Richard Stallman's Personal Site


The photo comes from wikimedia.org
"Richard_Stallman_at_LibrePlanet_2019"
by Ruben Rodriguez

I continue to be the Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project.
This is my long-term commitment and I plan to continue.
You may have heard or read critical statements about me; please make up your own mind.

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RSS site feed for the most recent political notes and new material.

This is the personal web site of Richard Stallman.
The views expressed here are my personal views, not those of the Free Software Foundation or the GNU Project.
For the sake of separation, this site has always been hosted elsewhere and managed separately.

If you want to send me GPG-encrypted mail, do not trust key servers! Some of them have phony keys under my name and email address, made by someone else as a trick. See gpg.html for my real key.

Richard Stallman has cancer. Fortunately it is slow-growing and manageable follicular lymphoma. Treatment put it into remission, and he can expect to live many more years. However, he now has to be even more careful not to catch Covid-19.

FSF Giving Guide

Julian Assange's hearings concluded TODAY …

Robert Reich explains how the bullshitter and Republicans are trying to spread chaos to discourage non-fascists from voting. After creating as much real chaos as they can, they pretend there is even more of it, hoping Americans will give up and not vote, or support a fascist strong man.

I urge you to vote in Democratic primaries for the progressive candidate, if there is one. And in the final election I urge you to vote for Democrats, unless a liberal independent had a good chance of winning.

Canadians: I suggest you seek election advice at a local chapter of a group that pushes to curb global heating and has the courage to say, "Canada should stop exporting fossil fuel." It will at least use the right goals to suggest who to vote for in your area.

Join a Friday climate strike.
That page is made by scraping Fridays for Future so you can get the information without running any Javascript code. I would be very glad if they made the information on their own site accessible from the Free World; then we could simply refer people to their site and do without the scraping etc.

I am limiting the number of new political notes per day so as not to overload the volunteers who install new notes. If you'd like to help, please write to rms at gnu period org.

Is your bank pressuring you to use biometric ID? If so, please write to rms at gnu dot org. It could be useful if you document what is happening.

Please join the Free Software Foundation to support its work for your freedom.

"They" is plural — for singular antecedents, use singular gender-neutral pronouns.

Link Policy

The largest part of the site is the political notes, and they are typically updated every day.

I'm looking for people to

Civil Liberties Minute:

[America Means Civil Liberties / Patriotism Means Protecting 
             Them / www.aclu.org/safefree ]
graphic by Susan Henson
Americans, you may wish to copy this icon to your own page, as a way of showing what patriotism means to you.

Upcoming talks

Urgent action items

Recording of Guantanamero

Listen to the recording of Guantanamero, a protest song written in Spanish. The recording is in Ogg Vorbis format. To install an Ogg Vorbis player, see the FSF's Ogg Players page.

There Ought to Be a Law

More items where there ought to be a law.

Quotes

Here are some quotations that I particularly like.

Most recent Political Notes and News Items

(RSS Feed)

You can now read the political notes on Mastodon.

Senate on nonconsensual, sexual deepfakes
22 February 2024

US senators have proposed a bill that they say would "criminalize the spread of nonconsensual, sexualized images generated by [so-called] artificial intelligence." I agree with the goal, but a vagueness hides a dangerous detail in the bill.

I support criminalizing the making, publication and republication of nude deepfakes without the subject's permission. Any deepfake that misrepresents the subject's words or actions should get the same punishment. You have the right to claim someone said or did something, but creating fake evidence that falsely purports to prove that is the moral equivalent of perjury.

However, to criminalize "receiving" or simply holding on to a copy of such a deepfake is a broad threat to freedom.

This is not to say that there is anything redeeming about nude or disinformational deepfakes. Whatever you wish to say, it is wrong to say it that way. But they will be made, and people will receive them. What then?

To prohibit having a copy of an image or text — any image or text, no matter what it presents, no matter how disgusting we consider it — is an attack on history, journalism, and democratic politics. Ultimately, it becomes an attack on memory, creating the danger that governments will command people to forget. It becomes an attack on justice, since people will be ordered to destroy evidence of crimes they may wish to fight.

If we tolerate a law requiring people to forget one specific kind of material, that would invite more laws ordering people to forget other things as well. That road leads to tyranny (China is an example) and puts truth in danger.

It also opens the door to a kind of digital swatting. Once some texts or images (it doesn't matter which) are designated as criminal to possess, people could accuse you at random of having some. Then the digital SWAT team will seize all your computers and storage devices to check for them.

