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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
My intention is to make links only to publicly accessible, stable URLs. If you find a link to a page that requires subscription, please report that as you would report any other broken link.
Everyone: tell New York that going limp when arrested should not be a felony.
EPIC has filed a complaint with the FTC about Samsung's always-listening TV.
Giving special preferences to traffic from a particular web site violates network neutrality just like slowing down a particular site.
Obama, to promote the TPP, is repeating arguments that Clinton gave for NAFTA — and which proved false then.
US citizens: call on Obama to make sure the bee protection task force really protects bees.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose permitting states to divert federal education aid money to private schools. (That would, naturally, mean religious indoctrination schools in many cases).
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Russia is flying planes, including nuclear bombers, near Norway in an intimidating way.
The same is happening near England and in the Baltic sea.
The result will be increased military preparation — and spending &mash; all around NATO. Ultimately Putin won't have gained anything, but poor people in those countries will be the losers.
Three journalists for al-Jazeera have been accused of flying drones over Paris without a license.
The Eiffel Tower has new wind turbines that can generate enough power for its shops.
However, it would take a over million such installations (or equivalent) to avoid global heating disaster.
Three men were arrested in the US and charged with planning to go to Syria and fight for PISSI.
It appears they were encouraged by a secret FBI provocateur, without whom they might never have planned to do anything.
Predicting people's appearance from DNA brings a range of dangers.
Banksters swindled California school districts too. Then the Federal Reserve pushed them to hand the banksters even more.
Global heating could turn parts of Mexico into a dust-bowl, sending tens of millions of people fleeing to a US which is suffering from its own dust-bowls.
The right-wing attack on teaching US history is a long-term plan to roll back advances in human rights.
Apple said it would monitor its supply chain and prevent abuses, but that doesn't seem to have done much.
The reason is, Apple (or any other company that outsources production) is under no economic pressure to really prevent mistreatment of subcontracted workers. Its interest is only to silence critics. For Apple, the ideal response to the issue would be to silence critics with as little effort as possible.
These companies should be legally responsible for how those workers are treated.
A few UK thugs may be disciplined for trying to bully and bribe dissidents into spying on fellow activists.
However the rot goes deeper, and punishing a few thugs won't cure it.
Scotland plans a national ID data base like the one rejected at UK level some years ago.
Mexican thugs killed protester Claudio Castillo, a retired teacher who was sitting in a truck and addressing the protest through a PA system.
They also attacked a news photographer, smashing his camera, perhaps to get rid of evidence against them.
The methods of the "war on drugs" harm farmers, the environment, medical care and women's rights.
Something similar is being planned for Haiti.
A unit of unarmed women patrols a wildlife reserve in South Africa which has prevented poaching for the past year.
Ebola could develop a permanent presence in West Africa if we don't continue efforts to quash it.
Citizens of Massachusetts: resist fossil fuel lobby attempts to slow solar power development in Massachusetts.
Emma Thompson and Greg Wise say they will refuse to pay their taxes until the HSBC tax-dodgers are prosecuted.
Syriza has won some concessions from Europe.
A Florida thug attacked a homeless man to stop him from using a toilet. The thug has been punished with a paid holiday.
A "flat income tax" is unfair because it makes the non-rich pay the same tax rate as the rich.
A tax rate that rich people can easily cope with is a great burden for those who have less.
The decrease in tax rates for the rich, in many developed countries since 1980, is part and parcel of the loss of government revenue which is cited as the cause of cutbacks in vital activities.
In Louisville, a homeless man died on the steps of a homeless shelter which did not let him in.
The root problem is that the US has too few homeless shelters and does little to house homeless people. Thus, they have to compete to get a slot and inevitably most of them are denied one.
Republicans no longer try to cover up their dirty tricks; they think their grip on the US is so strong that they can openly attack the poor in any and every way.
This is a direct threat to human rights. Perhaps in Pakistan it can be justified as a temporary emergency measure for the guerrilla civil war now going on, but do they say it is temporary?
Sao Paulo is on the brink of disaster due to the failure of the usual rains.
This drought is no accident. It was caused by deforestation of the Amazon.
San Francisco may end up the same way.
The UK's teenage pregnancy drop is a triumph of progressive politics.
Murders, Threats And Duopoly: the State of Press Freedom in Mexico.
Assad's air force is dropping barrel bombs frequently on civilians.
Jamaica has decriminalized marijuana.
Banksters' bonuses in the UK since 2007 will soon add up to 100 billion UK pounds. That is 1500 pounds for each inhabitant.
It adds up to a giant drain of wealth from the rest of the UK.
The mayor of Caracas has been arrested and accused of planning to overthrow the government of Venezuela.
Greece's deal with Europe preserves a few gains, but it looks like Syriza has had to surrender most of its goals.
Greeks did not want to exit the euro zone, but they had hopes of getting a decent outcome without it. Now that Germany has declared Greece a colony, the question is whether Greeks want to take radical measures or surrender.
I am worried that Syriza will be corrupted by the desire to present this as something other than surrender.
At the same time, I don't see clearly what concessions Syriza has achieved, so I can't tell if they are enough to constitute a significant success.
Existing US laws provide a way to resist businesses that push workers into being "independent contractors".
I don't know whether this works for subcontracted workers, which is the case that is really needed.
The obstacles Greece faces in collecting taxes.
Al-Jazeera published a leaked tape in which an Egyptian minister called for shooting protesters with machine guns.
Changes in criteria makes it very easy to diagnose adults as having ADHD and prescribe medicines for them. It is great for business. Whether it is good for the people who take these drugs is not yet clear.
Underlying the issue of whether diagnosis is being done carefully there is the subtle question of how to decide that a part of the normal range of personality variation ought to be called a "disorder". Also the related but different question of whether these drugs do good for the people who take them.
The abortion and birth control clinic in Belfast is besieged by religious nuts that try to harass all women coming in.
It seems that the clinic needs to be able to transport women in and out by after meeting them at remote locations.
60% of Germans believe the political power of business denies them democracy. One third blame capitalism for poverty. 27% consider that government snooping is leading towards a dictatorship.
Is there a possibility in Germany to start a Spare Greece movement?
Verizon is slowing down phone line repairs in Manhattan to pressure customers to switch to fiber (which has disadvantages).
AT&T says that it charges $29 (i.e., about 30 dollars) a month for not profiling customers' browsing, but the real charge is $44 or $66 a month, for those clients who can find the option at all.
That deception deserves condemnation, but the worst part is that this doesn't even offer real privacy. AT&T still makes a list of the customer's web contacts, for Big Brother. All that money buys is that AT&T refrains from using that data for other purposes.
Chinese laws discriminate against women in many ways.
Around the US, children accused of crimes are often shackled in court, which can do them psychological damage that can steer them into a life of crime.
The US foresees around 10 oil train derailment accidents a year. Many of these will cause explosions.
The head of HSBC had a hidden Swiss bank account himself.
US citizens: Congress Is Poised to Introduce a Bill to Fast Track TPP so It's Time to Act Now.
US citizens: call on Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
Students swindled by the not-really-accredited "Corinithian College" have declared a debt strike to demand forgiveness for federal loans that supported the non-school's pretensions.
Netanyahu's political maneuvers have pushed Israel's relationship with the US to rock bottom.
Unfortunately the US has a while to go to reach what it should do: redirect its tremendous annual subsidy to Israel into dismantling Israel's colonies in the West Bank.
South Korea asked South Africa to spy on the head of Greenpeace in 2010.
London is being ruined by the complete abandonment of the idea of public space and public interest.
Masih Alinejad is campaigning against Iran's policy of forcing women to cover their heads.
Women (like men) should have the right to cover their heads; however, given the pressure (both legal and social) imposed on Muslim women to do so, resistance to that pressure is an important area of feminist campaigning.
The EU has brought forward its plan to try to make carbon emissions trading have some real effect, but it will still wait a dangerous three years before starting the plan.
I'd wonder why these officials don't grasp what "urgent" means, but in this case I think they are being paid not to understand.
Chicago thugs interrogate people including protesters in a secret site, denying their relatives and lawyers access to them.
Broadband internet from satellites could offer a way around state-imposed filtering and sleazy ISPs.
I foresee that some governments will ban it and maybe jam it. Satellite phones are already banned in India as an "anti-terrorist" measure, though any organized terrorist attack wouldn't be held back by this.
I would expect it to be worse in the US, but I don't know.
Several Republican pro-pollution bills are likely to be vetoed.
Overfarming is creating vast dust bowls in Africa and China.
Coral polyps ingest tiny pieces of plastic, then can't get rid of them. Filling up the polyp's gut with plastic could cause it eventually to starve.
The question is whether they will be killed first by out plastic pollution or by our CO2 pollution.
Putin is imposing religious censorship, and has made it a crime in Russia to offend religious believers.
This is just as wrong as his repression of political dissent. Placing Christianity above criticism is just as wrong as placing Islam above criticism.
The president of Australian's human rights commission says that the government asked her to resign because she embarrassed them by doing her job.
In France, "fighting terrorism" means racial profiling as well as more censorship.
Republicans in Wisconsin are about to demolish unions there.
The term "right to work" is deceptive propaganda, which really means that unions are kept unstable. This "right" is comparable to the "right to give up your freedom" that advocates of proprietary software claim exists.
Modi took a strong stand for freedom of religion in India.
Let's hope that he follows through and eliminates the forcible interference with Dalits that want to convert officially to Buddhism.
Modi also exposed Mother Teresa for what she really did: use poor sick Indians to promote her church (and raise money for it).
The UK government is sneakily imposing privatization of the NHS.
Spain arrested four people for "recruiting" for PISSI.
It is legitimate to ban recruiting for PISSI, but drawing the line between that and simply stating agreement is not easy. From the article, it seems that two of these people were really recruiting, but two just stated agreement. I'm afraid Spain is putting the line at the wrong place.
What leads Muslim teenagers in England to join PISSI? Perhaps feeling that they are outcasts plays a part.
Alaska has legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Legalized marijuana allows thugs to take people's homes based on minute violations of the legal limit.
The meat lobby is fighting new US nutrition guidelines that take account of the environmental impact of various kinds of foods.
PISSI kidnapped 90 Christians in Syria, to murder them I suppose.
An Australian peace activist has been convicted of the crime of "protesting in a restricted zone".
He had been given a specific, arbitrarily order to stay away. For a government to give arbitrary orders like that is itself tyranny.
Using different terminology enabled the people of Seattle to make improvements in transport means other than cars.
ALEC's pushes laws to cut off funds for labor unions so they can't be nuclei for resistance to plutocracy.
When Netanyahu said Iran was only a year away from building a nuclear weapon, he was lying; the Mossad had told him that wasn't so.
Websites that offer health advice track visitors and enable data brokers to find out who is sick.
The Department of the Interior Says There's a 75 Percent Chance of a Major Oil Spill in the Arctic — And It's Willing to Take That Chance.
Humans can take steps to hold off the effect of ocean acidification on valuable shellfish — for a while.
The New York/New Jersey Port Authority blocked distribution of blankets to homeless people so they would not get "too comfortable".
EU wants Paris climate deal to cut carbon emissions 60% by 2050.
But it may not be enough.
Funding from fossil fuel companies has gained them influence over many scientists and labs.
Several US universities have restricted admission of students from Iran, even banning professors from coauthoring papers with Iranians.
This is part of a general tendency towards overeager obedience to rules in violation of common sense. We see it also when schools punish students for drawing pictures of weapons.
It seems to represent taking fear to absurd heights.
The UK government ordered an adviser to keep silent about the link between suicides in prison and the cutbacks on staff levels.
One of Greece's concessions to the euro-zone is a crackdown on rich tax-evaders.
Previous Greek governments, bowing to the rich, didn't want to do this.
The idea of "human resources" stands for a dehumanizing attitude towards employees, and that's what "human resources" departments typically do.
On the other hand, they also get the blame for implementing decisions that are the responsibility of the management as a whole, such as to fire all the older workers on pretexts.
Getting rid of the "human resources" attitude is good, but it's not good that the legitimate functions of that department are being replaced by use of services that are SaaSS.
Due to cutbacks, many UK women fleeing violence at home have no place to go.
US power-plant lobbyists are running sock-puppet campaigns and "studies" to pressure against rules to limit carbon emissions.
Everyone: call on National Grid to keep its deal to buy electricity from the Cape Wind wind farm.
Alaa Abd el-Fattah, one of the leaders of the uprising against military rule in Egypt, has been sentenced to prison by the new military government.
Two al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt will be tried a second time for acts of journalism.
We can hope they are acquitted, but that shouldn't lead us to forgive the act of charging them with absurd "crimes".
Abbott made a deal with Sri Lanka's repressive President Rajapaksa, to hush up about his repression in exchange for his cooperation in stopping his cronies from carrying illegal immigrants to Australia.
Thai dissidents face imprisonment, accused of "insulting" the royal family.
Public pressure on advertisers is driving Rush Limbaugh's radio diffusion ever lower.
The Kurdish Peshmergas are being denied heavy weapons because the US thinks arming them would get in the way of stitching Iraq back together again some day.
The paradox is that the Peshmergas are the only forces on the ground that are really suitable for fighting PISSI. They have esprit de corps, they have battle experience, and they don't hate the Sunnis that PISSI dominates and conscripts the way Shi'ites do.
Alan Turing's family demand the UK pardon thousands of men convicted for being homosexual.
A Palestinian girl, age 14, says she was bullied into making a false confession in an Israeli prison.
The defense minister of Iraq denied the reported timetable for attacking Mosul which was stated by an unnamed US official.
There is no way of knowing which, if either, of these officials is telling the truth. Perhaps both statements are only for the home front.
An analysis of craters and scorchmarks shows that Russia is firing rockets at Ukraine.
Uri Avnery: violence against Jews in Europe is not anti-semitism. It's an outgrowth of the Israel-Arab conflict.
The No Depositor Left Behind Act would apply to banks the sort of measures that have been applied to schools.
Everyone: Tell BP to pay the full amount it owes for the Big Spill.
Pakistan has passed a law subjecting civilians to bogus military courts, and Pakistani newspapers are calling for the army to kill civilians without trial.
A poll in Massachusetts finds that citizens tend to believe misinformation that leads them to think pervasive surveillance could make them safer. This leads to public support for practices that threaten people and democracy.
The UK's extractivist ruling parties backed down from overtly privatizing the forests, and decided instead to sneakily achieve the same result without admitting it.
Billions of dollars are sucked out of Africa through corruption, which stunts development and keeps most Africans poor.
The non-rich in the US and many other countries are now getting the same treatment.
Oceans have thus far avoided waves of extinction, but massive damage is just over the horizon.
A Sea Shepherd ship intends to follow an illegal fishing ship until it has to go into a port.
Yemen has become effectively divided between the Shi'ite north and the Sunni south.
North Yemen and South Yemen were separate countries for a considerable period a few decades ago.
For everyone in Raqqa, life is a prison. Work is almost impossible, and school (for boys only) is PISSI propaganda.
This comes from someone opposed to PISSI, so it could be exaggerated, but most of it must be true.
Global heating denier Willie Soon gets his funds from the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel interests.
Big prisons that barely keep prisoners under control are bad for the prisoner and for the public. So why make them?
They must enable the companies to extract more money from the privatized prisons, with fewer staff.
Miami is already experiencing worse flooding due to global heating.
Global heating denialists measure from the last peak to obscure the long-term trend. So do inequality denialists.
Ohio's tax cut for the rich was supposed to benefit the non-rich through trickle-down. Now the figures are in — it didn't.
Many Americans demand that we all swear undying loyalty to thugs who might kill us for nothing.
It is a mistake to respond to this by giving up. We have just begun to fight against pervasive surveillance!
It is also a mistake to assume that, because there are so many different systems for surveillance, that it is useless to resist any one of them. Each victory in resisting one form of surveillance can strengthen the movement to limit all of them to occasions when they are legitimate.
UK law makes all migrant workers liable to abuse by their employers.
Joyce and George Gruss paid for a homeless couple to stay in a motel, but the motel kicked them out because they had no identification.
For motels to demand identification from guests is a police state practice. This is one of the reasons I generally avoid hotels.
After Abbott suggested that Indonesia should spare two Australians from the death penalty because of Australia's aid to Aceh after the 2005 tsunami, young fools in Aceh propose to collect money to give back the aid — to defend their bloodthirsty practice.
I can understand any Indonesian's resentment at Abbott's suggestion that Indonesia owes Australia special concessions in return for disaster aid. He was insulting, as he usually is. But Abbott and his disrespect for everyone is a distraction. The issue here is killing people. By doing that, Indonesians are bringing shame on their own country.
The US has proposed new regulations for undersea drilling in the Arctic, requiring more preparations to handle a big spill.
This is inadequate because there is no good way to handle a big spill, even in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Arctic will always be harder. More preparations could at best bring the Arctic case closer to the Gulf of Mexico case.
Since we need to leave 80% of fossil fuel in the ground, let's leave all the Arctic undersea oil in the ground.
A German court has limited when businesses can hire detectives to snoop on their employees.
Apps could track a portable phone's movements by measuring how its power consumption varies.
One more example of why you can't trust a nonfree program. Surely some are not malware, but you can never be sure of any of them.
Nonfree software does computing for suckers.
Muslims in Norway have organized to protect synagogues from attack.
Everyone: call on the movie academy (that gives Oscar awards) to reveal the diversity figures of its voters.
Everyone: urge Senator Wyden to listen to his voters and oppose the TPP.
Denouncing rule by the "extreme center".
Everyone: call on Judge Garnett to release the grand jury transcript about the killing of Eric Garner.
Tne NSA stole encryption keys from Gemalto, the world's largest maker of sim cards, which allows the NSA to listen to communications from billions of cell phones.
Christian extremists that oppose effective contraception are contradicting their stated goals by increasing the number of embryos that don't develop into babies.
I think we can model their behavior better by disregarding the reasons they proclaim, and supposing that what they really want is to use pregnancy as an opportunity to punish women that have sex.
The push for US colleges to punish someone every time rape is alleged tramples defendants' rights and threatens to punish people who did not commit rape under any definition.
Note the example at the end, of the male student who was banned from campus because he resembled someone else who had raped a female student, so he might trigger her painful memories.
Nonexistance - In response to Better Never to Have Been, by David Benatar.
Others have been imprisoned for "animal rights terrorism" just for operating a web site.
The New York Times considers decent wages for Indian workers as a failure rather than than a success.
750,000 Egyptians are still working in Libya, driven by poverty and population growth.
If people in a country take dangerous risks "so their children can get married", that country is on track to disaster and needs to reduce the birth rate as quickly as possible.
Everyone: call on Walmart and other clothing stores to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
The US is preparing Iraqi forces to fight to recapture Mosul.
I hope they can do it, but we have yet to see if any Iraqi army forces will fight against real opposition.
This is another example of how the legal system finds excuses to elevate its fictions over the facts. It also happens to systematically screw the poor.
Because Obama's health care program was designed to satisfy private medical insurance companies, it imposes a big tax form burden on people who get subsidized coverage.
A national health system would not have this problem.
Everyone: Call on General Mills to stop lobbying against dietary guidelines with less sugar.
How detective Zuley tortured a series of black Chicago citizens into confessing to murder, but he didn't operate alone. He had the support of the commander of thugs in his district.
It also prohibits display of men's and children's nipples, which would ban traditional practices and threaten a large number of people.
Hong Kong protest leaders face persistent harassment of many kinds.
US citizens: tell the USDA to withdraw its secret approval of a genetically modified pine tree, and consult the public about it.
Another issue about these trees is that the modification, which makes the wood denser, could interfere with their normal degradation.
Before any such tree is put into use, we need to develop reliable ways to keep its genetic modifications in check.
Obama's proposed rule changes for searches of computers would make it easier for the FBI to demand handover of data stored on servers in Europe.
Witnesses claim Russian bombers recently flew over England.
It fits Putin's general policy of probing anywhere he can cause trouble.
Fighting global heating and local industrial pollution on the US Gulf Coast.
Instead of "climate change", let's try to get people to say the words "global heating". The term "climate change" was imposed by the Bush administration to minimize the danger.
Ralph Nader tears into Canada's right-wing fearmonger Harper, who is channeling Dick Cheney about "terrorism" (i.e., environmental activists).
The Divestment Student Network asks university administrators, "Whose side are you on?"
This question is appropriate for other issues besides fossil fuels. It applies to all issues where the plutocrats use institutions to the detriment of everyone else, including for instance the scientists that have been corrupted by the sugar lobby's money.
In fact, we know whose side they are working for thus far. But many of them deny this — to the public and to themselves. Posing the question openly will lead some of them consult their consciences; in addition, we owe them the invitation to switch sides before we conclude that they are irredeemable.
James Risen calls Attorney General Holder America's "Chief Censorship Officer".
Holder is trying to pretend it isn't true.
The beginnings of legalization of marijuana in the US are reducing illegal marijuana imports from Mexico.
Thugs in Washington state killed a man who was surrendering to them. Now they are covering up some of the details.
Apparently they have something to hide.
The man had been throwing rocks at them, which would be a reason to charge him with a crime and arrest him, but doesn't justify shooting him when he had stopped.
Homeless activists have proposed a Right to Rest law, but no California legislator has been willing to sponsor it.
Fracking "flowback" water contains carcinogenic substances, and in California it is often pumped into aquifers.
The sugar lobby has funded so much dietary research that it has mostly gained control over the whole field, influencing the majority of researchers to close their eyes to the problem.
US war movies have mostly been very similar for 75 years.
There is, however, a change in that before 2000 they tended to teach that Americans were above such things as torture. Since then, they teach that torture is good as long as Americans are doing it.
The article does not mention a few prominent exceptions from the 1970s such as Apocalypse Now, which presented the US war in Vietnam as cruel and did not try to justify it at all. But few young Americans have seen those.
I should point out that there was a very important difference between the war against Japan and the occupation of Iraq. Japanese soldiers in World War II were fighting a war of conquest for the stated purpose of colonization, under the control of military expansionists who had taken control of Japan's government by assassinating politicians who disagreed with them; then, under the approving gaze of their emperor, they conquered parts of China. In 1941 they attacked the US and other countries, then went on to occupy Indochina, Burma, the Philippines and Indonesia. They promised the peoples colonized by European countries near equality under Japanese rule, then treated those peoples so badly (which included forcing thousands of women to be prostitutes for Japanese soldiers) that they welcomed US troops as liberators (and then fought in various ways for independence from the European colonial powers).
Only in India, which never experienced Japanese occupation, did enemies of British colonialism continue to regard the Japanese army as a potential ally for a while.
Obama told the FBI to curb its use of gag orders on PAT RIOT act data seizures, but the FBI has ignored the order.
US citizens: call for investigation of Alabama Judge Roy Moore.
Baby California sea lions are going hungry because their mothers can't find enough fish. This is caused by the warmer temperature of the ocean.
