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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
Comcast paid people to fill up the waiting line for an FCC hearing on network neutrality, thus blocking its critics from attending.
Russia's government closed a prestigious university after it gave advice to all the political parties about ensuring an honest election. (The government had already pressured the university to drop the project.)
A former U.K. soldier accuses the U.K. army of handing over prisoners for torture.
U.S. citizens: phone your congresscritter and say, "Don't give the telephone companies immunity for illegal spying."
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Also, sign this petition.
Joseph Stiglitz estimates that the attempt to conquer Iraq has cost the U.S. at least 3 trillion dollars, including killed and wounded Americans fighting in the Bush forces.
You can be sure that rich people will try to escape from this cost by pushing it onto poor and working Americans. In fact, that could be what's happening already.
Ethically speaking, we cannot judge the morality of a war of conquest in terms of cost and benefits for the conquerors. It's simply wrong.
Resistance activity is increasing in Iraq, and Bush's "surge" has turned into a permanent troop increase. Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating, and Bush's army is overstretched, and the subordinate countries don't want to send more troops.
I supported the war in Afghanistan well before 9/11, because of the cruelty of the Taliban regime. But now that the U.S.-supported Afghan government sentences people to death for blasphemy, I withdraw my support. Why fight for one set of religious crazies against another.
The Bush regime put a loophole for Iraq contractors into new anti-corruption regulations.
Alan Greenspan, formerly head of the Federal Reserve, recognizes that the invasion of Iraq was a grab for oil.
Human Rights Watch has asked the king of Saudi Arabia to pardon a woman convicted of witchcraft. She says she was tortured into signing a confession, as Bush does with terrorist suspects.
Musharraf's opposition parties now control Pakistan's parliament and may perhaps have enough strength to impeach him. But Bush is trying to pressure them to keep Musharraf's part in the coalition.
At least is shows Musharraf allowed a more or less honest election.
The U.S. Army shut down access to many nonsecret manuals that were formerly avaiable to the public.
The Iraqi resistance continues to protect other countries from invasion by the U.S. by draining its military power.
Here's another person who the TSA deceptively harrased about his shoes. The article also explains how ineffective the TSA is at catching real weapons.
Here's the longer article that it refers to.
A Canadian global-warming-denial group filtered money through a university to make ads that appear to have been intended to affect the last election in Canada.
U.S. soldiers crushing the Philippine independence movement in 1900 used "waterboarding" torture.
Bottled water in the U.S. is not well regulated. It is not only wasteful, it can be unsafe. It may show a picture of a mountain on the bottle, but that doesn't mean it comes from one.
If you want to drink clean water, use a filter, and refill a bottle with water that you filtered.
The "Iraqi" government is arresting beggers and the mentally ill.
TSA agents stole a baby's food. "You need a doctor's note," they said. The parents are both doctors, the TSA refused to accept their note or to let them contact another doctor.
Once the TSA has found an excuse to take something away from you, their policy is to be as cruel as possible.
Tobacco company money paid for a university study of how smoking affects children's brains. Will that be used to discourage children from smoking, or will it help the tobacco companies encourage it?
A US movie star tried to denounce the Bush conquest of Iraq, but the US media did not report it.
The Bush occupation policies in Iraq are planting the seeds of new conflicts.
I think any occupation will create some kind of conflicts, because people don't like foreign occupying armies and only nasty measures can stop their resistance.
Waste Management has literally greenwashed its garbage trucks to cover up its reputation as "the nation's largest polluter".
How the Bush regime disguised its coup against Aristide.
Library of Congress sells itself out to Microsoft for a mere $3 million.
Similar attitudes appear in the attempts of the Boston Public Library to justify its distribution of DRM-covered audio books. They are the attitudes of those who have sold out.
Jordan is trying to force Iraqi refugees back to Iraq.
(This was probably arranged by the Bush regime which wants to pretend they are returning because "Iraq is safe".)
The National Consumer council thinks that some proprietary software EULAs are unfair.
Of course they're unfair — it's proprietary software!
The American Psychological Association has been split after it refused to condemn psychologists for helping the U.S. government design torture techniques.
This is interesting to compare with reports that the famous experiments that tested subjects' willingness to inflict pain were funded by the CIA.
The contempt that adults show towards homeless people leads children to imitate it. Children as young as 10 have murdered homeless people.
Governments are trying to use voice analysis to see if citizens are lying.
I wonder if we can test politicans and police this way.
Both the police and army practice torture in Bangladesh.
A court shut down the wikileaks.org domain without giving it time to send a lawyer to the hearing. The site has fled into exile as wikileaks.be.
In Iraq, under the U.N. sanctions regime, 19% of children were malnourished. Under the Bush occupation, Oxfam says, 28% are malnourished.
The latest Israeli "liquidations" killed at least 9 people and wounded at least 50. Most were civilians, and many were children.
The "liquid explosive" danger is fantasy. Whe the TSA confiscates liquids, this is a gratuitous abuse.
Israeli peace activists have received permission to send their aid convoy to Gaza.
Some Finnish ISPs censor foreign "child" pornography on a government-maintained list. Recently a Finnish site which discusses the issue was added to the list, and thus censored too.
If the term "child pornography" were applied to images of prepuberal humans, it would at least be honest. But it is common to pervert the term by applying it to images of sexually mature humans, sometimes as much as 17 years old.
When baby Michael Futi arrived in Honolulu for medical treatment, he and his mother and his nurse were locked up by the Department of Homeland Security. By the time they let him out, he was dying.
There was a supposed reason to lock them up — a problem with his mother's visa. It turns out this problem was not real: the government agents made a mistake. But what if the problem had been real? (That can happen.) Even if the mother had had no visa — or if the baby had had no visa — that would be no excuse for killing either one.
This particular incident did not have to happen; its details are the work of random chance. But the general phenomenon of which this is one instance is sure to recur. The attitude of these government agencies is that the rules they write are more important than human beings. That attitude is inhumane, and we must expect it to kill people, over and over.
The same attitude radiates from airport security. If you feel there is something vicious and inhuman about the TSA, that is what you are perceiving. TSA agents would watch you die rather than make an exception to their rules.
Microsoft is facing an EU investigation for its heavy-handed attempts to buy votes in ISO in favor of OOXML.
Uri Avnery: When Israeli politicians don't have a way to deal with a problem, they "liquidate" a Palestinian and then celebrate. This often leads to bloody revenge, but the Israeli public only rarely sees the connection.
A nasty thought occurs to me. Perhaps some of these politicians do envision the bloody blowback from the liquidations, and calculate they can use it to stay in power.
Is the "Iraqi" government cooking the employment statistics?
Many parts of the world, including the U.S., are running out of fresh water and face permanent drying up. Meanwhile, governments give control of water policy to businesses whose plans can make it worse.
B'liar killed an investigation into bribery in arms sales to Saudi Arabia after that country threatened to stop warning about Saudis that might perhaps go to the UK to set off bombs.
In effect, the Saudi state made a terrorist threat. Should the UK keep selling arms at all to such a country?
How the Democratic Party surrendered to Bush on Iraq and co-opted the anti-war movement.
The mainstream news media pay much less attention to Iraq now than they did a year ago. I wonder why.
Russia and China proposed a treaty for demilitarizing space.
It speaks ill of the U.S. that it is not the leader in this effort.
Steven Spielberg has resigned from working for the Beijing Olympics as a protest against the Chinese government's support for the Sudanese governemnt.
The Chinese government also mistreats lots of Chinese people in China, and too ought to be corrected.
Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that the estimated number of people killed in Darfur is 1/5 that of Iraq, and the estimated number of refugees is half that of Iraq.
Utah proposes to keep police misconduct records secret so that the public will believe what the police say in court.
I think the public needs to be less trusting of what police say in court. Police in New York used to speak of "testilying" because lying in court was habitual with them.
Beating up and abusing adults is normal for cops. This one was caught doing it to a 14 year-old boy.
Other cops brutalized a man in a wheelchair who can't walk because he did not stand up when ordered to do so.
While these incidents highlight the cruelty of police, let us not forget that violence towards a helpless prisoner is unacceptable even if the prisoner is a healthy adult.
Please don't use non-free programs to watch the videos referred to by those articles. For instance, if you view Flash videos, please use the free/libre program Gnash, not the proprietary secret Adobe flash player.
US citizens: phone the leaders of the House of Representatives and say, stand firm against retroactive immunity.
You can also say this electronically through the following page:
But a phone call carries more weight. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Israeli settlers (or should we call them colonists?) are digging tunnels under Palestinian houses to destroy them.
Israeli troops took large sums of money from money-changers in Palestine.
That sort of thing can destroy the economy.
The authors of The Israel Lobby answer questions, refute criticism, and detail how their speeches have been canceled by pressure against speaking venues.
U.S. women reporting rapes in Iraq
It is not particularly scandalous that mercenaries in Iraq commit rape, since that happens everywhere. What is a special scandal is that Bush has given them immunity for any and all crimes, including rape of American women, and murder of Iraqis.
The U.S. Senate voted to give telephone companies immunity for illegal spying on Americans.
What cowards we depend on to defend our freedom, who can't stand up to the threat of a veto.
Injustice Scalia reaches for strained fallacies to excuse torture.
What is the boundary of torture? Torture is anything that hurts so much that the subject is unable to carry out an intention not to confess. Such treatment makes the suspect confess — whether guilty or not. It is good for extracting confessions if you don't care whether they are true. It is not good for justice.
I presume that, for most suspects, a single slap in the face won't have that effect. Thus it isn't torture, merely churlish cruelty.
For that very reason, cops that have decided to force a suspect to confess are unlikely to stop with a slap in the face. They will keep increasing the pain until they achieve the effect of torture: forcing a confession. Which means they will have committed torture.
US citizens: call your senators and say "Don't let Richard Honaker become a Federal judge". Honaker wants to ban abortion entirely.
You can also say this by email but phone calls count more.
The UK government is considering harsh new laws against file sharing,taking the side of megapublishers against its citizens.
Since ISPs have complained, it makes sense for citizens to try working with them to oppose the measures. But don't depend on them for organizing, since the government will look for a way to satisfy them while still shafting you.
Malls in the UK use a device that emits high-pitched soundthat is painful for people under 25, including babies.
Mr Lowman's response is absurd, considering how far the UK goes to control and punish activities that merely cause distaste in others.
Saudi Arabia's nasty theocracy extends to place a ban on Valentine's Day.
The Bush regime proposes to hand over the prisoners in Guantanamo to other countries, if only those countries will promise to imprison them without trial. Thus it goes about sapping respect for human rights around the world.
The Bush regime plans to try 6 of these prisoners in kangaroo courts ("military tribunals").
The defendants will have their day in the kangaroo court, where the "jury" is composed of soldiers that depend on Bush and his generals for promotion. This is the cause of the biggest injustice in the military "justice" system: command influence over the verdict.
The "Iraqi" government is in the grip of disputes over who gets to sell Iraq's oil.
Some of the Guantanamo prisoners that face fake trials were tortured into confession.
John McCain supported the conquest of Iraq since the beginning and still does.
The UK will protect police from accusations of racism by not keeping records of who they search on the street (or why).
And if they shoot someone, they will be able to prevent a public investigation of his death.
In a concession to business over survival, the UK's new coal-fired power plant will not have carbon-capture equipment to reduce emissions.
The British Olympic Committee is making athletes sign contracts promising no political demonstrations.
In effect, the BOC has become an enforcer for Chinese censorship, like Yahoo. For shame!
Uri Avnery says that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is futile.
I'm not so optimistic, however. While the occupation of a resisting people may be impossible to win, taking their land and kicking them off is a lot more promising.
Is the US Navy cutting undersea cables in the Middle East?
Canadians: Take action now against plans to impose US-style oppressive copyright laws in Canada. Your government wants to sell you out to Hollywood!
Israel is driving Arabs from their homes in Jerusalem by digging tunnels that undermine the buildings.
It appears the Bush regime is offering business executives special privileges in the event of martial law, including the privilege of shooting people.
It makes sense for the FBI to establish contacts with the people that run critical infrastructure facilities, and the private security guards that guard them. But why include business executives?
If attacking infrastructure endangers people's lives, shooting someone trying to make such an attack would be justified on general principles — so why is there any need for a special exception for certain people?
After Gujarat riots, 90 Muslim suspects have been stuck in legal limbo for years. Meanwhile, little has been done to punish those5D who killed thousands of Muslims in Gujarat, because the state government is on their side.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Asian Law Caucus have sued the DHS for this.
There is a disturbing similarity between "Department of Homeland Security" and "Committee for Public Safety". The latter was headed by Robespierre and its activity was called "terror".
Amazon is trying to abolish the French law that protects independent bookstores. Please sign this petition to uphold that law.
Some 9/11 victims' relatives renew their demand for a thorough and honest investigation of what happened on 9/11. They criticized the honesty of the process in 2004, and some of their accusations have been confirmed.
US government scientists gagged by the Bush regime have leaked emails which give the lie to Bush regime claims about drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea.
The number of Iraqis who have fled the country is increasing again.