With a physical SWAT team of today, if you're still alive by the time it has ascertained that there was no need to break into your home, it will leave you in peace with the repair bills. Being raided by a digital SWAT team would be painful and dangerous too. They might find no forbidden deepfakes but they could copy your secrets. Worse, they could find something that you had been sent and did not remember to delete. They could find an email you had not noticed or with an attachment you had not tried to view, but you could not prove that. And supposing you could, would that exonerate you?

If Republicans get away with claiming to have won the next election, what sorts of documents or videos might they punish people for having?

We will all be safer, and democracy safer too, if we establish that no such law can be considered.

US UN-resolution on Gaza, Rafah
22 February 2024

*US proposes UN [Security Council] resolution calling for temporary ceasefire in Gaza and for Israel not to attack Rafah.*

Step by small step, Biden is increasing the pressure on Israel. The small but painful US sanctions on certain Israelis may expand. I think he intends to ramp up the pressure until Israel stops the attacks.

That will be a good outcome, but if he doesn't speed it up, Israel's steadily mounting atrocities may truly amount to genocide before that happens.

Largest Gaza hospital now in great peril
21 February 2024

Israeli attacks have effectively ruined the Nasser hospital, which was the largest hospital that was still functioning in Gaza last week.

Israel claims to have arrested "100 suspected HAMAS militants" in the hospital courtyard. This sounds impressive — we are supposed to assume that Israel must have had some specific reason to "suspect" each of those people, and therefore proves an enormous level of HAMAS infiltration.

More likely it means is that Israel found 100 men "of military age" there, and followed a policy of suspecting each of them on general principles.

Urgent: Single-use plastics
21 February 2024

US citizens: call on the US government to stop using single-use plastics.

Navalny's dead body
21 February 2024

Putin is hiding Navalny's body, as his mother travels to search for it.

The suspicion is that this could involve something more rational than mere corpse fetishism. Navalny's body could provide evidence of torture or murder.

Netanyahu's continuing materializations
21 February 2024

*Dozens trapped [inside Nasser hospital without water, food or electricity] after Nasser hospital raid as G7 warns Israel over Rafah offensive.*

The corrupter aiming for US, world
21 February 2024

If the wrecker gets power next year, this article argues that the American Republic would collapse, followed by the current world order, the US economy, and efforts to curb global heating.

Basis of Hunter Biden inquiry revealed
21 February 2024

An FBI informant who gave the FBI incriminating testimony about Hunter Biden has been charged criminally with falsifying that testimony.

Right-wing billionaires could supply plenty of money to recruit liars to testify against Hunter Biden.

Urgent: Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal and Transparency Act
20 February 2024

US citizens: Support the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act.

Urgent: Investigate election rigging in Pakistan
20 February 2024

US citizens: call on the United States to insist on a full investigation into accusations of military election rigging in Pakistan, before recognizing a new government there.

Urgent: Investigation into the wrecker's ill-gotten gains
20 February 2024

US citizens: call on the Senate to complete the investigation into the wrecker's foreign ill-gotten gains.

Urgent: Reject proposal to label fentanyl as "chemical weapon"
20 February 2024

US citizens: call on Congress to reject the proposal to label fentanyl dishonestly as a "chemical weapon" and charge people with "terrorism" for possession of it.

Laws must not lie. The illegal fentanyl trade has harmful effects — the usual effects of black-market sale of drugs.

Some of the people who buy fentanyl on the street buy it because they doctors won't prescribe them enough oxycodone to last the whole day. (Each pill works for 6 hours.) They are victims of the War on Pain Sufferers.

If you phone, please spread the word! Main Switchboard: +1-202-224-3121

Tunnels under UNRWA's main office in Gaza
20 February 2024

The Israeli army showed reporters extensive tunnels under the UNRWA's main office in Gaza.

We cannot trust either HAMAS or Israel to tell the truth about events in Gaza, or about tunnels that exist there. But I think it must be true that these tunnels were built by HAMAS. I don't think Israel could have built tunnels 700 meters long in a few months in Gaza in the middle of the fighting. It could perhaps have set up a room full of electrical equipment supposedly connected to the tunnels, but I won't say those couldn't be the work of HAMAS.

I would expect that the construction of military facilities amidst UNRWA's facilities was a war crime committed by HAMAS. We already know HAMAS commits much worse violations of international humanitarian law.

It is plausible that the tunnels got their electricity from the UNRWA camp. Stealing electricity happens world-wide, but it is a minor issue compared to the war crimes in Gaza.

I don't think the UNRWA knew about these tunnels. I expect that HAMAS recruited some of the UNRWA staff and they ensured no one else learned of the existence of the tunnels . Israel has accused some of UNRWA's staff of serving HAMAS. That accusation is not proof as regards the guilt of specific individuals, but it is perfectly plausible that HAMAS infiltrated the staff of UNRWA. I expect Israel tried too but was not in a position to succeed very much.