Uh oh, what will happen to them when we make the ocean much warmer?
World Bank Refuses to Consider Haitian Communities' Complaint about New Mining Law. It found an excuse to disregard the complaint.
Everyone: Implore California to block the Comcast/Time Warner merger.
Afghanistan and the Taliban plan to hold peace negotiations.
In order for the talks to have a chance of success, both sides need to prefer an agreement to no agreement. I have doubts that the Taliban would prefer an agreement.
Various protest groups in the UK say they will refuse to pay for permission to hold protests.
Lenovo sells PCs with rather nasty adware which also exposes them to attacks.
Most models in fashion shows are exploited much the way businesses exploit interns.
Kansas Republicans are considering excluding students from sex education if their parents are prudes.
Those students will have to figure it all out by trial and error. Some will get pregnant in the process. Republicans want teenagers to be at risk of pregnancy because that provides a supply of people to condemn.
Putin has used Russian censorship to convince Russians that uncensored information is their enemy.
Many other countries are starting along this route.
Republicans in Oklahoma are proposing to ban advanced placement US history because it mentions things in history that are unflattering to the US.
UK intelligence agencies have been illegally snooping on conversations between lawyers and their clients.
US citizens: call on the Federal Reserve to support Greece in resisting imposed austerity.
US citizens: call on the EPA to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which causes brain damage when children are exposed to it.
The UK has reached a higher employment rate, but this does little good for working people since most jobs pay so little.
The article ends by supposing that pay levels follow the productivity of labor, but that is a myth. Employers are happy to pay workers less than the value of their work, and the UK still does not have a shortage of labor.
The spread of the fossil fuel divestment movement, and the fossil fuel companies' counterattack, means that there is no room to be neutral.
The US is going to sell armed drones to other countries, facilitating assassination campaigns world wide.
Global heating will spread parasites that carry diseases. Often a parasite that currently is limited to one host species can jump to other host species when the host moves into a different ecological mix.
Pablo Iglesias: austerity means the end of democracy.
In other words, it is plutocracy.
David Hicks, former prisoner in Guantanamo, has been found innocent of aiding terrorism, but he still suffers from the effects of imprisonment.
He also says that the US and Australia knew he was innocent all along, and that his charges were a frame-up.
The Gates Foundation, following Gates himself, has a bizarre excuse for ignoring the danger of global heating.
The prisoners should receive the standard wages for work they do. To pay them less undermines the income of non-prisoners.
Proprietary software controlling disk drives, USB memories is a grave vulnerability.
I think the real solution is to design these peripherals so that no one can change the software in them through the usual interfaces.
Erdogan is pushing to give Turkish thugs more power to attack protesters, and the journalists that cover the protests.
Pearson makes giant profits on standardized tests that the US imposes on all students.
Greece has received temporary funding from the euo zone.
Venezuela foiled a coup plot.
We have to suspect that it was supported by the US, as was apparently the coup in Honduras.
The coup attempt cannot be justified, but Venezuela should stop acting against political opposition.
The Telegraph, of London, deleted a news story about gross and dangerous mismanagement at HSBC.
Melting ice is causing Iceland's land to rise, provoking volcanic eruptions.
Children that enter the US without permission are imprisoned for days in in cold cells without enough food.
Everyone: oppose the Florida bill to require people to use the toilets for the gender they were born with.
US citizens: call on energy secretary Jewell to block Arctic and Atlantic undersea oil drilling, and tighten other safety regulations.
US citizens: call on Congress to require paid sick leave for US workers.
US citizens: call on Congress not to overlook or forgive the wrongdoing of for-profit colleges.
We need stricter rules so they cannot lure students to get painful loans for a usually useless "education".
Poland will pay reparations to the prisoners that the US tortured in Poland.
Architecture designed to reject the homeless can be seen all over cities in the US, as well as in London as described by this article. It makes life worse for the non-homeless, too.
A Canadian intelligence report, made for Harper himself, denies that fossil fuels cause global heating and calls activists campaigning against fossil fuels a security threat.
The mounties (thugs that also double as an intelligence agency) are telling Harper what he wants to hear, much as the CIA did for Dubya about Iraq.
A torturer at Guantanamo brought his methods from the Chicago thug department.
A new Barbie doll will double as a listening device.
The remote service that figures out what Barbie should say next is SaaSS, which makes it unethical. SaaSS always involves spying.
It looks like plain packaging for cigarettes is reducing smoking in Australia. The uncertainty is because smoking rates were declining already, long-term.
What is clear that requiring plain paper packaging does no harm. And it does not violate any rights that people are entitled to.
Companies that sell dangerous drugs are not entitled to the right to package them however they wish.
I sympathize, but it would be very foolish for the US to imperil the success of nuclear disarmament talks for this.
Billionaire Polluters predicts that fossil fuel use will keep increasing for decades.
This is one of those predictions that would make sense if you ignore something very important: the collapse of civilization that such an increase in fossil fuel use would bring.
The story of Stephen Kim, imprisoned by the Obama regime for talking to a reporter.
European governments are proposing increased mass surveillance, expecting the public to swallow it from fear.
US citizens: tell Republicans, don't defund Planned Parenthood.
In Scotland: oppose the national ID database.
Everyone: call on McDonalds to stop using meat grown by feeding antibiotics regularly to animals that aren't sick.
US citizens: call on Congress not to renew the PAT RIOT act with massive surveillance.
US citizens: call on Obama to take US nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert.
Pussy Riot has released a song dedicated to Eric Garner: "I Can't Breathe".
The ruler imposed by China on Hong Kong, known as "the wolf", called on the people of Hong Kong to act like sheep.
Lots of nondemocratic regimes want to rule sheeple, but few admit it.
Thailand has done little to put an end to enslavement of fishing workers.
The desire to prohibit ketamine as a recreational drug is impeding its medical use (as an anesthetic and for treating depression). Even worse, the drug may be banned entirely.
A similar thing has happened in the US with pain medication: people who need it for pain are stopped from getting enough to help them.
Russian-supported "rebels" in Ukraine have captured Debaltseve.
At one point in 2014, Ukraine's forces were slowly but steadily defeating the "rebels". Then, all of a sudden, the "rebels" got a lot stronger and started advancing. There is only one way that could have happened: with Russian military support.
This point is important because it doesn't depend on believing either side.
The UK right-wing government is using "new models of care" (i.e., reform of some details) as an excuse to privatize parts of the NHS.
The finance minister of Greece stated in 2013 which aspects of Marxism he follows and which aspects he finds mistaken.
He also explained why he does not aim to destroy the euro-zone.
His experience with a first-class air ticket reminds me of an experience I had around 1990. I was invited to Japan along with Thomas Bushnell, developer of the GNU Hurd, and we were both given business-class tickets on the same flight. On arrival we found that we were both perturbed by the intensely servile attitude of the flight attendants, and perturbed even more by the idea that there are people who get used to this and expect it.
Fighting enslavement of domestic workers in Hong Kong.
The per capita GNP of the US is 140,000 dollars per person per year. Most Americans live on something like a tenth of that. The difference is a measure of exploitation by the rich.
Joseph Burrell was jailed for 4 months while his vitamins were tested to verify they were not illegal drugs.
Now he probably faces expensive jail fees. He may end up back in jail if he can't afford them.
The US Supreme Court ruled that it is ok to execute someone even if that person has been shown to be innocent.
Scott Walker, Republican presidential hopeful, is a corrupt liar that tries to crush politicians that oppose him.
He must have a good chance among Republicans.
The witnesses who got Linda Carty sentenced to death have said that they were blackmailed by the DA into lying.
Although US and NATO troops are not directly fighting much, the rate of civilian casualties in Afghanistan is the highest ever.
Republican governors are proposing tax increases that mainly hit the non-rich.
The EU obstinately demands to continue Greek suffering.
If the EU forces Greece to the breaking point, more can break than just Greece.
The Iranian state reluctantly allows Jafar Panahi to make films because they win international awards, but they can't be shown in Iran.
The Australian state which has the Great Barrier Reef has a new government that plans to make new laws to protect the reef, especially from agricultural pollution.
Women are being taught that it is heroic to die to save a fetus.
A fetus is only a potential person. The woman is a real person.
"Stamp scrip", which decreases in value over time if not circulated, might help Greece.
In general, Greece might be able to escape from crushing austerity by creating money other than euros. However, such schemes are tricky; one needs to navigate carefully between various pitfalls. Syriza's economists are no fools; perhaps they can do it.
I would expect all these schemes are banned by the EU and the euro-zone rules, but there may come a time when Greece must defy those rules.
We should not send humans to Mars while we don't know whether life exists there.
Ukraine's forces shot down a Russian drone over Ukraine, near Mariupol.
Russia's proxy "rebels" could not have captured it from Ukraine. It is conclusive proof of direct Russian participation in the war.
These "rebels" are on the offensive and have cut off Ukrainian forces in Debaltseve.
A UK newspaper's political commentator resigned, denouncing the paper for quashing coverage of the HSBC tax-dodging scandal in exchange for the bank's advertising.
Tories claimed solar power on farmland endangered UK food production, but documents show it had no basis to reach that conclusion.
It was just a handy fabricated excuse to boost use of fossil fuels.
In Iran's Orwellian world, the press are forbidden to mention former president Khatami. He has been declared an unperson.
Another oil train has exploded in the US.
An Indian millionaire beat his security guard for being slow to open the gate. The guard has died and the millionaire faces charges.
This arrogance of the wealthy shows in other ways in today's plutocrats.
How to Eradicate Poverty: Spend More on Wages And Strengthen Unions.
Just 30 dollars can build a tiny house with wheels that can give a homeless person what's needed to start working. As long as the thugs don't treat it like vermin.
Utah finds that paying market rates for housing for homeless people is a feasible solution.
In San Francisco, Jeff the trash collector became homeless after he was fired due to a drug test.
It does no harm if a trash collector uses marijuana while off duty. Mandatory drug tests ruin lives for no reason. We must stop them.
Many Americans can't afford bail when charged with crimes, so they have to stay in jail until trial. Since they are required to pay for being in jail, they are jailed again for non-payment even if they are acquitted.
Some plead guilty to a crime they didn't commit, just to get out of jail.
A list of restaurant and fast-food companies that say they will stop using meat made with regular use of antibiotics.
Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative explains how executions dehumanize everyone involved.
PISSI has imposed cruelty to women beyond even Saudi Arabia. Many women will be unable to survive this for long.
Rather than dying passively, they should shoot PISSI supporters or make suicide attacks against PISSI.
PISSI has raped so many women and girls that Iraqi society is on the verge of realizing it is wrong blame the victim of rape.
I suggest offering those ostracized women a chance to recover their self-esteem with military uniforms, weapons, and training. They will fight like demons against PISSI, once they see they can.
Much of the US has been shut down by a big snow storm coming on top of several other big snow storms.
Most Americans probably don't know that this is one of the indirect effects of global heating.
Sudan confiscated the entire print run of 14 newspapers. It is not clear what story the government was censoring.
Begging is a crime in England, and the number of prosecutions has greatly increased in recent years.
To ban begging could be acceptable in a society that offers everyone (without exception) some decent alternative. Under a starve-the-poor government, this is just one more nail in destitute people's coffins.
The Tories have spread a "climate of fear" in the NHS; staff that see bad patient care are afraid to report it.
This is coherent with the Tory goal of cutting the NHS as much as possible. The less people realize how bad the consequences are, the farther they can go.
A St Louis thug turned off a car camera, after yelling out to other thugs (in effect), "Don't beat him up yet, the camera is still on!"
Regardless of other details, this should put those thugs in jail.
AT&T plans to charge fiber customers around $30 a month extra for not tracking their internet activities.
I've read that the main US ISPs already keep records of users' internet contacts for use by Big Brother. And AT&T already keeps lists of people's phone calls since 1988 or so. Apparently what AT&T charges extra for is merely not to use the data for its own purposes.
I think most Americans will forego privacy rather than pay $400 a year, because most Americans are on the edge of broke. They might pay for privacy if they could afford it, but they can't afford it.
If this occurs, it will demonstrate that the idea that "you own the data about you" does little good for the privacy of people who can't afford not to sell it.
People should not have to pay for privacy. Privacy should be built into the system.
Liberals (in US terminology) are better than conservatives at overcoming cruel instinctive disgust.
Ask Republican governors: why in your state do the rich pay a lower tax rate than the rest?
You can ask Democratic governors the same question.
Cancel the 2024 Olympics to reduce global heating.
If we surrender to murderous religious fanatics by silencing views that offend them, it will mean one can offend only decent, civilized people.
Many states punish prisoners for using social media (usually, being used by Facebook). A single post can be punished by a year's solitary confinement.
Solitary confinement for extended periods of time is a form of brainwashing and should not be allowed at all.
Rehabilitation includes teaching prisoners better life habits, and not being used by Facebook is a good habit. But this is the wrong way to teach it.
The South Carolina law seems to punish even writing an article to be posted on the internet.
The latest UK right-wing technique to divide people is to condemn poor people who are fat.
Many poor people can't afford non-fattening food, or can't buy it near where they live. If the proposal were to correct these problems, all the poor would rejoice. But that would be too helpful for any right-wing politician to consider. Their goal is to find excuses to punish the weak.
I predict that their "treatment" will consist of cutting welfare benefits for the obese, to compel them (and their children) to go hungry until they slim down.
It would take a 60% tax bracket to stop the growth of inequality in the US. Let's do it!
The article explains a lot more about the causes of growing inequality and what methods would or would not stop it.
Dozens of UK employees involved in arms procurement are working directly for arms companies.
How the subtleties of how humans understand categories creates a tendency towards racism.
Standard thug interrogation methods can implant false memories of crimes that never occurred.
Psychologists spending just 3 hours talking with subjects got 70% of them to vividly imagine committing crimes that didn't happen.
This is another reason to refuse to answer the thugs' questions without a lawyer present.
A Guantanamo prisoner suffers lasting medical problems due to torture of his rectum years ago.
How Libya sank into a battlefield for competing warlords.
In 2011, I endorsed the Western intervention to stop Gaddafi from massacring the rebels. At the time, it seemed there would be hope for Libya. Was this idea wrong from the beginning, or was this outcome contingent?
Of course, "just" killing a dictator does not make everything fine, but the intervention was never only about that.
Some argue that European countries should intervene, but it is not clear what they could do.
Corruption in Sierra Leone drained 1/3 of the government's funds for fighting Ebola, in the period through October. This may have greatly increased the number of deaths.
The proposed Ukraine cease-fire never got started; war is heating up.
What can we learn from the terrible consequences of western intervention in Libya?
20,000 Nicaraguan sugar farmers have died in 10 years of chronic kidney disease, which is traced to working conditions. The Sandinista government has sold out to the plantation owners, which regularly cheat the workers out of medical benefits in order to avoid paying for their treatment.
The government has also betrayed the women of Nicaragua by banning abortion, which is part of the reason that men in Chichigalpa can't find any work except that which kills them.
If the company had to pay compensation for working people to death it might start treating workers decently. But that would cost a little more, and the company competes with companies elsewhere that probably work farmers to death too. Thus the globalization of business power kills people around the world. Nicaragua would be better off if it refused to compete this way.
Rodney Reed is about to be executed in Texas, apparently framed by the thug who was the real murderer.
China is building cities on farmland, while it does not have enough farmland.
The Satanic Temple: an ethical movement calling itself a religion as a legal fiction.
The fundamental flaw in supposing that "big data" will easily solve all problems.
US citizens: call on food companies to reject genetically modified apples.
US citizens: Obama, tell the Navy to protect marine mammals from loud sounds.
Boston's mass transit system is putting remote-viewable video cameras into buses, violating everyone's privacy in the name of reducing crime where it is already rare.
This sort of camera ought to be illegal except with a specific court order for a specific reason.
In the UK, the influence of Christianity is decreasing and many young Britons are becoming Atheists.
I rejoice in this, but I regard it as dangerous that the phenomenon does not include Muslims. We need to find a way to reach them with the secularist message. Otherwise, millions of Britons who drifted into a vague secularism might be vulnerable.
The competitive pressure on today's college students, due to the lack of jobs, has driven a large fraction to use concentration-enhancing drugs.
The drugs are not unfair to students who are poor, since they are cheap. They put those with a bad reaction to the drugs are at a disadvantage, but I don't see that that is worse than the advantages and disadvantages we get from all sorts of other variations.
The issues I think do matter are (1) possible long term harmful medical effects, and (2) changing what people learn from college.
One person quoted in the article said that college is a "cognitive enhancement", but that is misleading: it suggests that the intended result of a college education is only a matter of concentrating better. The idea used to be that college would teach people a deeper understanding of what they think about.
Many UK working people haven't got the cash to buy a refrigerator, so they rent one and end up paying 3 times as much.
Some children there don't get enough food and their growth is stunted by malnutrition.
Climate scientist Alan Robock believes that intelligence agencies are concerned that geoengineering might be used as a weapon, and he is concerned too.
However, no such technology is ready for the short term for any purpose.
Law for Sale: Senators that voted for Keystone XL got an average of 1/4 million from oil companies.
Blacks in London (as in New York) can't reliably keep appointments because they are likely to be stopped by thugs on vague floating suspicion. Of course, it is worse in New York City.
Scientific papers that purported to find that plain packaging in Australia did not reduce cigarette use were funded and then checked by a tobacco company. Its substance is criticized as invalid, too.
Due to perverse court rulings, only criminal defendants can challenge the legitimacy of massive surveillance — and only when they get notice that the prosecution depended on this. So the US government is deceptively abolishing defendants' right to receive notice.
Local initiatives to improve local economic conditions or equality may palliate the injustice of the plutocratic state, but don't do much good in the long term.
The term "market state", used in the article, understates the injustice. If these states claim to provide "economic opportunity", that's a misleading claim: opportunity for the rich to get richer is the only "economic opportunity" that they care about. If they valued properly functioning markets, they would not keep hands off when banksters rig markets.
The right term for these states is _plutocratic_. They are plutocratic governments of occupation.
It is unfortunate that the article uses the overgeneralization "intellectual property", since that lumps together laws that have almost nothing in common and raise totally different issues.
An assassination attempt against cartoonist Lars Vilks was presumably the work of an Islamist fanatic.
An American shot three Muslim students in the US as they slept. It is not yet clear why, but he seems to hate religious believers.
I think religious believers are making a mistake in a particular area, but they can be good people and good friends nonetheless.
Historical disinformation by video imagery began 100 years ago in the US with "Birth of a Nation".
The tradition continues today with movies that glorify torture and shooting civilians of occupied countries.
Scholars say China doesn't censor all internet criticism of the government — it focuses the censorship on anything that might lead to a physical campaign of action.
In Argentina, assassinated prosecutor Nisman's charges have been brought against President Fernandez.
Progress in abolishing laws that discriminate against women is slow in many countries.
China is serious about attacking corruption, even at great short-term cost.
In India, Christians are sometimes the targets of Hindu lynch mobs.
These Christians were forest tribals that did not want to be incorporated into Hinduism as untouchables.
These benefits are already inadequate, but every little bit that they can take from the poor will make poor people appear more grubby, helping to justify hurting them even more.
UK officials claimed a treaty with France prevented prosecution of HSBC tax evaders, but French officials responded out that there is no such limit in the treaty.
Those right-wing sellouts are fabricating excuses again.
The US is moving towards reapproving oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea, disregarding the danger of spills.
SWAT teams, which consist of thugs that are effectively soldiers, carry out 50,000 raids a year in the US. Nearly all of them are unnecessary. A retired thug chief suggests how to demilitarize the thugs.
That won't make America safe from thugs — thugs without military weapons kill plenty of Americans — but it is an important reduction in the danger.
The newly approved GM apple is designed not to turn brown when it gets old. That way, stores selling precut apples can hold on to them for days and you won't be able to tell.
Other possible dangers of the GM apple.
Uri Avnery: casino mogul Sheldon Adelson commands Netanyahu as well as US Republicans; he is behind Netanyahu's speech to the US Congress.
What Hollywood wants from the TPP is the power to put Americans in prison for sharing.
PISSI supporters have taken over parts of Libya and plan to kill Egyptian Christians that they captured.
If it is not limited to Iraq and Syria, I suppose we must now call it PIS, the pseudo-Islamic state.
Fossil fuel divestment now targets banks that invest in fossil fuels. People are moving their money out of those banks.
The big US banks helped cause the fiscal crisis, and we have been invited to move our money out of them for that reason.
US citizens: call on the Federal Election Commission to investigate Scott Walker's apparent violations of campaign finance laws.
Everyone: call on Chicago Mayor Emanuel to support the measure for reparations for victims tortured by Chicago thugs.
US citizens: call on Congress not to exclude wolves from the endangered species act.
New York thugs continue shackling prisoners that are giving birth even though that practice is illegal.
Hospital staff could put an end to this if they stood up to it. They could even require the thugs to sign a contract that they will not break this law, before allowing them into the hospital.
The three main British parties agreed to cooperate in reducing CO2 emissions.
However, since the Tories pledged to do this when they were elected, and then did the opposite, I think the agreement is worthless. Nothing can make them really go against their masters.
Republicans in state legislatures are looking for opportunities to discriminate against queer people.
Bruce Schneier has endorsed the idea that we need to stop digital systems from tracking what we do.
I am glad to see this get support.
Two al-Jazeera journalists that were imprisoned in Egypt have been released on bail pending a new trial.
It is good news, but it is misleading to say they have been "freed". They may yet be convicted again, and simply being in Egypt exposes anyone to the risk of being accused of new crimes.
We should condemn tax avoiders as well as correcting the loopholes they exploit.
PISSI boasts of success in polarizing the world, making people get involved in war either for or against PISSI.
For a US mainstream media pundit, violence that succeeds in movies has to be the right approach for the US.
It is wrong to accuse the pundit of believing Rambo exists. Of course, he knows that Rambo was a fictional character. What he doesn't realize is that the story was not merely fictional, but systematically distorted from reality. It is easy to write a story so that the "good guy" wins and nothing bad comes down as a result. Getting such a good result in reality is a lot harder.
Every year, hundreds of orcas converge on Bremer Bay, but undersea oil drilling could wipe that out.
Demanding photo ID for use of food stamps is the latest idea for shaming the poor.
Governor Walker's public school cuts forced schools to lay off many junior teachers — so Walker blamed that on their union.
Typical plutocratic tactics so far, blaming the non-rich for the harm he has done them. But he got the mentioned teachers by name as examples for his point, getting the facts about them wrong, so those teachers had a chance to lecture him about it.
Australia's uranium may be used in India to build nuclear weapons.
Studies find that in Florida and Colorado, giving homeless people housing would be cheaper than dealing with them as homeless people.
However, housing them would strike Republicans as unjust: if they are poor, Republicans assume it means they deserve poverty.