Dalit students are persecuted in many Indian schools.
The president of Canada's Nuclear Safety Commission was fired after shutting down a reactor as unsafe.
People who talk about threats to public health in France face lawsuits for defamation.
Under the regime Bush imposed on Haiti, the poor eat dirt to fill their stomachs, while the corrupt rich control everything with UN and US support.
Verizon says it will not try to control its customers' internet traffic.
If you use AT&T, print this article, write on it "Don't you dare try to filter me!", and snail it to the President of AT&T.
Babar Ahmad, a UK citizen, faces the threat of extradition to the US for running a web site in the UK.
The UK should defend its citizens against attemps by other countries to legislate what people may do in the UK.
Bush has all but admitted that the conquest of Iraq was for oil, with a "signing statement" that he will not obey a law's requirement not to spend funds to control Iraq's oil.
The Southwest is heading for disaster as warming, drought, fire and infestation all increase each other.
On some Finnish roads, people must identify themselves just to use public toilets. And the toilets are off limits to people like me who do not have cell phones.
If I couldn't open the toilet, I would piss on the outside wall.
The Great Firewall of China is facing increasing opposition and resistance.
The clumsiness of China's censorship helps inspire opposition, so that it may eventually be defeated. The engineering of consent by the biased US corporate media is harder to overcome, because it is often invisible and fools us.
Historical note: the Great Wall of China was not a fraud or a waste. Of course it had to be manned by soldiers. It was useful because it helped those soldiers to resist the barbarians, who were great mounted archers but had no cannon. The barbarians could climb over the wall, but they could not easily get their horses across it.
Iraqis accuse the police chief of Baquba of working with militias that kill and kidnap.
The Bush regime wants to hold a fake trial for a prisoner who was 15 years old when he allegedly fought in Afghanistan.
If the accusations against Khadr are true, they mean he was fighting for the Taliban. That would justify holding him as a POW, but it would not justify putting him on trial — nor, of course, torturing him.
After a train explosion, the Russian government tried to scapegoat anarchists. But the protests were bigger they expected.
A US prosecutor admitted deleting 2000 emails that he had been ordered to turn over to a court.
New Zealand imprisons asylum seekers without charge, sometimes for years. One went on hunger strike for weeks to obtain release on bail.
Israel has resumed its strangulation of Gaza.
90 sick people have died in Gaza because Israel would not let them travel for medical care.
Meanwhile, Israelis plan to demolish Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and build new houses in their place.
A study provides strong evidence that Louisiana judges can be bought with campaign contributions.
This is no real surprise, but the study will make it harder for judges to deny this.
The stress caused by participating in Bush's occupation of Iraq has driven the suicide rate of US soldiers to a record.
We should be careful, as we think of the suffering of these soldiers, not to ignore the much greater suffering of Iraqis, of whom probably over a million have been killed and several million driven from their homes. Iraqis are as human as Americans, and Bush must be blamed for the suffering of both.
A student in Afghanistan faces the death penalty for circulating an article from the net which criticized the views of Muslim fundamentalists. This reminds us that "Islamic law" is another name for barbarous cruelty.
As the Afghan government sinks into evil reminiscent of the Taliban, we must reevaluate whether it is worth supporting.
Nearly all Islamic countries show broad contempt for religious freedom. In most of them, Muslims are forbidden to convert. Semi-democratic Malaysia is better than most: instead of executing such people, it just orders them to remain Muslims.
Once Again, Drug Companies Caught Data Doping.
Oil companies fund university research on climate change, and get the ability to block publication of the results.
Something suspicious happened before and after the "accidental" flight of several nuclear weapons on air force planes that August: multi-level security systems that should have prevented such an occurrence either had multiple simultaneous failures or else were intentionally tricked. Which was it?
When celebrities die due to smoking, the press downplays the role of smoking.
The "Iraqi government", obeying the World Bank (which mostly obeys the US), has decided to end food rations that keep millions of Iraqis alive.
There are ways to control corruption without canceling aid programs. (See the book Controlling Corruption, by Klitgaard.) However, they may be difficult when a government does not have effective control of its activities.
Iraqi oil revenue cannot be spend on reconstructing Iraq because the government is mostly nonfunctional.
I am disappointed that oil exports are increasing, because that represents a victory for the Bush forces. Bush will steal this money one way or another.
In the US: pledge to drink tap water rather than bottled water.
If you do drink bottled water, don't buy it from Coca Cola Company.
The CIA uses the U SAP AT RIOT act to spy on Americans.
Life in the US is getting steadily worse for most Americans due to right-wing government policies.
Clown's government has a sneaky plan to start making ID cards mandatory.
This is a step in the right direction, but we need to go further. We must legalize noncommercial sharing of exact copies over the Internet, whether using specialized P2P software or not. Only thus can we make copyright cease to be tyranny.
Thousands of Israelis tried to bring humanitarian relief supplies to Gaza, but the Israeli army blocked the convoy.
Opening the border with Egypt relieves some of the pressure on Gaza, but does not solve the problem.
The people of Gaza can now spend money on goods from Egypt, but in order to keep doing that, they need to export. That requires investment, which requires reliable ability to export the results.
It is a hopeful sign that Egypt and the EU may reopen the Rafah border crossing.
Sweatshop workers are suing Wal-Mart, which sells the products they make.
Courts are starting to rule that defendants have a right to examine the source code of breath testing machines.
This does not, unfortunately, mean that software becomes free. It is delivered under an unethical nondisclosure agreement.
Iraqis say Bush's claims to be making things better in Iraq are just as false as ever.
Around 1.2 million Iraqi deaths are on Bush's hands, according to the latest estimates based on scientific methods.
That estimate is uncertain; it is based on various kinds of extrapolation. But there is no better way to estimate these deaths. The best way would be to count the deaths, but the Bush regime says it does not keep track of Iraqi civilians killed.
US citizens: call your senators AGAIN to say you're against giving immunity to the telephone companies that spied on us.
Congressman Kucinich, the only candidate for president that I would wish to see as president, has dropped out of the race.
His campaign was opposed by the media at two levels: first, by omitting him from coverage and debates, and second, by focusing on "electability", which comes down to a self-fulfilling prophesy that only a Democrat who might as well be a Republican can win.
The blockade of Gaza: a crime, and a collosal blunder.
New York police don't want to let citizens have unregulated gieger counters or anything with which to monitor air quality.
The British Army has not punished its soldiers for murdering prisoners when they served in the Bush forces, but it does seem to recognize a responsibility to make sure such things do not happen in the future.
Giuliani, as mayor of New York, made practice of punishing anyone that got in his way, and didn't hesitate to do it with lies.
The Black Mustang Club can print its calendar.
Burma's dictators have imprisoned a poet who snuck a message of criticism into a love poem.
Il Ducino may return to power in Italy.
Contraceptive pills protect women from cancer, even 30 years later.
Will a treaty with Iraq give the US the power to set up a prison like Guantanamo in Iraq decades from now?
As newspapers turn into blog sites, they provide an opening for paid PR personnel to gain the legitimacy of newspaper coverage.
Perhaps this problem could be solved with a standard of conflict of interest disclosure, if it can be enforced with sufficient strength.
The Bush forces took a routine minor incident and spun it as a naval confrontation with Iran. Reportedly top Pentagon officials made the decision to twist the truth.
Israelis plan to protest the blockade of Gaza by sending humanitarian supplies in defiance of the government. The supplies will include water filters, because most water in Gaza is dangerously polluted and Israel will not allow filters to be brought in.
Tobacco companies' "social responsibility" programs are cigarette ads in disguise.
Mercenaries continue to shoot Iraqi civilians with impunity, making orphans.
Drug companies support lots of studies about the effects of drugs. In the case of antidepressants, at least, they only publish the favorable ones.
Palestinians poured across the border into Egypt to bring back necessary goods that Israel has excluded for months.
I am not impressed by Israeli protestations that some might bring in weapons. They could only bring in small arms this way. There are plenty of small arms in Gaza already, and a few more won't change anything. Besides, we're told that Palestinians already bring in arms through tunnels under the border.
However, there's an easy way to exclude arms from surface traffic. Just open the regular border crossing between Egypt and Gaza for people and goods to cross in the usual way.
The Senate seems to be leaning towards retroactive immunity for telephone companies that spied on us.
In the first 11 months of 2007, there were 128 murders in Israel. In all of 2007, 3 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinian fighters. Those 3 are the excuse for the repression of the occupation of Palestine. Isn't it absurd?
How Republicans and Democrats have imposed right-wing policies on the US since 1980, hurting the citizens in many ways.
So many countries have recognized the evil of the IMF, and stopped borrowing from it, that the IMF is in financial trouble. (Its income came from interest payments from poor countries.) Now the Bank of the South, founded by several Latin American countries, offers a fresh challenge to the IMF and other right-wing lenders.
Selling out Grandma: as big chains take over nursing homes, they increase profits by cutting the care.
The occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan is producing a new generation of homeless veterans.
In Iraq, the awareness that just about everyone hates them, and wants them either out or dead, must exacerbate the problem. The war crimes, systematically encouraged by the officers, must also contribute. They undermine the soldier's ability to convince himself that what he is doing is justified.
Beware the term "economic freedom" — it is a codeword for "put business above people".
Senator Clinton repeated Bush's false claim that Saddam Hussein cooperated with al Qa'ida.
She will surely claim that she trusted Bush to be accurate. But only a fool would have trusted Bush, and a fool should not be president.
US citizens: call your senators AGAIN to say you're against giving immunity to the telephone companies that spied on us.
Bush and his top officials made over 900 false statements about Iraq in order to bring about the crime of invading of Iraq. This data base contrasts those statements with the facts that they knew.
In Gaza, even bread is now not easy to get. And the UN can't get fuel for the vehicles that distribute food aid.
Some of Gaza's sewage treatment plants had to be shut down, releasing raw sewage into the Mediterranean.
The people of Gaza took matters into their own hands by blowing holes in the wall between Gaza and Egypt. Then they went into Egypt to buy food and take it back to Gaza. The Egyptian government first tried to block them, but then changed its policy and to let Palestinians through.
The US vetoed security council humanitarian action on behalf of Gaza, citing its concern for the rocket attacks on Sderot which killed 2 people in 2007.
How Kibaki stole the Kenyan election.
The continuing low-level conflict in the Congo causes 45,000 people each month to die of treatable diseases.
The only opposition candidate in Russia faces criminal charges of falsifying signatures in his nomination petition. The investigators are practicing intimidation tactics.
Apparently Putin is not satisfied with rigging the election — he seems to wish to declare openly that Russian elections are a sham.
The Canadian government removed the US and Israel from its list of examples of torture. Although both countries practice torture, Canada does not want to admit it.
Sarkozy panders to fishermen who want to sweep the seas clean of fish. Read more here.
Bush censored an international scientific report so that it won't interfere with plans to drill for oil in the Chukchi sea. Since this drilling could wipe out one of the few intact polar bear habitats, Bush wants to get the drilling started quickly, before polar bears are declared an endangered species. That way he can assure their demise despite all efforts to protect them.
How the US government caused a financial crisis by being too subservient to business.
The investigation of the firings of US attorneys is getting hotter.
Greg Palast says these firings were part of the Republicans' plan to rig the 2008 election.
Resistance attacks are increasing in the south of Iraq, a Shi'ite area.
A scientific study finds that using a mobile phone an hour before going to sleep interferes with sleep.
Iraq Veterans Against War say that officers in the Bush forces encourage war crimes against civilians.
A European Parliament committee rejected three proposals to oppress the public in the name of copyright, in response to public pressure.
The EU Parliament has adopted several such directives in the past. I think this is the first time they have said no.
Because of a harmless photography project, Ramak Fazel faces a life of harrassment.
In Australia: write to the Attorney-General to extend your freedoms under copyright law.
UK citizens: tell your MP you demand a referendum on the EU constitution, and no pretense that it isn't the same old constitution.
US citizens: call your senators once again and tell them not to give retroactive immunity to the telephone companies for their illegal spying.
Also, if you support Clinton or Obama, tell them you expect them to be present for a filibuster.
US citizens: call your congresscritter and senators, and tell them to pass a stimulus package that gives money to working Americans, not tax breaks for businesses and wealthy people.
US citizens: phone or snail mail your congresscritter to oppose the "Campus-Based Digital Theft Prevention" provision in the education bill. Say that sharing isn't theft, sharing is good, and there shouldn't be any laws against it.
Israel cut off the fuel to Gaza's electric plant, as collective punishment of everyone in Gaza.
1/3 of all species of amphibians are endangered, due to a fungus promoted by global warming. This project will attempt to protect 10 of the most unusual endangered amphibian species.
Sgt. Mendenhall suspects his many diseases were caused by exposure in Iraq to poisonous uranium from Bush forces munitions. When he asks for help, officials give him a runaround.
Congress isn't deadlocked when it comes to helping big business.
Israel is now blocking UN aid vehicles from Gaza.
The number of Israelis and Palestinians killed by the other side's fighters declined in 2007. Palestinians killed 13 Israelis, and Israelis killed 373 Palestinians.
