrendered in their hearts to plutocratism, it is easy to reach the conclusion that "What this city needs most is for business B to succeed here." These officials might then seize land for a business, bid millions to be exploited by Amazon or hold the Olympic games, or even vote that corporations are entitled to human rights.
When selling out to the rich becomes this deep, it ceases to feel like selling out. Instead it feels like loyal service to the master.
Pruitt Promised Polluters EPA Will Value Their Profits over American Lives.
Humans discovered the Tapanuli orangutan six months ago; now other humans are proceeding to cause its extinction in short order.
Why unexploded bombs from World War II are still frequently discovered in various European countries, especially Germany.
Facebook publishes ads citing specific useds as if they endorsed the ads. Martin Lewis is suing Facebook for misrepresenting him this way.
Citizens of Scotland: support libel reform in Scotland.
US citizens: condemn Saboteur Sessions's plan to deny asylum to refugees fleeing domestic and sexual violence.
Tennessee Christians who are generally right-wing have been alienated by a large raid made by the deportation thugs.
The penalty imposed on Wells Fargo is partly for restitution to the customers it defrauded, but how to do this has not been specified, and the bank itself may make most of the decision.
Many anti-deforestation activists are being murdered in the Brazilian state of Pará.
I made a joke that the capital of Pará is Paranoia. (After all, the capital of Goias is Goiania.) Sad to say, it seems to be the truth.
California thugs, "bullies with badges," shot Diante Yarber, an unarmed black man, in a parked car.
They said he drove the car away when they tried to stop him. If so, that was no reason to kill him. They could have found and arrested him on some other occasion.
They also said he rammed a thug car, but others deny this, and his car mysteriously shows no sign of the damage that ramming would have caused. Knowing the MO of thugs, my suspicion is that they made this up.
They hit a passenger, too, and were more interested in interrogating her than in bringing her to the hospital.
Almost all human beings alive have to breathe dangerously polluted air.
Sea-floor mining could cause ecological damage like mining on land.
School bus drivers in Georgia didn't get the same support that teachers got, even though they get paid even less.
It looks like a few giant conglomerates will take over all aspects of medicine in the US.
We will need to nationalize them, or else convert every single activity into a pervasively regulated utility which can't decide any policy on its own. To allow one entity to have both regulated and unregulated activities is a recipe for corruption (it will use the regulated activities to subsidize the unregulated ones), so we will need to split them apart and split up the unregulated ones.
In case Senator McCain dies, Republicans are trying to change Arizona's law so his successor won't be elected soon.
The violent conflict in Northern Ireland started in 1968 when thugs attacked peaceful protesters that were demanding democratic elections and equal rights for Catholics. In response to this violence, some of the dissidents started demanding independence from the UK. Since the Catholics were a minority, they were not entitled to that, when the majority was against it. But they were entitled to democratic elections and equal rights.
Innovators are working on ideas for replacing plastic.
I rarely buy plastic beverage bottles, except in countries where drinking tap water is not safe. And I carry a few long-lived shopping bags with me, so I mostly avoid single-use plastic bags. However, I have no feasible way to avoid the containers (often plastic) that food is sold in — it isn't feasible to sell them without containers.
Exotic southern wildlife is surprising people in Alaska.
The native animals and plants are not accustomed to them either. In a few years the exotics will be eating them, competing with them for food, and spreading diseases to them.
The 'Deep State' Is Real. But Are Its Leaks Against Trump Justified?
I think the article's points are entirely valid. When intelligence officials leak intelligence information for their own purposes, it creates a permanent danger which threatens lasting harm.
At the same time, the corrupter has created a potentially permanent danger which threatens lasting harm. He is not likely to win a free and fair election, and since Republicans didn't allow the last election to be fair, they are not likely to do it in the future.
With the United States in grave danger from its own leaders, the intelligence leaks about his corruption can be seen as a backup form of the "checks and balances" that Congress lacks the courage and independence to carry out.
The deep state and the corrupter are also fighting about whether to release the last secret papers about the assassination of President Kennedy, which might show what the CIA knew about Oswald's contacts in Mexico with Cuban and Soviet diplomats.
A mission to remove a fishing rope and hook from a North Atlantic right whale's jaw aimed to enable her to reproduce again. But the mission was unsuccessful.
If the human population were so low, I would urge all humans to have babies. However, we are at the other extreme, with a population that is too large.
It's a shame the British royal family promotes the superstition of homeopathy.
A domestic-abuse victim has been charged and found guilty of second degree unintentional murder of her abusive partner. Protesters are urging the County Attorney to drop all charges against Natalie Pollard.
Cal State University recognizes the freedom to state right-wing ideas more than the freedom to state left-wing ideas.
An official in the Interior Department seems to have delayed protection for an endangered mussel at the request of fossil fool interests.
The bully's "extreme vetting" is harassing activists and blocking them from visiting the US to speak.
The Basque terrorist group ETA has recognized that its violent campaign for Basque independence was wrong, and made a humble apology before disbanding.
The leaders called on Spanish thugs to recognize the wrongs on their part. The group began its campaign while the murderous dictator Franco was still in power and the thugs worked for him, so I expect there were plenty of wrongs on the thugs' part.
US citizens: Tell Congress to end predatory phone rates for prisoners.
US citizens: phone your senators to call on them to defend network neutrality.
Everyone: please tell Toys Ya Us to give its employees severance pay.
The letter in the middle of the store's name is not an R. It is Я, the Cyrillic letter which is pronounced "ya". Please do no commit the solecism of pronouncing it as "ar", unless you're a member of the Pirate Party.
The projected population increase for that city will not occur. Maybe the migrants will find somewhere else to go; but what they need to do is decrease the birth rate.
The cancer treatment drug Imbruvica is so expensive that doctors started testing lower doses to reduce the price. So the manufacturer started charging the same price per pill regardless of the dose.
There is something here that I don't understand. Can't they get a pill cutter and divide up one large-dose pill into several small-dose pills?
Perhaps we should to keep our fingerprints out of photographs so that our fingerprints won't be revealed.
The Terry vs Ohio Supreme Court decision, in 1968, gave thugs the power to search and harass people on the street on any grounds that thugs generally call "reasonable", bringing back the sort of British policies that sparked the American revolution.
The Internet of Stings is also the Internet of Cracking. If you want proper security, don't allow any connected appliances to connect to the internet from your premises.
Reveal News reported that Tesla was covering up injuries to make its safety record look better. Tesla called Reveal News names.
Wells Fargo has been fined a billion dollars for cheating loan customers.
I doubt that will be enough to make it change. We should split it into at least 20 smaller banks so that none of them will dare to try such cheating. And the individuals responsible should be prosecuted.
Arizona's teachers will go on strike starting next week.
When teachers go on strike, they generally demand more funds for other needs of public schools, not only for their pay.
In 2016, a Southwest Airlines flight suffered an engine failure due to a cracked fan blade. In 2017, Southwest Airlines opposed making an NTSB rule requiring more frequent inspections of the fan blades.
A week ago, another cracked fan blade made an engine explode, and one passenger died as a result.
The World Bank wants even more deregulation of work — thus, worse conditions and lower pay.
The campaign for Britain to leave the EU took data from commercial sites without asking or informing the users.
But that should not matter for a price comparison site, because it should not find out anything about its visitors.
The existing NAFTA forces continued fossil fuel dependence in several ways. The new one could do the same; it could even be worse.
The Republican tax attacks have given American workers peanuts. They have given the big banks billions.
The expanded authorization for use of military force, recently proposed in the senate, would allow the president — any president — to make war on any organization he chooses to designate.
In effect, Congress would cede to the president its control over when the US makes war.
It's absurd for Congress to exercise control over the president by delegating it indefinitely to the president.
The Democratic National Committee has sued Wikileaks for publishing leaked emails, as well as the Trump Campaign and Russia for plotting to obtain them. Suing Wikileaks attacks freedom of the press.
The latest consequence of the perverse idea that corporations are entitled to human rights: a US court ruled that Monsanto has the human right not to tell customers that Roundup has been designated a probable carcinogen.
A court case in Ireland could put a crimp in companies' ability to send personal data from the EU to the US.
A person's long-disused Facebook account was hijacked by a Russian troll.
The lords of copyright are taking advantage of Facebook's current vulnerability weakness, due to its trashing of people's privacy, as an opportunity to compel it to crack down on sharing of copies among its useds.
They hope people will leap from "Facebook is bad" (for snooping) to "Restrict Facebook" (from being useful for something).
Sharing is good. What's evil is forbidding or stopping people from sharing.
US citizens: Tell the Senate: Vote no on the Corker-Kaine AUMF.
US citizens: tell Congress not to let the saboteur in chief destroy the CFPB.
Bad Decisions: Google Screws Over Tools Evading Internet Censorship Regimes.
Since Iceland generates all its electricity using renewable sources, next it wants to make combustible fuel using electricity and avoid the remaining fossil fuel.
Just 90 Companies Caused Two-Thirds of Man-Made Global [Heating] Emissions.
This is, of course, a sign of the dangerous concentration of industry into large businesses.
Supposedly Facebook doesn't allow companies to arbitrarily add email addresses to the list of people they can advertise to. In practice, they seem to be doing it.
Instead of looking for ways to make small changes to put an end to this, we should aim to drastically reduce massive surveillance at all levels.
What Happened to Winter? Vanishing Ice Convulses Alaskans' Way Of Life.
Most young Americans don't know about Hitler's campaign to kill all Jews.
We would have an easier time teaching people to condemn genocide if Israel did not try to use it as an excuse for the occupation of Palestine. We could be more successful in campaigning against real antisemitism if criticism of Israel's occupation policy were not mislabeled as antisemitism.
But don't criticize the cheater for saying that the American dream was dead. The Horatio Alger dream, that by hard work you could get a good job and prosperity (not riches), was killed by plutocrats (of which the cheater was just one) years before he became a candidate.
Where he lied was in claiming he would try to reverse that. What he has actually done is help those plutocrats knock other Americans down.
Comey joked with the bully about putting a whistleblower's "head on a pike", and reporters in jail.
He is doing the right thing (for whatever reason) by spilling facts to incriminate the bully, and we should appreciate that. But we must not lionize him, since his career has included wrong as well as right.
Opposing the National Rifle Association: introducing the No Rifle Organization or NoRA.
I enjoy the joke, but I fear it plays into the hands of the NRA, which will say, "See, they want to confiscate all rifles." US gun control advocates do not propose to go that far.
The mob of bigots in India now attacks those who try to stand for secularism or human rights for the discriminated-against.
Reportedly, illegal porn images are hidden somehow on sites that are meant to contain legally allowed porn, and this puts innocent visitors in danger of being imprisoned for something they did unintentionally.
Any law that makes it a crime to have a copy of some published works is a terribly dangerous injustice. These laws must be eliminated.
Does anyone know more about the technical practice that the article describes? Merely using a shortened URL does not "hide" the page it refers to.
Disabled people in the UK can't afford food and heating after all the aid cuts.
Syrian Medics 'Subjected to Extreme Intimidation' After Douma Attack.
I don't know anything about the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations. For all I know, it might be an arm of the Islamist rebels and as dishonest as Assad. But the Guardian reporters say they talked directly with doctors and victims. For Assad to push this hard to pretend there was no attack suggests he did the attack.
Proposed EU laws for government access to data stored by services would require every company operating there to understand the details of each EU country's laws, and obey them even when forbidden by the laws of their own country. This burden would be crushing for small companies. In addition, companies would face almost irresistible pressure to sacrifice privacy to err on the side of compliance.
After the constitutional coup a few years ago, Paraguay has fallen into the hands of supporters of the former military dictatorship.
I wonder whether the US or right-wing US oligarchs have played a role in this.
US citizens: call on Democrats to fight to undo the Republican tax attacks.
In the US: sign up to join a protest if the corrupter fires investigator Mueller.
High-Speed Pig Slaughter Will Be Disastrous for Everyone Involved.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is asking journalists to report hassles with entering the US, including searches of their digital devices and (for those not US citizens) hassles in getting a visa.
Fracking company Extraction Oil and Gas is suing protesters and a journalist.
Several states plan to make it a crime to plan a protest at a fossil fuel pipeline site.
Japan has published the names of the soldiers of Unit 731 which experimented with chemical weapons using Chinese and Koreans as guinea pigs.
"I'm a millionaire who creates zero jobs. Why do I pay less tax than you?"
One of Facebook's first useds compares it to herpes, and says she was a fool to have trusted Zuckerberg.
Philippine President Do-dirty is deporting foreigners for criticizing him, even for being near others that criticize him.
What does deporting a (real or suspected) critic have in common with murdering a (real or suspected) drug dealer? Both attack the idea that people have legal rights.
Australia is turning to the hype of fracking to pump lots of natural gas and overshoot its greenhouse gas targets by a factor of three.
The digital tech industry considered as a pile of hustlers climbing over each other to become a billionaire by standing on the rest. All while looking for ways to atomize people's lives and turn their jobs into piecework.
Canada's ruling Liberal Party is considering legalizing possession and use of all drugs.
The US uses "Liberal" to mean what Europe calls "social-democratic", but the Canadian Liberal party is nothing like that. Nowadays it mainly seems to mean "let them drill and mine anything."
A Russian journalist that investigated mercenaries fell off his balcony and died. The state wants to say that he fell accidentally.
Citizens of Manchester hope to press Abu Dhabi to release political prisoner Ahmed Mansoor by naming a street after him.
The ruling family of Abu Dhabi has effectively purchased the support of the city's government by making a big investment there. It is dangerous for any government to treat the support of a specific company as indispensable; this is one of the reasons why we need to make large companies split into many smaller ones.
Comey has become the most visible enemy of Americans' worst enemy. That doesn't mean he has been our friend all this time. Don't forget his campaign for more surveillance and against our right to privacy.
In the long term, unchecked surveillance will be almost as harmful as the bully.
(Satire) The US stands ready to escalate military contractor profits as much as it takes.
That treaty has the "I Sue Democratic States" provision which would give foreign companies more rights in the US than US citizens have.
The TPP would strengthen the grip of the business-dominated globalization that increasingly concentrates the world's wealth. The suffering that this form of globalization causes is opening the door to right-wing bigots such as the cheater.
The US Senate changed its rules to accommodate senators with babies.
The New York Times has not opposed any US war or attack in 30 years. Other US newspapers generally agree.
Great Barrier Reef: 30% of Coral Died in 'Catastrophic' 2016 Heatwave.
In the next decade there will be another, hotter heat wave and more of the coral will die.
Balkan Dam Projects Could Result in Loss of One in 10 European Fish Species.
US citizens: phone your senators' offices at 877-591-6399 and tell them to oppose Pompeo's confirmation. You can mention that he has supported torture, is gung-ho for fossil fuels, and is likely to support more wars.
"Rightwing politicians spout rhetoric with which no reasonable person would disagree, while we wait for a catastrophic injustice to expose the reality."
A week or so ago I posted a note that seemed to say he had been confirmed and criticized some Democratic senators for voting for him. I had that taken down because it seems to have been incorrect.
Scientists are studying a mega-project to run more fresh water from the Mississippi through the delta wetlands. This would delay their loss to the rising seas.
I fear, though, that in the long term this will only give us a one-time reduction in the loss of those wetlands, after which each centimeter of sea-level rise will give us the same amount of loss it would have given us. The money would be used more effectively on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Comey whitewashes the gross injustices of the US justice system, while lauding it and saying we should fear it more.
The UK government had entry records for citizens that moved from Caribbean colonies in the 50s and 60s, and destroyed them in 2010 although staff warned that would lead systematically to injustices against people who had no proof of when they had come.
There is a clear and easy solution now: give those people the benefit of the doubt.
From 1850 to 1950, low-wage convict labor caused a substantial reduction in US wages, and it is surely doing the same today.
The bully canceled Sessions' crusade against state-legalized marijuana. At least that's what he says for the moment.
The level of random discord between statements of high officials of the US government means that one takes a risk by relying on any of their statements.
Blowing stuff up is a great way for a US president to build public support, but in the long term it provides a bigger propaganda boost for the enemy (whoever that may be).
If we Americans don't want to be played via bombings, we have to learn to resist this technique of manipulation.
Ajit Pai's "broadband adviser" has been charged with fraud adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
I don't suppose that Pai knew she was committing this fraud. But it makes sense that the kind of people Republicans admire would not have scruples against committing fraud.
The UK's company registry finally prosecuted someone for setting up a fraudulent company, but it's a whistleblower who told them he did it.
A Canadian teenager downloaded publicly accessible files off a government web site, and was charged with "unauthorized use of a computer." This is absurd; it should never be a crime to look at what others are showing to the public.
The charge is, in effect, "We told you to look in _this_ direction. We never told you to look in _that_ direction, so we intend to imprison you for turning your gaze without authorization."
This is comparable to the companies that try to punish people for reporting the companies' security errors.
By seizing the family's computers the thugs have done them irreparable damage. If they don't have substantial savings, they could end up homeless from this blind act of injustice.
What makes me saddest is that the teenager fears being permanently stigmatized because of having been arrested. This reflects a social problem that affects a lot more people than the US CFAA and its Canadian equivalent. People who have been arrested, no matter for what, systematically face many kinds of repression. Wealthy people can avoid most of the painful consequences — they don't need a job, they don't need public housing or welfare, they can pay for college, etc. But when these things happen to the non-rich, they will find that the only paths open to them are poverty or crime.
US citizens: support the Clean Power Plan.
US citizens, tell the Senate: Vote no on the Corker-Kaine blank check for war.
One source of the term "redneck" was the neckerchiefs worn by striking miners in West Virginia, fighting big coal.
Trudeau has openly taken the side of big oil against the environment.
In construction as in other areas, deregulation sometimes leads to death.
Accounts show the bully is profiteering from his elected office, just as we thought.
Protesters came to the Starbucks where an employee had two black men arrested after refusing to let them use a toilet.
Who is legally responsible for the damage that global heating does and will do?
I think that the responsibility for harmful actions done by millions of people because they have been intentionally misguided falls on those who misguided them.
China seems to be starting to repress homosexuals.
The bully is suing US local governments to reduce the tax assessments of his buildings.
The cities in question have to fear that he and his officials could retaliate in an underhanded way if they don't give in.
A theory for why evangelicals defend the pussy-grabber: their belief system is primarily to reimpose patriarchy.
One point I don't see how to resolve is why patriarchalists don't became enraged that their daughters might get involved with the pushy males they defend.
The UK has its own version of the DACA issue, with a twist: the people threatened with expulsion were British citizens when they moved there from former colonies, and they are legally entitled to live there. They just don't have documents to prove this.
One MP knows of 16 victims in her constituency, which leads to a quick rough estimate that the victims number around 10,000.
Another pertinent secondary point is that they have paid taxes there for decades, so denying them medical and retirement benefits is robbery on top of exile.
The cause of all this is that the government has decided on the principle of giving all immigrants the short end of every stick. That's what the US is now doing. While the details are different, this attitude systematically leads to cruelty.
Economists are waking up to the biases in neoclassical macroeconomics and how that provides an excuse for plutocratist cruelty.
There is no such thing as "the free market" — every market is regulated somehow, and a market without proper regulation is likely to have instabilities (such as crashes).
It's not just mice — widely used pesticides were found to make human children weaker, less intelligent, and more aggressive.
The greater aggression could be a consequence of the lower intelligence. Lead exposure also makes children less intelligent, and more likely to be aggressive.
Racism makes people go mad. Brennan Walker, a black teenager, knocked on a white couple's door to ask for directions. The couple freaked out, assumed he was a robber (knocking on a door?), and shot at him without engaging their common sense.
Walker says he looks older than his real age, which is 14. What if he looks 18? What if he really were 18 years old? I don't think that would change anything.
Israelis that live near Gaza rallied to demand an end to the siege and to killing peaceful protesters.
World-wide criticism is having an effect: this week Gazans protested again, and this time the Israeli soldiers killed only one protester.
I would like to know how many protesters were wounded by sniper fire this time, because previously snipers wounded over a thousand protesters.
The EU's Latest Copyright Proposal Is So Bad, It Even Outlaws Creative Commons Licenses.
Confederate generals, including Robert E. Lee, were far from noble when they systematically killed black soldiers that their troops captured.
Common agricultural pesticides harm various endangered species. Republican response: a bill to ignore that problem when approving pesticides.
Australia's government is continuing to draw up a bill to require back doors in encryption applications.
Saboteur Pruitt, as an official of Oklahoma, suppressed a corruption report that could have embarrassed Republican Senator Inhofe.
The ultimate reason, the reason that these policies exist, is plutocracy.
The forced, scripted "confessions" of prisoners of China.
The International Criminal Court is prosecuting an Islamist for enslaving women.
It is not feasible for communications companies to quickly delete all offensive postings. AI of today's sort can't come close to recognizing them.
Let's not assume that companies should be required to delete all offensive postings. A small site can decide arbitrarily what to let people publish, without really censoring people — they can communicate elsewhere. Not so for a giant site.
When a private company grows to the point of dominating a large fraction of people's communication, censorship by that company is almost equivalent to censorship by the state. It is ludicrous for giants such as Facebook and Google to claim the right, as "private" entities, to impose rules about what people can say, all the while profiting from being perceived as "indispensable" by many people.
We did not allow telephone companies to censor conversations, and that's effectively what Facebook is doing.
By the way, please don't use the term "content" to refer to publications or works. It disparages them all.
Senator McConnell will block any effort to prevent the bully from firing investigator Mueller.
I interpret this as an effort to help the bully get rid of Mueller. Republican elected officials have basically surrendered to him, and lost the will to resist. They serve the bully no matter what he does, or might do.
Global heating is shifting the boundary between the arid US western plains and the rain-moistened Midwest. The boundary has moved 140 miles eastward so far, drying up a belt of land. It is likely to move a lot further in coming decades.
Citizens of Massachusetts: ask your state representative to support the ACLU's recommendations for the budget bill amendments.
I added this note at the front of my response:
My own personal note: it is vital to reduce the birth rate, in the high-footprint USA as well as other countries, but imposing poverty on children who are already alive is a stupid and vicious method which probably doesn't even achieve the purpose. Thus I support Amendment #1361.
An A/B test that compared two messages Democrats could use for the 2018 election found that linking race and poverty won more support than talking only about poverty.
The US, UK and France call for resuming the Syria peace talks.
Two black men were arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia for "trespassing", because they wanted to use a toilet while waiting for their friend to arrive. The friend did arrive but the thug chief thinks that doesn't matter.
One of the root causes of this incident may be racism. Another is that the store seems to have a policy of not allowing people to use the bathroom if they have not bought anything.
Compelling someone to excrete on the street or soil per own garments is cruel and degrading. Therefore, an establishment that admits the public and has toilets for some members of the public should not be allowed to deny use of those toilets to any orderly person, or to require any sort of payment for using them.
It looks like we need to resurrect CEPTIA, the Committee to End Pay Toilets In America. CEPTIA made itself look like a joke, but that was H.H.O.S. — its campaign was very successful against explicit pay toilets. However, that Starbucks operates a system effectively equivalent to a pay toilet, but with a different form.
If a restaurant owner complains, "There are too many people walking by our location, so it's unfair that we have to let so many use our toilet," the best response is, "How about moving to a location with less foot traffic, then?"
Hundreds of thousands rallied in Barcelona to demand Spain allow independentist leaders to return home. Spain has imprisoned some and is trying to drag others back.
Facebook's "voter button" can increase election turnout by a small but significant amount. By showing the button to some people and not others, it could decide who wins.
Poor People's Campaign to US Christians: being poor is not a sin. Imposing systemic poverty is a sin.
I am not a Christian, and I don't use the concept of "sin". If you replace "a sin" with "nasty, destructive and inexcusable", then the statement becomes one I agree with.
The UN Secretary General says that Burmese troops' use of sexual violence was a ‘calculated tool’ to force Rohingya to leave and not return.
Uri Avnery, who joined the Israeli Army when it was first created, feels betrayed by today's army, in which the generals order snipers to shoot harmless civilians and reporters at a distance of hundreds of meters and they do so, gleefully and triumphantly.
Here is more info about that video.
The UK's new strict vehicle inspections will make many diesel cars illegal and effectively unfixable. For their owners, this will be a disaster.
It is important to get these cars fixed or off the roads, but the cost should not fall on unsuspecting car owners at random. The rational way to handle this cost is to divide it among all owners of diesel cars, and/or the companies that made them.
Corbyn calls for the UN to mediate between the US and Russia in regard to Syria.
I agree with Corbyn that this can't hurt.
Apple sues independent repair companies in many countries, using trademark law to bully these small companies into settling at a disastrous price.
Not surprisingly, Apple uses the bogus concept of "intellectual property" to make the issue too vague and enormous to even try to confront.
The article describes one time that Apple lost the lawsuit.
Corbyn wants to establish clearly and firmly that the UK government needs to get Parliament's approval to enter a war.
Republicans want to terminate food assistance to a million poor Americans.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity warn that the chlorine attack in Ghouta may have been a false flag attack by the rebels that were under attack.
Chinese take puns so seriously that they build them into taboos.
Google plans to offer "confidential" emails which can't be downloaded out of Gmail.
This looks like an anticompetitive scheme to make suckers pressure others to use Gmail rather than anything else.
It doesn't provide any real security. It interferes only with the more convenient means to copy the message.
The UK is experiencing an increase in gang warfare, sometimes deadly. One cause is budget cuts in programs that support troubled youth.
The US Constitution requires the president to get authorization from Congress before attacking. I see no doubt that Congress would have given it, but the failure to ask Congress before bombing Assad's forces undermines the constitution. This bad tendency has persisted under several presidents. Some Democrats in Congress criticized the bully for not asking for authorization.
The bully says he has a secret excuse which he won't show to Congress.
The UK government did something similar.
The corporate media acted as boosters for military action, as is their general practice.
Facebook and Google joined with ISPs to defeat a privacy initiative in California.
Cynthia Nixon, a progressive challenging New York Governor Cuomo, showed her total defiance of centrist Democrats that reject her views.
A union official responds to two of her criticisms of unions.
I agree with his second point. Most Americans get low pay, and partly this is because they don't have unions. We should not criticize unions for getting workers good wages. Overall, the US needs stronger unions, not weaker unions.
However, the subsidy for movie companies is bad and should be ended. When cities and states pay businesses to choose them rather than some other city or state, this competition benefits those businesses at the expense of society. Whether the business in question is a factory, a new headquarters, or making a movie, we should put a stop to letting cities compete.
The excuse of "creating jobs" is entirely bogus because this competition mainly takes them away from somewhere else. But even if it really did mostly create more jobs, the price is too high.
The Republican tax attacks included tax cuts for the rich, but those will expire in 10 years. Now they want to make those cuts permanent, using the minuscule benefits for middle-class taxpayers as a smokescreen to hide the big giveaways to the rich.
Wendy Vitter, being considered by Congress as a possible judge, suggested that she disagrees with the Supreme Court decision that ended official racial segregation.
Pushing children into academic study too young can stop them from learning social skills and basic prerequisites for study.
I pushed myself into academic study while young, perhaps because the basic prerequisites came naturally to me.
The Equal Rights [for women] Amendment has languished since the 1980s, but is just two states short of approval. The Illinois senate has just approved it. If the Illinois lower house does likewise, it will be one state away from approval.
If Democrats take back several states in November, the ERA could actually pass.
The UK says it has intelligence reports that Russia tested door handles as a system for delivering nerve gas.
We cannot entirely trust this. We cannot trust Russian denials at all.
I agree that it would be good for Yulia Skripal to make a brief public appearance and speak to one or two reporters briefly for TV. It could be made easy enough that she could handle it.
The US, UK and France attacked Syrian military facilities that they related to chemical weapons production.
At least they made an effort to avoid sparking a war between the US and Russia, or even Iran.
Seymour Hersh wrote that Assad didn't actually use Sarin gas last year, and that US intelligence told the bully this, but the bully refused to accept the facts. That doesn't prove Assad isn't using chlorine gas now, but it makes me uncertain about that question. His and Russia's denials are not credible either.
Either way, I won't shed a tear for Assad's army, which is responsible for numerous atrocities, in Gouta and elsewhere in Syria.
This limited attack will not have much effect on the outcome of the war in Syria. It seems clear now that Assad will defeat the Arab rebels except where they are protected by other countries such as Turkey or Israel. As the front stabilizes, fighting will wind down.
The one place where I fear fighting might continue is in the Kurdish enclave of Rojava. The Kurds are the only group in Syria that is secular and supports human rights — the only one that deserves support. However, all the powers in the region consider them enemies, some because they are secular, some they support human rights, and some because they are Kurds. I fear they will not be left in peace.
Apple has gone on a rampage against "leakers", threatening to get them jailed.
Apple makes software to attack people's freedom, and now is a lackey of the Chinese tyranny. A leak from Apple does not necessarily work against this at all, but in the case where it does, it is admirable.
Goldman Sachs dared to say what many have suspected: it is more profitable to sell people a treatment every day than sell them a cure just once.
As long as we let businesses influence medical research, they won't look much for cures. We should take the choice away from them. We should tax these businesses and fund medical research with state funds.
We should also fund tests of proposed medicines' safety and effectiveness with state funds, so that the tests will not be corrupted.
This will take away the supposed reason to allow businesses to have patents on medicines.
Israeli soldiers shot and gassed hundreds of Palestinian protesters across the Gaza border fence again.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to oppose HR 3144; don't override environmental laws to endanger salmon and the animals that eat them.
The referendum for the UK to leave the EU was marred by massive illegal campaigning by the victorious Leave campaign. Surely this justifies holding another vote.
The EU is itself a kind of business-supremacy treaty. Leaving the EU could enable the UK to throw off some of the EU rules that help business and especially banks dominate all EU countries. But it also presents an easy excuse for yielding to even worse business-supremacy treaties, and that's surely what Tories will do.
US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius resigned last year rather than ask Vietnam to take back 8,000 refugees that fled after the fall of Saigon.
Most of those people must be pretty old by now. And most of them must have got along badly with the Communist government, which regularly imprisons people that criticize it. If they were back in Vietnam they might be sent to a re-education camp. Probably some of them were in re-education camps before.
A new agreement calls for reducing CO2 emissions from ships, but only by 2050, which is far too slow.
The US played a crucial role in blocking a requirement for earlier reductions.
Uber charges different prices to different people. Other companies also engage, or have engaged, in price discrimination. It turns out that identifying customers helps many businesses put customers at a disadvantage.
The only thorough solution is to do what is needed for other reasons: eliminate the systems that let companies know who the customer is.
Make half of world more nature-friendly by 2050, to protect the survival of humanity.
"Scientists say the greater threat to humanity comes from the conversion of wild habitats to farmland, the degradation of soil, overconsumption in wealthy nations and the pollution of rivers by industrial effluent, agrichemicals and plastic."
Facebook is promoting Mexican "news" sites whose output is pure propaganda and were set up specially for the coming election just to smear candidate Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador. They use Facebook to hide who's spreading this propaganda.
The US suffers from more surveillance than ever, but the FBI still complains because some things remain that it can't see.
Aside from giving useds' personal data to other companies (Cambridge Analytica was one of many), Facebook combines its own surveillance data with lots more data so as to sell access to targeted useds.
President Do-dirty threatens to arrest the International Criminal Court prosecutor who might investigate his murders.
Hounding Commonwealth Citizens [living in the UK] Is No Accident. It's Cruelty by Design.
Think of this when you see the bully's plans for hounding disfavored groups in the US.
If the richest country on earth can't provide most workers with a decent wage, then we need to change the economic system so it can do so.
Businesses in the US actively keep wages down, despite big increases in business income and workers' productivity.
FTC Says 'Warranty Void If Removed' Stickers Are Bullshit, Warns Manufacturers They're Breaking the Law.
Will the FTC have the courage to take on Apple for bricking devices with third-party parts?
A right-wing attack group is targeting striking teachers, arguing that they have a duty to children to suffer quietly any level of exploitation in favor of the rich.
A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile once again threatens.
Maybe they think progressives in Congress might make mergers more difficult in the future.
The software company Lanetix fired all its programmers after they agreed to unionize. They have not given up, because it is illegal to do that.
Corrupt politicians in Wisconsin are designating people's houses as "blighted" as an excuse to kick them out and not really compensate them.
This is to bring in a factory run by the company that drove Chinese sweatshop workers making Apple products to commit suicide.
Big US banks have lent billions to companies that make loans, such as auto loans. Some of those companies are going down the tubes now because their own clients are defaulting.
This could potentially lead to another crash.
Zuckerberg, testifying to Congress, pretended ignorance of Facebook's collection of data about people that don't have Facebook accounts, and its other data about people which it didn't get from their own Facebook accounts.
A teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who advocates arming teachers left his pistol in a toilet. It was picked up by a drunkard who shot it (not hitting anyone and probably not trying to).
Charging them with crimes is absurd. It is clear that the teacher did not intend to leave the pistol in a toilet, and as for the drunkard, punishing him will achieve nothing. Any sensible person already knows to try to avoid these things.
The right lesson to draw is that arming teachers is a foolish and dangerous policy (though we already knew that).
The cheater pardoned Scooter Libby, who was convicted of obstruction of justice — justice against Cheney's dirty tricks.
I think this is meant as a threat against any attempt to hold him to account.
MIT students have cracked the surveillance system that tracks them as they enter dorms.
That system is unjust surveillance, in the name of security. It is not limited to dorms; some lab buildings, including the one my office is in, use the same system that tracks people — but I don't use it.
I asked the MIT thug chief to document the effectiveness of this system in solving crimes in the building. He responded with platitudes and zero information. We have no reason to consider it any more than bullshit.
The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Israel to prosecute the soldiers that shot journalist Yaser Murtaja, and stop trying to excuse the act.
Committee to Protect Journalists: Liberia should reform libel laws in wake of $1.8 million civil lawsuit against Front Page Africa.
The Onion quotes Pompeo: "They [the senators] just let me sit in this cushy chair the whole time without waterboarding me or anything."
Avoid Gulf Stream Disruption at All Costs, Scientists Warn.
We don't know how much more global heating it can stand before freezing northern Europe and drowning the eastern US.
Another US court has ruled that scraping information from a web site is not a crime under the CFAA law.
More about Hassan Al Kontar, including how Turkish Airlines cheated him.
Is there no country that will have the decency to offer him refuge?
Telegram refused to give Russia a back door to spy on its users. Now Russia has banned Telegram — though precisely what that means in practice is not clear.
A software developer cannot wish a tyrannical state away. But it has the obligation to refuse to become a tentacle of that state.
Australians, I hope you can stop your state from becoming a similar tyranny.
Censorship in France is going to extremes; a vegan has been convicted of a crime which consist of saying "I have no sympathy for the butcher that was murdered."
I disagree strongly with that opinion, but stating such views is part of freedom of speech, which France frequently treats with contempt.
France even makes it a crime to state certain views about past events.
Zuckerberg, testifying to Congress, pleaded ignorance to many aspects of Facebook's policies. Either he was lying or he has been incompetent all along.
However, we must not focus narrowly on Facebook alone, or on advertising surveillance alone, or on surveillance done by companies alone. The problem is the total amount of surveillance of people in general (not specifically of criminal suspects).
Retaliation for the chlorine attack in Syria does not amount to a strategy.
Milwaukee applies pointless cruelty to public school students, especially those that are black.
Big companies are not sharing their big Republican tax cuts with their workers.
We should not rely on the kindness of psychopaths. We should tax them more than before, not less than before.
Hindu bigots in India are trying to physically block the filing of charges for raping and killing a Muslim.
Finland shows that it is straightforward to end homelessness by giving homes to homeless people. It takes effort and money.
Building more housing costs money, so it comes down to a political question: what are the nation's priorities? Housing? War? Enriching the rich?
The US and the UK don't do this, because they are dominated by plutocrats who think it's unfair to rich people to make them pay enough taxes. They think that because they are paid to think that.
Thus we need to replace the non-progressive Democrats in this year's primaries.
Facebook collects lots of information that users don't directly give.
However, even when users knowingly hand over personal data because a "service" requires it, that's an injustice. If being kept track of is not the service users desire, keeping track of them is wrong. We must not say "it's ok if the user consents," because the manufacture of consent is too easy.
Citizens of Massachusetts: Block the water privatization clause in the proposed 2018 climate bill.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. This would eliminate certain forms of mistreatment of immigrants facing deportation.
I dislike the use of the word "detained" to refer to imprisonment, but I signed this anyway because I agree with the substance of the bill.
Compelling people to wake up early, even if their natural tendency is to sleep late and stay up late, causes them grave illnesses, often fatal.
Hungarian journalists say how they stirred up hatred of immigrants for Orbán.