The US nearly pushed Atlantic sturgeon to extinction, but with some protection they may be starting to recover.
Everyone: call on Louisiana to allow Albert Woodfox's release from prison.
US citizens: call on Congress to expand social security, not cut it.
The massive expansion in Americans' prisons contributed little to the decrease in crime rates of the past two decades.
US imprisonment does tremendous human damage. Whether it harms the economy depends on who you include in "the economy". It may be good for the plutocrats in general. since some of them profit from prisons or employ prisoners as slave labor, and the rest consider many Americans superfluous. Prisons (which tend to kill prisoners who get sick) may be their method of choice to dispose of the superfluous.
Humans put 8 million tons of plastic into the world's oceans each year, which fills them with pollution, and without management efforts this could increase by ten times in the next decade.
That would be something like 1 kg of floating plastic for each 3kg of fish. But even worse is the plastic that the fish eat.
Israel has rejected responsibility for killing Rachel Corrie.
Global heating will give the US decade-long droughts, worse than anything seen for 1000 years. Droughts such as wiped out entire civilizations in the past.
California's drought is already the worst in 1200 years.
HSBC hid money for people accused of serious crimes.
Arizona's reactionary government plans to cut education to open more prisons.
US oil refinery workers are going on strike because the owners skimp on safety to increase profits.
Ukraine and Russia have made another cease-fire agreement.
After several cease-fires have failed, I don't see much hope this one will hold. But it is worth a try.
Bob Nygaard, detective of psychics, gets them prosecuted for defrauding people.
No one can really do what these psychics claim they can do. Up to a point, people can innocently fool themselves that they are psychically healing people, just as people can innocently fool themselves that others are doing so. But when it gets to be big time, it can hardly be anything but fraud.
They should face punitive taxation, not subsidies!
In wealthy Norway, who are the homeless people that need to beg?
A road typically brings deforestation and pollution.
Automation of dealings with humans means that machines now make the decisions and humans can only obey.
In freedom of the press, the US isn't number 1. It is number 49.
The replacement of factory workers by robots is accelerating.
This means more profits for companies, and even fewer good jobs for the non-rich. All in all, it is a change for the worse.
What we need now in the developed world isn't more efficiency in factory production, it is to give the non-rich as much of a share as they had a few decades ago.
Australians and Americans joined to tell the US Export-Import Bank not to fund a coal mine in Australia.
Virginia is considering a law that the state can't take people's property for merely accusing them of a crime.
A controversial UK "tax incentive" for wealthy people turns out to be a way for many of them to avoid all taxes everywhere.
Papa John's pizza in New York City has cheated workers out of nearly a million dollars.
Kevin Davis called the thugs for help, so they came and shot him dead.
It took him two days to die, and the thugs kept his family away so he could not tell them anything.
Coral face another threat: heating helps coral-eating starfish.
Assad's forces are attacking the non-jihadi Syrian rebels, who have lost a lot of ground in the past two years to al-Nusra and PISSI.
Publicly owned banks are profitable as well as helpful to the public, but the current wave of plutocratic treaties threatens to destroy them.
The Turkish government is imposing sectarian education.
The global heating denialists' latest absurd claim: scientists correcting thermometer data for variations in measurement methods are conspiring to fabricate an appearance of global heating.
These people know that no lie is too absurd, if manipulated media will present it as plausible and corrupt politicians will vote for it.
Vast fields emitting bubbling methane have been detected in the Arctic.
This could mean we are sliding to the edge of the global heating cliff too fast to stop no matter what we do.
Christian anti-sex education taught Elizabeth Smart that being raped made her worthless. So she thought there was no point escaping from her kidnapper.
The UK recognized at the time that what it did to some IRA suspects in the 1970s constituted torture.
Fossil fuel company PR companies are making absurd campaigns against the divestment campaign.
Thugs considered Sureshbhai Patel suspicious because he replied "No English" to their questions, so they beat him up and left him partly paralyzed.
Obama is asking for authorization for unlimited global war against PISSI, including use of ground combat troops anywhere in the world.
The UK thugs are forgetting what a free society means.
A privately funded IUD donation program has driven down Colorado's rate of abortions and unplanned births. Now it needs public funding, but Republicans want to kill it.
Lynching in the US was a form of racial terrorism, and its consequences still affect US race relations.
The claim that capital punishment replaced lynching seems to be mistaken or perhaps garbled. The US had capital punishment since the beginning, as did other countries. Abolition of capital punishment in some countries (and some US states) is more recent than that.
The plan to protect Monarch butterflies, while allowing their prime habitat to be destroyed, is inadequate in various ways.
Unemployment causes 45,000 suicides a year worldwide, finds study.
Stores that sell surplus food could help poor people to afford food.
Malaysian cartoonist Zunar has been jailed and faces criminal charges for suggesting Anwar Ibrahim's judges were corrupted by the government.
By simply making this a crime, Malaysia shows it spits on human rights. It has plenty of company, but this is wrong for any country.
The head of Turkey's constitutional court warns that Erdogan is subverting the court system.
The US government distributes suggested criteria for rating people for "susceptibility" to terrorist ideas.
This reminds me of the way the Soviet Union and China rated people for their class background and punished those of bourgeois origin.
The reason that the UK has not prosecuted HSBC for tax evasion and other crimes is obvious: the UK kowtows to banks.
The UK's system of punishing the unemployed and disabled has driven about 50 identified people to suicide, but the true number must be far more.
This is another reason to insist on anonymous purchase. Don't be tracked — pay cash!
A security investigator published a list of 10 million username/password pairs, as a basis for research.
He took precautions to avoid hurting anyone, but he still feels afraid.
John Kiriakou said that revealing CIA torture was worth it and he would do it again.
There speaks a real hero.
The FBI is targeting activists against tar sands oil (and the Keystone XL pipeline, I expect).
It may be intended for intimidation rather than to get real information.
The FBI ought to be investigating those that are trying to build the pipeline. That's part of a much bigger crime: attempted mass murder, and it may yet succeed.
Working to reduce solitary confinement in US state prisons.
The example of Mohammed Toiman, age 13, shows how the US systematically lies about the victims of drone bombings.
Every victim is presumed "terrorist enemy" until other people prove otherwise, and even then the presumption is not fully dropped.
It is possible that increased inequality leads directly to increased risk of big recessions.
US citizens: phone your congresscritters and senators to oppose the DARK Act that would ban states from requiring labeling of GMOs.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Poor people in the UK pay triple the usual price.
In the US poor people often have to pay a lot more for food than everyone else does.
The FCC is trying to make the phone companies offer backup power for fiber lines that provide phone service, so that it won't be a step back from copper wires in an emergency.
Here's one situation where it would have been much much better not to allow all the "baby Bells" to merge into giant companies. The smaller companies would be less able to pressure the FCC to disregard the public interest.
Philadelphia thugs face multiple charges for doing the standard thug thing: beating a man bloody and making false accusations against him.
What is unusual is that they were prosecuted when the facts came out.
However, the thug that killed Seth Adams is protected tenaciously by the system that shuts its eyes to evidence exposing the thug's lies.
US employment has increased substantially in the past year, but wages have increased only where states or cities have raised the minimum wage.
This means that a little bit of recovery is trickling down from the plutocrats. But not much: the jobs that are being created are mostly lousy ones. And in the states controlled by Republicans, people have not got a raise.
American heroes who tried to stop the government's torture.
Bernie Sanders: the struggle for the US now is to stop it from becoming an oligarchy.
The US media systematically overlook wrongs committed by the Ukraine government in covering the war.
The UK has trouble putting more money into workers' pockets because it has put so much into banksters' pockets.
The UK government pledged to be the "greenest ever", then spent 300 times as much on fossil fuels as on renewable energy.
The desperate migrant construction workers in Abu Dhabi are punished if they complain about illegal treatment.
Mohammed Tuaiman, age 13, was killed by a CIA drone attack, after relatives were killed in other CIA drone attacks.
The CIA had decided that the men in his family belonged to al-Qa'ida and attacked them repeatedly at home, never mind the bystanders.
If Europe signs the TTIP it will become powerless to regulate US internet companies.
This Treaty Is Plutocratic. We know the details will be bad; the only doubt is precisely how bad. Europe is fortunate that Greece said it will kill the TTIP, but people must continue the struggle until the stake is in its heart.
Google dodges taxes in Australia, exporting profits through subterfuges, as in many other countries.
The anti-corruption Aam Admi party has won big in the local elections for Delhi.
Anwar Ibrahim, the main opposition leader of Malaysia, has been convicted of having homosexual sex.
This verdict was unjust, regardless of what Anwar Ibrahim actually did, because it is wrong to forbid homosexuality. This injustice is widespread in regimes dominated by repressive religions such as Islam and Christianity.
The government suggests that his assistant brought the case. Does the assistant claim Ibrahim raped him? Powerful men do sometimes act that way. But it is also possible that the political establishment pressured him to make a false charge.
A Guantanamo kangaroo court hearing was recessed because defendants recognized a former CIA torturer as part of the staff of the court.
Even though the rules of these "military tribunals" are enough to make the trials unfair, the government does not consider that sufficient and looks for various ways to sabotage the defense.
Perhaps rich dissident Saudis funded the September 2001 attacks.
I do understand the difference between funding the Afghan Mujahidin and funding the September 2001 attacks. The article first says Moussaoui claimed Saudi royals did latter, then it says he claimed they did the former. I suppose the author just got confused in writing, but which did Moussaoui say?
Freedom House reports that the level of freedom has been predominantly declining for 8 years.
Peter Watts: If privacy is really dead, why are so many still trying so hard to kill it?
(I've pointed out before that "Your cause is lost, give up" is a sign that it is still possible to resist.)
The state says it should see everything to "keep us safe", but that makes many of us less safe.
A thug in Utah broke Danny Baker's prosthetic arm when he insisted on handcuffing it behind Baker's back. Thugs denied Baker medical care and made false charges against him.
Suing the city will compensate Baker for the damage, which fortunately wasn't permanent. It will not deter thugs from acting like this … again, and again, and again. We must prosecute and jail individual thugs for brutality and for perjury.
Fanatical Christians think it is "beautiful" that rape can make women pregnant.
It may become possible to transplant uteruses into men so that they can carry a pregnancy. Perhaps Republican men should be invited to carry the "beautiful" pregnancies that women don't want for whatever reason.
Specific examples of how HSBC helped its clients do bad things.
Some of these actions are crimes, and some are clearly wrong. Others furthered activities by clients which are or should be illegal. Fundamentally, governments have the responsibility to block companies from sending their profits untaxed through the frontier.
The US government is going to grow milkweed to help monarch butterflies survive the effects of massive use of Roundup.
The use of pesticides is a form of habitat destruction, which (as usual) threatens a whole ecosystem, many species at once. Normally, protecting on threatened species is done by protecting the habitat, which protects all the species that live there.
This peculiar method of protecting monarch butterflies avoids protecting its habitat and thus avoids protecting the other species threatened by Roundup.
Earthjustice has sued to block EPA approval of the herbicide 2,4-D for massive use with GMOs.
The US media won't tolerate Brian Williams's little lies, but what about the big lies that enabled Dubya to invade Iraq?
US citizens: call on Congress to call on Saudi Arabia to free Raif Badawi.
Bahrain shut off a TV channel for giving an interview to an opposition leader.
Bahrain calls the opposition "extremists".
The FBI has monitored black writers from 1919 to 1972, analyzing their work for political potential.
We Can Start Leaving the Oil in the Ground Right Now. The idea is to apply the plan that President Correa proposed for oil in Ecuador. He gave up on it because the world did not contribute the money. Maybe now it will.
Global heating is changing US ecosystems, reducing the amount of carbon they absorb.
In experimental plots, this has happened faster than was predicted.
This is a positive feedback that could accelerate global heating.
Global Warming Is Causing More Extreme Storms. This has been measured in the US and elsewhere.
The US has a PR campaign to whitewash the Vietnam War, so people will forget how bad and wrong it was for the US to fight it.
The US IRS received leaked files in 2010 showing how HSBC helped clients evade US taxes. Now the files have leaked to the public, and people want to know why the IRS has done to prosecute those clients and/or get the taxes they owe.
After Obama has gone so easy on businesses in so many fields, we must worry about whether he did it this time.
A school thug attacked a girl in middle school (under 14 years old); her sister and cousin tried to save her, so he attacked them with a stick and pepper spray. One of them needed stitches in the head.
Then he made false charges against them (standard thug practice). Isn't that a crime? With such good proof, will he be prosecuted for it?
Americans, thugs in your children's school are a threat to them. Tell your school you want the thugs excluded.
A plutocrat shows how little he cares about the millions of Americans facing retirement with no savings.
In a sense, the first autonomous killing machine was the mine with an automatic trigger. It could not move, but it could decide when to explode. Antipersonnel mines have been banned by most countries, though the US is one of the holdouts. Perhaps this autonomous nature is why landmines must be banned.
Britain's decision to create a social media military unit reflects the age of permanent information warfare.
It should be noted that other countries including Russia and China are reported already to have social media armies. The UK is continuing a trend, not starting it. However, Russia and China have already crushed democracy and control public opinion. The place we can hope for them is in countries like the UK.
I don't use social media. Originally this was because it was inconvenient for my lifestyle (I often have no internet connection, for instance.) But I am coming to think that this did me a great service.
Keeshan Harley, a black man from New York, has been stopped on the street and searched 125 times. The thugs know him as an activist and they want to harass him.
He said that things have not got better under de Blasio; that thugs still regard black males as targets, and black activists even more so.
A 1% cut in the US military budget elicits screams from the military-industrial complex, so the proportionally bigger cuts are directed at non-rich Americans, research, safety regulations, etc.
Products including drones, cars and game consoles have universal back doors that permit them to be remotely sabotaged.
President Correa of Ecuador is accused of suppressing dissent in various ways.
Hayden, former NSA director, said he thought that the September 2011 attacks made Americans' constitutional rights obsolete.
Purvi Patel in Indiana has been convicted of aborting her fetus, and of child neglect, even though the two are contradictory.
She was desperate to abort the fetus because her parents practiced a cruel abstinence-only prudery. She was crushed between them and the state that offered her no easy way to get an abortion legally.
UK universities are standing up for free speech for Muslims with rigid positions, but they have failed to stand up for free speech for those who criticize Muslims or Islam.
Unlike the writer, I am more concerned with getting them to do the right thing than with recrimination. If they have failed to stand up for free speech, it is not too late for them to start.
The UK Labour party says it will call for international pressure on tax havens that belong to the British crown.
Why it can't directly force them to change is unclear to me.
The Mexican government is accused of trying to impose false certainty about the fate of 43 disappeared students.
Private debt in many countries is reaching levels that could cause economic crises.
The banksters will take advantage of such crises to grab wealth from the rest of society again.
GCHQ's plan to cope with encryption is to crack the computers of those it wishes to spy on. It is trying to sneak around legal limits through a "code of conduct" that doesn't fully reflect them.
I think it is legitimate for spy agencies to crack the computers of legitimate targets in unfriendly countries. I wish they would do that instead of snooping on everyone.
The UK is trying to restrict large protests by making protesters pay.
Important false stories Brian Williams might apologize for.
Reporter Brian Williams is accused of exaggerating chaos and violence in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
These reports may have encouraged real acts of violence, such as when thugs stopped refugees for hours (or was it days?) from crossing a bridge to leave New Orleans to safety.
The House of Representatives voted (uselessly) to repeal Obama's medical care insurance system, while most Americans want to move in the other direction to a single-payer system.
US citizens: call on Obama to require government contractors to disclose their political spending.
Workers at some US refinery workers are on strike against forced overtime; fatigue causes mistakes that can be fatal, for them and for others.
Outsourcing maintenance to low-paid temp workers is dangerous too. They won't have the same experience with the facility that long-term workers have. Chemical facilities should not be allowed to hire temp workers that would come in contact with the processing machinery.
PISSI burned one prisoner alive, but the Bush forces burned thousands of Iraqi civilians alive.
I disagree on one point. The death of tank soldiers in battle, because their tanks are attacked by planes, is not a war crime. It's merely war. War is hell, but it is not morally equivalent to burning a captive.
The Bush forces tried to keep these burnings quiet, but PISSI publicizes its killings as part of an explicit ideology.
US citizens: call on the FDA to study the possible ecological consequences before using a new method to try to eradicate Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Perhaps it would be wiser to develop the same method for Aedes albopictus, then apply it to both species at once.
US citizens: tell the FCC you will stand behind strong net neutrality rules.
A fun protest in Hong Kong was sabotaged by China's arbitrary confiscation of rolls of toilet paper.
A high school teacher reports that her students don't believe they are supposed to think. All they understand is to look things up and repeat what they are told.
This was to some extent true when I was in high school, in the 1960s. People have a tendency to remember the "good old days" as better than they really were; the change may not be as great as that writer perceives it. But I can believe that it has got worse, due to standardized tests and search engines.
Australia's record heat in 2013 could not have happened without global heating.
US citizens: support protecting polar bears from oil drilling.
US citizens: Call on Senator McCain to once again support closing Guantanamo prison.
US farmers are becoming shy of nonfree software in their tractors, which screws them.
In a tractor, a car, a phone or a laptop, nonfree programs are an injustice. The intentionally weak term "open source" holds users back from recognizing that point. The term was coined to steer people away from demanding freedom in their computing. Calling freedom-respecting programs "open source" leads people to ask, timidly, "Please, sir, may I have some more leeway," rather than saying they deserve freedom and mean to get it.
Don't let "open source" thinking hold you back from claiming your rights. Please join us in insisting that our software must respect our freedom. See http://gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-even-more-important.html.
Oxfam warned the US and UK governments that closing the companies that send money to Somalia would lead to disaster there.
When a region is full of people who can't survive except with money sent by expatriates, its population is unsustainably high. It seems to me that we should make sure they receive plenty of birth control supplies along with the money.
Britons are proud of the NHS, but the government made its assaults on the NHS so complex that most Britons did not recognize them as sabotage. And the press did not help them understand this.
Canada's supreme court said that people are entitled to get help from doctors when they rationally choose to die.
The article presumes, but does not say, that the ruling is limited to people whose natural death is expected to come soon anyway. It does not seem right to exclude people doomed to a life of paralysis or incommunicado from this right.
A Missouri boy's family pretended to kidnap him, to teach him to distrust strangers. Now they face real charges of kidnaping.
Scaring a child this way may be a bad idea, but it is not kidnaping. To label it so is willful blindness on the state's part. "Why do we exaggerate the charges? Because we can."
A secret UK court ruled that GCHQ acted illegally when it got information about Britons from Prism via the NSA.
The Koch Brothers' company dumps toxic waste into a river in Florida through a pipeline built without proper approval, but governors Scott and Jeb Bush smoothed that over.
The US military budget is bigger than it was under Reagan during the Cold War.
Re-colonizing African agriculture with patented seeds.
US citizens: oppose plans to relax regulations that restrain banks from reckless borrowing.
Turning public institutions into businesses to keep them afloat is a step towards destroying them entirely.
In other words, applying the policy for a few decades has brought about a lasting social change, a form of "demographic transition". That is grounds to rejoice, and suggests that a similar policy, combined with economic growth and mass education, could have the same effect in other countries.
We can still prevent the human population from reaching 9 billion, with efforts including redistribution of wealth to the non-rich.
The UK's cutbacks now hit people too damaged to live on their own, and relatives that can't both work and care for them.
US citizens: call on the USDA to reject genetically modified cotton that is designed to be used with a dangerous herbicide.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the bill to block the FCC from establishing network neutrality. Also send email through this campaign.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
There is a campaign to boycott the movie, 50 Shades of Grey, and give money to women's shelters instead.
Women's shelters are a worthy cause, but it is simply erroneous to confuse BDSM with domestic violence — like confusing a play presenting a murder with real murder.
Does anyone actually spend fifty dollars to see a movie? I have not gone to a theater in a while, but I never spent anywhere as much on their expensive snacks as the ticket cost. If people really do that, they either have money to burn or they don't understand the meaning of thrift.
Female genital mutilation in Kenya is protected by a wall of silence which makes it appear a festive occasion.
Any medical complications are blamed irrationally on the victim.
In Egypt, a few families reject the social pressure.
Almost 2/3 of US investigative journalists believe the US government is snooping on them.
I think they are right. Investigative journalists typically investigate the powerful or the government itself, and either way the plutocratic US government can be expected to regard the journalists enemies.
Americans used to burn captives to death.
Making big fusses about minor lies, to distract from important issues, has been a feature of US politics for a long time. Remember when Clinton (the other one) was impeached for lying about a private sex act?
Florida effectively legalized sexting by teenagers — by mistake.
At most 8% of the prisoners Obama has released from Guantanamo have gone into fighting the US. On the contrary, many of the prisoners have become rather magnanimous, given the circumstances.
The issue is a distraction anyway. If someone did fight for the Taliban and was captured, he ought to be treated as a prisoner of war (thus, kept in Afghanistan). If someone planned or committed crimes, whether terrorist or other, he deserves a fair trial.
US citizens: call on Obama to cut the big new nuclear weapons spending proposal.
US citizens: call on the Senate to give Obama's judicial nominees consideration (and a vote).
Everyone: call on Suncor to stop polluting Canadian democracy and Canadian rivers.
How Palestinian teenagers now in prison in Israel are being tortured.
Here, as in general, I decline to use the term "children" to refer to teenagers. For many issues, what's right for children is different from what's right for teenagers. However, that doesn't affect the substance of this issue: torture like this is wrong for teenagers, for children, and for adults too.
New rules in US colleges say students are to be treated as rapists if they don't get "affirmative consent" for sex. At the same time, you can get kicked out of school and lose your job just for asking.
Israel's bombardment of Gaza provoked a big increase in antisemitism in Britain and France.
I almost never experienced antisemitism while growing up in the US. Horror over Nazi genocide made antisemitism something to shun a person for, which suppressed it to a low level.
Israel's crime in Gaza does not justify bigotry or hatred against Jews. These are two different issues. Indeed, many US Jews (and people of Jewish ethnic background, such as me) condemned the bombardment of Gaza and campaign against Israel's occupation of Palestine.
Israel itself has done its best to link the two issues, through decades of falsely claiming that those who condemn Israel's occupation policies are "antisemitic". The link can't help running both ways, thus contributing to the resurgence of real antisemitism.
A thug killed an aged, demented man by firing a rather dangerous "non-lethal" weapon, and was acquitted for it.
I am sure that several thugs could have subdued him. The hospital staff could have done so, with some persistence and thought.
Ferguson thugs want to try out a kind of bullet that is less likely to kill (but can still kill). They already have many other weapons that are more likely to injure people than to kill.
What's wrong with them is that they use these weapons when they should not.
The US car-tracking system also takes photos of drivers and passengers.
Obama said he would rein in the NSA, but his proposals are minor tweaks.