This infiltration of UNRWA is no reason to cut the funding for the humanitarian aid it gives to Palestinians, and no excuse for continuing to subject hundreds of thousands in Gaza to death from hunger, thirst and disease.

People privately enslaved in Britain
20 February 2024

Almost half the people privately enslaved in Britain nowadays were not trafficked from some other country. Rather, they are boys who were pressured by local criminals into supporting their crimes.

Germany silencing criticism of Israel
20 February 2024

Germany is harshly silencing those who criticize Israel.

After Hitler's mass murder of Jews became public knowledge, Jews were compelled to confront the question: is it "never again" against us, or "never again" against anyone whatsoever? Humanitarian morality must choose the latter interpretation, and that is what I support.

Germany has, according to the article, adopted the narrow interpretation, according to which Israel cannot be criticized for predictably killing tens of thousands (and perhaps eventually more) of Palestinians in Gaza, and those who do criticize it are "anti-semitic".

Tennessee bill on helping minors obtain abortion
20 February 2024

*Tennessee advances bill to [imprison] people [for] helping minors obtain abortion.*

This demonstrates the fanaticism of the religious extremists that are determined to prevent abortion, whatever the cost (to those who are pregnant).

The bill says specifically anyone who "recruits, harbors, or transports a pregnant unemancipated minor" commits a crime. I wonder what it means, concretely, to "recruit" someone for an abortion. Does that ever really occur?

I also wonder what is covered by "transports". Does it include giving someone money, which she might use to buy a bus ticket?

Small US farms having trouble
20 February 2024

Small farms in the US are having trouble, while large farms are bringing high profits. Congress is proposing to increase subsidies that are independent of size. That won't address the problem.

Denouncing critics of Israel as 'un-Jews' or antisemites
20 February 2024

*Denouncing critics of Israel as ‘un-Jews’ or antisemites is a perversion of history.* There is an old current in Jewish thought which stands up for anyone who is mistreated — including Palestinians mistreated by Jews. And another old current of deplatforming them.

Explanations around Netanyahu, HAMAS and the US
20 February 2024

Explanations for why Netanyahu clings so tightly to defeating HAMAS militarily even though the war is not going well, and why the US finds it so hard to stop this.

The fact that HAMAS is not dead even in occupied northern Gaza may help convince pertinent people that the idea of militarily eliminating HAMAS is an impossible dream.

Fire disaster in southern South America
20 February 2024

The hottest January ever recorded has caused fire disaster in southern South America. Governments need to change many policies so as to prevent and discourage fires.


The four factors of the apocalypse:
   global heating, global hating,
   global eating, global mating.


[More Cartoons]


Not f'd. You won't find us on Facebook

Copy this button (courtesy of R.Siddharth) to express your rejection of Facebook.


E-books

Non-oppressive Commercial E-books


Don't use Facebook

Facebook's face recognition demonstrates a threat to everyone's privacy. I therefore ask people not to put photos of me on Facebook; you can do likewise.

Of course, Facebook is bad for many other reasons as well.


Boycott Harry Potter Books, Movies, etc.



Internet Music EULAS



Business Supremacy Treaties



Countries to Stay Away From



No national identity cards

I'd like to make a list of countries that do not require a national identity card, and have no plans to adopt one. If you live in or have confirmed knowledge of such a country, please send email to rms at gnu.org.

Here's my list of countries with no national ID cards and no plans for one: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK. Australia's previous government tried to institute national ID cards, but the Labor government dropped the plan.

India has mostly finished imposing a national biometric ID number in a grand act of oppression.

Switzerland has national ID cards which are optional, but they or some other government ID card are needed for some purposes.

Iceland doesn't have ID cards as such, but they have ID numbers that citizens are forced to use frequently. For example, the national ID number is often required to rent a video or use a gym.

Denmark issues non-photo ID cards with a "person number", and many services use this card to identify people.

Norway will impose a national biometric ID card.

Ireland - national ID card by stealth.

ACLU: the five dangers of national ID cards.

Wikipedia has a list of identity card policies by country.


Borders

Stay away from certain countries because of their bad immigration policies.


Flight connections

Avoid flight connections in these airports because of their treatment of passengers.


The Lifelong Activist

People often ask how I manage to continue devoting myself to progressive activism (such as the free software movement) for years without burning out. The best way I can answer is by recommending a book, The Lifelong Activist by Hillary Rettig.

I disagree with the book on one theoretical point in the last part of the book: we shouldn't think of political activism as being marketing and sales, because those terms refer to business, and politics is something much more important than mere business. However, this doesn't diminish the value of the book's practical advice about borrowing techniques from marketing and sales.