That figure of 373 probably counts only those killed by fighting, and thus does not include the 60 sick Palestinians who died because Israel did not let them leave Gaza for medical treatment. Their deaths were "retaliation" for the Qassam missiles aimed at Sderot, which killed two people last year.
Israel now admits that its blockade of Gaza is intended to cause suffering for the population as a whole.
FBI buries docs showing US officials stole nuke secrets? Read more about this here
Israeli PM Olmert has formally adopted what was once Uri Avnery's political program.
Fanatical Christians have obtained government funds for "crisis pregnancy centers" which try to stop women from having abortions with a long series of dishonest tactics.
The US government plans to track all farm animals — except on factory farms — supposedly to stop "terrorists".
I guess they couldn't use "child" pornography as the excuse for this program.
The US prison in Bahram, Afghanistan, is twice the size of Guantanamo. Some of the prisoners were shipped there from Guantanamo.
The RFID Guardian selectively jams RFIDs in your vicinity.
For full information read here.
Unable to arrest Brian Haw for protesting outside Parliament, the UK police attacked and injured him, then arrested him for "threatening" them.
The police are the most heavily armed gang in the country. Any attempt to reduce the level of violence in the UK should start with them. Instead, the UK instead plans to imprison thousands more non-police. To make room for them it will implant RFIDs under the skin of other convicts...and perhaps others waiting for trial.
I am not, in general, against making convicted criminals wear tracking devices. However, injecting them into the person body is a new level if invasion, more dangerous precisely because it would be easy to apply to all the rest of us.
Greenland's ice melt hit a record in 2007.
This is parallels measurements in Antarctica. Start thinking about moving to high ground.
The head of US intelligence said that near-drowning constitutes torture. This puts the CIA agents who did it in legal jeopardy.
CO2 emissions could wipe out all the world's coral reefs in a few decades, causing extinction of thousands of species and destroying the livelihoods of 100 million people. The problem is not just the warming, but also the increasing acidity of the oceans as the CO2 dissolves in them.
Destruction of the Amazon rainforest is speeding up despite commitments to protect it. The whole forest could be gone in 20 years, with disastrous effects on life on Earth.
I think that Brazil needs a strict policy of confiscating any land on which the forest is cut down, and whatever was grown on it.
Kenya's opposition leader has called a general strike. His demand for new election seems like the only solution when the head of the election commission says he cannot tell who won.
Police in Minnesota killed an unarmed man with a taser shot, then claimed the taser wasn't responsible. They refuse to say why they shot him.
Part of the Canadian government listed the Guantanamo prison as a suspected torture site, but Canada continues to do nothing to help a Canadian citizen who has been tortured there.
Tobacco companies operate programs for "youth smoking prevention", but their real effect is public relations and market research for selling tobacco.
Drug companies say they need high prices (not to mention patents in poor countries that amount to mass murder) to cover the cost of research. However, the drug companies spend 24% of their money on advertising and only 13% on research.
Opium farming is taking off in Iraq, under the control of the militias.
The Bush invasion of Iraq was responsible for this development, but I expect that Bush, and his successor, will present it as an excuse to continue the occupation until it suppresses the drug trade. That means forever — which is what they want anyway.
Radiohead released an album on the Internet, saying "Pay what you wish" and allowing free redistribution. Estimates are they made millions of dollars.
Christian fanatics in the US congress are pushing resolutions to misrepresent history and establish their religion.
Microsoft wants a monopoly on software for employers to monitor workers' bodies.
The defense minister of the "Iraqi" government says he can't expect to end the violence in the country until 2012.
Since the US occupation is an obstacle to ending the violence, in effect the "solution" is also the cause of the problem.
I don't know whether US trademark law would actually support Ford's claim. But if Ford's actions are not illegal, they ought to be.
Once Ford's executives notice the PR problem their lawyers have caused, I expect they offer the fans some sort of deal to permit publication of the calendar. But that shouldn't be enough, because there's a bigger issue at stake. Nobody should have the power that Ford is claiming to have.
Finland is building a nuclear reactor with a new design that is supposed to ensure safety, but many parts were badly built.
The flaws in production by subcontractors are the overall builder's fault, for failing to give priority to proper construction. But such mistakes are not unusual. If Europe allows many companies are allowed to build such reactors, it is nearly certain that at least one of them will build them badly.
Japanese whalers captured and imprisoned two conservationists who came on ship to give them a message.
The UK rejected a move to ban research on hybrid embryos.
The right way to deal with these issues is to ask, "Which person's rights are threatened?" A person that never exists cannot be the victim of an injustice.
Hundreds of British doctors say they will defy government orders to deny health care to refugees.
Wei Wenhua made a video of policemen beating up protestors. The police beat him to death.
The US public has developed a nearly total distrust for big business, and supports many proposals for increased regulation.
The fact that the government does not implement these proposals reflects the fact that business has more political power than the vast majority of the citizens put together.
Antarctic glaciers are moving faster than expected, meaninmg the ocean will rise faster than previously predicted.
Bush is still trying to bash Iran — perhaps he still wants to start another war.
His accusation that Iran supports "terrorism" in Afghanistan is surely wrong. Iran and the Taliban were hardly friends.
Meanwhile, Iranians remember that when they got a democratic government, in 1954, the US helped impose the tyrannical shah.
Dubya is now under pressure to support the cause of imprisoned dissidents in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, after he talked about "freedom of speech". Oops!
Sign this petition calling on US TV journalists to ask candidates about their stand on global warming.
Huckabee wants to amend the US Constitution to endorse religion and conform to religious standards.
What worries me even more is that other candidates with a bigger chance of winning, such as Clinton, are also trying to boost religion.
The Mexican army appears to be preparing to attack a Zapatista community.
100,000 protestors denounced the presidential election in Georgia as rigged.
Not everything Clown does is bad. He proposes to consider organs from corpses as available for transplantation unless relatives explicitly say no.
That's a step forward. I have an organ donor card in my pocket, but in the US I cannot be sure it would be honored. But why not go further? Why cater to irrational relatives at the cost of other people's lives?
Human Rights Watch says the Kenyan police had a "shoot to kill" policy in dealing with protestors.
Israel barred international peace activists from entering Palestine.
Index On Censorship's new issue on "cyberspeech".
Nonviolent protests continue in Bil'in, where Israel has ignored the Supreme Court's decision to move the annexation wall. And soldiers cheer after shooting protestors in the head with rubber bullets (which can cause permanent injury).
A US appeals court ruled that Guantanamo torture was "incidental", and that the prisoners don't count as "persons".
Thus the Bush regime denies the humanity of anyone it captures and imprisons.
The UK has so many surveillance cameras that it is looking for citizen volunteers to watch them.
Clown plans to "harmonize" the laws restricting protests near Parliament with the laws governing protests elsewhere. That could mean extending some of these restrictions to the rest of the UK.
Environmentalists in Bahrain protested Bush's visit.
Al Jazeera reportedly has been ordered by Qatar to be nice to Sa'udi Arabia.
Business interests exert similar control on the major US media such as the New York Times, as Chomsky has shown.
As a few refugees return to Iraq, often into internal exile rather than home, Bush claims this is a sign that he is getting Iraq under control. But most Iraqis believe that the Bush forces' occupation is the cause of Iraq's problems and that ending the occupation is crucial to ending these problems.
Over the past few years, I've written that it was impossible to avoid the fragmentation of Iraq. I still think that is likely. The writer of the article sees more hope.
The decrease in killings reported by the Bush regime is exaggerated.
Giuliani worked as a paid lobbyist for Purdue Pharma, protecting it from accusations about its promotion of the drug Oxycontin. Purdue's executives later pled guilty to charges they lied about it.
I have no basis to claim that Giuliani personally lied in this activity, but he used his famous name to suppress criticism.
Yet another network-organized debate excludes Kucinich.
Maybe Bush was hoping to manufacture a reason for war.
Republican voter ID laws are designed for discrimination against minority groups that often vote Democratic.
This, combined with a systematic plan to challenge minority voters, is the Republican plan to win the 2008 election regardless of what the citizens want.
It is true that nuclear power plants avoid emitting CO2. But they are dangerous the waste is extremely toxic and when made safe, they are very expensive.
This car is fairly fuel-efficient as cars go but if it greatly increases the number of cars, it will increase the total fuel consumption. However, sufficiently heavy gas taxes could prevent that problem.
Those are good words, but carrying them out will take determination and clout. Bush may not have either one.
Even better, they denounce the anti-sharing special interests.
Fortunately, some states have already rejected the plan, and it can still be defeated. If you're a US citizen, talk with your state legislator about rejecting REAL ID.
Diebold voting machines are vulnerable to being rigged by people who get access to them before the election.
Such people could be allowed in by election officials, or they could say they work for Diebold. What if they really do work for Diebold? That won't stop them from rigging an election.
French journalists face the threat of execution in Niger for covering Tuareg rebels.
Editors of Stars and Stripes, the US military newspaper, object to the secret use of their paper to launder funds for propaganda efforts.
Sharing copies isn't wrong. Prohibiting sharing is wrong.
Canadians: join your local chapter of Fair Copyright for Canada.
One source of the powerful major drug companies' power is that their salesmen know exactly how much each doctor prescribes of any given drug. They get this from records kept by pharmacies.
Schneier sused the word "hacker" to refer to security-breakers, but that's a misunderstanding.
When Meijer, a retail store chain, was denied a permit for a new store, it funded a phony "grass-roots" recall campaign to remove town officials.
Privacy International and EPIC accuse the US of "endemic surveillance", like Russia, China, and Singapore.
Robin Ingle says he resigned from the Consumer Products Safety Commission because it had become so thoroughly captured by the industry it regulates that his work achieved nothing.
Obama won in New Hampshire districts that count votes by hand, but lost in those that count by machine. This analysis argues that the pattern is due to demography, and that the difference is much less when districts of comparable demography are compared.
Whether or not computers were used for cheating this time, they could be in the future. We should not entrust our elections to them.
Those who claim psychic powers have just two more years to prove them and claim James Randi's two-million-dollar prize. After that, his foundation will use the money for other purposes.
Iraqis resort to selling children -- for adoption, or forced prostitution.
A US court ruled that defendants have a right under the 5th amendment not to tell a PGP passphrase.
By contrast, the UK adopted a law making it a crime not to give the police your passphrase, and it is a crime to tell the public that you were abused in this way. This was the start of B'liar's assault on the Magna Carta.
The UK is accused of deceiving youths in order to recruit them as soldiers.
I've heard similar accusations in the US.
Iraq Body Count says that killings in Iraq remain high.
An Israeli plane fired a missile to destroy a Palestinian home. His owner had already been assassinated, but they wanted to punish his family even more.
The home was empty, but people on the street were wounded by shrapnel.
Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza are dying of cancer because Israel will not allow them to travel for treatment.
Meanwhile, Israeli settlers continue trying to push Palestinians off their lands.
There are cases where surveillance recordings can be good for justice.
I often talk about the danger of surveillance of citizens by the authorities, because that surveillance tends to be systematic and total. But I agree with Elgan about these cases.
Ways to reform the algorithm of US voting.
No matter what it means to vote for a certain candidate, that won't give us good elections if certain groups are systematically blocked or intimidated from voting.
Saving the mountain gorilla by building efficient stoves.
A police chief in the UK called for legalization of ecstacy, saying it is safer than aspirin.
But most public figures still won't dare to admit that prohibition is more harmful than the drug.
The Bush regime wants to start oil drilling off the Alaskan coast, ignoring the danger of oil spills.
Using "balance" as the criterion is a recipe for approving every drilling project sooner or later no matter how dangerous it is. The increasing oil price will keep pushing down one side of the scale, until it eventually counts for more than the danger.
I propose a different solution: wait 15 years. By then, all the sea ice may be gone, the polar bears may all be dead, and the oil will be worth a lot more money than it is now.
The UK plans to ban the distribution of many programs that can be used to probe computer security (either to break it or to maintain it).
Adding insult to injury, they also use the term "hacking" to refer to security breaking.
Sign this petition urging other governments not to recognize the "outcome" of the election in Kenya until it has been independently reviewed.
A couple was banned from a mall in the UK for taking photos of their grandchildren.
It's not enough to laugh at this photo bans infringe the public's rights, so we should resist and defy them, and refuse to accept the stupid "terrorism" excuse.
(I'm sure the mall itself takes plenty of pictures.)
"Intelligent design" is the nexus between politics, religion, and stupidity.
There is a crash program to breed amphibians in zoos, before fungus wipes them out in the wild.
The CIA faces a criminal investigation for destruction of evidence of torture.
Saudi Arabia arrested a blogger who wrote about the unjust accusations against other human rights supporters.
Supporters of the opposition candidate who probably won Kenya's election have started butchering supporters of the government.
The occupation of Iraq costs the US 16 million dollars per hour. (That's after excluding the fraction for Afghanistan.)
Painful as this is, it is not the principal reason to oppose the occupation. It is the result of an unjust attempt to conquer another country to steal its oil. So even if it could be made profitable, as Bush hoped, it would still be wrong.
