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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.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose deregulating banks. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Banks get away with too much already. Let's regulate banks so thoroughly that there will be no room for creativity or innovation in them.
US citizens: call on Ajit Pai to recuse himself from FCC decisions about Sinclair.
Come on, let's ajitate!
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank describe the violence of Israeli soldiers — which included sending dogs to bite them.
The Koch brothers have listed their successes in reshaping the US to serve the very rich.
It's not just Big Brother and gangsters that spy on people through their portable phones. Violent spouses do it, too.
Election Security Is a High Priority — Until It Comes to Paying for New Voting Machines.
It is hard to determine whether Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 US election.
In today's climate, propaganda does not need to be sophisticated or nuanced to influence Americans.
Melting Arctic ice could expose toxic chemicals from the remains of Camp Century.
An experiment in using reason for debate on the internet.
Prominent right-wingers are joining in dustraction attacks on the students that survived the recent massacre. (By "dustraction" I mean throwing dust at people to distract from the real issue.)
Excessive tourism is destroying coral reefs in Thailand and the Philippines.
There's a long history in the US of right-wing bigots saying that progressive protesters were paid actors.
Rich right-wingers have done this, so they accuse us of doing what they would do.
Poisonous toads from Asia are overrunning Madagascar. They will wipe out many native species if humans can't get rid of them.
Unsurprisingly, allowing company staff to do some of the inspection in pork plants makes inspection faster, cheaper, and less effective at preventing possible food poisoning.
US meat inspection is generally rushed and shoddy. That suits the meat processors, and they have lobbied hard for it.
Mattis said that the Department of Defense has no evidence proving that Assad dropped sarin gas bombs.
This confirms what Seymour Hersch said about the alleged attack in Khan Sheikhoun.
Oxfam has programs that teach girls how they can live without being prostitutes.
That's the only effective way to help them. As long as they need the money from prostitution, punishing them or their customers does not help them.
For the same reason, I think it is a mistake to fuss about whether Oxfam staff hire some of those prostitutes. It's a distraction from effective help, such as these programs.
Debt collectors regularly put unsuspecting debtors in jail, even for debts as little as two dollars.
Assad's forces are systematically bombing hospitals in Ghouta.
They have done this sort of thing before.
To react quickly, you need frequent drill, too. If you train your response to that point, you might shoot someone rather than take time to think. Thugs do it, so why would teachers be immune?
I support all these points.
What it took for independent journalist Iona Craig to find the truth of the effects of a raid in Yemen by Navy Seals.
Everyone: Call on companies to stop giving support to the NRA.
US citizens: Call on Mattis to free Toffiq al-Bihani, and to end imprisonment without trial.
Here's the message I put in.
Dear Secretary Mattis,
I urge you to immediately transfer Toffiq al-Bihani, who has been imprisoned at Guantánamo without charge or fair trial since 2003. He faces no charges and the US already said there is no reason to keep him in prison.
Imprisonment without trial is vicious and the fact that the US practices this is a blot on our country. Secondarily, it inspires hatred which can express itself as terrorism. Justice and human rights demand that the US give each prisoner in Guantanamo a fair trial or release him. Those who are convicted should be treated according to the US constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
Those responsible for torture and enforced disappearance must be brought to justice in fair trial.
In the name of our country's honor, and the Constitution you have sworn to defend,
A US company is already developing a robot to fight with humans.
Although China's social reliability score is set up by the state, a set of private businesses could do the same thing if we don't stop them.
Vote-counting machines that use a cellular modem to transmit results are connected by it to the internet, and therefore insecure.
People in Venezuela who have had organ transplants, if they are not rich, can't get the medicines necessary to protect the transplanted organs from their immune systems. People who need kidney dialysis are in trouble too, as many dialysis machines are broken.
Security investigators and reporters in the US face lawsuits when they report flaws.
In the long term, the way to be safe is to insist on software that the users control — free software. This doesn't guarantee no bugs ever, but it means that the users can fix any bugs (and any malicious functionalities!) rather than being at the mercy of the one company that can do it.
Methane leaks from fracking in Pennsylvania have the same global heating effect as 11 coal-fired power plants. Much of this comes from abandoned wells, which no longer provide any fuel but still leak.
Most of the world won't mourn the end of the period of US hegemony, during which it has launched many wars and overthrown many governments to make the world safe for plutocracy.