More information about how little effect they will have.
The TPP would requires several countries including Canada to extend copyright to death + 70 years.
This is bad for the US, even though the US already adopted death+70 copyright, because the US needs to shorten the copyright period. If the US ratifies the TPP, the TPP will be one more obstacle to this change.
The Canadian right-wing government's new "national security" law threatens Canadians with imprisonment on vague grounds, but enables the government to look tough.
Roger Vanderklok still trembles when he thinks of airport security, two years after he was jailed on the false word of a TSA employee with an axe to grind and no scruples about lying.
The article wonders why Kieser wasn't fired. I wonder how we can get him prosecuted for his perjury. When power-tripping tyrants try things like this, they should be jailed for years.
A large amount of money has been moved out of coal company stock in a divestment campaign.
Zacarias Moussaoui says that high Saudi officials helped fund al Qa'ida after it declared war on the US, and US congresscritters say a secret report agrees.
But other parts of Moussaoui's testimony seem to be impossible. He could be making it up.
Ireland's law against blasphemy is not only unjust in itself; it provides an excuse for other countries that punish blasphemy aggressively.
Melted Greenland ice runs to the bottom and makes lakes under the ice sheet. This speeds the flow, making the ice sheet more vulnerable to a tipping point that would melt a lot of it.
The US has persecuted Palestinian exile Sami Al-Arian with absurd charges and contradictory demands for 12 years.
Some of the accusations were based on books he had copies of (which does not mean he agreed with them).
Prosecuting someone for having copies of books is a form of tyranny. The UK practices this tyranny openly while the US uses it by subterfuge.
Robert Reich: Why Work Is Turning Into a Nightmare: the piecework service economy.
This has nothing to do with sharing. Let's reserve the word "sharing" for voluntary cooperation, and denounce its use for these businesses. And then let's abolish them.
France is trashing freedom of expression. The reaction to a non-state attack on freedom of speech is a state attack on freedom of speech.
Views on various questions are banned in France. In November I urged French officials to repeal the law banning expression of doubts about the genocide of the Armenians. People should be free to state any views whatsoever about this question, as about every other political, historic or ethical question.
Erdoğan's intimidation has made most public hospitals in Istanbul refuse to do abortions. It is probably worse elsewhere in Turkey.
When women die from underground abortions, or from forced childbirth, Erdoğan will have their blood on his hands.
Global heating means warmer winters, which threatens agriculture.
Applying Title II to ISPs is a possible basis for network neutrality, but big decisions about the Title II regulations remain to be decided.
Officials are already trying to minimize the expected failure of the Paris climate negotiations.
John Kiriakou, imprisoned by the US for his opposition to US torture practices, has been released from prison to house arrest at home.
Kiana Howard joined a strike of Walmart employees, and was fired for it.
An even bigger point visible here is how desperate her life situation is. Our modern-day Hoovers seek to make her homeless, and her child too.
230 Egyptian protest leaders were sentenced to life in prison.
Even if were legitimate to imprison people for protesting, a trial with so many defendants cannot give justice under any circumstances.
US citizens: Support Senator Sanders' plan for a big investment in US infrastructure.
US citizens: Call on Holder to investigate the shooting of Jessie Hernandez.
US citizens: demand release of the full draft text of the TPP.
PISSI is not alone in burning people to death; the missiles from US drones do the same thing. So do the phosphorus and napalm bombs that the US used in Iraq. But nobody publishes videos of that.
The reason PISSI was able to publish a video is that PISSI intentionally murdered a prisoner. That is a significant step up in barbarity compared with US missiles, which are at least intended to be fired at enemies on the loose, even though they often kill the innocent.
Armed forces of Chad and Cameroon separately won battles against Boko Haram fanatics.
It appears that competent armies have no trouble defeating Boko Haram, which suggests the Nigerian army is not competent.
The UK government snooped on 84 journalists and 242 of their sources during the past 3 years.
When attempts to increase social mobility fail, there's nothing left but redistribution from the rich to the poor.
That's what's right anyway. Painful poverty can't be excused by the fact that some poor become rich and some rich become poor.
The NSA and GCHQ take advantage of crackers to collect whatever the crackers get from various sites.
Greek austerity measures were followed by a substantial increase in the suicide rate.
A leak suggests that the Trade in Services Agreement will be designed to compel privatization of medical care.
Koch-Funded Groups Coalesce Around Axing All Federal Funding for Walking, Biking And Transit. And paying low wages for construction projects.
Israel destroyed a Palestinian water pipe near the Jordan Valley.
Israel has a systematic policy of driving out all Palestinians from that area.
Building Israel's annexation wall through Bethlehem threatens to destroy a school or cut off the town from the only nearby park.
Requiring children to be vaccinated makes a difference in disease rates, even in the US.
I'd say rather that they have the right to believe whatever they like, but they may not act on their beliefs that way.
Two Florida thugs pinned a child to the floor and pointed a gun at her. She had been watching TV at the time.
Couldn't they figure out that her watching TV could hurt no one except her?
Israeli "settlers" deep in Palestinian territory have found a clever way to steal a Palestinian family's land even though the family won a victory in Israeli court.
The Tory Party in the UK is funded by stock market manipulators.
The Golden Dawn party's recently reelected legislators will face trial for "belonging to criminal organization."
I do not like Golden Dawn's positions, but the practice of declaring a political party "criminal" and prosecuting its leaders is dangerous to democracy. What would stop your political party from being next?
What I don't know is, does the trial have to prove that Golden Dawn is a criminal organization, or has that been established by fiat?
UK thugs have put millions of innocent people's faces in a facial recognition directory.
India made employment a right and employed rural families, but it is cutting back and the program no longer does them much good.
A Seattle thug arrested William Wingate, age 70, for using a golf club as a cane.
Wingate pled guilty to a false charge to avoid the threat of worse charges. This illustrates the systematic injustice of the US legal system which regularly pushes people into false confessions. While the city did the right thing by dropping the charge afterward, that doesn't erase the systemic problem.
The arrest appears to be a typical example of unconscious racism: Wingate had a golf club, and the thug got the impression he was "swinging" it. (I do not see what is wrong with swinging a golf club, as long as you don't come near hitting anyone. Golf clubs are made for swinging.)
Strictly speaking, thug Whitlatch is right in saying that thugs are not "out to get" blacks. Rather, they are systematically predisposed to perceive blacks as doing something threatening, and to respond to this by arresting them, beating them up, even killing them.
Obama's budget weakens food and water safety.
I disagree on one point: I don't in principle object to funding food safety inspections through "user fees" if that means large businesses have to pay for them. But small businesses should not have to pay fees, so as to cancel out a little bit of the existing slant of the playing field.
Obama has proposed an increase in efforts to keep antibiotics working, but it isn't enough to achieve the goal.
The most important step, banning the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in farm animals, won't require any government expenditure.
Obama's proposed tax on corporations' foreign income would still leave them with a tax break that is unfair to the rest of us.
US citizens: call on Senate Democrats to defend Wall Street reform.
A former UK jobcenter worker wrote a play to show how the government has converted the jobcenters from "doing something for" the unemployed to a scheme to hurt them.
It's too bad this is (apparently) a hoax; the job really needs to be done. And not just with one church.
The Greek defiance illustrates that many countries need and deserve debt forgiveness.
Corruption in Ukraine reaches even into hospitals.
Demobilized in the USA: Why There Is No Massive Antiwar Movement. There was a massive antiwar movement in 2003 and for several years after that. However, by 2006 it was focused on the death of US soldiers, and not many of them are being killed now. Reportedly over 200,000 veterans have permanent brain injuries, but those are not visible so they don't inspire resistance.
Naive governments, like naive individuals, are often led into debt by calculating and unscrupulous banks, and that was the case for Greece. It is the banks, not Greece, that deserved to be punished so that they won't do this again.
A Russian woman faces 20 years in prison for telling the Ukrainian embassy that Russian troops from a nearby base were being sent to Ukraine.
The bizarre twist is that Russia continues to deny that its soldiers are in Ukraine, which means it has to claim that she gave Ukraine false information that she invented with no basis.
With people taking so many photos, they shouldn't think that this involves any creativity.
I don't consider my photos art, and I don't aspire to making photos that are great. I think of them as a way to show people beautiful or interesting places I have seen. Some of them are scenes that surely many have photographed, and some are not.
Afghan women protested the government's failure to include women in the cabinet.
Women in the cabinet is either a proxy or a substitute for government policies that respect women's rights. I am sure the Afghan government doesn't do that very much either.
Rich people are buying remote retreats with airstrips, hoping to use them to escape the global disaster they are preparing for everyone else.
The article ends by saying that the rich should hide from shame rather than from fear. I suggest they ought to face both.
I think it would be a good idea to maintain published lists of the plutocrats and their families — so that they won't believe they will be allowed to escape after dooming most of humanity to disaster.
It is hard to protect an Indonesian rainforest against desperate violent local people determined to cut down the trees and farm.
This is going to get worse as population increase makes food scarce. Human population growth will be stopped, so let's stop it before the mass extinction.
On-line bank statements make it hard for customers to keep track.
The former environment minister of India blocked some industrial projects on instructions from the leader of the Congress Party.
I don't see that this is particularly bad. What the new government is doing — approving projects easily — seems more dangerous.
A dissident book publisher in Belarus faces a large fine for publishing without a license. It doesn't have a license because the state refuses to give it one.
Using computer screens a lot leads teenagers to sleep much less.
Greyston Bakery will hire anyone at all, and helps people become good employees.
The US employment system nearly locks out anyone who has a criminal record or even a blemish, except for those involved in plutocratic corruption who can always get a new start.
US citizens: call on the SEC to make public companies report the ratio between the CEO's pay and the average worker's pay.
Why not go further and require reporting all the benefits that all the executives get?
Syriza has an interesting proposal for restructuring Greek debt so that Greece could someday pay it.
The non-rich in the UK are suffering an "epidemic of private despair"; in a political system which treats them like scum, they think of themselves as scum.
Some Deny Society Exists. Let's Prove Them Wrong.
If you are being oppressed, don't blame yourselves! You are not scum. The plutocrats and the politicians that obey them are scum.
The UK's "anti-terrorism" bill would extend the UK's crackdown on freedom of expression, which has already gone dangerously far.
Donors pledged 3 billion dollars of aid to the countries hit by Ebola virus but have really given only 40% of that.
If they had sent money faster, they could have ended the epidemic sooner.
A US government memo acknowledged that force-feeding prisoners violates international law. This may exculpate a nurse who refused to do force feeding and is now facing charges of "refusal to be cruel and inhumane".
Only 9% of students from poor families complete college in the US, compared with 77% from wealthy families.
Those 9% are terribly burdened by debt.
In other words, poor people have very little chance to advance.
If only 44% of the wealthy got college degrees in 1970, surely the other 56% were not hindered by lack of money. Either they were not good enough students, or they saw no need to bother, but I don't know which. I wonder why nowadays 77% of them get college degrees.
Many people seek the comfort of assuming that the world is just — that people all get what they deserve. People who cling to this tend to blame victims.
The just-world assumption feels great when you are privileged, because it gives you a basis to assume it's your own merit at work.
This plays a part in a new right-wing camp, the "redpill right wing". People in that camp close their eyes to the fact that others are held back by bigotry and other forms of social injustice.
Paradoxically, I have come across an exactly opposite form of bias, where people say, "Lots of other things could kill you, so there is no point in avoiding this one." They do this to rationalize dangerous practices such as smoking tobacco.
The world gives us partial control over our futures, but in areas that involve others, we can't expect complete control. Even in things that affect only us, others may control us through unjust power. There is also lots of randomness in the system: unpredictable events that could result in good or bad. This is what makes life so complicated and interesting. Each of the irrationalities mentioned above consists of ignoring one large aspect of life.
A NYC thug has been indicted for stamping on the head of a man down on the sidewalk who was being handcuffed.
Prosecutor Nisman wrote an arrest warrant for President Fernández, which he hoped to execute after the president's impeachment.
Underground oil leaks can put arsenic into ground water.
Thugs in Seattle blocked a protest march, then pepper-sprayed two people who were leaving the rally that had ended.
A device is available to defeat Keurig coffee DRM once and for all.
Obama called for an end to subsidies to oil companies.
Obama has started advocating a considerable fraction of the progressive causes that most Americans support. Too bad he did not do this when there was a chance of enacting the changes.
I expect that many Democrats who are not really very progressive will do likewise in the 2016 elections, without a serious intention of passing laws to do this. We will have to choose the serious progressives over the late converts.
A nine-year-old boy was accused of terrorism in school for fantasy play in which he said a "magic ring" would make another child invisible.
The school staff who did this are not really idiots. Rather, they have been convinced that it is their job to act like idiots. This is even worse. After all, only a small fraction of the staff of a school could really be idiots, but all the staff could give in to pressure to act like idiots.
Thugs pressure students caught selling pot into undercover buying for the thugs, and sometimes the students get killed.
Most Americans don't think of selling pot as antisocial, and neither do these students. They don't know how to move in the circles of hardened criminals.
Unlike hardened criminals, they are not accustomed to betraying people. Being set to cause the arrest of others like themselves must do them lasting moral damage. They must think that honesty is beyond their reach.
The UK government has eliminated the subsidy for community renewable energy.
This was the last substantial UK policy which favored renewable energy. The Conservatives said they would be the "greenest government ever", but quickly showed that their intention was to favor fossil fuels. Rather than change direction immediately, they began a step-by-step change stretched over the whole period of this government. I am not surprised that they have timed it so that the last step in the total reversal for the end of that period.
A survey of published experiments concludes that there is no real evidence that transcranial brain stimulation has any predictable effect.
It may have some effects on some people, but it is hard to be sure whether that is real or through suggestion.
I think the first battle was lost when most people (but not I!) started using the smear-word "piracy" to mean "What the copyright industry hates".
Some people want to watch the original version of the first Star Wars movie, but distributing it or downloading it is criminalized in the US.
Awareness of the danger of permanent brain injury is starting to affect Americans' attraction to football.
The US government labeled Jeremy Hammond as a "terrorist".
"Terrorist" could be a meaningful word if the government treated the concept with respect. Nowadays states have twisted it into an all-purpose excuse to demonize or imprisoning anyone for whatever reason.
Syriza will kill TTIP (This Treaty Is Plutocratic).
For the US, War Is the New Normal: various factors prevent the US from even considering peace.
After tax cuts (for the rich) and welfare cuts in Wisconsin failed to produce any trickle-down to working people and poor, Republicans conclude that more of the same is needed.
Barrett Brown explains the arrant dishonesty of his prosecution.
I'm afraid he is right — with the US mainstream media toadying to the US government, the only factor that restrains its lies is the heroes like Manning, Assange and Snowden, and flawed heroes such as Barrett Brown.
Peruvians in the Amazon region demand compensation for 45 years of pollution from oil drilling.
Pakistan is about to execute a man who was convicted despite a strong case he killed in self-defense.
US television spreads misinformation that torture is "effective" for getting true information.
14 of the 15 hottest years recorded by meteorology have been since 2000.
The US and China are starting to compete for control of food supplies.
We have got to reduce the human birth rate!
US citizens: sign this petition too against fast-track for the TPP.
US citizens: call on the FCC to pre-empt laws against municipal broadband.
US citizens: call for a continued ban on robocalls to cell phones without the user's consent.
A cell phone is a tracking device and a listening device, so I refuse to have one. The matter of robocalls is a small inconvenience on top of that fundamental injustice. Nonetheless, this campaign is worth supporting as long as it doesn't distract us from the deeper problem.
80% of UK universities have rules restricting freedom of expression.
There is some confusion regarding the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign supported by the UWE student union. It is aimed at Israeli institutions, including the universities (which are connected with the occupation), but not at individual scholars. Thus, it includes a boycott of Israeli academiEs but not of Israeli academiCs. Perhaps the student union extended the boycott to target individuals, but it could be that Spiked has been misinformed about it.
Chemical companies suppressed an EU report that aimed to limit hormone-mimicking pesticides that can cause cancer and birth defects.
A large part of the UK has been put off limits to fracking, with the result that business may find fracking unprofitable to try.
Egypt has sentenced almost 200 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death, supposedly for killing a few thugs.
Egyptian trials are so wacky that this one gives us no reason to think those people did anything at all, or even that they supported the Muslim Brotherhood. Who knows?
But if they really did kill thugs, so what? The thugs were already shooting supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, so why shouldn't they shoot back?
This has nothing to do with what the Muslim Brotherhood stands for (which, as an Atheist, I don't agree with at all).
Australia's carbocratic government says it will operate with "renewed vigor" on the Great Barrier Reef.
What it was doing already was bad enough.
Peter Greste has got out of Egypt but at least 11 other journalists are in prison there, along with tens of thousands of people who protested or were merely unlucky.
A basic income for everyone would do more than just replace other forms of welfare benefits.
Syriza's economics rejects the fiction of the "rational economic man".
Face recognition technology is being improved to the point where it makes everyone unsafe.
Reporter Peter Greste, imprisoned in Egypt for over a year for committing journalism, will be deported to Australia.
Will that mean he is freed? Supposedly the deportation would be so he can "continue his sentence" there. Will Australia have to promise to imprison him? Will Australia be allowed to give him the retrial he is owed?
His Egyptian colleague Baher Mohamed may remain in prison for years. Al-Sisi probably hopes we will forget about him once Greste and Fahmy are safely home.
Obama will propose a small (14%) one-time tax on money held by US corporations outside the US.
It is the right spirit, but must more than this needs to be done. For instance, to put an end to "inversions" whereby these companies cease to be US companies.
A statement from some protesters in the UK's "march for homes".
The Pirate Party's sole current MEP has drawn up a report for the European Parliament proposing reforms to copyright law.
For the European Union to adopt these reforms would be a substantial step forward. However, they fall far short of what is needed to make copyright tolerable.
In particular, they fail to establish the right to share copies (noncommercial redistribution without change). They shorten the copyright term a little, but leave it lasting an absurdly long time. The weakness comes at the root: the report accepts unjust treaties that we need to eliminate, such as the Berne Convention, as well as the World Trade Organization that must be destroyed for other larger reasons as well as copyright.
As a matter of practical politics, this may be the best one could hope the European Parliament to pass, or perhaps more than it could pass. However, Europeans, and especially parties such as the Pirate Parties that stand for the freedom to share, must demand far more reduction in copyright power, even if they cannot achieve it now.
This makes it especially worrisome that this report was drawn up by the Pirate Party's sole MEP.
The fact that it was written by her does not make it any better or any worse than if someone else had written it. However, soon she will have the responsibility to say that the report's reforms are inadequate. Will she be able to say that after having written it herself? Or has she in effect allowed herself to be co-opted by the establishment?
The developed countries must make major changes to avoid disaster by 2050, and that's without trying to end poverty for the rest of the world.
We should make strenuous efforts to prevent human population from increasing to 9 billion.
The US government says encryption and anonymity are a "lawless zone".
Implicitly this represents the claim that it is normal for the state to know everything about everyone, in order to "protect" us from secondary dangers. It's surely coincidence that this would give the state total power over everyone.
The US government's massive system of car-tracking was set up to further another injustice: "forfeiture" (taking people's property without convicting them of crimes).
I don't think New York City will ever need a 350-thug paramilitary unit, bigger than a company in the US army. I have a feeling that the thugs demanded this from de Blasio for ceasing to attack him after he criticized them for killing people.
Social mobility in the UK has remained small for 160 years.
The only way to help the non-rich is by taxing the rich.
A clever but meaningless "solution" to massive surveillance: the "databox" would offer a way to give personal data to companies via one special company, rather than directly. It would only mean that some of your personal data follows a different pathway to companies and the state.
The databox company would hand over all your data to Big Brother on demand, as every company does (in the US, the PAT RIOT act requires this).
The databox company would hand your data to other companies, too, whenever you do business with a company that says you must agree to do so.
Meanwhile, most of your personal data is generated by transactions that you're involved in: for instance, if you order a book, listen to streaming music, or pay with a credit card. You never have this data, and neither would the databox company.
In other words, the databox is a pseudo-solution that can only distract from the measures that would really end massive surveillance.
Boko Haram is attacking the city of Maiduguri, with 2 million inhabitants, from all sides.
Prohibition of abortion kills women today in Brazil.
But even if it didn't kill them, it would force them to have babies, and that in itself is a great injustice.
A misguided attempt to stop trafficking of workers in just one field attacks the freedom of the internet on the side.
Trafficking and enslavement of workers is a broad problem, found in diverse areas of work including domestic service, sex work, factory work and construction. We need to develop measures to protect workers from this.
One of the factors that promotes enslavement in any area is poverty.
Obama told Democratic legislators to "get informed" about the TPP; but he is the one preventing them from reading it.
San Francisco thugs arrested a public defender for objecting as they violated her clients' rights.
Obama talks about the need to curb global heating but his actions accelerate it.
Bernie Sanders says he is waiting to see if he can mobilize people to decide whether to run for president.
He can mobilize me. What about you?
In the US, even most Republicans think global heating is dangerous and action must be taken to curb it.
Thus, all depends on whether the denialists can rig/buy the next election.
Obama's "breakthrough" with India: US nuclear reactor companies won't be liable for nuclear accidents in India.
Is this supposed to be positive?
In Laos, 500 people a year are maimed or killed by unexploded US bombs, 40 years after the war ended.
It will probably be like this in Iraq and Afghanistan a century from now.
When a person's activity history is published "anonymized", without the person's name or address, in many cases it is easy to figure out who that person is.
Real anonymity requires stopping anyone from recognizing that your various activities are done by the same person. That is why I refuse to pay with credit cards.
Some US oil pipeline companies seem to be rather careless, because they have repeated oil spills.
Will the US government force them to change? I doubt it. It would be more reliable to make them sell all their pipelines to more careful companies.
Everyone: call on the Smithsonian to stop employing Willie Soon, who campaigns to deny that humans are causing global heating.
The EU has admitted it wants to force companies to hand over their encryption keys.
Governments that cite violent enemies as an excuse to cut human rights are committing a mistake as well as an injustice.
The only case where you need to worry about the precise border of sexual consent is if you have sex with someone who is less than enthusiastic about it. Why even consider such a thing?
The NSA still collects US phone call data en masse and still cannot justify it.
It is not enough to leave most Americans out of this collection. We must leave everyone out of it except court-designated surveillance targets.
The US has declared all its spending on training the Afghan army secret.
This is a good way to hide inefficiency and corruption. Might there be any of those in Afghanistan?
US citizens: tell Congress to reject the TPP because it would further export jobs from the US.
US citizens: call on the FDA to inspect food warehouses more and punish the unsanitary ones firmly.
Everyone: call on President Aquino of the Philippines to stop that country's thugs from torturing the people they arrest.
Everyone: Call on California Governor Brown to ban fracking in that state.
US citizens: Support protecting the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling.
