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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.

Don't watch TV coverage of Covid-19!

Supporters of Julian Assange will gather again at the entrance to Park Street Station on the Boston Common on *Monday, November 14, 2022, from 11 to 12:30*

In the Boston area: Vote to re-elect Ayanna Pressley for Congress.

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.

This 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.

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)

No customer telephones
4 December 2022

Frontier Airlines has eliminated telephone customer support. The only way to communicate with the airline is through its web site.

I once flew on a Frontier flight, and noted that the staff seemed to have a right ear and a left ear, but no front ear. That cast its name in question. Now it should be called "No-ear Airlines."

I tried looking around that web site. For the most part, the information seemed to be present and navigation worked. But I think that most inquiries and actions depend on nonfree Javascript code, which excludes me from doing them.

They invite people to use a chat system to get in contact with an agent. That might be an acceptable solution, except that that chat system is part of the web site and it seems to depend on Javascript too.

One thing I noticed on the site is that the company is pressuring people to use its cr…app rather than its web site. Surveillance by the web site is limited; surveillance by a cr…app is much more complete.

Surveillance-based Co.
4 December 2022

Google promised not to save location data about "sensitive" places such as abortion clinics, which some states threaten to sue or prosecute people for going near. It did not make enough change to eliminate the danger.

I am not surprised, because surveillance-based companies will always tend to collect too much data and hold on to too much data.

However, data tends to get duplicated and get stored in various places. The root of the search problem is (1) collecting location data, (2) collecting personal identifying data, and (3) identifying return visitors (with cookies).

An acceptable web service must not find out any of those facts about you unless you request to send them. And it must do its job even if you choose _not_ to send them.

See surveillance verses democracy.

Urgent: Drug stores
3 December 2022

US citizens: call on drug stores to require people to wear masks.

Manchin, filibuster on RR
3 December 2022

41 Republicans plus Manchin used a filibuster to kill the proposed railroad workers' contract that gave them sick leave. Then the Senate approved the contract lacking sick leave, the version that Biden had asked for.

Universities ban fossil fuel
3 December 2022

*Three UK Universities Ban Fossil Fuel Industry Recruiters From Campus.*

UK incompetent, confused
3 December 2022

The UK's immigation department sent 20 asylum seekers letters inviting them to come to meetings to discuss their cases. When they arrived, which in some cases was a big expense for them, they were told that the staff did no plans for meetings with them that day.

Either these letters were a prank, or the UK government has become so incompetent and confused that it can't carry out the simplest plan. After seeing how incompetent Tories are, I think the latter is more plausible.

Single family homes of Big Co.
3 December 2022

Senator Merkely has proposed a bill to put a heavy tax on single family homes when they are owned by big companies that own hundreds of them.

History, US tax cuts
3 December 2022

The history, since 1940, of the series of US tax cuts for the rich that impoverished the country.

Want to really make America great again? Tax the rich!

Grand jury avoidance
3 December 2022

*The [corrupter's] supporters can no longer avoid testifying before grand juries in Washington DC and Georgia.*

Carbon emmissions permits
3 December 2022

*Big polluters given almost €100bn[-worth] in carbon [emissions] permits [gratis] by EU.* That was over a period of 9 years.

Domestic terrorism
3 December 2022

The FBI and DHS focus disproportionately on foreign terrorists as possible threats, and insufficienly on (right-wing) domestic terrorists such as white supreacists and Nazis.

Tyre Extinguishers act
3 December 2022

The Tyre Extinguishers have deflated the tires of 900 SUVs around the world as a protest against these dangerous gas guzzlers.

Protester sentenced
3 December 2022

A Just Stop Oil protester was sentenced to 6 months in prison for blocking a highway for a while. The court called this "causing a public nuisance," and I'm sure it did. As these protesters say, it's nothing compared to the unending public nuisance conditions that increased use of fossil fuels will cause.

Ukraine needs tanks
3 December 2022

*Ukraine needs tanks, and the west should supply them. They could finish off Putin and Russia.* The proposal includes modern aircraft and longer-range missiles. Careful strategic thought is required about whether to donate the latter.

Georgia senator, republican candidate
3 December 2022

Herschel Walker, MAGA maggot candidate for the Senate in Georgia, filed for a tax break on a "primary residence" in Texas where he really lives. This may have been illegal.

Pest image recognition
3 December 2022

Pheromone-assisted INSECT traps CAN photograph and identify pests via image recognition. This technique can potentially save greatly on the use of pesticides.

Unfortunately, under today's general practices, it will also be a trap for farmers. It will be run by nonfree software, so it will snoop on the farm and put the farm at a disadvantage. And the farmers won't be able to repair it.

Too few medicine producers
3 December 2022

The US system of producing medicines suffers from too much commercial centralization (few producers) without much central planning. Also a tendency to optimize for efficiency rather than reliability.

The result is susceptibility to shortages.

Anti-vax fanatics
3 December 2022

Anti-vax fanatics in New Zealand would rather let their baby die than let it get a transfusion of "vaccinated blood" for surgery.

They and others have convinced each other that there is some danger in this.

Farming subsidies dangerous
3 December 2022

George Monbiot: Farming and its subsidies are an increasing danger to nature and the climate.

There is no mystery to why governments subsidizes farming. It is not just that rich people want to profit from them; everyone wants the results. But we need to cut down this unsustainable practice.

Fewer babies will certainly help!

Fracking victims win water
3 December 2022

A fracking company accepted criminal liability for poisoning the water of Dimock, Pennsylvania and will pay to replace the wells with new water systems and to deliver clean water for the next 75 years.

Here is a timeline of how the company caused the damage, of enforcement efforts, and how the company resisted them.

This is justice in a narrow sense, but it won't clean up the water of that region. It won't undo the lasting diminiution of water supplies in Pennsylvania. There may not be any feasible way to do that.

There must be many other regions of the US which have already suffered similar damage.

We must not allow it to happen in any more places.


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.


Support the Green Party



Republican Election Rigging Tactics



Evoting



The Olympics



Why everyone has a reason to fear massive surveillance



Churchandstate.org.uk


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 order copies of my book, Free Software, Free Society, 3rd edition', signed or not signed.

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 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