I take exception to two of the points in the article. First, the "idea that government has direct responsibility for the welfare of its people" does not necessarily mean a communist dictatorship. It could refer to social democracy, such as the New Deal in the US.
Second, the brief US attack on Serbia was intended to stop violent ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. I won't argue that this was the only or the best way to do it, but it wasn't bare-faced aggression and it did stop the attacks against Albanian Kosovars.
Reducing US world interventions won't necessarily mean peace. Chinese hegemony is not likely to care much about human rights either.
The resistance to gun control in the US fits in a broader tendency to cheapen human life.
Still we should keep in mind that only a powerful minority of Americans oppose stricter gun regulations.
The US hasn't got a lot of corruption in everyday life, but in bigger things it is as corrupt as can be.
The Burmese army is flattening all traces of Rohingya villages that it burned last year.
Republicans say we don't need gun regulations because dangerously insane people won't be able to buy guns, while opposing measures to block dangerously insane people from buying guns.
Disney's bogus bonus, which excludes the workers that are negotiating a contract.
I can't blame per much. To enter a building where someone else is shooting people is rather dangerous. Most likely the thug wasn't trained for that.
What this mainly proves is how foolish it is to expect some armed teacher to stop a massacre.
The Republican governor of Missouri faces charges for taking a nude photo of a lover without permission and then trying to blackmail her with it.
The aim of his blackmail attempt — not that it makes any ethical difference — was to enforce her silence about their affair.
The Democratic Party establishment is fighting hard for right-wing Democrat Fletcher against activist Moser.
I don't give to Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee. I give to progressive candidates (as far as I can tell) and organizations that support them.
AMP is Google's plan to try to pressure web sites to become part of a single empire of the web.
Mobile operating systems that support cr…apps are similar in spirit — intended to lead people away from the interoperable web.
A number of users are suing Microsoft for forcibly downgrading their computers from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
That's one way of protecting yourself from a universal back door. But it provides only a little protection. What you really need to do us switch to GNU/Linux.
Surveillance magnate Patrick Ryan wants to run for Congress as a Democrat.
With Democrats like these, who needs Republicans?
Calling Russian manipulation "a new cold war" is somewhat of an exaggeration.
It is not necessary for the Russian troll system to be invincible for it to be important enough to condemn, or to prosecute US politicians that collaborated with it.
US citizens: Support commonsense gun control.
US citizens: Call on the Bureau of Land Management to protect California's deserts.
We Need Aid That Helps Locals, Not Multinationals and Bloated NGOs.
People that overtly call themselves fascists have started a political party in Italy.
"No ideology, only rhetoric" — sounds a bit like the troll.
A US appeals court ruled that government agencies can't fire employees over their private sex lives.
I hope that the Supreme Court eventually supports this decision, but I am not optimistic.
I refuse to criticize anyone for "adultery", because it consists of breaking a promise that many people find almost impossible to keep, and in many cases is bad for them. People make this promise because of social pressure that many do not see a way to resist. Under such circumstances, I refuse to criticize them for breaking it.
This is why I refuse to criticize the bully for having affairs with attractive celebrities.
The bully is doing tremendous harm to the US and the world. Let's not get distracted from this by peccadilloes.
Walmart's profits and stock price are rising, so it is eliminating some 10,000 management jobs.
I refuse to shop at Walmart in the US; I don't like the way it pays most of its employees so little that they need public assistance.
Measuring education in terms of increased income afterwards is missing the main point of education.
We used to acknowledge clearly that the purpose of education was to prepare people to be capable citizens of a democracy. The mere attempt to judge issues of education in narrow economic terms indicates a basic error.
The NAACP scores members of the US Congress on how they voted on civil rights issues in 2017.
Washington State is in the process of legislating a ban on fish farms that hold non-native fish, because if the fish escape it can cause permanent ecological damage. A Canadian company plans to sue using NAFTA.
This is possible due to the ISDS (I Sue Democratic States) provision of NAFTA.
Launching US indigenous tribes into a solar-powered economy.
Jonathan Smucker asked his congresscritter "how much the Koch brothers are getting in tax cuts and how much they're contributing to your campaign." The congresscritter had him thrown out.
Jordon Dyrdahl-Roberts was a legal secretary in the Montana Department of Labor. When told he would have to work on subpoenas from the US immigration thugs, he immediately quit.