10 years after Sarkozy's "anti-terrorism" thugs arrested the members of an anarchist commune and accused them of being an "anarchist terror cell", a judge ruled that there was never anything like a "terror cell" and that the thugs had made it all up.
The thug's questions made it clear that he had singled out King, but apparently not for any specific suspicion of smuggling or crime, so this was not justifiable.
Immigration prisoners report rapes and threats by deportation thugs.
Egypt is passing a law to require that Uber hand over its surveillance data on passengers and their movements to the state.
The US already has such a law, the PAT RIOT Act, and the FBI could be ordering Uber to do this every 5 minutes for all we know.
These governments demonstrate ill will toward the people, but it is Uber that creates the opportunity that tempts them to act.
We must eliminate systems that track people's movements, such as Uber and Lyft. Lyft is much nicer than Uber in other ways, but it is no different in surveillance.
Using endangered animals such as lions, tigers and elephants in popular culture leads people to think they are plentiful rather than endangered.
"There are a lot more Sophie the giraffe toys in the world than actual giraffes."
Impeaching the bully would set a bad precedent: removing a wild, ranting and dangerous president is exactly what impeachment was intended for.
A new satellite system is being designed to spot methane leaks.
Senator Warren called on the Israeli army to stop shooting Palestinian protesters.
Bombing Assad for using chemical weapons would be ineffective and harmful. It would be war theater, instead of a theater of war.
The government of Malta is leaving journalists there vulnerable to SLAPPs.
The UK NHS has a shortage of beds. Meanwhile, it has shut wards with 1400 beds because it no longer has the staff to run them.
This is entirely plutocracy at work.
Good riddance to bullshitter Paul Ryan, who despises anyone who succeeds with help from the state, except that he makes an excuse when it's his mother.
(Satire) UPS's new tracking system will allow customers to track the delivery driver for the rest of per life.
Dubious Forensic Evidence? That's What Happens When We Sell Off Public Services.
It can happen with state employees too, as in the FBI crime lab; but at least it is easier to hold public employees accountable. (Though not necessarily easy.)
Egyptian dictator Al-Sisi was "reelected" in an "election" considerably more phony than Putin's.
Stories about "Russian bots" cover up the similar activities of non-Russian PR actors and individuals, while helping media avoid the substantive issues.
Guatemala is prosecuting its past torturers, which includes exposing how the US trained them. This is vital because some of those former torturers hold power in the government or in criminal gangs.
The US needs to prosecute its torturers.
Trump's Enemy Is Not Your Friend: Why We Shouldn't Defend Amazon.
A pox on both of them! Here are reasons to refuse to buy from Amazon.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed journalist Yasser Murtaja, who was covering the protest at the border of Gaza. His clothing clearly marked him as press.
Israel said its soldiers chose targets intentionally — "We know where every bullet went". It should not try to pretend now that they didn't know they were shooting at a journalist.
Soldiers are trained for war, so they treat every confrontation like a battle.
Amnesty International says that the corpses in a mass grave in Mali were last seen as prisoners of the military.
US pharma companies manipulate shortages of vital medical supplies in order to make more money from them.
There is some evidence that people outside Russia's state lab can make novichok nerve gas chemicals.
Eight states have stopped using data from Crosscheck to kick people off voting rolls, but still provide voter data to Crosscheck.
This data might be used as an excuse to disenfranchise similarly-named people in other states.
The government program that teaches jailed unauthorized immigrants about their legal rights not only helps them exercise their rights, it even saves the US government money.
The bully's men resent the former benefit so much that they are trying to pretend that it loses money.
A foreigner accused in Cambodia of drug trafficking may have been framed because she criticized Cambodia's dictator.
Everyone: call on the Charlotte DA to drop charges against Charlotte protesters that are being framed.
US citizens: call on your senators to vote to cancel the FCC's elimination of net neutrality.
B'Tselem: Minors in Jeopardy: Violation of the Rights of Palestinian Minors by Israel’s Military Courts.
They are being treated in ways that systematically pressure even many adults into false confessions.
Syrian refugee Hassan al-Kontar is living in a corridor in the Kuala Lumpur airport. He is fleeing to avoid being conscripted to fight for Assad. He was connecting through Kuala Lumpur when Turkish Airlines inexplicably refused to let him fly onward.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied, activist for Muslim women's rights, had a visa to visit the US to speak. But the US cancelled her visa when she arrived.
The bully despises women and hates Muslims, so naturally he would want to deport any advocate for Muslim women.
Stricter patrolling of the border with Mexico regularly kills people trying to cross. Volunteers set out water jugs so crossers don't die of thirst.
Border thugs often destroy water jugs, sometimes making contemptuous statements while doing so. They express the wish to deter crossers by killing some.
That's the right way to treat companies (which are not people), but the wrong way to treat people.
Airbnb was springing fees on customers after first providing a misleading low price to make the sale.
Letting a company get off with just a warning for this encourages it and other companies to try again. We need to treat this as a serious crime, swindling, not like stealing a base in baseball.
Every company caught doing this should be fined the total amount of the fees collected through the deceptive practice in all transactions during the past 5 years. A few fine bankruptcies will teach the other would-be cheaters to stop probing to see how much cheating they can get away with.
Amazon offered a "30-day free trial", and started paid subscriptions automatically at the end of it.
This is clearly an attempt to trick customers — wrong in all cases no no matter how many companies do it.
When Israel kills Palestinians who are not fighting, it falls to the same level as the Palestinian terrorists that still occasionally attack Israelis who are not fighting.
Israel’s leadership is gradually admitting a basic fact of life—and death: That Israel’s ongoing control over millions of Palestinians is impossible without committing war crimes.
Clinton reminds us of why she would have been a militarist president by saying favorable things about Pompeo.
How Many Palestinians Have To Die For the World to Stop Israel's Crimes In Gaza?
California Governor Brown has failed to stand up to fossil fuel interests. Campaigners demand that he start.
Former US foreign policy officials, including several that supported torture and/or wars of aggression, signed a letter saying that Gina Haspel is just great.
Inspector General Report Shows Clear Misconduct, Hostility to Science at Interior Department.
Some Republican senators now cosponsor a bill to protect Mueller from being fired. And future such investigators as well.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect the Tongass national forest.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.
Waiters at TGI Friday's in the UK are planning a strike against the company's plan to give the rest of the workers a raise at the waiters' expense rather than at the company's expense.
(Satire) Mike Pence Horrified By D.C. Cherry Trees Flagrantly Displaying Reproductive Organs.
If you are less of a prude than Pence, you might enjoy having nasal sex with those lovely trees.
A 15-year-old burglar has been sentenced to 65 years in prison (until age 80) because another burglar was shot and killed.
The principle applied here, that each participant in the crime is responsible for its consequences, seems valid to me up to a certain limited point — but I think this stretches it too far.
Imprisoning people beyond age 50 for ordinary violence is generally superfluous because the urge to violence dies away before that age.
The American Federation of Teachers, a large union, threatens Wells Fargo bank with a boycott unless it stops investing in gun companies.
The EU threatens further censorship, initially of "hate speech".
Dissident views such as the Poor People's Campaign and anti-fracking will be censored sooner or later.
The full manifesto of the Poor People's Campaign.
I support it. I agree with each point.
Here is a report describing the circumstances of poverty in the US.
Russian Activists Arrested for Sexual Harassment Protest.
Will Senate Democrats have the courage to reject Pompeo's nomination?
Overpopulation in Nicaragua has led to people that need land. They are getting it by burning parts of a rainforest nature reserve.
The fact that a fire spread in a nature preserve has a message for us too.
Some highly endangered turtles remain unprotected.
As Trump Threatens to Bomb Syria, Lawmakers Say Attack Without Congressional Approval "Unconstitutional".
Gulf Stream Current at Its Weakest in 1,600 Years, Studies Show.
Amazon is considering making Alexa listen to all conversations.
If the device has a universal back door — which the Echo does — Amazon could impose this "feature" by force at any time. The Guardian should not disparage such concerns as "conspiracy theory".
It is silly to whisper around the Alexa device. Turn it off, or throw it away!
The bully's threat to Russia creates actual danger: it puts obstacles in the path of avoiding war between the US and Russia.
It may have been a response to a mistranslation.
Some Democrats once again show they believe that waging war makes even a clown "presidential."
China has arbitrarily arrested Li Wenzu for publicly demanding information about her disappeared husband, human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang.
US citizens: Tell Congress to raise the upper salary limit for requiring workers get extra pay for overtime.
A woman in India says a powerful politician raped her. Her father accused the politician, but the local thugs refused to listen and arrested him instead. The woman tried to set herself on fire as a public protest. Then her father died in jail, apparently murdered.
Rape victims in the US also report that thugs and others are uncooperative when they try to file charges.
In India's patriarchal culture (starting with the Ramayana, see Sita Sings the Blues), misogyny is established and society condemns women for being raped.
Analysis of satellite data points out reservoirs that are drying up and could put cities at risk of running out of water in a few years.
This is useful for providing medium-term warnings, but we already know what to do for the long term solution: curb global heating.
(Satire) John Bolton Arrives In Office Excited To See So Many Familiar Wars.
EPA's War with California Proves America Needs a Carbon Tax.
American oligarchs do more harm in the US than Russian oligarchs do.
US sex workers report that the new US censorship law is driving them to streetwalking or pimps, and that this puts them in danger of violent crime.
This law was never seriously intended to protect them. It is censorship turned to the purpose of sexual repression — totally vile.
A video of part of the interrogation of Ahed Tamimi shows Israeli interrogators threaten to take her relatives hostage.
The US gender pay gap is getting bigger.
I hope it isn't starting a war.
The EU will insist that the UK continue to adhere to EU environmental standards even after leaving the EU.
I think that is a good thing, because Tories (like other plutocratists) would be inclined to trash the environment.
The renewed Poor People's Campaign links poverty, militarism, racism, and environmental degradation, as Martin Luther King did when he led it.
Young gang-members that engage in violence, even killing, are victims as well as culprits.
Calling them "children" is an exaggeration, but we don't need to exaggerate to recognize that they are not adults, and that adult society has failed to properly raise them.
The UK government has been conscripting public officials, employers and landlords into acting as deportation police since 2014. UK citizens get caught in the same repression if they can't prove they are citizens.
Various groups call on people to refuse to be enforcers.
The bully is imposing the same policies in the US.
[Projected] Approval of Bayer-Monsanto Deal Paves Way for Price Hikes, Reduced Choices.
It also paves the way for further increase in the antidemocratic political power of big business, a power that we must abolish if we are to restore democracy.
The Department of Homeland Suppression is preparing a list of US and foreign journalists, bloggers and "media influencers", with data about their fields of interest, and presumably coordinates as well.
This would not be menacing by itself. It becomes menacing when combined with the US propensity to repress reporters in other ways.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect Mueller's investigation.
Everyone: Tell Detroit not to shut off the water for poor people.
US citizens: phone the FCC to object to the Sinclair-Tribune merger.
19 US states permit schools to hit students as punishment. The rest permit physical "restraining" of children, which often causes psychological or physical injury.
When I was a child, the act of trying to "restrain" me always backfired since it was an unforgivable, horrible affront that made me continue to rage for as long as the affront continued.
I wonder if the profusion of teachers without training in better ways to handle children that are upset has something to do with spending cuts for education in the US. These cuts have occurred since the 1980s for the sake of cutting taxes for the rich.
Deportation thugs raided a factory and arrested all the workers. Only later did it ask who they were, whether they were US citizens, etc.
Schools in Washington, DC, are racially segregated in practice, and the ones whose students are black are falling apart from lack of funds.
Unkinder-Morgan has stopped work on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, but threatens to start again if governments agree to satisfy its conditions.
15% of the total wealth in the US has been transferred from the non-rich to the rich in just the past three years.
The greedy jerk fought hard to prevent New York City from requiring him to put a sprinkler system in his tall building in New York City. He even paid off the head of the city council.
One tenant was just killed in his apartment by a fire that sprinklers could have put out.
Working as a thug in the US is not very dangerous — less dangerous than being a construction laborer.
A major Black Lives Matter page on Facebook was actually run by a non-black Australian union official. He raised lots of money through the page, saying it would be given to Black Lives Matter, but that was a lie.
The International Criminal Court seeks to investigate Burma's crimes against humanity, specifically against the Rohingya.
Facebook made a concession, agreeing to inform useds about what part of their data was obtained by Cambridge Analytica.
I don't think this reduces the fundamental wrong of Facebook significantly.
The campaign to prohibit porn finds Metoo tremendously helpful.
There is a threat to wipe out bitcoin, and all cryptocurrencies, using a strained legal excuse. The threat is to confiscate individual bitcoins if those specific coins were used previously in some illegal transaction, or passed through a broker that was later accused of any sort of crime.
The article describes two alternative plans for choosing who to punish in this way, but the effect would be the same: to punish ordinary users of bitcoins effectively at random. Ostensibly it is not random, but rather based on a criterion that ordinary users couldn't hope to check, so it's effectively equivalent to punishment at random.
It is fundamentally unjust to subject people to punishment at random. Constitutions ought to insist that no one can be punished, or legally discriminated against, or have property seized, based on circumstances not feasible for them to have recognized and avoided.
Decades of Republican assault on unions has weakened them, but teachers have shown they can strike and win despite that.
Florida Republicans have given coastal landowners the power to control access to beaches.
This is not a very important issue as political issues go, but it shows how Republicans kowtow to wealthy people and spit on the rest.
Was the Israeli sniper that killed journalist Yaser Murtaja incompetent, or a war criminal?
The latest Israeli bomb strike on Assad's forces seems to have provoked Russian resentment.
I cannot vehemently criticize any attack on Assad's forces, but this seems like asking for trouble.
In Northern Ireland, women face prosecution for ordering abortion pills from elsewhere in the UK.
Since the Northern Ireland parliament has not functioned for years, and shows no sign of being able to resume functioning, the UK Parliament should legalize abortion there.
Israel justifies killing protesters in Gaza arguing that it has made everyone in Gaza so desperate that they can all be considered armed enemies even when they aren't armed.
In other words, "The only good Gazan is a dead Gazan."
Suing Syria in the US for hunting and killing journalist Marie Colvin.
Observers criticize the Hungarian election as unfair.
Rejection of the old deference to authority often results in deference to the rich and powerful, which is worse.
Cement and concrete are significant sources of greenhouse gases, but there is no known solution for reducing them, only a desire for some hypothetical technical advance.
How about making monuments to the civilians killed by US soldiers during war?
Hundreds of thousands of Dalits went on strike in India. Notwithstanding the regrettable violence, the Dalits have right on their side.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call on Governor Baker to sign the Criminal Justice Bill.
Journalists are being murdered for writing about women's rights.
The bully is continuing Obama's practice of prosecuting whistleblowers as "spies".
As we learned in connection with the threat to Snowden, this kind of prosecution denies these heroes the chance even to present the defense that public interest justified their actions. This injustice is inexcusable regardless of the specifics of any particular case.
The repressive Egyptian government wants to execute a press photographer, who was jailed not long after the military coup that put this government into power.
US phone companies cheat their customers, then try to create legal excuses to stop the cheated customers from suing them.
Anarchists in Portland, Oregon, fix potholes before the state gets there.
I do not agree with their opposition to the existence of a state, but I'm glad to see people privately organizing to do some of the jobs society needs.
In New York State, a strong movement of parents is rejecting the US-imposed standardized tests that have distorted education for a decade.
The mission of policing is the community's safety, not the safety of individual thugs. When thugs kill people that are not in fact threatening anyone, they betray their mission. Laws must not accept panic and worst-case arguments as an excuse for this.
Puerto Rico's imposed, nondemocratic government has decided to outsource statistics.
Outsourcing any government activity makes it unaccountable. In this case, it means the companies that report the statistics of activities in Puerto Rico could be induced to distort them in exchange for other lucrative contracts. These contracts would be offered by companies that want to buy public assets, and that desire their value to be underestimated.
If this happens, getting proof of it will be very difficult.
Serving the ignoramus means feeding him limited information to confirm his prejudices.
Dubya had to work hard to get the CIA to produce the false information he could use as an excuse for his war of aggression in Iraq. How much easier this is for the ignoramus, whose officials have no integrity and are loyal to him as master, rather than to their country or justice or humanity.
The SEC intervened arbitrarily to protect an oil company from a proposed shareholder resolution to set a target to reduce greenhouse emissions.
"How did we let modern slavery become part of our everyday lives?" The article contends it results from trying to make luxuries cheap.
One Palestinian in the Gaza protest says he tried to cut the border fence wire and throw a molotov cocktail. I couldn't criticize Israeli soldiers for shooting someone who was doing that.
However, it is a war crime to shoot unarmed people solely for "coming towards the fence", or even trying to cross it. And even more so in the incident, caught on video, in which Palestinians were shot while kneeling in a group and praying.
Some in Sweden are fighting to preserve cash payment.
The most basic way to resist surveillance payments is to insist on paying cash, except in situations where your name is already known, such as paying taxes or utility bills. Refuse to pay stores in non-cash.
If you have a few minutes to spare for the cause, go into a store which sells things you use, and ask the staff, "Do you take cash?" If they say yes, buy something. Otherwise, say "I pay only cash; I will buy somewhere else."
Sinclair ordered local news readers to read a script denouncing other media's "fake news".
A former employee of Sinclair quit a few years ago because he was ashamed of what they ordered him to say on the air.
Sinclair news reciters can't afford to quit their jobs — they are trapped by penalty clauses if they quit before the end of their contract. 20% of American workers are subject to oppressive restrictions on changing jobs.
I'd call this a form of indentured servitude. It should be considered unconstitutional.
Sinclair responded by privately threatening them.
Somalis in a privatized US immigration prison complained of cruel treatment such as beating them up and denying them fresh water for days. US deportation thugs handled their complaint by deporting them.
In the US: call on Lowe's to stop selling toxic methylene chloride paint stripper.
US citizens: tell the Department of "Homeland Security" to stop splitting up migrant families.
US citizens: call on Congress to demand firing Saboteur Pruitt.
US citizens: Call for firing Saboteur Pruitt.
How an Army of Trolls Protects Guatemala's Corrupt Elite — deploying Republican-style bullshit techniques to discredit an investigation.
The richest 1% of humans are on track to own almost 2/3 of the world's wealth by 2030.
We need to adopt policies — more taxes on high incomes, and on businesses, splitting up big companies, more support for the poor — to reverse that. Let's set a target that in 2030 they own only 1/3 of the world's wealth.
With Oblivious DNS, you wouldn't have to trust anyone to know what DNS lookups you do.
A lobbying company working for car manufacturers promoted global heating denial, apparently to fabricate an excuse for weakening the future fuel efficiency standards that the manufacturers had already agreed to.
Drug-resistance in malaria seems to evolve every time in one part of Cambodia.
Many cases of violent extremism seem to relate to a specific idea of masculinity, combined with circumstances.
Sinclair news reciters can't afford to quit their jobs — they are trapped by penalty clauses if they quit before the end of their contract. 20% of American workers are subject to oppressive restrictions on changing jobs.
Rare Slavery Ruling in Mauritania Sends Three to Prison (for enslaving people).
Don't Let School Lockdown Drills Become the New Normal.
Better to make a nuisance for every American gun owner than for every American.
A non-Muslim white man in Wisconsin tried building a bomb, which killed him. He had white-supremacist material in his apartment. But officials and media don't want to "jump to the conclusion" that he was a would-be terrorist.
Indeed, that is not proven conclusively. He might have had some other motive for making a bomb, perhaps murder based on a grudge. But since we are not trying him for the crime, we need not demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt when considering plausible inferences.
The crucial point is to contrast this with what happens when a crime of violence might possibly be associated with some Muslim. There is little hesitation in those cases to jump to the conclusion and say "terrorism".
Phoenix, Arizona, is slowly but surely running out of water as global heating dries up the whole region.
Robert Mercer funded a group that stirred up fear by showing Islamist conquest fantasies, targeted at US voters likely to be manipulated by them. The group seems to have omitted this spending from its tax return, too.
When Russia manipulates US elections, that adds an extra factor of foreign intervention. However, this sort of manipulation is an attack on the fairness of the electoral system no matter who does it.
Facebook has announced a system of labeling political ads and verifying the official identities of their purchasers. This labeling may do some good, but (as the article explains) it won't be hard to create an intermediary to hide the real identity of the real purchaser.
Companies that implement targeting of ads should be required to show the public all the ads that each customer has placed, collected in a place easily found from the name of the customer, and the whole collection should be easily searchable.
Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah work on their right-wing extremism together. The American Museum of Natural History should recognize this as one more reason to remove her from its board.
Republicans increased money for one thing: privatizing public housing.
The experience with a similar program in the UK shows that this can lead to a shortage of public housing, while what was sold off ends up in the hands of people with some amount of money.
Texas wants to be the first state to adopt a streamlined process for executions.
When we read about the shockingly careless mistakes made in trials that convicted people falsely of murder, we see that this will lead to executing a lot more innocent people.
Some countries are getting close to 100% renewable electricity generation. Portugal had a surplus of renewable energy last month and exported some. Costa Rica used 100% renewable energy for most of the past year.
The main obstacle to spreading this world-wide is the resistance of the planet roasters, who work behind the scenes to decrease investment in renewable energy.
The article doesn't mention deforestation and agriculture, big sources of greenhouse gases. However, if we got rid of electricity, industry and transport as sources of greenhouse gases, that could be enough to avert disaster. We will still need to end deforestation and reduce production of beef, for other reasons.
US citizens: call on Zinke to protect our national monuments.
US citizens: call on Senators to reject Wendy Vitter as federal judge.
US citizens: oppose the Republicans' balanced budget amendment to the constitution.
The way to end a recession is with deficit spending. If this is forbidden, recessions will get worse and worse. The US would be doomed to follow the path Greece has followed since 2010.
The bully asked the CIA, after a drone assassination, why the CIA waited so as to spare the target's family. He wants to murder innocent people.
Billionaire Polluters told officials in Australia that oil spills were "socially acceptable" and that the attempts to clean them up would provide a "welcome boost to local economies."
I agree with 350.org's response: "We can't allow any new fossil fuel projects, anywhere."
"[The war-lover] finally has the minions he wants: devoted and fervently militaristic."
The Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem published advertisements reminding Israeli soldiers that they are legally obligated to refuse to obey "patently illegal" orders, such as to shoot civilians who are not threatening anyone.
Here's the statement B'Tselem published about this.
Saboteur Pruitt has taken personal control of enforcement of the Clean Water Act.
That puts him in a perfect chance to spread toxins where they will do the most harm to people that don't matter to Republicans. (The people who do matter can afford to move away.)
Orange County [thugs] And Prosecutors: If You Can't Get a Confession Legally, Get It Illegally.
Facebook looks at Facebook Messenger chats, but that's supposed to be ok since it is only for certain purposes.
Uri Avnery: military occupation makes the occupier stupid. One manifestation of this stupidity, in Israel, was putting Ahed al-Tamimi in prison.
Proposing to bring back the decentralized web made of thousands of web sites which you could study and learn from.
I'm all in favor of these proposals, but I also notice one glaring omission: they say nothing about whether the code is free or not.
The US could use AI killer bots to pour money into killing poor peoples' uprisings around the world.
A Republican spokesperson in Colorado got carried away with emotion and posted that Republicans hate poor people.
Facebook saves all videos that useds make — even videos they say to delete.
Facebook asked US hospitals to give patients' data to Facebook.
The data was going to be "anonymized", but Facebook planned to "match it up" with other data — which probably means to reidentify it.
(Satire) "Listen, son, it’s time you learned how to conduct yourself in public. It may not make sense to you now, but you need to keep your hands empty at all times."
(Satire) Objects including but not limited to steel pipes, wallets, and cell phones are not, in fact, guns.
Are Your Phone Camera And Microphone Spying On You?
If there's nonfree software in it — and there always is, in a phone — you can't tell. You can never trust a proprietary program.
Facebook's Surveillance Is Nothing Compared to Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.
Striking Oklahoma teachers are marching to the state capital and receiving visible public support.
The northeast US regional CO2 emissions trading scheme doesn't cut emissions much, because its cap is usually above the actual emissions.
It does encourage a shift to fracked gas, because the massive methane leaks from the wells don't count.
The European scheme proved to be a failure in the 90s and has not been fixed yet.
The thug that shot Alton Sterling has been fired. It's hardly enough to be justice but it is better than letting him work.
If the governor of Georgia signs the bill to make "unauthorized access" a crime, security researchers in Georgia will be in danger.
Under the Republican tax attacks, the top 1% get an extra 33000 a year (on the average). Poor people get an extra 40 a year.
Saboteur Pruitt made a corrupt deal with a fossil fool lobbyist to get the use of a house by renting just one room in it. The owner of the house is the lobbyist's wife.
Due to deregulation of mining, Wyoming has gained 5 full-time mining jobs.
SCROTUS said the tax attacks were meant to help middle-class Americans, but the benefits are going to big companies, especially oil companies.
The Onion: Louisiana thugs rebuked Sterling for the foolish act of being black on that night. They think he should have known better.
Tennessee's Republican rulers plan to take medicaid away from underemployed parents that can't find full-time work.
Doing this will cost the state a substantial amount of money. It may be a net loss to the treasury — but Republicans believe that kicking poor people while they are down is so important that it's worth every penny. Especially since they are taking this cost away from welfare benefits for poor people.
This is possible because of Bill Clinton's "welfare reform", which Liberals like me condemned. The effect was to teach me how right-wing some Democrats were. Since then, I have not voted for Democrats unless I could see they were Liberals (though the term "progressive" is now used).
Smartphones, and the data centers they talk to, are projected to be a large share of electric demand by 2040.
The US census bureau is conducting a dry-run in a town in Rhode Island, and it appears intended to undercount immigrants.
The CLASSICS Act would retroactively put copyright on old phonograph records, attacking our rights.
We need to reduce copyright power, not increase it.
A black woman who voted while on probation was sentenced to five years in prison. Someone else who tried, intentionally, to vote twice for the saboteur got a suspended sentence.
The history of the US has been a struggle between an ideal of liberty and a reality of plutocracy.
Republican legislatures in several states want to define civil disobedience as "conspiracy" and imprison protesters for many years.
63 countries have allowed Facebook to become the de-facto default gratis ISP, making it very expensive for internet users to avoid Facebook surveillance.
The non-drug hemp is banned in the US because it is the same species as marijuana. Maybe Congress will soon recognize this.
Only 16 were killed, but the Israeli blockade is making medical treatment in Gaza nearly impossible, and that may cause many of the wounded to die or be maimed who could have recovered more with proper care.
Cutting the budget for mental health care in the US has dumped the responsibility on prisons by default. They do a bad job of treating patients, but they can't refuse a patient.
Naomi Wadler: the 11-year-old helping lead a protest movement.
It takes an exceptional 11-year-old to do this, but we should expect normal 11-year-olds to do most everyday activities on their own. Indeed, they don't need to be that old to do most everyday activities on their own.
Shooter drills and security are turning US schools mad. Some schools operate on full-time lockdown.
The US proposes to require would-be visitors to the US to list all their social media identities for the past 5 years.
This could intimidate people against posting criticism of the US. Maybe that's its purpose.
I think the fingerprint requirement is more of a violation of human rights than the social media requirement. But this global censorship effect could make the latter do more damage to world freedom.
Madagascar's forests are being cut down for vanilla plantations. Many species can go extinct.
It appears that today's wealthy people are more than the Earth can support.
A bill in California would set a stricter standard for use of deadly force by uniformed thugs. This would make it easier to prosecute them when they choke or kill people.
Seven peace activists, all at least 55 years old, entered a US submarine base to protest against nuclear weapons, and were arrested.
Facebook makes it easy to say different things to different groups of people, which has the effect of breaking up the common culture of any society.
Radical New Leaders Are Reviving Martin Luther King's Poor People's Campaign.
The governor of Tennessee aims to destroy staff unions at the state's colleges, plans to replace all the members of their governing boards.
Spotify is bad for musicians' income, and bad for listeners' freedom. Let's put an end to it!
To listen to music and not be a jerk, you need to be in a position to share copies with your friends. Normally this means listening to your own nonoppressive local copy. A nonoppressive copy is one that has no DRM or anything else that would interfere with sharing.
Any system of listening to music that discourages people from having nonoppressive local copies is encouraging people to be jerks. Let's legislate against such systems.
Out, out, damned spotify!
Various customary disguise terms help people avoid talking about or thinking about poverty as a political issue.
In the past, I opposed US intervention in Syria because there was no side that deserved support. I changed that view when the US began supporting the Syrian Kurds, because they support secularism and human rights. They are the only visible hope of good government in Syria. I hope they won't be crushed.
From Malala to Parkland, Why Are the Victims Demonised? It's Because the Powerful Want to Stay in Control.
The International Energy Agency retards reduction of fossil fuels by persistently projecting a high rate of use into the future.
We need lots more housing in prosperous US cities, but building a lot of privately-funded luxury housing in one neighborhood can raise rents there even as it helps decrease rents for the whole city.
Massive construction of public housing could be a solution.
"From the safety of Paris, I can finally say what I want to the chief of the Pakistani army: dissent is essential to progress. Don’t censor it."
A rare orchid with flowers that emit the scent of a female bee, so that male bees have sex with it, is endangered as a result of global heating.
Interesting to know I'm not the only one that enjoys sex with plants.
Whistleblower Hervé Falciani exposed crimes at HSBC. It was against Swiss law to expose the crimes. Now in Spain, he faces possible extradition to Switzerland and possible imprisonment.
This despite the fact that a Spanish court already ruled against extraditing him.
Cutting aid funds for the disabled in Britain is supposed to give them an incentive to do the impossible. Naturally, it has only pushed them into debt and hunger.
I cannot believe that Tories believe what they say about this. I have to conclude that they consciously intend to reduce poor people to serfdom, like US Republicans.
A new napkin changes color when exposed to date-rape drugs. This should make it possible for people to verify attempts to drug them.
Oil tanks and transshipment in St James, Louisiana, appear to be the cause of the high rate of cancers there. The oil companies, rather than reach settlements with the local people, are stalling, waiting for them to die.
In the US: Tell Sinclair Broadcasting you will boycott its news.
US citizens: call on the Senate to block and resist Ronny Jackson, nominated to head (and probably privatize) the Veterans Administration.
Facebook executives can send a message to a used and later seamlessly delete it, so they can pretend it never existed.
Various religious groups in the UK call for an end to the policy of offering no welfare benefits for children after the second. They say it increases poverty and abortions.
A rise in poverty means suffering. I expect that the Tories put on the limit with suffering in mind. It would fit everything else they do. However, a rise in abortions is good (at least, compared with having more babies).
Surely we can find a way to discourage birth of possible future children, without imposing privation on real children after their birth.
'If Our Countries Were Safe, We Wouldn't Leave': the Harsh Reality of Mexico's Migrant Caravan.
China has held human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang incommunicado since he was arrested in 2015. His wife suspects he may be dead, but the state won't tell her anything.
The organizer of Gaza's nonviolent protests advocates a single secular state for Jews and Arabs.
Nonorthodox Jews in Israel may find, in a decade or two, that their only safety from the oppression of the ultra-orthodox would be in having Arabs to counterbalance them. Today the ultra-orthodox demand segregation of women, but if they win that, they will demand more.
Vietnamese democracy activists will be imprisoned for 15 years for human rights training.
(Satire) ICE agents complain that Trump doesn't give them any credit for being so callous.
People in the US convicted of violent plots get much longer sentences if they are Muslim, than if they are not.
Brazil's Supreme Court ruled that Lula must go to prison, which means he won't be allowed to run for president.
That would leave the field to other politicians that are much more corrupt but have not been convicted.
It is no accident they have not been convicted — they protect each other.
Malaysia's prime minister Razak is passing laws to rig the coming election.
This follows a history of repression of the opposition.
AI Experts Call for Boycott over 'Killer Robots' Project at South Korea University.
KAIST is South Korea's counterpart to MIT.
Charging for plastic bags in Europe resulted in a substantial decrease in plastic bags on the seabed in the North Sea and the English Channel.
Israel Is Prepared to Kill More Unarmed Protesters in Gaza.
The article also demonstrates in several ways the falsehood of Israel's claim that it does not occupy Gaza.
"Either the State of Israel used chemical weapons in a military operation across its own borders," which would be a violation of chemical weapons statutes, "or the State of Israel used tear gas legally as a means of riot control — in which case, Gaza must be considered within the borders of Israel, with all the sovereign responsibilities that this entails."
The New York City thug department has made an agreement not to infiltrate religious groups in New Jersey any more.
It had already made an agreement not to do this in New York any more.
It is noteworthy that infiltrating Muslim groups provided zero information about any terrorist plans. Surveillance of large groups of people in their innocent community activities in the hope of catching a few criminals among them is fundamentally stupid and undermines the bonds of society.
"Viktor Orbán presumes victory and threatens vengeance to anyone [in Hungary] who opposes him. Europe must see what he is doing."
Israeli troops shot peaceful Palestinian protesters from a distance as the protesters approached the border fence of Gaza.
The Israeli position seems to be, "It is okay for us to kill you because we threatened we would kill you."
The thugs that killed Stephon Clark said he was charging toward them. The autopsy says they shot him in the back.
It took him several minutes to die. Instead of giving him first aid, the thugs handcuffed him.
Tiny UV lights pointed at your face can fool face recognition systems.
I am not sure this could be effective in practice. If the UV lights have to be chosen carefully to fool any given face recognition system, another system might not be fooled.
China is already applying face recognition to recognizing people who cross the street at an unapproved time or place.
For the sake of privacy, and therefore for the sake of democracy, we need to prohibit systems that systematically observe and recognize faces.
Super-Gonorrhoea Is Here — That Means the Antibiotic Crisis Is, Too.
Americans must resist the invitation to pay attention to the troll's antics and focus on the big issues. This article suggests three of them: global heating, China's increasing power, and the weakening of liberal democracy.
I'd say that women's rights (that Christian fanatics want to eliminate), massive surveillance, and plutocracy are three more.
Clinton had a good chance to negotiate a denuclearization agreement (and diplomatic recognition) with North Korea, but Republican obstruction slowed it down until he was out of office.
Faux news pundit Laura Ingraham made a gratuitous personal smear against David Hogg, one of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas student activists. He responded by calling on her sponsors to cancel their ads, and several have done so.
Even when criminal banks can't entirely beat the rap, they can win a reduced fine by fighting it for a long time. They are glad to pay millions to lawyers if that saves them billions in penalties.
We need firm anti-plutocrats in office to thwart this.
Everyone: Support the Oklahoma teachers' strike.
US citizens: call on the FCC to block Sinclair TV's expansion.
The Inferior Department wants to weaken the Endangered Species Act in several ways. This will benefit businesses that want to destroy habitat for those species. In addition, it will appeal to the many right-wing fanatics that oppose regulation just because it regulates.
Amazon operates a corrupt market in which sellers pay to be featured to the public over their competitors. US antitrust law has proved useless to resist this.
We need laws that clearly prohibit companies from doing anything like what Amazon is doing. In the mean time, please join me in refusing to buy from Amazon. Its long history of mistreating every and anyone, while encouraging the most foolish of short-term thinking among purchasers, provides plenty of reasons.
Jaron Lanier and others have proposed an obvious but useless response to massive surveillance (the part that's done by companies): make them pay people for using data about them. Here's a clear refutation.
The bully has ordered immigration judges to speed up hearings, which will surely lead to errors that cause people to be deported rather than receive justice.
(Satire) "Oklahoma state leaders denounced the ongoing teachers' strike Tuesday for betraying the values upon which Abraham Lincoln and Orville Redenbacher founded America in 1914."
Shell, like Exxon, knew a long time ago that its fossil fuel activities were driving the world to disaster.
Gun violence in the US is surely related to the general level of militarism in the US, which is pumped up by government efforts.
Oregon refuses to cooperate with sending its national guard contingent to the US-Mexico border, where no military attack is expected.
Addressing the issue of Thomas Jefferson, both champion of freedom and slave-owner.
Israel admitted that its massacre of Palestinian protesters in Gaza was planned in advance. Palestinians call for an arms embargo against Israel.
I have long wondered why we should consider the smuggling of arms into Gaza as worse than the importation (and construction) of arms in Israel.
This is not the first time. The US ought to stop funding Israel's military.
One point of disagreement: Ahed Tamimi, age 16, is a teenager, not a child. Please don't treat teenagers as children; teenagers are not helpless and incapable of action.
A thug spent 60 days in jail, undercover and posing as a prisoner. The jail thugs did not know he was a thug, and thought he was just another prisoner. Afterwards he quit his job, because he couldn't bear the idea of sending anyone to jail.
Everyone: Demand JPMorgan Chase Stop Funding the Climate Crisis.