The chairman of Kenya's election commission admits he does not trust the election results.
Amazingly, "excessive Christmas shopping" will push many people over the edge. Perhaps schools should teach teenagers how to resist this pressure or teach them to celebrate Grav-mass instead.
Naomi Wolf talks about the reaction to The End of America. When Bush withholds from Congress the emails about the US attorney scandal, is he hiding a systematic plan to rig the 2008 election?
The UK gave a girl the order to report to the airport for deportation to Nigeria, where she has never been and has no citizenship. But she can't read the order, because she's 3 years old.
The past few monts have seen decreased resistance attacks against the Bush forces, but there are reasons why this lull may not last.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that reports of Iraqi refugees' return are exaggerated — the "Iraqi" government counts every Iraqi that crosses the border as a "returning refugee" &mdash and that distaste for practicing prostitution might be more of a reason for those that really do return.
10 significant 2007 victories against the corporate empire.
There are mass protests in Kenya after the presidential election was apparently rigged.
An amateur video shows that Musharraf's story about the killing of Benazir Bhutto was a lie.
Benazir Bhutto willed the party she led to her husband as if it were her property.
Tariq Ali: Pakistan deserves better than this grotesque feudal charade.
Iraqi refugees turn to sex trade in Syria.
The "Homegrown Terrorism" act would set up a new system of censorship, and set up rules under which the heroes of American democracy would have been called "terrorists".
The Bush regime has a pattern of stretching laws to extend its power. We dare not assume it will not stretch this power too. Nor can we assume a Clinton regime would be any better.
It would be more effective in the long run to increase precautionary measures against introduction of invasive species. But that runs into opposition, because these measures are inconvenient.
If Musharraf declined to provide security for Bhutto, that does seem to make him partly responsible. Even if he did not organize the assassination, he knew there would be more attempts.
Meanwhile, Greg Palast says that the way Republicans intend to steal the 2008 election is by systematic fraudulent challenges to Democratic voters, so as to disenfranchise or scare them.
The Bush forces in Iraq don't filter the Internet, but they have killed a number of journalists.
There is a serious issue at the root of this. Upper-cast Hindus treat the Dalits (formerly called "untouchables") like trash, and Hinduism openly supports this cruelty. Thus, many Dalits think of converting to some other religion in which all are treated as equals. Often they choose Buddhism, following Dr. Ambedkar, but sometimes they choose Christianity. Either way, they face violent opposition from upper-caste Hindus that want to maintain them in subjection.
It could be easier just to declare themselves Atheists. However, I think they need the support of some larger community to make their rejection of Hinduism effective. And some forms of Buddhism are Atheist.
Lots of companies try to convince you to buy by saying they give some money to charity. But you can't necessarily trust them.
I've always been suspicious of statements that "a portion of what you pay will be given to XYZ". What portion will they give? .0000001 percent?
Is this war fueled by diamonds? Something must be keeping it going.
But Bush will try again.
Novelist Jonathan Lethem writes about how art depends on copying and imitating other art, and what that means for copyright.
This is a good analysis of the basic issue of copyright today. I brought up related points in a more abstract way in another article, but he says it better.
However, the propaganda term "intellectual property" led Lethem to try to involve in patent law in a subject where it is not relevant at all. He recognized and denounced the bias in the term; but he did not recognize the other mistaken supposition it carries: that copyright and patents are similar issues and should be treated together. They are not similar; the points he raises about copyright don't relate to patent law at all.
In an unusual show of wisdom, fishermen decided to protect clownfish in Australian reefs where the population has already been hit by global warming.
If all fishermen were that rational, we would not have to worry about sweeping the oceans clean of fish.
Richard Dawkins will take the fight against religious irrationalism to the enemy's home ground.
Some right-wing Israelis, and a few unusually wealthy and unusually right-wing American Jews, have great influence in US politics. How do they respond if you talk about this? If you say this phenomenon is good, they welcome your approval. But if you criticize the phenomenon, they say you're making it all up because you're anti-Semitic.
The US military is training soldiers to be religious fanatics.
Does this remind you of Al Qa'ida?
Bush continues his War on the Environment by trying to stop California from enacting stronger emissions standards. California will sue.
The Republican Party used dishonest false-flag phone calls to corrupt the 2002 New Hampshire senate election. Then the Corruption Department delayed the investigation, so that Bush and his supporters would not have to pay the price in 2004.
I'd expect that lots of homeless men freeze to death in the US, but we don't read about it because our society (or our media?) are more callous. In other words, France has a ways to sink before it reaches our level.
Martin Luther King's family has won a lawsuit against people who conspired to kill him - vindicating their belief that the official conclusion that James Earl Ray killed King, acting alone, was false.
Cheney is personally responsible for imposing Halliburton's mandatory arbitration policy, which prevents Jamie Leigh Jones from suing that company for rape (or for imprisoning her).
Cheney is probably also partly personally responsible for the law-free zone that protects the Halliburton employes who raped her, and the others who locked her up when she complained, from being prosecuted.
Removing idle functionaries from the public payroll is generally a good thing, when there is a private economy in which people can get work. In a place such as Palestine, where opportunity is very limited, government handouts to those functionaries play the role of a welfare system. Cutting it off might not be an improvement.
Bil'in continues its weekly nonviolent protests. Last week the Israeli Army attacked the protestors as they approached.
The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the annexation wall should be moved to give Bil'in access to more of its land, but nothing has been done to move it.
Two freed Guantanamo prisoners face charges in Spain. At least they will have trials there.
To punish a person for being kidnaped by denying his residency rights seems entirely unjust.
Sociological research produced a disturbing result: diversity within a community tends to reduce levels of civic participation and cooperation.
The question is, what does this imply for what we do? Conservatives wish to draw the conclusion that we should push everyone into a mold, but that is not necessarily indicated.
When the Bush regime tortured Abu Zubaydah, he talked, and plenty. He was going crazy, so he revealed lots of plots that seem to have been fictitious.
Since the information was not true, it would not have served the supposed purpose of thwarting plots. But it did serve Bush's purpose, giving him "evidence" to make Americans feel very scared of Al Qa'ida and thus support his plans to crush human rights.
However, burning ethanol made from food is in itself a disaster, since it means higher prices for food even for poor people, uses (in the US) lots of fertilizer, and motivates cutting down rainforests.
I also admire his refusal to talk about whether he had ever used illegal drugs.
I cannot make sense of the idea of agreeing to "raise children as Catholics" (or to believe in any other religious belief system) if you don't believe in it yourself. Isn't that in effect agreeing to mislead them? While marriage requires compromises, there are some compromises that one cannot properly make.
However, I will not hold this against him personally, since I'm sure he did it because it seems honorable to him.
Three prisoners were released from Guantanamo to the UK. One of them is blind in one eye as a result of torture.
Two were arrested and accused of terrorist activities. I am confident that the UK will not imprison them without a fair trial. However, the UK might punish them in lesser ways, such as permanent house arrest, without a trial. And it might try them for crimes which amount only to being the object of suspicion.
For one month:
US citizens: call your congresscritters and senators and say: Reverse the FCC's decision: reject increased media consolidation.
You can also sign this petition but phone calls carry more weight.
US citizens: call your senators and say "Don't let Richard Honaker become a Federal judge". Honaker wants to ban abortion entirely.
The Bush regime wants to intervene directly in promotions for military lawyers, to make sure they do not let integrity interfere with obedience.
All the Iraqi sectarian and ethnic groups agree on one thing: Bush is to blame for the horrible state of their country.
The Bush forces have the mission to find something they can present as progress, so they will use whatever comes up.
The christmas tree ornaments sold at Wal-Mart are made in Chinese sweatshops.
Celebrate Grav-mass instead; then you won't need metal or plastic ornaments for your tree, just apples.
Drug companies should not be allowed to fund studies of drug effects. Instead the government should tax them and use the tax money to do it. That way, the drug companies will not have any control over who gets chosen to do these studies.
If we let the fishermen get their way, they will wipe out all the fish. Then they will all be out of a job, and we will have no fish. People have behaved stupidly like this before: they killed all the passenger pigeons in just a few years, and didn't trouble to spare the last flock.
US citizens: call your congresscritters and senators and say they should pass a law to apply US criminal law to US government contractors and their employees in foreign countries.
In a setback for science, MIT has appointed a chaplain.
The major Democratic candidates' debate in Iowa excluded Kucinich on rather absurd criteria. And the other candidates did not complain.
It's a particularly blatant example of how the major media, big businesses which work with other big businesses, control US elections. They may not decide precisely who wins, but they make sure nobody can win who wants to make changes that will affect the power of these big businesses. But denying coverage to candidates like Kucinich they can make them appear not to be "electable", which many voters then take to be a reason not to support them.
In effect, to make "electability" a criterion is to let the media decide for you.
I am skeptical that the situation is as favorable for Bush as it is presented in that article, but divide and conquer has worked for other empires in the past. If Bush's divide and conquer policy succeeds, these tribes would become the new local elite, working for Bush and getting paid a small fraction of the plunder that the megacorporations get, much as the Tikritis did for Saddam Hussein. What this cannot do is give freedom (in any sense we would understand) to Iraqis.
Israeli shelling continues to kill innocent Palestinians, such as children
Nonviolent Palestinian protestors are also attacked.
As the British Bush forces hand over control of Basra to Iraqi militias, most of the inhabitants consider this a step forward even though the militias sometimes fight and sometimes murder.
After new arrests, Israel now holds 46 members of the Palestinian Parliament in prison.
The "Iraqi" government says it doesn't want the Bush forces forever.
[I thought that previous statements about this would be reversed about not wanting permanent bases and making the Bush forces leave in a year or so.]
Mobile Labs to Target Iraqis for Death
Killing prisoners is a crime no matter how they decide which prisoners to kill. And calling the resistance forces "terrorists" is a smear.
But notice how another evil is embodied here: "the computer (database) can't be wrong." If your biometrics are in the system, that means you're a member of the resistance, i.e. a "terrorist", and you can be executed summarily.
The nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan is extending to missile defense.
The US has found it hard to make missile defense really work. I won't assume that India can do better.
Former CIA agent John Kiriakou confessed to torturing a prisoner. He has come to feel that what he did was wrong.
When tortured prisoners break down and start to talk, what they say may be true or it may be false.
This is one step towards taking the US out of barbarism.
The new Australian government has softened the country's cruel policy towards refugees.
Muslim fanatics in Iraq are murdering woman that don't wear the prison garb that their religion prescribes for women.
Disgusting as this is, it is no excuse for continuing the occupation of Iraq, because the Bush forces have no power to prevent it.
A substantial part of the Antarctic ice sheet is resting on rock 6,000 feet below sea level, and it is starting to get thinner.
Four species of penguins that breed in Antartica are endangered by global warming.
Even I, the only man in the world who can get angry from looking at a picture of a penguin, find this bad news.
Meanwhile, the Bush regime is determined to block efforts to limit global warming for as long as it can hang on.
Each day of sabotage brings us that much closer to disaster.
"Iraq calmer, but more divided".
The division of Iraq is similar to what I have proposed as the only way to end the civil war. The actual divisions don't have the stable governments and boundaries that I proposed. I am not sure whether they might have been possible under different circumstances, but the occupation by foreign troops that aim to steal Iraq's oil has to make it more difficult.
Germany proposed to ban the Church of Scientology on the grounds that it is a predatory cult masquerading as a religion.
The Church of Scientology is reported to persecute ex-members and those who criticize it. In Belgium, Scientology will be prosecuted for a wide range of crimes including blackmail and swindling.
Scientology also attacks your freedom by lobbying for increased copyright power. The 1998 US law that extended copyright by 20 years was named after one of the Church of Scientology's pet congressmen.
The CIA destroyed videotapes documenting interrogation of prisoners because they might have shown torture, which would have been a crime committed by the CIA agents.
Neocons are mounting a smear campaign against the intelligence report that said Iran stopped trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Jamie Leigh was a Halliburton employee in Iraq when she was raped by other Halliburton employees. The company kept her prisoner and destroyed evidence. Because Bush set up Iraq as a law-free zone, neither the rapists nor the company can be prosecuted.
Bolivia is moving forward on its new constitution; the opposition, which represents the local elite who have generally ruled Bolivia in the past, is trying to make a fuss about the absence of presidential term limits.
Santa Cruz is the area where Bolivia's oil is located, and the oil industry has lots of political influence. I was told, there, that the oil industry pays people to protest.
I think the rest of the countries should adopt a good plan, ignoring Bush and the Bushmen, and then announce that they don't care whether he signs up to it because his successor will.
If CO2 emissions are not checked, they will make most of the ocean uninhabitable for coral. Hundreds of millions of people could lose their livelihoods.
Also, thousands of other marine species that depend on coral reefs could go extinct as a result. Even if coral itself survives somewhere, these species are not necessarily found there.
The International Red Cross condemned Israel's clampdown on Gaza, which has crushed the economy and kills sick people.
Ironically, the only aspect of Palestinian life in Gaza that clampdown has not crushed is the missile attacks on Israel which are its supposed motive. But those attacks are so ineffectual that it would be better to ignore them anyway.
