[ 2015 May - August | 2015 January - April | 2014 September - December | 2014 May - August | 2014 January - April | 2015 May - August | 2015 January - April | 2014 September - December | 2014 May - August | 2014 January - April | 2013 September - December | 2013 May - August | 2013 January - April | 2012 September - December | 2012 May - August | 2012 January - April | 2011 September - December | 2011 May - August | 2011 January - April | 2010 September - December | 2010 May - August | 2010 January - April | 2009 September - December | 2009 May - August | 2009 January - April | 2008 September - December | 2008 May - August | 2008 January - April | 2007 September - December | 2007 May - August | 2007 January - April | 2006 September - December | 2006 May - August | 2006 January - April | 2005 September - December | 2005 May - August | 2005 January - April | 2004 September - December | 2004 May - August | 2004 January - April | 2003 September - December | 2003 May - August | 2003 January - April | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 ]
Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
I have seen video so violent that it repelled me. (Some of it was sexual, some was not — it's a minor detail.) I hope to avoid seeing any more of it, but I condemn this attempt to censor it.
The Clown regime is planning to prohibit the mere possession of "extreme pornography". The excuse is that one man who liked violent pornography committed crime.
It is true that victims of real violence suffer. (Never mind that in making movies of violence, typically nobody is actually hurt.) The true oppressive spirit of this law starts to show in the prohibition of images of sex with corpses. Are we supposed to believe that corpses can suffer? Or are some cruel prudes trying to impose their prejudices by force?
The prohibition on images of sex with animals is also wrong. Some animals like sex with humans—male dophins are quite enthusiastic, and male dogs seem to like it too. Should you be imprisoned for taking pictures when a dog humps your leg? The parrot that made love to me in the Jurong Bird Park did so of his own free will. (I would never have dared to ask.) Is this photo going to be a crime?
The crimes committed by the occasional pervert are nothing against the crimes committed by B'liar in Iraq. So if they want to prohibit video that inspires violence, it would make more sense to go after war movies.
The Sarbanes-Oxley law gives protection to corporate whistleblowers, but Bush's Labor Department has effectively made it nothing.
An Indian Dalit woman died in the hospital because high caste doctors refused to treat her.
Over 12,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan a year have tried to commit suicide, but the Veterans Administration said it was under 800.
The Bush forces appear to be dropping cluster bombs on Baghdad.
This violates a treaty, but Bush doesn't care about adhering to treaties, except for treaties like NAFTA which allow him to say that the US has "promised" to mistreat its own people.
There is a lot to criticize about the ways Russia and China restrict their citizens, but the Bush regime is much more concerned when they fail to restrict their citizens.
Ever since Clinton, the US government has had no real interest in how other governments treat human rights. It has used its influence and power to prevent copying. It is most against commercial copying, but it tries to prevent the public from sharing also.
Canadians! Protest at the Public Policy Forum's push for unjust copyright law in your country.
I don't know which city this event is in, because I know only what it says in that article. But you can find out where it is. Print copies of that article (50 copies would be good) so you can hand them out to people that attend, especially media.
The TV networks have said nothing about the way the Pentagon's group of "military experts" fooled them. Perhaps because it was illegal for the Pentagon to do this.
"Bio-plastic" bags are supposedly biodegradable, but in landfills they either do not degrade or they produce methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas.
I wonder what happens to them in the ocean? If they do degrade naturally there, they would reduce the plastic bag pollution that kills marine life.
But there is also the problem that this plastic is made by growing corn, and thus competes with making food.
China says it will meet with representatives of the Dalai Lama. However, any agreement is unlikely.
When China says it is willing to meet with him if he renounces violence and Tibetan independence, this is just part of a persisent campaign to misrepresent where the Dalai Lama stands. He champions nonviolence, and abandoned independence as the goal many years ago.
Warnings that someone might try violence are a standard excuse nowadays for suppressing protests or driving them to obscure locations where they can easily be ignored. We saw that practice at the US political conventions in 2004, and will probably see it again this summer.
Why did the Bush regime start talking about the alleged Syrian nuclear reactor, after months of stonewalling? Some suggest this is a ploy by some officials to derail talks with North Korea.
Police in New York who shot and killed an unarmed man on the street have been acquitted of all charges.
If the events happened as the police described them, then this verdict would be justified. But I don't trust what they say, because lying in court is standard practice for police. (See many previous pol notes.)
The UN agency that feeds the Palestinians of Gaza is about to suspend deliveries for lack of fuel. Fuel delivery in Gaza is crippled because the workers are on strike, since Israel won't let them have fuel to deliver.
Mugabe's police raided the opposition headquarters and arrested everyone there.
Scott Ritter thinks the Syrian building that Israel bombed was a nuclear reactor, but without the facilities to extract plutonium for making bombs. He also points out that Israel violated international law, while Syria had not violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
A student confronted Ashcroft with the war-crimes conviction of a Japanese soldier for waterboarding. Ashcroft responded with quibbles.
What struck me about this is that Ashcroft designs his words as soundbites, intending them to be absorbed without thought or context. This is clearest when he says "They can't see either" about the students protesting with bags over their heads. The fact that they cannot see is irrelevant to anything, but it takes a few seconds' thought for a person to recognize that. Ashcroft hopes that his audience won't think about his words even that long.
China sent a ship full of arms to Mugabe's dictatorship, but workers refused to unload it, so the arms could not be delivered.
The Bush regime claims that Israel bombed an unfinished Syrian nuclear plant intended to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. A congressman said he does not trust the Bush regime on such questions.
At the same time, Syria says that Turkish mediation has created a possibility of peace between Syria and Israel.
I wonder if the two are related.
The Bliar/Clown regime has a policy that it can freeze someone's assets without trial, by arbitrary order. A judge ruled that this policy is illegal because Parliament never approved it.
If Parliament approves this, that won't make it legitimate. Confiscating someone's money on the mere order of an official is always an injustice.
Pro-business Western politicians are trying to placate China over the protests that their people are making.
The idea that China might abandon its policy of "engaging the West" is an absurdity, given how much Chinese business profits from that. China is now Capitalist, not Communist, even though this has not changed much in terms of freedom.
India's ban on testing the sex of fetuses has proved ineffective, to the point where tougher laws are being proposed to try to stop the practice.
The reasoning behind this prohibition is fallacious.
The desire to abort female fetuses reflects a social prejudice against women. I agree with Indian feminists that this prejudice is cruel and groundless. However, banning the symptom will not get rid of the prejudice.
The lower number of females will mean that many men cannot marry and will have no children. The end result will be less population growth in the future, and that is very very important.
The workers on Irish Ferries are paid low wages and are forbidden to go ashore. That's because these boats (which travel between Ireland and Britain) are officially registered in Cyprus.
The Mahdi Army says that the Bush forces killed 800 people, mostly civilians, in Sadr City.
In Boston on April 30: Benefit Concert for the Children of Gaza.
Iraqis see the US Embassy as the castle of the occupiers.
Some US stores have started limiting large purchases of rice because not enough is available.
Any further WTO agreement is to be feared as long as the rich country governments have more negotiating power, and use it on behalf of their corporate masters.
In the specific area of food, the reason there has been no agreement is that the rich countries refuse to drop their subsidies to agribusiness. Many poor countries have mostly stopped producing food because their farmers could not compete with the subsidized imports from the US. (One thing Chavez has done in Venezuela was to support a renewal of food production there.)
Perhaps the increased prices will restore food production around the world. Eliminating the subsidies would still be desirable for other reasons (we could use the money subsidize wind power, etc., instead).
However, the next worry is that food production will be limited by availability of land, water, or fertilizer made from petroleum. We need to stop human population growth.
Bush and the presidents of Mexico and Canada are meeting quietly with their masters planning how to weaken safety standards and allow China to export through duty-free through Mexico.
Police are accustomed to feeling they are above the law: attack people on the street, they lie in court, and they park in no parking zones and assume that their "brothers" won't give them tickets. However, one cop just discovered that he may not be immune from parking fines.
I am not a zealot for the enforcement of parking regulations, but I enjoy seeing cops get the treatment they usually think they should only dish out.
I've been saying ever since 2001 that a government that doesn't respect human rights is more dangerous than underground terrorists. Now we can demonstrate this with figures.
Under 3,000 Americans were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Over 4,000 Americans have been killed in the conquest and occupation of Iraq, and that doesn't count the many wounded, or the loss of freedom we have all suffered. The supposed reasons for this war were lies, so nothing excuses the harm it does. Thus, even for Americans, Bush is the worst enemy.
It's true in the UK too. 52 Britons were killed by terrorist attacks, while 176 were killed in the occupation of Iraq, not to count the wounded or the loss of freedom that all Britons have suffered.
The conquest of Iraq has imposed much greater suffering on Iraq; Bush and his cronies are responsible for all of that, since it was their crime that caused it. My point is that Bush is worse even without counting this.
Investigating the Pentagon's pet pundits.
The corruption of Earth Day into a marketing event is the result of a persistent long-term business PR campaign.
The capitalist will sell you the planet he (and the rest of his species) are living in.
When Kenya abolished the school fees that had been imposed by the IMF, 1 million poor children started attending school.
Additional "skeptics" about global warming have been outed as being on the PR industry's payroll.
Businesses such as Wal-mart pretend to be green while lobbying against laws to protect the environment.
Mugabe's men are doing a partial recount of the election, in districts where the opposition won, and seem to be trying to use it to cheat.
The Miss Landmine beauty contest highlights what landmines do to civilians.
Most countries are ready to ban landmines. Guess which one obstructs it?
The scandal of corporate media "military experts", managed by the Pentagon and paid by the military-industrial complex, is part of a campaign organized by Reagan and continued by George I to revive the US appetite for foreign wars.