The UK government, as part of its policy of maximum cruelty to immigrants, is trying to squeeze out old people that are legally allowed to live there but haven't got documents to prove it.
The Concerted Attack On Public Sector Union Workers Is A Coordinated Effort Financed By Wealthy Donors.
Political attacks on immigrants can be a way to veil racism.
A Bahraini political prisoner has been sentenced to more years in prison for saying that Bahrain tortures political prisoners, and for insulting Salafi Arabia by criticizing its air campaign against Yemen.
He's surely right in criticizing that. As for the torture, if he says Bahrain uses torture he surely knows.
For either of those statements to be a crime is in itself sufficient to conclude that Bahrain is a repressive, evil state — if we didn't already know that.
Monsanto has given Avaaz a subpoena demanding the name and other info of everyone who signed a petition against glyphosate.
International courts are taking small steps toward recognizing environmental degradation as a cause for compensation.
Compensation may be sufficient when the total damage is small compared to the wealth of humanity. However, the damage that global heating threatens to do will be so big that compensation is impossible. We must instead prevent it.
A Republican US senator told a security conference that the bully was planning to bomb North Korea to try to destroy its nuclear weapons capability.
Egypt is allowing selected people to leave Gaza during just four days.
Florida high school students went to the state capitol to demand gun control. Thousands of students left school to protest.
The school superintendent of Needville, Texas, declared he would suspend any students that walk out of school to protest.
I hope all the high school students in that district walk out to protest at his office, to show they are not going to be intimidated.
If he follows through with the threat to "suspend" them, they can organize a three-day teach-in, where they will learn things that are more important than what is normally taught in school.
Republican Pennsylvania state legislators are seriously planning to impeach most judges of the state's Supreme Court specifically for instating nonbiased legislative districts.
Can anything be done to stop them from seizing power?
US citizens: call on the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department to investigate the payment made to Stormy Daniels, which may have violated campaign finance laws.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call on the state government to drop its support for the NRA.
Assad Regime Uses Barrel Bombs and Attacks Hospitals in Rebel-Held Eastern Ghouta.
Nestlé and Others Cashing in On U.S. Water Infrastructure Crisis.
Honduran thugs are raiding homes at night to arrest protesters against election fraud.
They have also shot and killed protesters on various occasions.
Republicans offer to exchange tiny steps towards gun control for passage of their bill to undermine all states' gun regulations.
I don't think it is sufficient to prohibit the sale of certain kinds of guns and accessories. We need to collect them and make them non-functional.
US gun owners overwhelmingly support some kinds of gun control regulations.
South Australia, a state in Australia, will aim to meet 25% of peak electric demand from storage — batteries and pumped hydro power. This goes with a target of 75% total electricity from renewable sources.
Precarious part-time employment is making children poor.
A Florida state representative's staffer promoted a conspiracy theory accusation against the activist students that survived the school shooting.
The UK sold surveillance equipment to the Philippines even as Do-dirty had set up death squads.
A defector reports that al-Shabaab imposes crushing taxes on the people it controls and conscripts 8-year-olds to train them as fanatical soldiers.
However, people still think that al-Shabaab courts are honest while government courts are corrupt.
Arizona Republicans have failed three times to defeat the state's independent election districting commission, and failed. Now they are trying again.
Since social isolation tends to make people sick, social help can keep people healthy.
On what is needed to put an end to sexual harassment by men that have power over women's careers.
Since the 1930s, the US has built racism into its infrastructure. Surely the bigot's infrastructure plan will do more of this.
An analyzed example of how the mainstream media legitimize US war crimes: the New York Times said that the US "stumbled into torture" and that drone attacks that kill civilians merely "go wrong".
The US military's list of "global threats" doesn't change much: it's always calculated to appear to justify increased spending on every part of the military.
It's not clear that the "rogue states" are more rogue than the US, or that the US can't coexist peacefully with them.
The cheater openly endorsed rigging elections through gerrymandering.
The UK makes it a crime to say "move your fucking van".
I disapprove totally of what she said — she was talking to ambulance crew who had come to take a sick person to a hospital — but the state should not punish people for rude language.
A combination of two cheap drugs, important to avoid the dangerous mistake of taking one without the other, has been jacked up in price to the point that patients can't afford it.
US citizens: call on the Senate not to deregulate banks.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose budget bill amendments that would allow rich people to put even more money into political campaigns.