A Canadian study found that P2P music sharing leads people to buy more CDs — just the opposite of what the advocates of DRM claim.
Gary Kasparov had to give up on the Russian presidential election, because he and his supporters have been blocked from meeting so as to legally launch the campaign.
Gordon Clown is about to sign the EU constitution (which they do not recognize as a constitution). To deflect the criticism for this, he has rejected a symbolic call for further EU integration.
Talks between Israel and Palestinians started, and achieved nothing because Israel is continuing to build its colonies on Palestinian territory.
The environmental study of the Heathrow third runway drastically underestimated the climate change consequences (by 2/3).
A side effect of the UK's policy of unnecessary imprisonment is great expense. Because of the expense, they will make prisoners spend less time studying, exercising and working.
It's absurd penology.
The government of Afghanistan is negotiating with warlords that support the Taliban, trying to win them away.
The reason that the conquest of Afghanistan was so easy was that it's normal practice for warlords to switch sides.
The Iraqi government, in a show of independence, ordered policewomen to turn in their guns.
A national security advisor of the Iraqi government said no to permanent Bush bases there. It is not clear, however, who in the government that person speaks for.
The Bush forces have a history of making the Iraqi government back down if it tries to oppose what Bush wants.
CIA photos prove that Binyam Mohammed was tortured. The Bush regime is keeping him prisoner based on evidence obtained byt torture — and therefore likely to be false.
The reason torture is so good at making people confess is that people literally cannot resist. Guilty people cannot resist confessing, and innocent people can't either.
If you want lots of people to confess, and you don't care whether the confessions are true, torture is a great method.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on Obama to stand against retroactive immunity for the phone companies that spied on us.
US citizens: call your senators and say, "Support Senator Dodd's filibuster, and don't let the spying telcos off the hook in any manner."
See here for more info. A phone call carries more weight than a message.
Try: 202-224-3121 or 888-818-6641 or 888-355-3588 (Capitol Switchboards).
NATO troops in Afghanistan say they are clearing the Taliban out of an important stronghold.
I wish I could believe this is significant, but it is standard guerrilla practice to "melt away" from an area that comes under strong attack. That doesn't mean they have been defeated.
When a Western army's commanders speak of "winning the hearts and minds" of another people, what it shows is that they have a notable lack of support. Whether they have any chance of winning back that support is another question — it is much easier said than done.
I supported war against the Taliban before Bush talked about it, for other reasons, but I have to acknowledge that it is not going well. Could it have gone better if Bush had avoided attacking Iraq, and had put into Afghanistan 10% of what he has spent on Iraq? I don't know, but at least it is possible.
British Petroleum, which has spent millions on greenwashing, plans to develop oil shale extraction in Canada. Greenpeace plans to try to stop them.
With petroleum prices rising, and likely to rise further due to peak oil, getting oil from shale is becoming economically attractive. But that's only because they impose much of the cost on others. If the extraction plant had to pay the environment costs of the CO2 they emit, and of the local environmental damage they cause, the price would be much higher.
Iraqi refugees forced back from neighboring countries often cannot return to their own homes, so they become internal refugees instead.
Activists created an illegal "palestinian outpost" to mock the many illegal Israeli settler "outposts".
The police forcibly expelled the protestors from this outpost. They don't do that with the equally illegal settler outposts.
Meanwhile, Israel continues confiscating large areas of Palestinian land and forbidding Palestinians to build houses in their land.
Palestinians in Gaza are dying because Israel won't let them leave to get medical care.
Minors in Iraqi prisons suffer the same torture as adults.
Uri Avnery: How they stole the (Iranian) bomb from us.
Sign the petition calling on Israel to allow sick people in Gaza to travel to receive medical treatment.
An Israeli minister cancelled a visit to the UK because he feared being arrested for ordering a bombing that killed many civilians.
When [Iraqi] resistance leaders are given an assurance that the Iraq occupation will end completely, real negotiations can begin.
The US now has 2.4 million prisoners. One in every 31 adults is in prison, on parole, or on probation.
A shortage of sunspots could indicate the start of a temporary period of decreased in solar output.
If this comes to pass, it could give us a temporary respite from global warming — but not a solution. we do not dare relax and let CO2 emissions continue to rise, because whenever the solar output returns to normal, the present problem will return. Meanwhile, other problems of CO2 emissions, such as acidification of the ocean, will proceed unchecked.
US voters: support Dennis Kucinich in IndependentPrimary.com.
Iraqi refugees are returning to Iraq...on threat of being imprisoned until they do.
The UK has become the biggest imprisoner of Europe, much as the US is the biggest imprisoner of the world, and its only solution is to build more prisons.
Privatization of prisons tends to put the squeeze on prison conditions (since that enables the owners to increase the profits). It can also provide layers of deniability to help prison guards evade being held responsible for how the treat prisoners. It also tends to create a prison-industrial complex that bribes legislators to put more of the population behind bars.
"Rendition" did not begin with Bush. In 1908, the UK government wanted to hand over a Korean journalist to the Japanese, who wished to torture him. One man with integrity, diplomat Henry Cockburn, prevented this even though it ended his career.
The US Supreme Court is considering whether the l aw that denied the courts authority over Guantanamo prisoners is valid.
Prisoners have been held in Guantanamo for years based on no evidence except rumors — and all the while, both Bush and his men said these prisoners were so dangerous that it was inconceivable to release them.
A racist Italian politician called for punishing ten immigrants if one immigrant commits a crime. (He did not say how the nine innocent victims would be chosen.)
Italians need to recognize that their economic problems are due to the corporations that dominate their state through the European Union, not to the poor and weak.
Human Rights Watch called on Venezuela to investigate violence in the campaign over the constitutional referendum.
Sudan has freed the British teacher that was arrested for "insulting Islam", but has not changed its policy of punishing people for expressing such opinions.
I am glad Ms Gibbons is free, but she should stop fussing about whether she ever intended to insult anyone or anything, and start defending the human rights of the next victim. Sudan's law is an offense against freedom of speech, and the fact that they went lightly against Ms Gibbons is no excuse.
A US intelligence report says that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program 4 years ago in response to international pressure.
Bush must have known about this while trying to create excuses to attack Iran.
Greg Palast: Fear of Chavez is Fear of Democracy.
A novel is the latest attempt to bring attention back to the holes in the official story of what happened on 9/11.
MoveOn suggests calling your senators and representative to say, "Make sure Bush has no legal authority to attack Iran."
You can also use this site to send such a message, but phoning carries more weight.
Venezuelan voters rejected Chavez' proposal to change the constitution of Venezuela.
I'm disappointed that the elimination of "intellectual property" from the constitution was rejected, but that was a small issue compared with the others at stake.
This defeat is a powerful argument against opposition claims that Venezuelan votes are not counted correctly. If that were true, the cheaters would hardly have allowed such a tiny margin of defeat to stand.
However, computerized voting always offers the option of easy cheating. Chavez doesn't do it, but there is no telling what some future president might do. Venezuela should abolish computerized voting before it gets someone prepared to exploit the danger.
The OSCE denounced Putin's rigged election.
The Bush forces hold 1000 minors as prisoners.
The experience at Guantanamo shows we cannot believe the claims that the prisoners are all "bad guys". They said the same things about specific Guantanamo prisoners even when the evidence against them was close to zero; this is why they seek to deny prisoners real trials. We cannot believe the claims about these minors either.
Putin has had a smashing victory in an election that appears to have been rigged in many ways at once.
Now that Iraqi militias control Basra instead of the British Bush forces, security is no better, and apparently no worse either. Some are trying to use this as an argument to increase the UK participation in the occupation.
Olmert told Israelis not to hope for results from the Annapolis meeting.
The Earth's tropics, as defined by climatology, have expanded almost 200 miles at each border. This has caused spreading drought, and could cause positive feedback in global warming.
Meanwhile, Bush is trying to sabotage the negotiation of a new climate change treaty to follow the Kyoto accord, which he also sabotaged.
Uri Averny predicts the effects of the Annapolis meeting: the settlers knew they had nothing to fear, but Hamas fears the Israeli army will invade Gaza. Nonetheless, he believes, a small amount of momentum for peace may have been produced.
If the Israeli army does invade and conquer Gaza, either it will have to leave a permanent occupation by prison guards in its wake, or the invasion will have no lasting effect aside from the deaths it will cause.
Some Iraqi refugees are returning to Iraq. What does this mean?
Nonstop Theft and Bribery Are Staggering Iraq.
Yahoo demonstrates its contempt for freedom of speech.
This article uses the misleading propaganda terms "piracy" and "intellectual property". See Words to Avoid.
What these companies protest is probably copyright infringement. Since copyrights are totally different from patents and trademarks, lumping them together and calling them "intellectual property" distracts attention on what's important about them onto an abstract level where you can't even see the real issues. Calling sharing "piracy" is merely a smear campaign.
Americans' wasteful consumption of cotton is destroying the environment around the world.
Although Sharif and Bhutto are more democratic than Musharraf, Sharif supports Islamic extremists' demands, and all of them supported the Pakistani policies that created the Taliban.
The French embassy in Bangladesh participated in what looks like an attempt to smuggle ancient art from Bangladesh to France.
Both sides are equally in the wrong when they sqabble over who gets what share of a monopoly over photos of these ancient works. Photos should be published in the public domain.
The UK Labour Party's fundraiser is in trouble for accepting possibly illegal contributions. In 1998, Greg Palast caught him on tape proposing to help businesses buy laws.
Tell Nestle to stop using child labor.
Global warming has enabled chikungunya fever to spread in Italy. Dengue fever could be next.
Murder and payoffs taint business in Colombia (including that of global megacorporations such as Coca Cola and Chiquita).
ACLU Statement on the "Radicalization and Terrorism Prevention" bill.
MPP: The DEA is waging war on California.
US citizens: phone Senate Majority Leader Reid and say, no amnesty for the phone companies that spied on us.
Musharraf promised to end the state of emergency within two weeks.
Sudan gave teacher Gillian Gibbons a short jail sentence. The government must hope that its mercy in not subjecting her to the whip will distract international public opinion from Sudan's disrespect for freedom of speech.
Limiting the expression of unpopular views is exceedingly dangerous. Even cruel and odious views, such as Nazism, Christianity, and Islam, must not be censored.
Nicholas Stern says his Stern Review of global warming was too conservative; we already know it's worse than was proposed.
The Turkish publisher of The God Delusion faces prosecution for "insulting believers".
Turkey is a "moderate" Muslim country, but it does not respect the freedom to criticize the opinions and theories which constitute Islam.
When religious believers complain that their views have been criticized, and ask us to be "sensitive" by hushing up views they don't like, we must give them no comfort. They have to learn to live with criticism of their views just like everyone else.
A week before UK police shot and killed de Menezes, they came close to killing Nicholas Gaubert. They thought he as a terrorist because he looked strange and didn't respond to questions. Gaubert didn't respond to them because he was in a diabetic coma.
The Sa'udi rape victim's tale.
The Sa'udi government is trying to claim that she had an affair with the man who invited his friends to rape her. Even if it were true, it would not excuse what they did to her, but the attitude of men is that if a woman doesn't fit their definition of virtue, she's fair game for violence.
Sa'udi Arabia is not the only place where many men have such an attitude.
US citizens: sign MoveOn's petition against permanent occupation of Iraq.
Bush signed an agreement with al Maliki to keep the Bush forces in Iraq for many years.
Now he will claim that "we promised Iraq" to continue to the occupation and subjugation of Iraq.
Musharraf stepped down as the head of Pakistan's army. However, the state of emergency continues and he shows no sign of undoing his appointment of toadies as judges.
A Victory for Ehren Watada -- and for Freedom of the Press.
Democrats (except for Kucinich) are going along with permanent occupation of Iraq on the imperialist grounds of "protecting" the flow of diminishing quantities of oil from the Middle East.
Foreign imperial rule is not necessary for "protecting" the flow of oil, even that could justify conquest and occupation.
The best way to assure availability of Middle East oil is to stop creating conflict with Iran, and let the Iraqis divide Iraq with permanent defended frontiers between the ethnic groups.
The opposition in Bolivia has blocked the development of a new constitution and launched massive battles with police.
As 1/4 of the veterans of the first Gulf war have chronic mysterious health problems, it is clear there is some sort of Gulf War Syndrome, but the US government gives the problem more lip service than action.
On the other hand, how could the government afford to take care of veterans while launching expensive wars of occupation?
Sarko's bad decisions, and past police lies, have come home to roost in rioting Paris suburbs.
Global warming is not just where we are headed. It has already caused disasters for tens of millions of people in areas poor.
Disaster may be coming soon to richer places too, as many parts of the world are facing droughts that may be semipermanent. What will happen when the population of Atlanta has to migrate to survive?
Remember the 1930s dust bowl?
Rather than admit the failure of the Annapolis meeting, Bush had Olmert and Abbas say, "Give us one more year and then judge the results." Conveniently that's after the next US election.
Maybe Bush will let this quietly fade away, so that a year from now its failure will not be noticed.
