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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.
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.
The largest part of the site is the political notes, and they are typically updated every day.
Civil Liberties Minute:
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We need to end the "war on drugs", not extend it into a war with Mexico.
The reasons for this include the "town hall" lying opportunity he gave to the bullshitter.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are +1-202-224-3121, +1-888-818-6641 and +1-888-355-3588.
If you phone, please spread the word!
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I urge you to read about the ancient abandoned towns of Chaco Canyon.
There should be a law requiring online services, if they close a user's account, to permit the user to continue to download whatever information perse had left in the account.
To be sure, it is foolish to rely on an online service to hold any data for you; you should store it locally, and use online services only as backups (encrypted). Preferably more than one online service in parallel, for redundancy. But we should not allow online services to cite this as an excuse for arbitrarily causing people great avoidable harm.
It should be a crime to knowingly approach a person while maskless inside a building or vehicle.
The extreme of this is represented by the Amazon warehouse, where a worker's every move is controlled by the computer system. This is one of many reasons to refuse to buy from Amazon.
Unfortunately, surveillance of workers is not limited to Amazon. I think states should pass laws to limit surveillance of workers. It should cover independent contractors as well as employees.
The law should completely forbid demanding that workers run any specific software on their own computers (keep in mind that portable phones are computers); the employer who wants that must furnish the computer at no charge.
Now it can cause you to be arrested randomly for walking down the street.
If stores use face recognition inside the store, they should not be allowed to use photos for matching against people in the store except for photos they have taken in that store, and photos of people convicted of theft and fraud.
Here are some quotations that I particularly like.
You can now read the political notes on Mastodon.
Australia will spend AUD 350 million per year to maintain Nauru as a prison for boat people, inaccessible to the press and off limits to rule of law.
That prison is Australia's shame, just as Guantanamo is America's.
Greenland's glaciers grind the rock under them, producing a billion tons per year of powdered rock, which becomes mud. When spread on farms in warmer zones, it absorbs large amounts of CO2, while acting as fertilizer.
The UAE oil prince who is the head of this year's corrupt climate conference is having employees edit Wikipedia pages to greenwash his activities.
*Stateless Rohingya could soon be the "new Palestinians", top UN official warns.*
Journalists who covered the killing of protester Mahsa Jina are on trial in Iran and facing torture.
*If you defend free speech, you must defend it all and not silence those you disagree with.*
In particular, people like Kathleen Stock who advocate certain rights based on biological sex must not be censored, and people who oppose that must also not be censored.
Trans activists protested at her talk. Some of them tried to prevent it, but did not succeed. As a result, both sides got to present their views.
One trans activist compared Stock's expression of her opinions to the construction of fossil fuel projects. By thinking about that claim we can see the basic difference between them.
The feebleness of governments efforts to curb global heating is not a mere statement of opinion. It is an action, and a deadly one. The beginning of climate breakdown is already killing millions of people, and will kill hundreds of millions or perhaps billions in a few decades. It is legitimate for those likely to be killed by fossil fuel developments in a few decades to fight to stop them.
By contrast, Dr. Stock, and likewise the protesters who disagree with her, do not decide the legal questions they disagree on. They can only express their views and hope to influence others. All of them have the right to do that.
An Australian "hero" of the war in Afghanistan was found in court to have intentionally killed civilian prisoners.
He was not on trial; the trial was over his accusation of libel against newspapers which published accusations against him. The court found the newspapers not liable because they proved the accusations were true.
Will he now be accused of murder? That sounds like the next step.
Comparing two proposed laws to limit stock buybacks by corporations.
The Stock Buyback Accountability Act of 2023 would impose a tax on buybacks, as well as certain situations when this tax would not apply (i.e. if the buyback were part of an employer-sponsored retirement plan or employee stock options plan).
The Reward Work Act would prevent issuers from buying their own securities on a national exchange:
I think the two are complementary.
The Tories limited welfare benefits to supporting two children per family. This was supposed to pressure parents to get jobs. All it did was throw children into poverty.
Lab leaks of potentially dangerous pathogens happen every week. (This is because there are many such labs around the world.) Usually the labs cover them up. Usually no lasting harm is done.
Backup lines of defense, if any disease should start spreading, are not very strong.
US citizens: call on Biden to protect the Pacific Remote Islands.
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Kenya has adopted a law making companies responsible for the plastic waste that they generate.
Cory Doctorow that I recommended.
The Putin forces have more or less captured the city of Bakhmut. They lost tens of thousands of soldiers doing so.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has 3/4 surrounded the city by capturing high ground around it. My partial knowledge of military history suggests that the safe thing for the Putin forces to do would be to pull out of the exposed salient which the city has become. I don't think they will, though. I think Putin's ego is bigger than his tactical understanding.
Maybe Ukraine should rename the city to Putingrad to make sure they don't pull out of it.
*A decade after the Tories demonized disabled people on benefits, it's happening again.*
If you are a non-rich working Briton, and your tax burden for supporting worthy causes such as helping the disabled is high, don't blame them! Blame the rich bastards who avoid contributing their proper share -- by supporting Tories.
*Far-right Oath Keepers founder sentenced to 18 years over January 6 attack.*
* [Hamburger Mary’s in Orlando, Florida] is suing [governor DeMentis] over a law that bans drag performances.*
*More than 5,000 new species discovered in Pacific deep-sea mining hotspot.*
Deep-sea mining, done the way companies intend, would devastate broad areas of bottom, and could wipe out that ecosystem.
US nuclear power plants, and their stored wastes, are vulnerable to physical attack and to cracking their computers. It would be stupid and dangerous to build any new ones — but rich jerks want to do it anyway.
*The Southern Ocean overturning circulation has ebbed 30% since the 90s,* and it is continuing to slow further. This could lead to big changes in climate and and sea level.
The four factors of the apocalypse:
global heating, global hating,
global eating, global mating.
Copy this button (courtesy of R.Siddharth) to express your rejection of Facebook.
Non-oppressive Commercial E-books
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.
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.
Stay away from certain countries because of their bad immigration policies.
Avoid flight connections in these airports because of their treatment of passengers.
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.
Personal Declaration of Richard Stallman and Euclides Mance on Solidarity Economy and Free Software.
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.
"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."Frederick Douglass, American Abolitionist, Letter to an associate, 1849
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.
Richard Stallman's bio and publicity photos, and other things of interest to the press, have been moved to a separate page.
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.
A Spanish cartoon: La Ruleta Española.
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 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 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.)
--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.
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.
ESR's favorite programming language: Objectivist C.
No Kludges in Cluj (June 2014)
Made for You (December 2012) (local copy) Esperanto translationA science fiction story: Jinnetic Engineering (in Portuguese, Farsi, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, French, and Italian).
My book of essays about the philosophy of Software Freedom, is available from the GNU Press.
Avec des chapeaux French song parody.
My radio program of Music from Georgia, originally broadcast on WUOG in Athens, Georgia on Oct 13, 2014.
Quantum Theory and Abortion Rights
A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.
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".
Predicting the attack on Pearl Harbor
I would like to thank:
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