Arctic sea ice has reached a record low, less than ever in the past 12,000 years or more.
The school shooting in Florida was in a high school named after journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas because of her campaigns for women's rights, racial equality and preserving the Everglades.
Releasing minks in Britain, where they are a harmful invasive species, was a significant act of ecological sabotage, comparable (though on a much smaller scale) to palm-oil plantations and oil pipelines. However, they were sure to escape some day, just as an oil pipeline is sure to leak from time to time. The root of the problem was breeding minks in a place where they would be dangerous. This should not be allowed.
For Republicans, the school shooting in Florida was a welcome distraction from condemnation for covering up the domestic violence of White House staff.
A new radio-tracking system for commercial drones would also potentially force them to land when they reach a prohibited area.
I don't know whether this includes a radio back door or not.
Israeli soldiers arrested Palestinian children because they were in the area where someone threw stones.
A book store in the US yielded to violent threats from supporters of Israel, by publishing a statement condemning the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
Now students opposed to the occupation of Palestine have launched a nonviolent campaign calling on the bookstore to move back to a neutral stance.
I think it is wrong to accuse the bookstore of "suppression of literary freedom", but it is clear that that was the aim of those that made the threats.
UN Warns Australia Against Imposing "Draconian Penalties" on Journalists. This law could violate a treaty on human rights.
President Carter, a right-wing Democrat, began shifting US policies towards business and against democracy.
Carter has learned a lot since then, but he cannot undo what he did then.
Just 1 Degree C Changes Our Risk of Severe Weather.
E-books have hit a commercial setback.
However, not enough of a setback to make our freedom safe. Please help teach others to reject them.
The US immigration thugs are pushing for more and more spying on everyone.
Whatever they get, other agencies will get. Eventually the fourth amendment will be effectively a no-op.
Lawsuits are blocking Republican sabotage of environmental protection.
Restoration of electric power in Puerto Rico is held up because subcontractors fail to do their work.
I urge Puerto Ricans to do everything possible to convince potential buyers to refuse to buy its power grid. The less it is sold for, the less it will be necessary to pay to seize it back.
The UK government has banned protests in an ancient forest scheduled to be cut down to build a train line.
In general I support high-speed trains. They help replace air travel with something much more efficient (as well as pleasant). But the UK needs to get rid of the laws that make it so easy to destroy forests, and so easy to ban protests.
"Wage theft is the rule, not the exception, for low-wage workers." In the US, it adds up to 15 billion dollars per year, stolen from the people who can least afford to lose it.
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers.
If the UK leaves the EU, businesses and right-wing ideologues are organizing to take advantage of this by adopting the weaker food and drug safety standards of the US.
"After Florida, I see the NRA as nothing less than a terrorist organization."
But is that valid? Terrorism is a matter of intent: political influence through threats of violence. Does the NRA do that? Not directly. It doesn't threaten to shoot anyone.
However, in an indirect way, maybe it brings this about.
The NRA functions as a marketing arm for gun companies. Its program is to make Americans scared of gun crime, so that they will buy guns. Thus, it appears that a higher rate of gun crime is not merely a byproduct of the NRA's activity, but part of its plan.
Does that fit the definition of terrorism? I'd say it is on the borderline. In the end, I think it is better not to stretch the word this far. We can condemn an organization for wrongdoing without calling that wrongdoing "terrorism".
Cross-partisan discussion groups enable Americans to get to know people from the other side of politics.
Everyone: call on Los Angeles to fire the thug that shot a gun at a group of teenagers because they were crossing a lawn.
"Registered intermediaries" help young children testify about sexual abuse.
In the US, "recovered memory" therapists used to convince vulnerable people that they "remembered" being sexually abused while children — but the abuse had not really happened. Some people were imprisoned for years then exonerated.
It might be the case that these "intermediaries" are doing the same thing, some of the time. Or maybe they take care to avoid it. The article does not address the issue.
This "state of emergency" shows something big is happening. What is it?
Oxfam faces an inexplicable climate of hostility, in which everything it says is taken as a sign of wrongdoing.
You can see this bias when people label this uproar with the terms "sex exploitation" and "sexual abuse". At that point enters the premise that doing business with a sex worker is a wrong that deserves condemnation. Then the attack typically condemns the organization because someone on its staff did this "wrong".