A new campaign is trying to reduce the power of the drug companies to make medicine so expensive that millions of people in poor countries will die. Of course, the US government is fights this tooth and nail.
To succeed, in the long term, these activists need to denounce and reject the term "intellectual property", whose bias and confusion undermines their efforts.
US citizens: call your senators' offices to oppose S 1959 which could make it easy for the government to prosecute people for "promoting an extremist belief system".
That ought to be unconstitutional, but you can't trust today's Supreme Court to defend any sort of human rights.
The ACLU agrees that this bill is a threat to freedom of speech.
This article explains the main ideas of Chavez's proposed constitutional reform.
The reform also includes a change in article 98 to eliminate the term "intellectual property" which was inspired by my criticism of the term.
However, there are also parts in which I see a danger, such as the increases in numbers of signatures needed for initiatives and recalls, and the relaxation of rules about a state of emergency.
Holocaust-denier David Irving gave a speech at Oxford despite great pressure to cancel his speech.
I think his views are wrong, but I support his right to state them. If the world lets Bush give speeches, Irving is nothing by comparison.
Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister of Pakistan, returned from exile and held a rally with supporters even as Musharraf's police tried to keep them away.
Muslim fanatics attacked Taslima Nasrin's house and forced her to flee from Kolkata to Rajasthan, where she was once again chased out.
To blame Nasrin for the insane hate that religious fanatics feel towards her is not merely injust, it encourages and supports the fanatics.
Meanwhile, in Sudan, other Muslim fanatics demonstrated the cruel spirit of their religion by threatening a teacher with flogging after she let her students name a teddy bear "Mohammad".
Whether or not Nasrin said the Koran should be changed, I will say that it should be discarded and forgotten. (The Koran was changed plenty during the first centuries of Islam, according to evidence presented in Why I Am Not a Muslim, by Ibn Warraq.)
Guyana offers to trade the permanent protection of its rainforest for development aid.
Europe could produce clean electricity with a network of wind power stations connected by HVCD power lines.
The director of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History ordered last-minute changes in an exibit about global warming to present an impression of uncertainty.
The loss of copies of several databases about citizens has reinvigorated the opposition to the UK's planned data base holding personal information about all children.
I think the real purpose of that database is just to make it impossible for future generations to stay out of the ID card data base.
Weather-related disasters have increased from 120 a year in the 1980s to 500 a year now. Global warming is a principal reason.
Increased human population is also a reason, as people move into unsafe areas.
General Sanchez, who formerly commanded the Bush forces, gave his support to a bill to speed their removal from Iraq.
A UK police chief dared to note that post-puberal females, age 13 and up, are not accurately labeled as children.
Note the absurdity of response that tries to define the limits of sexual normality based on the current requirements of UK law. It's almost as absurd as trying to legislate the value of pi.
Russian police arrested Kasparov for a peaceful protest.
A Yale economist predicts a recession. Is the recession an intentional plan to transfer wealth to the rich? Internal documents suggest that it is.
When artist Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes asked why Seattle police were beating up his friend, they beat him up too. Now Alley-Barnes is suing the city.
Hirsi Ali had to return to the Netherlands, where she is given police protection from death threats from Islamic extremists.
(Hirsi Ali is a prominent critic of the cruelty of Islam.)
The American Enterprise Institute is a right-wing ``think tank'' that hires itself out to companies, providing ``studies'' to support what those companies want. For instance, it has been paid to produce materials to oppose free software. I hope it won't undermine her conscience.
Volunteers in Iraq bury hundreds of unclaimed, unidentified bodies every month.
A crucial part of rejecting the term is never using the term yourself. Another crucial part is explaining frequently that it is propaganda, that you reject it, and that that is why you don't use it.
Global warming has already caused devastating destruction of soft corals. In some places, 95% are gone.
The tree damage caused by Hurricane Katrina is releasing enough CO2 to make a substantial contribution to global warming.
Since global warming causes more hurricanes, and more severe hurricanes, this is a positive feedback system.
The Bush regime is trying to pin a Baghdad bombing on Iran.
John Ging, UNRWA's director for Gaza, asked the UK Parliament to put pressure on Israel to end the blockade of Gaza.
Cities in England threated legal action against Heathrow Airport expansion.
The Dalai Lama has announced plans to appoint a successor, thus denying China the chance to put in its own man as the next Dalai Lama.
The British Commonwealth has suspended Pakistan due to Musharraf's state of emergency.
Amazon's e-book device means an ugly future for book lovers.
Greenpeace says that Clown's "public consultation" about extending Heathrow airport is bogus "collusion".
Musharraf has started releasing some important prisoners including Imran Khan.
60% of the population of Somalia has fled the violence that grows out of the Bush-arranged Ethiopian intervention in Somalia.
Israel has eased the blockade of Gaza.
I wonder how long this will last.
The Taliban may have regained half of Afghanistan.
This is the result of Bush's invasion of Iraq.
Clown allowed one Burmese dissident asylum in the UK, but has refused to generalize the practice to other Burmese dissidents.
Musharraf says he is releasing a few prisoners. Meanwhile he is arresting lots more.
The lawyers correctly focus on the replacement of judges with toadies who could, as Bush has demonstrated, easily make the coming elections meaningless.
US citizens: tell your senators to oppose the plan to make car fuel economy standards meaningless by allowing easy exceptions.
Fine-tuning the propaganda to make Americans support attacking Iran.
Scott McClellan, former Bush press secretary, says that Bush together with Cheney and Rove lied to him so he would misinform the public.
Over 1/6 of the population of New York City can't afford enough food. Nationwide, over 30 million Americans went hungry due to poverty last year.
This is what comes of letting business (and this indirectly the rich people who mostly own businessses) take power away from the citizens in general.
Clown's ministers approved expansion of Heathrow airport to handle 500 more flights per day. Since there is a lot of opposition, they are already planning to change laws to make sure the public can't stop this project.
The spread of AIDS is slowing down due to massive efforts, but there is a danger that governments will slack off those efforts just when we could turn the corner.
I wonder if the IMF is trying to make governments cut back on this spending, as it does with many other government programs that make life better for the public.
A sad and unnecessary mistake: trying to "balance" the interests of preserving fish stocks with the "interests of the fishing industry".
It's a fundamental mistake to frame the issue that way, because the long term interests of the fishing industry, as well as those of people who eat fish, are completely aligned with preservation. The only thing on the other side is the short-term interest of the fishing industry, and if they are foolish enough to prefer the short term over the long term, we must refuse to listen.
I've been told that the Grand Banks cod fishery is not entirely closed, and this may be why it does not recover.
A breakthrough that converts skin cells into stem cells might eliminate the issue about getting stem cells from embryos.
I wonder if this will also make it possible to clone a person from skin cells. (That will surely be possible some day.)
Americans say, when polled, that they a prefer president who will end the occupation of Iraq immediately.
It is paradoxical that Democratic voters don't translate this into practice by supporting Dennis Kucinich. I think the reason is that primary voters think they need to choose a candidate who "can win", and if they don't hear much about a candidate, they assume he "can't win". By not talking about Kucinich, the media can lead most voters to exclude him from consideration.
B'liar has set up some plans for economic growth in Palestine.
This will somewhat help with the poverty of Palestinians, but at best it will slightly reduce the suffering of the occupation.
Penal researchers say the US imprisons too many people for too long.
Info on the JFA Institute.
Imran Khan started a hunger strike demanding Musharraf restore an independent judiciary.
Musharraf replaced the Supreme Court with toadies who will do what he tells them to do, sort of like the ones who enabled Bush to steal the 2000 election.
The UK is experimenting with an intelligent approach to heroin, imitating Switzerland, and the results are very good.
The Netherlands uses a somewhat similar approach, where addicts can get heroin in doctors' offices. It has kept the number of addicts low, and reduces robbery.
Japan's whaling plans have prompted many people to boycott Japanese products. (Search for "have your say" in the article.)
Since most Japanese oppose whaling, I wonder if we can find a way to put on pressure on Japanese business and government that would reach out to Japanese individuals rather than make them identify with the targets of the pressure. If you have an idea, please write to me at rms using the site gnu dot org.
The "Iraqi" government arrested some mercenaries who has shot a bystander.
I doubt that the "Iraqi" government is independent enough to get away with such a thing. I expect that Bush will make it back down.
The IPCC's report on climate change reflects increasing certainty among scientists that human activity is causing global warming, and also about the damage it will do.
Japan intends to resume killing of humpback whales, and calls Greenpeace "violent terrorists".
As far as I know, Greenpeace has never done anything that harmed a person; it was once a victim of terrorism, when French agents sank the ship Rainbow Warrior and killed some of its crew. The Japanese captain's statement appears to imitate equally dishonest statements by Bush and B'liar about "terrorism".
A UK program for renewable energy was so successful that B'liar cut it in half.
The US asked Musharraf to end the state of emergency, and he refused, knowing that the US doesn't dare put any pressure on him.
Pakistanis were irrationally proud that their country had nuclear weapons. Ultimately they have enabled Musharraf to defeat the Pakistani people.
Congressional democrats are starting to show some resistance to the occupation of Iraq. They have not been persuaded to agree to pass a bill to fund it.
Antiwar activists in Olympia, Washington, have persistently blocked movement of war supplies.
Uri Avnery: Bush, Olmert and Abbas hoped to make the Annapolis meeting a nice show, since there's no hope of an agreement, but now it is doubtful they can even achieve that.
A noted expert says that NATO cannot win in Afghanistan and the Bush forces cannot win in Iraq.
He predicts it will be impossible to end the occupation of Iraq — not militarily impossible, just politically impossible. It is the moral duty of Americans to disprove this prediction.
The London Council rejected the plan to prohibit giving food to the homeless.
I don't know whether the year-long study will do any good, but even if it is an excuse to do nothing, that is better than the evil plan that was proposed.
Robert Dziekanski was killed by police with a taser on arriving in Canada, where he was to be a legal immigrant.
It sounds like the police had good reason to intervene, but since he did not threaten anyone, they had no reason to use a weapon on him.
China is making great progress in renewable energy, although still not enough to reduce it CO2 emissions.
Gaza's strawberry crop will rot, since Israel won't let it out for sale in Europe. This is collective punishment at work.
The Southern Company seems to have paid Bush to continue global warming.
A web site with thousands of musical scores, all in the public domain in Canada, was shut down by a foreign music publisher with a nonsensical threat to apply European law.
B'liar says he was personally in favor of invading Iraq, and never tried to convince Bush not to invade.
An Australian was falsely suspected of terrorism for reading a book called The Unknown Terrorist, which is about an Australian who was falsely suspected of terrorism for equally absurd reasons.
The book, when published, was accused of exaggerating. Its author cites these events as vindication.
The drought in the Southeast US is becoming a catastrophe. If it continues, Atlanta may have no drinking water by January. The foolish, unheeding businesses there make a profligate waste of the regions water, even as they buy candidates and keep global warming going.
When the results cause disaster for Atlanta, will some of those companies be wiped out? It may be too much to hope for.
Emission impossible: Why Hollywood is one of the worst polluters.
Musharraf says he will step down "when there is no turmoil in Pakistan".
How about "When hell freezes over"?
Pressing Musharraf to "hold elections soon" sounds good, but doesn't really mean anything. Elections held under his state of emergency won't be fair.
The Bush regime is leaning on intelligence interrogators to slant intelligence against Iran, says one of interrogators.
The regime apparently does not ask individual interrogators to intentionally fabricate false intelligence. That isn't necessary, because the system produces equivalent results. It encourages other people to provide fabricated intelligence, and encourages agents to forward it up the chain and believe it. It also tends to shut off intelligence that would cast doubt on their claims.
Thus, we should not trust or believe whatever the Bush regime may say that likes a reason for war with Iran.
The "Iraqi" government has formally incorporated thousands of Badr brigade militiamen into its "security" forces.
The Badr brigades are the ones generally considered responsible for grabbing Shi'ites on the street by the dozens to kill them, and for torture.
The UK's highest court approved deporting Darfuris to the refugee camps in Khartoum.
The US joins China and Iran in trying to block the UN Human Rights Commission from voting for a moratorium on the death penalty.
I don't have a complete list of the countries opposing the resolution, but all those mentioned in the article seem to be guilty of general disrespect for human rights. It is a travesty to have countries such as China, Iran and the US in a Human Rights Commission.
Imran Khan, Pakistani member of parliament, was arrested and accused of "terrorism".
This once again illustrates how dangerous and dishonest "anti-terrorism" laws are. In the UK, they have been used more against protestors than against anyone planning what we would normally call terrorism. In the US, people have been convicted of "animal rights terrorism" for running a web site that described actions taken against companies that do experiments on animals.
(Il)legal bullying shut down the main source of public domain musical scores on the Internet.
The Liberal Democratic Party has attacked Clown's refusal to rule out joining Bush in attacking Iran.
The US Senate has adopted the weakest version global warming bill. Its sponsor, Senator Lieberman, is paying his electric company bill.
The proposed London ban on giving free food to homeless people is meeting condemnation.