Everyone: phone District Attorney Anne Marie Shubert to demand Justice for Stephon Clark.
Sinclair Scandal Foreshadows the Danger of Growing Media Consolidation.
Media consolidation has been creeping forward in the US for decades, supported by governments that have a plutocratist tendency.
We need to prosecute thugs more when they do attack unarmed people, not when they don't.
Manafort authorized a disinformation/attack campaign on behalf of then Ukrainian president Yanukovych, to discredit the former prime minister Tymoshenko that he had imprisoned.
"As a Jewish Corbyn supporter, this antisemitism row feels like gaslighting."
People who are inclined to blame victims for being raped can find an excuse in whatever they may have done.
In Flint, Michigan, some families refuse to pay the bills for the water that poisoned them. Their water has been shut off. Many other families simply can't pay.
I don't understand why they buy water in lots of small bottles. Various companies will drop off large bottles and pick them up when empty. It must be cheaper as well as reducing plastic waste.
And you don't need to heat water so as to wash yourself or your dishes.
3000 Google employees signed an open letter to the CEO, calling on Google to cancel the project for developing AI to analyze drone surveillance videos — which could easily include selecting targets for drone attacks.
I think the main issue is not how to study the images, but rather the legitimacy of using drones for assassinations.
Summarizing mainstream media's rulebook for how to present a massacre of unarmed Palestinians as a battle.
A campaign to foment violence against Muslims in the UK met with extreme failure: people organized friendship events instead.
The danger to Americans is less from foreign spies because they can't have people arrested in the US.
Inequality has grown since 1970 at US colleges: the ones with big endowments tend to give a boost to students from wealthy families.
Over 1/3 of US college students have trouble paying for decent food and decent housing.
Libre science is threatened in Europe by the proposed absurd copyright requirements.
The OECD predicts that even in the least vulnerable countries, 10% of jobs will be eliminated by automation.
New jobs will be created, but since 2009 almost all jobs pay shit and there is no indication that will change.
As cities offer competing levels of bowing down to Amazon, they are keeping their offers secret. Perhaps officials realize they would not be reelected if they told the people how much they are preparing to give up.
Cambridge Analytica intervened in the Nigerian election with hate-inducing propaganda.
US citizens: call on Saboteur Zinke not to allow fossil fuel drilling near Chaco Canyon.
US citizens: phone the Democratic senators that voted to deregulate big banks.
Israel's only way of coping with nonviolent Palestinian protest is to kill people and then pretend they started the violence.
Chinese pressure induced a UK institution to censor a play about Tibet and then lie about the reason.
The Tory hostility to "immigrants" includes UK citizens who can't prove they are UK citizens because they never got a passport or left the UK.
The Supreme Court almost always rules to protect thugs from accountability for shooting people.
Egyptian Website Editor Arrested for Republishing Article [from the New York Times] on Election Fraud.
Turkish photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan was arrested in a park for taking a picture of a building. The building houses a spy agency. Now he is on trial for publishing photos of outdoor sex parties and faces 23 years in prison.
The banned band Grup Yorum has been imprisoned in Turkey for the words of its songs.
Naturally, the state says they are terrorists, but what Erdoğan says is proof of nothing in a state which no longer has an independent judiciary.
The Saboteur of Agriculture is systematically supporting business over science and public health.
Ultra-orthodox Jewish male airline passengers demand that women sitting next to them move seats. The women face pressure from other passengers to give in.
Cornel West: "Martin Luther King Jr was a radical. We must not sterilize his legacy."
Martin Luther King's last campaign was to shift funds from war to a second New Deal. We still need that today.
William Barber, a leader of The Poor People’s Campaign, is inspired by King and carries on his struggle for various kinds of justice.
Orange Country prosecutors recruited prisoners to beat confessions out of other prisoners.
Identifying with a political identity creates more hostility in the US than supporting issues.
Mayoral elections have been eliminated in a Russian city in order to oust an elected mayor that doesn't support Putin.
The bully is planning to send asylum-seekers back without a hearing or a forensic investigation of whether they were tortured.
Afghan Woman Shot in Face [by the man she was forced to marry] Builds New Life in Canada after US Rejection.
A toy appropriately called a "peep" is advertised to spy on children all day.
Does it really spy, or is it only that parents are invited to pretend that it does?
Everyone: call on New York State prisons not to restrict what books prisoners can read.
A global requirement to list the ultimate beneficial owner of every company would put a big crimp in global corruption.
Even if many small countries do not adopt this requirement, large countries could effectively make it compulsory by denying the tax deduction as a business expense for payments to companies whose ultimate beneficial owner is not registered.
US teachers are being impoverished as states push the cost of their medical care onto them.
The real solution to the problem of the cost of medical care is Medicare for All — which eliminates the opportunity for companies to decide to charge more.
Humanity's continuing environmental impacts are leading to several different kinds of global disaster. We need law to require whole countries to reduce each of these impacts.
The root of all environmental impacts is population growth. Therefore…
The bully told Saboteur Pruitt not to show any shame about the corruption that has been exposed.
A Jewish socialist group, which seems to be strongly committed to both of those identifications, invited Corbyn to their passover seder. Now they are being labeled as antisemites by right-wing British Jews.
Microsoft has imposed censorship on Skype and email, as well as its office suite, which is tethered to a Microsoft server, and a number of other disservices.
The article takes a very disappointing attitude, bending over backwards to find excuses for the censorship.
Worse, its advice to readers, to "make sure you stay within the code of conduct," is completely misguided. The right response is to tell Microsoft "Fuck off!" by closing your accounts with all these disservices. Most of them require users to run nonfree software, which is in itself an injustice to the user.
Don't be like the proverbial frog that remains in the pot as the water gradually heats up. If the previous injustices didn't convince you to jump out, do it now!
The EPA cancelled the previously approved requirements for better fuel economy for cars and trucks.
The manufacturers always say that higher standards are "too hard to achieve" as long as they believe that will save them the trouble of achieving them. The only rational response is, "I think you're bullshitting us."
Research affirms that even 2C of global heating will cause grave problems globally.
"Randomly shooting into a crowd, killing a few people but wounding many others, has the advantage for the regime of creating uncertainty and fear." That's what Israel is doing now in Gaza, following the examples of Syria and Yemen.
A radical proposal to keep your personal data safe
Everyone: Tell First Quantum not to invest in the Pebble Mine.
The Antarctic ice sheet is melting rapidly where it is below sea level. The rate is doubling every 20 years, which means a rate increase of 16 times by the end of this century.
States with easy legal access to marijuana have 5% fewer prescriptions for opioids.
"The American right have revealed a vision of free speech that is very expansive for conservatives, but far less accommodating for those who disagree with them."
The UK plans to rewrite the rules that forbid its intelligence agencies from cooperating with torture — secretly.
Is it the Tor-y party or the Tor-ture party?
McDonald's promised to pay workers $1 above the minimum wage, but it isn't doing what it promised.
A US electric utility has gone bankrupt, perhaps as a result of focusing on coal and nuclear power.
This won't shut down the coal and nuclear power plants that the company owns. They will be sold off to someone else for less than they were thought to be worth, but the new owner (having invested so little) might find it profitable to keep them running.
A thug in Houston killed an unarmed, confused man.
Interestingly, this time the killer was black. Clearly he doesn't "hate blacks", but the unconscious racism that quickly assumes that a black man is violent is something everyone learns.
In Brazil, special prisons with no guards rehabilitate the prisoners.
How to Solve the Aid Sector Crisis? Don't Employ Expats.
Governments insist on funding only very large projects, which leads to ever-larger global NGOs, which need global management by expats.
Unofficial strikes by masses of teachers can succeed now because the teachers can measure public support.
Hundreds of Hondurans are moving through Mexico, illegally but without interference, hoping to go to the US.
Instead of condemning them, and pretending they numbered in the millions, as the bully does, I pose the question of why so many people need to flee Honduras. Could it be that the government set up by the US-supported coup is so repressive that it is oppressing people and driving them to flee?
Could it be that if the US ceased to support that government, Honduras could become a democracy and Hondurans would not need to flee to the US?
Israel has agreed not to deport African refugees back to persecution.
Momentum, the organization founded to help Corbyn become leader of the Labour Party, said that antisemitism is a real problem in the party and called for working hard to put an end to it.
The Shame of Antisemitism on the Left Has a Long, Malign History.
One of the bases of antisemitism was the practice of focusing on the fraction of plutocrats that were Jews, and disregarding the more numerous non-Jewish plutocrats who did the same things.
[The bully] Nominates a Toady for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The one remaining check on how Nauru mistreats Australia's prisoners is obedience to Australia's supreme court. Nauru is cancelling the agreement to do that. Soon it will only have to obey the secret orders of Australia's government, which is its paymaster.
Is it right to let men declare themselves female on the spur of the moment, and be treated as female in all ways?
I see this as a conflict between two legitimate interests. A rule that one must present oneself publicly under a different gender for a reasonable period of time before being treated fully as having that gender could be a wise compromise between them.
We should not insist on a uniform and simplistic response.
Tim Crosland expressed the issue very clearly.
The Future The FBI Wants: Secure Phones For Criminals, Broken Encryption For Everyone Else.
Greg Palast: A Koch-funded company tracks people's everyday actions through other companies' digital surveillance, to determine how to influence them politically.
This company would not be able to use that data if the other companies did not collect it. We must legislate to prohibit collecting data about people's daily activities.
The NSA worked very hard to identify some owners of Bitcoin wallets.
Neal Morris put up a mural condemning the bully for what he said he does to women, and the city of New Orleans demands he take it down. The ACLU is suing on his behalf.
Volkswagen has been forced to buy back 300,000 diesel cars, whose emissions levels it lied about and disguised from tests. These cars are sitting in the parking lots of various facilities that are not in operation. However, Volkswagen wants to sell them again someday — not by modifying them to emit less greenhouse gas, but by modifying the regulations.
You can convince a government to fool itself, especially a planet-roaster government like that of the US. You can't do that to the climate.
Ways to push back against the warmonger cabinet of the warmonger-in-chief.
Buried, altered, silenced: 4 ways government climate information has changed since [the saboteur-in-chief] took office.
Extreme space weather, which happens randomly once in a while, could destroy the power grid in the affected region.
Our capacity to repair large industrial systems is limited to a certain number per year. If one blows out, it can be handled soon. If 10,000 blow out, they may have to queue for years — after waiting for the systems needed for rebuilding to function again.
The good news is that distributed renewable generation capacity, which we need to avoid almost certain disaster from global heating, is most of what we need to prevent this problem.
It appears that Guber gouges frequent or regular passengers by charging them more.
If we eliminate the surveillance injustice of Guber by stopping it from identifying passengers, this wrong would automatically go away too.
A massive PR campaign in the US is painting the acting king of Salafi Arabia as admirable and acceptable.
A US foundation and "think tank" that was set up by Salafi Arabia has the mission of whitewashing him.
In regard to women's rights, I think the changes he has made are worthy of public appreciation as long as we make it clear they are just the beginning of what is needed. By doing so, we will encourage further respect for women's rights.
The EPA placed superfund cleanup in the hands of a saboteur who has fought against the whole idea.
Saboteur Pruitt sent a memo to EPA staff calling on them to mislead the public about the danger of global heating.
SCROTUS won't stop with getting rid of online personal ads. Those fanatical Christians want to clamp down on sex, for everyone except their leaders.
Kentucky's Republican legislators passed a bill to cut teachers' pensions, in a super rush. Most of them didn't even read it.
Teachers immediately began shutting schools down. Their union plans to sue.
Ray Hinton was convicted of murder in a careless, racist trial. It took 28 years to overturn the result.
Converting a valley in Argentina to soybeans led to the sudden emergence of a new river.
He points out that the right-wing authoritarians that have taken power in Hungary and Poland, and have undermined democracy to eliminate resistance, get their strength from despair about the EU's plutocracy.
Students that pay huge sums for college demand good grades, never mind the quality of their work.
The policy, "if you don't work, you can't eat, get medical treatment, or have a place to live," would make sense for able-bodied people in an imaginary world where any of them could get a full-time job with decent pay, just by asking. This policy would give us such a world.
Special school programs help the children of US Hispanics learn Spanish. Without this help, Hispanic children would mostly learn only English.
The "Spanglish" that some Hispanics speak together consists, in many cases, of English plus whatever Spanish words they know. They do this to feel Hispanic despite the fact that they don't speak Spanish well enough to use that with each other.
PayPal says that it intentionally blocks payments to buy a pamphlet from the World Socialist Web Site. It says that this ban results from policies imposed by the US government, but refuses to explain more than that.
The book discusses conditions in Iran from a socialist perspective. PayPal has also blocked various other publications that relate in some way to Iran, including criticism of the Islamist tyranny there.
A company that contracted to provide medical care to prisoners in Arizona makes the business profitable by fabricating excuses not to treat them.
Libyan citizen Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr was a prisoner in Guantanamo, then the US released him to Senegal because he would be killed if he returned to Libya. The US State Department said he could live in Senegal permanently.
If the militarist in chief goes along with Israel and Salafi Arabia by ending the nuclear deal with Iran, possible future Iranian nuclear weapons are not the only possible danger. The bully's policies could lead to war with Iran, which would cut off oil export from the Persian Gulf.
We need to cut down on use of oil with all due speed, but a sudden cut-off is not wise.
Cambridge Analytica built an system for statistically classifying people into groups that are useful for political activity. It used Facebook data to develop the classification system, but now that the system is working, it no longer needs that Facebook data to classify people.
Thus, the fact that it deleted the Facebook data is of no significance.
Facebook useds who download "all their data" are astounded by some of the kinds of data they find.
The special US Court of Appeals that usually handles patent issues has made a twisted mess of the Oracle v Google case about copyright on the Java language.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call for passage of the Massachusetts Social Media Privacy Act.
A whistleblower revealed that the election campaign in favor of taking the UK out of the EU seems to have violated campaign finance laws. In retaliation, one of the leaders of that campaign outed him as gay.
With some battery storage, the US could build wind and solar power facilities with total capacity equal to the peak electric demand, and get 90% of its electricity needs from them.
The Houthis are firing more missiles at Salafi Arabia — a few per month.
That's nothing compared to Salafi Arabia's bombardment of Yemen, which has spread famine and cholera, and driven 2 million from their homes. The bombardment has killed 10,000 civilians just by making it too hard for them to travel for medical treatment.
The fuss about the small instances of Houthi retaliation seem to be an instance of the frequent argument, "You are a monster for retaliating for our giant crimes!"
Google is deleting porn artists' porn videos from their own private accounts, quietly and mysteriously.
Never trust a remote storage company to keep anything but a spare backup copy. When you store that, put your files into an archive and encrypt it so that the company can't tell what's in them — not even their file names.
Even in the "constitution-free" border zone where 2/3 of all Americans live, deportation thugs are not supposed to question people without probable cause, and Greyhound doesn't have to let the thugs on their buses without specific cause or a warrant.
Republicans in Wisconsin will go to any lengths to stop people from voting for new state representatives to fill vacant seats. They fear people will elect Democrats. A judge ordered them to hold the special elections promptly, so they plan to change the law to avoid this.
General-purpose massive surveillance of people's preferences can determine who is homosexual, based on innocent-seeming data. Many governments imprison or even execute people for being homosexual. Thus, surveillance of people's innocent-seeming preferences can easily get them killed.
US citizens: call on the Senate to block and resist Mike Pompeo's confirmation as Secretary of State.
As icing on the cake, she also funds the right-wing extremist site Breitbart.
Many Christian colleges practice gender-related discrimination, that puts them on a collision course with US nondiscrimination requirements.
Clean air standards for cars won't just help save the ecosphere. As a bonus they will save money for car owners.
No wonder the saboteurs want to cancel these standards.
The censorship laws that effectively ban publicity for sex work, in case it might turn out to involve enslavement, backfire by pressuring sex workers to work for pimps.
The US establishment denies US war crimes in Iraq by calling the invasion a "mistake" instead of a crime. This empowers militarists, such as those in the aggressor's cabinet, to glorify all sorts of war crimes that the US has committed, and that they may arrange to commit soon in Iran.
Sanders warns that the dismissal of Shulkin as head of the Veterans' Administration is likely to be a preparation for privatizing parts of it.
Privatization of government services typically means unaccountability for abuses, as well as expensive, lousy service.
Scotland Yard admits that its thugs almost surely sent union organizers' personal records to a construction industry blacklist.
Many foreign aid projects in Africa spend millions on well-intentioned projects that have a disastrous fatal flaw.
Facebook says it's ok to take note of useds' phone calls and texts, since it hurried them into formally giving "consent".
Companies that do digital surveillance are expert at the manufacture of consent. What this proves is that formal consent is not a valid excuse for surveillance.
The Silicon Valley business system directs investors towards sex toys with digital surveillance; they have little interest in actual improvements in sex toys.
AT&T and Verizon threaten to sue the states that set up their own network neutrality requirements.
The Atlantic magazine has hired a right-wing extremist troll as a columnist — for the sake of "diversity".
In his defense on one point, I have to point out that a black child is not merely comparable to a primate. That child is a primate. "Primate" is a taxonomical category, and our species falls within it. Therefore, all human beings, regardless of race (or age), are primates; exceptions are unthinkable. If the columnist meant to suggest that nonblacks might not be primates, I demand an apology for the racist insult.
However, perhaps he really intended a more traditional racist insult, the claim that blacks are monkeys, and tripped over his own ignorance in choosing the words.
By the way, if any psittacines, corvids, cetacia or octopoda feel slighted by our dubbing our own taxonomical order with a name whose original meaning was "those that come first," I will be glad to apologize and clasp hands/feet/flippers/arms.
That is only one point among many, and does not alter the overall conclusion. His views are systematically callous and cruel towards anyone who is weak or oppressed. It's the typical right-wing attitude that offers justification to whoever is strong enough to push others down.
I don't think a magazine should strive for "diversity" by publishing right-wing extremist trolls. They have a right to express their views, but a magazine does not have an obligation to publish them.
Around the US and in other countries too, teachers are fed up and eager to go on strike. Often they have to disregard their own unions to do so. In many places the union officials fear being jailed if they strike — but if you're not prepared to strike, you shouldn't run for union office.
We should see the decreasing pay of teachers as part of the general plutocratic process of driving down wages for most people.
Big chocolate companies have funded marketing to amplify possible minor benefits while lobbying to hide the sugar from our attention.
Courts have admitted unscientific forms of forensic "evidence", and create insuperable obstacles for the wrongly convicted to get an appeal.
North Carolina Republicans are trying to take full control of the courts to stop the courts from resisting their plans for rigging elections.
Noah Christiansen student called his congresscritter and said representatives should "get off their fucking asses" to enact gun control. His high school punished him personally as a way to pretend there is something very bad about the expression "their fucking asses".
Christiansen's statement did not insult the congresscritter, even though the congresscritter may well have deserved to be insulted. Christiansen used the word only to express vehemence.
The congresscritter is a Republican jerk, but all he did here was make a complaint. Even if we disagree with his views, we should not condemn him for stating those views.
The ones who acted wrongly are the school officials who punished Christiansen. They deserve a protest campaign. And here's to tell Christiansen, "Right on! Please don't apologize!"
Schools are installing high-tech security such as face recognition and license-plate recognition, in the name of "security", but what it does is oppress the students.
These forms of surveillance technology should be very strictly regulated to limit what data they can collect.
The Senate is working on a bill that pre-emptively bans certain regulations to limit campaign spending by the rich.
Vladimir Uglev, Soviet chemical weapons developer who worked on novichok nerve gas, says that Russia did have some in the 1990s and it was used for a murder in 1995 — but not necessarily by the Russian state.
Press repression in Canada: journalist Justin Brake is threatened with 10 years in prison for covering a protest.
I expect the protesters face similar charges for opposing the construction of a dam. I don't know enough to have an opinion about the dam project, but repression of protesters is as incompatible with a free country as repression of journalists.
Stormy Daniels says that the bully sent someone to make violent threats to silence her about her affair with him.
Publishing about your sexual relationship with someone else is a hostile thing to do. Except with some special justification, you shouldn't do it. I see no sign that Daniels had special justification, so she would have been wrong to publish, then. But that didn't justify threatening violence against her. It was also stupid, since the bully had already made his sex life so scandalous that her statement could not have made it much more so.
She also says that he pressured her into sex, and she acquiesced because she felt that under the circumstances it was not possible to decline.
Should We Build the Wall? We Asked Trump Supporters.
US citizens: Tell DeVos to stop helping student debt collectors.
Citizens of Massachusetts: support the Internet Privacy Act.
Here's the personal message I gave.
The bill does not go far enough. We should prohibit ISPs from even taking note of subscribers' internet contacts, except to the extent required by federal law (which should also be changed), or required by a specific court order (the only legitimate justification for such tracking.
When the ISP is required to take note of a subscriber's internet contacts, it should not be allowed to do anything with the data except hand it over to the government when and as required.
Although this bill does not go far enough, it is a step forward and should be passed.
Young People Hate Facebook Because It Forces Them to Have a Single Identity.
Surveillance-based ride companies are muscling in on the traditional public transportation that respects our freedom.
"Nuclear apocalypse looms over humanity, yet it’s not even on the political radar. Let’s work to change that."
The cheater tried to set up a hotel deal in Latvia with businessmen linked to Putin, and also to corruption.
This particular proposed deal was not necessarily wrongdoing on the cheater's part, but the long list of situations where he has been involved with associates of Putin adds up to a pattern of support for a foreign tyrant.
Why does the UK government insist on pouring billions of dollars into building obsolete nuclear power plants, and designing a new model that will be more expensive than wind power? Some evidence suggests it is a way of hiding part of the cost of new nuclear missile submarines.
Kenyan thugs injected opposition politician Miguna Miguna with a knockout drug to send him back into exile.
Building homeless shelters using large tents whose walls keep out the weather.
A judge dropped charges against Massachusetts pipeline protesters on the grounds that their actions were necessary to prevent disaster.
(Satire) How Zuckerberg will manage the response to his testimony to Congress.
Indiana's fanatical Christian legislators passed a law requiring doctors to interrogate women patients about their past abortions and report them to the state.
Cynthia Nixon, progressive Democrat, tore into New York Governor Cuomo as a phony progressive that supports right-wing policies.
Two Mexican thugs have been convicted of murdering a journalist.
Coke and Pepsi are buying state laws prohibiting cities from taxing sugary drinks.
The crisis of plastic pollution is so vast that recycling all beverage bottles would only make a small dent in it.
The cheater discussed with his lawyer the possibility of pardoning Flynn and Manafort.
US citizens: object to stationing federal marshals at polling places.
Ecuador cut off Julian Assange's internet access, saying his postings were interfering in Ecuador's international relations.
An explanation of the antisemitic mural that shows the antisemitism that the Labour Party needs to pull up by the roots.
Isn't there an antisemitic remnant in the Tory Party too? Upper-class Britishers used to be rather bigoted towards Jews, and I'd be surprised if that were completely gone.
Salah Abdeslam's trial must not only be fair ‐ it must be seen to be fair, so that he cannot plead persecution as a retroactive justification for his murder plot.
Proposing to reestablish liberal democracy in Hungary by making a coalition with the not-in-power extremists.
A Kenyan opposition politician has been hounded into a toilet at the airport after he refused to be forcibly exiled.
The term "deported" seems inadequate when it is a matter of forcing a citizen out of his country.
Facebook continues to facilitate racial discrimination in housing ads, according to a 2018 lawsuit.
Uber corrupted the state of Arizona by offering to move business there, which led to a secret approval for testing driverless cars before they were safe enough to use.
The bully's rejection of the Paris treaty seems to have inspired a big increase in investments in extremely polluting fossil fuels.
New Zealand's Privacy Commissioner Deletes His Facebook Account.
In order for the furor about Facebook's role in election manipulation and fomenting hate to lead to the drastic decrease in surveillance that we need, we have to extend it to cover all the other surveillance systems that threaten and plague us.
China and Russia are shutting down parts of the UN's human rights defense structure.
In the past, the US would have denounced this, but the bully has contempt for the very idea of human rights.
One good point in the very bad spending bill was that it says that waiters own their tips.
Republicans plan to add a question "Are you a US citizen?" to the 2020 census, so as to cause urban areas with many immigrants to lose congressional seats and federal funds. California is suing to block this.
Indian journalists have been murdered for covering corruptions.
Malaysia is considering a law to punish "fake news" with a long prison term.
The ruler of Malaysia has already demonstrated enough repressive tendencies that we can be sure he will label anything he doesn't like as "fake", much like the bully.
US citizens: tell the Senate not to allow federal marshals at polling places.
They would intimidate the voters.
US citizens: call on the Department of Health not to allow medical personnel to discriminate against certain people as patients.
It is now clear that retraining workers is not an adequate solution for the problem of technological unemployment. If we don't have a guaranteed income, we need a guarantee of a job to whoever wants one.
Retired Justice Stevens calls for repealing the second amendment, which states the "right to bear arms".
I would not argue hard against that, but I don't think that is necessary. With the interpretation that the second amendment always had until the decision cited in the article, it didn't block the gun control we need.
It would be no harder, and perhaps much easier, to bring back that interpretation than to abolish it outright.
Allowing companies to run gambling operations however they wish enables them to systematically lead people from occasional gambling into addiction. A gambler proposes to nationalize gambling in the UK as a solution.
It isn't automatic or guaranteed that government-run gambling won't use the same tricks to increase income, but it would be less likely to do so. Government agencies tend to be more accountable than private companies.
Since the opportunity to gamble without going to a special place to do it seems to be a crucial exacerbating point, perhaps companies should not be allowed to support gambling through apps. Underground and foreign operations would still exist — to prevent that would require a system of digital tyranny, which I oppose. But they would not be able to advertise commercially, and people would distrust them, so I hope they would attract people less.
US gun ownership is concentrated in old right-wing white men. Their advocacy for gun rights is typically connected with racism and sexism. The NRA illustrates this when it doesn't speak up much for women that use guns to defend themselves from domestic violence.
UK Mandatory Website Age Checks Could Create Facebook of Porn, Critics Warn.
Austria's ban on full-face veils mainly impacts people wearing smog masks and animal costumes. It also interferes with our right not to be tracked by facial recognition.
The only other purpose it serves is to demonize Muslims. We should campaign to eliminate all such bans.
Spanish Spies Tracked Carles Puigdemont via Friend's Phone.
If you have a portable phone, your enemies can use it to track you.
Afghan imams are trying to convince jihadi leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan to allow polio vaccination. Finding and killing Osama bin Laden did the US no good, but setting up of phony vaccination activity to find him has done great harm to children in Afghanistan and Pakistan. If not for that, polio would have been eradicated by now.
Sea-level rise, hurried by global heating, is eating away at Louisiana.
Relocating 400 people from the disappearing Isle de Jean Charles will cost 50 million dollars.
Making a rough guess, if accelerating sea-level rise forces 400,000 Americans per year to move, a couple of decades from now, the US won't help them at all.
Stateless people in Australia are being imprisoned without charge and could be imprisoned for the rest of their lives.
It's like Guantanamo, but for prisoners not even suspected of any crime.
Brazil's corrupt congress is hurrying to allow sugar plantations in Amazonia — which would encourage deforestation.
Once again, CNN and MSNBC are supporting the efforts to push the US into starting wars.
The Tories have intentionally created a "hostile environment" for people who moved to the UK lawfully in the 1960s and never left. This involves forcing them into a life of penury on the street, or even making them die of cancer.
This is the British equivalent of the DACA issue.
The "self help" industry distracts people from collective action. It says, "Look only for a way to help yourself, not a way to help everyone in the same lousy situation as you."
Ultimately it encourages the downtrodden to try to climb up on the bodies of other downtrodden.
US citizens: call on Canada to stop the Unkinder Morgan pipeline.
Here's the message I sent. I hope it gives you ideas for your message.
Dear Honourable Ambassador,
I am writing to you to demand that the Canadian government stop the construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline in British Columbia. "Unkinder" would be a more fitting name for it.
To avoid global disaster, we need to keep at least 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. The highest priority for nonextraction is tar sands oil, along with coal.
It’s time for Prime Minister Trudeau to start protecting the long-term interests of Canadians. It is not in Canadians' interest to have a hundred million hungry American refugees pour across the border, a few decades from now, so stop doing things that will force us to flee north!
US citizens: support the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (H.R. 676).
US deportation thugs use Facebook's tracking data to find immigrants to deport. They combine it with tracking data for the portable phones used to run the Facebook app.
How Rightwingers Have Attacked [Marjory Stoneman Douglas High] Students with Lies, Hoaxes And Smears.
I prefer to refer to them by the name of their school, rather than the name of their town, to honor Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
The "gig economy" is the result of plutocracy's plan to impoverish most people.
The suicides of taxi drivers illustrate the giant injustice.
Companies such as Uber and Lyft are not morally entitled to the right to use harmful business practices, or to exist at all. If they hurt people — and these companies do — we are entitled to stop them. That is what democracy is for.
The solution is political, and advances are being made even without support from governments.
When we elect nonplutocratic governments, we can go even further. However, we must also carry out our duty as citizens to refuse to buy from companies that mistreat their workers.
I refuse to buy from Amazon. Please join me.
Security Experts Say Georgia Senate Bill 315 Could Criminalize Legitimate [Security] Research. It could criminalize a lot of other computer use, must like the stretched interpretation of the federal CFAA.
A chemical plant in Texas exploded, and it was hard for firefighters and residents of the area to know what to do about it, because Texas allows them to keep their operations secret and the saboteur-in-chief is cooperating with that.
Given Facebook’s Privacy Backlash, Why Aren’t We Angrier With the Broadband Industry?
I suspect the answer is that there has been no single identifiable scandal about ISP snooping.
Varoufakis has started a political party to campaign to release Greece from "debt bondage".
The US government is arguing in court to eliminate the Seattle Uber drivers' union.
Global land degradation, caused by bad agricultural practices, now harms almost half of humanity, and we are making it worse.
A piecework delivery firm in the UK will offer sick pay and end fines for drivers that miss a day.
That's good, but this should not be left to the company's good will. It should be required by law — and a lot more besides.
US schools are imposing silly security-theater rules to make up for the lack of proper gun control. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas are condemning these.
I encourage them to join together and refuse to obey them.
Proposing that Massachusetts adopt a cap-and-trade policy for all activities that use fossil fuels.
The EU adopted a cap-and-trade system, which became a total failure (the price of emissions fell to nearly zero), and then was politically blocked from modifying the system to function. Given that example of failure, I think a tax on carbon emissions is better.
A Texas thug shot and killed a possibly confused black man who was walking on the street with his pants around his ankles.
It's hard to threaten someone when you're in that state. The thug may have seen his black skin and assumed that he had a gun.
Greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2017 to a record level. Strong measures are needed to avoid global disaster — if that is even still possible.
Using the Facebook app on a portable phone tells Facebook about any phone calls and texts.
The exaggerated interpretation of the CFAA makes it legally dangerous to release a tool to help Facebook used set the account parameters to make Facebook use them less rather than more.
ACLU: Greyhound should stop letting deportation thugs board its buses without a warrant.
Surveillance capitalism converted the internet in to a massive surveillance system which is useful for businesses and for state repression.
Cell phone radio waves caused cancer in lab rats. A large fraction of the rats exposed to the waves developed cancer.
US ISPs spy on their customers even worse than Facebook does. But most Americans are not angry about this.
The article is admirable in pointing this out, but foolish in responding by sneering at people for it. The right thing to do is to help people wake up and demand an end to ISP surveillance.
The Atlantic Magazine published a video of a neo-Nazi saying "Hail Trump" with Nazi salutes, to demonstrate he is a neo-Nazi. YouTube deleted it.
I have a feeling this is going to lead to more violence and more injuries in schools, not less.
Egypt arrested British journalist Bel Trew, not saying why, and then expelled her without letting her collect her property.
A chimp in a zoo piled up stones in advance to prepare to throw them at humans. This demonstrated a kind of intelligence chimps were not thought capable of.
I read about an orangutan that hid a piece of wire in his mouth to prepare for using it to unlock his cage. Once he got out, he waited by the cage door to proudly show the zookeepers the hack he had done.
People are recognizing that Facebook is a surveillance monster, fundamentally unjust.
But they are not aware yet of how broad the injustice of surveillance is.
Everyone: Call on Facebook to notify the 50 million useds victimized by Cambridge Analytica.
This is a side issue of the wrong that Facebook did, which is just one example of dangerous and unjust surveillance. But this particular injustice was so big that even its side issues are big.
Everyone: demand indictment of the thugs that killed Stephon Clark.
Australia proposes to fine large business hundreds of millions of dollars for certain kinds of crimes.
Hundreds of thousands of students came by bus to a rally for gun control in Washington DC, led by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
An Oaklander taught himself that he didn't need to carry a gun as "protection".
Mass Protests in Poland Against Tightening of Abortion Law.
One part of eastern Ghouta has accepted a truce for evacuation of those who don't want to accept Assad's rule. Those who evacuate will move to Idlib in the North, where they will be ruled by more-or-less jihadi rebel groups supported by Turkey.
Whether Assad or Erdoğan is worse, I am unable to judge, but I suppose the people that move to the rebel zone can expect at least to be treated as friends rather than as enemies.
Appointing Bolton as the bully's national security advisor undercuts national security.
The US government is demanding, once again, that portable phones be built for remote unlocking.
If the government criminalizes security, only criminals will have security.
However, portable phones spy on their users frequently for their manufacturers. The only kind of data that locking keeps secure is the data that they don't send to servers. With proprietary operating systems, you can't trust that.
Senator Baldwin proposed a bill to allow workers to elect 1/3 of the board of directors of publicly-traded corporations.
(Satire) NAACP Issues Travel Warning For Black Americans Visiting Own Backyards.
The sad thing is how little exaggeration there is in this article.
(Satire) "You Are The Jewel Of My Collection," Says Saudi Prince While Guiding Frightened Jared Kushner Toward Harem.
Metadata connects Guccifer, who claimed to have hacked the Democratic National Committee, with a Russian spy agency.
Dropbox Has Some Genuinely Great Security Reporting Guidelines, But Reserves the Right to Jail You If You Disagree.
The CFAA needs to be revised so that it is clear that violating terms of service is not a crime. In the mean time, any company that tries to apply it to violating terms of service deserves special hatred.
For the first time, software developers are starting to recognize (from the example of Facebook's use for election manipulation) that there are systems which should not be developed — that some systems are unethical.
Rules to enforce the ethics of a profession can be useful only once the profession has a code of ethics. The question is, what should the code of ethics of software development forbid?
Vicious, unjust features are rife in nonfree software. If the future code of ethics of software development fails to call DRM, spyware and back doors unethical, it won't be much good.
The Poison in Politics Runs Deeper Than Dodgy Data. The center-right policies of Clinton and other Democrats created the situation where the bully could gain support from people who rejected the insiders of both major parties.
The government's so-called evidence against Noor Salman, accused of collaborating with her husband in a massacre, turned out to be false. It was presented by an FBI agent; the judge rebuked the agent for misleading him.
It appears agents pressured her into signing a false statement which they later used to incriminate her. Such pressure tactics often railroad people into false confessions; people who are not practiced at this (which includes me, and probably you) need to be totally on guard when talking with any kind of thugs about a crime.
The oil companies, in court, accepted that global heating is caused by greenhouse gases made by human activity. But they say, "We were only following orders" — purchase orders, in this case.
Momentum, the movement built to support Corbyn within the Labour Party, gives advice to US progressives.
The Bureau of Land Management auctions off land for fossil fuel extraction and the purchasers are disguised. We can't tell who bought these extraction leases.
In the future, when an automated taxi hits a pedestrian, will someone be liable for the death? Or will the pedestrian be liable for damaging the taxi? You can be sure corporations will lobby for the latter.
The US diplomats who were mysteriously injured in Cuba actually heard a strange, unexplained sound — high-pitched, but not ultrasound.
A researcher reports that the sound could have resulted from beating between two ultrasound signals, each generated by a product that was intentionally and legitimately installed.
Republicans wrecked Oklahoma by cutting taxes and vitally important spending. Now they want to "fix" the problem by raising taxes — on the poor.
Goldman Sachs executives get a big tax windfall when they work for the US government for one year.
Reports that Kushner told the acting king of Salafi Arabia which subjects to torture, based on what he saw in the very secret presidential daily briefing.
Across Europe, poor people are being priced out of habitable housing.
Pipeline protesters in Canada attacked Prime Minister Trudeau because his support for the Unkinder Morgan Pipeline contradicts his pretense to be a climate defender.
Courts will surely block this, at least for a while. What if it does take effect?