Everyone: call on Lowe's to stop selling garden plants treated with neonicotinoids.
The US government will recognize the future danger of flooding, which will be augmented by global heating, in funding future construction projects.
It is rumored that one of the Guantanamo prisoners exchanged for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has returned to fighting for the Taliban.
It is not in general considered wrong for exchanged prisoners of war to return to fighting, so why should it be wrong in this case? The US could have sent Sergeant Bergdahl back to fighting against the Taliban, as he remains in the army.
The US must release and compensate the prisoners it has tortured; this is the wise course as well as the morally required course. If a fraction of them fight the US afterward, that will make no difference alongside the thousands of others already fighting the US. Meanwhile, freeing the prisoners from Guantanamo will eliminate one factor that recruits others to fight against the US.
The Spanish "Security" bill would clamp down on Internet access, Chinese-style, and criminalize posting videos of thugs as they attack people.
The FBI seems to have labeled Gulet Mohamed's brother a "most wanted terrorist" to influence the outcome of Gulet's lawsuit about the no fly list.
Don't let the Charlie Hebdo attack be an excuse to expand surveillance.
Texas is considering a bill to permit teachers to shoot and kill people (such as students) to protect school property.
The former head of CIA and NSA said, "We kill people based on metadata". The US Congress is taking a step to reduce collection of metadata, but it is a suspiciously small step.
Oklahoma's torture-executions have led the Supreme Court to suspend execution in that state, and created an opportunity to press to end them.
For the most part I am not especially concerned about how executions are done. The point is that they should not be done.
20% of US children needed government food assistance in 2014, which is considerably more than in 2007.
This demonstrates that there is no "economic recovery" except for the wealthy.
The US Senate rejected Bernie Sanders' amendment to install more solar power and create a lot of jobs. They prefer to build the Keystone XL pipeline and make sure the world burns as much fossil fuel as possible.
The majority of senators are working for the fossil fuel companies, which is treason against humanity as well as against the United States and its people.
Kevin Thomson writes about being jailed for being unable to pay a traffic ticket.
Alan Morison has gone to Thailand to face vicious charges of "defaming the navy".
The idea of prosecuting people for this — regardless of what they may have done — is an injustice. That is the crucial point. The fact that Morison's "defamation" was a paragraph quoted from another publication is a distraction since the charges would be equally unjust if he had written it himself.
The corrupt elite in Afghanistan don't want to defeat the Taliban even supposing they could. They want to keep the war going to get US military funds which they can divert to their pockets.
In addition, they know it is hard for the US to cut down their opium or heroin exports while the war continues.
This makes the situation resemble that in South Vietnam, where the commanders did not want to win too much against the Viet Cong lest President Diem suspect they wanted his job. They just wanted to continue doing their jobs and bringing in the bribe money.
Contrary to UK government claims, the US held and "interrogated" secret prisoners on Diego Garcia.
I part ways with that article at the word "our". I'm not going to use any of these, no matter what convenience it might offer.
If the gadget contains nonfree software, it's an instrument to give someone power over you.
Sports in Australia will have trouble coping with global heating.
Sports are far less important than many other things that will be damaged or destroyed by global heating, but many people care irrationally about sports and this could make them wake up. If it isn't too late.
Syriza's economist proposes a Keynesian plan to redistribute the global surplus from those countries which hold it.
The idea may need adaptation to cope with today's plutocracy, which impoverishes "rich" countries' governments and people.
China has imposed registration of all new computers in Xinjiang.
The measured frequency of heat waves and cold spells in cities around the world demonstrates global heating since the 1970s.
US government lawyers told the Guantanamo prison command that force-feeding was considered illegal.
She needed lot of surgery after that.
Google said it fought for years to inform Wikileaks staffers that their email had been taken by the US government.
The FBI wants local thugs to collect DNA samples from everyone arrested.
It is clear the FBI really wants to have every American's DNA.
Senator Rubio wants pervasive surveillance of all Americans, so why not start with him?
The last time the ocean got warmer, at the end of the ice age, it made most of the ocean into a giant dead zone. Will human-caused global heating do the same thing?
Biofuels explicitly grown for that purpose are no real alternative to fossil fuels.
Portugal and Spain have offered citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews that were expelled or oppressed in the 1400s.
You'd have to be desperate to want to live under Spain's repressive government, but if Podemos gains power it might repeal the repressive laws.
Global heating is causing fish in the seas around Australia to move southward.
40 Afghans per month are killed by unexploded NATO bombs and shells.
US and UK cooperation with Gaddafi, in the form of kidnaping Libyan opposition activists in exile and delivering them to Gaddafi's torturers, had the perverse effect of strengthening al Qa'ida in Libya.
US citizens: Support the FAIR act which would greatly curb civil forfeiture.
US citizens: support the plan to tax Wall Street more.
Reducing taxes for working people is a good thing, but that can't possibly be enough to enable them to have a decent life. What they need is higher wages and reduced fees for things such as education and medical care.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call on your state legislators to support three ACLU-recommended privacy bills.
A gas pipeline exploded in West Virginia — the fourth serious pipeline incident in January.
If you judge the danger of pipelines by the chance you will be near one when it explodes, the danger is tiny. The danger that your water supply will be polluted for years by one is much bigger.
Justice Stevens proposes amendments to the US Constitution.
Arrogant thugs around the US attack officials that question their impunity by refusing to work with them and by making up false charges against them.
President Sirisena reinstated Sri Lanka's Chief Justice Bandaranayake who had been removed by Rajapaksa for political reasons.
His government is looking at cooperating with a proper human rights investigation of the conduct of the civil war.
Activist shareholders persuaded Grumman to drop ALEC.
Grumman does not sell much to the public, so it is not directly reachable by to consumer displeasure.
The Federal Trade Commission announced worthless guidelines for security of personal data collected by household devices.
They are worthless because they assume that these devices will provide data about people to companies, and they try only to make those companies prevent unintended data breaches to unrelated third parties.
This is a secondary danger that develops out of the fundamental danger of these devices: the "authorized" transmission of data to those companies.
Putting thugs together with certain mentally ill people is a recipe for killing them.
The US continues allowing large companies to merge and reduce competition.
The fact that one witness lied about participating in this conscription doesn't invalidate the independent evidence that it occurred.
The Chinese government sensibly insists on checking the source code for systems for use in banks.
It is dangerous for a country's banks to be vulnerable to companies in a potentially hostile country. The US should adopt the same policy vis-a-vis Chinese computer manufacturers, not as retaliation but simply for its own protection.
All banks should insist on getting control of the software they use. It should be delivered to them as free software.
Obama has failed to institute proper safety regulation for undersea oil drilling, but he wants to open a lot more coastline to drilling.
Advances in oil drilling technology, without corresponding advances in safety practices, have increased the amount of oil likely to spill in the ocean whenever something goes wrong with an oil well.
US citizens: Senators, support the bill to promote negotiations with Iran.
Former US senators, who helped the Church committee investigate the CIA in the 70s, propose a new investigation.
In US schools, children as young as 6 are shackled, tied up, put inside bags, even tased.
How global heating promotes big snowstorms.
Scotland has banned fracking and similar oil extraction processes, temporarily at first.
Congress is considering a bill to replace the old 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force with a new authorization that is limited in time, place, and methods.
It may not end the US military interventions that regularly occur in more than half the countries in the world.
Oil drilling is spreading road through the Amazon, and deforestation follows the roads.
The background to Prosecutor Nisman's accusations against President Fernández, whose text supports the claim it was really written by an intelligence agent rather than a prosecutor.
The National Football League is leading US children to do a kind of internet gambling.
As Merkel and the banksters aim to defeat Syriza and force Greece under ever-worsening austerity, the public must defend Syriza.
An Israeli attack against Hezbollah, which killed a visiting Iranian general, has led to retaliation by Hezbollah, followed by "retaliation" by Israel.
Israel publicly "forgets" having started this sequence of attacks when it talks about needing to "defend itself" from Hezbollah.
Why media fall for sports industry's bogus economic claims about public benefits from staging the Superbowl.
The same thing happens with the Olympics.
A UK politician has apologized for pointing out that nuclear missiles, if used, would kill more people than the Nazis killed, and that misguided expenditure can't be justified merely because it creates jobs.
This is not to say that Trident missiles and Nazi murder camps raise exactly the same issues. Nazis intended to kill Jews (and some other people), whereas the Trident missile is intended to deter a nuclear attack. Despite that difference, the two have important things in common.
France proposes to punish internet platforms if they do not delete "hate speech".
European laws that prohibit "hate speech" impose censorship of political views. Such laws, in the US, would be unconstitutional. The danger is that US companies will bow to foreign censorship laws.
Google famously refused to bow to China's censorship, but that is a rare exception.
Late model cars have quieter engines, so designers put in systems to make imitation engine noise so owners feel they got what they paid for.
The manufacturers are being dishonest, tricking the car buyer. At the same time, those buyers are being irrational, in effect complaining if they are not fooled.
Car manufacturers should be required to let the driver or owner turn this feature on and off. But if the car software were free, the owner would be able to turn it off.
If Obama gets his way, every US security journalist will be prosecuted with the charges that were dropped against Barrett Brown.
Right-wing Democrats such as Obama pretend that Americans are going to benefit from a "recovery" for the rich.
When plutocrats have sunk workers' boats, a rising tide won't lift them any more.
US citizens: call on members of Congress to cancel Netanyahu's speaking invitation, and failing that, not to attend the speech.
Facebook carries out censorship on behalf of many governments. Just a few days ago we read that Turkey is one of them.
Ukraine is caught between an alligator (Putin) and quicksand (the plutocratic west).
Syriza has started cancelling privatizations and will restore the previous minimum wage.
The Koch brothers plan to spend almost a billion dollars on the 2016 elections.
Americans, there is a simple heuristic for how to vote, if you haven't studied all the candidates' positions: vote for whoever the expensive TV ads attack.
That's the candidate that the plutocrats don't want.
Bravo, Michelle Obama, for refusing to cover your head in Saudi Arabia.
Muslims insist on practicing their own customs when they travel, and demand non-Muslim visitors adopt local religion-associated customs when they travel to a "Muslim" country. They want their customs to override conflicting customs everywhere, and they have no right to that. Either all travelers are free to dress their own way when travelling, or all travellers must adopt local practices (no veil, for instance).
Indeed, the idea of a "Muslim" country is hostile to human rights, just like the idea of a "Christian" country or a "Jewish" country or a "Hindu" country.
Now if the US would only show less respect to the king whose policies include beheadings and whippings and many other sorts of repression.
Doctors, please don't make it necessary for terminally ill people to kill themselves by thirst in a public toilet.
But it is not just terminally ill people. Those who are paralyzed or becoming demented also deserve help escaping to a less horrible fate.
Canada monitors up to 15 million file downloads every day.
If Britons vote for the party they most agree with, the Green Party will win. The only obstacle to Green victory is the self-fulfilling prophecy that it's impossible.
I love the point that if you "hold your nose" and vote for the least bad party that "might win", you get a worse stink next time.
US citizens: Support Bernie Sanders's infrastructure maintenance program.
B'Tselem suggests that Israel's leaders may have committed war crimes by establishing a policy of bombarding Palestinian civilians' homes.
Boko Haram keeps winning against a badly organized Nigerian army, and has come close to capturing the area's principal city, Maiduguri.
PISSI's defeat at Kobani can damage it in an important place: its image of irresistability.
Thus, even though Kobani as a piece of territory has no particular strategic significance, the defense of Kobani may have real significance.
PISSI stands for "Pseudo-Islamic State in Syria and Iraq". Since most Muslims say it does not represent Islam, why should we call it by a name that validates its claims to do so? Moreover, the name "PISSI" gives the organization the respect it deserves. I suggest you too adopt that name, and spread the word.
Plastic in the ocean is increasing and animals are swallowing ever more of it.
An Italian writer faces prosecution for saying that it would be legitimate to sabotage a high-speed train line being built between Italy and France.
I disagree with him about the train line. High-speed trains are a great thing, and when the network is built up, they replace airplanes. I hope they finish it soon, because I will use it.
Freedom of expression means the right to say things we disagree with. The prosecution of de Luca shows that Italy — like other European governments — does not respect freedom of expression. In the US, which does more or less respect that freedom, that sort of statement is not "incitement" and he could not be prosecuted for it.
Shame on you, Italy. Stop your attempts at censorship, and build the train line.
What Martin Luther King led American blacks to do was to end white terror, which they achieved by daring to be beaten and arrested and filling the jails.
Compare the advice that black teenagers receive today about how not to be shot by thugs with the 1960s advice described in the first reference above.
Even worse, since the 1960s the US has come to impose permanent punishment on people convicted of a crime, or even (in some cases) accused of one. It is hard to have a mass movement of idealistic young people ready to get arrested and pack the jails when they know they will be excluded from education or employment for life as a result.
Lots of companies spy on "smart" phones, and the NSA spied on their spying.
President Fernández of Argentina is blaming the intelligence agency for murdering prosecutor Nisman, and wants to dissolve and replace it.
This could be very good if the replacement is limited by laws in what it can collect.
I wonder if the intelligence agency had anything to do with the decision to take visitors' fingerprints and track passengers in the subway.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to say, please sign the Ellison-Waters letter and support full Title-II network neutrality.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: call on US companies not to donate to Representative Scalise, who has associated with right-wing extremists.
US citizens: call on Obama and Congress to use their influence with the EU to support Greece in ending austerity.
Everyone: Tell McDonalds to stop practicing racial discrimination on its staff.
US citizens: support Senator Warren's Medical Innovation Act.
Medecins sans Frontiers accused Pfizer of profiteering from poor countries by charging them too much for pneumococcal disease vaccine.
I am all in favor of MSF's efforts, but let's not forget what created the problem and made the efforts necessary: the World Trade Organization. The US and Europe pressured most countries to join it, and one consequence is allowing patents on medicines, which is what enables Pfizer to impose a high price on vaccines even in poor countries.
Pfizer surely lobbied the plutocratic states to get this result, so it is to blame for creating the opportunity as well as for using it.
The WTO is also responsible for low pay and bad working conditions around the world, so it is truly a monster. Its consequences show up in many areas of life. If we ignore the root cause of these problems, we are reduced to treating symptoms forever.
Israel releases imprisoned minors to house arrest, making parents act as jailers for their own children.
Obama proposes more oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Atlantic too.
None of this is necessary, unless we want to extract too much and cause global heating disaster.
Glaciers in the Andes have lost at least 1/3 of their ice in the last 30 years.
CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling has been convicted.
Every whistleblower prosecuted or persecuted nails Liberty to the cross.
Obama will forgive you for torturing, but not for talking to the American people.
Proposal to stop using the word "terrorist".
"The terror" in revolutionary France was carried out by the Committee for Public Safety, led by Robespierre. I wonder if that is where "Department of Homeland Security" came from.
A tar sands pipeline even bigger than Keystone XL is being snuck through as an expansion of an existing pipeline.
To save the US middle class requires curbing Wall Street's depredations.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and other US agencies are creating a nationwide network of license-plate recognizing cameras, on their way to tracking all car travel in the US.
Dust blowing out of cattle feedlots contains more than just a horrible smell. It contains antibiotics that encourage development of resistance in the bacteria in the soils (and human bodies) that they get into.
China's use of coal is levelling off, and actually decreased a little in 2014.
Right-wing UK economic policy consists of tax cuts (most of the cut goes to the rich) and cuts on the NHS and social services (hitting the poor two ways).
The tax cuts give a small amount of money to some workers, to distract them from the fact that the combined policy is very bad for them.
The same dishonest line has succeeded since the 1980s in convincing working Americans to vote to help the rich screw them.
As for Labour, it has become a centrist party which fails to challenges plutocratic rule. The similar Greek party was just wiped out, and Britain's Labour Party is headed for the same thing.
Violent thugs can end your life without quite killing you.
43 Israeli intelligence reservists refused to spy on Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Julia Reda, the sole Pirate Party member of the European Parliament, has proposed a copyright reform directive which goes in the right direction but does not propose to address the issue of freedom to share.
The article suggests EU citizens write to MEPs. I suggest demanding reform on that issue too.
Global heating makes winter storms stronger.
The Cheney-Obama torture axis must be defeated.
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are working together on a tax break intended to encourage US businesses to pay taxes on their profits.
Funny that congress never seems to think of simply making them pay their taxes. They argue that it is self-defeating to keep the door closed while the window is open, so they should open the door. The idea of shutting the window never occurs to them. Instructions for bankrupting the country:
Is it stupid or is it corrupt?
The EFF's new plan for ending massive general surveillance would not achieve its goal.
It leaves many kinds of surveillance unaddressed:
There seems to be a dispute inside the Egyptian military government about whether it was acceptable to shoot a female protester dead for no reason.
Shooting male protesters, however, they do without a qualm. Did they get this policy from the US?
Wikipedia has taken the side of Gamergate, ruling that the Gamergate-supporting editors can write the pages about the women that Gamergate attacked, and banning the editors who opposed them.
Many years ago, a clique of people that don't want the GNU system to be mentioned took effective control of pages that concern the GNU/Linux system, expunging the term "GNU/Linux" from nearly all of them and banning people that tried to resist. I tried to activate Wikipedia's decision procedure but was unable to even get it started.
Obama has dropped his inadequate proposal for reforming massive surveillance of the telephone records of everyone in the US (and elsewhere).
A court ruled that airport thugs did wrong to arrest Nick George for carrying flash cards to learn Arabic.
The UK government has adopted a standard US right-wing lie: that rich people got their money by earning it and deserve to possess it.
Rich people mostly get their money by investing piles of money, and by working other people to the bone. In the past few decade they have redistributed lots of wealth and lots of income from the rest of the population to them. Now we need to redistribute it back.
The Kurds have driven PISSI fighters out of Kobani.
Kobani has no special strategic significance, but it is good to prevent civilians from being massacred, and the attempt to take Kobani has bled PISSI badly.
The Council of Europe determined that the US and UK's massive surveillance is a fundamental threat to human rights.
That is true, but keep in mind that many other countries do massive surveillance without even the feeble legal limits that the NSA and GCHQ brush aside.
Previous modeling that predicted poor countries would cope with global heating using their economic growth overlooked a crucial factor: due to global heating, they won't have economic growth.
Their inability to invest in countering effects of global heating means that heating will cause even more economic losses. So the way to maximize economic growth is to invest in curbing global heating.
The previous modeling had another flaw: it gave too positive much significance to economic growth as a factor for general well-being. Even if a country has economic growth, a plutocratic state will not spend that on keeping poor people's livelihoods viable; the rich would rather buy their way out of the consequences of global heating.
The UK is considering an attack on human rights: censorship of a particular book.
Syriza won the Greek election and formed an anti-austerity government.
Terrorism is designed to spread fear. "Counter-terrorism" contributes to spreading fear.
It is not clear that catching incompetents who can be led into acts of terrorism does any good for society.
Prosecutors in the UK are trying to get the interview tapes which the Belfast Project made, promising confidentiality until the subjects are dead.
I think the historians of the Belfast Project are honor-bound to destroy these interviews so as to carry out their promise, for the sake of future historical projects — even though they would be imprisoned for this.
This has nothing to do with the IRA's cause, which I don't support even slightly.
Target in Canada fired 17000 workers and its CEO. The severance pay for the CEO equals the severance pay for 17000 workers.
A reporter has fled Argentina due to death threats. He was writing about the recently murdered prosecutor.
Everyday harassment and danger of violence provoke mental illness, among blacks and among women.
I don't like those positions, and I don't agree with those views, but this censorship violates basic human rights.
The UK Green Party leader condemned criminalization of membership in terrorist organizations.
Certainly having sympathy with the aims of a terrorist organization should not be a crime — because that is thoughtcrime.
Membership in an organization that uses criminal means is a borderline case, because it accepts in a way responsibility for that organization's actions, not only its aims.
However, organizations should never be banned by decree. That should require a trial.
The US has dropped the insistence on driving Assad out of power in Syria.
It has been clear for two years that this made no sense.
Genetically modified mosquitoes (which can't reproduce) offer a way to rid Florida of the mosquito's that spread Dengue and Chikungunya.
I think it is plausible that these mosquito's are a safe way to prevent those diseases from spreading, but there are many ways things could go wrong. Even though they are unlikely, they might conceivably have very bad consequences. I think it would be wise to investigate ways things could go wrong, to try to make them less likely, or demonstrate that the consequences would be bounded.
The Obama administration took a small step that will fund building around 8000 new homes a year for the non-rich.
Make that 50 times as big and it would solve the US housing problem in a reasonable time.
Activists in New York and New Jersey are trying to prevent natural gas export terminals that would encourage fracking.
The low price of oil may make it easier to prevent fracking in the US as some fracking companies are already folding.
Quinn Norton says that proper journalism about alleged security breaches is now effectively criminalized in the US, and he does not dare continue it.
Google received a secret subpoena 3 years ago for essentially all its data about some Wikileaks employees.
UK internet filters to "protect children" block a wide range of web sites, including charities that help young people.
The growth of inequality (the richest 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world) is linked with decreasing wages and spreading poverty.
All economic activity needs a moral compass.
PISSI justifies a wide range of atrocities with examples from the Quran.
Comparing what we need to do about global heating with Obama's State of the Union proposals.
The FBI wants to be allowed to crack computers under very broad and vague search orders.
There is now principled opposition to the prudish campaign to bully a lousy UK newspaper to stop printing bare breasts on page 3.
I agree with Fleet Street Fox on this. What's really wrong with that paper is everything else in it.
Science has found lots of evidence that kindness and cooperation are part of biological human nature.
I would not say, however, that "humans are naturally nice". Biological human nature is complex and includes other kinds of attitudes too.
Republicans in the Senate plan to give back to the CIA the leaked Panetta report which showed the senate CIA crimes.
Why did Netanyahu send drones against Hezbollah, which did not threaten Israel? Uri Avnery believes it was to provoke a war so he could win the election.
But it failed, because Hezbollah declined to help him out.
One reason for the Britain to leave the EU: it is what Goldman Sachs does not want.
This is not a matter of petty revenge: the power of Goldman Sachs is a tremendously harmful effect. Britons suffer greatly from the policies the UK adopts to be a good platform for that and other big banks, and so does the rest of the world.
What sort of law should be used to protect people from violent no-knock SWAT raids?
US citizens: call for a Domestic Corrupt Practices Act to match the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
People will pay a premium for devices they can change the software in.
I suppose the fact that companies still design computers to prevent users from changing the software indicates that there are very strong commercial or legal pressures on them. We have to change that with new laws.
Note that an iThing is an injustice even if jailbroken.
The BBC and its Canadian counterpart slant the news towards the power of business.
Republicans in the senate want to cooperate with Obama in suppressing the Senate torture report.
Republicans usually hate everything Democrats do, and obstruct it just for the sake of obstruction. But they make an bipartisan exception for the truly evil.