Arizona is considering a vague bill that would cut off funding to schools that "denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization" or "overtly encourage dissent" from those values, including democracy, capitalism, pluralism and religious tolerance.
I support democracy, pluralism, and religious tolerance, but I find it dangerous to support them in this way. The way that quotes were taken out of context to misrepresent the Raza program suggests that this is a plan to do wrong.
As for capitalism, that isn't a value, it is merely one method that can be used to organize an activity. Sometimes it provides good results, and sometimes bad results. Elevating it to a "value" is a mistake.
After talking with Jimmy Carter, Hamas announced its willingness to accept and live by a peace agreement with Israel if the Palestinians clearly accept it.
By Israel's response to this, we can measure whether Israel's government wants peace.
Gordon Clown's regime in the UK has given the Bush regime real time access to spy on cars on the highways of the UK.
Paraguay has elected a moderate leftist president.
It remains to be seen how much he will resist the bullying of the US. Arguing with Brazil about who gets how much money from the Itaipu dam will not build unity.
The guards at Guantanamo appear to have destroyed video evidence of their torture activities.
This would appear to be a criminal act in its own right. But will they be prosecuted? Surely not by Bush; he won't even prosecute the male contractors that rape female contractors in Iraq.
The wives of imprisoned Cuban dissidents held a protest in Havana. The police arrested them.
The ocean has become less effective at absorbing CO2 since 10 years ago. This will make future global warming even worse than expected.
Global warming is causing bigger storms at sea.
The "military experts" that provide "analysis" on US were systematically recruited as mouthpieces by the Bush regime, and many are paid by its corporate cronies. Now the details of how this was done have been exposed.
When I read about the tours that were used to feed these "analysis" biased information, they remind me of the way the Soviet Union used to do the same thing.
One of the people carrying the Olympic torch in San Francisco pulled out a small Tibetan flag. Chinese and US police attacked her.
This must be what Peter Ueberroth calls an "exhilarating experience".
Israel arrested an important Palestinian non-violent activist, accusing him of being a "terrorist", but with no evidence for the claim.
According to Patrick Cockburn, al Sadr wants to make a common front with Sunnis to expel the Bush army of occupation, but the Sunni militias, now getting support from the Bush regime, would rather reconquer the parts of Baghdad that Shi'ites took over.
If they think Bush will support them while they do that, they are fools; what he wants above all is an appearance of peace in Iraq and especially in Baghdad. They ought to join with al Sadr.
Reagan's appointees destroyed the CIA's commitment to objective analysis, and converted it into a tool for fabricating support for political goals. Bush took advantage of this when fabricating excuses to conquer Iraq.
US citizens: support the Responsible Plan for ending the occupation of Iraq.
The goal of restoring Iraq's unity may be unachievable, but I see no harm in trying, as long as failure in that goal is not allowed to derail the rest.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on the major presidential candidates to talk with Hamas.
John McCain's New Economic Advisor Is an 'Innovator' at Hurting Workers.
In Basra, women face danger everywhere, and can be imprisoned by their husbands if they demand a divorce.
The Bush forces' invasion is responsible for this, but I think there is no way to undo what has been done. Certainly the continued Bush occupation does nothing about this problem.
Israel continues expansion of its colonies in the West Bank, showing contempt for the idea of peace with Palestinians.
The former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says he was kept in the dark about torture practiced in Guantanamo. He believed that the Geneva Conventions were still being followed.
The other injustice of Guantanamo, aside from torture, is that people have been imprisoned for long periods without trial.
The Bush regime twists language to deny that torture is torture.
After World War II, the US executed Japanese soldiers as war criminals for waterboarding American troops.
A Pentagon institute calls the Iraq war `a major debacle'.
This story gives a false figure for the number of civilians killed in Iraq. The figure obviously comes from Iraq Body Count, but that organization does not claim its count represents all the civilians killed. It represents only the deaths that IBQ can identify and verify. The total must be considerably more. The best estimate for the total of Iraqi civilians killed is around a million.
Those who want to keep the Bush forces in Iraq always say that Iraq's civil war would get worse without them. It might get worse or it might get better, no one can say. A couple of weeks ago the "Iraqi" forces (filled with the Badr brigades of SCIRI) fought with the Mahdi Army in Basra. The Bush forces supported this attack. Without Bush and his arms, money and troops to back them up, they would not have tried it.
I suggest resolving Iraq's future by inviting al Sadr, the anti-al-Qa'ida Sunni groups, the Kurds to work it out, offering withdrawal of the Bush forces as the carrot if they reach an agreement. The negotiations could be in Switzerland, and representatives of Indonesia (mostly Muslim, distant, and moderate) might be able to help them reach agreement.
YouTube suspended the accounts of two anti-Scientology activists without even notifying them, and refuses to explain why.
This makes two reasons why using YouTube to post videos is a bad thing:
1. Because YouTube only distributes them in Flash, and free software support for Flash is impeded by software patents.
2. Because that gives YouTube a lot of power.
Any web site can host videos, so post them yourself in Ogg Theora format.
Chinese people who got HIV from blood transfusions were arrested when they tried to meet with Premier Wen Jiabao.
Why didn't the New York Times cover the Winter Soldier events of the Iraq Veterans Against the War? It offers bad excuses.
India applied crushing security to the Olympic torch ceremony, turning it into a shabby failure and bringing shame on itself.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the "Personal Use of Marijuana...Act of 2008."
Unequal treaties imposed by the US and other wealthy countries have ruined the farmers in Haiti and poor countries.
Rising grain prices could act as an inducement for people to start producing it again, but that is easier said than done.
Bush is starting to verbally acknowledge the need to reduce CO2 emissions, but his proposal is really just a delaying action to hold off reductions.
Resistance is growing in the UK to attempts to ban photography.
Berlusconi, il ducino, came back to power in Italy. Berlusconi is a semi-fascist and a loyal poodle for Bush.
The reason he escaped some prosecutions for corruption is that he changed laws to make the statute of limitations shorter.
Corporations employ spies to infiltrate NGOs in order to defeat their campaigns.
Earth Day, like Christmas, has been perverted into a marketing event.
Evidence that most of the population of Latin America descended from white men and indigenous or black women may not indicate that the former killed the indigenous men, but rather result from the bigotry of colonial society.
The Burmese generals are imprisoning people for campaigning for a No vote in the constitutional referendum. They have not announced to the Burmese people what the constitution says, but leaked copies indicate it would make Aung San Suu Kyi ineligible for office for having married a foreigner.
If this constitution is "approved" by this unjust referendum, it should be regarded as no more legitimate than the EU constitution which was "approved" by pretending it wasn't a constitution.
Amnesty International estimates that China will execute almost 400 people during the Olympics — most of them secretly.
An 8-year-old boy was suspended from school for sniffing a marker for a moment. When the principal was informed by a toxicologist that it is not feasible to get high by sniffing a marker, he made the school get rid of all of them just to make sure nothing miraculous would occur.
Eathan should learn a lesson from this — a lesson about tyrants and freedom. But I doubt anyone has suggested this interpretation to him. Most children do not think of seriously applying what they learn about tyranny to the way adults treat them. I was an exception.
Is Starvation Contagious? As Haiti starves, few countries pay attention, but it is spreading.
14-year-old Omar has been released from prison in Iraq. He had been imprisoned for 7 months.
The organization Anonymous is holding repeated protests against the Church of Scientology. This one focused on the Church's policy of ordering members to discontinue contact with relatives that leave the Church.
Note how the church spokesperson's response is misleading. She says that she has a relationship with family members. Maybe that is true, but did they leave the church, or did they never join? I am sure that church members are encouraged to continue to talk with their relatives who have never joined the church.
Meanwhile, secret church documents have been leaked, including some that describe how the church punishes people.
Specially chosen Chinese police have accompanied the Olympic torch in several countries, giving the public a taste of Chinese police attitudes. Host country police shared the culpability by keeping them secret.
I commend Australia (and Japan, I read elsewhere) for refusing to allow the Chinese thugs entry.
The US police and policies toward protests will soon face a similar test, when the protests against the Republican and Democratic national conventions occur. In 2004 their policies were designed to cordon off protest to places where everyone could ignore it.
The Colomb family was framed on charges of drug trafficking by police operating from bigotry.
This family had good luck; not everyone who is framed in the US manages to show it. (Some are even executed.) The family's access to the court system gave them the chance to be exonerated.
Now imagine that a similarly overzealous prosecutor accuses a foreigner of "terrorism", and that the victim cannot even go to court. Imagine that the jailhouse snitches can be tortured, not just offered early release. That shows why the Guantanamo prison and the other secret US prisons are so evil.
Zimbabwe's opposition calls for a general strike.
Drought has become more frequent in parts of Uganda, leaving many people hungry. Perhaps this is due to global warming, which is predicted to cause drought in many places.
Global warming combines with human waste runoff to destroy coral reefs. Protecting the reefs from direct human action doesn't help.
A small, localized nuclear war could damage the Earth's ozone and thus endanger people all around the world.
The head of the IPCC says rich countries have failed to lead with the necessary sacrifices for a new climate treaty.
So negotiations are on hold waiting for Bush to be unable to sabotage them.
I have an idea. Obama, Clinton and McCain could get together to appoint a shadow negotiating team, and other governments could talk with that team, snubbing official US representatives. They probably would not have trouble getting the Green Party on board too. This team would have no authority to commit the US to anything now, but other countries could have confidence that the next president would accept.
The IMF has lost its grip on middle-income countries, and as a result, is running out of money to keep poor countries down.
Six cities in the US shortened the yellow light period, creating unsafe driving conditions, in order to make more money from their automatic cameras that issue traffic fines.
Using cameras to issue traffic fines should be illegal itself.
Venezuelan President Chavez accused the US of instigating the protests against China over its actions in Tibet, and opposes those protests. I am very disappointed by that position.