Americans, if you are transgender, you can serve our country better by campaigning against the bully's right-wing extremist movement (the Republican Party) than by being in the military. Being in the military makes you available for him to attack other countries. As for defending our country military, that's hardly necessary at present, since no army is going to attack the US.
If you are not transgender, all that applies to you, too.
The Austin serial bomber's crimes might have been hate crimes, but it's not certain.
They were not terrorism, because terrorism is an explicitly political act. A mere suspected motive is not enough to make an action count as terrorism.
A private immigration prison in Texas practices extreme violence against the prisoners, and refuses to answer questions about what it did to them.
Privatizing a government activity generally brings unaccountability. This is one of the reasons why government activities should not be privatized.
The US Congress brought a shadow on privacy world-wide by passing the CLOUD Act.
Craigslist has eliminated its personals section. FOSTA has made it too dangerous for a web site to have a personals section.
Let's hope that FOSTA is found unconstitutional.
I fully support efforts to put an end to enslavement of people to make them do sex work. But the problem is enslavement, not sex work, and enslavement is found in many fields of work. They include construction, farming, fishing, manicure, and domestic service.
We wouldn't propose to end enslavement in fishing by creating threats of imprisonment for anyone that operates a fishing boat. We shouldn't do it in sex work, either.
"The chief lesson of a new report is that making abortion illegal or hard to get doesn't end abortion, it just makes it less safe."
Many US cities use zoning laws to prevent people from doing business in their homes.
When New Orleans decided to take down some monuments to Confederate leaders, installed to express support for racism, violent racists threatened the contractors, then attacked them. The city had to fight to remove these monuments.
Mayor Landrieu learned that this is exactly the spirit in which the monuments were originally erected, to perpetuate racism years after the civil war ended.
Eradicating poverty could prevent most cases of tuberculosis.
US citizens: call on pertinent federal regulatory agencies to protect a strong interpretation for the Volcker Rule, to prevent banks from cheating people or causing another financial crash.
US citizens: demand that Sessions testify about the firing of McCabe.
Destruction of Nature As Dangerous As [global heating], Scientists Warn.
Bolton is the head of an anti-Muslim fake news provider.
British mosques have launched a program to protect young Muslims from various social problems, one of which is radicalization.
One can't take success for granted, but this looks promising.
I think there should be additional gun control measures concerning how to store guns and how to take them out of the house.
A scientist's samples of white rhino semen might make it possible to save that species.
The artificial insemination is not guaranteed to work. But if it does work, they can use sperm from a wide variety of males in future generations, to bring back the genetic diversity that a species needs to be safe.
Nearly half of the US budget is for the Pentagon.
Much of the rest is going for war, through other funding channels.
GM, Ford, and Toyota Lobby for Dirtier Cars While Touting Cleaner Ones.
The bully's new national security adviser wants war with Iran and with North Korea.
If the bully starts wars, the mainstream media will say, "Ooh, how presidential!"
Criminal gangs do not control Russia, but they have learned to get along with Putin and prosper through lines of crime that Putin tolerates.
Labour Must Be Bolder — Only a Wealth Tax Can Defeat Inequality.
Leopards living in a park in Mumbai paradoxically protect humans by eating stray dogs.
A clear example of the wrong way to think about pervasive digital snooping: as mere economics.
This misguided approach leads to hopelessly inadequate proposals, such as to "pay people for their data". If this leads to substantial redistribution of wealth, that in itself would be good — but it couldn't come anywhere near making up for millions of lost jobs. And it would not even try to do anything to protect us from the manipulation, discrimination, nor the threat to democracy.
Turkey's principal critical media are being sold to Erdoğan's henchman.
Hurricane Harvey spread lots of toxic chemicals around Texas, and Republican state officials are shielding companies from responsibility by shutting their eyes to the details.
Ahed Tamimi's mother has been sentenced to prison for posting the video of Ahed Tamimi slapping an Israeli soldier. This is called "incitement".
Meanwhile, an Israeli who beat up a Palestinian was sentenced to community service only.
The dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by fertilizer runoff from farms, would take 30 years to dissipate even if we were to end the runoff completely.
Tariffs Aren’t a Terrible Idea — If They’re About Well-Being of People Not Corporations.
The articles that condemn tariffs and warn that a "trade war" would be disastrous represent the neoliberal, plutocratic camp that supports business-supremacy treaties. They see tariffs as an impediment to dooH niboR. Their argument is willfully blind, ignoring the injustice of plutocracy.
It does not follow that increasing tariffs without limit is always wise. What we really need is to make it difficult to shift production from one country to another. Once we do that, each country will be able to resume regulating production for the sake of the health, safety, and prosperity of its working people.
The mainstream media are quick to call any killer that is a Muslim a "terrorist", without waiting for the facts. Should we compensate for this by doing something similar to killers that are white?
I think the media should wait for some facts before calling any killer a "terrorist" — because you can't deduce that from the killer's ethnic background or religion, whatever they are.
Comedian Ricky Gervais: A man has been convicted in a UK court of making a joke that was deemed 'grossly offensive'.
I disagree with them. Nazism is grossly offensive, but was that joke grossly offensive? I don't think having a dog give a Nazi salute supports Nazism.
In any case, making it a crime to say something because it is "grossly offensive" is injustice.
Giving Offence Is Inevitable And Often Necessary in a Plural Society.
Almost 30,000 people are on death row in Iraq.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the CLOUD Act. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
The EU's latest copyright proposal would require censorship filters on all systems where users can post anything.
GitHub asks programmers to demand a special exception for posting software, but that is too small a change. Please tell your MEPs to kill this entirely!
The US Labor Department estimated the amount of tips that its plan would take away from waiters, but the amount was so large it would arouse hostility. So the department said it was unable to estimate the amount.
From Republicans, dishonesty is standard practice. Plutocratist Democrats do it too.
The EU plans to make Internet sellers pay a sales tax to the country where the client is.
The "great Pacific garbage patch" is four times as big as people thought.
Proposals to allow assisted suicide only for people that are likely to be dead in 6 months are not adequate for dementia.
Many people suffer from dementia for years, effectively zombies, before some other illness kills the corpse. By the time, six months before the latter, they would be allowed to get help with suicide, they would no longer be competent to invoke that right.
Paul Ehrlich: "Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades."
A US private prison company pretends that it doesn't put immigrants in solitary confinement, but evidence says that it does.
The fact that these prisons are private makes them unaccountable.
As we tear Russian propaganda to shreds, let us not forget the British propaganda and the US propaganda.
Lack of US Election Auditing Raises Fears of Russian Vote Meddling in 2018.
Meddling can come from many sources, and the principal threat is from Republicans.
It's the standard wall of silence, which is why they deserve the name of "thug". The few who stand for truth and justice, rather than for protecting thugs, are the ones that deserve the title of "police officer".
Turkey is moving to the edge of war with Cyprus over undersea gas deposits.
For the survival of civilization, we must leave 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Therefore, what Cyprus and Turkey should do is agree by treaty that neither one will extract any gas from that area of the sea.
The very size of these deposits makes it all the more essential to leave them untouched.
I Saw Aid for Starving People Spent on Staff Salaries Through Inept Planning.
It makes no difference whether the staff hire sex workers. This, by contrast, is a great failure.
US unions are starting to defend their members from deportation.
Iran banned the use of Telegram, but dropped the ban because many businesses were using it.
Macron is planning another blow against France's public workers unions. They have responded with a strike.
The saboteur wants to push logging of trees a thousand years old in the Tongass National Forest.
Sanders, Warren and other senators have proposed the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act, which would make it harder for insurance companies to jerk their customers around.
It's not as good as single-payer, which Sanders and Warren also support.
First they shot the drug dealers, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a drug dealer. Then they shot the environmental defenders, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't an environmental defender. Then they shot the human rights defenders...
Wealthy countries can get US foreign policy support by supporting Kushner's sinking real estate business.
Cambridge Analytica executives boasted of shaping US public opinion while making a monkey out of US political campaign law.
Deregulation Kills More People in [The US] Than [PISSI] Ever Will.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject the nomination of Dow Chemical lawyer Peter Wright as assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management.
US citizens: Reject the bully's drug policies.
The bully bullied White House staff to sign long-term confidentiality agreements. This is an attack on freedom of the press, and the ACLU says the contracts are unconstitutional too. However, the employees may not be able to afford the cost of proving that in court.
Senator Susan Collins Sabotages Her Own Obamacare Stabilization Effort with Abortion Poison Pill.
Utah has passed a law to permit parents to let children do things by and for themselves, such as play outside or walk to the store.
"I never thought that Iraq could ever be worse than it was during Saddam’s reign, but that is what America’s war achieved and bequeathed to Iraqis."
Faux News commentator Ralph Peters quit, denouncing the company.
"In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”
It is not easy to be too right-wing for him — considering what he has endorsed in the past.
Comparing Cambridge Analytica to The Matrix.
Courts are giving pipeline-shutoff protesters light sentences.
Reporters say they found Russians voting twice. No wonder Putin got such a big margin of victory.
Flooding and heavy rain is happening four times as often as it was in 1980.
The US northeast is an example — four big snowstorms in just three weeks.
Ahed Tamimi will spend 8 months in prison for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier after other soldiers shot her brother in the head.
There is no sign that the soldiers who shot her brother will be punished at all.
A hack makes it possible to get in Spain the text of the banned corruption expose Fariña.
"Intensive farming and pesticides could turn Europe's farmland into a desert that ultimately imperils all humans."
The mafia assassination of journalist Ján Kuciak in Slovakia has spurred a massive protest movement against the corrupt politicians linked to the murder.
Many bird species in France are crashing, and scientists suspect it is because pesticides now kill the insects birds would have eaten in the past.
It was noted recently in Germany that the population of flying insects had decreased by 3/4 since a few decades ago. That article did not specify a cause, but it could be due to pesticides.
The US Senate rejected the resolution to deauthorize US support for the bombardment of Yemen.
However, it came within a few votes of winning. I think that is great progress. There will probably be another attempt next year.
Since a decade ago, US college students have started to lack emotional empathy for others.
The small sample size means that we shouldn't be entirely sure of this result. If it holds up, it could be an effect of some or all aspects of technology, but it isn't obvious a priori which aspects would be responsible. It might have been due to growing up with cable TV.
It might be a response to the precariousness of employment, caused by the financial crisis, and the consequent lack of good jobs.
The Minneapolis thug that killed Justine Damond last July has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Larry Krasner, the new District Attorney of Philadelphia, is redirecting prosecution from oppressing people as hard as possible, on any excuse, to leading people away from crime. Especially sex workers and marijuana users.
Prison and probation will be focused on serious criminals.
Rich people complain about being "demonized", but they're not demonized enough.
Let's vote to get laws to redistribute some of their income and wealth, and thus reduce their antidemocratic power.
Suggestions to useds of Facebook for how to adjust after deleting the Facebook account.
The article recognizes only the specific abuses of Facebook, not the injustices which Facebook shares with lots of other web sites. For instance, it recommends other web services for organizing events, one of which is Eventbrite — which is unjust. It requires users to run nonfree software and makes them identify themselves. I absolutely refuse to let Eventbrite do those things to me, just as I absolutely refuse to be used by Facebook.
Also, it is hard to have confidence that WhatsApp does what it claims to, because the app is proprietary software, and that in itself is a reason not to use it.
Everyone: call on Toys Я Us to give severance pay to all employees, not just the executives.
US citizens: call on congressional Democrats not to help SCROTUS fix minor careless errors in the tax attacks. They should insist on fixing the big wrongs, not just the minor errors.
ALEC has doubled down on evil by signing up the Chinese megacorporation Alibaba as a member.
Since the main activity of ALEC is to lobby for plutocratist state laws, this ought to be illegal.
Australia's main labor union demands employee rights for part-time workers, including those compelled to say they are "independent contractors".
Evidence of years of deals, and proposed deals, between the US bully and Russians associated with the Russian deals.
Before the US bully ran for president, these deals did no great harm to the US as a whole, although some of them might have been illegal in regard to some details. That changed when he became a candidate.
The Democratic Party needs to unify as a progressive party. But the center-right establishment is trying to argue, based on Conor Lamb's possible victory, that the center-right should continue to dominate and keep selling us out.
Outrageous laws prohibiting mere possession of a copy of certain works could make operating on Bitcoin illegal.
It would not surprise me if some governments start harsh enforcement of these laws on the Bitcoin block chain as an excuse to get rid of Bitcoin.
No matter what a work says, prohibiting people from possessing copies of it is tyranny, through and through.
Richard Dawkins has set up gratis downloads of The God Delusion translated into languages used in some countries whose governments impose Islam to some extent.
A whistleblower says that Facebook regularly tolerated companies' violation of its supposed rules on using data about Facebook's useds.
I urge you to refuse to be a used of Facebook.
Their opposition to the bully is valid and may help overcome him, but that doesn't mean they have respected our rights in the past.
Snowden heroically criticized election fraud in Russia, knowing that he took a risk of losing his asylum there.
Can anyone show me articles about the reported previous times that he has done this?
Greenpeace supporters were arrested for a peaceful protest against expanding an oil pipeline in Canada.
Amnesty International: reject the idea of killing people in the name of the War on Drugs.
Many organizations that advocate radical change — though not violence — are increasingly kept hidden by censorship by big platforms.
The Department of Homeland Suppression has a secret "race paper" about its smearing, infiltration and persecution of black protest groups. Anti-racist organizations are suing to get it released.
Cambridge Analytica talked of offering services such as slander and seducing people for purposes of blackmail.
Arguing that we need to leave half the Earth's land area for wildlife, thus empty of humans.
Phoenix, Arizona, is heading for a long-term water shortage because the Colorado River is gradually drying up.
The UN warns that half of humanity will face water shortages by 2050.
We could reduce the problem by reducing the population of humanity in 2050.
Marine Heatwave Set Off 'Carbon Bomb' in World's Largest Seagrass Meadow.
Both Facebook And Cambridge Analytica Threatened To Sue Journalists Over Stories On CA's Use Of Facebook Data.
Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore: Russia and Stormy Daniels are distractions so we won't pay attention to real issues such as inequality.
Russian election interference points to a real issue: we don't want our elections to be vulnerable. However, the vulnerability is not available only to Russia — it can be used by anyone with money. And it is just as harmful when the manipulator is American.
Student protesters were punished by being ordered to waste time in school on Saturday. So they protested again and called it a sit-in.
It seems to me that the school enforcers are doing this solely to demand obedience for the sake of obedience.
How dare schools force students to come on a non-school day as punishment. What gives them the legal right to do this, anyway? What happens if the student has other plans and refuses to cancel them?
US citizens: call on Senators to insist the CIA release Haspel's torture record.
US citizens: Call on Congress to make the Office of Congressional Ethics permanent and nonpolitical.
Although cell phone networks can triangulate the location of a phone precisely, in the US they don't always do this, so the records they keep are often less precise.
That can be good or bad.
Yet another president of South Korea faces bribery charges. Fortunately this one is no longer in office.
Antifascist activists seem to be making the neo-Nazi "alt-right" crumble.
Antifascist activism is much broader than the violent group Antifa. Violence is what played into the Nazi's hands in Berlin.
I can't rejoice in the success of censorship measures against neo-Nazis because I think censorship is wrong. Furthermore, the next opinion group to be banned from giant internet platforms could be progressives, free-software activists, or whatever.
Ramona Hernandez-Canete, in France, killed five of her own newborn babies. Her husband was not aware she was pregnant.
I wonder what inhibited her from getting abortions. That is lawful in France, unlike what she actually did. I have a feeling that the answer might be a clue to something on which dissuades other women from getting abortions.
London Air Pollution Activists "Prepared to Go to Prison" to Force Action.
With Saudi Prince on Whitewash Tour, Critics Warn Against Further US Complicity With 'War Crimes' in Yemen.
Global heating is expected to force 140 million people to try to migrate in the next 30 years.
Ten hard questions for the de-facto king of Salafi Arabia.
The planned EU requirement for automatic censorship of all uploads was inserted by an MEP but written by a functionary that is loyal to the copyright industry.
If Iran builds nuclear weapons, Salafi Arabia will too.
Salafi Arabia is a great place for solar power. It has no rational reason to take on the dangers of nuclear power, other than as a stepping stone to nuclear weapons. Therefore, other countries should not sell it nuclear power.
It would be a good thing if Salafi Arabia an Iran signed a treaty foreswearing nuclear weapons.
Corbyn is resisting the pressure for a pseudo-war with Russia.
Labour is of course no supporter of the Putin regime, its conservative authoritarianism, abuse of human rights or political and economic corruption.Here is his statement.
However, that does not mean we should resign ourselves to a 'new cold war' of escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent.
It seems not to be so hard to make the nerve gas that was used to poison the Skripals.
Meanwhile, Corbyn knows that Russia is a small threat to people living in the UK, as threats go. By contrast, the Tories have oppressed millions of Britons with poverty, which surely kills thousands every year. I think Corbyn is wise to focus on the bigger danger.
DeVos is trying to destroy the Department of Education's workers' union by imposing a damaging "agreement" that the union did not agree to.
CIA torturers are using the "just following orders" defense that Nazi war criminals used.
New Mexico is hastily privatizing rivers that people were free to use their boats on.
Americans in some cities are organizing in some cities against paying Amazon to put its second HQ there.
I hope that the blatant nature of this instance teaches people to recognize the general wrong of letting states or cities compete in offering concessions to any business.
Precarious low-wage employment results from a government that doesn't care about poor people.
Documents show that the massacre of half a million Indonesians in 1965-66 was organized by the army.
The bully says that McCabe's meeting memos are all false.
His strategy is to defend every lie with another lie. He is betting that no one will ever be able to make him pay for any of the lies. If SCROTUS continue to support him no matter what, and he can fire everyone else who tries, he might get away with it — in the process turning the US government into total corruption.
"The U.S. Postal Service, under attack from a manufactured crisis designed to force its privatization, needs a new source of funding to survive. Postal banking could fill that need."
David Chavez-Macias is being deported to Mexico, where he is almost sure to die because the medicine he needs for his life-threatening disease is not available.
If I were in that situation I would think about committing suicide in a way that would shame the deportation thugs.
Kim Jong-un Has Committed to Denuclearisation, Says South Korea.
Around 150 people die each year in the US desert near the border with Mexico. About 2/3 can be identified.
This is up from around 12 a year in the 1990s. In most cases it is not clear why an individual died, but it seems likely that stepped-up border enforcement is the overall reason.
US citizens: phone your senators and congresscritter to oppose the "CLOUD Act". The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Any reference to "cloud computing" is clouding something.
Jared Kushner's company filed false papers in order to evict the tenants of some buildings it bought in New York City.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie exposed how Cambridge Analytica misused the data Facebook gave it, so Facebook shut down his account.
126 countries (out of the 200-odd that exist) spend more than 10% of their income paying interest on debts.
Many of these countries will never be able to pay down those debts, so the governments have been converted, in effect, into tribute extractors.
Minnesota Republicans plan to prohibit cities such as Minneapolis from using ranked choice voting.
If something is better for democracy, it's bad for plutocrats, so plutocrats are against it.
"Fitbits for kids? Better yet, encourage them to hopscotch — and tell them they are loved."
Proposing to upgrade "reduce, reuse, recycle" to "resist, revolt, rewild."
The free software movement is one way of resisting. Rejecting the giant surveillance dis-services is another way.
It is not clear how we can provide food, water and sanitation to cities with a population of 100,000,000 people.
We should take steps now to reduce the future size of those cities by reducing the number of babies that will be born between now and then.
Some people think it is racist to focus efforts to reduce the number of births on Africa and some parts of Asia.
But this is not a matter of race, it is simply practical. The only way to avoid hundreds of millions of births is to concentrate on the places with high birth rates.
It is also important to end population growth in the US because Americans use resources in such a wasteful, profligate way. Since the birth rate is already not very high, the way to do that is to accept fewer immigrants. This is nothing personal about particular immigrants; I'd welcome nearly any of them — but it is better to reduce the number of immigrants until we succeed in making the American way of life less wasteful.
Of course, avoiding births in the US is desirable too.
Satellites are being used to estimate the number of enslaved workers in India and neighboring countries.
Water Shortages Could Affect 5bn People by 2050, UN Report Warns.
To a large extent this will be due to global heating, but we're already using fresh water from aquifers faster than it gets replenished, so many of them will be empty.
We need to do things which short-sighted people fight against, such as (1) stop growing water-thirsty fruit in California, (2) make a lot fewer babies, and (3) curb global heating.
Celebrating the US military veterans who became the leaders of the movement to end the Vietnam War.
A confidentiality agreement can't put the cat back into the bag.
Sanders in a speech tied plutocracy to militarism and increasing arms spending. He also reminded Americans of the government lies that were used to bring about intervention in Vietnam, then later in Iraq. Then how the plutocracy leads to despair which leads to support for "populist" demagogues.
He ended by talking about the tremendous danger of global heating and the need to confront it firmly and soon.
Lauren Weinstein: Fixing Facebook May Be Impossible.
If so, we must make it go away.
A new regulation requires many US corporations to publish the ratio between their CEO's pay and the pay of their workers. Some cities and states are considering imposing higher taxes or limitations on corporations which have too high a ratio.
Since the Koch brothers bought Georgia-Pacific, it has a record of skimping on workers' safety.
$340,000 is a substantial fine, but perhaps not enough to influence people as rich as they are. Perhaps industrial fines should be increased based on the company's total income, the way some places increase traffic fines based on the driver's income.
Democrats can win in most of America with a fairly progressive agenda.
I have not seen anything about where Conor Lamb stands regarding bank deregulation or the War on Drugs. Since he was a prosecutor, I fear the worst on the latter.
The EPA plans to prohibit use of research results based on studying private personal data.
It's a plausible-sounding excuse for future non-science-based policies, such as "pay no mind who or what you're poisoning."
US citizens: call on state governors to protect the right to protest.
Everyone: Call on Starbucks to increase its commitment to plastic recycling.
Leaks say that the bully and Pompeo have resumed using CIA assassination squads, as in Vietnam in the 1960s.
The US Congress has adopted a law to openly encourage contact with officials of ally Taiwan. China thinks the US has no right to do this.
In the 1970s, China was a valuable ally against the Soviet Union. Now that China is powerful, it tries to bully other countries about this, while beginning military expansion in the South China Sea. At the same time, it is becoming ever more oppressive. I think it is good to show tyrant Xi that there are limits to how much he can get other countries to kowtow.
A New Orleans restaurant invites white customers to pay extra, optionally, to illustrate the income disparity between white inhabitants and black inhabitants.
I might give some money on the strength of this disparity, to a campaign for equality. However, I don't think I would donate to a business. So I would suggest that the restaurant offer to give the extra $18 to a worthy anti-racist campaign.
10,000 people protested in Canada against expanding an oil pipeline. Now indigenous people have held a sit-in. This campaign will not give up.
Pollution, Illness, Threats And Murder — perhaps related by an aluminum factory in Brazil.
Somehow, we must defend the Kurds of Afrin and Syria against the Islamist tyranny of Erdoğan, but how?
New Orleans Program Offers Lessons In Pitfalls Of Predictive Policing.
The Three Crises of Liberal Democracy.
Arguing that physically fighting neo-Nazi organizers is an effective tactic in the US.
I can't say that is absolutely impossible, but I don't think Spencer's decision proves it is effective. The example of German Nazis teaches a lesson that wasn't invented for political reasons.
There is also the moral question: is violence against neo-Nazi rallies justified? I don't think it is justified when they don't engage in violence.
US Spy Lab Hopes to Geotag Every Outdoor Photo on Social Media.
I think I had better start asking people who take photos of me not to post them on social media.
US political satire focuses on individuals and their excesses. Thus, the system which selects those people goes uncriticized.
The bully is trying to shut down Mueller's investigation.
US war crimes in Vietnam were not limited to aberrations of soldiers having nervous breakdowns. Some of them were built into the orders issued by the high command.
It's not too late to put them on trial for these crimes.
Expensive geoengineering projects are proposed to keep polar ice sheets cool and save coastal lands from inundation.
If we're going to geoengineering specifically to counter heating, we might as well use the atmospheric methods.
But even if we cancel out global heating, that won't protect the oceans from mass extinction. CO2 doesn't just heat up the ecosphere; it also dissolves in the water making it more acidic. In a few decades, all coral will simply dissolve in the acid, and the thousands of species that depend on coral reefs will have nowhere to go.
So even with a way to get rid of the heat, we still urgently need to stop burning so much fossil fuel. And as a way to reduce future heating, it's probably also cheaper.
President Do-dirty of the Philippines says he will withdraw that country from the International Criminal Court. He cited various pretexts, but it is clear that they are trumpery. His real reason is that he knows he is guilty of mass murder and wants to ensure that no court can try him.
Formally, the withdrawal will not affect criminal investigations that start within the coming year, but we can guess what Do-dirty will do about those. Perhaps imprison any UN personnel that are in the Philippines, or perhaps simply not allow them to enter.
The Philippines will join the list of criminal countries headed by Russia and the United States.
Aceh, the province of Indonesia dominated by Islamists, wants to start beheading people.
The reason for this, I think, is to stir up Islamist forces in the rest of Indonesia.
Indonesia would be better off if it had expelled Aceh as a separate country 20 years ago. Perhaps it is not too late.
Legalized euthanasia in the Netherlands is working out well, raising moral issues only for a few edge cases.
I think Ms. Brouwers deserved the right to die. Safeguards are needed for people who aren't sure, who might plausibly in the foreseeable future be glad to be alive, if they were not allowed euthanasia. But that was not at all likely in her case.
The Onion, from the 1990s: Clinton Deploys Vowels to Bosnia.
Even odious racist views must not be censored by the state.
The absurd charges against DeAndre Harris explained: it appears that one of the right-wingers saw Harris hit a flagpole which another right-winger was using as a weapon, and claimed Harris he was trying to attack that person.
Even if Harris had been trying to hit that right winger, while the latter was attacking people with a pole, it would have been justified to protect them.
The saboteur is bringing back abstinence-only "sex education", which turns out to be a pile of lies.
Some US politicians defend free speech for right-wingers but not for those who criticize Israel's occupation of Palestine.
With the global heating projected if we don't act, the Earth's principal forests are projected to lose half their species.
Uber seeks to convince London it is worth of operating there by giving the state more data.
Trump Organization "Negotiated with Sanctioned Russian Bank in 2016".
Is this treason or mere corruption? Mueller is trying to find out the facts, but if we knew all the facts, we might still have trouble telling which.
Uber imposes arbitration on customers for all complaints, including rape by drivers, and this covers up the prevalence of the problem.
No company should be allowed to require its customers or its workers (whether labeled "employee" or "independent contractors") to use arbitration instead of going to court.
Renewable electricity in Australia has become so cheap and reliable that the planet-roaster government is having trouble convincing electric utilities not to jump for it.
US citizens: Call on Congress to pass the Secure Elections Act.
US citizens: Call on your senators to reject Pompeo and Haspel.
A US senate candidate proposes to give every homeless person a shotgun for self-defense.
It's probably not a wise solution but it does respond to a real problem, since homeless people often face violence and theft.
The candidate is running in the Antisocialist party, whose main goal is a laissez-faire economy which would let businesses and rich people trample the rest however they like. As a side issue they support human rights as well.
Civilians are escaping from eastern Ghouta into Assad's territory. For some, it means peace at last. For some, it could mean prison, torture, or execution.
How many civilians were killed in Iraq by the fighting that Dubya started? One statistical estimate is 2.4 million, plus or minus a million.
Dubya is criminally responsible for all of these deaths, since they all result from his crime of aggressive war.
The US executed German and Japanese leaders for the crime of aggressive war. However, the death penalty is an injustice, so Dubya should be sentenced to 2.4 million consecutive terms of life imprisonment.
Another Russian was just apparently murdered in London, exiled oligarch Nikolai Glushkov. It took place on the day he had an important court hearing, and was set up to look like a suicide.
A Russian oligarch probably used dirty tricks to get his wealth, but murder is not a solution to that.
Senator Schumer sets an example of weakness by not opposing Flunky Pompeo or Torture Haspel.
Germany has banned the sale of phones that have a feature to allow someone else (typically a parent) to listen through them.
Bravo! However, this is just the beginning of the requirements we need.
Hun Sen, who has suppressed human rights in Cambodia, faced protests on visiting Australia.
I have never seen a clear explanation of why an Oxfam manager's hiring prostitutes would have affected the work of Oxfam, and therefore why it should be a scandal at all.
As competition pressures more and more young adults to study in universities, we have to wonder to what extent this is worth the expense for society.
One good thing college courses can give people is the ability to think critically about political questions and arguments. I think that is a very important contribution — look at all the people who believe in homeopathy, or in demonizing the poor.
There is pressure on colleges to turn into professional schools, which means they do less to teach critical thinking. On the other hand, to the extent that colleges do professional training, at least we know what jobs they enable people to do.
It is possible that the competitive pressure results because there is not enough work that society will pay people to do to keep everyone busy from age 18, and this generates pressure to keep many people busy as students until age 20 or 22.
The bank deregulation act will allow the biggest banks to do dangerous things and get bailed out when that causes them to lose money.
The only way for a bank to get bailed out should be through nationalization.
The French investigative journalism organization Mediapart dares to investigate anyone for corruption. With no sponsors and no advertisements, it is funded only by readers.
History textbooks in the US today do not explain that the Irish famine of the 1840s was caused by exporting food rather than allowing poor Irish people to eat it.
The stubbornness of some countries' legal systems verges on insanity. Romania has decided that Constantin Reliu is dead, and refuses to recognize he is alive.
In 1968, three US soldiers ended the My Lai massacre. They were ready to shoot the murderous soldiers if necessary, to protect the Vietnamese civilians that were still alive.
My father was disgusted when he learned of the My Lai massacre. It reminded him of Nazi behavior. So he printed stickers (he owned a printing company) with a list of the locations of a few well-known German massacres in World War II, with My Lai added at the end. This was what first led me to think about the issue of war crimes.
Censorship Creep Is Setting In As Social Media Companies Try To Stay Ahead Of European Lawmakers.
Berkeley, California, has passed a law requiring city departments to get explicit permission before installing any surveillance technology.
Students and teachers in Texas see danger, not safety, in the idea of teachers with guns.
"School resource officers" is a bland disguise for thugs in the school that will arrest students and ruin their lives. If you want the students to be safe, don't have any thiugs in the school.
It seems like a good idea to me. Those wastes exist, and it would be better to store them in a safer way.
The article is about the UK, but the US has the same problem even though the details are different. The only reason for these changes was to enrich the rich.
I don't intend ever to retire unless illness compels me to, but that's because I have a mission rather than a job. Most people don't have such good fortune.
Tennessee Republicans would not allow even a discussion of a resolution to condemn the ideology of neo-Nazis. It cuts too close to home.
In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was influential in the Democratic and Republican Parties. Modern manipulators exaggerate the former and cover up the latter.
Turkish artist Zehra Doğan is in prison for painting the way the city of Nusaybin was damaged by Erdoğan's civil war.
I Went to Prison for Disclosing CIA Torture. Gina Haspel Helped Cover It Up.
Now we need to find out why absurd charges were given so much credence that they were allowed to hang over him for 8 months.
Russia's interference with the US election was a form of attack, but the real problem is in our own social and technical system, including weak education, fanaticism, and the social networks that magnify right-wing fake news whether its authors are Americans or not.
Amid Rampant Wage Theft in Post-Harvey Reconstruction, Immigrant Workers Take on Disaster Recovery Giant -— and Win.
I don't expect Erdoğan to be any less cruel towards "enemy" civilians than Assad. And for Erdoğan, every Kurd is an enemy by definition.
Aung San Suu Kyi could be prosecuted in Australia for crimes against humanity; specifically, against the Rohingya.
US citizens: oppose Republican plans to let doctors and hospitals deny medical care for religious reasons.
If you don't want to do abortions or prescribe birth control, become a gerontologist or a pediatrician.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject Pompeo and Haspel.
US think tanks and mainstream media work to discourage Americans from understanding the reasons why Iran fears a surprise attack by the US.
Regarding one side point: I am unwilling to grant Assad's tyranny more legitimacy than the Syrian Kurdish state, in drawing any moral conclusions.
Cambridge Analytica collected data about 50 million useds of Facebook and used them in violation of Facebook's rules, and perhaps in violation of British data protection law.
Rules are frequently broken; therefore, any organization that collects personal data which then are misused cannot excuse itself by saying "That was against our rules".
UK anti-deportation protesters blocked a flight which was going to deport some people before their appeals had been heard. They are now faced with possible life imprisonment for daring to protect people's legal rights from a lawless state.
Cities where the bully held campaign rallies experienced a temporary increase in violent crime.
3 students at a school in right-wing Arkansas joined the student protest for gun control, and were punished with a spanking.
I admire their courage, but I believe that if they had thought it through they would have refused to choose between the two punishments they were "offered". Also, I think they made a mistake when they forgave the school officials on the ground that they were only following orders, because that's no excuse.
A scientific study about published scientific papers found that the edited, paywalled version of a paper had no significant improvement over the libre preprint version in arxiv.org.
It's too bad that this article uses the philosophically weak term "open" rather "free (libre)".
The internet/cable companies get handouts of billions of dollars a year through state laws written to favor them.
Melvyn Iscove, psychiatrist, said he could "cure" homosexuality. He did this by having sex with the patients.
There is no reason for jaywalking to be illegal, and the prohibition provides an excuse for attacking blacks.
If we keep using phosphorus fertilizer wastefully, we will run out, perhaps in a few decades. Then we will face a food shortage.
Andrew McCabe describes the political reasons for the bully's reprisals against him.
Putin is cracking down on election observers.
Since he has made himself very popular through control of the media, he would win even an honest election. So why do this?
I think he dislikes the idea that there is anything in Russia he does not control.
Why the US Second Amendment permits gun control.
The nastiness is that this denies him a pension. The vindictiveness is that there couldn't be any valid reason to do anything to remove him one day earlier.
I will not assume that an FBI official is a hero, or even that he isn't a criminal. There might be a valid reason why an honest president might want him out. But there can't be a valid reason to fire him a day before his retirement.
More artificial "scandal" about Oxfam.
An employee, Mutiku, was accused of sexual harassment, but was not fired. Assuming the allegations were true, whether they required firing him would depend on the details, which are not stated. In some situations it would be enough if he promised not to repeat whatever it was. In other situations, that would not be enough. We have no basis to try to judge the question.
The article then said that he was later fired for hiring prostitutes. Why should anyone be fired from any job for that? The article simply takes for granted that it is a horrible wrong.
Then the article connects the two by saying that the decision not to fire Mutiku was taken by a manager who was later fired for hiring prostitutes.
If we had reason to think the decision was wrong, we might suspect that that manager was inclined to go easy on sexual harassment. We might then wonder whether that was somehow related to his practice of hiring prostitutes.
But since we don't know what the alleged harassment consisted of, we don't know enough to begin to consider whether the decision was right or wrong, and we don't have anything to try to link to anything else.
Ultimately, the article is just an attempt to throw random dirt at people for hiring sex workers.
Uri Avnery: There is no reason for Israel and Iran to be enemies, except for the occupation of Palestine.
Sanders: "We need to ask the hard questions that the corporate media fails to ask: who owns America, and who has the political power? Why, in the richest country in the history of the world are so many Americans living in poverty?"
Apple cut off access to the app store for Iranian users of iMonsters.
The underlying wrong here is that Apple gave itself censorship power over everyone that uses those computers — power that we should not allow anyone to have.
20 years ago, if you bought a computer, you could install whatever software you chose to install. You didn't have to tell the manufacturer what software you installed. You didn't have to say what country you were in. You didn't have to make an account on the manufacturer's server. Indeed, you did not need to communicate with the manufacturer at all, ever.
That changed when Apple convinced millions of otherwise-sensible people to accept computers that gave Apple censorship power over installation of software in them. Somehow they thought it was more important for a computer to have an elegant "cool" appearance than to respect their freedom and treat them decently. This was a terrible setback for freedom in use of computers.
Apple mostly uses its censorship power for its own motives, but occasionally does it for various governments. Apple censors applications for users in China at the command of the repressive Chinese government, and censors applications for users in Iran at the command of the belligerent US government. Both of these governments are abusing their power, but what gives them that power? Apple does. So does Microsoft, which followed the path Apple had pioneered.
Censorship is just one of the malicious functionalities you are likely to find in software that's not free. For hundreds of documented examples, see https://gnu.org/malware/.
The way to have freedom in your computing is with freedom-respecting free software. A nonfree program puts anyone that uses it under the power of its owner. To have freedom, you need to escape from this. See https://gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html.
We in the free software movement have been working since 1984 to build the place for you to escape to. Please help us do it! See https://gnu.org/help.