The European Commission is sneakily trying to make trade treaties give corporations special powers even if the treaties are not ratified.
If Syriza wins the Greek election tomorrow, Syriza could block ratification of these treaties, and it should do so for the sake of all of Europe. Has Syriza said anything about this?
US citizens: tell your congresscritter and senators to reject the TPP because it will surely threaten the environment and block efforts to slow global heating.
Police officer John Buttress opposed racist searches of people on the street, so the thugs he works with have repeatedly made false criminal charges against him.
Senator Joni Ernst grew up poor and her family depended on government aid. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of it.
Now she ungratefully campaigns to deny the aid to poor families today.
The Republican ruling Maine kicked 6000 people off food stamps because they are supposed to be working, though there are no jobs.
US gun laws permitting people to carry guns are only for whites. If you're black and you carry a gun, you are likely to get attacked even if you don't threaten anyone.
Paying workers by check forces low-income households to lose $3000 a year to paycheck lenders and such like.
If you were a low-wage worker 70 years ago, you didn't have to pay a substantial part of your wages just to receive the pay owed to you. You got it in cash.
This is one way our economy is structured to crush the poor. Others include the practice of fining poor people for being jailed when they can't pay a fee, and the fact that poor people have access only to expensive food stores.
The US refuses to shut down the reactors that are identical to those that failed disastrously at Fukushima.
US schools are starting to become concerned about leaks of students' personal data.
Activists reproach the Obamacare web site for hosting the tracking tags that enable companies to monitor visitors to the site.
It should be illegal for the web site of any government agency, or any commercial service acting for such an agency, to give out any visitors' personal data to any other entity unless this is required by law or the agency publishes those data.
Russian proxy forces in Ukraine are firing long-range missiles at Mariupol.
Mariupol is far away from the area that rebelled. If the rebels were really just rebels, they would not be interested in Mariupol. Putin, however, has a motive to conquer Mariupol: to link the conquered Crimea with Russia.
The UK government said it would encourage people to buy the public housing they live in, and build replacements. It did the first but quietly neglected the second.
Surviving companions of the 43 disappeared Mexican student protesters insist that the army was involved in the deed, and present proof.
As China's repression intensifies, lawyer Pu Zhiquiang who defended many human rights activists is himself a political prisoner.
China is blocking access to some VPNs.
Oil wells in California were found to emit various toxic chemicals into the air.
A film festival in Belgium was cancelled because of fears of terrorism.
Terrorists don't even need a real bomb to cancel an event.
Committee to Protect Journalists: Classifying Media And Encryption as a Threat Is Danger to Press Freedom.
Methane leaks in cities mean that natural gas contributes more to global heating than was believed.
The idea that natural gas is a good "bridge" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is based on a series of underestimates of its greenhouse gas impact.
The Philippines put homeless people from the streets of Manila to a hotel so the city would look nice for the Pope's visit.
It's funny when they say that they aimed to make Manila look like a first-world city. US cities haven't looked like that since the 1970s.
In the US, they make the city prettier by chasing the homeless out. This hotel stay was an inefficient form of support for the homeless, but at least it didn't do them any American-style harm or wrong.
I recall reading about a scheme that involved injecting live rhinos' horns with something that made them unsalable but did not hurt the rhino. Why isn't that being used?
The only two countries that have rejected the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are South Sudan and the US.
It is funny how legislators that want to approve the TPP would object to human rights for children as a "violation of sovereignty".
Who remembers the genocide of the Armenians? And why is it important?
Turkey commits a crime against freedom by prohibiting recognition of the genocide carried out by the Ottoman leaders, and France commits a similar crime by banning denial of the genocide. Hrant Dink, who defied the first prohibition and said he would defy the other, should be our hero.
You can't find a more vicious ruler than King Abdullah, but he was loyal to the plutocracy, so many plutocratist politicians and newspapers whitewash him.
Compare what Obama said about Abdullah with what Obama said when Hugo Chavez died.
Many construction projects "relocate" rare animals with the idea that this will prevent their extinction; but it is done carelessly and often they end up dying.
Brazil has imposed water rationing and electric power cuts due to an unprecedented drought.
In effect, the illegal loggers in the west of Brazil are now threatening the lives of people in the east, as well as the aborigines that live in the forests they destroy. Brazilians from cities must declare war on illegal logging, and return the plantations to the jungle.
UK tax and policy changes have hit the poor worst.
Drone assassinations are so imprecise that they kill on the average 28 unknown people for each target killed.
Anti-drone protester Kathy Kelly's statement about going to prison.
Lake Urmia in Iran has shrunk to just 10% of its size in the 70s. No one is sure why, but I suspect it is human diversion of water that used to flow into the lake.
200 people have been arrested blocking construction of a giant natural gas storage facility that could pollute Seneca Lake for decades. This has not stopped the campaign.
Abortion rights should be for all women, but the US has been choking them off more and more for the poor.
A UK thug kicked and battered a mother (to make her leave her child's hospital bed) so badly that she needed surgery and remains injured a year later. He got impunity, as usual.
Video proves thugs shot a black man who had got out of his car with his hands up.
If you watch that video, don't watch it on the youtube site because that requires running nonfree software. Use youtube-dl to download it and watch it without nonfree software.
When employers select who to hire based on how algorithms analyze people's internet activities, you will never know what action might make you unemployable.
This presumes that there will be a shortage of jobs, so that every employer will be able to make candidates jump through whatever hoops. But the same computer systems will ensure that too.
The conviction of Barrett Brown, based partly on denying that he is a journalist, puts all US journalists in danger.
His full statement.
The UK government assisted Gaddafi's spies, torturers and thugs, even more than we knew.
The US government's evidence against Jeffrey Sterling is that he had non-secret documents about using rotary dial phones — which were retroactively labeled as secret.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has carried out massive indiscriminate surveillance of phone call records for 15 years.
Everyone: Tell Monsanto shareholders to vote for accountability.
Google, Apple and others are lobbying to prevent governments from closing the tax loopholes that enable them to pay almost no taxes.
Boston signed a contract that forbids city employees from criticizing Boston's Olympic bid.
It is not clear the city has the right to impose this on its employees, but they might be scared to go against it. Maybe we can help them get the courage.
Unaccountable, unelected billionaires should not decide world policies.
Why the "reverence" for statements from the Gates Foundation? It gives grants to many organizations; many more apply for hope for grants. These organizations don't dare criticize whatever Gates decides to say.
The Houthi rebels have overthrown the government of Yemen, though they said this was not their aim.
Female Republican congresscritters blocked a plan to restrict abortion rights.
A Guatemalan couple trying to get back to the US to rejoin their children were swindled by people smugglers and are now broke and stuck in Mexico.
If you don't dare raise children because "gangs rule the streets", you should not have children. Whoever is responsible for Ms Cruz's recent pregnancy did something wrong — but who was that?
Was it her fault? Did she choose to take a chance on getting pregnant? If so, she should be punished. Sterilization would be appropriate.
Or did her husband refuse to use condoms and force her to get pregnant? Then it is his fault.
Was she unable to afford reliable birth control? Then it's the US's fault for not providing it to her. How callous to deny birth control to people who are not in a position to raise children properly!
Did she use birth control, but it failed, and then she could not get an abortion? In that case, the Guatemalan government is to blame.
Disneyland tells children not vaccinated for measles to stay away, after some workers were infected.
Mosul is almost surrounded by Peshmerga, and seems to be suffering already from siege conditions which exacerbate the oppression of PISSI's rule.
If you're drafted by PISSI, it is better to frag your commander and die than to give PISSI any positive service.
The US government could not find a basis to charge the thug that killed Michael Brown.
It can't charge him with murder, which is covered by state law. It can only accuse him if it found direct evidence of racism. So another cop-killer (i.e., killer cop) gets off with impunity.
Misleading statistics falsely make contraceptive pills seem dangerous.
Doubling a minuscule risk results in a minuscule risk — and it is not clear the risk really increases at all.
Nigeria's army is too corrupt to fight Boko Haram, and its government seems to regard it as a small local problem.
A western official admits it might take two years to "train" the Iraqi army to be able to fight PISSI.
Since he would always put a favorable spin, if he says "two years", he must really think "four years". But I am skeptical the Iraqi army will ever have a strong enough will to fight PISSI. The readiness to risk death rather than run away can't be taught or bought.
Australia is investigating reporters who cover immigration issues.
There should be nothing secret about a country's immigration policy, but Australia's government knows its secret cruelty is extreme and would arouse disgust if revealed. What reporters have found is already arousing plenty.
An interview with Kathy Kelly, going to prison for a protest against killer drones.
Improved measurements of the heating of the oceans shows there was no "pause" in global heating. The oceans received more heat in 2014 than ever recorded before.
Palestinians in an area that Israel has annexed have gone 10 months with no water supply.
Israel does all sorts of dirty tricks to make Palestinians leave the West Bank, and especially certain parts of it.
They hold on because they don't want to surrender to this pressure.
Women in El Salvador are sentenced to many years in prison for having abortions, or even miscarriages. And this is seeping into the US.
Antisemitism is turning violent in parts of Argentina.
US Republicans shift to a modified form of global heating denialism: their second line of defense to protect their campaign to cause disaster.
The US Capitol is on a hill, so they can keep on promoting global heating even after parts of Washington DC are inundated.
Fossil fuel companies and big fossil-fuel-using utilities have taken control of the wind power and solar power lobbying organizations in Europe, and redirected them to undermine renewable energy policies.
Argentina's president says prosecutor Nisman was murdered, but that his accusations were based on others' false testimony.
The euro zone needs to forgive Greek debt for its own sake as well as for Greeks' sake.
Republicans in Wisconsin want to politicize the state elections board.
That would help them use their current position of dominance to get away with subtle violations of election law.
Obama Will Fundamentally Reshape the Internet — perhaps for the worse.
A breakthrough makes it possible to create genetically engineered bacteria that will die whenever supplies of certain artificial chemicals run out.
The Republican Party cut out one of Obama's sentences when streaming the State of the Union address.
US Republican election candidates have to pass through the "Koch primary."
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose "fast track" for the TPP. And your senators too!
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: call on Congress to protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A badly designed survey overestimated the rate of defensive use of guns by perhaps a hundred times. Gun nuts cite it to bury the fact that guns are used far more to attack people than to defend people.
The UK has mulishly applied a rule meant for people who do day care in their homes to people who work in schools — firing them if anyone they live with has been convicted of certain crimes.
A snooping device that insurance companies put in people's cars turns out to let anyone else snoop on or sabotage the car.
US citizens: submit a comment for protection of deep-sea corals off the US Atlantic coast.
India's film censors are hit by scandals.
US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to take statistics on violence by thugs, then act to restrain it.
Matt Ridley's climate myths have been refuted over and over, so why won't he drop them?
Thai migrant workers in Israel are being worked like slaves.
Two Turkish thugs have been sentenced to prison for beating a protester to death.
A founder of the anti-immigrant German party Pegida posed as Hitler. He says it was meant to accompany a satirical novel.
Put an end to bottom-trawling, which causes tremendous ecological damage to get a fairly small quantity of fish.
Rains in December have stopped, and California remains in drought.
A Palestinian man in Tel Aviv attacked passengers on a bus with a knife.
Stabbing civilians randomly is not brave, or heroic, or right; but it is indeed a natural response to the occupation, which is a far bigger wrong.
The FBI wants to be able to search computers without showing probable cause, if the computer uses Tor or a VPN.
A court ruled India must allow Greenpeace to receive funds from abroad. The government arbitrarily blocked the funds to stop Greenpeace from protecting the environment from businesses.
Feminists should focus on the low paid jobs of most women, rather than obsessing about the fraction of females among the few executive positions and corporate board positions.
The UK government rejects almost 60% of applications for to build wind power on land. By contrast, it has eliminated local power to reject fracking.
Both policies reflect the government's general policy of supporting fossil fuel companies.
Other EU countries claim that tremendous UK subsidies for a new nuclear power plant violate EU rules, and will sue.
A UK teacher that had a many-year affair with a student has been sent to prison, wrongly in my view.
Teachers have a responsibility not to become intimate with students, but there is no reason to make this a crime. Teachers who don't carry out that responsibility should be fired.
US thugs have radars that look through walls and can detect a person breathing.
I wonder what it takes to block that radar.
One UK ISP has made the higher level of censorship the default.
A considerable amount of censorship is mandatory in the UK, which does not allow freedom on the internet.
Israel holds 5000 Palestinians prisoner in Israel. Palestinian prisoners are often tortured; since 1967, 72 have been tortured to death. This is the worst abuse, but there are many more.
Moriel Rothman-Zecher refused to become a soldier in the occupation of Palestine. Most Israelis call him a "traitor", but he believes that Israeli patriotism means working to end the occupation.
Charlie Hebdo (and you) must be free to offend anyone and everyone.
Israeli soldiers, safe in towers, shoot stone-throwing Palestinian teenagers dead.
Airlines in the US are a clear example of how a deregulated "free" market can serve customers badly.
There is no such thing as "the" free market. Every market has rules, and a free market simply means one in which everyone is allowed to play by the same rules. Changing the rules can make a big difference between one free market and another free market.
US oil wells burn large amounts of natural gas that are "not worth capturing".
Why is it worth getting other gas by fracking instead?
A call to sanity for US parents: stop hovering over your children.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech calling for the US to end its intervention in Vietnam.
For historic clarity, I should point out some things King did not know. For instance, the NLF was run by secret Communists, the Viet Cong were mostly wiped out, and South Vietnam was ultimately conquered by the North Vietnamese Army.
But these details are not enough to invalidate King's main points. To preserve a US-friendly dictatorship against another dictatorship could not justify the violence that the US inflicted on Vietnam.
The details today are different but the US continues to inflict violence around the world — and poison its soul thereby.
The UK government has cut off unemployment benefits to 2 million people. 20% of them found work. It is not clear what happened to the rest.
Senate Republicans aim to abolish the requirement for states to provide equal education to minority groups.
Personal monitoring devices for computers open the door to employers and governments' forcing people to be monitored.
The copyright industry is so disconnected from reality that its lawyers believe the internet exists due to copyright.
GCHQ included investigative journalists in a list of high priority surveillance targets.
Everyone: boycott Koch Industries products.
The Obamacare web site gives data to many companies about its visitors; these companies can integrate that data with other personal data to increase their knowledge of the person.
They say that the companies are prohibited from using the data for "business purposes", but I expect they have already found other ways to use the data while pretending it is not "for business purposes".
Sure, the analysis is useful — but government relationship to the public should not be designed in a narrowminded way that considers only the specific project. This web site should never give any data about people to any company.
Fracking causes medium-size earthquakes in several US states.
A World Bank project is funding a project that drives Ethiopian peasants off their land to use it for plantations.
Russian protesters were jailed for 10 days for a protest consisting of throwing holy water at the outside of Lenin's mausoleum.
Since the current regime in Russia is not Communist, this is either a punishment for "insulting Christianity" or a punishment for "insulting tyranny".
Agribusiness claims only it can fill the world's food shortage. But there isn't one — and we don't need to let agribusiness dominate farming.
World food production would become a lot easier, and a lot better for the environment, if we ate less meat and especially less beef. It would be better for the people eating, too.
Fanatical Muslims in Niger rioted and attacked Christian churches as punishment for Charlie Hebdo's cover.
A call for a privacy opt-out in future US location-tracking technology.
This might actually do some good, because it goes beyond the inadequate approach of limiting use of data that has been collected.
The US has run secret military missions in 105 countries since October 1.
Nabil Rajab was sentenced to prison in Bahrain for an "offensive tweet".
France and Britain, do you want to be in a class with Bahrain, or will you respect freedom of expression?
The Pope is reaching for straws to reconcile the rejection of contraception with his humane general outlook, but that can't be done. The former must go.
Mexico will use drones to find the illegal fishing operations that kill rare porpoises.
Boat people sent by Australia to Manus Island are on hunger strike; their prison guards are confiscating phones so they cannot document the violence.
The attempt to remove the condemnation from the word "slut" seems to have failed.
I have never understood what is supposed to be wrong about being a "slut". I can't see why a woman shouldn't have sex however she likes, even if she is my lover.
I love Favianna's attitude, but I avoid referring to sex using the word "fuck". It has too much harshness associated with it.
India claims success in protecting tigers, saying the population has increased 30% since 2011.
In the past, India's reported tiger population included many that were dead; one tiger reserve was found to have no tigers at all. This time they seem to counted more carefully.
A new Republican senator from Koch Industries will give the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address.
The progressive views that most Americans support may be mentioned somewhat in Obama's address, now that no one expects him to be able to deliver on them much. But it is too little and way too late, from a man who seems not to have been committed to any principles.
Once again, the FBI found a vulnerable and feckless Muslim and pushed/led him to get ready for an armed attack using the FBI's funds and the FBI's plan.
Everyone: sign Reporters Without Borders' petition denouncing censorship of the press, including that done by governments.
The Spanish plutocratic parties face a vigorous challenge from Podemos.
Thugs in Baton Rouge attacked a man for making a video, first stealing his camera, then knocking him down and jumping on him. Then they framed him for a fictional crime.
Everyone: tell General Mills to stop disguising the high fructose corn syrup in its products.
The right-wing UK government used a hypocritical "big society" idea as a distraction from its plan to hurt the poor. Supposedly charities were going to pick up the burden that the government dropped — but the government cut funds for the charities too.
New treatment centers are beating Ebola, but money is needed to keep them running until there are zero cases.
The coast of the Mediterranean is being engulfed by tourist resorts and cities. In France and Italy, more than 50% of the Mediterranean coast is paved.
An important Guatemalan thug has been sentenced to life in prison (in effect) for mass murder of protesters in 1980.
This is equivalent to a life sentence; he is surely old enough that he won't live 30 years more.
For millions of Americans who are not in prison, home is a prison, due to an explosion of monitoring, sex-offender registries, and other virtual forms of imprisonment.
In Florida, an alarming number of prisoners died suspiciously after telling relatives, "The guards are going to kill me." In some cases the murders were witnessed.
When blacks carry what looks like a gun, thugs shoot them dead on sight. A white woman drove around shooting at people, even pointing her gun at a thug, and the thugs managed to disarm and arrest her without killing her.
Bravo, but if they can do this with whites, they could do it with blacks too — if they tried.
A powerful official in Kenya has taken a school's playground; thugs fired tear gas at the children when they protested.
Apparently this is a standard modus operandi for corrupt politicians in Kenya, and the school just happened to be the one that got victimized this time.
Temporary workers supplied by labor agencies never get a living wage.
I think it's a good idea to fine businesses that use agency workers for more than 120 hours a month for 3 successive months for any particular kind of work. If a business needs that much work, it should hire regular staff to do the work.
However, we should also disconnect funding for social programs from employment. A business should pay tax based its gross income, with a small deduction for each full-time worker employed.
Guantanamo guards forced Mohamedou Ould Slahi to dry his toilet with his uniform and sleep in it.
US citizens: call for firm and thorough regulation of methane leaks, including existing systems.
In Iran, a newspaper was shut down for publishing a statement "I am Charlie".
Meanwhile, in France, other sorts of statements have been censored.
Censoring political views is wrong regardless of which views are censored.
New York State's ban on fracking is based on numerous studies tying it to harm to human health.
To prevent global heating disaster, we must leave 80% of the known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Clearly the most dangerous reserves should be the first on the list not to be extracted. That includes anything that would be obtained by fracking, strip mining (including tar sands) or undersea drilling.
The richest 80 people in the world own half the world's wealth.
Just 5 years ago, it took over 300 rich people to encompass half the world's wealth. Inequality is increasing, which is an injustice.
By 2016, the richest 1% will own more than all the rest of the world.
The US claims to have obtained proof that North Korea carried out the Sony crack, through espionage on computer networks.
It could be true, but I do not have implicit confidence in the US government.
I don't object when the NSA spies on hostile governments such as North Korea, or even China. That is its legitimate purpose. What I object to is when it spies on everyone including you and me.
Many governments are "reforming" education but hardly ever do they determine whether the reforms made education better.
Since Russia denies sending troops to fight in Ukraine, it has to cover up the Russian soldiers that are killed fighting there.
Some soldiers refuse to "volunteer" for the "business trip".
A privatized NHS hospital was half owned by its workers, that that did not prevent it from being a disastrous failure.
Cooperatives are a fine way to organize a business but that doesn't make them acceptable in public services where business itself is a bad idea.
Bahrain has charged the main opposition leader with plotting to overthrow the government by force, which is absurd since the government has all the force.
US citizens: call for raising the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour.
US citizens: call on the IRS to implement its own digital tax filing system and stop bowing down to companies that want to profit from this.
US citizens: oppose the bill to ban states from requiring labeling of GMOs in food.
The testimony of one of the few survivors of the Auschwitz death camp.
A former TSA officer says they all hated their job because they knew it was causing absurd gratuitous misery.
Important businesses have come out against software patents.
The EU has made it difficult to ban GM crops, but not impossible.
Bangladesh has shut down a messaging service that protesters found useful.
This sort of behavior has been seen in many countries.
An Argentinian prosecutor who recently charged a government coverup of a hate crime against Jews in Argentina was found dead.
The UK Tories are scurrying to empty the treasury to their cronies ahead of the general election. The expense of new prisons will give them (and Labour too) an excuse for further cutbacks in support for poor people outside of prison.
Registered sex offenders are "modern-day lepers". A village in Florida shelters 100 of them who are rejected everywhere else.
Some of them committed real wrongs. Others are the targets of modern-day cruel prudery.
Selma, Alabama, is today majority black and even the factory workers get low pay.
This results from decades of "free trade", union busting, and tax cutting for business and the rich.
Oxfam attacks the system that created today's massive inequality.
John Kiriakou asks why the CIA agents that committed torture beyond what the agency had officially "approved" are not being prosecuted.
Kiriakou says the CIA knew that Bush approved the torture before it started.
There is more.
On the status and prospects of the EPA's plan to regulate methane leaks.
UK thugs have asked all men in a certain town to "voluntarily" offer DNA samples in order to identify a murderer by elimination.
If I were one of those men, I would demand a written commitment from the state to discard my DNA sample after the test, before agreeing to give one.
West Virginia has put global heating denialism into textbooks to please the coal companies. As often happens, they call this "balance" — balancing real science with business propaganda.
A German journalist in China reports about the arrest of his assistant, and how the Chinese thugs insisted that China has rule of law while disregarding Chinese law completely.
Uber hopes to buy the approval of cities by collecting ride data for them.
Even if this reporting doesn't give personal data on individuals, that won't change the fact that Uber collects that data and can make it available to the state in other ways. We must not accept Uber as a substitute for taxis and car services that can be used anonymously. Please don't do business with Uber.
Vox republished Charlie Hebdo cartoons and received no threats in response. When it covered bigotry against Muslims, the threats came in.