The US does sometimes organize protests to destabilize other countries, but I don't think it is doing so here. If it were, why would it allow the Chinese police to come in for the torch events? I think Chavez is mistaken about this accusation.
More importantly, Chavez has taken the wrong side in a struggle much like Venezuela's. I can understand Venezuela's need to seek allies to strengthen its hand against Washington, but always supporting those allies no matter what they do is not right.
Due to a starvation treaty with the US, India pays $400 per ton of rice to a US company, while Indian farmers are going broke getting only $200
Protests are following the Olympic Torch to Buenos Aires.
It is amusing to see the tremendous concern given to the question of whether this torch is extinguished. It verges on superstition. Do they think that this would be some sort of omen?
Suppose the torch were extinguished — would that prevent the games from being held? Certainly not. Would that convince China to respect human rights of Tibetans and Chinese? Would it convince the US to respect human rights of Americans and Iraqis and Haitians and many others? I doubt it.
So what are they worried about? Why do various unjust governments seem to care so much about this? Why do they let Chinese police come along to jump on anyone that waves a Tibetan flag?
I think they are worried about the appearing less than omnipotent. Their message to anyone who disagrees with the corporate empire is, "We are in total control, and you can't change anything. So give up!"
If protestors can extinguish a torch, who knows, maybe some day they can change government policies such as torture, invasion, censorship, and imprisonment of dissidents.
US citizens: sign this petition in support of the Internet Freedom Preservation Act before the public FCC hearing on April 17th.
Uri Avnery on Israel's hidden anti-peace agenda.
Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine: Israel Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust.
Ecuador's President Correa has fired a number of army officers accusing them of working with the CIA and Colombia.
Some of them had been told about Colombia's attack on FARC negotiators in Ecuador before it occurred, and kept it secret from the Ecuadorian government. This sounds like treason to me.
A British court ruled it was illegal to drop the investigation into BAE's bribery.
B'liar ordered it halted in response to Sa'udi pressure.
The court's decision is admirable, but Clown has decided to nullify it by changing the law to legalize what was done. In effect, he wants power to connive at corruption.
Of course, he will only do this when powerful interests are involved.
Cuba is moving step by step towards a freer economy.
I hope that it won't follow China's path which led to capitalism but not to human rights.
40 million Americans are on the edge of lacking the money to buy food. 11 million sometimes miss meals out of poverty. Bush's cuts in funding for food banks makes their situation worse.
But the cause of this problem is a broad range of right-wing policies that result from the dominion of the corporations.
If a political program doesn't make the megacorporations scream, it fails to address the problem. If the corporate media don't try to deride a candidate, then he's not going to take away their power.
Indonesia ordered ISPs to block access to Youtube because one of the videos there criticizes Islam.
The censorship order has been canceled, but it illustrates the widespread tendency of Muslims (and their governments) to try to suppress criticism. Many Muslim countries explicitly deny religious freedom and freedom of expression.
It is a bad thing to access Youtube if you use Adobe's non-free, binary-only Flash player. The only way to access Youtube and maintain your freedom is with Gnash. But that doesn't justify blocking access to the site.
Ben Allbright, who helped torture prisoners for Bush in Iraq, now wrestles with his conscience, and is embarrassed by the Americans around him who consider him a hero — Americans who "don't care about right and wrong".
Allbright is torn between his ethics on one hand, and a misplaced loyalty to the US government on the other. Perhaps he could make peace with his past by taking that loyalty away from the US government, and the Americans that approve of torture, and giving it instead to the ideals that they have betrayed.
Florida sells unlimited water-pumping rights in drought-stricken State Park to Nestle for $230
This is a particularly flagrant and stupid instance of a widespread corrupt policy. Most state governments (and most national governments) openly boast of bending over backwards to attract business from other states and other nations. In the small, it could seem that the one that wins this "competition" has gained. But the overall result is that the citizens lose and the companies gain.
Not long after Bush praised the "Iraqi" government's attack against al Sadr's Mahdi Army, General Petraeus urged reconciliation between them.
I think that this vacillation reflects a fundamental dilemma for Bush: al Sadr demands the end of the occupation, so Bush wants to destroy him, but Bush can't dominate Iraq if he is actually fights al Sadr.
The European Parliament rejected a proposal to punish people accused of sharing music on the internet.
Maybe this is the end of the EU's string of attacks on sharing, but it won't eliminate the unjust directives already adopted.
The Bush forces are finding it necessary to take cover inside the Green Zone, as resistance attacks start to hit.
Universal Music Group claims that throwing away a promotional CD is illegal.
If Universal were able to establish this claim, it would be able to ruin anybody simply by mailing him so many promotional CDs that he could not afford to rent space to house them. Perhaps it could establish a musical group called "White Elephant" for the purpose.
But I'm sure Universal does not expect to establish this claim, and I doubt it even really wants to. (The question isn't actually relevant to the case anyway.) Rather, it has a more subtle plan. Universal is presenting absurdly extreme copyright demands so as to make its real extreme copyright demands seem moderate by comparison. Thus, this absurd claim can do harm even if it is sure to be rejected.
Massachusetts voters: call your state representative and state senator to support medical marijuana legislation.
You can also send the message through this site but a phone call carries more weight.
Massachusetts voters: if your state senator is on the Ways and Means Committee, call in support of reducing penalties for marijuana.
This site will tell you if your state senator is on that committee.
Clinton continues to use PR businessman Mark Penn despite his work for the sweatshop treaty with Colombia and other nasty causes.
I can understand how a business might hire a PR firm regardless of who its other clients are and what they do. When a candidate acts that way, that seems to imply that the candidate has lowered the election to mere business.
Iraq war coverage has gone down by a factor of 6 from early 2007.
I wonder why this has happened. It is sure convenient for Bush, and for McCain. Did someone arrange this?
Experts associated with the Iraq Study Group say that the Bush regime has made no progress towards its announced goals in Iraq.
I don't know what will happen in Iraq if the Bush forces are withdrawn. A new outbreak of fighting might occur. However, their presence in Iraq contributes to the tensions that might cause this fighting, so keeping them there is no solution.
Supporters of China demonstrated in San Francisco along with protestors.
I wonder who those supporters were. I suspect they were Chinese people whose reside in the San Francisco area and who see this issue through the foolish eyes of nationalism.
We see the same foolish nationalism when Americans are manipulated into supporting Bush's occupation of Iraq through their patriotism.
In Zimbabwe, after Mugabe covered up the election results and demanded a rerun, armed men are telling citizens "Vote for Mugabe or you die".
Businesses have set up a phony consumer group to lobby for further deregulation and more sweatshop treaties.
High prices for grain have caused riots around the world as poor people cannot afford to eat.
Making biofuel from food crops is part of the problem.
2/3 of Americans want the Bush forces withdrawn within a year, according to a recent poll.
US citizens: sign this petition to Rep. Murtha calling for no more funding to continue the occupation of Iraq.
The accused liquid explosive airplane bombers are on trial in the UK, and prosecutors seem to continue to claim that they could have succeeded.
It is possible that the accused were really thinking about trying to use liquid explosives, but they didn't get beyond that. If they had, they would have found that the method doesn't work.
Israel continues expansion of its "settlements" on Palestinian land, creating ever more obstacles to the possibility of peace.
Giant media companies are trying to attack the concept of fair use in copyright law, and doing so by lying about the Berne Convention.
Even if the Berne Convention doesn't conflict with fair use, it is still bad. For instance, it says that every written work is copyrighted even if it is published without a copyright notice. And it requires copyright to last for a ridiculously long time. The Berne Convention should be abolished, and likewise the sweatshop treaties ("free trade" treaties) that refer to it.
Illinois representative Monique Davis told Rob Sherman he had no right to testify to a state committee, because he is an Atheist.
Bigotry against various religions still exists in the US, but most people are ashamed to show it, because many others condemn it. However, our society has not yet learned to condemn bigotry against Atheists.
New technologies put your privacy and autonomy at risk even inside your skull.
Influential members of Congress own lots of stock in companies that profit from the occupation of Iraq.
Biofuel production has combined with climate change, eating lots of meat, oil shortage, and "free trade" to produce a scarcity of grain, causing a big price increase which is making poor people go hungry around the world.
Protests against China have begun in San Francisco.
Isn't it pathetic the way some people consider a sporting event more important than freedom? How these protests affect the "Olympic movement" is insignificant compared with the oppression that they denounce.
Israel is gradually expelling Palestinians from much of the West Bank by demolishing homes and not allowing new ones to be built.
Israeli soldiers shoot and threaten Palestinians that are obviously not armed.
But it's not just with guns and bombs that Israel kills Palestinians.
Bush wants the "Iraqi" government to sign an agreement so the Bush forces can remain there as long as he wishes (but not "permanently"). Perpetual occupation on the installment plan?
A network of state and private surveillance systems work with US systems to implement pervasive surveillance.
The Olympic torch was guarded in France much as a tyrant is guarded from the people he oppresses.
But they were unable to prevent the protests from being very effective.
The Clown's police in London told protestors that even t-shirts were forbidden as a protest.
It is no surprise that the police commander subsequently denied this. Lying is second nature for police.
The protests have convinced the president of the IOC to voice a token criticism of China, although he reserves the harshest criticism for the protestors, by exaggerating their protests into "violence".
It is interesting to note the comment in the first article that responds to the article by criticizing the occupation of Iraq. This reflects a fundamental confusion about what the point is.
If you want to support human rights, you must resist the tendency to attack foreign critics of oppression by saying "Your country is bad too." Maybe it is, and what then? Arguing about which country is worse is a distraction.
Every year the Bush regime publishes a condemnation of China's contempt for human rights. These criticisms are valid. Every year the Chinese government publishes a condemnation of the US disrespect for human rights. These criticisms are valid too. Both of these governments trample human rights, and they are both wrong. The wrongs of one do not excuse or legitimize the wrongs of the other.