Wealthy, comfortable people who seek to hurt the homeless to avoid minor inconvenience show themselves to be heartless and despicable. If you know any clergy in London, how about suggesting they choose this topic for a sermon.
Every pack of cigarettes smoked in the US has 7 dollars in indirect costs. Only a little of this goes to the tobacco industry, but it is still enough for them to defeat tax increases with massive PR.
German Chancellor Merkel is running into trouble with her "reforms" designed to reduce the standard of living for German workers.
The "competitive economy" that business wants to "drag" Germany into is the one in which countries compete in letting business treat workers worse. This kind of competition is bad for everyone (except business owners) and we need to put an end to it.
Imran Khan, former Pakistani cricket star turned politician, calls for a student uprising against Musharraf.
Many cities are banning stores from handing out plastic bags.
That still leaves many layers of packaging in the products themselves. One store is trying to avoid that too.
Hamas fighters shot indiscriminately at civilians at a rally of Fatah-sympathizers in Gaza, after some of the participants threw rocks at them, and killed several of them.
This practice is more often associated with Israelis and Americans, but it is a human problem and people of any group can do it.
Only 13% of the original Tasmanian forest is left, but the government of Australia wants to reduce this to 6%, and undermined its environmental laws to make this happen.
How Clinton paved the way for dictatorship in Pakistan for the sake of some corporate cronies.
Sarkozy's attempt to cut back on pensions in France has triggered a broad wave of strikes.
We should not take up Sarkozy's propaganda terms, such as calling his supporters "New France". Saying "We are the future, our opponents are the past" is a standard propaganda technique which is devoid of meaning.
Others have begun to say that Sarkozy is Bush's new poodle. So now he has a French poodle — how appropriate.
November 16 was "orange alert" day. Wear orange to show you're against Bush's fearmongering and aggression.
A fairly high officer in the "Iraqi" police is accused of maintaining a cache of arms for the Iraqi resistance.
Thus, not everyone in the "Iraqi" police is a traitor for Bush.
Uri Avnery believes Bush will invade Iran because he is starting to look ridiculous.
An international BBC poll finds people are ready to make sacrifices to reduce global warming — more ready than their governments.
I speculate that businesses are not ready to sacrifice profits to reduce global warming, and that the government officials obey business rather than citizens. If this is true, the undermining of democracy by business could by the direct cause of world-wide disaster.
Increases in US wildfires have been tied to global warming.
Aid agencies struggle to support over two million displaced Iraqis.
The "Iraqi" government is paying monthly salaries to 17,000 sham names, says its anti-corruption board.
However, given the level of poverty and unemployment in Iraq, this may not really be a bad thing, especially if the money comes from the Bush regime.
Global warming combined with overconsumption of water are turning large parts of China into desert.
London's police commissioner tried to obstruct an inquiry into the police killing of de Menezes.
For that alone, he should be dismissed. Badges must not give police immunity.
Europe's agricultural subsidy is supposed to enable family farms to get by, but in fact the main beneficiaries are rich landowners. Now there is a plan to reduce the payments for large estates.
This change is a good first step, but a large fraction of this program would continue to support the rich. They shuld cut it further.
Musharraf has made a vague promise of elections by Feb 15, but is still trying to get away with replacing the Supreme Court with his own compliant judges. And still arresting political opposition leaders and human rights defenders.
2000 Palestinians, refugees from Iraq, are caught at the Syrian border.
Some have serious medical problems and have no medical care.
A Bush forces sniper is on trial for murdering Iraqis. He accuses superiors of ordering him to place arms as bait, but the Bush forces have decided to keep the evidence secret, so that we cannot tell if these orders existed.
Such orders ought not to change the verdict, since "I was just following orders" is no excuse. What the orders might do is inculpate the superiors who gave them — which is more important than convicting the triggerman.
Normally, those accused of a crime must be presumed innocent unless proved guilty, but that cannot include officials that use government power to block the investigation of the crime. When they do this, we must presume them guilty unless and until they allow a proper investigation.
In 1956 the British government lied to cover up a frogman's death while he was investigating visiting Russian warships. The explicit instructions for these lies are now known, and B'liar regime statements about complicity in US torture flights look quite similar.
J.K. Rowling and her publisher have got another injunction. This one blocks publication of a reference book about Harry Potter's world.
I called on people not to buy Harry Potter books after their previous injunction, which ordering people who had bought the books not to read their copies.
The words "Intellectual property rights or copyright" remind me of a sign that once graced a store in Cambridge: "We serve food and Greek subs."
"Intellectual property" isn't a law. It is just a vague way of confusing various unrelated laws, copyright law being one. (Others include patent law and trademark law.) These laws have essentially nothing in common, but plaintiffs' lawyers lump them together as "intellectual property". They do this to demonize the defendant and to distract attention from what specific laws actually require. With the real information concealed by that term, we can only guess what (if anything) the suit is about, aside from copyright law.
To promote clear thinking, let's avoid the propaganda term "intellectual property".
US citizens: phone your senators' offices and tell them to make sure the Energy Bill supports wind and solar power, not nuclear and fossil fuels.
You can also use this page to send your message, but phone calls have more effect.
A substantial part of biodiesel fuel is made from palm oil. To produce palm oil, farmers are using peat swamps in Indonesia, dumping lots of CO2 into the air. The result constitutes 4% of the world's greenhouse gases.
In other words, biodiesel is more dangerous than burning petroleum.
Bush's man in Georgia has had a setback. After crushing protests and shutting down opposition TV at gunpoint, he has had to promise early elections.
If the US government respected human rights and democracy, then we would have a reason to hope for Georgia to support the US. If the Russian government respected human rights and democracy, then we would have a reason to hope for Georgia to support Russia. But since neither one does, and it is just a battle between two autocracies over control of oil, I hope Georgia will establish democracy and support neither of those countries.
Israeli peace activists had to reconsider their participation in the annual memorial event for Yithchak Rabin, due to the speech by Ehud Barak who is no man of peace.
Former AT&T employee Mark Klein says that AT&T gave the NSA's "secret room" a copy of its entire Internet traffic — even domestic traffic.
Professor Tom Honderich, author of After the Terror, writes about how Oxfam was pressured by the Zionist lobby into declining a donation from him.
2007 has seen the highest death count for the official part of the Bush forces. (The Bush regime does not publish counts of deaths of mercenaries or civilians.) However, casualties have gone down in the past couple of months.
I would like to see an independent study of the reasons for decreasing casualties. The Bush forces will say it means they are defeating the Iraqi resistance. That seems unlikely to me, a priori, but not impossible. They could do it if they come close enough to wiping out the Iraqi Sunnis, and he's killed a substantial percentage already.
It would be a shame for such a big crime to pay.
Teenagers that occasionally smoke pot (but not tobacco) tend to do better in most ways than other teenagers. This doesn't mean occasionally smoking pot is good for you, but proves it isn't particularly harmful.
As Clown continues to push for longer and longer detention of suspects, he is running into opposition which dares to call his plan what it is.
Mohammed Abdul Kahar, who was shot in a mistaken "anti-terror" raid a year ago, says that armed police detained him on the street recently. He says he fears for his life.
Despite the many tyrannical laws that have been introduced in the UK, I think the spirit of freedom and democracy is more alive there than in the US. It is not yet strong enough to triumph, but it shows its life.
Or perhaps it is simply that the US media quash the issue to the point where freedom's supporters are almost invisible to society.
The EPA contracted some chemical toxicity tests to a lab mainly funded by the companies that make the chemicals to be tested.
To the tune of "That's Amore":
When you contract the test
To the problem's own nest
Drug companies are trying to corrupt doctors in third-world countries by offering them gifts in exchange for proscribing expensive patented drugs.
These doctors treat the richest segment of the population — the rest can't afford it. But there may be millions of families that are marginally able to pay, and get taken to the cleaners this way.
A different scheme corrupts orthopedic surgeons in the US.
Benazir Bhutto called on Musharraf to restore the Constitution, and plans mass protests that he has forbidden.
Major League Baseball used to sell videos with Digital Restrictions Management, that would only work if the poor buyer's computer connected to a certain network server. Now it shut down that server and switched to another server. So all the old videos stopped working.
Never buy a product with DRM unless you personally have the means to break the DRM!
A suicide bomber at a school in Afghanistan killed several members of the Arghan Parliament and a lot more schoolchildren.
The response of Afghanis to this atrocity will tell us the answer to something important: has Islam stripped them of their human decency?
Iraqi Kurdistan is signing oil deals with Western companies, mostly not US companies (though one cannot tell from that whether they are owned by Bush cronies), despite the opposition of the impotent "Iraqi" government.
Israeli peace activists wrote to Egyptian President Mubarak, asking Egypt to open trade and movement between Gaza and Egypt.
The police in Kenya have been accused of shooting and dumping over 400 people.
Chief Justice Chaudry, under house arrest, smuggled out a statement denouncing Musharraf and demanding the restoration of the constitution.
US citizens: call your senators' offices at 202-224-3121 and call on them to oppose nomination of Michael Mukasey because he is soft on torture.
Musharraf overthrew the constitutional government of Pakistan, in which he was president, and arrested most of the Supreme Court as well as former presidents and prominent human rights lawyers.
Musharraf said this was necessary to resist terrorism, but Asma Jahangir, president of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and now under house arrest, points out that the people Musharraf arrested are not terrorists, but rather those who believe in human rights.
Commentary on where this could lead.
Sudanese refugees in the UK, fleeing torture in Darfur, went to their asylum hearings, and met Sudanese government officials who threatened them with more torture.
I wonder if Clown (and B'liar) planned that the news would get around so that future victims would be scared to go to the UK.
The head of the new Nablus police force says he could disarm the militias in 48 hours if Israel stops its military interventions in the city.
Because of Turkish and US pressure, Kurdish guerrilla fighters are moving to Iran. The US calls their activities "terrorism" in Turkey, but not when they do it in Iran.
Nelson Mandela's lawyer warns that Clown's plans for 90-day imprisonment without trial track the policies of the Apartheid state.
Senate Democrats dropped their opposition to Bush's latest nominee for Attorney General after he made hypothetical concessions.
To quibble about the precise definition of torture is a misunderstanding. Any practice that overcomes prinsoners' ability to refuse to confess is torture, because it will make people confess whether they are guilty or not. Torture only makes sense for brutal regimes that just want confessions, whether true or false.
When Brazilian protestors occupied a farm for GMOs, Novartis and Astra Zenica sent in an armed militia which killed one of the protest leaders. Other leaders said they were pursued and barely escaped the killers.
British activists report on their visit to a Palestinian village under permanent siege, whose land has been stolen piece by piece by surrounding Israeli settlers.
A leaked UK government report condemns the planning of the invasion of Iraq as incompetent.
This report appears to adopt the viewpoint of the movie "No End in Sight", which criticized the management of the occupation without considering the ethics of conquering a country for its oil.
US voters: call your congresscritter's office in support of HR 333, the resolution to impeach Cheney. You can also use this web site to do it, but a phone call carries more weight.
London plans to restrict giving free food to poor people, because soup kitchens are a nuisance for wealthy people. However, giving free food to wealthy people will not be restricted.
In Massachusetts: Help the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy gather signatures for a ballot initiative to end imprisonment for small amounts of marijuana.
What's wrong with the Lieberman - Warner climate bill.
A simple tax on petroleum extraction makes a lot of sense to me. Does anyone know of any arguments against it (other than the unwillingness to adopt it)?
Protestors falsely arrested during the 2004 Republican Convention in New York are winning lawsuits against the city.
However, such victories are insufficient to discourage police from bearing false witness. Politicians are aware that they can crush protest with false arrests, and lawsuits after the fact cannot restore the lost opportunity. The only solution I can see is that lying police must be systematically charged with perjury and imprisoned.
The Iraqi who provided the false evidence for Iraqi chemical weapons that helped Bush excuse his invasion.
Congressional Democrats are giving Bush all the money he needs to continue the occupation of Iraq. They offer no effective resistance.
Jewish Voices for Peace defended the critics of the occupation of Palestine from false charges of anti-semitism.
Discrimination against some Semites is alive and well in Israel. Just as many towns in the US once did not allow Jews to move in, some towns in Israel don't allow Arabs to move in.
In 2003, the US helped fund protests in Georgia that brought down a government that had rigged an election. Now the opposition accuses the new president, who supports the US, of planning to rig the next one.
It would not surprise me if these charges are true. Bush surely has no more scruples about stealing an election in Georgia than he had in Florida (2000) and Ohio (2004).
Former minister Aloni says: put Ehud Barak on trial for crimes against humanity (specifically, collective punishment in Gaza).
In Russia, even jokes about Putin lead to police investigation and threats.
The Russian elections are an obvious sham. How long will it take for them to imitate the US technique of making elections an unobvious sham?
The movie Rendition shows the evil of the Bush regime's torture. It is based on what really happened to Maher Arar.
The semi-happy ending where a CIA agent discovers his humanity and gets the victim released is where the movie turns unrealistic. The real-life Bush regime never admits a mistake. Even now that it is public knowledge that there was no real evidence against Arar, the regime still pretends that he's guilty. (That would be no excuse for kidnaping and torture anyway, but there are Americans who would accept it as one.)