Not the Onion: Trump Chief of Staff Calls Meeting to Insist No One Is About to Be Fired.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter and senators not to do more favors for factory farms.
US citizens: Call on the Housing Department to preserve "inclusive" and "free from discrimination" in its mission statement.
We don't need such an agency, so let's get rid of it.
The American Petroleum Institute is proved guilty by its own documents of a conspiracy to destroy the Earth's climate.
This amounts to genocide, not of a specific race but of the human race as a whole (as well as most other species). It is the ultimate crime. Thus, it is not just the American Petroleum Institute that should pay for this. All the individuals that knowingly participated should pay, with a sentence of life in prison.
"When fixing items is actively discouraged by manufacturers, recycling becomes a political act."
Repair of digital devices demands free software.
Chinese Crackdown Separates Pakistani Husbands from Uighur Wives.
Senator Warren proposed a bill to cut off the ways bankster executives avoid punishment for crimes.
Doug Jones appealed to progressive Democrats for support, and tried to appear as a progressive (he fooled me). Now his supporters press him not to support bank deregulation.
The nerve gas used to attack Sergei Skripal was produced at only one site in Russia, as far as is known.
Why not arm teachers? A teacher just injured students by firing a gun unintentionally while teaching about "gun safety".
Don Blankenship's cost-cutting on safety killed 29 miners. He spent a year in prison for that crime. Now he is likely to become a senator, if Democrats nominate the corporatist Steve Mnuchin again.
The liar fired the White House aide who confirmed that the liar had fired Tillerson on the spur of the moment, not based on an advance plan.
In Missouri, teenagers are sometimes pressured into marriage by a combination of bad laws and bad religion.
People of age 14 are adolescents, not children — let's not infantilize teenagers. If they want to have sex, that's normal; they should. But it is unreasonably young to get married. However, just prohibiting their marriage won't spare them the factors that pressure them to do so.
The direct source of the problem is the lying law that redefines "rape" arbitrarily to include voluntary sex. This law put Heather Strawn in the position where the only way to protect her boyfriend from prison was to marry him.
However, religious interference with birth control and abortion are also part of the cause. No one of any age should ever "have to" get married because of pregnancy: that's what abortion is for. With proper sex education and a good medical system, unwanted pregnancy would hardly ever occur.
The patriarchal attitude towards women is also part of the cause, but I don't need to explain that because the article does.
Jewish Voice for Peace invited an Arab member of Israel's parliament to give talks in the US about Israel's erosion of democracy. Israel's parliament has prohibited him from going.
(Satire) Proud Billionaire Helps Young Son Open First Offshore Bank Account.
For-Profit System Driving Up Health Costs for US, While Outcomes Remain Poor.
The Tories plan to hit poor Britons hard — single parents will face cuts of 20% in their income.
The Tories don't want to admit it, but all their cuts since 2010 have focused on the poor.
With the further cuts, many will not be able to afford food, after paying for child care so they can waste all day in the job center making futile applications for jobs they won't be offered, and which wouldn't pay enough to live on anyway.
The poor people of Britain might win better treatment if they demand it collectively with audacious protests.
Democrats 'Fooling Themselves' to think Wall Street Giveaway Will Bolster 2018 Chances. "The Democratic senators preparing to vote for this thing are either Wall Street toadies or complete political naifs."
Most of them are toadies. They were paid 70 million dollars to do this.
We need to make them lose a primary first rather than lose to a Republican later.
James Schwab quit his job for the US deportation thugs "because I didn't want to perpetuate misleading facts."
"… the Trump administration isn't just sloppy with the facts. It has engaged in a deliberate campaign to suppress information that contradicts its corporate and ideological extremist agenda."
The chemical attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal was carried out with an unusual nerve gas developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
Since the chemical structure is a secret, not many groups could have made it.
This is not yet conclusive proof that Russia carried out the attack, but does make it likely.
If We Want to Support Refugees, We Need To End the Wars That Create Them.
Raising the minimum age for buying guns would not do much to prevent killings in schools.
Banning high-powered rifles like the AR-15 is useful because the wounds they cause are especially likely to be fatal.
Eliminating the loopholes in the background check system would prevent some killers from getting guns.
The Canadian system of gun control works pretty well; we could copy that.
To make biofuels part of the solution instead of part of the problem, we need a carbon tax.
Rep. Lipinski got hundreds of thousands of dollars for delaying an automatic train braking system that would prevent some train crashes.
US citizens: call on the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect more of the range of the Southern Resident orcas.
US citizens: Tell the EPA: Protect teenage farmworkers from toxic pesticides.
Gina Haspel's confirmation hearings will provide a chance to ask her about her crimes, including torture and destruction of evidence.
Senator Rand Paul will vote against Gina Haspel.
This means there is a possibility of blocking her approval.
States that have legalized or decriminalized possession of marijuana should expunge the criminal records of those convicted for that.
A dissident Iranian professor has been imprisoned for "anti-state propaganda".
That's what one expects in a regime that tramples human rights.
Facebook Quietly Hid Webpages Bragging of Ability to Influence Elections.
Students from 3,000 US schools participated in the gun control protest.
Former Equifax Executive Charged with Insider Trading After Data Breach.
"A young Stephen Hawking would never have made it in today’s age of austerity."
"I would not have survived", he said, without the NHS (as it was).
(Satire) Gina Haspel Recalls Having To Torture More Prisoners Than Male Colleagues To Prove Herself.
Speculation about why Putin found it useful to murder a harmless person in the UK.
Some US universities demand that students and/or visitors promise not to support a boycott aimed at Israel.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom to support a boycott of any institution.
Right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson is happy to work with anti-semites as long as they support the Israeli state.
A Danish pension fund will divest from Motorola because of its links with the occupation of Palestine.
Israel won't allow Palestinian prisoners to have enough blankets.
Imposing painful and dangerous cold or heat is one of the lesser forms of torture that prison thugs often impose, either from sadism or by policy.
Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian medics who were trying to take wounded Palestinians to a hospital.
Being realistic about nuclear weapons means recognizing that complex systems do not always work as intended.
Indeed, a complex system often has failure modes that nobody anticipated, not even the designers, and that the people operating the system were therefore never trained to deal with.
US citizens: Tell the Department of the Interior: No drilling or seismic exploration in the Arctic Refuge.
US citizens: tell your state to get out of the Crosscheck voter-suppression program.
A science teacher faces an "investigation" for feeding a puppy to a large turtle.
What do they expect a turtle to eat? Salad? Pizza? Would they keep a barn owl and not let it eat mice?
Isn't it bizarre to emphasize that "at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised." Why not mention that there was no earthquake and no meteorites fell? This point was not logically pertinent, but I suspect that the psychological effect of mentioning it was, irrationally, to make people more afraid and upset.
Republicans want the troll to send armed federal agents to patrol voting places. To scare off some voters, we must presume.
The only significant threat to Americans' right to vote comes from Republican voter-suppression and these patrols will do nothing to protect voters from that.
Nebraska falsifies licenses and registrations to get execution drugs.
For the past several years, the focus on the issue of which drugs are used for executions has sucked the energy out of the campaign to end the death penalty. It reminds me of how the biannual DMCA exception process has sucked the energy out of the campaign to repeal the DMCA. I wonder if these two similar cases have more in common than the outcome.
Mexicans staying in Tijuana and seeking to cross the US border seem to be mostly non-criminals who want to rejoin their children in the US.
For instance, he had the sense to support the nuclear deal with Iran.
High school students across the US are planning to go out of school today for a short protest, defying right-wing school officials that have threatened to punish them.
That's the spirit! The courage to defy repressive authority is admirable.
As for the officials' claim it is "unsafe" for students to go outside the school, this contributes to the stultifying paranoia that already infantilizes American teenagers. That's a different issue, but perhaps a more important one than guns. After all, only a tiny fraction of American high school students get shot, but almost all face being overprotected from the requisites of ordinary life.
"Scientists found a strong link between high temperatures near the pole and unusually heavy snowfall and frigid weather farther south."
Indonesia's fanatical Muslims have launched a fake news bigotry campaign to take over Indonesia.
The London housing bubble has partly burst, but this alone will not undo the effects of many factors that have priced housing out of most people's reach.
An underground organization of young men of the Oromo people brought down the autocratic and repressive prime minister of Ethiopia.
Tillerson was a former Exxon executive and pursued some policies for the good of the oil companies. Notwithstanding that, he was sincere about trying to serve the traditional establishment idea of the US national interest, not the subservient henchmen that the troll really wants.
Fishing for Krill is an Eco-Disaster: We Must Protect the Antarctic.
Here's how the problems develop.
If the krill are gone, whales won't have anything to paint with!
In subcontracting of night cleaning work, "The way [a business can] make money … is to cheat."
Subcontracting makes it easy to cheat, as well as to rape. We can clean up both problems substantially by putting an end to subcontracting.
Republicans in the House of Representatives decided to shut down their investigation of the cheater's collusion with Russia and to find that there wasn't any.
Amnesty International calls on Spain to repeal the law that prohibits expression of certain opinions.
A study estimates that 400,000 Americans die each year from the effects of lead poisoning.
(Satire) Betsy DeVos Argues Issue Of Guns In Schools Should Be Fully Left Up To Individual Shooters.
To make America great again calls for making America pay attention to science again.
It also calls for making the life of non-rich people great again, and rejecting corruption again, but those are other issues.
Bringing risk back into playgrounds gives children a chance to learn good attitudes towards small dangers.
Carefully selecting the risks may not be a mistake, as Ms Skenazy claims. Selected "controlled" risks may be just as effective for introducing children to the risky aspects of life as "uncontrolled" risks.
US citizens: oppose Republican plans to arm teachers.
In general, more guns make people less safe.
US citizens: call on Congress not to fund the bully's deportation machine.
Every year, there is a celebration of the 1960s voting rights movement that passed the Voting Rights Act, subsequently weakened by right-wingers on the Supreme Court. Nowadays there is a campaign for voting rights for former prisoners, and a campaign to inform many current prisoners that they are entitled to vote from prison.
The challenge of rehabilitating imprisoned criminals is to give them a stake in their community. Voting will surely help.
One of the advantages for a rural area in having a prison is that the prisoners are counted as part of its population. Right-wingers might be less eager for private prisons if the prisoners could outvote them.
A group of vigilantes in Ulster, that killed or wounded alleged drug dealers, shot a man for participating in a protest against them. The group later developed into terrorists.
The thug that attacked Johnnie Jermaine Rush now faces charges.
Destroying the Notorious Camp X-Ray at Guantánamo Is a Huge Mistake.
The TSA is taking and searching domestic passengers' computers and phones, with no warrants and apparently no authorization under the constitution.
ACLU: don't play into the hands of right-wing provocateurs by trying to censor them — instead, use your freedom of speech.
The Tories get millions from Russians and Saudis.
Many video games incorporate right-wing ideology. This could be another reason to kick the proprietary video games out of your life.
Paying women less than men is a relic of a world in which all kinds of work were gender-segregated, and the jobs women did were paid less because the workers were women.
The Netherlands has shown that, for most criminal convicts, there is no need to put them in prison. We should forget the idea that convicts have to "pay a debt to society" and think instead about how to discourage crime.
Destroying biodiversity is "burning the library of life", and the result will be increasing instability of the ecosystems that make our life possible.
About programs to teach young teenagers the alternative to toxic masculinity.
Burning coal may have caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history.
FAIR: coverage of the West Virginia teachers' strike illustrates how mainstream US media treat labor issues as unimportant.
US citizens: call on members of Congress to stop accepting funds from the NRA.
If Labour wins election in Britain, then decides to stay in the EU, some think it could achieve progressive reform of the EU itself.
I think this might be possible if progressive parties were in power in other important European countries. But there is no chance of that in the next few years. France, Germany and Italy have had elections recently so there won't be any chance to put progressives in power there.
Amnesty International: Myanmar Builds Military Bases on the Site of Rohingya Homes And Mosques.
AI software has made it easy to create fake recordings showing the person of your choice saying and doing whatever you choose.
Farid Hilali wants 2 million dollars compensation for five years false imprisonment in the UK and Spain, based on no evidence.
In the dirty gang war in Northern Ireland, between the IRA terrorists and "loyalist" terrorists, UK thugs used threats and blackmail to force people to become informers.
I am unable to reach a moral conclusion about these informers, because of the imponderable consequences described in the article.
Many Americans in the 70s and 80s supported the IRA's goal of separating Ulster from the UK and incorporating it into Ireland. I never saw anything desirable about this. What good is there in satisfying a certain number of Catholics by disappointing a larger number of Protestants? In any case, Ireland was a repressive Catholic theocracy, banning abortion, contraception, even divorce. I could hardly wish a government like that on anyone.
Ireland has almost eliminated its previous theocracy. Soon it will probably legalize abortion. Perhaps soon there will be no substantive reason for Ulster Protestants to oppose uniting Ulster with Ireland.
Israeli land-thieves build a "settlement" on a Palestinian family's land, protected by soldiers of course.
Distrustful of real experts, young people are turning to bogus expertise such as astrology.
Serious astrology, based on a person's entire chart, has been tested very thoroughly, and was a complete wash-out. An experiment compared all the variables of the astrological chart with all the variables measured by a thorough personality test, and found no relationship whatsoever.
Restaurant managers say they don't make waiters pay for customers that leave without paying. But waiters say they are forced to do this.
Likely climate tipping points could lead to much larger global heating in the lifetime of most people reading this.
We don't know enough to say for certain whether it will happen, but ignoring the danger is lunacy. Why do so many people go in for such lunacy?
Six months undercover in the world of precarious work. It's not enough for the workers to do their jobs; they are required to spout the ideology of devotion to the company.
Britons are nostalgic for the British Empire based on a one-sided picture which the peoples of the former colonies do not agree with.
It is ironic that colonial laws imposed to help Britain repress the colonized people are now being used by some of them to repress others of them. One of these laws was imprisonment without trial. In South Africa it was used by the apartheid state to imprison those who criticized apartheid. In Israel it is used today to imprison Palestinians.
I disagree with the claim that the evacuation of Dunkirk was an "ignoble retreat". It was a retreat, for sure, but there is nothing ignoble about retreating in good order. Sometimes — as in the case of Dunkirk — retreating is exactly what an army needs to do to win the war. A good commander must have the moral courage to retreat when necessary.
Martin Shkreli defended his bullying and greed, saying that they are the way people succeed in America. Sentencing him to prison is not enough; we have to change America so that his claim ceases to be true.
The habits of thinking of the past few thousand years have brought humanity to a crisis which threatens a mass extinction. We need to change some of them.
US citizens: call on senators to protect the Tongass National Forest.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose SESTA/FOSTA, the bills to make web sites responsible for what people post on them.
I suggest also saying you oppose the calculated confusion of the term "sex trafficking". Call for any laws directed at ending enslavement to give clear boundaries for what is not allowed, so that they won't treat other activities as enslavement.
The Department of Injustice announced plans to increase "civil forfeiture", which is the practice of punishing people for alleged crimes without a trial or even formal charges.
If thugs are prosecuted only when they kill, they won't be taught a lesson very often. Prosecuting them for the far more frequent nonfatal crimes is what we need in order to change their culture of violence.
"I've seen the hidden horrors of high-speed slaughterhouses." Allowing companies to inspect their own work is an invitation to cheating.
Luis Mancheno fled for his life and got asylum in the US. Now an immigration lawyer, he describes the sadistic dishonest repression that confronts refugees coming to the US today. He says that it's not worth trying, not even to save your life.
In effect, that means the bully has achieved his goals of sadism.
It's similar in Britain.
The West Virginia Teacher's Strike Is What Real Resistance Looks Like.
A one-day protest doesn't have enough impact on politicians that blatantly act with contempt towards the non-rich.
Kellyanne Conway violated federal law by electioneering for candidate Roy Moore.
The big question is whether there is any way to punish her for this without the cooperation of her boss, the cheater in chief.
People in San Francisco have physically attacked driverless cars. It seems wise to me.
In different circumstances, there might be nothing wrong with driverless cars, assuming they function well, which is an engineering challenge that I suppose will eventually be achieved.
Under our present circumstances, we must expect them to do systematic harm, at the level of employment and that of privacy, and the better they function the worse harm they will do.
Surveillance cameras posted around New Orleans make the residents feel the heavy boot of repression.
There are many reasons for progressives not to admire Israel.
Another reason not mentioned is that Israel's domestic policies even as regards Jews are rather right-wing: supporting business more than workers or poor people.
Israel has arrested Palestinian social worker Munther Amira, leading to international condemnation from social workers.
"Both Trump and Kim Jong-un believe they are winning — and the risks of that are epic."
German unions are pushing for reduced working hours.
The Guardian's China correspondent describes watching Xi's repression build up year by year.
The lack of democracy in the EU has become manifest, and people are generally dissatisfied with it.
The only government worth loyalty is one that will lead us to defeat the banksters.
US citizens: call on the Senate to pass the Preventing Preemptive War in North Korea Act.
While it's good that the bully said he will talk with North Korea, that doesn't eliminate the danger he will start a war. What if he doesn't like the way the meeting goes?
The UK is trying to sabotage EU negotiations aimed at limiting deforestation in Indonesia caused by the palm oil trade.
Right-wing Hindu extremists are accused of murdering Indian Atheist activist Gauri Lankesh.
Debt, Corruption and Tax Policies Impact Poverty, Says Vatican at United Nations.
These are positive steps, but the most important point is to make it harder for them to conspire to lie to present the killing as justified.
The Koch Brothers want to teach a misleading picture of slavery in the US and how it related to the writing of the US Constitution.
(Satire) Other meddlesome countries complain that Russia is getting all the credit for meddling in the US election.
In the long term, the market will adjust — perhaps by paying a decent wage for this work.
Perhaps some of the agriculture will move to Mexico. It certainly won't be able to stay in California, because global heating is reducing the water available for irrigation there.
In parts of Alabama, many houses discharge raw sewage, which often contaminates drinking water and makes people sick.
The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School compelled the Florida legislature to pass a gun control measure with some significant beneficial provisions.
It's a small step, and includes funds for the foolish purpose of training teachers to shoot. Nonetheless, it testifies to the students' effectiveness, since no one else was able to achieve even this much. If they keep it up, and others support them, it could make a difference in coming elections.
Research shows that Airbnb in New York City has raised rents, removed housing from the rental market, and fueled gentrification.
Fossil fool executives express their irritation at pipeline protesters.
(Satire) Reminding Americans that the troll's sexual liaisons are a side issue.
He's not just screwing porn stars. If you're not rich, he's screwing you every day.
Why do some Democratic senators support bank deregulation? For money.
A trial, San Francisco vs various big oil companies, will require them to show what they knew about global heating and when they knew it.
I hate the hokey term "dreamers", but I support the substance so I signed it.
Everyone: call for charges against killer thug Mateau.
US citizens: call on the Senate to support S.J.Res.54 to end U.S. military involvement in the bombardment and blockade of Yemen.
Quebec's doctors say, "Give our pay raise to the nurses — they need it."
LAPD Finally Starts Fixing Its Awful Body Camera Policy, But It's Not All Good News.
Senators Patrick Leahy and Steve Daines Seek to Rein in Warrantless Border Searches of Electronic Devices.
The Arctic Is Melting Down as the Antarctic Food Chain Is Breaking. And catastrophic changes are starting in San Francisco, Louisiana, West Africa, New Zealand, and the world's forests. Coral reefs could start dissolving.
Ohio Gas Well Was Spewing Methane Pollution Three Weeks After Blowout.
The newer safety standards approved by the EPA under Obama would have prevented this, but they didn't apply to pre-existing wells. And the Republicans want to cancel them entirely.
Some senators are trying to prohibit participation in boycotts directed at Israel for its occupation of Palestine. The ACLU explains why the bill is unconstitutional.
Monsanto's internal documents show efforts to suppress scientific investigation of its products, and a tendency to claim that studies that show danger are "junk".
How Big Tobacco is pushing its addictive product to children.
Do-dirty has put UN special rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on a list of "terrorists", officially to be spied on, unofficially to be killed.
Sweden demands that China allow political prisoner Gui Minhai to meet with its diplomats and doctors.
Xi will not be afraid of Sweden's military or economic power, but these criticisms will have an effect on China's global prestige. Contrast this with the behavior of the UK, which visibly sucks up to China's money, or the US, which is so hypocritical that its criticisms have little effect.
That's a relief. I hope for the best in these negotiations.
The ACLU is suing to overturn Kansas's law that requires voters to present either a birth certificate or a passport, or naturalization papers, to be able to vote.
Like all Republican voter-suppression measures, it is presented as a way to "correct" a problem that hardly exists at all, and was calculated to block legitimate voters that are likely not to vote Republican.
Sanders and some Democratic senators have proposed a plan to rebuild, not privatize, America's infrastructure.
Republican Senator Kennedy has introduced a fake net neutrality bill, designed to appear to reinstate network neutrality, but in an ineffective way.
Time For Action: Seven Proposals From Sweden For Reducing Sexism and Sexual Violence in the Midst of #MeToo.
These proposals look good to me. They all aim at preventing serious problems, and it is clear that they do.
Vancouver has imposed a special tax on housing units that remain empty, or underutilized, more than half of the time.
Spanish Women Give Up Work for a Day in First 'Feminist Strike'.
This is part of a broader movement.
For the Tories, Eliminating the Deficit Was Just a Pretext to Slash the State.
The Saboteur of Housing, displaying overt support for racism, has eliminated the goal of ending discrimination in housing.
Assad's forces are conquering Eastern Ghouta.
'Guilty of being poor': Does California Couple's Poverty Amount to Child Abuse?
I am sure it is possible to convince them to accept state aid without going so far as to jail them.
The US government has sued California over some of its sanctuary laws designed to impede mass deportations.
Senator Warren proposes 17 amendments to the bank deregulation bill, to remove all its harmful aspects.
The way SCROTUS are handling this, senators can't even tell what the bill will be when it finally passes. If they are rational, they have to assume the worst, which means vote no at every stage.
This suggests that we regard the problem as a flaw in Twitter as a system. Naturally, unscrupulous people and groups take advantage of the flaw, but who they are and what they do may be less important than fixing the flaw.
US citizens: tell Congress not to defend Monsanto by cutting WHO's cancer research funding.
North Korea has invited the US to nuclear negotiations. This would be great news if the US government were prepared to talk.
The US is using Google's deep-learning free software to analyze images taken by drones.
I don't find anything scandalous in using deep learning to aid human analysts in understanding what they see. But it would be a small step from there to a policy of "bomb anything that the AI program flags", which would be an automatic killer robot.
The West Virginia Teachers' Strike Is Over. But the Fight for Healthcare Isn't.
Iran: two years in prison for showing your head in public.
A bill in Rhode Island threatens to impose censorship requirements on ISPs.
We've seen the results of this in the UK. People who can afford their own accounts can pay to disable the censorship. Those who must use public access WiFi will be blocked.
Any imposed censorship is incompatible with network neutrality.
Remember the "dispersant" that Billionaire Polluters (BP) dropped on the oil from the Big Spill?
It proved to be toxic, and a substantial fraction of the Coast Guard and cleanup workers exposed to it got sick.
Senator Schumer gave a speech to the Israeli lobbying organization, AIPAC, which in effect endorsed annexation of all of the Palestinians' territory.
Right-wing men (they tend to be men) in Washington DC find that women reject them for that.
The poisoner's plan for oil drilling off all US coasts threatens important industries based on the sea. The only aspect which is not as bad as one might have feared is that the total amount of available oil is not so large.
At least this will limit the amount of global heating that results from this stupid plan.
The bully must publish his rules for drone assassinations.
It's impossible to detect school shooters in advance by monitoring the social media postings of all students, because (1) most of those who commit violence don't show signs in advance, and (2) most of the students that show what people might take for signs don't commit violence.
To make schools safer, don't put more thugs in them.
I can't judge the effectiveness of the SEAD program, but I'm pretty sure that teachers who are overworked and overstretched, and desperately aiming for high results on standardized tests, won't have much attention to spare for "the whole child". I think the first step towards making schools safer is to address those systemic problems. I expect that will reduce the stress on students, too, and that might by itself reduce the school shootings along with plenty of other problems.
Civil forfeiture is simply punishment without trial.
The new effective ruler of Salafi Arabia has doubled the rate of executions. Among the prisoners awaiting execution are some political prisoners convicted of protesting.
Stores propose to do away with cash registers, and the staff that run them, by pressuring people into paying with their phones and thus getting totally profiled.
Using this dis-service will put other people out of work and thus spread poverty. It will also result in tracking you. So don't be tracked — pay cash!
If you go to a store and find you don't have enough cash, that is no reason to let the store know who you are. Visit an ATM to get cash, then pay cash!
And make sure that your computers' WiFi is totally off before you enter the store.
That will take a few minutes. Don't you value your freedom enough to make a few minutes' effort to preserve it?
The US in 1988 had hardly anyone who supported the whole right-wing agenda. They were created subsequently by the right-wing media machine. In the past 10 years, progressives have used social media to awaken many Americans to their agreement with progressive views, which the mainstream media generally downplay.
The result is that there are now many thoroughgoing progressives as well as some thoroughgoing right-wingers.
I actively avoid watching TV news. If it ever covers something important, I will read about that elsewhere, and there's never any hurry about it. Even NPR bothers me with how right-wing it tends to be.
The UK threatens to punish immigration prisoners for their hunger strike by deporting them faster.
The state already intends to deport them, and is waiting only to the extent imposed by legal requirements. How, then, could it deport them faster? By violating their legal rights?
That makes the biggest threat to civilization's survival even worse. Fortunately the extraction is still held up by disagreements about commercial plans.
An Australian whistleblower revealed that Australia was snooping on the cabinet of East Timor. Ever since, Australia has kept him under house arrest.
Uber's Underpayment of Drivers Keeping It Afloat, Report Finds.
We can protect our freedom by protecting drivers' pay rates.
Around the former Soviet Union small plaques on houses commemorate the millions murdered by Stalin's repression.
Some of them were dissidents. Some of them were suspected based on Stalin's paranoia. Some were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Steven Pinker's environmental optimism is based on shallow fallacies.
Laura Moser, the progressive candidate attacked by the establishment Democrats, passed the first round of the Democratic primary and is likely to win the run-off.
The publicity she gained from this attack seems to have boosted her vote.
Americans are becoming firmly progressive, and will eventually make the Democratic Party come along. But it is important to do this quickly.
The establishment center-right Democratic Party of Illinois is attacking progressive Democratic candidates with absurd charges.
Teachers are afraid to touch students, and doctors are afraid to touch patients. Coworkers are afraid to touch coworkers.
How the new business-supremacy treaty CETA would eliminate existing national regulations in Europe.
It would oppress Canada as well.
The article makes an unfair contrast between this and the failure of some west-coast states to pass stronger green energy laws, but that is silly. No state can prevent global heating on its own.
Ayn Rand was fundamentally wrong to dismiss the common good. If there is no common good, there is no society.
For Republicans, only the rich people matter.
Proposing the human right to an environment conducive to good health.
The FBI pays employees of computer repair stores to search the computers for things they can prosecute, sneaking around the requirement to get a search warrant.
This illustrates how any prohibition on possessing copies of some publication threatens human rights.
US citizens: phone your senator to oppose the Bank Lobbyist Act.
European Union citizens: oppose the plan to impose automatic copyright censorship filters on the European web.
US citizens: support banning assault weapons.
US citizens: oppose the nomination of anti-LGBT lawyer Gordon Giampietro as a US judge.
Corporations controlled by AIs would be an even bigger threat to humanity than corporations today.
See also my story, Made for You.
An analysis of survey data suggests that US Liberals mostly support free speech for views they oppose, even more broadly than they did decades ago.
This is good news, since the loss of freedom of speech about political views leads to the sort of tyranny we see congealing in China.
When the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee calls you, hang up.
United cut the bonuses for its staff by offering them tickets to a lottery instead.
The staff will get less money, all told, but more excitement. Those who are foolish may think this is an improvement.
Secret NYPD Files: [Thugs] Who Lie And Brutally Beat People Can Keep Their Jobs.
The West Virginia legislature gave all state employees a 5% raise, and the teacher strike has ended in victory.
Australia is quickly destroying what remains of its native forests. Many farmers hate and sabotage neighboring farmers that protect forest on their own land.
Another politician is being pressured to resign over vague accusations that amount to "someone disapproves of something, someone didn't like something".
Am I the only person who sees a danger of injustice in judging people over secret accusations?
Polish nationalists in the 1930s implemented anti-semitic campaigns and discrimination. The current ruling party is their follow-on.
That doesn't mean that the current ruling party is anti-semitic. It has a choice about that. However, denying the past will interfere with making the ethical choice.
Comcast’s "Protected Browsing" Blocks TorrentFreak as "Suspicious" Site.
I wish TorrentFreak would stop calling sharing "piracy". I link to their articles because they are interesting, but this makes me feel bad about it.
Violence Forces Aid Trucks to Flee Syria's Eastern Ghouta Without Unloading. Assad's forces attacked them.
The West Virginia teachers are striking without support from their union, which is forbidden by state law from striking.
Despite the Republican hatred for workers and therefore for unions, workers can still win if they have courage.
Pressing the envelope on surveillance: the TSA is putting body scanners in Penn Station.
Any kind of checkpoint will randomly catch some criminals of some kind, but we don't want the repressive society that this creates.
Trump Wants to Get Rid of the Heating Support That Kept Me Safe.
After each mass shooting, people ask, "Why didn't we realize in advance that person would be a killer? We noticed some warning signs but didn't follow up."
The reason is that these warning signs don't indicate much. For each person that displays some of these signs and goes on to kill, thousands of others display the same warning signs but don't kill anyone.
Thugs hope that we won't realize this, and that we will agree to advance the surveillance state towards total surveillance.
The ACLU already showed that "fusion centers" are used to investigate dissidents and protesters. They don't protect us, they threaten us. We should cancel them.
Following the lead of the US Republicans, the Tories are step by step denying the vote to disadvantaged people who are likely to vote against them.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom to insult people, but in Belgium a mere insult is a crime if it is sexist in nature.
I don't like sexist or racist insults, but that doesn't mean it should be a crime to say them.
The prohibition is not limited to insults, and I can't figure out what the limits are. If you say, "I don't hang out with her because I don't find her attractive", is that criminalized because it "reduces someone to his or her sexual dimension"?
There is a proposal in the UK to make it a crime to say or do anything that makes a woman feel uncomfortable.
It starts by talking about "sexist abuse", but if you keep reading, you'll see that the criterion for what is to be prohibited is purely subjective.
I support the goal of teaching people not to be sexist, but not through totalitarian means, and not by restricting freedom of speech.
The Male Glance: How We Fail to Take Women's Stories Seriously.
Part of the way it works is by assuming that any interesting aspects of a woman's art are the result of luck rather than capable artistic thought.
Another aspect is the dismissal of some books as "chick lit" because "that is just meant to appeal to women". We could equally well dismiss some writing as "dick lit" because "that is just meant to appeal to men". The former term is, and the latter term would be, nothing but an excuse to reject and dismiss. But why dismiss a book merely because it addresses issues that interest a certain large segment of people?
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose deregulation of banks.
US citizens: call on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to support progressive values instead of opposing them.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject the bully's budget.
Authors get 3% of the sales price of their books.
My alternative systems of supporting authors and artists might do a better job.
Australia's planned repression of whistleblowers will include journalists too.
A Polish right-wing group, connected with the ruling right-wing party, is trying to sue an Argentinian newspaper for "defaming the Polish nation".
The alleged "defamation" is a rather subtle point — a juxtaposition — which means that this case attempts to extend the censorship to the widest conceivable level.
When governments attempt to censor publication outside the countries they govern, this attacks freedom world-wide.
The US army spreads militarism by promoting sales of army-branded guns, clothing, and video games.
I don't think we should ban, or censor, video games. There is no reason to believe that they make people violent. It is not clear that they made Nik Cruz violent. But even if they did occasionally do that, censorship is a threat to human rights.
Most video games are unjust because they are nonfree software. That is a good reason to refuse to have them on your computer. But that is a separate issue.
However, it is clear that selling US Army fan material of any kind promotes militarism, and that increases the danger of violence that can kill thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people — in other words, the danger of war.
A charity that helps the homeless also helped the UK government find and deport some of them.
Homeless immigrants need assurance that accepting help will not threaten them. For the same reason, they need assurance that seeking medical care or school for themselves or their children will not threaten them, and testifying in court will not threaten them.
Egypt's thugs and courts are so crazy that even government journalists are prosecuted for "insulting the police".
The Guantanamo kangaroo court "trial" of prisoner al-Nashiri has come to a halt. The defense lawyers all quit because they were not allowed to meet with the defendant without being spied on.
The US government absolutely insists on spying on their conversations, and no ethical lawyer will work under those circumstances, so there is no way to resume the trial. In effect, the idea of using "military tribunals" rather than fair trials has fallen into an essential contradiction.
The root of this contradiction is the government's insistence on concealing how it tortured these prisoners. However, justice demands that that this torture be revealed, and then prosecuted. It is more important to prosecute the torture of prisoners than to prosecute anything the prisoners may have done. For a patriotic American, there can be no worse crime than a crime committed by the US government.
An economic hypothesis for why US wages don't go up: with all the mergers in the US, there is little competition for employees.
When companies merge, they always say it will lead to improved "efficiency". What they mean by "efficiency" is "fewer jobs". So it is completely clear that these mergers are bad for most people.
How Can Liberals Defeat Populism? Here Are Four Ideas.
However, the rule book has now been published.
Several Republican state governors are refusing to schedule special elections for vacant legislative seats. They would rather keep the seats empty, and deny the people in those districts representation, than give a Democrat a chance to win.
Now people are challenging those decisions with lawsuits.
The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School learned to speak clearly and persuasively with the help of a good education, including programs such as debate, drama, and journalism.
How the fossil fuel divestment movement persuaded New York City.
Could it be that he advocates this because he dislikes his mother-in-law?
The challenge of introducing gender-neutrality into German.
"Trickle down" never worked before, and it won't work in the tax attacks now. Its handout to the rich functions, in effect, as a handout to the rich.
Portugal's decriminalization of using illegal drugs, together with plenty of treatment and other support for users that need it, has almost eliminated the main secondary problems that drug use causes in other countries.
Don't assume that all use of illegal drugs is a problem. There are plenty of people that sometimes use marijuana and it isn't a problem at all. Marijuana should be legal, not merely decriminalized.
South Korea is trying to start peace negotiations with North Korea, hoping to draw in the US as well.
Allowing companies to collect all the personal data they can maneuver people into "consenting" to will develop into something similar to China's totalitarian "social credit" system.
US citizens: call on Congress to ban distribution and production of assault weapons and large magazines.
US citizens: oppose the bully's budget.
The Tories say austerity has hit its targets. Fortunately not all of them are dead.
In India, people of the Valmiki caste are effectively forced to clean toilets and septic tanks, because the caste bigotry won't let them do anything else.
Rather than doing the job the safe and clean way that it's done elsewhere, they are forced to do it by hand without safety gear. That makes the work dangerous.
Without the bigotry, the job would have to be done by someone, but it could be done safely. A society without caste bigotry might invest in plumbing to make parts of the job unnecessary.
"Liberal democracy is at a critical point." How to protect it?
Many companies use AI systems to evaluate job candidates. Candidates are completely mystified about why they are rejected, and can't tell whether it is due to bigotry coded into the neural net.
I would guess that many of these procedures require the candidate to run nonfree software, which is an injustice.
I would guess that many of these procedures collect lots of personal data, then use it or sell it for other purpose. This suggests that the law should require the company doing the testing to erase absolutely all the data obtained from it, after making the hiring decision.
A job interview is an opportunity to learn about a prospective employer. You might learn, from this procedure, that you don't want to work there.
Pipeline companies and plutocratist legislators are systematically attacking the right to protest across the US.
Billionaire Carl Icahn gave the bully "advice" on which regulations to eliminate to help enrich Carl Icahn. He sold stock in a company that uses a lot of steel, a couple of weeks before the bully announced new tariffs on steel imports.
Surely that's a coincidence, right?
The SEC "coincidentally" dropped its investigation of Apollo Global Management shortly after it gave Kushner a loan of almost 200 million dollars.
Of course, there is no proof that the dropped investigation was related to the company representatives' visits to the White House.
US immigration thugs may be the most vicious thugs in the US. They systematically practice verbal cruelty and violent physically cruelty towards their prisoners, hoping to break their spirit so that they will abandon appeals against deportation.
Cutting them off from medical care is another standard practice. If US "custody" means they must suffer untreated diseases, that might scare them away.