The way to advance the cause of human rights is to insist on justice in each country and all countries. If pressure for human rights someday establishes in China a just government which puts the US to shame, that would be a great step forward for the whole world.
As the surveillance society extends, privileged people are given exemptions.
I think this will be a general trend, a consequence of surveillance in a society of great inequality.
Red-light cameras are a nasty system even if applied fairly, because the driver gets the ticket days (at least) after the event, when he no longer remembers the circumstances enough to argue the case. They ought to be abolished, not improved.
Barack Obama and Rev. Wright represent the two sides of Martin Luther King Jr.
Mugabe wants to hold a do-over election instead of releasing the results of the last one. And he has sent thugs to take over additional white-owned farms, a move the opposition interprets as threatening violence.
Now British officials predict that Bush will soon attack Iran.
Changes in cosmic ray indicence are not relevant to global warming.
James Hansen says global warming is worse than the projections have said, and that the EU's target for reducing CO2 levels, 550 ppm, is too high. He says that we have to keep CO2 at 350 ppm to maintain a planet recognizably like the Earth we know.
The occupation of Iraq continues to protect other countries from invasion by the US.
Aristide's pilot testifies about Aristide's kidnaping by US soldiers.
Neither Clinton nor Obama plans to end the occupation of Iraq. Now, while they are still contending with each other, is the best time to pressure them to do so.
A Chief Rabbi in Israel calls for revenge attacks against Palestinians, particularly children.
Doesn't he know that Israel has got its "revenge" in advance for years of hypothetical future Palestinian attacks? For each Israeli that Palestinians have killed, in recent years, Israel has killed more than ten Palestinians. How much more revenge does he think they need? 100 times? A thousand times? Would killing half the Palestinians satisfy him, or does it have to be all of them?
A professor is suing students for publishing their class notes.
The term "intellectual property" used by the professor's lawyers is a term of confusion and intimidation.
Poor Haitians rioted because the increasing cost of food is starving them.
The relays of the Olympic Torch face protests, and some people are refusing to participate.
US government has excluded reporters from seeing where its bombs fell on Sadr City in Baghdad, much as China excluded reporters from Tibetan protests.
The EU is investigating Microsoft's corruption of ISO.
Oil from tar in Alberta contributes very heavily to global warming.
The problem may be self-limiting, since global warming can cause drought which would make it impossible to extract the tar.
The administrators of the Popline health information search engine temporarily censored searches using the term "abortion", saying that they were obeying Federal censorship laws.
Another Bush regime employee in Iraq who was raped by colleagues tells her story.
How ironic is her continued support for Bush's conquest of Iraq. The fact that her attackers are not prosecuted is no accident. It is a consequence of the zone of no law that Bush's cronies need in order to loot Iraq. And the lack of interest by Federal prosecutors may have something to do with Bush's firing of all the ones that had integrity.
The Czech government agreed to install US anti-missile interceptors on the pretext that they are not directed towards Russia.
The fear is that these interceptors would enable the US to threaten Russia with a nuclear attack. The US has never promised not to be the first to use nuclear weapons.
Salmon populations in the US Pacific coast have crashed, and the US is considering a total ban on fishing. But even that may not bring them back.
The Bush regime brazenly declared the Fourth Amendment void to excuse "military" surveillance of Americans.
Melting of ice sheets can cause large earthquakes even if the area does not generally have earthquakes.
The US Army's PR officers are trying to convince us that imprisonment without trial in Guantanamo is ok because the prison conditions are nicer now.
Curfews in Iraqi cities are not just annoying.
Opposition candidate Tsvangirai claimed victory in Zimbabwe's presidential election. The government has inexplicably refused to publish any results.
After two Saudis called for believers in religions other than Islam to receive certain forms of respect, a prominent cleric called for their execution.
Many Muslim countries do not recognize religious freedom. Several of them have the death penalty for "blasphemy" and for Muslims who convert to any other view.
The Bush regime is considering sabotaging hostile blogs by cracking in and altering the text in embarrassing ways.
If your blog criticizes the Bush regime (or any other unscrupulous government), keep a backup copy of the text you actually wrote, and keep it on a free operating system so that it's harder to break in and alter that copy. This way, if your site gets cracked and your text gets altered, you will be able to blow the whistle.
Continuing Bush's War on the Environment, the EPA will delay its mandated action on greenhouse gases till after Bush leaves office.
Citizens of San Francisco: support the proposal to name a waste treatment facility after President Bush.
Comcast agreed to stop penalizing BitTorrent traffic.
I don't think it is unreasonable to give lower priority to large data transfers, when the net is loaded, as long as that is done fairly for all large data transfers.
Heathrow airport's terminal 5 fingerprinting scheme was canceled.
Terminal 5 has been an engineering disaster, but at least it is not a human rights disaster.
(It turns out this article was from last year. I did not see that. Sorry.)
Russian government insiders say Bush will attack Iran on April 6.
I would not take the integrity of those Russian officials for granted, and they could also be mistaken. However, I also would not be surprised if they are right.
An Arab instructor in an Israeli university, who is a pacifist, faces dismissal for refusing to declare his "respect for the uniform of the Israeli army".
European oil companies are shipping biofuel back and forth across the Atlantic to take advantage of loopholes in subsidy laws.
There is increasing recognition that biofuels do not serve conservation purposes when they are made from food crops grown using unsustainable fertilizer inputs and/or in land cleared from rain forests. This leads to pressure to correct the badly implemented programs to promote use of biofuels. To which the industry makes absurd responses such as "we can't afford a change in policy now".
Thousands of refugees from New Orleans were given federal aid money, and subsequently told that they had received too much. Now they are ordered to return tens of thousands of dollars.
Those people probably spent the money building new homes, and probably decided what sort of house to build based on how much they had received. In other words, the government led them down the garden path and now has shafted them.
A Bush regime official embezzled millions of dollars meant for "promoting democracy in Cuba" in his previous job.
Since Bush doesn't support democracy in the US, why would he try honestly to promote it anywhere else?
A defense lawyer in a Guantanamo kangaroo court claims that Bush is using these fake trials for electioneering.
Stalled Assault on Basra Exposes the Iraqi Government's Shaky Authority.
Cory Doctorow says his editor was attacked by an insecurity guard in London's Spitalfields market after he took a photo. The guard tried to confiscate his camera, but he escaped.
Ralph Nader writes to Congress calling for the Impeachment of Bush.
The US Forest Service has been corrupted by Bush's War on Integrity.
US law defines George Washington as a terrorist.
Many of the Sierra Club's members smell a bad odor in the organization's deal to endorse some Clorox products, especially since the organization's charter says it is not allowed to endorse any products.
Some theaters in Japan have canceled showings of a movie about the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors war dead including war criminals, after threats.
Al Sadr has called for a cease fire with the "Iraqi government" forces.
The Bush regime decided to disown responsibility for the attacks on the Mahdi Army, after they ran into trouble.
The torture of prisoners in Guantanamo has driven some guards to seek psychiatric help out of guilt.
The UK continues its policy of imprisonment without trial, but judges are starting to trim it back.
Mugabe has lost the election in Zimbabwe, despite all his efforts to cheat.
But Mugabe may not allow the results to be recognized. The electoral commission has not announced any results.
Philip Morris has cunning plans to defeat present and future tobacco control measures that encourage smokers to quit.
The Chaos Computer Club published the fingerprint of a government minister as a demonstration that biometric security is not so trustworthy afterall.
If I am attacked by armed thugs, I'd rather have them steal my ATM card than cut off my finger.
White Americans are angry at Rev. Jeremiah Wright because he reminds them of truths they would rather forget.
McCain cites Osama bin Laden to justify the continued occupation of Iraq.
Since 2001 there has been a persistent pattern in the "bin Laden" tapes: they say just the thing to help Bush and his associates domestically. It suggests that whoever makes these tapes — whether it is Osama bin Laden or someone else — is in cahoots with Bush.
That fits in with the theory that Bush either set up the 9/11 attacks or arranged to prevent them from being stopped.
Pressure increases for a boycott of the Olympic Games.
New York City issued a broad subpoena to the developer of TXTmob for all the private information about the text messages sent with the system. The developer argues that he should not have to give this information.
He should have made sure to discard all this information as soon as the system did not need it any more.
Note the arrogant attitude of the New York police towards citizens: after violating thousands of citizens' rights, they call their actions a success. What did they succeed in doing? Keeping protests down to a level that could be mostly ignored, as if they did not happen.
Business owners that wish to show a movie about police violence face threats of imprisonment.
Canadian organizations find it is illegal to use Google Docs because they have a legal requirement to protect personal data.
The fact that Google Docs makes you vulnerable to the U SAP AT RIOT act is an indicator of a fundamental problem: to use Google Docs means giving up control of your computing, and your data. It's a mistake for anyone to do this. Whether or not you are legally required to maintain control of your data, you deserve that control.
One Iraqi police unit switched sides when ordered to attack the Mahdi Army.
Several Chinese intellectuals have published a petition to the Chinese government calling on it to respect the human rights of Tibetans and others.
When the government of China carries out censorship — of anything — it violates the rights of everyone in China, of whatever ethnic group.
I am sure the US government's warning about surveillance in China is justified, but visitors to the US must be equally concerned about government surveillance, given the U SAP AT RIOT act, the illegal spying by telephone companies, the spy taps in telephone companies, the tracking of the location of cellular phones (why do you think they are required to have GPS capability?), RFIDs, and so on.
Uri Avnery on Israel and the rights of its Arab citizens.
FEMA distributed trailers to the refugees from Hurricane Katrina even though it already knew that they emit toxic levels of formaldehyde.