Disclosure: I am friends with the author.


Bob Chassell

Writing (mostly science fiction) by my friend Bob Chassell who recently died.


Solidarity Economy and Free Software

Personal Declaration of Richard Stallman and Euclides Mance on Solidarity Economy and Free Software.


Falkvinge articles

I have reposted some of Rick Falkvinge's articles. As posted on his site, you can't see them in a browser without running some nonfree Javascript code which is apparently non-free. These versions show the same text, without the obstacle.


Long-term action items


Political Articles

These are my political articles that are not related to the GNU operating system or free software. For GNU-related articles, see the GNU philosophy directory. You can also download copies of my book, Free Software, Free Society, 3rd edition'.

Political notes

"Those who profess to favor freedom, yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

Here are notes about various issues I care about, usually with links to more information. The current notes are here. For all previous notes, see this page.

See this page for information on efforts to maintain links in the political notes.

Political notes about the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy are being archived on their own page.

Media/Press/Bios

Richard Stallman's bio and publicity photos, and other things of interest to the press, have been moved to a separate page.

Travel experiences

Photos about my travels

Scientific Links


Some humor

The berry torture.

The Free Software Song, by Richard M. Stallman. You can listen to a performance of the song: Free Software Song performed by Thor Here is a variant of this song called "The Free Firmware Song".

A song parody, Colors of the Lisp, by Jefferson Carpenter.

Earth under attack from planet Koch.

On doxing, and how to spell it.

Futon Physics

A Spanish cartoon: La Ruleta Española. thumbnail

The Night before M-x-mas

Here I am wearing my "power tie".

Wine snobs get their comeuppance.

Here I am struggling to open a bottle of water.

My application to an join Marian Henley's ex-boyfriends list.

My funny poetry and song parodies.

My Cartoons

My Puns in English (Little Leaguer, August 2019).

My Puns in Spanish (New pun: Apostasía April 2019)

My Puns in French (New pun: Microsoft à l'école July 2019)

My Puns in Portuguese

My Puns in Italian (New pun: Quale pesce fa starnutire? New 10/2018)

My Puns in German (New 02/2016)

Linguistic Swifties (Now with: Wintu, Penutian, Cochiti, Taos, and Towa.)

I am a
     Saint In the Church Of Emacs --Saint IGNUcius-- The Church of Emacs will soon be officially listed by at least one person as his religion for census purposes.

There are no godfathers in the Church of Emacs, since there are no gods, but you can be someone's editorfather.

Stallman Does Dallas: "I have to warn you that Texans have been known to have an adverse reaction to my personality…"

The Dalai Lama today announced the official release of Yellow Hat GNU/Linux.

Pre-Zen Studies.

I found a funny song about the Mickey Mouse Copyright Act (officially the Sonny Bono Copyright Act) which extended copyright retroactively by 20 years on works made as early as the 1920s.

If you are a geek and read Spanish, you will love Raulito el Friki, who said "Hello, world!" immediately after he was born. Here's an archive of this now-defunct comic strip.

Sleeping with Stallman at MIT.

Un malentendido gracioso.

ESR's favorite programming language: Objectivist C.

American Extremists

My Small Mouth

The huns and the writs.

No Kludges in Cluj (June 2014)

Hammer into Anvil

Fiction

Made for You (December 2012) (local copy) Esperanto translation

A science fiction story: Jinnetic Engineering (in Portuguese, Farsi, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, French, and Italian).

The Right to Read

Books

My book of essays about the philosophy of Software Freedom, is available from the GNU Press.

Stallman on Love

Love and Dance

My Childhood Sweetheart

Made for You

My Former Personal Ad

Non-Political Articles

Am I Doctor Stallman?

Avec des chapeaux French song parody.

My radio program of Music from Georgia, originally broadcast on WUOG in Athens, Georgia on Oct 13, 2014.

Resolving the trolley problem

Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights

A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.

Origin of the POSIX name.

On Hacking: In June 2000, while visiting Korea, I did a fun hack that clearly illustrates the original and true meaning of the word "hacker".

My Childhood Sweetheart

Love and Dance

Predicting the attack on Pearl Harbor

Certificate of confusion

Links

Thanks

I would like to thank:


Please send comments on these web pages to rms at gnu period org.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire page are permitted provided this notice is preserved.
Verbatim copying and redistribution of any of the photos in the photos subdirectory is permitted under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0 or later. You can copy and redistribute the photo of me playing music to the butterfly under the Creative Commons Noderivs Nocommercial license version 3.0 or later. Any other photos of me in this (the toplevel) directory may be copied and redistributed under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0