Blocking them from seeing their lawyers makes rational sense, too, if the aim is to arrange a miscarriage of justice.
(Satire) Nation Not Sure How Many Ex-Trump Staffers It Can Safely Reabsorb.
How the tax attacks swindle Americans (other than very rich ones).
When a patient in southern California with Aetna medical coverage needed expensive treatments, the company answered automatically "no". It's no surprise — allowing the profit element in invites such dishonesty.
There are general techniques of manipulation that can be deployed to make any sort of interactive digital activity addictive.
Reading this leads me to want to keep such interactions out of my life. In fact, I've more or less totally done so, by not carrying a mobile device, and rejecting on principle their proprietary malware cr…app software.
You can do it too, with firmness and determination.
The bully stated his desire to follow President Xi's example and become president for life.
Xi prepared for that grab by increasing his power within the Chinese Communist Party, step by step, to the point where no one could oppose him on anything.
The bully has steadily done the same within the US Republican Party. This statement is another step in the process. He has just taught Republicans that, to remain in his good graces, they must stand by uncritically while he says he'd like to abolish democracy in the US. This step follows dozens of previous steps. Step by step, his supporters learn to abandon everything they used to hold dear and become members of his cult. Tools in his hands, ready for any use, even for overthrowing the Constitution.
If they hate our freedoms, they should move to China.
Chinese workers in construction projects around the world devastate local wildlife to feed their superstitions.
A completely paralyzed person has demonstrated consciousness by answering questions by choosing what to imagine.
Chinese who remember the hell of the Cultural Revolution fear that Xi will repeat the horrors of Mao Zidong.
There is no way to prevent this. He has already grabbed so much power that no one dares resist as he tried to grab more.
With the "social credit" system they hope to convert China into a nation of loyal robots, for whom doubting even the slightest point of what they are told will be unthinkable.
Australia is promoting vaccination in an aim to eradicate cervical cancer.
It has a long, long way to go, but I think we should encourage these steps so as to press for more.
We should also press for freeing political prisoner Raif Badawi.
"What we really should be asking is what McMaster and NSA director Mike Rodgers want to do that Kushner is standing in the way of."
I agree that this is an interesting question. Not because it might cast any doubts on Kushner's corruption, which we can smell, but because it might reveal some other devious schemes. After all, we can't suppose those spooks have a commitment to truth or justice.
New US Bills Introduced to Tackle Global Tax Avoidance and Corruption.
What will it take to wake up the rest of us from the lulling spell of the planet roasters?
A Canadian oil company has lost its fight to drill for oil next to a town's water supply.
Beware of the fools that reject the idea that there is such a thing as nature (or physical laws), and believe humans can manage the whole ecosphere.
I don't think humans could manage all life on Earth with our current abilities, even with complete good will. Even managing Biosphere II proved to be too difficult.
In practice, this plan would be an excuse to discard all fixed limits, so that the rich could plunder as they wish, while promising that some unspecified clever scheme would fix up the damage. Then it would become known that they never had a specific clever scheme at all, and the damage is irreparable.
News publishers have become dangerously dependent on Facebook, and the proof of just how dependent they are is that when Facebook separated news from personal postings the publishers call it "Orwellian".
Russian trolls supported pipeline protests, as well as fossil fuel advocates. SCROTUS want to hold this against the former but not against the latter.
It appears that Rep. Nunes in the House Intelligence Committee leaked communications of the Senate Intelligence Committee to cause trouble for it.
Isolation for 23 hours a day is brainwashing treatment, and unacceptable for more than a short period even for criminals serving prison sentences. It is certainly not acceptable to treat people that way who are merely awaiting deportation.
Holding these people far away from their families, and stopping them from touching their families, are also inexcusable.
He's also an easy target for rich Americans, whose influence is even more dangerous. The days when rich and non-rich people had a common interest, what you might call a "national" interest, are far behind us.
Poland's law censoring statements that criticize "the Polish nation" for participation in the holocaust spurred present-day antisemitism in Poland, as well as more of the false, exaggerated criticisms of Poles during World War II that the law aimed to stop.
Occupied Poland was deadly hell, so we should not be surprised that some Poles responded with great heroism and others with great depravity. Jan Karsi's book, Story of a Secret State, presents the heroism. In this article we see Karski's presentation of the depravity. Alas, anti-Semitism provided an easy path to depravity.
Most nations with a long history have crimes in that history. The US has crimes at least as big as Poland's. To deny the crimes is self-delusion. Poles, like Americans, must recognize them and work to prevent future crimes.
As they always should be.
The European Commission's plan for quick and "efficient" erasure of publications that are forbidden by censorship laws, and even those alleged to violate some terms of service, is just a hair's breadth away from arbitrary censorship without legal checks or limits.
"EU Commission’s Recommendation: Let’s put internet giants in charge of censoring Europe." The DMCA takedown system in the US has been used many times for political censorship. This system could be even worse.
Car companies are planning to collect lots of data about the use of the car, and want to sell it.
The first way a "connected car" spies on the driver is through the connection itself. It uses a cell phone modem, and the phone network tracks its movements just as it tracks a cell phone.
You can disconnect the modem in your car, probably just by unscrewing it. Then the phone network can't track you, and the car isn't connected, so it can't send any data about you, such as where you travel or what you say in the car.
But it might save up data to be sent or extracted later. To prevent this, we need laws.
I respect the free speech of bigots, not because I agree with what they say, but rather despite the fact that I disagree with them. I am sure that if some views come to be censored, they won't be the plutocrats' views, or the bigots' views. Rather, the views that criticize them will be censored.
Since the article mentioned trigger warnings, I would like to mention the idea (which I believe I read in an article in Free Inquiry) that trigger warnings are like spoiler warnings: a way of doing a favor to people who might prefer to avoid a particular topic. To fail to warn should not be a big deal, but when you have an opportunity to do people this favor, why not do it?
Russia claims to have tested a nuclear-powered drone for dropping nuclear bombs. Testing it is dangerous even if it never carries real bombs.
Monarch butterflies will be threatened by spraying a pesticide that kills milkweed in a very large area through which the butterflies need to migrate every year.
The idea that they could have any legitimate reason to interfere with her beggars belief. Especially since they obtained no warrant to do so. What we see here is impunity for repression.
If only it were true.
The only protection from surveillance cars is to require driverless cars not to identify their passengers and not to report where they go.
How Republicans manipulated 13 Democratic senators into supporting deregulation of banks.
Whatever good this law does in regard to community banks is smaller than the harm it would do by deregulating big banks. Like almost anything today's Republicans are willing to pass, it is negative overall.
Spring in the Arctic comes 16 days earlier nowadays than it did only 10 years ago.
But even winter in the Arctic is not cold the way it used to be.
Honduras has charged a former army officer with arranging the murder of environmental defender Berta Cáceres.
The bully's handlers, and the NRA, say they have got him back on script and he won't break out into support for gun control again.
He must loathe being kept in line this way. He might snap some day and start a nuclear war.
Sinclair Broadcasting wants to "sell" a station and retain control of what it transmits, so as to meet media concentration limits in a dishonest way.
What schools need, rather than guns, is funds to do a proper job of education and attend to the well-being of their students.
Internal emails from the Department of the Interior show that the motive for reducing national monuments was for extracting fossil fuels.
Plutocratist senators are making the bank deregulation bill do even more favors for big banks.
Reports from NAFTA negotiations say they are planning a chapter to limit government regulations that protect public health and well-being.
This could be even more harmful than the ISDS clause of the current NAFTA. The Democratic senators that support bank deregulation can't be relied on to block this.
The bully's saboteurs are hiring lots of former business lawyers to work in the agencies that are supposed to regulate business. They are likely to bring with them the businesses' views about how to interpret and enforce regulations — that is to say, "weakly" and "not at all".
Saboteur Pruitt is "trying to sell the safety of our water to industrial polluters" by pulling back the regulations on coal ash.
Duke Energy tried to hide its report that its coal ash is leaking excessive levels of radioactive materials into groundwater.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is going all-out to suppress progressive ideas and even progressive primary candidates.
For many years I have tossed their fundraising mail in the recycle bin without opening it. That was all I could do on my own. Now, together, we must aim to take the Democratic Party away from the right-wing "centrist" Democrats.
The National Labor Relations Board commits Republican sabotage against workers at McDonald's.
US white supremacists designed a plan to dominate YouTube and exclude opposing views.
Big businesses are not generally known for their defense of any sort of principle, other than "We should be deregulated." We shouldn't leave resistance to Chinese censorship up to them.
Seattle is installing superfluous bike racks to kick out homeless people.
Israel has blocked off the Palestinian town of Hizma, population 7000. One exit is now pedestrians only, and the other is a dirt road. Israeli soldiers won't allow anyone in except the residents.
The civil rights progress of 50 years ago has been mostly wiped out. Blacks are being pushed into poverty, stopped from voting, and stuck with bad education.
Expanding E-Verify is a Privacy Disaster in the Making.
The European Parliament is considering a twisted compromise to require most web sites to actively censor new postings to prevent copyright infringement. However, some big businesses such as Google could buy their way out of it.
Arming Islamist rebels has led to violent blowback, first in Afghanistan and then in Libya.
Right-wing falsifiers started planning to lie about the students in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School before the attack even finished.
The Republicans' tax attacks created tax incentives to move work out of the US. The No Tax Breaks For Outsourcing Act would correct them.
I think the Republicans billionaire masters will tell them not to support this.
Some schools are so overwhelmingly afraid of exaggerated dangers that they forbid students from even touching snow.
The state legislature tried to prohibit the practice, but the representatives of the rich blocked it. Now it only dares propose to prohibit this when the arrears are small.
The big tax cut on bringing foreign profits to the US encouraged many multinationals to do that, but they didn't invest it — they handed it out to owners.
Bipartisan pressure in Congress to reconsider Dubya's Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which is dangerously overbroad but not universally broad the way Obama and the bully have interpreted it.
It is working — to give more money to the rich. That was its real purpose.
As for whether it encourages more investment, the Republicans never cared about that.
Jared Kushner can't get a security clearance because of suspicious Russian contacts.
Could Donald Trump get a security clearance?
Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak was assassinated while investigating an official's ties with Italian criminal gangs.
US schools are pervaded by sublethal violence by the staff towards students. It is especially intense against students in groups that are targets of general prejudice or disapproval.
Giving teachers guns would enable more of this violence to be lethal.
High-ranking Mexican thugs face trial for setting up death squads to disappear suspected drug gang assistants, after torturing them in the police academy.
Rep. Barbara Lee's recommendations for what any new Authorization for Use of Military Force should contain.
The recommendations from the article:
First, any new AUMF should name the specific enemy that military force is authorized against and specify the permitted mission objectives to prevent the executive branch from overstepping Congress's intent.
Second, any new AUMF should include robust reporting requirements to promote democratic accountability and enable Congress to fulfill its critical oversight functions.
Third, any new AUMF should require compliance with U.S. obligations under international law to demonstrate to our allies and enemies alike that the United States is a nation that complies with the rule of law and is committed to its obligations to respect state sovereignty, human rights and the law of armed conflict.
Fourth, any new AUMF should include language that makes it clear that it is the sole source of statutory authority to use force against the enemy named in the authorization to avoid overlap, confusion, or loopholes.
And last, but perhaps most importantly, any new AUMF should include a sunset provision that sets a timetable for ensuring continued congressional approval and oversight as the conflict evolves, providing a safeguard against perpetual armed conflict or overly expansive executive interpretations
US support includes selling lots of ammunition as well as tactical assistance.
The troll stated support for closing the loopholes for buying a gun without a background check.
If the result is to pass such a law, that will be a good thing. However, it had better be done quickly before he changes his mind again.
He also insisted on the foolish plan to arm lots of teachers.
A Republican idiot said he thought Jews could have survived Nazi extermination if only they had had guns.
If Rep. Young wants to know how armed Jews fought Nazis, he should read about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. They fought valiantly, outnumbered and without heavy weapons, because they preferred to take some of the enemy with them; but they never had a hope of winning.
Alabama limits Medicaid to families with an income under $4000 a year, but that isn't harsh enough to satisfy Republicans.
The Svalbard seed vault, meant to preserve many varieties of plants in case they are lost, will be upgraded to protect it from the effects of global heating.
Now if only we could upgrade all the places that plants live.
Gas extraction in Groningen has caused hundreds of small earthquakes which have cumulatively damaged lots of buildings. The cost of compensating the owners of the buildings can be more than 5 billion euros, more than the worth of the gas and wells.
The oil company is clever about dragging its feet and pressuring homeowners to accept only partial compensation.
When a government says it arranges for a "balance" between the interests of the rich and the interests of humanity and/or wildlife, we should expect it to tip over and crush the latter at any moment.
Why the nitrites used to cure meat are carcinogenic while the nitrites found in lettuce are not.
A "smart" product is generally a spying product, and that's true for cities too. In addition, their spy systems tend to be privatized, so there is no public accountability about what data they collect or how that data is used.
Supposedly the data collected in Stratumseind is "about crowds, not individuals" — but what does that really mean, concretely? Does it mean that the record data do not permit identification of individuals, only of crowds? If so, maybe it is not a threat to human rights.
But it could mean that they collect and store data about lots of individuals but they are only interested when that data shows a crowd. If so, that is no protection at all, and no excuse. Tracking people's movements is a threat to human rights, and we must not stand for it except in very small and limited ways.
Every year during the NRA convention, the rate of injuries caused by guns temporarily falls by 20%.
Apparently the people who attend these conventions are responsible for over 20% of the usual rate of injuries.
Portland, Oregon, has a program to help the people forced out of the city by gentrification to move back.
It's well-meaning, but I expect that thousands of people have been forced out of the city by gentrification, and that only a few percent of them will get this help to move back.
Putin says that Russia has developed missiles that can get past US ABM defenses, since Dubya terminated the ABM treaty in 2002, and warns that Russia will respond likewise to the troll's plans to develop new nuclear weapons.
I don't find this shocking, or particularly evil. Nor is Putin necessarily telling the truth about these things.
Regardless of those points, this is a further reason why the troll's nuclear weapons plans are at best foolish and wasteful.
How America's Identity Politics Went from Inclusion to Division. The US Left made a grave mistake by adopting identity politics.
People who that see that their group is the target of systematic wrongs have the right to organize to stop it. I therefore respect and support Black Lives Matter as a campaign to stop thugs from gratuitously killing black people.
"All Lives Matter" was not a serious campaign to get thugs to stop gratuitously killing people, regardless of race. If it had been, it might have deserved our support. But in fact it was a cynical racist right-wing way of saying, "Ignore the fact that thugs kill so many blacks." This distraction campaign only showed the need for Black Lives Matter.
However, when mutual defense extends to the point of tribalism, it discards the universal morality which we could all support with our better nature, and aims for nothing beyond more effective competition with other tribes. This encourages the other tribes to fight back, turning politics into a squabble between groups in which none of them has any particular right on its side.
The only goal worth aiming for is to reject tribalism and return to universal humanitarian goals.
In particular, let's reject entirely the idea that tribes own certain cultural practices. What would be left for the rest of us? Hollywood? No one should be allowed to own cultural ideas, because everyone deserves cultural freedom.
A Spanish student was convicted for making light of the assassination of dictator Franco's second in command. The Spanish Supreme Court has overturned the conviction; but it endorsed Franco's dictatorship by saying that the assassination a "tragedy" and a "terrorist act".
Franco's tyranny murdered around 200,000 prisoners. The assassination of his officers was not terrorism, it was resistance to tyranny.
Support for Franco is dangerously strong in the right-wing party that now controls Spain; indeed, his supporters, never punished, were integrated into that party and have great influence in it.
A high school teacher in Georgia brought a gun to school and started shooting in a classroom.
This illustrates one of the many flaws with the troll's plan to end school massacres by arming a million teachers.
(Satire) An aquarium petting zoo tank gives children the chance to pet water in its natural environment.
Some New York City public high schools rent buildings from the Catholic Church, and the contracts forbid sex education and distribution of condoms.
The city should have a law requiring all public schools to offer sex education and distribute condoms. Then the church could either find some other way to use these buildings or drop its conditions.
Gretchen Whitmer, seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of Michigan, opposes single-payer medical care. Michigan Blue Cross is pressuring its staff to donate to her campaign.
People sell phony books on Amazon, apparently for money laundering, and they use real people's social security number. Amazon refuses to cooperate with the victims who may then get stuck with paying tax on the income they never got.
Republicans have not been able to repeal Obama's medical care advances but have adopted practices that will make it collapse.
Kuwait and the UAE deny citizenship to thousands of people born there. Those countries pressure or trick the stateless inhabitants into becoming citizens of the Comoros, then threaten to deport them there.
A broad campaign of misleading articles in mainstream media with headlines about "$1000 bonuses" have convinced the public that the tax attacks are benefiting working Americans. Too bad the articles are misleading.
(Satire) Pornhub announces more selective parental controls.
Despite the efforts of racists, most Americans still welcome immigrants.
I too welcome immigrants, in small quantities. It's the large number of immigrants that causes the problem of increasing the total population of the US. That weighs on the whole world, since immigrants to the US are almost compelled to have the same sort of carbon footprint as native-born Americans.
How prison gangs create order in US prisons — and to criminals outside prison.
If essentially all the prisoners have "forbidden" cell phones, and the guards know this, I expect the guards do more than just search for them once in a while. With a Stingray they can identify the phones. I'm sure they know how to convert them to listening devices, too.
Note: other articles say that prisoners can be labeled as gang-affiliated based on vague suggestive evidence and that this leads to heavy additional punishment.
The US has interfered in elections in many countries around the world, doing things a lot nastier than what Russia is accused of doing now.
This does not mean we should passively allow Russia to stir up racism and division in the US. But we should stop our country from doing wrong in the future.
Two proposed bills would make small advances in Americans' rights against credit-reporting companies.
The experimental Kemper "clean coal" power plant, which was supposed to burn coal and capture the CO2, was doomed before it was started. Executives knew their plans were likely to fail, and covered it up.
I suspect that "clean coal" was hyped intentionally by planet roasters with the specific purpose of discouraging society from doing what really needed doing: putting an end to fossil fuel use with all due speed — while there was still time to avoid disaster.
Since Republicans blocked the US government from funding research into gun violence, we have no good data about how effective various gun control measures have been — only the guesses of various camps.
Uber and Lyft Drivers' Median Hourly Wage Is Just $3.37. In other words, half make even less.
Since these businesses are based on identifying customers and tracking them, they are an injustice. Even if they paid more, they would still be an injustice. But they would not continue to exist if they didn't cheat their drivers too.
So let's just get rid of them!
Burning wood at home is not green energy.
Thousands of the workers in Disneyland don't get paid enough money to live on.
Disney's denial is based on fallacies. For instance, so what if the respondents were self-selected? Even if all the staff that did not respond have no difficulty living on their wages, that doesn't alter the fact that thousands of them do have difficulty.
The House of Representatives passed the bill to censor advertisement of prostitution services on the internet.
The bill is dishonest because it uses the term "sex trafficking" to mislead people. The text I saw did not have an explicit definition of that term, but implicitly defines it — through what it actually prohibits — to mean "advertising prostitution services".
However, the term was designed to call to mind the term "human trafficking", which refers to a form of enslavement.
Any law which uses that dishonest term is a swindle and should be rejected simply for that.
Please phone your senators to oppose it.
Oakland Mayor Schaaf warned the city that the immigration thugs were about to come through and seize them for deportation.
As usual, the thugs claimed to be getting rid of dangerous criminals, and perhaps a few of their targets really were such, but most of them were not.
Laid out in details, how blacks in the US face the same unfairnesses as they did 50 years ago.
I do not agree at all with those politicians, who are right-wing, but this prosecution is unjust censorship regardless of their views.
The UK is using medical records to find unauthorized immigrants, so now they are afraid to visit a doctor.
(Satire) Tourism at the Great Barrier Reef a few decades from now.
Various US cities are planning safe places for users of illegal drugs to inject themselves. This will reduce various secondary dangers that result from the prohibition of those drugs.
A large study finds that neonicotinoid pesticides have harmed many kinds of wildlife but don't increase farm yields very much.
Warren Buffett rebuked the Republican Party for giving his investment company 29 billion dollars in tax cuts that the company didn't need and didn't earn.
Republicans have removed the head of the Election Assistance Commission, which helps states make their voting systems resistant to interference.
(Satire) Americans waste enough sugary food each year to give a billion people diabetes.
Explaining the lies in the Nunes memo, exposed by the Democrats' counter-memo.
Students have a right to go out of school to protest, and the US has a long history of successful protests by students.
Radio Canada plans to destroy 200,000 CDs, some rare, and says that copyright forbids it from giving them away.
The viciousness of copyright law has no end. We must legalize noncommercial sharing of copies of every published work!
Canadians, you may be able to campaign to get the government to pass a law to allow these CDs to be given to a library.
Europe's "right to be forgotten", when applied to search results, becomes a "right to rewrite history".
I support this right for companies' private databases.
Antisemitic Incidents in US Soar to Highest Level in Two Decades.
The bully supports all the usual forms of bigotry — whether about race, religion, national origin, or gender. Hates R Us could be the Republican Party slogan.
The foolish practice of letting the state know everything you buy also rebounds to harm homeless people, not to mention street musicians and charities.
The current acceleration, if it continues unchanged, will more than double the total rise by 2100. However, we don't know whether it will continue unchanged. Positive feedback could cause it to increase.
The "just world" myth leads people to blame victims of any sort of misfortune.
Justice is artificial, not natural. We can't expect nature to give people what they deserve. If we want there to be justice, it's up to us to make justice.
Evidence suggests that giant manta rays can recognize themselves in a mirror.
Norway Set to Ban Semi-Automatic Guns from 2021, Says Lawmaker.
Canadian citizens: oppose the bill to order ISPs to block access to sites without trial.
A new Republican scheme to drive millions of Americans out of medical insurance: create cheaper plans for healthy people only, so that those who aren't healthy will have to pay more.
Several US states are considering progressive initiative positions.
It is clear that they did so to stop her from embarrassing them over their own wrongdoing.
Now that the cheater is selling foreign policy decisions for his business profits, will selling naming rights of embassies be next?
Other countries including Australia, Canada, Britain and Israel have strict gun control laws. The US should, too.
Only a small fraction of them will be killed by guns, but global heating could kill tens of millions of them, a few decades from now.
America's Richest 2% Made More Money in 2017 than the Cost of the Entire Safety Net.
How the Pentagon Devours the Budget.
The teachers of West Virginia are on strike, state-wide.
The Environmental Poisoning Agency has terminated a program to investigate how chemicals affect children's health.
"Finally America's children will be allowed to choke on the freedom of a lighter regulatory burden."
The reinvigorated gun control movement can be seen as fitting into a broader movement to root out systemically entrenched violence.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the FOSTA bill, which threatens to punish web platforms for what people post in them. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Also object to the use of the dishonest term "sex trafficking", which appears to mean only "advertising prostitution services" but is intended to trick people into thinking of enslavement.
Arming teachers would increase the risk of shooting students.
Nobel laureates write to Erdoğan calling on him to free the imprisoned writers.
Global heating can harm fruit trees by denying them the winter cold they need.
Switzerland, yielding to US copyright bullies, plans to require all web sites to actively censor new postings to prevent copyright infringement.
These automatic censorship systems make lots of mistakes, but the worst injustice is their contribution to the War on Sharing.
I hope the Swiss people vote to reject this law and tell the copyright bullies to jump in the lake.
The UN says that North Korea sent Syria equipment for missiles and chemical weapons.
The commercial marketplace depends on companies to take risks which could lead them to fail. Public services must be stable and accountable. Therefore, companies should never be entrusted with providing public services.
Rex Iverson was killed by an emergency visit to the hospital. Not by the treatment, but by being jailed later because he could not pay the bill.
He had every reason to expect to spend his life in jail, working for a few cents an hour to pay it. No wonder he committed suicide instead.
An EU analysis found that neonicotinoid pesticides harm all kinds of bees. They accumulate in the environment and remain persistently.
Afghan President Offers to Recognise Taliban to End War.
The arrival of many aid workers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake was a boon for prostitutes, since the aid workers would pay five times what Haitian clients paid.
I don't understand why some men desire sex with women that desire only their money and not them. But many men do, and given that they do, I don't see that they are doing the women any wrong by paying for their services.
Thus I conclude that this so-called "scandal" is nothing but an outbreak of irrational prudery. I suspect it has been boosted for some right-wing political motive, although I have no proof of that.
The real scandal is how some aid agencies managed to deliver so little real aid to Haiti using so much money. It's possible that the aid workers' use of the service of sex workers reflects some of the causes of the agencies' ineffectiveness, but we should focus on the causes, not on the salacious side effects.
A small town in Germany started a wave of unprivatizing public utilities.
Islamist repression continues in Aceh, with small examples of the general injustice of Islamic law.
Even worse, Islamist repression is spreading into other parts of Indonesia.
China's censors are working overtime to ban the clever ways Chinese people have expressed their disapproval of Xi's plan to become dictator for life.
One of the National Labor Relations Board's sabotage decisions has been reversed because an official who voted on it was hiding a conflict of interest.
Corruption at the top encourages corruption at all levels.
More Palestinians Are Dying Waiting to Get Medical Treatment Because Israel Won’t Give Them Travel Permits.
Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian dead, then claimed they hadn't shot him.
Israel plans to ban dissident organizations such as Breaking the Silence from going to schools.
Israel is converting itself step by step from a democratic society with open debate into a repressive state in which disagreement with the official ideology is hampered across the board.
The Supreme Court ruled that the US immigration thugs can imprison immigrants arbitrarily with no court hearings while trying to deport them.
(Satire) Pros And Cons Of Free Speech On College Campuses.
Some right-wing extremists want to use blockchain as an opportunity to eliminate democratic city governments and replace them with businesses that would own the city.
Clara Zetkin saw the Nazis take power in Germany and presented an explanation of fascism's appeal, under the conditions where democracy is too corrupted by the rich to offer the poor any hope.
The accusations against Geoffrey Rush have been made somewhat more specific.
As for touching her in some unspecified way while carrying her, that is still too vague. I could imagine things it might mean which she would validly object to, and other possible meanings that would not deserve criticism.
I think it is wrong for the state to make a register of people's biometric data, aside from people convicted of serious crimes.
The Mozilla foundation called on India to release the software for its biometric identification system as free software (actually they said "open source", but I don't advocate that).
Their recommendations don't go far enough. The existence of a national ID system is a tool for repression regardless of how it is implemented.
Using touch-screens and not using pencils leads to children that don't have the finger strength to hold a pencil properly.
Mumbai moves evicted poor people into a modern slum where the air is so polluted that nearly everyone is ill from that. The neighborhood has no schools, pharmacies or work. They have been sent there to die.
It is certainly possible for India to treat them better — today. But if India's population keeps growing, there will be a time when that is no longer possible.
Dr Wakefield, whose false research results cast doubt on the safety of vaccines, is still campaigning against vaccination despite the lack of any evidence against them. Now he in Texas trying to benefit from the right-wing tendency to believe fashionable conspiracy theories.
Remember when it was leftist extremists that believed conspiracy theories? The rightists have gone far beyond them in irrationality.
Monbiot: arguing against ecomodernism.
China's President Xi is trying to make himself president-for-life.
"Centrist" politicians have created the United States of Care to campaign for something short of single-payer medical care. Something that would still leave room for business to gouge Americans that get sick.
A center-right Democratic think tank has its own inferior proposal.
The US makes it difficult to take legal action against persistent sexual harassment. The investigation, inside an organization, aims above all to protect the organization. Even when the organization finds the complaint was valid, often the only response is to fire the complainant.
The Second Amendment was intended to protect state militias, but recent right-wing judges have twisted it into an individual right to own guns.
Congressional Democrats have released a memo showing how Nunes's memo was designed to mislead by omission.
Some restaurants in the UK require customers making reservations to pay in advance, or give credit card numbers.
While I sympathize with them about the problems that no-shows cause, their solution is intolerable since it forces customers to identify themselves.
If most of the no-shows come through the online booking systems, which are unjust in this and other ways already, how about putting these requirements only on the people who come through those services?
Saboteur of the Interior Zinke has a corrupt conflict of interest in a weapon factory.
Senator Feinstein faces a progressive primary challenger who got more support at the state Democratic convention than she did.
The bully loves coal miners so much that he aims to cancel a rule that will reduce their chances of getting black-lung disease.
The UN approved a cease-fire for Syria, which had no effect because Putin and Russia did not carry it out.
After a documentary that presents the movie fans that write subtitle files, the barons of film are trying to abolish this useful activity.
The term "piracy", except when applied to attacking ships, is propaganda for the enemy. Please join me in rejecting it vociferously.
US citizens: Call on Congress to demand NAFTA put people and ecosystems above corporations' profits.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject the plan to allow oil drilling off all the US coasts.
Everyone: call on FedEx to stop cooperating with the National Rifle Association.
US citizens: call on the House of Representatives to use a discharge petition to force a vote on a clean DREAM Act, without unrelated provisions.
This would give unauthorized immigrants who arrived many years ago as children permission to stay in the US and a way to become citizens.
The North Pole is 30C hotter than normal.
North Atlantic right whales are headed for extinction. This year, it seems there were no births.
Texan Ricardo Palacios took down a remote-transmitting camera that he found on his land, placed there by persons unknown without his permission. Now he is suing various suppression agencies that threaten to arrest him for that.
Amnesty International reports that the bully is leading a world-wide move towards authoritarian rule and contempt for human rights.
A new lobbying group opposes right-to-repair laws by pretending that modification of products by their owners would give them worse security than they already have.
As Bruce Schneier points out, most of them are made with such bad security that they couldn't be worse.
A veteran who had a pistol when someone else started killing people in his university campus explains why he judged it was a bad idea to try to find and kill the shooter.
Several sheriff's deputies waited outside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while the killing was going on, and did not go in.
I don't know enough to judge whether they acted wrongly, but this is more demonstration that having some armed and trained people in the vicinity is no guaranteed protection.
The question of how much money in the sales price is "profit" is not a simple one. They could easily have chosen an interpretation that minimizes the "profit".
Saboteur Zinke is persistently ignoring the public advisory boards which stand up for conservation of public lands.
Toxic Brew: State Politicians, Gas & Oil Lobbyists, and ALEC Join Forces Against Environmental Protesters.
King penguins face extinction due to two human activities: global heating and overfishing.
Macron's approach to the debts of the French railways is … crush the unions, as usual.
Israeli soldiers arrested Mohammed Tamimi, age 15, who is awaiting reconstructive surgery to treat the results of the bullet in the head he received from an Israeli soldier last year. Tamimi had been told he was too ill to leave home for 6 months.
Fortunately the soldiers let him return home. Apparently some cruelty goes too far even for the occupation of Palestine.
The cheater says he is "eager" to be interviewed by Mueller, but his lawyers are afraid he'd tell lies and be caught.
Because SCROTUS wrote the new tax law in a big hurry, they made big careless mistakes. Democrats say they won't cooperate with fixing the unintentional bad parts unless they can fix some of the intentional bad parts too.
Americans who killed themselves to escape from unending pain after they were denied opioid painkillers by rules set up to "protect" them from addiction.
A Chinese state-owned chemical company has joined a US lobbying organization, presumably to influence US elections.
George Soros warns that the monopoly power of Google and Facebook is a danger to society and calls for them to be regulated.
Soros is right, but he misses part of the danger. He recognizes how China uses commercial databases for oppression, but doesn't recognize how the US is increasingly doing the same thing.
Having the US regulate these databases will not prevent that danger. What we need is to protect anonymity by preventing these databases from being collected at all.
Performance metrics for evaluating researchers are distorting research because researchers are under pressure to game the system.
It often happens that a metric is useful for evaluation but optimizing it ruins things.
Law Enforcement Use of Face Recognition Systems Threatens Civil Liberties.
When a practice is an injustice to anyone and everyone, I don't think we need to resort to arguing that the injustice falls heavily on certain racial groups. I think it is better to argue in the name of all people rather than in the name of a subset.
And I can't stomach the term "people of color".
Assad's army is besieging Ghouta.
It did the same thing to east Aleppo.
As hurricanes are getting more powerful, a new "category six" is needed for hurricanes that are much stronger than category five.
"Hate-filled" Narratives Target Minorities Globally, Says Amnesty International.
You can't win battles against the political power by talking with people on the internet.
China's strong enforcement of regulations on burning coal has greatly reduced pollution in Beijing, but it is still too much.
The production of durian fruit depends on bats that are threatened with extinction.
A company that supported torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib for the US will be sued for it.
This is very shabby compared with what justice requires.
ACLU: some US schools assume different gender stereotypes and teach so as to inculcate them. Could this be part of the cause of sexual bullying among adults?
The Onion illustrates how Christian fanatics think about condoms.
An author warns that "politically correct censorship" is constricting fiction.
If white writers are pressured not to include nonwhite characters, and nonwhite writers are pressured not to include white characters, the result will be ghettoized fiction.
Boat refugees that Australia has imprisoned in Nauru live in rotting tents which contain poisonous fungus. It makes them sick. Australia learned this 4 years ago and has not corrected the problem.
Since Australia has arranged with Nauru to keep the press away, maybe the government of Australia figured it could stop people from noticing this again.
A new strain of typhoid that is resistant to multiple antibiotics is causing an epidemic in Pakistan.
Typhoid spreads through untreated water, so proper sanitation systems will stop it dead.
Even if it made sense to have teachers carry guns, the troll's plan for 20% of teachers to carry guns would cost a billion dollars just to train and arm them.
But that doesn't count all the students that teachers would shoot, whether from error, from malice, or from insanity. Even for a good shot, it is not easy to hit a specific person. On those rare occasions where an armed teacher did try to shoot a killer, the teacher would be likely to miss, or even hit a student unintentionally.
The whole idea is bullshit, and would be dismissed immediately if not for the political machine that insists it makes sense.
People often lie to dating apps, but if their messages are brought into court, the jury may not understand this.
The FCC proposes to solve a minor problem (prisoners with forbidden cell phones) by requiring remote-controlled "kill switches" in all portable phones, to brick them remotely.
The arguments presented tiptoe around the truly important issue: that this would give the state another unjust power that could be used for repression. We have got to stop being intimidated into silence about such points.
The kill switch that should be required in every portable phone is one that allows the user to make sure it is really shut off.
The Seychelles have created a protected area in the ocean in exchange for forgiveness of debt.
Putin has jailed Alexei Navalny until the "election" so he can't spread unwanted ideas.
Blue Cross / Blue Shield in Michigan is campaigning against the Democratic candidate that supports universal medical coverage.
Although a substantial number of Poles participated in atrocities against Jews during the German occupation, the underground Polish state prohibited this and punished it firmly.
Whether the antisemitism of a substantial fraction of Poles should be held against "the Polish nation" is a complex question. Perhaps the answer has to be, "in some sense yes, and in some sense no." In any case, the answer should not be dictated by laws.
The fact that many Poles killed Jews even though une underground Polish state prohibited this demonstrates the strength of antisemitism in Poland — so strong that the state could not fully enforce its prohibition.
The lunatic is having arguments prepared to justify making war anywhere without any approval from Congress.
The following note has been replaced by the one linked below it.
Banning assault weapons, or at least the AR-15, is important because its high-velocity bullets are more likely to kill the people they hit.
I misunderstood the comparison, so now I have a different conclusion which replaces the one above.
A pipeline across the Appalachian Trail would mean a scar 40 yards wide, like the biggest of highways, stretching all the way across the wilderness area.
Philadelphia will end the requirement for bail for nonviolent minor crimes.
Justice Thomas deserves to be impeached for perjury. With these valid grounds, all that is required is political will.
Some universities in the UK have become mere instruction businesses.
Today's college students no longer believe the myth that the September 2001 hijackers were from Iraq. Now they believe the myth that the hijackers were from Iran.
Debunking the marketing campaign that leads people to buy bottled water in places where the water from the faucet is potable.
I almost never buy water in the US. I carry a reusable bottle and I refill it.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose deregulating banks. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Banks get away with too much already. Let's regulate banks so thoroughly that there will be no room for creativity or innovation in them.
US citizens: call on Ajit Pai to recuse himself from FCC decisions about Sinclair.
Come on, let's ajitate!
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank describe the violence of Israeli soldiers — which included sending dogs to bite them.
The Koch brothers have listed their successes in reshaping the US to serve the very rich.
It's not just Big Brother and gangsters that spy on people through their portable phones. Violent spouses do it, too.
Election Security Is a High Priority — Until It Comes to Paying for New Voting Machines.
It is hard to determine whether Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 US election.
In today's climate, propaganda does not need to be sophisticated or nuanced to influence Americans.
Melting Arctic ice could expose toxic chemicals from the remains of Camp Century.