Wal-mart failed in a bid to use trademark law to suppress parody merchandise.
The Mahdi Army says that those attacking it are the Badr Brigades militia of SCIRI, not the Iraqi police and army.
Since the Iraqi police and army are full of men of the Badr Brigades, this could be a distinction without a difference. In any case, what is clear is that the Bush forces are using airplanes to support SCIRI against the Mahdi Army. Meanwhile, the demand for "militias to give up their arms" is just a way of putting a nice face on a demand for the Mahdi Army to give up and let SCIRI slaughter it.
Increased fighting in Baghdad has led to a curfew. The occupation's "Green Zone" enclave was hit by rocket and mortar fire.
As China brought journalists back to Lhasa to show them a pretty face on things, some monks showed up to say the Chinese story was a lie.
Tim Stevens, who uses marijuana to treat nausea caused by HIV, used the necessity defense to win acquittal for the charge of possession of marijuana. In Texas, yet!
The prisoners of Bush's Iraqi puppet government in Fallujah are kept in unhygienic conditions and don't get enough food.
One of the leaders of the Bush-arranged overthrow of Haiti's President Aristide is now being sought for drug smuggling.
I wonder what caused his falling out with his former masters.
Bush tried to intimidate and punish allies that would not support his plans to conquer Iraq.
For another country to have "bad relations" with the US can be painful, like going to the dentist. But in the long term it is necessary to avoid a much worse problem: subjection.
As the SCIRI militia in Iraqi uniforms fights with the Mahdi army, Bush is elated.
The biggest lie in Bush's statement is the pretense that Iraq is a "sovereign nation". The sovereignty of the Iraqi government is just a pretense.
Another Antarctic ice shelf has collapsed. Scientists predicted this might happen within 30 years, 15 years ago. Things are getting worse faster.
Since ice shelves float on the ocean, the loss of one does not affect sea level. But the loss of the ice shelf enables ice on land to move faster into the ocean, and it also increases absorption of sunlight (since ice is a better reflector than water), which speeds further warming.
Some evidence suggests that US government agents may have organized the 9/11 attacks.
Mugabe is holding another blatantly rigged election.
McCain talks about curbing lobbyists but lets them raise funds for him.
Many Americans are in thrall to "pay day loans" which can charge up to 800% interest.
Honoring Katharine Gun, the translator who sacrificed her career and risked prosecution to expose B'liar's spying on the UN, in an attempt to stop an unjust war.
Ms Gun is an example of the best in humanity.
Public presure on supermarkets is forcing the British fishing fleet to move towards sustainable practices.
This partial step forward shames the UK government, which would have mandated sustainable practices years ago if it had the right values and priorities.
Nanotechnology in foods could do amazing things, but nobody knows whether the nanomaterials are safe to eat.
The major drug companies give doctors lots of gifts to get them to prescribe their products. Massachusetts is considering a law to ban this practice.
The head of the Federal Trade Commission has quit to become an executive of Procter & Gamble, after serving that company by protecting it from FTC regulations. "The real corrupting influences are the things that are legal."
As propaganda for war with Iran, the Republicans take facts about Iraq and graft them onto Iran.
Speaker Pelosi made a strong statement condemning China in support of Tibetan protestors.
Her condemnation of the Chinese occupation of Tibet is entirely correct. What a shame that she fails to condemn in similar terms the equally devastating and equally unjust occupation of Iraq by the Bush regime.
The "Iraqi" police have attacked al Sadr's Mahdi army in Basra.
Al Sadr has responded with peaceful protests by his supporters, condemning the US and its puppet government in Iraq.
Here's some background information.
The "Iraqi security forces" are largely under the control of SCIRI and the Badr brigades. Thus, in effect this is a battle between the Badr brigades and the Mahdi army.
Al Sadr has shown a high level of integrity and patriotism throughout the Bush occupation of his country. I doubt that he respects the rights of women or non-Muslims, but neither do the other sides. Iraqis would do well to support al Sadr.
The American Physical Society refused to publish a paper after the authors refused to hand over the copyright. But the physicists have launched a campaign to make the APS change its policy. Bravo!
Pakistan wanted to censor Youtube, so it sabotaged the Youtube site (for users all around the world) by generating a false DNS entry.
The TSA plans to do random checking of luggage on Amtrak trains, to make Americans feel even more insecure.
As anyone who has watched The Longest Day is aware, bombing a train does not require riding the train. So this is totally absurd as a "security" measure. But they will probably claim, after years in which there continue to be no bombs on trains in the US, that this is all due to them.
I never take Amtrak trains, because they demand ID to buy a ticket. Anywhere I can go by train in the US, I can also go by bus without showing ID, and that is what I do.
Protests against the Chinese occupation of Tibet have spread around the world. Meanwhile, China has admitted that it has arrested nonviolent protestors.
This reminds me that I have seen the text of one of Jeremiah Wright's "scandalous" statements. He suggested that US support for Israel's cruel occupation of Palestine may have been part of the cause of the 9/11 attacks. It seems entirely plausible to me, and not "anti-semitic" at all. He also accused Israel of being racist, and that seems a good description of the occupation policies, which are often compared with apartheid in South Africa.
Sanal Edamaruku of Rationalists International dared a self-proclaimed black magician to kill him on live TV. The magician said he could do it, but failed, with hundreds of millions of Indians watching.
Hooray for rationalism, and hooray for Mr. Edamaruku.
Everyone: sign the petition for global standards on biofuels, to reject the kinds that drive up food prices or chop down rainforests.
All the "free trade" treaties weaken democracy by transferring power from states to global business. None of the candidates acknowledges this issue.
NAFTA and other recent US free trade treaties directly attack democracy, by allowing companies to sue in special international courts against any laws that they claim reduce their profits. Obama does raise this issue; the others do not recognize it.
I think Nader is against all the sweatshop treaties, but I do not have confirmation of this.
China imprisoned Yan Chunlin for saying that human rights are more important than the Olympic games
Chinese people should not make the mistake of taking sides with the Chinese government against Tibetans. The means used by the Chinese government for maintaining its control of Tibet, which include censorship, restriction of journalists, and imprisonment of dissenters, trample the freedom of Chinese people just as they trample the freedom of Tibetans.
Sick Palestinians continue dying because Israel blocks them from leaving Gaza for medical care.
Genetic research shows that the Spanish conquerors of Latin America killed most of the native men, then mated with the native women.
The teachers union in the UK voted to oppose military recruitment that presents a distorted picture of what being in the UK military means.
The quote at the end from the "ex-soldier, Terry" is misleading. A 6-week experience of military training may or may not show what military training is like. It certainly does not give a taste of what it is like to shoot civilians, or to fight with guerrilla forces that don't want you occupying their country.
Uri Avnery endorsed Barack Obama for president of the US. He is sure that McCain and Clinton are nothing good for peace between Israel and Palestine, but he thinks Obama might, even though he doesn't say so.
I do not share his doubts because I do not expect politicians to do better than they say.
Israeli troops have beseiged the Arab-American University in Jenin. They have forced journalists to leave, much as China has done in Tibet.
Perhaps Israel is taking advantage of the immunity from criticism that results from the fulsome support that foreign leaders offer to Israel.
Pakistan's new prime minister will try to free the judges that were imprisoned by President Musharraf.
A much larger number have been gravely wounded, and an even larger number suffer from PTSD. But all that is nothing compared to the million-plus Iraqi death toll from the invasion.
The article has a few inaccuracies. Iraq Body Count does not try to estimate the number of Iraqi dead. Rather, it counts those deaths that can be firmly established, producing a lower bound.
Also, neither Clinton nor Obama plans to fully withdraw the Bush forces from Iraq.
Soot from burning coal, diesel and wood is a large part of human-caused global warming.
Protesters for Tibet intruded on the lighting of the Olympic Torch. China and Greece failed to stop them completely at the ceremony, but Chinese television suppressed all mention of what occurred.
Isn't it sad to see the "idealistic" Olympic officials who believe (or at least say) that sport should be kept pure of distractions such as human rights? They reminds me of the "open source" supporters that think technology should be kept pure of distractions such as human rights.
President Chavez is destabilizing the right-wing government of Peru by offering free health care to poor Peruvians.
Peruvian President Garcia's masters in Washington have far more money than Venezuela does. They could win the competition for Peruvians' hearts and minds instantly, if they were willing to try. But they are too greedy to provide free health care even to Americans, and all they want to do to poor Peruvians is exploit them. Chavez' charity embarrasses Garcia by exposing him for what he is.
There is one error in the article: as far as I know, Chavez has never supported the FARC, except in false accusations by the Colombian government.
People are arrested and imprisoned in the US just for following a hyperlink to a site that is said to contain "child" pornography.
Even if we put aside the issue of censorship, enforcing it this way is an outrage.
The same is true of the US corporate media: it is not very hard to find out the things they don't say, but most Americans don't bother, and the result is that Bush repeatedly gets away with lies.
US citizens: call your senators to support the Foreclosure Prevention Act.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Peace activists in the UK were stopped and questioned under "terrorism" laws after a camera automatically recognized their car's license plate. They had been put on a list for reasons that had nothing to do with terrorism.
The fact that this is considered legal shows that "anti-terrorism" law is a lie. The real threat to citizens of the UK is not the occasional terrorist. It is their own government.
The UK police have bullied theaters to cancel showings of an independent movie. The movie might offend the public, since it shows explicit violence — real footage of the police.
Bush is continuing the occupation of Iraq with the same scare tactics and lies that he used to start it.
5 years ago, Cheney and McCain said that the Bush forces would be "greeted as liberators" in Iraq.
Here's the report about Saddam and Al Qa'ida that the Pentagon wanted to discourage people from seeing.
In Iran's phony democracy, many opposition candidates have been barred from running, so that reformers have no chance.