This policy is based on recognition that many Americans, including Congress, can't go so far as to call the President a liar outright. As long as they can only pussyfoot, they can be baffled as long as Bush never admits guilt.
The Annapolis conference: peace processing, but not peace making.
Gordon Clown shook King Abdullah's hand, but didn't raise issues of human rights with him.
If the UK started criticizing allies for torturing people, it would be awfully inconvenient. How could they avoid criticizing the Bush regime?
Heavy fighting between the Ethiopian occupation force and Somali militias has driven 100,000 to flee the capital.
The "provisional government" which the Ethiopian intervention installed has about as much legitimacy, and about as much popular support, as the "Iraqi" government set up by the Bush forces.
Genetic engineering has created a race of supermice.
I think this research is dangerous — what if one of these mice escapes to breed? Unless they have a hidden weakness, we could make a big nuisance for ourselves and perhaps for wildlife.
The coral in the Caribbean is dying because people have killed the symbiotic fish that protect it from algae.
The agreement which ended the Sudanese civil war, in 2005, has collapsed, and this could lead to renewed fighting.
Bush has trouble finding diplomats willing to work in Iraq, so he is going to start ordering them there.
I feel sorry for diplomats and their families, as individuals, but we must not forget that their job will be controling the puppet government of Bush occupation, and that the harm to Iraqis is much greater.
Cory Doctorow explains how letting the public redistribute his books has made them more successful.
Saudi Arabia spreads propaganda world-wide for killing homosexuals, for killing anyone that ceases to be a Muslim, and for oppressing women.
Those who wish to promote tolerance must find ways to counter and neutralize this propaganda.
Thus far, northern forests have absorbed some of our CO2 output. Global warming has reached the point where it is likely to make them start giving it back.
The US Congress is starting to show some resistance to the use of torture. It may reject Bush's candidate for Attorney General unless he is willing to declare himself against it.
As Naomi Wolf points out, the main reason for using torture is to get confessions, regardless of whether they are true or false. Torture overcomes a person's will not to confess — whether he is guilty or innocent. Any torture technique will make some suspects confess the truth. It will also make some other suspects confess to false accusations.
Executions in the US are on hold as courts consider the question of how to kill people.
The more important issue, however, is that it is wrong to execute prisoners.
Burmese monks have resumed protests against the dictators.
The president of Kazakhstan has been accused of assassination by his former security chief (and former son-in-law).
The UK police were found guilty of wrongly killing de Menezes.
Coverage of the US presidential candidates even in the early months nearly excluded most candidates.
In a defeat for human rights, the UK's highest court approved most of the kinds of restrictions imposed on certain "terrorist" suspects.
These restrictions, deprivations of liberty, were imposed administratively on people who were not convicted of any crime; but they then went to court to challenge their semi-imprisonment. The Law Lords ruled that they have a right to see the secret evidence cited against them.
Punishing people based on secret evidence is a system that invites abuses, as Guantanamo experience indicates.
Clown's government canceled the deportation of a Zimbabwean opposition activist, but only because her hunger strike has weakened her so much that they fear she would die in the process. If the Zimbabweans kill her, that's not their problem.
George Monbiot: Has the end of civilisation begun?
Here's an example of a scenario for how a small number of people in the US government could have set up the 9/11 attacks.
Research shows it is unlikely that all of Greenland's ice will melt — but part of it could melt faster than people thought.
Belying Clown's green talk, the UK government proposes to widen roads and extend airports.
Ms Kelly's excuses amount to "We will limit carbon emissions only if it doesn't reduce profits."
A new census of tigers in India indicates just 1500 are left. This means they are doomed unless drastic measures are taken.
Bush has sabotaged the investigation of Blackwater mercenaries by giving them immunity.
This is no surprise to me. Bush's attitude towards law is no different from any dictator's: it is a framework for giving orders, and no one will be punished for doing what Bush wants.
The Burmese military dictators increasingly turn to conscripting children as young as 11 as soldiers.
Bush offered B'liar the chance to keep the UK out of the invasion of Iraq. But B'liar pathetically demonstrated his servility to Bush by insisting on participating anyway.
Did you seen anyone dressed as Dubya for Halloween? Or is that too scary?
Nick Clegg, campaigning to lead the UK's Liberal Democrats, vowed to lead civil disobedience against mandatory ID cards.
This is the sort of courage that the defense of liberty requires. Three cheers!
Giscard d'Estaing, who led design of the rejected EU constitution, recognized that the treaty now proposed is essentially the same. This embarrasses politicians such as Clown, who are trying to avoid referendum commitments by pretending this is not a constitution.
The crushing occupation of Palestine is so horrible that Palestinians now risk their lives to enter Italy illegally.
With the inflatable boat for the last step, I expect that such landings are likely to spread to other European coasts, since the mother ship is not limited to areas close to its starting point.
US citizens: call your senators' offices and say that companies should have to buy pollution credits from the government — not get them free.
Also sign this petition, but a phone call carries more weight.
US citizens: if one of your senators is on the Judiciary Committee, call his office and say, "Block amnesty for the phone companies that did illegal surveillance."
MoveOn reports that a bill which is supposed to create a market for trading pollution credits would be a big give-away to companies.
Organic food ingredients had more vitamins C and E than food produced on the same farm with chemical treatments.
This doesn't conclusive prove that the organic food is better for you, but suggests it is. If you get vitamins C and E from supplements, the amount in your food may not matter. However, lots of people don't use such supplements, which means that they would be helped by these vitamins in their food.
The "temporary" presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia is generating resentment.
The Florida police unsurprisingly decided that it was ok to use a taser on a student who wanted to ask John Kerry a question.
This is why police conduct must not be judged by police.
Rumsfeld had to hurry out of France lest he be prosecuted for torture.
Watch for the US to pressure France to change the law so that US officials are exempt.
Some Iraqi torture victims are suing the UK, where a soldier was convicted of torturing prisoners.
The US unilaterally imposed new sanctions on some Iranian organizations, including parts of the state, by labeling them as "terrorist". Other countries have not supported these sanctions, so the US is trying to bully foreign companies into obeying them anyway.
I find the accusation of terrorism plausible, but coming from the US it is the pot calling the kettle black. For instance, the US supports an organization based in Iraqi Kurdistan that carries out terrorism in Iran.
In the 1970s, several Arab countries tried to pressure multinational companies to refuse to do business with Israel. The US passed a law forbidding US companies to give way to this pressure. The current attempt by the US to punish foreign companies that do business with Iran resembles that Arab boycott, so it would be appropriate for other countries to respond in the same way: to pass laws forbidding businesses in their countries from giving way to this US pressure.
Israeli human rights groups have gone to court to block the shutoff of fuel and electricity to Gaza, as collective punishment of a civilian population.
Avnery on the right way to honor the memory of Yitzhak Rabin.
Eritrean journalists remain in prison 6 years after they were charged with spying.
A major bird sanctuary in Kenya could be destroyed by a large sugar plantation.
A local person is quoted as talking about the difficulty of paying school fees for his children. Why must poor people in Kenya pay to go to school? Because of the IMF: its policy is to force poor countries to impose such fees.
Here we see the result.
Some Israelis believe that the Gaza fuel and electricity cuts are designed to push Hamas to attack more, as an excuse for a large and bloody Israeli military campaign.
Israel uses the coming Annapolis talks to dispel international criticism by saying "We're working on solving the problem." Ideally that will go on forever.
Since Israel won't make any concessions, the talks have little chance of making progress towards peace. But they might serve to give Fatah US support against Hamas.
A nonviolent protest blocked Israeli highway 443, which was built on land confiscated from Palestinians, and which Palestinians are forbidden to drive on.
Private fire protection for the rich leads to disaster apartheid. No longer relying on the public fire departments, they can cut their taxes by not supporting those departments. Everyone else gets the shaft.
FEMA held a press conference, and later it came out that the "reporters" were really FEMA employees. (We have met the press, and the press is us.)
Paul Krugman talks about how the mainstream media helped Republicans pretend to be "tougher on national security" than Democrats.
Several species of primates are at the brink of extinction.
The Bush forces accusations of Iranian arms in Iraq were suspect from the first. This article says they were deliberate lies: that the Bush forces already knew these arms were made in Iraq.
Reagan's attorney general condemns Republicans for launching politically motivaled prosecutions of Democrats.
The army of Pakistan is battling the militia of a Taliban-supporting fanatical cleric.
The Kyoto Treaty has failed to halt the growth in CO2 emissions because it was never really tried. The opposition by Bush and his oil company cronies sunk it. Many countries' failure to implement it properly also contributed to the problem; if the US had supported the treaty, those countries would face more pressure to correct their implementation. Thus, it is a mistake to suppose the treaty would have failed if it had really been tried.
The arguments offered against the methods used in the Kyoto Treaty suggest it was not perfect. They may, or may not, be arguments to make the next treaty somewhat different. However, for such a dangerous and grave problem as important as global warming, an imperfect solution is far better than none.
A prominent Uzbek journalist in exile has been assassinated, probably by the government of Uzbekistan.
Marijuana use in the UK has continued falling after its possession was decriminalized.
Sarkozy proposed measures to cap French CO2 emissions — but only in the areas that don't meet resistance.
It is a step worth taking, but more will be needed.
China continues to protect the murderous Burmese regime in exchange for building a dam on the border.
A new, democratic Burmese government would still be interested in building a dam with China. It might, however, insist on that the plan respect the environment in Burma, and that might make it less profitable for China. Thus people are tortured and murdered for profit.
A report on the health of the Earth's biosphere shows it's in big trouble.
There has been a big increase in the distance the UK's food is transported, and thus, the amount of greenhouse gas emitted to ship it.
Policies of economic globalization are harmful because they concentrate wealth and thus hurt the poor. But they are also harmful just because they burn more fuel.
The UK deports refugees from Zimbabwe back to be tortured, based on technicalities, just to make the quota.
Tinkering with this system is not a solution. The quotas must be abolished.
Israel's latest form of retaliation for Qassam rockets: denying medical care to Palestinians with cancer.
Gordon Clown made proposals for laws for increased respect for human rights in the UK, but continues pursuing changes that go in the opposite direction.
Turkish army units have attacked Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq.
This is likely to complicate the political situation, but not likely to hurt the Kurdish guerrillas.
Some US experts say Syria is building a North Korean nuclear reactor. Perhaps this is what Israel bombed a few months ago.
At the time, Israel denied that its bombs had fallen on any target; Syria said that wasn't true, but didn't say what was true. This seems like a plausible explanation of these two bizarre statements.
Bush turned down Iranian offers of help against Al Qa'ida, in 2002 and again more recently. He has always wanted war with Iran, and therefore has sought to cast Iran as an implacable enemy.
Corporate funding for universities is corrupting science.
Why can't the US government afford to fund science any more? Perhaps it is giving away all the money on no-bid unsupervised contracts for Halliburton and Blackwater. Or perhaps it has cut taxes too far. Corporations should pay for research — through their taxes, so that they cannot pervert it or control the results.
Various employees of the American Chemical Society say that its executives are paid bonuses based on sales of journals — which might have something to do with that society's refusal to allow open access to those journals.
The term "open access" is often misunderstood: its most vital requirement is to allow everyone to redistribute exact copies of the articles.
Publishers of scientific journals are supposed to promote science. When they restrict redistribution of journal articles, they do the opposite, becoming the enemies of science. Society should neutralize them, and take away their power to obstruct dissemination of scientific knowledge.
Some Democratic presidential candidates are starting to oppose the plan to give immunity to the phone companies that participated in illegal surveillance.
Israel refuses to allow Fasayil to build a school, but Palestinians and foreigners built one anyway. So now Israel is going to demolish the school.
The Pope put himself on the side of dictator Franco by beatifying hundreds of clergy who were killed by the other side.
I won't defend those killings, though the Church supported the right-wing camp which did not respect human rights at all. However, to criticize left-wing violence and say nothing about Franco's million or so executions is, in effect, to endorse them.
Italy's government supports a corrupt scheme to build an LNG transfer terminal in the middle of a sanctuary for whales.
The owners of the Phoenix New Times were arrested for publishing the outrageous subpoena that demanded to know the identities of everyone that read the paper on line.
This is additional reason to do your browsing anonymously from a computer that cannot be associated with you.
Severl mass extinctions in the past have been tied to episodes of global warming.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost a trillion dollars.
An old letter asking for a secret purchase of carbolic acid presents evidence that Padre Pio artificially caused his "stigmata".
Religious fanatics can convince themselves that faking "miracles" is legitimate because it leads fools to believe in religion, and they consider that more important than truth.
The US public condemns both Congress and Bush.
I am surprised that these poll figures do not give the Democratic leaders in Congress the courage to defy Bush on issues such as Iraq, Iran, signing statements, and so on. On issues that affect business, many have been bought. Have they been bought on Iraq too?
Nobel prize winner Doris Lessing dares to put the 9/11/2001 attacks in perspective.
The death toll from Bush's invasion of Iraq is probably around a million, which is around 300 times as many.
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