An experiment in using reason for debate on the internet.
Prominent right-wingers are joining in dustraction attacks on the students that survived the recent massacre. (By "dustraction" I mean throwing dust at people to distract from the real issue.)
Excessive tourism is destroying coral reefs in Thailand and the Philippines.
There's a long history in the US of right-wing bigots saying that progressive protesters were paid actors.
Rich right-wingers have done this, so they accuse us of doing what they would do.
Poisonous toads from Asia are overrunning Madagascar. They will wipe out many native species if humans can't get rid of them.
Unsurprisingly, allowing company staff to do some of the inspection in pork plants makes inspection faster, cheaper, and less effective at preventing possible food poisoning.
US meat inspection is generally rushed and shoddy. That suits the meat processors, and they have lobbied hard for it.
Mattis said that the Department of Defense has no evidence proving that Assad dropped sarin gas bombs.
This confirms what Seymour Hersch said about the alleged attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
Oxfam has programs that teach girls how they can live without being prostitutes.
That's the only effective way to help them. As long as they need the money from prostitution, punishing them or their customers does not help them.
For the same reason, I think it is a mistake to fuss about whether Oxfam staff hire some of those prostitutes. It's a distraction from effective help, such as these programs.
Debt collectors regularly put unsuspecting debtors in jail, even for debts as little as two dollars.
Assad's forces are systematically bombing hospitals in Ghouta.
They have done this sort of thing before.
To react quickly, you need frequent drill, too. If you train your response to that point, you might shoot someone rather than take time to think. Thugs do it, so why would teachers be immune?
I support all these points.
What it took for independent journalist Iona Craig to find the truth of the effects of a raid in Yemen by Navy Seals.
Everyone: Call on companies to stop giving support to the NRA.
US citizens: Call on Mattis to free Toffiq al-Bihani, and to end imprisonment without trial.
Here's the message I put in.
Dear Secretary Mattis,
I urge you to immediately transfer Toffiq al-Bihani, who has been imprisoned at Guantánamo without charge or fair trial since 2003. He faces no charges and the US already said there is no reason to keep him in prison.
Imprisonment without trial is vicious and the fact that the US practices this is a blot on our country. Secondarily, it inspires hatred which can express itself as terrorism. Justice and human rights demand that the US give each prisoner in Guantanamo a fair trial or release him. Those who are convicted should be treated according to the US constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
Those responsible for torture and enforced disappearance must be brought to justice in fair trial.
In the name of our country's honor, and the Constitution you have sworn to defend,
A US company is already developing a robot to fight with humans.
Although China's social reliability score is set up by the state, a set of private businesses could do the same thing if we don't stop them.
Vote-counting machines that use a cellular modem to transmit results are connected by it to the internet, and therefore insecure.
People in Venezuela who have had organ transplants, if they are not rich, can't get the medicines necessary to protect the transplanted organs from their immune systems. People who need kidney dialysis are in trouble too, as many dialysis machines are broken.
Security investigators and reporters in the US face lawsuits when they report flaws.
In the long term, the way to be safe is to insist on software that the users control — free software. This doesn't guarantee no bugs ever, but it means that the users can fix any bugs (and any malicious functionalities!) rather than being at the mercy of the one company that can do it.
Methane leaks from fracking in Pennsylvania have the same global heating effect as 11 coal-fired power plants. Much of this comes from abandoned wells, which no longer provide any fuel but still leak.
Most of the world won't mourn the end of the period of US hegemony, during which it has launched many wars and overthrown many governments to make the world safe for plutocracy.
I take exception to two of the points in the article. First, the "idea that government has direct responsibility for the welfare of its people" does not necessarily mean a communist dictatorship. It could refer to social democracy, such as the New Deal in the US.
Second, the brief US attack on Serbia was intended to stop violent ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. I won't argue that this was the only or the best way to do it, but it wasn't bare-faced aggression and it did stop the attacks against Albanian Kosovars.
Reducing US world interventions won't necessarily mean peace. Chinese hegemony is not likely to care much about human rights either.
The resistance to gun control in the US fits in a broader tendency to cheapen human life.
Still we should keep in mind that only a powerful minority of Americans oppose stricter gun regulations.
The US hasn't got a lot of corruption in everyday life, but in bigger things it is as corrupt as can be.
The Burmese army is flattening all traces of Rohingya villages that it burned last year.
Republicans say we don't need gun regulations because dangerously insane people won't be able to buy guns, while opposing measures to block dangerously insane people from buying guns.
Disney's bogus bonus, which excludes the workers that are negotiating a contract.
I can't blame per much. To enter a building where someone else is shooting people is rather dangerous. Most likely the thug wasn't trained for that.
What this mainly proves is how foolish it is to expect some armed teacher to stop a massacre.
The Republican governor of Missouri faces charges for taking a nude photo of a lover without permission and then trying to blackmail her with it.
The aim of his blackmail attempt — not that it makes any ethical difference — was to enforce her silence about their affair.
The Democratic Party establishment is fighting hard for right-wing Democrat Fletcher against activist Moser.
I don't give to Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. I give to progressive candidates (as far as I can tell) and organizations that support them.
AMP is Google's plan to try to pressure web sites to become part of a single empire of the web.
Mobile operating systems that support cr…apps are similar in spirit — intended to lead people away from the interoperable web.
A number of users are suing Microsoft for forcibly downgrading their computers from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
That's one way of protecting yourself from a universal back door. But it provides only a little protection. What you really need to do us switch to GNU/Linux.
Surveillance magnate Patrick Ryan wants to run for Congress as a Democrat.
With Democrats like these, who needs Republicans?
Calling Russian manipulation "a new cold war" is somewhat of an exaggeration.
It is not necessary for the Russian troll system to be invincible for it to be important enough to condemn, or to prosecute US politicians that collaborated with it.
US citizens: Support commonsense gun control.
US citizens: Call on the Bureau of Land Management to protect California's deserts.
We Need Aid That Helps Locals, Not Multinationals and Bloated NGOs.
People that overtly call themselves fascists have started a political party in Italy.
"No ideology, only rhetoric" — sounds a bit like the troll.
A US appeals court ruled that government agencies can't fire employees over their private sex lives.
I hope that the Supreme Court eventually supports this decision, but I am not optimistic.
I refuse to criticize anyone for "adultery", because it consists of breaking a promise that many people find almost impossible to keep, and in many cases is bad for them. People make this promise because of social pressure that many do not see a way to resist. Under such circumstances, I refuse to criticize them for breaking it.
This is why I refuse to criticize the bully for having affairs with attractive celebrities.
The bully is doing tremendous harm to the US and the world. Let's not get distracted from this by peccadilloes.
Walmart's profits and stock price are rising, so it is eliminating some 10,000 management jobs.
I refuse to shop at Walmart in the US; I don't like the way it pays most of its employees so little that they need public assistance.
Measuring education in terms of increased income afterwards is missing the main point of education.
We used to acknowledge clearly that the purpose of education was to prepare people to be capable citizens of a democracy. The mere attempt to judge issues of education in narrow economic terms indicates a basic error.
The NAACP scores members of the US Congress on how they voted on civil rights issues in 2017.
Washington State is in the process of legislating a ban on fish farms that hold non-native fish, because if the fish escape it can cause permanent ecological damage. A Canadian company plans to sue using NAFTA.
This is possible due to the ISDS (I Sue Democratic States) provision of NAFTA.
Launching US indigenous tribes into a solar-powered economy.
Jonathan Smucker asked his congresscritter "how much the Koch brothers are getting in tax cuts and how much they're contributing to your campaign." The congresscritter had him thrown out.
Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts was a legal secretary in the Montana Department of Labor. When told he would have to work on subpoenas from the US immigration thugs, he immediately quit.
The UK government, as part of its policy of maximum cruelty to immigrants, is trying to squeeze out old people that are legally allowed to live there but haven't got documents to prove it.
The Concerted Attack On Public Sector Union Workers Is A Coordinated Effort Financed By Wealthy Donors.
Political attacks on immigrants can be a way to veil racism.
A Bahraini political prisoner has been sentenced to more years in prison for saying that Bahrain tortures political prisoners, and for insulting Salafi Arabia by criticizing its air campaign against Yemen.
He's surely right in criticizing that. As for the torture, if he says Bahrain uses torture he surely knows.
For either of those statements to be a crime is in itself sufficient to conclude that Bahrain is a repressive, evil state — if we didn't already know that.
Monsanto has given Avaaz a subpoena demanding the name and other info of everyone who signed a petition against glyphosate.
International courts are taking small steps toward recognizing environmental degradation as a cause for compensation.
Compensation may be sufficient when the total damage is small compared to the wealth of humanity. However, the damage that global heating threatens to do will be so big that compensation is impossible. We must instead prevent it.
A Republican US senator told a security conference that the bully was planning to bomb North Korea to try to destroy its nuclear weapons capability.
Egypt is allowing selected people to leave Gaza during just four days.
Florida high school students went to the state capitol to demand gun control. Thousands of students left school to protest.
The school superintendent of Needville, Texas, declared he would suspend any students that walk out of school to protest.
I hope all the high school students in that district walk out to protest at his office, to show they are not going to be intimidated.
If he follows through with the threat to "suspend" them, they can organize a three-day teach-in, where they will learn things that are more important than what is normally taught in school.
Republican Pennsylvania state legislators are seriously planning to impeach most judges of the state's Supreme Court specifically for instating nonbiased legislative districts.
Can anything be done to stop them from seizing power?
US citizens: call on the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department to investigate the payment made to Stormy Daniels, which may have violated campaign finance laws.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call on the state government to drop its support for the NRA.
Assad Regime Uses Barrel Bombs and Attacks Hospitals in Rebel-Held Eastern Ghouta.
Nestlé and Others Cashing in On U.S. Water Infrastructure Crisis.
Honduran thugs are raiding homes at night to arrest protesters against election fraud.
They have also shot and killed protesters on various occasions.
Republicans offer to exchange tiny steps towards gun control for passage of their bill to undermine all states' gun regulations.
I don't think it is sufficient to prohibit the sale of certain kinds of guns and accessories. We need to collect them and make them non-functional.
US gun owners overwhelmingly support some kinds of gun control regulations.
South Australia, a state in Australia, will aim to meet 25% of peak electric demand from storage — batteries and pumped hydro power. This goes with a target of 75% total electricity from renewable sources.
Precarious part-time employment is making children poor.
A Florida state representative's staffer promoted a conspiracy theory accusation against the activist students that survived the school shooting.
The UK sold surveillance equipment to the Philippines even as Do-dirty had set up death squads.
A defector reports that al-Shabaab imposes crushing taxes on the people it controls and conscripts 8-year-olds to train them as fanatical soldiers.
However, people still think that al-Shabaab courts are honest while government courts are corrupt.
Arizona Republicans have failed three times to defeat the state's independent election districting commission, and failed. Now they are trying again.
Since social isolation tends to make people sick, social help can keep people healthy.
On what is needed to put an end to sexual harassment by men that have power over women's careers.
Since the 1930s, the US has built racism into its infrastructure. Surely the bigot's infrastructure plan will do more of this.
An analyzed example of how the mainstream media legitimize US war crimes: the New York Times said that the US "stumbled into torture" and that drone attacks that kill civilians merely "go wrong".
The US military's list of "global threats" doesn't change much: it's always calculated to appear to justify increased spending on every part of the military.
It's not clear that the "rogue states" are more rogue than the US, or that the US can't coexist peacefully with them.
The cheater openly endorsed rigging elections through gerrymandering.
The UK makes it a crime to say "move your fucking van".
I disapprove totally of what she said — she was talking to ambulance crew who had come to take a sick person to a hospital — but the state should not punish people for rude language.
A combination of two cheap drugs, important to avoid the dangerous mistake of taking one without the other, has been jacked up in price to the point that patients can't afford it.
US citizens: call on the Senate not to deregulate banks.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose budget bill amendments that would allow rich people to put even more money into political campaigns.
Arctic sea ice has reached a record low, less than ever in the past 12,000 years or more.
The school shooting in Florida was in a high school named after journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas because of her campaigns for women's rights, racial equality and preserving the Everglades.
Releasing minks in Britain, where they are a harmful invasive species, was a significant act of ecological sabotage, comparable (though on a much smaller scale) to palm-oil plantations and oil pipelines. However, they were sure to escape some day, just as an oil pipeline is sure to leak from time to time. The root of the problem was breeding minks in a place where they would be dangerous. This should not be allowed.
For Republicans, the school shooting in Florida was a welcome distraction from condemnation for covering up the domestic violence of White House staff.
A new radio-tracking system for commercial drones would also potentially force them to land when they reach a prohibited area.
I don't know whether this includes a radio back door or not.
Israeli soldiers arrested Palestinian children because they were in the area where someone threw stones.
A book store in the US yielded to violent threats from supporters of Israel, by publishing a statement condemning the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
Now students opposed to the occupation of Palestine have launched a nonviolent campaign calling on the bookstore to move back to a neutral stance.
I think it is wrong to accuse the bookstore of "suppression of literary freedom", but it is clear that that was the aim of those that made the threats.
UN Warns Australia Against Imposing "Draconian Penalties" on Journalists. This law could violate a treaty on human rights.
President Carter, a right-wing Democrat, began shifting US policies towards business and against democracy.
Carter has learned a lot since then, but he cannot undo what he did then.
Just 1 Degree C Changes Our Risk of Severe Weather.
E-books have hit a commercial setback.
However, not enough of a setback to make our freedom safe. Please help teach others to reject them.
The US immigration thugs are pushing for more and more spying on everyone.
Whatever they get, other agencies will get. Eventually the fourth amendment will be effectively a no-op.
Lawsuits are blocking Republican sabotage of environmental protection.
Restoration of electric power in Puerto Rico is held up because subcontractors fail to do their work.
I urge Puerto Ricans to do everything possible to convince potential buyers to refuse to buy its power grid. The less it is sold for, the less it will be necessary to pay to seize it back.
The UK government has banned protests in an ancient forest scheduled to be cut down to build a train line.
In general I support high-speed trains. They help replace air travel with something much more efficient (as well as pleasant). But the UK needs to get rid of the laws that make it so easy to destroy forests, and so easy to ban protests.
"Wage theft is the rule, not the exception, for low-wage workers." In the US, it adds up to 15 billion dollars per year, stolen from the people who can least afford to lose it.
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers.
If the UK leaves the EU, businesses and right-wing ideologues are organizing to take advantage of this by adopting the weaker food and drug safety standards of the US.
"After Florida, I see the NRA as nothing less than a terrorist organization."
But is that valid? Terrorism is a matter of intent: political influence through threats of violence. Does the NRA do that? Not directly. It doesn't threaten to shoot anyone.
However, in an indirect way, maybe it brings this about.
The NRA functions as a marketing arm for gun companies. Its program is to make Americans scared of gun crime, so that they will buy guns. Thus, it appears that a higher rate of gun crime is not merely a byproduct of the NRA's activity, but part of its plan.
Does that fit the definition of terrorism? I'd say it is on the borderline. In the end, I think it is better not to stretch the word this far. We can condemn an organization for wrongdoing without calling that wrongdoing "terrorism".
Cross-partisan discussion groups enable Americans to get to know people from the other side of politics.
Everyone: call on Los Angeles to fire the thug that shot a gun at a group of teenagers because they were crossing a lawn.
"Registered intermediaries" help young children testify about sexual abuse.
In the US, "recovered memory" therapists used to convince vulnerable people that they "remembered" being sexually abused while children — but the abuse had not really happened. Some people were imprisoned for years then exonerated.
It might be the case that these "intermediaries" are doing the same thing, some of the time. Or maybe they take care to avoid it. The article does not address the issue.
This "state of emergency" shows something big is happening. What is it?
Oxfam faces an inexplicable climate of hostility, in which everything it says is taken as a sign of wrongdoing.
You can see this bias when people label this uproar with the terms "sex exploitation" and "sexual abuse". At that point enters the premise that doing business with a sex worker is a wrong that deserves condemnation. Then the attack typically condemns the organization because someone on its staff did this "wrong".
If an Oxfam staffer hires a country music band, a genre which I dislike rather strongly, should I say Oxfam has a music exploitation scandal?
Australia has laws for protection of endangered species, but usually it only goes through the motions of trying, or not even that.
The Syrian Kurds in Afrin have asked Assad to defend them from Turkey. Erdoğan warned Assad that Turkey would attack Assad. And Assad's Russian backers, too?
It is very strange for a breakaway part of Syria to ally in effect with Syria (and thus maybe Russia). Even stranger to ally with Syria and the US at the same time. I don't know what to make of this.
How the UK told Qadhafi where to find exiled dissidents so he could kidnap them.
A study measured temperatures for the past 11,000 years, since the end of the last ice age. It has never been as hot as it is now.
Global heating effects are causing problems for aviation.
Look at the propaganda designed to dishearten people about the privacy of cash.
It takes a gently derisive tone towards some minor practical inconveniences of tracked digital payments, while suggesting they will soon be solved. The result is to disparage the idea that there is something serious at stake.
If you live in Sweden — or any other country — plan in advance to carry cash, and only pay cash in stores. If a store won't take cash, say "I'm going to another store that will."
You can easily think of bogus objections, if you are willing to exaggerate — so ignore them instead.
If you find yourself without cash one day, don't give up — just do better the next day.
And don't use a pay toilet no matter how they want you to pay. It is vicious and cruel to make people pay to use a toilet. I have money, and I could afford to pay, but some people can't. I have boycotted pay toilets for 10 years.
Texas has a new privatized prison, which pretends to be a "treatment program" for ex-cons, except that there is no treatment and prisoners are never released except to die.
The time to talk about preventing more massacres is March 24. (And before, and after.)
The rulers that lied to go to war with Iraq have not faced justice, but they still deserve it.
If the bully's wall is built, it would put bison and jaguars in danger in Mexico and the US.
180 already-endangered species would be harmed.
Is it possible to make openings that these animals could get through, and watch them closely enough that humans could not get through? Is it possible to make small holes for smaller animals to get through?
If this could be done, the wall would be a foolish expenditure but not a cause of extinction.
US citizens: tell Congress to reject the bully's privatization of infrastructure plan.
The UK eagerly sells arms to many tyrannical regimes, and the Tory plan for exiting the EU is to sell even more.
Provoking violent opposition won the Nazi Party more support, which enabled it to take over Germany. This is because the establishment, and the principal media, always gave the left more of its share of the blame. Even if the left did not engage in violence, it was blamed for any real or imaginary violence.
The bully's advisors appear to be following the same approach.
The article recommends expressing disagreement with Nazis by holding an event far enough away that it will avoid direct confrontation.
The Burmese government is reportedly bulldozing mass graves of Rohingya to cover up the massacres.
The question of the opaque accusation of "inappropriate" has reach a court. The lawyer of the person thus criticized, Mr Rush, asks how one can defend oneself from such an accusation. Do you say, "I don’t know what it was, but I didn't do it"?
Or do you say, "I don’t know what it was, but it wasn't wrong"?
This case illustrates the point that it is never legitimate to punish or rebuke someone on the grounds of "inappropriateness". For an accusation to be valid, it has to be concrete.
If we knew what Mr Rush was accused of doing, we might say it was wrong. Or we might not. At least we would have a question to think about.
But when the accusation says only "inappropriate", we have to reject it.
Here is the letter from the Taliban to the American people, calling for peace negotiations.
As you would expect, the letter contains exaggerations and false points that put the Taliban in a better light than it deserves.
However, the US had not exhausted peaceful ways to deal with that issue. The Taliban had expressed a willingness to discuss expelling al Qa'ida, not long before.
I hope the US has the decency to make peace.
US High school students are mobilizing for gun control, led by those whose friends were shot last week.
Gambia's president is moving to abolish the death penalty.
The plutocratist government of Tasmania pledges to enact a new law to repress protests, after the old one was overturned as unconstitutional.
Protests are a transient inconvenience. Extinction is forever.
Women who stand for something more important than fashion should not face arguments about the way they dress.
How foolish it is to judge a politician by per looks. I didn't refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton because of her appearance. I didn't vote for Jill Stein because of her appearance. I chose based on their political stands.
This applies to male politicians, too. Americans have tended for a long time to elect for the (male) presidential candidate that has better looks. How foolish.
The neofascist right-wing in Italy is using hatred of immigrants.
Oxfam staff in Haiti are accused of threatening a witness to demand silence about their activities with prostitutes.
Hiring sex workers is not wrong; it is one of those things that prudes condemn for no good reason, and then try to drag everyone else into condemning too.
The danger of retribution by prudes is real and substantial, so the fear of retribution is rational. Sad to say, that fear leads some people to commit real wrongs, such as threatening violence.
To illustrate the general point, this used to be the case for homosexuals. It is not wrong to be homosexual or to have homosexual sex, but prudes condemned that for no good reason, and manage to drag society along with that prudery. To be a closeted homosexual was truly dangerous, and they were vulnerable to being blackmailed and coerced into doing real wrongs.
That is mostly no longer a problem for homosexuals in liberal countries today, because prudish prejudice against homosexuals no longer receives much open support. Instead we see the new prudish campaign against sex workers and their customers. That too can coerce people into doing real wrongs. You can see the campaign here.
The article is incoherent — argument from juxtaposition with derision. The closest it comes to validity is when it points out that Haitians may do sex work because they live in desperate circumstances.
It draws the wrong conclusion from that. The problem those Haitians suffer is not sex work as such, it is their desperate poverty. Sex work is one of the ways they cope with it. To help them would mean giving them improved circumstances in which they could easily avoid sex work, if they wish to.
The poverty of Haitians was not caused by Oxfam. Rather, it is the result of centuries of oppression: first slavery, then decades of war for independence, then the huge indemnity that France demanded in exchange for Haiti's independence, followed for many decades by tyranny supported or imposed by the US, from the Duvalier family to the presidents that the US selected after the US kicked out Aristide for the second time.
To get out of this desperate situation, Haitians need humanitarian aid, such as Oxfam provides, but above all they need self-government that is honest.
The prudish article does identify one practice of Oxfam which will tend to cause problems: giving its foreign staff a luxurious villa to live in, and more generally a life of luxury compared with the local people.
The problem is not a matter of any specific luxury they might pay for. It is that their lifestyle tends to distance them from the people they have come to serve. That can lead them to look down at the local people and consider their work nothing more than a career to make money from. In effect, they forget the point of their being there. That doesn't automatically cause them to act badly, but tends to lead them in that direction.
When Facebook sought advice about how to offer its dis-service to children, it consulted the experts that it funded, while giving independent analysts too little time to respond to the plan.
New National Academy of Sciences Report on Encryption Asks the Wrong Questions.
Reverse-engineers defeated a Microsoft system of DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) for Windows applications.
I would cheer for them, except that even once these applications' DRM is removed, they remain proprietary software — you use them at the cost of your freedom. An unauthorized copy of a proprietary program is a rather bad thing, almost as bad as an authorized copy of the same program.
To protect your freedom, you need to refuse to run the program. And refuse to run Windows, too.
Please don't refer to unauthorized sharing as "piracy". It is propaganda for the enemy.
Arguing for the precautionary principle: evaluating projects and plans by numerical risk assessment is unscientific, and systematically leads to too much risk.
The precautionary principle is easy to apply when "do nothing" is a fine alternative to the project being evaluated. Often that is the case, but it gets more difficult when inaction is dangerous too. Also, it has to be applied with a sense of proportion. Walking downstairs might result in a fall, but it would be absurd to reject a project because implementing it would require someone to walk downstairs.
"Throw Them Out": Plans to Eject Politicians "Beholden to the Gun Lobby".
The plan to give poor people one-size-fits-all imposed food packages will be bad for nutrition, inefficient for the government, and a give-away to big food companies.
There is no need to worry that Americans receiving food assistance money are splurging it on luxuries. Benefits for the poor in the US have been gradually cut, over the past 20 years, to the point where they can barely get by. Thus they are compelled to find the most inexpensive food.
"Peace Through Strength" Is a Racket — an excuse for letting military spending gobble more and more of the US budget.
It's not just a theoretical possibility that the Peace Through Strength Doctrine, or PTSD as the article abbreviates it, can encourage real war. Look at how many countries the US is fighting in.
That leads to ever more veterans with PTSD from the PTSD.
The cheater started diverting funds to his family friends even before being inaugurated.
Everyone: call on First Quantum not to invest in Pebble Mine.
US citizens: Call on the Senate to protect Mueller's investigation.
US citizens: call on politicians to stop taking money from the NRA.
Oklahoma has cut taxes so much that it can't run schools any more. Teachers have to moonlight at Walmart.
Republicans have made it almost impossible to repeal the tax cuts, so the state is trapped on the road to disaster.
Sabotage that will bite Americans later: denying people the right to sue to protect their rights from businesses.
It was accepted constitutional law that the second amendment did conflict with gun control. Right-wing extremists campaigned for decades to gain enough power to change that.
Eliminating gun control, like eliminating abortion and birth control, are not really important to right-wing supporters. Rather, their leaders are expert at using these issues to build communities of supporters who are fanatical about them, and can then be led through them to support right-wing candidates in spite of all other issues and all their real interests.
For manipulating Americans, Facebook is the platform of choice.
Don't be so easy to manipulate — stop being a used of Facebook!
A Florida agency investigated the recent school killer, and concluded he wasn't likely to commit an actual crime.
Such estimates are inherently fallible. At least they looked at the situation.
The governor of Kentucky is so hot to deny medical care to poor people that he's willing to spend millions for the decrease in aid.
Someone warned the FBI about the Florida shooter, but the Miami office never received the message so it did not investigate him.
That appears to have been a mistake. Surely the system can be improved, but there is no way to eliminate mistakes. The FBI may able to prevent some such killings, but it could never prevent them all.
A bigger obstacle is that lots of people show the general signs of being possibly murderous, and only a few of them go on to try to kill anyone. So it would take quite a few investigations to prevent one crime. That gets to the point of oppressing lots of people who have not and will not do anything criminal.
On the other hand, if we got rid of large magazines, those who decide to kill won't be able to kill so many people.
We should also consider following Canada's gun regulations. According to Bowling for Columbine, Canadians can own guns, but there are strict regulations about how to store and carry them, which reduce the use of guns to shoot at people.
Ajit Pai is under investigation for a conflict of interest for his elimination of the limits on media concentration, apparently intended to allow the right-wing propaganda broadcaster Sinclair to take over many more TV stations.
Uber is losing a lot of money every year, but we cannot tell how much because it releases only vaguely defined accounting information, insufficient to tell its real losses.
This is crucial because it can't keep this up indefinitely. Some day it will have to raise its prices quite a bit. If Uber customers patronize Uber so much now that its competitors disappear before that day, they will regret their actions when the price goes up.
An interview with the Zapatistas of Chiapas.
The Balearic Islands want to move fast to renewable energy, but the Spanish state demands to upgrade coal-burning plants instead of shutting them.
Some US states are moving toward voting systems that are less vulnerable to digital fraud.
What I fear most, in the area of centralized digital election fraud, is not that Russia will do it (though it might try to), but that US politicians will do it.
President Clinton was almost removed from office for having sex with Monica Lewinsky. How is it that the bully more or less gets away with it?
The article gives good reasons, but I'd like to add one more. Recall that the hardest charge against Bill Clinton was that he lied when he denied having sex with her. Republicans claimed to hold him to a standard of total honesty (which, of course, they did not meet). And he claimed to meet that standard.
The bully shows blatant contempt for the truth. As a result, to make a big deal about any one lie of his seems like missing the point.
My view is different. I did not criticize Bill Clinton for sex with Lewinsky — I considered it unimportant. I don't believe non-monogamy is wrong. As for lying about extramarital sex, I forgive that because I blame the unjustified pressure society puts on people to be or appear monogamous.
I criticized Bill Clinton for things that hurt or endangered millions of Americans, such as "welfare reform."
Likewise, I don't care if the bully had sex with models, porn stars, or accountants. I don't care if he paid them not to talk about it, or paid them to talk about it. Those things are unimportant. I condemn the bully for the gross wrongs he commits every day. There is no excuse for those.
American theocratic right-wing Christians have got rid of most of the principles that their Christianity used to mean to them.
However, a minor correction is called for. Roy Moore did not date children. He dated teenagers.
Facebook has imposed political censorship on Instagram, bowing to Russia.
The flood of plastics that endangers animals in the sea is tied up with fracking.
California plans to eliminate fees for public colleges with an estate tax.
I am in favor, but this is just a small step towards taxing the rich properly.
A million Afghans have reported war crimes to the International Criminal Court.
What about the Americans that are needy, like the 50% that are broke? When will you let up on them, rich guy?
A teacher in the US faces charges for violently dragging a student out of class for not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Students have the right to abstain from the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the US Constitution, which is what Americans' allegiance really ought to be directed towards.
Immigrants' representatives are suing the immigration thug agency, accusing it of selecting people to deport based on their political views, and planning to grab them at times no one will notice.
Salon magazine offers users two options: view surveillance ads, or mine bitcoin for the magazine.
"Smart" cities are an excuse to replace participatory government with massive surveillance. Big Brother "knows" what you need.
US citizens: call for banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose amendments that would open more channels for the rich to pay for political campaigning.
The Johnson Amendment is the law that prohibits churches from campaigning for or against candidates.
US citizens: call on Congress to keep guns away from those who commit domestic violence.
A federal court's surprise ruling threatens the right to make links.
Iceland proposes to ban circumcision of baby boys, treating it the same as female genital mutilation.
From what I have read, the two practices are not comparable in practice. Female genital mutilation systematically prevents women's sexual pleasure and can lead to life-long medical problems. Circumcision for males is not like that.
But there is an argument for allowing boys to make their own decision about circumcision, when they are old enough to decide.
15% of the world's land area is protected for wildlife, but that's not enough. To preserve most of the species, we should protect something like 50%.
First step: stop increasing the human population.
Facebook has a VPN service, which doesn't respect privacy the way most VPN services do.
Racism is spreading in Italy, where it wasn't traditional before.
A conservative gun owner advocates strict investigations before someone is allowed to own a gun.
He turned in his assault rifle to the thugs because he did not want it to be available to anyone. That was well-intentioned, but does that thug department destroy the weapons that people hand in? Or does it sell them? Some US thug departments sell weapons under those circumstances.
UK jobcenters view disabled people with a "culture of disbelief", treating them all as cheaters to be guarded against.
This is to placate the dictator of Turkey, the same one that is imprisoning journalists and political opposition. Recall that the Turkish state had a truce with the Kurds of Turkey for many years; Erdoğan broke it by starting a civil war, so he could rerun the election and get a majority, which put him in position to eliminate human rights in Turkey.
Cambodia's dictator has crushed all the independent news media.
Listing the NRA's ten most highly paid members of Congress.
The Florida school murderer trained with a white-supremacist paramilitary group, said the group's leader.
Later he said that his first statement was a mistake, that he had been tricked by right-wing trolls.
Who were these trolls, and what was their motive? Were the pranksters opposed to neo-Nazis?
Were they neo-Nazis trying to cause trouble for a rival group?
Were they neo-Nazis who calculated they would win support for their cause by associating themselves with murder? It worked for PISSI, so maybe they think it will work for them.
Turkey has arrested the leaders of the Green Left Party.
Turkish journalists have been sentenced to 30 years in prison, in cruel conditions reminiscent of US "Supermax" prisons.
(Satire) "The Laureate-IV military robot pens haunting verse describing death, grief, and senseless violence to capture the grisly realities of war."
Belgium has ruled that some aspects of Facebook data collection are illegal, and ordered Facebook to delete the data or face a large fine.
While this is firm compared with the usual levels of regulation of companies nowadays, it is inadequate in recompense because it assumes that deleting the data will entirely undo the wrong to the users. There are two reasons that is not so:
The British housing crisis is the consequence of Tory ideology and goals. Kicking out the Tories is the first step to taking all the necessary measures to end the problem.
Britons, hiss at the Tory government when you vote and you can make it hiss-tory.
The US border patrol has cut down border visits between US citizens and their relatives who can't enter the US.
I share the suspicion that "This has to do with the message of hate that Trump screams out."
Poverty Is Now So Visible That Even the Richest Can See It.
I recall a cartoon from the 1980s showing rich people wearing "stealth hats", in the shape of the "stealth bomber", so that they would not see the poverty around them.
The saboteur-in-chief wants to eliminiate the Energy Star efficiency program, which saves energy for a small price.
Is this because it gives his hotels a low rating for energy efficiency? Or because he hates the idea of encouraging people to think about saving energy?
The saboteur-in-chief regrets having appointed David Shulgin to head the Veterans' Administration. It seems that Shulgin is qualified, capable, and wants to do a good job.
Does this sound like The Onion? Alas, it's true.
Saboteur Pruitt has isolated himself inside the EPA office, with personal security guards (several on duty at every moment). He has given people reason to hate him and he knows it.
He said he flies first class because fewer people there disapprove of his sabotage to the environment and the ecosphere.
By his lights, though, the side effects of his security are all to the good. A whole floor of the EPA offices for him? With all the staff he has dismissed, there is surely plenty of extra space, and if not, it is an excuse to dismiss more staff. Paying his guards? Use the funds saved by not paying scientists and investigators.
US citizens: phone senators to oppose the nomination of a coal lobbyist as the second in command of the EPA.
US citizens: tell SCROTUS to ban assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
Mueller has indicted 13 Russians and some Russian companies for meddling in the US election.
But this is not yet proven.
Rich people are "less likely than poorer people to exhibit flexibility, empathy, and all the other traits: that lead to healthy, long-term relationships."
(Satire) New School Shooter Drill Includes Practicing Pleas To Lawmakers To Do Something About This.
(Satire) John Kelly Apologizes For Assuming Everyone Would Ignore Abuse Allegations Like They Do In Military.
War and Poverty: A Compromise With Hell.
There were 10,000 civilian war casualties in Afghanistan in 2017.
Is it worth continuing the war at that cost, to keep the Taliban from winning? No one has an idea for how to really defeat them.
80% of the tax attacks' (temporary) individual tax cuts go to the richest 1% of Americans.
A court stopped the deportation of Syed Ahmed Jamal at the very last minute, but instead of freeing him, the immigration thugs put him in jail.
Japan has almost completely shut the door on political asylum.
What should museums do about the wings and rooms named after the Sackler family?
It is not entirely fair to compare the Sacklers to drug pushers. Drug pushers know, when they start, what harm they are sure to do. The harm oxycontin has caused was just a possibility when the Sacklers started selling it.
Of course, as evidence of harm accumulated, they resisted the conclusion that they were doing something wrong. I suppose they are still resisting it.
This is not limited to pharmaceuticals. Think of the Gates Foundation (funded by subjugating people in their computing) and the MIT-Lemelson program (funded by a bequest from a blatant patent troll).
The Netherlands has so many cows that they can't dispose of the manure safely.
Brazil's president Temer got donations from companies "linked to slavery". So did many other Brazilian politicians.
Some of them actively oppose efforts to stamp out slavery.
Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of Energy, warns that the danger of accidental nuclear war is increasing.
The bully wants to spend billions of dollars to upgrade B61 nuclear bombs which are kept in Europe, even though it is dangerous to have them there.
A South Korean presidential candidate campaigns to end the burning of coal world-wide.
The African National Congress is still full of corruption even though President Zuma is gone.
The saboteur's "infrastructure" plan is designed to make toll roads in places where well-off people are likely to pay the tolls.
The formerly repressive prime minister of Ethiopia has resigned. Something complicated seems to be going on there.
US citizens: protect wildlife by opposing the bully's infrastructure and budget plans.
US citizens: Call on Congress to support the Child Care for Working Families Act.
The latest school shooter was a right-wing extremist. This killing could be an act of right-wing terrorism.
After a school shooting killed 17 people, Russian bots are supporting the NRA against gun control, and claiming that the killer is associated with Antifa.
"Smart cities" use tech that resembles military, for systematic reasons.
The intelligence agencies' inspector general investigated 190 cases in which internal whistleblowers complained of retaliation. Only once did it rule in favor of the whistleblower.
Meanwhile, whatever wrongdoing or corruption they reported has probably been ignored.
The whistleblowers such as Snowden that tell the public know that reporting the matter internally would be useless and would result in their punishment.
A tanker is sailing from Korea to France along the Arctic coast of Russia.
If this were the principal effect of global heating, we could well celebrate. In fact, though, it warns we are approaching a turning point at which the lack of ice greatly increases the absorption of sunlight in the Arctic.
Fallacious arguments often supplied against allowing immigration into the US.
Sessions, as part of the War on Pain Sufferers, said they should take an aspirin and suffer — no matter how bad the pain. Restrictions on opioids are making it difficult for some people to get treatment for their pain.