The BBC's Digital Restrictions Management has been cracked. And the article has a quote that criticizes DRM.
A new attempt to negotiate a climate change agreement is headed by B'liar.
He will probably let Bush stop him from making any progress.
Dubya, who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War, now says that being in a war is romantic.
Massachusetts voters: ask state legislators to support medical marijuana legislation.
Troy Davis was railroaded into a murder conviction, and the witnesses have recanted their testimony, but the Georgia Supreme Court refused to give him a new trial. They'd rather kill an innocent man than admit a mistake.
The European Commission is investigating Microsoft's dirty tricks in trying to rig the ISO standardization of OOXML.
Bush's Iraqi quisling militias have gone on strike because he has not paid them regularly.
When Chinese officials say they will talk with the Dalai Lama if he abandons the protest campaign, they know he is not running it, so the whole statement is a lie.
An increasing number of states are rejecting the REAL-ID US plan to turn drivers' licenses into national ID cards. The US response is to punish citizens.
I think states should call the US government on its threat, say "Go ahead and bully our citizens — we are not scared."
Outrageous proposals like this serve a real purpose: they make other measures, which ought to be outrageous, sound acceptable by comparison.
There must be a reckoning for this day of infamy (the invasion of Iraq).
A man shot a burglar who turned out to have a badge. Now he faces first degree murder charges.
There is a systematic reason why there is so much SWAT team activity. I've read that the federal government offers funds for SWAT teams, so local police departments decide to create a SWAT team in order to get some of that funds. Once the SWAT team exists, it asks to be given missions, and if there aren't enough missions that really call for a SWAT team, it gets sent on other missions that don't. The result, every so often, is that someone gets killed, and some innocent citizen gets put on trial for defending himself.
When the tame US mass media criticize the occupation of Iraq, they do it shallowly, taking for granted that Bush deserves to succeed in his conquest.
To discuss a war of aggression and conquest in terms of whether it is "worth fighting" is like discussing a bank robbery in terms of whether it is "worth the risk."
An agribusiness lobby withdrew funds to the University of Minnesota, after a scientist there published a study that concluded biofuels made from food crops could make global warming worse.
Sequoia Voting Machines' threat worked: the county that owns the voting machines was scared into canceling the independent evaluation.
Union County should reject these voting machines on the grounds that, if their manufacturer seeks to block investigation of them, they cannot be trusted.
Protests spread to other areas of Tibet as thousands of troops impose martial law in Lhasa.
Some Tibetans accuse the Dalai Lama of playing into China's hands by abandoning the cause of Tibetan independence. The Chinese government calculatingly accuses him of organizing an uprising, knowing this is false, and thus manipulates him into opposing it ever more strongly.
The Bush forces continue to sweep Iraq's civilian dead under the carpet, but independent estimates range up to 1.4 million.
Iraq Body Count's conservative approach is useful for some purposes, but estimating the total number of Iraqis killed is not one of them. The actual number must be much larger.
I think the figure of "around a million killed" is the most plausible. As long as the Bush regime prevents efforts to make a more accurate count, we are entitled to estimate its murders as best we can, and hold the regime responsible for them.
The Chinese-backed dictators of Burma refused even to meet with the latest UN mission.
If I were the president of the US, I would have considered military intervention years ago to liberate Burma. But first I would have tried to find out whether Burmese wanted such help.
"Myanmar" is the name used by the dictators; the Burmese democracy movement asks people to reject that name.
The RIAA lost its case against Tanya Anderson. Now she is going to sue the RIAA for malicious prosecution.
Sequoia Voting Machines is trying to prevent the study of its machines for security flaws.
I'm not surprised that its letter used the term "intellectual property", because intimidation is what that term was designed for. Use of the term "intellectual property" nearly always indicates someone is either confused or trying to confuse the public.
See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html for more about this issue.
UK teachers condemned the government's plan for a biased (propaganda) description of the conquest and occupation of Iraq.
The UK environmental agency says that the environmental study of Heathrow airport extension was not properly done.
The idea of "balancing" desire to travel against pollution is obsolete in a world where global warming is driving the atmosphere and the ocean out of balance. I also suspect it is insincere, a public mask that hides a private surrender to business.
Government policies generally are too favorable to business, against the interests of the general public. Whenever this favoratism is reversed, as it ought to be, business screams bloody murder. Therefore, whenever business does not scream, most likely government policies remain too favorable towards it.
The US "terrorist" watch list is expected to have a million names on it by July, at the rate it is growing. Its maintenance is so shoddy that it includes names of terrorists known to be dead — entries that can cause real problems for living people with the same name.
When something is kept secret from the people it affects, whether it is so-called evidence against you, or the source code for the software you run, it is likely to conceal something very shoddy (no real evidence, bugs, etc.).
With three congresscritters on the list, out of some 450, one senator out of 100, and one senator's spouse out of around 100, it suggests that about 1% of Americans meet with harassment through the list.
Chinese police and soldiers in Tibet are said to be crushing protestors, since China has expelled all foreign journalists.
UK police want to record DNA samples of 5-year-olds in case they grow up to be criminals.
I think it is despicable to ask for fingerprints from library patrons, and I would refuse to borrow from that library.
The UK government wants to censor coroners' statements about preventable deaths of soldiers.
A thorough military study found absolutely no sign of contacts between Saddam Hussein and Al Qa'ida. Although the study is not secret, the Pentagon is trying to make the study inconvenient to obtain.
Salvia Divinorum is a short-term hallucinogen whose danger is close to zero. But some states and countries are prohibiting it anyway.
It would make more sense to teach people how to use it in comfortable situations, with friends, just as we do with more dangerous recreational activities such as mountain climbing. The reason that is not being considered is obvious: safety is not the motive, just an excuse. Those legislators are prejudiced against hallucinogens.
As violence increases in Iraq, the Clown regime has decided it is "safe" and will force 1,400 refugees to return there or starve.
Syria has been doing the same thing — and the Bush regime cited those "returning" refugees as proof that Iraq was safe.
A UN agency wants coca leaves to be illegal.
The Bush regime bailed out the bankers, and did nothing for the people whose houses they have taken. Meanwhile, it decided to ruin the man who wanted to prevent this.
How Palestinians can extend non-violent protest against the occupation
The Bush regime uses secrecy orders and reprisals to cover up its acts of torture.
The Clown regime plans to do live testing of Dirty Uranium weapons in Scotland.
A Guantamo prisoner's lawyer accuses the Pentagon of altering a combat report to frame him.
The site RateMyCop.com, which gave citizens a place to comment on the behavior of policemen in their communities, was shut off without notice by its hosting company. Apparently cops complained.
Police are accustomed to immunity for their violence and lies; they do not want anything to make it easier for citizens to have a way to complain.
Massachusetts citizens: phone your state representative and state senator in support of H.4468, the marijuana decriminalization bill.
In the US: tell the FCC that phone companies should not restrict organizations from sending you text messages at your request.
After Congress cancelled the DOD's "Total Information Awareness" program, Bush restarted it in the NSA. It looks at where who you talk with, by email and text messages. It tracks web browsing.
Combined with the Bush regime's general disrespect for human rights and rule of law, "We know everything" translates into "We can crush anyone at any time."
New York Governor Spitzer resigned due to a sex scandal: he paid for prostitution. So what?
It was hypocritical for Spitzer to prosecute people for prostitution while using the services of prostitutes himself. Of these two things, the one he should not have done was the prosecution. There is nothing wrong about being a prostitute, or being the customer of one. The law against this is unjust.
If you don't like prostitution, don't be a prostitute or the customer of one. I never have been, not out of disapproval, but because it is not what I want. I want to make love with my sweetheart, not just have sex. But if you would like sex with someone very attractive, and you don't need love to go with it, I don't see any harm in your paying a skilled professional sex-partner to please you, just as I pay skilled professional chefs and musicians to please me in other ways.
The EU is standing up to US pressure for surveillance of airline passengers.
Chinese police in Lhasa are fighting to crush large protests.
The US/UN occupation of Haiti has created super rich while making poverty worse.
The House of Representatives rejected immunity for illegal spying by telephone companies, and instead set up an official investigation with subpoena power.
It's a small step, but at least it is real resistance to tyranny.
Tibetan monks are protesting in Lhasa and Delhi against Chinese rule.
I recently read Born in Tibet, by Chögyam Trungpa. ("Reborn in Tibet" would be a better title, since he was considered to be the reincarnation of an important lama, and every aspect of his life was shaped by this.) The last third of the book describes his escape to India, going hungry and evading patrols, after Chinese troops attacked and destroyed monestaries and shot the leading monks for no particular reason.
Hamas proposed terms for a cease-fire (again), but Israel still refuses to negotiate.
The International Criminal Court wants Uganda to hand over the leaders of the Lords Resistance Army, who mutilated people and kidnaped children to be soldiers or whores. But Uganda's President Museveni has made a peace deal in which they will face traditional justice instead.
I tend to think Museveni is right in this, if the peace deal is a legitimate peace deal and not an excuse for a whitewash (and it sounds like it is the former).
The EPA dismissed a top scientist from a panel because she has written about the health dangers of a certain chemical. The companies that Bush works for consider this "bias".
Bush's Middle East commander resigned, apparently because he opposed invading Iran.
Maybe now Bush will go ahead with the attack he has been talking about for a few years — if the next commander doesn't quit too.
Iraq's Surging Violence.
Pepsi is using tiny donations to make Americans feel good about wasteful bottled water.
The article says how small the donation is, but does the bottle say? Usually such products are very vague: they say things like, "a portion of the proceeds will be donated". It is best to assign no significance to vague statements about donations to charity.
Schwarzenegger commutes daily by airplane, producing lots of CO2 and setting a bad example.
Sign the petition of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for better wages for migrant tomato-pickers.