I do not use the term "phobia" to describe a form of bigotry; it is the wrong word.
Obama's push to increase penalties for cracking computer systems is completely useless against foreign state-sponsored crackers, and nearly useless against professional criminal crackers, because they expect not to be caught.
But it would be great for intimidating the next Aaron Swartz. Obama's advisors surely understand this.
One American climbed to get a good job, through skill, hard work and luck (i.e., chance), then became unemployed (and therefore unemployable) when the luck ran out. So he says, don't look down on him for buying groceries with a government benefits card then driving away in his expensive car (until it gets repossessed).
His dim chances of getting another job, whether a good one or a bad one, reflect the lousy state of the real US economy for everyone but the rich, which in turn results from years of plutocratic policies on banking and taxation.
US citizens: call on Congress to tax Wall Street to support the real economy.
US businesses have had direct ties to various kinds of slavery through history.
The Swiss government has adopted a policy of transparency about export of surveillance systems, showing exports to rather repressive governments such as Ethiopia.
How the NSA and its rivals spy on each other's spying.
Iraq's "vice-president for reconciliation" warns that fighting PISSI without offering Sunnis a share in democracy could backfire.
Many of us have said this; it is good for it to be endorsed by someone perhaps more influential.
The editors of Strike! magazine approach anarchist activism with a hacker's touch.
Surprised to see nothing about computer security? Remember, hacking means appreciating playful cleverness. There is no need for computers to be involved, and if they are, there is no need for it to have anything to do with breaking or fixing computer security.
A right-wing anti-Muslim-immigration party in Germany cancelled a protest after a leader received a death threat.
In France, people are being sentenced to prison for expressing a favorable opinion of acts of terrorism.
The UK Green Party proposes a basic citizen's income for all adults.
PISSI released elderly non-Muslim captives, instead of killing them.
Perhaps its bloodthirstiness was driving some Muslims away.
Email, and texting, interfere with thinking and make people less efficient.
I avoid a lot of this problem by receiving email in batches. If only there weren't so much of it.
A bizarre charity offers young men new hope by giving them suits.
I find it hard to imagine the mentality of a person for whom this gift would make things better. So strange.
I wonder what export crop he would promote if appointed agriculture minister. Pretty flowers, perhaps?
No one has monitored the waste for these pollutants, so it is not clear yet how often they amount to a significant problem.
A firing range in Arkansas has banned Muslims as customers, together with anyone suspected of being Muslim.
Isn't this sort of discrimination illegal?
They make it standard practice to do this so that they can get the property they seize — which is a corrupting influence.
The whole practice of "forfeiture" is inherently unjust, because it amounts to punishment without trial, mislabeled as something else.
Some financial experts call on Europe to forgive Greece's debt.
It should forgive debt (all or part) for all the countries that have been hit by euro-austerity. Or in some cases perhaps offer them the chance to pay starting in 10 years with no interest in the interim.
Which is one reason to distrust any claim they make that people must cede human rights.
People can learn to ignore the last one, but the other two can't be so easily overcome.
Psychological investigation shows why intentional "positive thinking" can make people discouraged: "Don't think of a negative thought!" is as self-defeating as "Don't think of an elephant!".
In effect, positive thinking amounts to "What, me worry?"
What's really scary is that Dubya practiced this, and it led him to assume nothing he did could ever go wrong. It may have facilitated the US financial crisis, too.
Republicans have introduced a bill to ban the FCC from establishing proper network neutrality.
By the way, network neutrality means that ISPs do not check what subscribers are transmitting in any way.
US citizens: call on Congress to oppose two bills that would stop the public from resisting fracking.
US citizens: call on Obama to defend the environment from Republican onslaught.
US citizens: call on the US government to release Mohamedou Slahi from Guantanamo.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the cable companies' weak version of "network neutrality".
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: condemn Rand Paul for attacking social security.
Of course people receiving Social Security game the system. They must do so, because the benefits are inadequate.
They are also inspired by the attitude of the wealthy. Rich people and businesses game the system constantly, taking far more although they don't need it at all. Let's go after them first.
More about Obama's plan to criminalize any disobedience in using a computer.
For instance, sending a personal email from a work computer, if that breaks the company's rule, might automatically become a crime.
It is clear that this proposal has nothing to do with protecting against anything we really want to prevent. Rather, it is an example of the practice of using a notorious attack as excuse for unrelated prohibitions desired for some other reason.
Please don't use the word "hackers" to mean real or accused security breakers. That's unfair to us hackers, who enjoy playful cleverness.
An Indian writer has been bullied into quitting writing by a campaign of threats.
Mauritania has arrested anti-slavery activists.
A fairly small spill of diesel fuel has left Longueuil, Canada, with undrinkable water.
Human impact on ocean life is ramping up, paving the way for extinctions that could drastically modify ocean ecosystems and cause a cascade of extinctions.
Unrestrained capitalism is rolling steadily towards global disaster.
Racism is the key to the high rate of imprisonment in the US. It offered the US a way to reconcile the push to "get tough" on criminals with the majority's wish not to be treated that way.
Here are the 10 Senate Democrats that voted to build Keystone XL.
In Orange County, poor people's children get vaccinated but wealthier people give in to superstition. This is causing a big increase in cases of measles.
The US gave Mohamedou Slahi a "letter from his mother". It was a forgery.
He argues for Americans' right to know what the government does in our name in Guantanamo.
His main entertainment was the predictable bullshit of the interrogators.
US citizens: sign this petition to amend the Constitution to override the Corporations United decision.
The US has adopted some limited protections for journalists' communications with their sources.
However, these can be set aside by the government in any instance, so they do not protect the most important whistleblowers. We need to ensure that people can communicate anonymously.
For those in the US military, hostile fire is a small danger compared with suicide and sexual assault.
Peru's youths protest against a law that stripped young workers of the usual rights of workers.
I suspect it will lead to denying those rights to all workers. If their "solution" to the problem that some people are often unemployed is to deny them some rights, that will shift the problem to another group of workers; by and by, they will employ that solution everywhere.
President Humala is Peru's Obama: he gave the impression of being somehow progressive, but he has shown little sign of that since taking office.
The harmful effects of 20 years of "free trade" treaties on the US.
Egypt is sentencing activists and human rights defenders to death en masse.
Florida thugs do target practice on photos of black men. Real, living (for the moment) black men.
After 6 years of legal wrangling, the Guantanamo diary of prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been released for publication.
Here's a part describing the torture as he was put on a plane in Bagram.
Here he negotiates openly about the false confession he is offering to get better treatment. Torture is an effective way of getting false confessions.
SWAT teams in Massachusetts pretend to be a private charity to shield themselves from open records law.
US customs reports to the FBI what people are reading, and interrogate for the FBI.
If you are a US citizen, and they ask you prying questions, say you want a lawyer.
The Washington DC library is teaching people about surveillance.
2014 was the hottest year ever recorded.
Thus, the "pause" in global heating, when the added heat went mainly into the oceans rather than the atmosphere, has not continued.
Eradicating rats on one of the Galapagos islands has enabled tortoises to start breeding there.
There is a controversy because a teacher in London who had sex with a student was not sentenced to prison. I get the impression that the teacher and the student were both lacking in self-discipline.
The teacher's job requires not being intimate with students. This teacher failed to carry out that responsibility, and he should be fired for this, but there is no reason for it to be a crime.
Note the absurdity of this criticism:
As is clear from Annex C of the guidelines on prosecuting child sexual abuse, a 16-year-old girl cannot 'groom' an adult.Laws and regulations specify how to respond to what does occur. They cannot dictate that something cannot occur. The idea of appealing to a law to claim something could not have happened is nonsense.
Obama's paid parental leave for federal employees is a good but small first step, falling far short of international standards.
I should also point out that any privatization of government jobs will undo the effect.
Religious fanatics in Pakistan brought disrepute on their own religion by protesting against Charlie Hebdo in its name.
EU competition regulators say that Amazon's tax dodging scheme violates EU law.
On Charlie Hebdo Pope Francis is using the wife-beater's defence.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom to deny, criticize, offend, insult or mock any person, group, practice, or belief — whether we agree with the statement or not. Countries such as France, which arrest people for expressing views, do not respect freedom of speech.
If France draws any lesson from the assassination of Charlie Hebdo staff, it must be to desist from censorship.
Mississippi is planning to take away Dr Landrum's medical license because he treats poor people from his car.
Obama's War on Crackers goes to the point where you could be imprisoned simply for clicking on a link — or talking with people who did.
Doing anything on a computer that the owner would not like would be a crime.
Please don't use the word "hackers" to refer to people who really do break security, or people accused of doing so. That's unfair to us hackers, who enjoy playful cleverness.
The CFAA is already too broad in its definition of crime, as we saw when it was used against Aaron Swartz and drove him to suicide. It needs to be changed in the other direction.
It would be a strategic error to limit ourselves to criticizing these changes for the worse. Eventually they would "compromise" with us, "meet us half way", by making only part of their changes for the worse, and they would have silenced our demands.
What we must do now is reiterate the demand to correct what is already wrong with the CFAA, so that the "compromise" is to do nothing and we do not drop our demands to correct the existing injustice.
Americans: check your own state for regressive tax policies. Do the wealthy pay a lower state tax rate than the poor?
Some conclusions that follow from these facts.
When thug Franklin Foulks arrested black teenager Jamal Rutledge, then had a heart attack, Rutledge demonstrated a spark of goodness and saved Foulks' life.
There is no indication that Foulks was acting thuggishly at that time. Jamal Rutledge may indeed have committed burglary; his arrest may have been entirely proper. I call Foulks a thug because he works for a thug department. A priori, I expect that if he had seen another thug shoot Rutledge for no reason and make false charges, he would have lied in support of the false charges. This is what makes the story ironic.
It is possible Foulks is an exception. I hope so, but exceptions are unusual.
US citizens: call on your senators to protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
US citizens: call on CVS to stop collecting Antarctic krill, whose numbers are plummeting.
Leaders of "free" Western countries are following the path of tyrannical countries such as China and Russia when they demand total surveillance power.
No amount of "security measures" can perfectly prevent all terrorist attacks, so there will always be more excuses for added "security measures". And note how the number of victims needed to make an excuse keeps going down. The French terrorists killed fewer than 20 people, which is surely fewer than are killed on French roads by car accidents every day, and attacks on human rights are proposed on this basis.
A new campaign for "patent reform" has been distracted completely by "trolls" and has lost sight of all the substantive issues.
Any measures directed at "trolls" would do nothing to protect software developers from the worst patent aggressors, such as Apple.
What we need is to protect software from patents.
How Verizon's interference with customers' browsing enables Verizon's advertising partner to help all manner of snooping web sites reidentify visitors.
Putin's rebels in Ukraine are on the offensive and have captured part of the long-contested Donetsk airport.
They couldn't possibly have done this without Russia's military support.
Obama has allowed limited trade with Cuba.
This was passed on to me, in a strong form, so I oppose all efforts to pass it on to others.
Environmentalist leader Jonathon Porritt has quit working with Shell and BP, saying that oil companies are structurally unable to adapt to renewable energy.
In other words, we need to defeat them — it's them or us. Them or human civilization. Them or half the species alive on Earth.
The case against Jeffrey Sterling is the CIA's political vendetta.
In India, those who massacre Dalits keep getting acquitted by courts.
Obama and the Republicans plan to authorize limitless war around the world.
The UK wants the US to join in attacking the last shreds of people's privacy rights.
Snowden gave us a chance to fight against total surveillance, but we didn't fight vigorously enough, and now the surveillance state is on the attack.
The rationale for permitting superPACs is that they are independent of candidates, but nearly half of them backed just one candidate.
Offshore wind power in the Atlantic could provide twice the jobs and twice the energy of offshore oil drilling. That's in addition to protecting marine mammals from explosions and all sea life from future oil spills.
I wonder if it is possible to use offshore windmills as a kind of fence to keep ships away from rocks where they could cause oil spills.
Why the EPA's proposed regulation of methane leaks is too leaky to do the job.
State and local taxes in the US fall heavily on the poor.
Banks weakened US financial regulations yet again. As usual, Obama is no obstacle to them.
US citizens: call on your senators to stand firm for environmental protection.
US citizens: say no to a GMO potato.
US citizens: oppose the TPP (yes, keep doing it over and over).
US citizens: call on Congress not to punish Palestine for joining the ICC.
Thugs and busybodies continue to harass the parents that allowed their children to walk outdoors.
There are circumstances under which this treatment would be justified — if parents are grossly mistreating children. The insanity is in the idea that children should never be allowed to be alone.
Obama proposes to make it easier to snoop on your records of energy usage.
"Smart meters" should be designed to limit how much data they offer about your short-term energy usage.
Satellite photos demonstrate that Boko Haram destroyed thousands of buildings in an attempt to kill as many civilians as possible.
Obama took a stand against state laws that ban municipal broadband networks.
US citizens: call on Obama to veto any bill to construct the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
"Don't ridicule our views, or I will attack you" is an explicit threat of violence. "Don't ridicule our views, or some of us might go crazy and attack you" is a slightly veiled threat of violence.
Slavoj Žižek: Murderous extremists kill because they are insecure about the beliefs they insist on; they have incorporated into their minds some of the secular attitudes they say they oppose.
The beginning is a great explanation of why "You shouldn't say such provocative things about Muslims" is comparable to "You shouldn't wear such provocative clothing."
To Catch a Non-Predator, Try Entrapment. The US government has agents that present themselves on the net as adult women interested in dates, hoping to pressure men to agreeing their younger sisters can come along on a date, to get an excuse to imprison them.
Samples of the writing for which Raif Badawi has been sentenced to receive 1000 lashes with a whip.
It is a powerful rebuke to the doctrines of a religion, and demonstrates why laws banning insult to a religion are tyranny.
Why should we show any respect to religions that don't respect us? (Note: If you are not a Muslim, Islam has little or no respect for your freedom of religion.)
I like what Badawi has written. I don't like what Mr Dieudonné said nearly so much, but he too has the right to say it. Down with French government censorship!
Bisphenol A was adopted widely, then it was found to be an endocrine disruptor. So Bisphenol S was adopted as a replacement, without testing that, and it turns out to have similar effects.
Pressuring kindergarten children to learn to read makes them anxious and could hurt their education.
Everyone: tell the media not to label global heating denialists as "skeptics".
US citizens: support the EPA's proposed stricter limits for smog.
Measuring US handouts to the fossil fuel companies, and how much that money could do if spent on something beneficial.
The prosecution of Ross Ulbricht is concealing evidence.
It also asserts he's responsible for all uses of the Silk Road site.
New Orleans found housing for every one of the homeless veterans in the city. This demonstrates it can be done, with a will.
Now how about the homeless non-veterans? They are people too.
Charlie Hebdo exposes the repression of censorship in Turkey.
The high price of gold is encouraging mining that is based on deforestation.
There are many problems like this. What they add up to is, when most of the Earth is covered with human activities, preserving a fraction for wildlife is harder than it looks.
Freedom of speech in France takes another hit: a comedian has been arrested for a vague statement which the state interpreted as sympathy for one of the killers. And that's one of 54 prosecutions for illegal speech launched in France since the march to defend freedom of speech.
Even if someone unambiguously expressed support for the killers, that would still be part of freedom of speech.
Microsoft has stopped informing some users about bugs in Windows. Now it tells only the NSA.
Prisoner Ricky Martin begged to be moved away from his violent cellmate, but he wasn't moved, and he was murdered.
There is some reason to think the guards arranged for him to be murdered.
In most large US cities, solar panels are a very good investment.
A massive biometric database will help LA thugs track anyone who has ever been arrested — protesters, as well as criminals.
When the US invaded Afghanistan, it captured child soldiers. Does it make sense to keep them in prison now?
Why charge captured enemy soldiers with a crime for fighting, anyway?
Welcome to 'uber-veillance' says Australian Privacy Foundation, as "wearable computers" run by proprietary software snoop on behalf of companies that control the software.
Haiti's US-imposed President Martelly has not held elections for parliament, which has now dissolved, enabling Martelly to rule autocratically.
The waste due to medical billing in the US amounts to almost 400 billion dollars a year.
We could save it all with a national health service such as Canada has.
US companies are coercing employees into "wellness programs".
If these "wellness programs" involve using wearable surveillance devices, they will mean total surveillance. Any activity that pressures people to use them is therefore unjust.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose new sanctions against Iran. There is a new push in the senate to impose more sanctions to sabotage the nuclear negotiations. The capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121.
The US government backed down and will not jail reporter James Risen.
Now the US should stop threatening journalists and the patriots that reveal government incompetence and injustice to them.
If the Olympic games are held in Boston, the US government will spend a billion dollars on increased repression (i.e., "security").
Obama wants to increase the absurdly high penalties of the CFAA. What we really need is to reduce the scope of the CFAA so that it is clear breaching someone's nonnegotiated contract is not a crime.
Meanwhile, the US government neglects its own cybersecurity. It would rather bluster and threaten than defend itself.
The TTIP (This Treaty Is Plutocratic) aims to abolish the principle of equality before the law.
Journalists, lawyers and MDs are campaigning against UK massive surveillance plans.
An anti-snooping campaign in the UK.
Rory Fanning, former US Army Ranger, informs new Rangers about what they will really be fighting for, and what the results are likely to be.
Ukrainian army pilot Nadia Savchenko says she was captured in Ukraine before being taken to Russia, and says she will fast to death if not released.
The Icelandic company DataCell is suing Mastercard and Visa in the US for the money lost when they refused to send money to Wikileaks via DataCell.
A leaked CIA study found that assassinating enemies can be ineffective or even backfire.
The US bombed a PISSI "headquarters building" which turns out to be a jail where it imprisoned opposition.
An Albuquerque thug will be charged with murder for shooting a civilian for no good reason.
This is an occasion for celebration, but to end thugs' reign of terror this must become the rule instead of the exception.
In response to the violent censorship of Charlie Hebdo, ministers of France and 11 other EU countries propose… more censorship!
They were going to find an excuse for this sooner or later.
Moderate "Democrats" might as well be Republicans, and now some Democrats are calling them on it.
In response to this pressure, they have started to support a weak version of the "Robin Hood tax".
Hiring Timothy Loehmann as a thug was a fatal mistake which could have been avoided.
New York City has become a less hostile place as thugs refrain from petty harassment.
Obama's proposed "cybersecurity" law endangers privacy by making it easy for companies to "voluntarily" give personal data to the government.
This idea was tried before under the name of CISPA, and defeated.
However, if we really want privacy, we should not let those companies have our data.
A small house construction project could cause the extinction of a rare spider.
The UK has streamlined planning so that projects can't be stopped by niggling considerations like extinction of a species.
Islamism in France attacks a mostly secularized Muslim community, perhaps tempted in response to racist exclusion from opportunity.
Why did fundamentalists attack Charlie Hebdo, whose principal target is the Muslim-hating right wing, rather than the right wing Muslim-haters? Clearly the fundamentalists are not thinking in political terms. Political circumstances may have caused them alienation, but they rebuilt themselves around irrationality.
The UK's prime minister wants to ban encryption and establish a total digital police state.
In the Arab world, you can satirize PISSI, but it is hard to satirize much in repressive Egypt, and Turkey is getting dangerous too.
Authoritarian EU politicians have seized on the Charlie Hebdo attentat as a spurious excuse for tracking travel within the Schengen zone.
Rushing to climb ice on Kilimanjaro — next week it may be gone forever.
Indonesian troops have arrested a hundred people in West Papua and burned down a dozen houses, as a random reprisal for the killing of some soldiers.
Indonesia forcibly seized West Papua in 1969 with a fishy "election", and since then has colonized the region with Javanese.
US citizens: Call on Congress once again to overturn the Corporations United decision.
US citizens: call on the FCC to give us real net neutrality.
Rajapaksa called an election based on advice from an astrologer! What an idiot!
The result could be good for Sri Lanka, even though it was bad for him.
Hitler also trusted his astrologer, who was an Allied agent and intentionally gave him bad advice.
Designing growing cities for energy efficiency could make a big difference in human energy use by 2050.
Afrileaks provides a channel for whistleblowers in Africa.
Copyright makes it difficult to make a movie about the campaigns of Martin Luther King Jr.
The behavior of his heirs is disgraceful, but the real culprit is copyright law.
Microfinance can help the poor in some circumstances, but it is not automatic.
California has passed a very weak law against the worst kind of abuses by companies that collect data about students from schools. Now Obama proposes a similarly weak federal law, with a weak voluntary policy as backup alternative.
Schools should not allow companies to collect any data about their students. If a school creates an account on a Microsoft, Apple or Google server for a student, under the student's name, that is already a violation of the student's privacy.
The "Internet of Things", and keeping people "connected" through servers run by companies, is a scheme for total control of the population.
It is too bad that the article ends with an obligatory rejection of Luddism, because Luddism simply means being selective about which technologies to accept. If we are to consider rejecting a technology that companies wish to impose on us, rather than ineffectually complaining about it, we must first be Luddites.
Verizon has been caught making directly contradictory statements to the FCC.
If the FCC is not too corrupted by business, it could prosecute Verizon for perjury.
Facebook can understand a used's personality from "likes" more accurately, on the average, than friends and spouses can do so.
What Jews can learn from Muslims, in regard to respect for others.
A statement advocating censorship was censored on Facebook. I suspect the statement was deleted because of the appearance of the word "nigger" — ironically, to condemn the use of that word. That's what tends to happen when censorship is carried out by idiots.
That writer deserves freedom to present his views, ironically for the same reason that his views are wrong.
People never want to censor what they agree with. Respect for freedom of speech means, at heart, respecting the freedom to say what we disagree with. We must respect the freedom to call blacks "niggers", or praise Hitler, even though we disagree and disapprove. We must also respect the freedom to advocate censorship, precisely because otherwise we ourselves endorse censorship.
Egyptian Atheist Karim Ashraf Mohamed al-Banna has been sentenced to three years in prison for saying he is an Atheist.
It seems that $500 can permanently lift a person in Bangladesh out of ultra-poverty.
US states are cutting funds for pre-school which is crucial for students raised in poverty to catch up with the better off.
Meanwhile, privatized "public schools" divert money to profits and executives, and can't be converted back into real public schools.
The rich in the US are no longer interested in an educated work force. They consider a large fraction of Americans impoverished.
In Haiti, the US-imposed president Martelly has effectively eliminated democracy. He has not even tried to hold elections.
In the US, you are more likely to be shot by a toddler than killed by terrorists.
Why pay such a price — in freedom as well as money — for hypothetical protection from terrorists?
India blocked an Indian Greenpeace leader from flying to London for an event, based on false accusations.
California's new system of groundwater rights is weak and won't take effect for six more years. In the mean time, new almond plantations are taking up more water, leaving others without any.