Before crushing people with pain, let's see if the recent diminution in prescribing oxycontin reduces the number of people that get addicted to opioids.
I expect to have an operation in a few months. I am terrified of what will happen after I leave the hospital.
A professor at Princeton started a discussion in class about racism and racist insults. Students reported him for quoting a racist insult.
We can't discuss and think about the issue of racism if we don't dare quote racist statements.
I am disappointed that the professor cancelled the course in response to this criticism.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, prisoner in Iran, is now a pawn in the hands of the foreign ministry.
Administration Moves To Trample Taxpayers, Public Health, And Climate Via Methane Waste Rule Rollback.
Google wants to put surveillance ads into email, as well as other things that will depend on nonfree software.
You can protect yourself with free email readers, because many of them will refuse to run the "dynamic" (i.e., dangerous) material in email messages.
Republicans know that making life difficult for poor people can result in an irrational reaction where they give up on political activity (which lets the Republicans win).
Results of the Westminster God Show.
Exxon discovered decades ago that fossil fuels were going to cause global heating, and kept it secret. Several states and cities are suing Exxon for this. Now Exxon is suing them, trying to present itself as the poor little rich kid that merely wanted to get richer.
"Baltimore cops so corrupt two of them actually got convicted of something."
The US is number 2 in the world as a tax-dodging host.
All The White Supremacists Running For Office In 2018.
Iran's equivalent of Pizzagate: environmentalists studying rare cheetahs have been accused of spying. One of them recently was killed in prison.
With a scandal in the news about some humanitarian aid groups, right-wingers are inventing lots more fake scandals.
Why? I think they hate the idea that suffering people deserve some help and that governments can fund it.
South Africa's super-corrupt president Zuma has resigned.
US immigration prison thugs, working for a private company, put an asylum seeker in solitary to punish her for reporting other acts of harassment. They said they would not release her unless she retracted her complaints.
US citizens: Tell Texas Republicans to back off their bogus lawsuit which aims to exclude black Democratic candidates.
US citizens: support Senator Warren's bills to protect the public from credit bureaus.
The one and only crime that can get a person fired by the White House is having tried marijuana.
A homeless man died next to Parliament in London, effectively a reproach to the Tories that created most of the homelessness in Britain.
Canada's national medical system covers medical care but not medicines. A million Canadians skipped food or heating to pay for medicine last year, and a larger number skipped medicine because they could not afford it.
Still, it's a lot better than the US.
(Satire) White House Now Just Holding Continuous Going-Away Party For Departing Staffers.
An immigration thug lawyer is charged with using the credit cards of people who were being deported, to defraud them and others.
Instead of forgiving Americans' unpayable student loans, Republicans want to take the money out of their social security.
Israel has dozens of ways to try to chase Palestinians out of their villages in the West Bank. It fabricates excuses to create artificial bureaucratic obstacles to normal life.
Mass Protests Force Ethiopia to Free Opposition Leader.
Ethiopia is ruled by a rather nasty dictatorship.
German Cities to Trial [Gratis] Public Transport to Cut Pollution.
The candidate from one Mexico's main right-wing political party says that the state is spying on him. The candidate of the left-wing PRD says the same.
I am not surprised. 20 years ago, Mexican elections were being rigged by altering the final results — maybe they still are.
Teamsters' union solidarity includes protecting members from deportation.
Why can't the Tories make their system for cutting support for the disabled work without errors? Because errors contribute to the intended effect of cutting aid to the disabled.
I suspect, however, that spending less to help the disabled is a means to another end: demonizing the disabled. Tories don't want the non-disabled people who are likewise suffering to recognize whose fault it is: the Tories and the rich people they serve.
The Taliban publicly invited the US to start negotiating ending the war in Afghanistan.
As long as the situation remains basically unchanged, the US cannot win the war in Afghanistan, any more than the Soviet Union could. It would be better to acknowledge this and stop the useless bloodshed. Much as I condemn the Taliban's Islamist repression, perpetual war is worse.
Now we know that the reason the bully cancelled DACA in the first place was to use those immigrants as hostages to gain these demands.
As President Reagan showed us, giving hostage-takers what they want encourages them to take more hostages. Republicans are no less clever than Islamist kidnapers, and no less cruel. To enable their cruelty because they have hostages would surely make things worse. We should not do that.
Meanwhile, there is a chance of preserving DACA through court actions.
The Department of Energy predicts that fracking will extract increasing amounts of oil and gas for decades.
They might be able to keep increasing this for a few decades, but if they do, there will be no avoiding global heating disaster.
The EPA carelessly approved use of the toxic pesticide dicamba on additional crops. It produced blowing clouds of pesticides that damaged other crops, as well as wildlife.
Apple devices lock users in solely to Apple services by being incompatible with all other options, ethical or unethical.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to reject HR 620, which would weaken efforts to make life easier for people with disabilities.
The saboteur's budget proposal would transfer billions of dollars from education and health to even more armaments.
The suicide rate in Puerto Rico increased 50% after last year's hurricane.
It would be interesting to study precisely what motivates these people to commit suicide. It could be the difficulty of coping with life with many systems not functioning, penury due to the lack of income, death of friends and relatives, the dread of losing your land and house to banks, or maybe something else I have not thought of.
The saboteur's budget could cause millions of preventable deaths over the next decade.
That's not counting the hundreds of millions of deaths that would be likely later in the century.
An estimate suggests that endocrine disrupting chemicals cause $170 billion damage per year in Europe, considering just the effect on human beings.
These chemicals harm wildlife, too.
One additional reason the UK to beware a new business-supremacy treaty with the US: the US will insist on exporting meat that brings antibiotic resistance.
The US may demand the usual ISDS (I Sue Democratic States) provision too.
Canada's easy attitude towards companies whose owners are secret makes it a prime transit site for hiding profits.
PFAS chemicals in food packaging and no-stick pans may cause obesity.
They are also found in firefighting foam, whose use puts them indirectly into water supplies.
US immigration thugs have doubled their rate of arresting (and deporting) immigrants without criminal convictions.
Some of those people face charges, of which they might be found guilty or innocent. If they are found guilty, they could be deported for that. If they are found innocent, there will be no particular reason for deporting them. So what's the rush?
Two more corruption cases against Netanyahu.
Makes one think of President Temer.
How Trump's Budget Would Cut the Safety Net for the Poorest Americans.
California legislators propose to allow tall buildings with dense housing near all major bus lines and train stations.
I am completely in favor of this, because overall it will mean cheaper housing and less homelessness.
However, it should be joined with stiff taxes on dwellings that are not anyone's primary residence or are the primary residence of considerably fewer people than would normally live there.
The US Defense Logistics Agency spent almost a billion dollars which it can't document. What to do? Spend even more.
New software will enable people to avoid pressure to stay in touch with other people by having Eliza-like programs do it for them.
The humans will be effectively isolated from other humans while their social stand-ins leak their personal data autonomously.
The saboteur's budget proposal would cut research for clean energy and better agriculture, as well as monitoring the environment.
It attacks the environment and public health.
The judge that insists on arresting Assange refused to consider the possible plot to deliver him to the US.
We know the UK was lying when it claimed publicly to be pursuing Assange on behalf of Sweden while privately telling Sweden not to stop providing the excuse for this.
President Do-dirty of the Philippines is using misogynist sadism to motivate his base. He called for soldiers to shoot women in the genitals so as to leave them alive but mutilated.
In effect, he is training Filipinos to be sadist monsters, much as the bully is doing in the US.
Education in the US normally teaches students almost nothing about all the democratic governments that the US overthrew and replaced with repressive regimes.
Many of those countries are repressive today. I doubt there would be a jihadi movement if the US had not overthrown Mossadegh.
Corbyn plans to nationalize the UK electric grid.
Meanwhile, the US wants to sell off Puerto Rico's electric grid.
Republicans want to replace part of food assistance with a fixed box of groceries.
If this were an option, and provided more food, I think many people would take it. However, treating poor people like dirt is the purpose of this policy. It is meant to intimidate them so that they don't fight for their rights.
US citizens: Reject the idea of taking parental leave funds out of future Social Security payments.
Making people go hungry when they are old is not an effective or just way of discouraging reproduction.
There is no evidence that the agent was killed at all.
A US appeals court ruled that governments can't fire employees for private sexual activities in the absence of a work-related reason.
I hope the Supreme Court agrees with this.
Whistleblowers in the department that handles asylum claims for the UK say they that some agents hate immigrants and only want to say no.
Even those that want to judge cases honestly can't because they are too overworked,
Does anyone know how the US compares with this?
Even among progressives, racism and sexism are still present.
Federal regulations make it difficult for banks to serve marijuana businesses, but one bank has found a way.
Phony abortion advice organizations (whose advice is always "don't") gave Google Maps so as to fool women that want an abortion.
Rule by oligarchs (i.e., plutocracy) explains why so many US government policy make life worse for the non-plutocrats.
The saboteur-in-chief's infrastructure plan would make development more "efficient" by ignoring the harm a project will do to everyone else.
Egypt's Allies Urged to Denounce 'Farcical' Presidential Election.
It resembles Putin's farcical election.
The melting of ice on Antarctica and Greenland is accelerating, so sea-level rise in this century is sure to be more than two feet.
Agro-forestry is being used in many countries to restore forests.
The real scandal of aid organizations in Haiti is, why did so little of the aid money donated to them for Haiti get spent to help Haiti? I do not think it is wrong to hire sex workers (or to be a sex worker), so I won't criticize the staff of these organizations for hiring them. Hiring a prostitute is not "sexual abuse".
However, if the staff spent a lot of money on sex workers, that could be a sign they were diverting the aid money to themselves. That would be part of the real scandal. Whether this was done by stealing, or "only" by arranging terms of employment that put too much of the organization's money into enriching the staff, is just a detail. It's corruption either way.
Russia is likely to manipulate the 2018 US election, and might improve its approach compared with its successful 2016 effort.
US gun sales have dropped so much that gun manufacturers are in trouble.
The NRA functions as a marketing and lobbying arm for the gun manufacturers. If they don't have money to give it, the NRA may get much weaker.
Indonesia is about to criminalize all sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage.
A UK court insisted that the UK would arrest Assange if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy.
Even if the judge made this decision "on the merits" of that narrow aspect of the case, due to the context it would be a continuation of the scheme, punishing Assange for the UK government's dishonesty. However, given all the secret machinations, and given that UK judges often uphold such machinations, I so not believe that this ruling was independent. I think the judge is complicit in the same scheme.
If that is not true, let him prove it.
Computational extrapolation, used to predict success or failure in work, turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
A major newspaper in Brazil has stopped publishing via Facebook.
The major newspapers of Brazil are right-wing and sometimes publish fake news. My Brazilian friend told me, tongue in cheek, that he thought this decision was because the owners were concerned their articles would be tagged as fake on Facebook.
However, Facebook itself is so dangerous that any movement by the media towards rejecting it is cause for applause.
Thugs in Baltimore were convicted of stealing money and drugs (to resell), plus lots and lots of lies. They carried BB guns to plant on people to frame them or make excuses for killing them.
None of this was part of their job, which was to seize illegal guns.
Facebook took down a negative movie review because the movie company claimed the review was copyright infringement.
Everyone: Support Aceh's Green Vision.
Everyone: support abortion rights in Poland.
Embracing Bold Platforms, Progressives Working to Unseat Corporate Dems Nationwide.
Ricardo Querales faces death by deportation. The antiviral drugs, without which he will die, are not available in Venezuela.
It is fundamentally wrong to make it a crime to possess drugs for one's own use. Such charges don't justify deporting someone, let alone jailing someone.
Australia's disregard is allowing species to go extinct.
The disregard is so big that the government is allowing businesses to cut down large areas of wild forest.
Police officer Mader treated an armed and suicidal black man the way thugs typically treat only whites. But this was no use — some thugs arrived as "backup" and shot that man immediately. Then thug department fired him for not acting like a thug.
I hope he finds a job as a police officer again.
A campaign of protests targets Apple in France for tax-dodging. Apple is seeking to ban the protests and fine the protesters.
It is Apple that deserves to be fined — or rather, taxed.
Making fibre for clothing from food waste, to avoid using petroleum and polluting the ocean with plastic.
A US school district removed To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn from the high school curriculum because they portray racism in its rawness.
I don't think anyone is going to find tolerance for racism in To Kill a Mockingbird. It is too long since I read Huckleberry Finn, so I don't have an opinion about it.
However, American racists are now so blatant that we may not need books from 50 to 60 years ago to show how ugly racism is.
Lissa Lucas came to the West Virginia legislative hearing and was permitted to testify. When she started saying how much money the legislators in the committee had received from fossil fuel interests, they told her to shut up, and dragged her away.
Bravo Ms Lucas!
Several prisoners have died recently in Iran, supposedly from suicide, but their families don't believe it was suicide.
Suicide can be the best choice for a sane prisoner under certain circumstances, but we cannot assume that Iranian thugs are telling the truth about how those prisoners died, any more than we can trust what US thugs say about how prisoners die.
Legalized medical marijuana reduces deaths from opioid overdose. The easier the access to marijuana, the bigger the effect.
Even remote areas of the ocean have a substantial presence of plastic microparticles.
The tourists jailed in Cambodia for dancing "pornographically" were dancing at a party in a house, nowhere near temples.
South Korea and North Korea are rapidly improving their relationship.
This is a very good thing. It will reduce the danger of renewed war (which could now be a nuclear war), and it might eventually lead North Korea to become less of a dictatorship. It could conceivably even lead to reunification of a democratic Korea.
Modest increases in the minimum wage generally cause no loss in jobs.
A big increase in the minimum wage can cause a small loss of jobs, but as long as the total wages of all workers increases, a system of tax and redistribution among workers could make up for that. Of course, it would be better to tax the rich as well for this.
FBI Warns Of ‘American Dream’ Scam. Millions have been bilked by this.
Congress Puts Aside Partisan Differences For Good Of Military Contractors.
Why Companies like Disney Are Willing to Give Out Temporary Bonuses.
Sweden's prosecutors wanted to drop the arrest warrant against Julian Assange in 2013, but UK officials persuaded them to keep it going.
In 2011, the Swedish prosecutors were ready to interview Assange in London, but the UK pressured them to hold out for demanding Assange go there.
This is two smoking guns — proof that the arrest warrant was part of a political plot.
Crude bigotry against blacks never ended in many small towns in the US, and Republican officials are actively stimulating it and supporting it.
UK schools are short 30,000 teachers. Since their wages are capped and inflation has eaten into it, people don't want the job.
US citizens: call for dropping all charges against inauguration protesters.
US citizens: call on the Forest Service to stop Nestle from taking water from public forests.
Nestle never got a permit and is defying California water regulations.
Republicans always look at a poor person as a potential cheater, but they trust corporations blindly.
Why the minor changes made in FISA section 702 do nothing to protect even US citizens from US government warrantless wiretaps.
The governor of Kentucky is trying to kick 35,000 people in that state off Medicaid.
Kentuckians are suing to block this, so to make them look bad, he calls it out-of-state meddling. Even if that were true, it would be irrelevant — a distraction from the wrong he is doing to them.
Republicans constantly manipulate people with distractive non-issues. Sometimes Democrats do it too.
A Republican legislator in Pennsylvania proposes to impeach the majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This is a scheme to reverse its decision that the Republican gerrymander violates the state constitution.
There is nothing Republicans respect enough that they won't crush it to get more power.
"Leaked Equifax documents provided to US Senate reveal that they dumped all our drivers' licenses, too."
China's President Xi announced a grand vision of an ecological society, and is leading mighty efforts to implement it.
Despite my condemnation for China's repression, I have to admire this. Contrast it with the bully that has seized power in the US, who does his best to increase both repression and environmental destruction.
China is now using face recognition camera eyeglasses to identify people that are not supposed to be allowed on trains.
How some secret Apple source code was released that may (we can hope) facilitate jailbreaking.
I do not encourage leaking proprietary source code because that would fail to make the source code free software. However, I do not criticize people for doing it. The wrong here was when Apple made that software nonfree — and, even worse, made it a jail.
Nonfree programs in general do injustice to their users. By making this software nonfree, Apple got power over users. Apple employs that power to commit further injustice against users, including censorship, DRM, and putting users in jail.
Ohio's reform plan, supposedly meant to eliminate the Republican gerrymander, perpetuates Republican control but disguises it better.
Russian trolls operated on Tumblr to attack Clinton and support Sanders.
I object to Russian manipulations of our elections even when they operate in favor of the best candidate and criticize an inferior candidate.
Watch out for proposals to cure "fake news" through censorship by the powerful (states, or companies). We've seen those before.
Charles II was overthrown by a revolution with strong public support in 1678, 3 years after the censorship scheme mentioned in the article. That revolution also ended the book censorship system that was the origin of today's copyright.
The Polish law banning discussion of antisemitism of Poles during World War II may unleash a wave of antisemitism there.
Fascist terrorism aimed at immigrants has appeared in Italy.
The Italian economic suffering is due to the Euro-zone rules applied by banksters. It's awfully convenient for them when Italians blame it instead on powerless immigrants.
Yashpal Saxena, whose son was murdered out of religious prejudice, has launched a campaign against religious prejudice.
Brazil's corrupt president has escaped all prosecution due to support from other corrupt politicians.
The FBI can do an "assessment" on anyone for the vaguest of reasons, or even on everyone who lives in a certain area, correlating many kinds of data bases including their phone calls and travel.
The fashionable thing to put on your skin for carnival in Brazil is … microplastics that will get into the ocean and poison sea animals.
The philosophy of the Enlightenment, centered around 1800, survives in today's humanist values.
I agree with Pinker that life is better — for most people — in the modern age than it was in past ages. I disagree with his conclusion that bleak expectations are irrational defeatism. Our progress has been going backward in recent decades.
This article suggests (I have not read his book) that Pinker does not recognize the harm that plutocracy has done globally since the 1990. Although material progress, in the sense of material riches, continues, the richest few are grabbing nearly all of it. In the US, the poor are worse off and have shorter life expectancy. "Free trade" has put the world's low-paid workers into direct competition, which the rich use against all of them. The rich now control many governments, including the US government.
He also does not recognize how increased inequality makes life worse for people, even aside from possible decrease in their own income.
Even if we were not undoing our achievements, we could not maintain them for long by continuing our current practices. Global heating, topsoil exhaustion, and population growth ensure that. The issue of sustainability is a rational one.
It sounds fine to cite past situations where civilizations invented solutions to their problems, but there were other past situations where they failed and the people died. Future progress may do great things, but it is foolhardy to suppose problems will be corrected. Especially when rich people who don't want them to be corrected dominate the state.
Female prisoners in Arizona don't receive enough menstrual pads, and if they use up the insufficient number, they bleed on their clothing and get punished for that.
The legislature is considering a bill to give them the supplies they need, but some male legislators are so patriarchal that they resent even hearing about the subject.
Republicans that control US state governments are systematically reducing the power of city governments to go against plutocratist state policies.
US citizens: call on John Kelly to resign.
The US census counts prisoners for the places they are imprisoned, rather than where they live. The effect is to transfer political power from cities to the rural areas where prisons are found.
The more prisoners, the more power the Republicans gain from this.
The troll's saboteurs have found sneaky way to harm authorized immigrants: denying them visa extensions and changes if they use the government benefits they are entitled to, even for their US-citizen children.
A Republican senator proposes to allow logging and mining in wild "wilderness study areas", untouched regions under consideration for being made national parks.
This is oppressive to US citizens, not only to immigrants.
Big Business Is Hijacking Our Radical Past. We Must Stop It.
The article also reminds us that we must defend the right of violent opposition to violent and unjust authority. We must reject the unfair standard which allows uniformed thugs to crush protesters for even the slightest deviation from politeness.
The troll is now trying to put protesters in prison for many years for planning a protest at which others committed minor property damage. In effect, that starts from the assumption that protesting is a crime.
It isn't a new thing either. They did it in Chicago in 1886.
Public defenders in Brooklyn went on strike after immigration thugs grabbed a defendant as he left the courtroom.
Trials could not proceed without counsel, so their strike had a powerful effect.
The US military is replacing toxic fire-extinguishing foam with a slightly different, slightly less toxic fire-extinguishing foam.
Non-toxic foams are available, and airports in other countries already use them.
To fight sexual bullying among coworkers, how about focusing on the bullying aspect, rather than banning sexual relationships entirely?
Black Lives Matter is stimulating US blacks to form and join unions.
The US has allocated billions more in aid for Puerto Rico and other places affected by recent local disasters.
I would like to believe that this is a good thing, but I have to be skeptical given that Republicans had to approve it. Is the aid for Puerto Rico's power grid simply a handout to the private companies that it will be sold to?
Pence said that President Kim's latest military parade was a "provocation", but the bully's military parade would be a "celebration".
I would guess Kim says the reverse.
To stop insurance companies from finding loopholes to drive people into poverty, let's get rid of them and set up a single-player scheme.
I wonder why anyone gets medical coverage through Anthem? I suspect that mostly they don't have a choice — that mostly companies choose Anthem for their employees. Under that system, Anthem has no incentive to do a good job for its non-customers.
Right now, we have a government agency that makes regulations for insurance companies, which seek clever ways to shaft people through loopholes in those regulations. Having the government agency set the rules directly will give us more accountability over the rules.
The low wages paid by Uber and Lyft have driven some cab and limo drivers to suicide.
They blame state governments for eliminating cities' power to regulate those companies.
The bully refused to allow publication of the Democrats' rebuttal to the Republicans' dishonest memo attacking the Mueller investigation.
The Republicans on that committee, headed by Rep. Nunes himself, consult closely with the bully. When they voted to approve release of the Democrats' counter-memo, they surely knew that the bully would block it.
I suppose the Democrats anticipated this too. Now they can say, "We can show that's not true, but the bully forbids us to tell you."
Unfortunately, that won't influence the bully's supporters much. They don't care that the Nunes memo is dishonest, even incoherent; they believe the conclusion anyway.
In effect, the Democrats are helpless against the height of Republican dishonesty and manipulation.
Since successful companies owe a lot of their success to public activities such as infrastructure, education, and research, they should have to contribute a substantial part of their income to the public.
The Environmental Protection Agency has cut its enforcement actions to about 1/4 the previous rate, and fines are less too.
We could call it the Environmental Pushover agency, but I fear the whole truth is even worse than that.
Sacramento thugs protected violent Nazis and tried to prosecute anti-fascist counterprotesters that the Nazis stabbed.
Cheating, in the sense of breaking rules, seems to be becoming more common in the US these days.
When a rule benefits society, cheating against it hurts society, but we should not assume that all rules are just and beneficial. When a rule is unjust, disobeying it is virtuous. This includes rules against sharing copies of published works. We should not call that "cheating".
We do not want to be treated by doctors that cheated on their exams or in their practice. We do want to live among neighbors that will share with us.
There is no reason to wait for a red light to change if you can see that no other cars are moving for a few blocks away. To wait uselessly is a loss for you and benefits nobody; to stop, then proceed with caution, is virtuous under those circumstances.
The UK investigation of the underground infiltration of dissident movements seems to be a pretense intended as a coverup.
Everyone: call on the football team Liverpool FC to reject the sponsorship of Chinese company Tibet Water Resources Limited, which is an example of China's exploitation of Tibet.
US citizens: call on District Attorney Faith Johnson to return campaign donations from bail bond companies.
They are a form of corruption because they give her an incentive to demand higher bail for the sake of the companies.
It's time for a replay of the triennial farce where the US copyright office invites people to petition for narrow, temporary half-exceptions to the injustice of DMCA section 1201.
Granting one of these half-exceptions is always better than not granting it, but every campaign for an exception ought to campaign also for repealing DMCA section 1201.
EFF: Newly Released Surveillance Orders Show That Even with Individualized Court Oversight, Spying Powers Are Misused.
Republicans have stopped saying they object to deficits and debt.
They never really did care, it was just an excuse to stop Democrats from helping the non-rich. Now that Republicans can run deficits to feed the rich, they love deficits.
A Danish court says it is a crime to tell people how to use file-sharing software.
The companies behind the War on Sharing will stop at nothing to impose their divide-and-rule strategy — until we decisively defeat them. We must legalize sharing of copies of any published work, and we must block their legal (EULAs) and technical (DRM) methods for denying people that right.
The bully's renewed global gag rule has undermined women's health care in many poor countries.
US prison conditions are so cruel that a UK court refused to extradite a UK citizen to the US on that account.
Please do not use the word "hacking" to refer to what Lauri Love was accused of doing — that gives us "hackers" a bad name.
A substantial group of people have rejected "smart" phones.
Alas, even a non-"smart" phone tracks the user's location — with the phone company and Big Brother, though not directly with other companies — and can be remotely converted into a listening device. That's why I refuse to carry any kind of portable phone.
If you own a car, watch out: it may contain a built-in cellular modem that makes it the equivalent of a "smart" phone. Nowadays it may even have a microphone to listen to conversations in the car. But you can probably disconnect it. Wrapping it in aluminum foil may be enough to make it cease to communicate.
Al-Hudood is the Middle East counterpart of The Onion.
Let's not allow one case of cruelty to interfere with homeschooling.
It is usually a good practice, as long as it doesn't cut off the children from other sources of ideas and knowledge.
Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing Venezuela because they can't get food.
If Venezuela collapses, I fear that the international plutocratic order will be imposed there. It won't be as bad as the current collapse, but it will be as bad as the plutocratic regime that Chavez replaced.
Life expectancy in the US is falling, slowly but steadily, due to increasing discouragement with harder life.
Students at 65 US universities are campaigning for them to move to 100% renewable electricity, and succeeding with some.
This many universities are a drop in the bucket, but when they lead, they may lead many more to follow.
ACLU: 6 ways the US is attacking environmental activists to crush their protests.
Bangladesh is persistently convicting the leaders of the main opposition party for various acts of corruption.
I won't claim these convictions are false. Bangladesh is probably very corrupt. It could be that every politician there is corrupt, but these particular politicians are prosecuted for political motives while other equally corrupt politicians are left alone.
Republicans continue planning new forms of voter suppression.
This goes with the nationwide gerrymander to implement their policy of "power by hook or by crook."
Having children is not a necessity of life; it is a luxury. I support efforts to help, encourage and lead people to reproduce less. I do not support this plan.
For those who do have children, parental leave is not a luxury — it is a necessity for the good of those children.
Pence completely rejected the idea of negotiation with North Korea.
I don't think the troll cares what actually happens with North Korea. Everything he says and does in regard to North Korea is meant to keep his supporters deluded.
US citizens: call on Congress to ban the practice of killing sharks and taking only their fins.
This is not only wasteful, it also endangers the sharks. If fishermen had to land the whole shark, they couldn't kill so many sharks and the species could recover.
The US is doing so little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that they are now predicted to increase, for a few decades.
A few decades from now, the effects of global heating will make emissions decrease, but that will be because disaster is already advanced.
The planet roasters believe they can give their descendants an escape from the disaster they are bringing on the rest of the world. The rest of humanity needs to show them that they can't do that; that the only way their descendants can survive is if the rest of humanity does too.
It is 16 years since Dubya made the United States officially a torture state.
Stanford University has done nothing to defend a professor from false accusations of terrorism, published by a magazine hosted at Stanford and funded by right-wing billionaire Peter Thiel.
I wonder, does he give money to Stanford University? Does anyone know?
Spirit airlines told a passenger she could bring her miniature hamster on board — then when she arrived, told her no, so she had to kill it in order to get home.
The airline spokesjerk expressed shock that she killed her hamster, pretending that this wasn't compelled by the airline's decision. What else was she supposed to do — remain indefinitely at the airport, effectively homeless? Spend a week going home by bus and miss classes?
The airline should have cages for use to keep small animals in the hold, if it doesn't want to carry them in the cabin.
The death of John Perry Barlow is a reminder of the time when we thought the internet could bring people freedom.
The good that the internet can do is being blocked by censorship and drowned out by intentional lies, while the bad (total surveillance and the War on Sharing) is growing without restraint.
If you want freedom, the first step is to build the strength to say "no thanks" when someone offers you convenience in exchange.
The US immigration thug agency has asked for access to all the government's secret surveillance data, which supposedly is collected to "protect" us from "terrorists".
If we tolerate government collection of data about Americans in general, the government will use it against us in ever increasing ways. We must put an end to this data collection.
The Federal Reserve has started to raise interest rates, mainly with the purpose of stopping workers from getting raises.
The US says that Russian agents "penetrated" some states' election agencies.
This is a bad thing, but I'm far more worried about the penetration by Republicans.
The UK state is using local governments as "human shields" to pass budget cuts on to the people.
It is natural that local governments will raise taxes to fund the activities they must do. This solves the immediate problem, but it is not a fair solution.
Local governments can only tax the local inhabitants and local businesses. However, wealthy people and big, profitable businesses are not evenly distributed. In an area where most people are poor, this puts a heavy burden on them. That's why the national government needs to do the taxing, and distribute the money to all the local governments.
Coal ash dumps near power plants are poisoning the local water.
The UK minister called the death of an "independent contractor" a "tragedy".
That death was the predictable result of allowing unjust business practices, for which the minister is directly responsible. That is no tragedy, it is an injustice.
The bully wants to limit Medicaid benefits for people with incurable diseases. That means that they will get treatment only until they reach the arbitrary limit; then, I suppose, they will be put out on the street.
With global heating bringing frequent deep droughts in many regions, how could they think of using fossil fuels in ways that also need lots of fresh water? I refer to coal seam gas production.
It must take a lot of money to convince enough people not to do the right thing by insisting on renewable energy instead.
Truly long-term defense against running out of water requires defending against population increase. We must ask for everyone's cooperation in this.
The "president" of the Maldive Islands arrested judges to stop the Supreme Court from freeing imprisoned legislators.
The elected president Masheed campaigned globally to curb global heating. I suspect that oil interests helped arrange the coup against him.
If global heating goes far enough, the questions of democracy and human rights in the Maldives will cease to matter. Long before they are entirely inundated, they will be unable to support their population. The rulers, however, will probably get the chance to move elsewhere.
When drive-through cafes employ women wearing only underclothes, is that a form of exploitation that they should be protected from?
I don't object to these businesses. What I object to is a society that pays millions of workers so little that some might feel they have no choice but to work in these jobs. People who feel uncomfortable doing them should not have to do them.
UK "national security" agencies in the 1920s treated all unionism as Communism, and sabotaged the Labour government with a falsified leak.
Any two adults should be allowed to make a legal commitment to each other. It should not have to be marriage. It should not have to imply a romantic relationship or a sexual relationship.
The accusations that the election was falsified seemed plausible at the time, and these actions make that more likely. They are the actions of someone that wants to be a tyrant.
Proposing that the EU should become a European Republic, rather than a "United States of Europe".
I think the way to oppose this is with a celebration of the peaceful and truly great achievements of the US, such as the Bill of Rights, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, Social Security, Medicaid, and the Endangered Species Act. Let's oppose cruel and twisted patriotism with benevolent patriotism.
China's total surveillance system will be used for imposing regimentation on any and all aspects of life.
The US is also moving toward a system of total regimentation, in its usual sloppy commercially dominated way, that the state piggybacks on. If you want to resist this, stop using digital payments — pay cash!
US citizens: call on all state governors not to help the bully destroy Medicaid.
US citizens: call on Congress to investigate NRA for funneling Russian money to political campaigns.
US citizens: call on the Senate to support the Antiquities Act to protect national monuments.
It is hard to find aspect in the governance of the Maldives that isn't crooked.
This is what I fear the Republicans will do to the US.
SCROTUS threaten to cut off funding for WHO because it reported that Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.
The Republican Party considered a sort of group madness that, in advanced stages, disconnects people totally from their loyalty to anything bigger — such as their country or the truth.
The US Federal Reserve has imposes punitive limits on Wells Fargo for swindling customers in several ways.
Sad to say, even if they win, the thug will probably lose nothing since the city will pay the damages. This system protects thugs so thoroughly from accountability that it will hardly ever get them to do anything better.
A new EU data privacy directive will limit certain ways that companies intentionally abuse people's data.
Companies will still be able to misuse people's data, just not in all of the same ways. For instance, Facebook will still be able to sell targeted advertising aimed at its useds. That doesn't violate these new rules.
Also, this directive does nothing to protect people from Big Brother. The directive has no effect on how states in the EU forcibly take the data once companies have collected. The only benefit for dissidents will be if the directive convinces some companies to hold less data about people.
The self-checkout machines that replace human sales clerks also encourage shoplifting.
Shoplifting in a supermarket is not uniformly wrong. Poor people are morally entitled to steal food to eat, if they can't afford to buy it, and the suffering imposed by the plutocratic state often puts them in that situation.
But I hope this convinces the stores to get rid of those machines and hire more human beings.
You can join me in helping to make that happen. When I enter the store I pass by those machines and tell the people using them, "If you use those machines, you are putting other Americans out of work. When I realized that I decided to go always to the human sales clerks so that they can stay employed." I do the same thing when I leave.
You can do it too.
Many university libraries are purging books — they will be available only digitally.
Since ebooks are typically distributed in an unjust way, I'm afraid some of those injustices will apply to these books.
Requiring participants to lock their portable phones temporarily in bags improves the quality of interaction at gatherings and events, and helps education.
It's a step forward, but people should not think this prevents all the harm and wrong portable phones do.
Cancelling Americans' student debt is morally imperative to relieve the impossible burden, but there is a secondary reason: it will boost the economy in a way that doesn't push the non-rich down.
School teachers in the US have a campaign to teach students about racism: the Black Lives Matter at School campaign.
"Valve turner" protester Michael Foster has been imprisoned after being convicted because the judge refused to let him present necessity defense.
Foster courageously puts the emphasis on the giant crime he campaigns to stop.
The willful blindness and pro-business bias of some judges is a large obstacle to efforts to keep civilization going past this century.
Supporters of the occupation of Palestine must oppose measures for the general defense of human rights, unless they make an exception to the general standards for Israel.
Ireland is considering sanctions against products made by Israelis in colonies in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Amnesty International reports an apparent chlorine gas attack by Assad's forces in Syria.
As Vladimir Putin Steals the Russian Election, Our Leaders Are Shamefully Silent.
San Diego trash collectors put a homeless man's tent into a compactor, and discovered just before it was too late that he was inside it.
If his tent had been empty of human beings at that moment, would that have excused the city for destroying it and leaving its owner with no shelter? Of course not!
This is an example of routine intentional cruelty, aimed (naturally) at those who are down and out, which almost this time did more damage than it was supposed to.
The media have plenty of practice calling militarism "presidential".
70-year-old Ian Bone holds clever and funny nonviolent protests against squeezing non-rich people out of housing.
His protests embarrass billionaires from Qatar, so the UK government has used an injunction to ban them. Injunctions are the standard UK method of ordering poor people to obey rich people.
US citizens: stand by the workers that Matchbox Food Group fired.
Everyone: thank athletes from the Super Bowl that refuse to visit the bully at the White House.
Even if you suppose the Nunes memo is honest and accurate, its assertions don't support the conclusions.
A lawsuit is too good for him. He should spend decades in prison.
Vietnam Jails Activist for 14 Years for Livestreaming Pollution March.
Denmark is proposing to prohibit people from covering their faces in public.
Unless the law also ban face recognition systems pointed at public places, in an effective way that can't easily be bypassed, this would attack everyone's rights.
If you live in Denmark, please talk with your legislators!
More about bullying a journalist to change a story about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The Journalism Protection Act would, if enacted, prohibit attacking and intimidating journalists.
A campaign for divestment from arms manufacturers.
The State Department has not issued the climate report required by a UN treaty. Sabotage, I expect.
New Jersey has joined the states that demand ISPs respect network neutrality for all customers in order to sell service to the state government.
The war on sharing scientific knowledge has attacked Sci-Hub by making Cloudflare stop serving it.
Edinburgh University Divests from All Fossil Fuels.
Hong Kong has reduced the sentences for some protest leaders, "this time only".
I suppose this is a plan to avoid creating martyrs while still repressing future protests. It doesn't reduce the injustice of criminalizing dissent.
Focus groups give powerless non-elite people a feeling of participation in decision-making — for minor marketing decisions only.
This feeling of participation is meant to substitute for real participation in important decisions.
Decrying 'Dog-Eat-Dog System,' #PoorPeoplesCampaign Kicks Off 40 Days of 'Moral Action'.
Proposed US laws would limit how Facebook collects and uses personal data, but just a little.
I conjecture that the reason these laws don't doesn't go far enough is that they were written based on the unstated premise that we cannot greatly reduce the profits of Facebook and other surveillance companies.
In my view, ending massive data-collection must take priority over their profits. It would be no loss to society if we drove them out of business as a side effect of protecting ourselves from them. Indeed, by refu