60,000 soldiers who fought for Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. The Veterans Administration is skimping on their treatment.
It is typical Bush regime behavior to betray those whom it uses, unless they are rich and important enough to have special influence.
People who imagine that joining the US Army means "serving their country" are fooling themselves twice: even aside from the unjust wars of conquest that they are used for, this regime doesn't serve the country, only the rich people that control it.
UK police arrested people for giving food to the homeless, citing absurd distortions of the law as an excuse, but their real motive was to protect the sales of MacDonalds.
(This sort of thing has gone on in the US as well.)
Alabama Governor Siegelman was framed for political reasons and convicted in a dishonest trial.
The Society of Automotive Engineers dropped DRM on its journal following a boycott by the MIT Library.
The Clown regime plans to take fingerprints of domestic airline passengers.
They say they will destroy the records after a day "except when police want to keep them". Given the Clown's penchant for total surveillance, the police might ask to keep all of them.
In 2006, after the bogus "liquid explosive" scare, the UK began forbidding air travelers to take any carry-on baggage. If travelers arrived with laptops, they lost those laptops, because airlines said they did not allow laptops in checked baggage either. Although the UK changed that rule some weeks later, I decided not to take the risk of using airports in the UK. I recommend that everyone avoid them.
I am planning to visit the UK in a couple of months, but I will take the train in and out.
A New Guantanamo in Africa?
EU laws restricting sale of seeds are wiping out many varieties, just the opposite of what humanity needs.
The FBI have an unlimited back-door into the systems of a major cell phone network company. This allows the FBI to spy however it wishes, and with no one in a position to enforce the weak US laws that remain.
I once heard an interview with an expert on phone tapping and law. He said that, in the past, police were not allowed to directly operate on phone company systems or data. When they got an order for a wiretap, they took it to the phone company, the phone company implemented it, and the police received only the data that the order called for. That shows what a system is like in which laws defend people's rights.
In the US today, the law is just an excuse for the government to bully the public.
The FBI is spending 4 billion a year convincing losers to join in idle talk about plans for "terrorism", so as to put them in prison.
When US government agents say "We are protecting you from a big threat, but for national security reasons we won't tell you any details," we have to presume this is a lie, fabricated by a series of exaggerations. Calling a hand grenade a "weapon of mass destruction" is blatant dishonesty, and we cannot trust anything such a person says.
The US government has a history of lying about threats in order to get public support for something nasty. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which never happened at all. Until they let us study the "evidence" they have, and judge for ourselves what it really shows, we must dismiss it.
If they were interested in real terrorists, they would investigate Bush and Cheney.
US torture in the conquest of the Philippines, around 1900, was covered up, minimized and defended much as it is today.
The main reason for decreased killing in Iraq is not Bush's semipermanent troop increase, but hiring 80,000 Sunnis as mercenaries.
It does one good thing — it gives Iraqis some income. But it would be a crying shame if Bush succeeds in his war of conquest and avoids the prison sentence he deserves.
Bush's invasion of Iraq has made lots of Iraqi widows. Here's how they live.
Bush and Uribe fabricated an accusation that Chavez gave money to the FARC. Here's how they twisted the text. Both Clinton and Obama supported Bush in this calumny, calling Colombia's attack on the FARC negotiating team "defense".
Isreali extremists, whose religious school was attacked, say they will take revenge by stealing more of the Palestinians' land.
In effect, they have admitted that stealing Palestinians' land counts as violence against them. But the Palestinians that they thus attack are not chosen because of anything they did. They are simply those that happen to be "in the way". So this would be collective punishment, reprisals against civilians.
And what does this say about all the land these extremists have already stolen? If revenge is the way you look at this, the Palestinians are entitled to a much bigger one. On the other hand, this particular assault can be undone — by handing back the stolen land.
Guinea-Bissau has become a failed state under the control of drug traffickers.
I doubt that even a strong government would have prevented this. The traffickers can offer so much money that few officials would say no to it, and can also threaten to kill (or simply fire) anyone that did not cooperate.
The root cause of this problem is drug prohibition, which makes cocaine so expensive and profitable, and thus gives traffickers their strength.
Clown is continuing B'liar's policy of massive surveillance in every way possible, and has put over 1 million minors into its DNA data base.
The Burmese dictators plan a referendum on a new constitution that will ensrhine their power permanently. Anyone campaigning against this constitution faces imprisonment.
If we embarrass them enough, perhaps they will pretend that their constitution is not a constitution, like the EU ;-!
A Burmese witness tells of how the troops shot the protesting monks.
Aristide's supporters held a large protest despite repression by the UN occupying forces.
Governments trying to curry favor with China blocked several Tibetan protests.
Normal street levels of car exhaust cause stress reactions in the brain.
Clown's government is reevaluating targets for CO2 reduction, and may make them more strict.
At the same time, it wants to build coal-fired power plants that will greatly increase emissions.
There is no telling whether the plans to install coal capture storage will ever be implemented, or even whether it will work.
Long-term targets don't translate directly into action. So I am glad to read that the UK proposed budget includes substantial tax increases to discourage CO2 emissions.
The fact that stock traders disapprove of these plans is a sign they may be on the right track. To eliminate poverty and end global warming will have a substantial cost. The rich want to shrug that cost onto middle-class and working people, so they criticize any plan which doesn't do that.
Dalits in India still face caste prejudice even if they convert to Christianity.
One of Clown's ministers had to apologize for falsely denying that CIA torture flights used UK facilities.
The developed world needs to prepare for "environmental migrants" forced to flee their homes by climate change.
Since it is largely the developed world that generates the greenhouse gas, it is fair that it bear the burden of people made destitute by global warming.
Big drug companies spend twice as much on advertising as on research.
US citizens: tell your senators to support the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act. It will transfer subsidies from oil companies to renewable energy development.
US citizens: support noncommercial low-power radio in US cities. More information here
The government of Sri Lanka is accused of arresting hundreds of people and secretly killing them.
Is it sucking up to the Bush regime?
The UK Clown regime is trying to trick young people into getting biometric ID cards by offering "incentives" to trick them before they know better.
UK activists remixed the police paranoia posters to talk about police surveillance.
Now what we need is for people to print and post thousands of them.
The FBI uses cell phones as listening devices.
If I could count on the FBI only to do this to mobsters, I would not be worried about it. But under a regime that labels dissidents as "terrorists" and manufactures supposed "terrorist plots" in order to arrest people, while giving its cronies immunity, we must expect the FBI's capabilities to be used less and less against people doing wrong, and more and more against people doing right.
Until your government becomes a reliable defender of human rights, if you have a cell phone with batteries in it, you should warn everyone you come in contact with: "I may be carrying a bug".
Iraq has three civil wars in parallel.
Clinton says she will ban the use of mercenary "contractors" in Iraq. Obama doesn't want to go that far.
Note that the question is only meaningful because both of them plan to continue the occupation of Iraq. Nader for President!
Bush will veto a law to prohibit torture by the CIA.
He says this is to "protect" the US, but the real issue is how to protect people against government torturers (of all countries). A country that fails to oppose torture is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Electric companies use dirty tricks to get approval for dirty coal-powered electric plants.
Someone set off a bomb at the door of a military recruiting office when no one was there, then sent letters about it to the US capitol.
The US armed forces regularly drop bombs much more powerful than this one, and these bombs kill civilians for real, not just potentially. So they are in no ethical position to complain about this.
Nonetheless, this is a foolish way to protest against US military recruiting, since it many Americans will identify with the military and feel that the attack was against them. It is much better to do things that make the recruiters ridiculous.
Palestinians shot 8 Israeli religious students in a school associated with the colonization of Palestinian land.
Israel has killed some 50 Palestinian civilians in recent days. It would be unjust to condemn the killing of 8 and disregard the killing of 50.
Students protested their school's ban on hugs with a 20-minute group hug.
Global warming and resulting climate change are likely to empty Lake Mead by 2021, but severe water shortages are likely to start years before that. Don't move to Nevada or Arizona.
Global warming is likely to help tropical insects that feed on crops move to the currently temperate zones, where they could devastate whatever agriculture is left.
After burning all the oil, if the temperature increase has not wiped out civilization, we can burn gas hydrates from under the ocean bottom and make things even hotter.
40% of the ocean has been heavily affected by human activity.
The Colombian army invaded Ecuador to kill some FARC guerrillas, who were in Ecuador to negotiate freeing some of their hostages.
I suspect that President Uribe sought to sabotage those negotiations from succeeding, as well as to pose as courageous. If he had simply wanted to attack the FARC, he could have attacked them in Colombia, and could have attacked something other than a negotiating party.
The FARC is a terrorist organization, and so is the Colombian state. The government of Colombia (including Uribe and other influential politicians) has close ties with the "paramilitary" gangs that are a form of violent organized crime. These gangs attack union leaders on behalf of the companies where they work (see killercoke.org), and attack villages to drive people off their land and make them sell it. (I heard a speech by a witness/victim who now lives in exile thanks to help from Amnesty International.)
The fact that only the FARC is labeled as "terrorist", and the government of Colombia is not, reflects the corrupting influence of the US government. Truth cannot come from a base of lies.
Catholic Iraqis face attacks and kidnappings, and have had to flee from Mosul.
Democrats in the House of Representatives stood up to Bush on immunity for illegal spying, but they seem too timid to continue standing up to him.
The US government took away domain names to cripple foreign web sites about Cuba, without going to court, and without notifying the sites' operator.
The vote counts in Russia's parliamentary election are such round fractions that they must have been chosen by hand.
Leaked documents show the US tried to use Fatah to overthrow the elected Hamas government, starting in 2006.
Amnesty International condemns Israel and Hamas for attacks on civilians.