The IMF bullied Ukraine, on Monsanto's behalf, to change various agricultural laws in favor of corporate GMO plantations.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the "Regulatory Accountability Act", a plutocratic bill to make new federal regulations nearly impossible.
Right-wingers in favor of total surveillance have seized on the Charlie Hebdo murders to demand total tracking of all train passengers, which would not have prevented these murders anyway. Fortunately there is opposition to these oppressive plans.
Amtrak already demands identification from passengers, which is why I refuse to take Amtrak.
Senator Feinstein wants to prosecute Julian Assange, but wants General Petraeus to be let off the hook.
US citizens: Call on Obama to let Shaker Aamer return to Britain.
Those denying that the Japanese army forced women to be prostitutes during World War II are claiming that women were the only class of people that Japan did not coerce.
Eric Taylor McDavid was sentenced to 20 years in prison for being led by the woman he loved to discuss bombing government facilities. He has been freed because she was an FBI provocateur and the FBI concealed information from his trial.
Many other supposed "terrorists" have been railroaded by FBI provocateurs, most of whom would never have done anything violent if left to themselves.
Meanwhile, a real act of terrorism was committed against the NAACP. I wonder if provocateurs were involved.
Everyone: call on the UN to establish the goal of ending child slavery.
People who watch Faux News are systematically factually misinformed about issues of US health care.
One thug has killed two drivers in two years, with impunity.
If you watch the video from youtube, for your own freedom's sake please use youtube-dl to watch it without nonfree software.
Corruption plagues the Afghan national thug force.
Some plants may go extinct because, from global heating, they bloom before bumblebees are ready to pollinate them. Some trees might go extinct because scale insects that suck their sap reproduce more in warmer weather.
And that's only what we are seeing now with around 1C of heating. With 4C of heating, lots of species might wipe each other out.
Rulers that trample freedom of the press at home came to Paris to mourn the murdered cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo. Will they learn anything?
US citizens: Support Obama on gratis community college for all Americans.
US citizens: Tell Congress to drop "Title X" and give us real net neutrality.
The experience of eating widely-grown GMOs shows that they do not cause acute illness, but says nothing about long-term effects. Long-term feeding experiments have shown harm to animals.
Meanwhile, some of the transgenes get transferred to soil bacteria and to other plants.
Haiti is broken because of international intervention (on behalf of plutocracy).
Goldman Sachs is trying to threaten Greece, as it has threatened other countries, but it looks like Syriza will not obey.
President Sirisena accuses Rajapaksa of trying to launch a coup to stop the counting of ballots.
It did seem surprising he would allow himself to be voted out of office after so much violence against his opponents.
The new president says he wants to revert Rajapaksa's authoritarian changes in the constitution, but it won't be easy.
US laws increasingly criminalize discussion of computer security weaknesses in the US.
That suits the NSA, which wants your computer to be insecure.
By the way, "code is law" is false in one important case: when you're using free software. With free software, you are free to make it do what you wish.
Facebook seeks to implement the opposite of network neutrality, world-wide. Accessing Facebook will be gratis, while accessing any other site will be too expensive for half the human population.
Considering the way mobile phones track and spy on people, I think it is a shame that so many people use them now.
The Muslim tradition of painting pictures of Mohammad started in the 1200s.
The Charlie Hebdo assassins were known suspects, but French security forces had decided they were not worth paying attention to.
This shows that additional surveillance power is not what they needed.
Samaritans booked a hotel suite for six homeless people on Christmas eve, but the hotel cancelled their reservation because it considered homeless people suspect.
For a hotel to require guests to show photo ID is a repressive practice, regardless of who the guests are. This is one of the reasons I avoid hotels whenever possible in my travels. (The others are just a matter of taste.)
While this gift was a pretty gesture, if I were homeless I expect I could think of a better use for $100 than a night in a hotel.
Activists Across The Country Beg GOP Leaders To Expand Medicaid. State governments controlled by the Republican party reject this federal aid because they object on principle to providing medical care for the poor.
Tunisia: Blogger Yassine Ayari was sentenced to 3 years in prison for "insulting the army".
By criminalizing insults, the state has insulted itself.
Posting on Facebook is a bad idea, but should not be a crime.
A Muslim UK minister says Muslims must acknowledge a special responsibility to oppose terrorism carried out in the name of their religion.
With the right to be a Muslim goes the responsibility to recognize everyone's right not to be a Muslim. And likewise for any other persuasion, including Atheism.
Many Europeans ask whether America has gone crazy.
3000 Stanford professors called for the university to divest from fossil fuels.
The mother of all chilling effects: the Chilling Effects archive of DMCA threats has censored itself as a chilling effect of a DMCA threat.
Meanwhile, Canada's new takedown system that resembles the DMCA as a loophole that facilitates copyright trolls.
USA Today published an establishment right-wing take on US wage stagnation, "rebutted" by an extreme right-wing view.
The worst terrorist attack in Europe in recent years was not committed by Islamists, but by a right-wing fanatic.
The cold in the US today can be fatal to homeless people, and a lot more people are homeless in the US now than in the past.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject "fast track" for the TPP and insist on publication of the draft text.
Citizens of Boston, it is time to organize to keep the Olympics away.
The US Olympic Committee chose Boston rather than other US cities because of its experience in denying human rights.
Don't expect an economic boost for Boston from this.
US citizens: rebuke House Democrats that voted to weaken the Dodd-Frank law.
Middle-Eastern satire about PISSI.
Joseph Stiglitz: the euro is driving Europe into ever-increasing recession, and some day democracy will make it crack.
US citizens: call on Obama to veto the expected bill to authorize construction of Keystone XL.
US citizens: call on Senator Paul to stop punishing Palestine and accept its participation in the ICC.
Everyone: call on the Mall of America to oppose prosecution of the Black Lives Matter protesters.
Digital connectedness, constant with few and short exceptions, goes with people who don't know how to connect except through digital devices.
Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy collaborated secretly with the CIA.
Plastic microfibres come out of synthetic fabric when it is washed, and get caught in the intestines of fish, then get into birds.
Censorship and repression in South Korea.
Boko Haram took over a town and killed everyone that couldn't run away fast enough. Perhaps 2000 were killed.
Fossil fuel companies are funding a PR campaign that presents them as the saviours of humanity, to distract us from their plan to cause global disaster.
A study estimated that global heating would kill 100 million people by 2030. I expect the damage to accelerate as temperature rises ever faster; by 2050 it is likely to kill tens of millions per year.
Under these circumstances, even violent attacks on fossil fuel company installations could be justified on the grounds that they will prevent a bigger crime.
One borough in a small city has 300 of these paid agents.
Islam has a rich tradition old of presenting images of Mohammed, and parts of the Qur'an espouse toleration of religious dissent and even mockery.
The fallacious belief that people get what they deserve encourages people's disregard to the suffering people around them.
US citizens: call on the FDA to ban feeding ractopamine to livestock.
Freedom to insult people and religion must not be limited to Muslims as targets.
Russia has banned transgender people from driving, along with people into S&M or who use sex toys.
Sounds like a twisted parody of Saudi Arabia.
How the CIA plays today's US journalists so as to maintain its impunity and lawlessness.
This presents President Truman's reasons for separating covert operations from intelligence. It seems valid to me.
EU countries must reevaluate their laws that require retention of everyone's metadata.
Feral horses are overrunning the US west. It would be good to use some of them for food.
Pesticide Industry Seeks to Leverage Power Through EU-US Trade Deal.
President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka has been voted out of office.
His government has used violence against opposition so it is interesting that he allowed a free election.
Los Angeles thugs crushed a Black Lives Matter protest outside their headquarters.
Everyone: support Amnesty International's campaign to end solitary confinement in US prisons.
US thugs have new weapons to blind, deafen, and remotely torture protesters.
Chinese phone apps spread Chinese surveillance, even Chinese censorship, to Western countries.
The assassins that attacked Charlie Hebdo probably wanted to provoke repression of all Muslims, because coexistence is what they oppose.
Even the companies that administer the privatized UK benefits-cutting system say it achieves nothing but suffering.
It is a "parallel, secret penal system" for the disabled and unemployed.
Censorship is vile, and inexcusable.
How video influences viewers' emotions, even to the point where fantasy supersedes fact.
The TV shows that glorify torture must be considerably responsible for the high level of public support for torture in the US today.
Please don't use the word "consume" to refer to watching video. Watching a recording does not, in fact, consume it.
House Republicans voted to impose restrictions on the Social Security Administration's internal finances that could cause it to be unable to function.
The Republican program is to sabotage all government activities that protects the public from corporations. That includes everything that protects the public from desperation, because desperate workers will work for crumbs.
When people tell you they got rich through hard work, ask them "Whose?"
— reportedly due to Don Marquis
Denmark is on track to generate 70% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
If the US set out for that target, it could get tens of thousands working on installation of generation, millions working as a multiplier effect, and give humanity a chance at avoiding global disaster.
The Don't Shoot Coalition proposes reforms to make Missouri thugs a little more like police officers.
The Federal Highway Administration has recognized that Americans are not going to drive more in the future.
This can lead to reductions in highway construction and perhaps also increases in support for efficient mass transit.
Four animal rights activists face criminal charges for making recordings of animal processing in Utah.
A Dutch journalist has been accused of "terrorism" in Turkey, apparently for journalistic work.
The UK government is working to sabotage enforcement of the UK's greenhouse gas targets.
Protesters in Pennsylvania blocked a pipeline for fracked gas.
A study determined which fossil fuel reserves can be used and which should be left in the ground.
It worked by ranking all the reserves in terms of expense to extract, and aims for no more than 2C of heating — although scientists now think that is already too much.
The study concluded that carbon capture and storage won't make much difference. I've had the feeling for a long time that it is proposed only as an excuse not to face how dangerous coal is.
The UK is in the process of adopting a mandate to extract as much fossil fuel as possible.
Australia is accelerating coal mining plans.
That's what politicians do who are in the grip of the planet burners.
23andMe has started selling its customers' genetic data.
TV news coverage of the Senate's CIA torture report presented twice as many supporters of torture as opponents of torture.
I'd call watching TV news a form of torture, but that would be exaggerating.
US citizens: call on the FDA not to approve another GMO potato.
US citizens: call for immediate implementation of the "Volker Rule" that was required by the Dodd-Frank financial reform.
What we really should do is reenact the Glass-Steagall law that was repealed in the 90s.
US citizens: call on the FDA to require labeling of GMOs.
US citizens: call on Congress to vote against the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
US citizens: tell the senate you oppose the plan to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
I don't think that PISSI qualifies as "civilization". It is barbarism straight out of the 7th century.
The UK proposes to make teachers report children who are ideologically suspect — "at risk" for Islamist ideology.
The article says "toddlers", and that may not be an exaggeration: the plan seems to include preschool.
Disabled and mentally ill Koreans are illegally forced to work on salt mines. Some try to escape. Others think that slave labor is better than life on the street. South Korea is not poor: the state should offer them a better alternative.
A list of books, films and songs that would have entered the public domain this month in the US — if not for the Mickey Mouse Copyright Act.
A summary of the NSA's attacks on internet security.
FISA court oversight of the FBI is not only weak, it's a no-op. If the FISA says no to the FBI, it just uses the PAT RIOT act instead to get the same data.
The FBI also tracks cell phones without a warrant.
Ways to campaign against use of GMOs and dangerous pesticides.
Each GMO is a separate case. There is nothing inherently harmful about a GMO. Nothing makes it inherently safe, either.
The GMOs that have been farmed in large quantity for years, and eaten by lots of people, clearly can't pose a big risk of causing illness in adult humans. If they were, it would have been apparent in medical statistics.
That doesn't mean they are safe for wildlife, however. (Look at the effect of Roundup on monarch butterflies.) Or that prenatal exposure is safe for humans.
Each GMO is a separate case. If 20 GMOs turn out to be safe, number 21 could be dangerous.
40% of Americans believe Bush's lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
This is very bad news because it will encourage US politicians to use big lies in the future.
Palestine's membership in the International Criminal Court has been approved.
A terrorist attack on the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo killed 12 people.
It seems plausible that the killers were Muslim fanatics, although there is no proof of this yet. Many Muslims believe they are entitled to forcibly crush criticism or mockery of their religion.
If that is the case, their aim is probably to provoke France into doing something rash that attacks human rights.
That's generally not difficult. France has a history of trashing freedom of speech. Charlie Hebdo got its name from resisting French censorship.
Remember the man who was prosecuted for saying, "Sarkozy, I see you". French censorship is not as violent or broad as Islamic censorship, but that is no excuse for it.
Both Ukraine and the rebels have bombarded civilian populations. Ukraine resumed bombarding Pervomaisk in November.
Ally Cohen reports on how she sprained her angle in Hebron and "settler" fanatics ordered Israeli thugs to order her to move.
Israel plans to extract oil from the occupied Golan heights.
In an overt act of collective punishment, the family of a Palestinian criminal are being exiled from East Jerusalem.
This is a part of the West Bank that Israel claims to have annexed.
Israel uses various subterfuges to drive people out of East Jerusalem, including refusing to draw up land use plans so it can cite the absence of plans as grounds for refusing permission for homes.
The trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being rushed in a way that imperils due process.
I think he is probably guilty. Why not convict him properly after a fair trial?
The US government will require imported fish and seafood to meet US standards for protection of marine mammals.
Everyone: call on the Missouri Supreme Court to investigate whether the prosecutor acted illegally in the case against Michael Brown's killer.
The NAACP calls for a special prosecutor and a new grand jury to consider whether to prosecute the thug that shot Michael Brown.
Republicans in Congress plan to pretend that tax cuts for the rich will not cause the government a loss of revenue.
Their scheme is to count the taxes brought in by hypothetical future economic growth supposedly to be caused by tax cuts.
Even if that did cause economic growth, it would not make up for the lost revenue, because most growth in income goes to the rich and the corporations that don't pay taxes any more.
Writers around the world feel threatened by government surveillance, even in "free" countries.
Prosecution of unwelcome opinions is seeping into even the US.
I wonder who else they will inform.
US citizens: call on Obama and Congress to reject the TPP.
US citizens: call for an amendment to overturn the Corporations United decision (calling it what it is, not what the corporations pretended it was), if you haven't already done so.
The entire thug department of Medellín de Bravo, in Mexico, has been arrested on suspicion in collaborating in kidnaping a pesky journalist.
Shafqat Hussain of Pakistan was tortured into a confession of involuntary manslaughter when he was 14 years old. He will soon be executed for this.
The death penalty is always wrong, but seeing it used for involuntary manslaughter is shocking in its own way.
California Governor Brown proposes to get half the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
Progress in converting electric generation is welcome, but the fraction of electricity generated from renewable sources is the wrong base for defining goals. The crucial point is to reduce the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Corporations have cut their US state tax bill by more than half since 1980 by making states compete to reduce their taxes.
A witness in the case that the government of Kenya killed political opponents was killed before testifying.
Bangladesh threatens to imprison the leader of the main opposition party after violence in a protest.
Countries a lot poorer than the US have implemented universal health care.
When will the US catch up with Thailand and Rwanda?
A member of the grand jury that didn't indict the thug that shot Michael Brown is suing for permission to expose how the prosecutor procured that result.
The same prosecutor faces ethics complaints about that.
The .1% of richest in the US now own 22% of the wealth. Pseudo-recoveries, and ensuing bailouts, tend to benefit them the most.
The UK's problem, like that in the US and many other countries, is small government (and big corporations).
A Pirate Party representative is in charge of a plan to rewrite copyright law for Europe.
Russian dissident Alexei Navalny was kept under house arrest with no legal grounds, so he has defied it.
Liberia has come close to extinguishing transmission of Ebola virus.
UK thugs are obstructing an investigation into the murder of a private detective who was investigating corrupt thugs.
Everyone: call on Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (all owned by the same company) to make sure it doesn't get palm oil from deforestation.
US and Russia in danger of returning to era of nuclear rivalry.
A Briton faces possible prosecution for insulting tweets.
The text of the tweets appears to be
Glaswegian ebola patient moved to London's Royal Free Hospital. Not so independent when it matters most are we jockville ? Little sweaty jocks, sending us Ebola bombs in the form of sweaty Glaswegians just isn't cricket.They seem coarse and sarcastic (which is unclear communication), and may be insulting, though I can't understand who they insult or why. Nonetheless, they are clearly not threats and it is clearly wrong to prosecute mere insults.
Tiger farming in China endangers wild tigers because killing them is cheaper than growing a tiger in a farm.
The NATO assassination target list had over 600 people on it in 2009-2011, and officers launched attacks when up to 10 civilians (not counting civilian men) might be killed along with the target.
In the UK: Protest on Monday for renationalization of trains.
Every country needs a government that dares disregard what businesses want in order to serve the public instead.
Everyone: call on Loreal to remove carcinogens from its body-care products.
US citizens: phone Obama and urge him not to renominate bankster Antonio Weiss for a post in the Treasury Department.
US citizens: call on Obama to curb "Sneak and Peek" searches.
This practice was introduced in the name of "fighting terrorism", but it is hardly ever used in terrorist cases; nearly always the targets have nothing to do with terrorism.
More US troops are heading for Iraq, and some are stationed near the front lines, despite Obama's claim that they are not there for combat.
Bangladesh, India and now Britain have blocked the UN from inspecting the prisons where they hold people to be deported.
Miami thugs attack people with tasers for things like sleeping in a park. (Why shouldn't homeless people sleep in a park? If you can't offer them a better place to sleep, you have no right to interfere.)
Since tasers have not got the thugs to reduce their use of guns, what good are they?
An evidently rigid employee of an animal shelter didn't like the defiant non-government ID that Robert Lawrence showed him, and called the thugs, who killed him.
Calling the thugs over this was clearly wrong.
Afghan soldiers fired mortars on a wedding party, killing around 20 civilians.
In contrast to what happened when US troops did things like that, the Afghan government is treating this as seriously wrong.
An Indian film that satirizes exploitative Hindu "godmen" has provoked demands for censorship, but it is such a big success that the government does not dare act.
How can virtual child rape (of no real person) deserve prohibition if virtual murder (of no real person) does not?
I don't like doing either one if it appears realistic, but that's a tangent.
Cognitive colonization of US schools.
A Nicaragua canal protest organizer was arrested, then beaten with a rifle butt so badly he could not lie down.
Amal Clooney pointed out how Egyptian officials can control the outcome of trials, and was threatened with imprisonment if she said this in Egypt.
Countries around the world are restricting access to the internet.
If companies store data about Russian users in Russia, those users will be less vulnerable to US spying and more vulnerable to Russian spying. They will be protected by Russian privacy law, if any (I doubt it does much for people). All in all, the users will be worse off than before.
However, in a different situation such a law might be a step up.
Another reason not to visit the US: an accident, such as giving birth prematurely, could leave you broke.
Comparing the unorganized Islamist terrorists of today with the unorganized individual anarchist killings of 115 years ago.
Everyone: state your support for NYC Mayor de Blasio against the thug unions.
Bernie Sanders: Ten Reasons Why the TPP Must Be Defeated.
If they do pass the TPP, we must not treat that as the end. We must remove our countries from the TPP.
The US has authorized export of crude oil, which is likely to increase global consumption and speed humanity towards global heating disaster.
2014 was the deadliest year so far for civilians in Afghanistan.
As of a few years ago, the Taliban killed more civilians than the US and NATO troops. I expect that is still true. Somehow this doesn't inspire as much hatred towards the Taliban as it does towards the US and NATO. However, it is the US and NATO that are keeping the war going.
India has imposed a blockage on access to a long list of foreign web sites, including Github, supposedly because they carry propaganda from PISSI.
So what if they do? That is no excuse for censorship such as this.
PISSI is the Pseudo-Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. To call it the "Islamic State" is to endorse its claim to represent true Islam. I do not wish to give it such support.
Japan's population is declining slowly as the birth rate is substantially below the death rate.
However, Japan is only 2% of the human population, and the rest is still growing dangerously. While there are some inconveniences to a declining population, they are small compared with the catastrophic danger of an increasing population.
In 1934, when the German concentration camps were political prisons (the mass killing of Jews came later), prisoners were frequently tortured. Compare this list with US torture practices.
France has backed down on its fair tax rate for the rich, under pressure from rich people who called it "anti-business".
Plutocrats will say the same thing about any attempt to throw off the dooH niboR policies they have imposed. Once we recognize that we have to defeat the plutocrats, we see the flaw in counterarguments that a country should bow down to business to help businesses compete against businesses in other countries.
Crime statistics do not support the claim that aggressive policing of minor vandalism reduces other kinds of crime.
Palestine has asked to join the International Criminal Court, after a Security Council motion calling for a reasonable peace deal was defeated.
"I can't breathe" protesters in Nashville were handled peacefully with understanding rather than thuggishness.
Statistics suggest at least 4% of the people sentenced to death row in the US are innocent. Many of them have been taken off death row and now face life imprisonment, so little effort is given to proving they are innocent.
I was expecting a much larger fraction: a human process that errs only 4% of the time is pretty reliable, as such things go.
US citizens: call on fast food companies not to use GMO potatoes.
The ten most extreme nasty things US schools did in 2014 in the name of "zero tolerance".
These are the worst examples of rigid and extreme enforcement of rules. What worries me more is the general attitude of rigid and extreme enforcement which pervades US schools.
The US released 28 prisoners from Guantanamo during 2014, leaving 127.
It would take over 5 more years to close the prison if this rate of release continues. However, before that it would collide with the US intention to keep some people in prison for life without trial.
We think of Alaska as a cold place, but Anchorage has not had a below-0-Farenheit temperature in all of 2014.
China has become steadily more repressive since Xi Jinping took power.
A former US police officer calls for an end to the impunity of thugs.
If thugs find a police officer in their midst, they typically regard that person as a traitor to their gang.
The racism of the thugs' violence is a secondary wrong: if the people beaten, framed, maimed, and killed were distributed evenly among all ethnic groups, it would still be unacceptable. For thugs to increase their violence against whites until it matches their violence against blacks would not be an improvement. Rather, we must make them decrease their violence against black Americans.
Imagine if in 2019 the Senate investigates the US drone bombing campaign as it has investigated torture.
A secret CIA study warned about this in 2009.
The crucial difference is not between drones and manned bombers or artillery. Rather, what makes the US drone bombing campaign both wrong and self-defeating is that it is carried out away from battlefields.
A UK minister says, if the government could watch all communications, it would find more "pedophiles".
They are not talking finding and imprisoning men that have sex with children. They are talking about finding and imprisoning men who have or redistribute copies of images that depict sex with children, or perhaps with adolescents labeled as children; they want to imprison them because there is some chance they would have sex with children, or with adolescents. I don't believe that should be done at all.
This campaign, unjust in itself, is presented as an excuse for total surveillance of everyone. That power would of course be used against other targets — journalists' sources, dissidents, anyone who gets in the way.
New pun: trees.
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