Palestinians have recently killed 3 Israelis, including one civilian. Recent Israeli attacks have killed over 100 Palestinians, and the UN estimates around 50 of them are civilians. Note how Israel tries to label everyone they kill as an enemy fighter. This sort of dishonesty resembles what we have seen from the Bush regime and the UK police.
Israel's cruel blockade of Gaza reinforces support for Hamas, because Gazans "have nothing left but their self respect".
The Israeli high court found a strained excuse to disclaim responsibility under international law for what its boycott does to everyone in Gaza. It completely ignored the principle that collective punishment of civilians is a war crime.
Bush claims he can govern Iraq without congressional approval, even to the point of making commitments for further wars.
Bush has long shown contempt for the laws Congress passes, with "signing statements". Now he is moving further, declaring contempt for whether congress acts at all.
Wikileaks won reversal of the court-ordered shutdown of its domain.
After Philip Morris' drew criticism for a program that funds possibly corrupt tobacco research at universities, it announced it would route funds to universities through a different path in the future.
Voters in Brattleboro, VT, voted to instruct the police to arrest Bush for extradition to countries prepared to prosecute him, if he appears there.
Of course, Bush should be entitled to a proper hearing before extradition.
Nine Inch Nails released an album with permission to copy, and seems to have made a lot of money from it.
The police in the UK are asking the public to report photographers that look suspicious. This is likely to result in harassing lots of innocent people, as well as building paranoia beyond what actual danger warrants.
In the UK, the ones most likely to take photos and use them in ways you may not like are the police themselves. You won't find them standing around on the street using cameras, since they have thousands of cameras preinstalled for the purpose. So perhaps people should call the hot line to report "security" cameras.
This campaign also seems intended to intimidate people away from trying to note down those "security" cameras, so it might be good to start a public project and get thousands of people involved. If you are in the UK, you can participate too.
The US Army systematically mistreats troops that complain of rape or sexual abuse.
US laws against "material support" for terrorism amount to imprisoning people for thoughtcrime.
That these suspects are censored and forbidden to tell their story to the public is in itself an injustice.
The plans to deport the man who was acquitted are another injustice — and the refusal to say why, combined with the absurd claim that this is for his privacy (while not allowing him to deny it), can only be treated as malicious tyranny. "Innocent until proven guilty" applies to individuals accused of crimes, but not to governments. When governments block us from investigating apparent acts of tyranny, we must treat them as guilty.
The end of the article quotes arguments that try to argue that we should tolerate this injustice on the grounds that otherwise the US government might do something even worse. It sure might — but the argument is fundamentally misguided. Each act of tyranny that is not resisted and defeated paves the way for further and worse tyranny.
If we wish to protect Americans from attack, these acts of tyranny should be the first priority to protect ourselves from.
"I was kidnapped by the CIA" -- the story of Abu Omar and the Italian prosecution of his kidnappers.
It is interesting that the CIA practice of kidnapping people and delivering them to other countries for torture began under Clinton.
Foreclosure Plans Benefit Banks, but Do Little for Homeowners.
This is what you get from government of the people, by the flunkies, for the corporations.
Public concerns about surveillance have helped to block the UK scheme to track all cars in order to charge for where they are driving.
However, the UK already tracks all car travel. That too is orwellian, and must be abolished, for freedom's sake.
War in Gaza and the possibility of peace.
Matt Gonzalez, Nader's running mate, shows how Obama's record does not accord with the hope that people have placed on him.
Of course, Clinton and McCain are worse.
In 1997, Clinton and Gore made the Kyoto treaty ineffective. The Senate had already ruled out any effective treaty.
Police attacked lawyers in Pakistan who were protesting Musharraf's coup against the Supreme Court. The former chief justice remains under house arrest.
The Dutch government is talking about banning a film that criticizes Islam. Its cited reasons are pure cowardice; the idea is to sacrifice the human rights of Dutch people to the demands of religious fanatics.
The maker of the film wants the Koran to be banned, so he is no supporter of freedom of expression, any more than Muslim fanatics are. Neither of them should be censored for this.
The Russian presidential election was rigged with a heavy hand. The main democratic opposition candidate was not allowed to run.
Kasparov's campaign was also blocked at the outset, with a crude maneuver whose only possible purpose was to spit on the idea of a free election.
The US continues fighting in Somalia.
I have seen no news for many months about the Ethopian troops that occupied Somalia "temporarily" and then showed no sign of leaving. Bush is lucky to have found a proxy dictator to occupy the country for him since he had worn out his own army.
Israeli "retaliation" in Gaza is killing lots of civilians. A child died slowly of a bullet wound because the Israeli bullets make it too dangerous to take her to the hospital.
In previous incidents, Israeli soldiers have shot people who were obviously not threatening them, and lied about it. If Safa's father had tried to bring her to the hospital, they might have done it to him.
Olmert threatens to kill even more Palestinians, saying he expects them to blame their own leaders for Israeli attacks.
Of course, that will not happen. They do want an end to the fighting, but Hamas offers that, while Israel rejects it.
Stiglitz: the Iraq war is causing the US recession.
The "war on terror" is bogus, says former UK minister Michael Meacher.
We have always known that the invasion of Iraq was planned because of oil and the other reasons offered were bogus. This articles shows that the same was true of the war in Afghanistan. The war was planned before the 9/11 attacks. The Bush regime rejected an offer to hand over Osama bin Laden, apparently preferring war, and then arranged not to catch him.
Meacher suggests that the Bush regime knowingly allowed the 9/11 attack to happen. I suspect that the regime helped it along.
Even Business Week admits that "US" multinational corporations' success does most Americans no good at all.
Business week used the propaganda term "intellectual property", so I should point out that this term is biased and confusion, and should never be used.
The major record companies got hundreds of millions of dollars from companies such as Napster, in the name of the musicians. Now they don't want musicians to get any of it.
If this money is distributed based on the frequency of infringement, nearly all will go to superstars, meaning that the contribution to supporting music will be essentially nil.
Two thirds of Israelis support talks with Hamas.
Some European Union leaders have demanded that Israel stop its attacks on the Palestinians.
Bush ridicules the idea of a meeting with Raul Castro because it would mean "embracing a dictator", but cheerfully announces his plans to meet with the dictators in charge of China and Saudi Arabia. People are not supposed to notice the double standard.
Only a person of no integrity can participate in the Bush regime.
Students in Tennessee are protesting a nasty bill to require schools to monitor students' Internet use.
Their proposed letter has one flaw: it repeats the propaganda term "pirated", giving it undue legitimacy.
Nonetheless, it is great to see students actively fighting back.
Palestinians face a water shortage because of several Israeli policies. Taking 80% of the water in the occupied territories is just the first of them.
19 years after the giant Exxon Valdez spill, which was not a mere accident since it happened because Exxon broke safety regulations, Exxon has defied the court and refused to pay damages. Now it hopes that Bush cronies on the Supreme Court will spare it from ever paying.
Palast mispronounces the digraph "xx". The correct pronunciation is like German "ch" in "ach".
The government of Afghanistan controls only 30% of Afghanistan.
(It's doing better than the "Iraqi" government.)
Republicans who support retroactive immunity for phone companies' illegal spying now want bigger cash payoffs.
The official 9/11 investigation report gave incorrect information about the alleged hijackers, hiding their contacts with a man tied to the Saudi government.
An Israeli journalist details the pervasive bias verging on deception that is normal in most of the Israeli press.
Bush forces veterans plan to meet to speak about the war crimes they committed or witnessed.
The ACLU and EFF are intervening in the Wikileaks case.
A CBS station in Alabama "lost its signal" for part of 60 Minutes — precisely the part that talked about political dirty tricks against former Alabama governor Siegelman.
I have not followed the Siegelman story and I have no opinion about him. However, there is certainly something sleazy in this blanked-out signal, and in the fire that destroyed the witness's house.
Since the beginning of the year, Palestinian attacks have killed two Israeli civilians, and Israeli attacks have killed over 40 Palestinian civilians. Each side says its attacks are reprisals for the other side.
(In later news I saw that both numbers had gone up, but the disproportion remains.)
Gush Shalom warned Israel: make peace with the secular PLO or face an Islamist enemy in Palestine. Israel did not listen, even helped this happen. Now Uri Avnery warns, make peace with Hamas or face a Taliban-like enemy.
The soldier who told about UK participation in handing over prisoners to the US for torture has been censored by the Clown regime.
Over 1% of US adults are in prison — a world record.
The president of the Obesity Society has been hired to lobby for restaurants against a rule requiring restaurant menus to give the number of calories in dishes.
Perhaps he thinks that the mission of his organization is to promote obesity.
The Bush regime has hushed up a US/Canadian environmental study of the Great Lakes because it found evidence that pollution is killing people in the region.
Save a copy of the report — if the Bush regime shuts down the Center for Public Integrity web site, you may need to post it somewhere else.
The UK sentenced people to prison for taking part in "terrorist training", which consists of activities such as paintball if your thoughts are wrong.
The judge claims that the crime here consists of actions, but since those actions are not a crime except when combined with certain thoughts, we can see that the judge is mistaken. This is thoughtcrime.
The US Air Force now censors what the troops read, as well as what they write. Troops are not allowed to read blogs, only the mainstream media that stay within a narrow range of "acceptable" viewpoints.
The FCC appears to have been irked by Comcast's meeting-packing and will hold another hearing.
The case for Israel to negotiate with Hamas.
A 1997 Microsoft internal memo called for recruiting phony "independent" supporters.
Israel confiscated and ransacked the schools run by a charity organization that it says is connected with Hamas.
The justification for that is rather strained, but shutting down the stores which were only tenants makes no sense at all. And a five-year prison sentence if the shopkeepers return to their shops is crazy. I can only interpret these actions as reflecting the desire to make Palestinians suffer on any excuse.
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 remain in limbo.
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.
Return to Richard Stallman's home page.
Please send comments on these web pages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) 2008 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.