If an Oxfam staffer hires a country music band, a genre which I dislike rather strongly, should I say Oxfam has a music exploitation scandal?
Australia has laws for protection of endangered species, but usually it only goes through the motions of trying, or not even that.
The Syrian Kurds in Afrin have asked Assad to defend them from Turkey. Erdoğan warned Assad that Turkey would attack Assad. And Assad's Russian backers, too?
It is very strange for a breakaway part of Syria to ally in effect with Syria (and thus maybe Russia). Even stranger to ally with Syria and the US at the same time. I don't know what to make of this.
How the UK told Qadhafi where to find exiled dissidents so he could kidnap them.
A study measured temperatures for the past 11,000 years, since the end of the last ice age. It has never been as hot as it is now.
Global heating effects are causing problems for aviation.
Look at the propaganda designed to dishearten people about the privacy of cash.
It takes a gently derisive tone towards some minor practical inconveniences of tracked digital payments, while suggesting they will soon be solved. The result is to disparage the idea that there is something serious at stake.
If you live in Sweden — or any other country — plan in advance to carry cash, and only pay cash in stores. If a store won't take cash, say "I'm going to another store that will."
You can easily think of bogus objections, if you are willing to exaggerate — so ignore them instead.
If you find yourself without cash one day, don't give up — just do better the next day.
And don't use a pay toilet no matter how they want you to pay. It is vicious and cruel to make people pay to use a toilet. I have money, and I could afford to pay, but some people can't. I have boycotted pay toilets for 10 years.
Texas has a new privatized prison, which pretends to be a "treatment program" for ex-cons, except that there is no treatment and prisoners are never released except to die.
The time to talk about preventing more massacres is March 24. (And before, and after.)
The rulers that lied to go to war with Iraq have not faced justice, but they still deserve it.
If the bully's wall is built, it would put bison and jaguars in danger in Mexico and the US.
180 already-endangered species would be harmed.
Is it possible to make openings that these animals could get through, and watch them closely enough that humans could not get through? Is it possible to make small holes for smaller animals to get through?
If this could be done, the wall would be a foolish expenditure but not a cause of extinction.
US citizens: tell Congress to reject the bully's privatization of infrastructure plan.
The UK eagerly sells arms to many tyrannical regimes, and the Tory plan for exiting the EU is to sell even more.
Provoking violent opposition won the Nazi Party more support, which enabled it to take over Germany. This is because the establishment, and the principal media, always gave the left more of its share of the blame. Even if the left did not engage in violence, it was blamed for any real or imaginary violence.
The bully's advisors appear to be following the same approach.
The article recommends expressing disagreement with Nazis by holding an event far enough away that it will avoid direct confrontation.
The Burmese government is reportedly bulldozing mass graves of Rohingya to cover up the massacres.
The question of the opaque accusation of "inappropriate" has reach a court. The lawyer of the person thus criticized, Mr Rush, asks how one can defend oneself from such an accusation. Do you say, "I don’t know what it was, but I didn't do it"?
Or do you say, "I don’t know what it was, but it wasn't wrong"?
This case illustrates the point that it is never legitimate to punish or rebuke someone on the grounds of "inappropriateness". For an accusation to be valid, it has to be concrete.
If we knew what Mr Rush was accused of doing, we might say it was wrong. Or we might not. At least we would have a question to think about.
But when the accusation says only "inappropriate", we have to reject it.
Here is the letter from the Taliban to the American people, calling for peace negotiations.
As you would expect, the letter contains exaggerations and false points that put the Taliban in a better light than it deserves.
However, the US had not exhausted peaceful ways to deal with that issue. The Taliban had expressed a willingness to discuss expelling al Qa'ida, not long before.
I hope the US has the decency to make peace.
US High school students are mobilizing for gun control, led by those whose friends were shot last week.
Gambia's president is moving to abolish the death penalty.
The plutocratist government of Tasmania pledges to enact a new law to repress protests, after the old one was overturned as unconstitutional.
Protests are a transient inconvenience. Extinction is forever.
Women who stand for something more important than fashion should not face arguments about the way they dress.
How foolish it is to judge a politician by per looks. I didn't refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton because of her appearance. I didn't vote for Jill Stein because of her appearance. I chose based on their political stands.
This applies to male politicians, too. Americans have tended for a long time to elect for the (male) presidential candidate that has better looks. How foolish.
The neofascist right-wing in Italy is using hatred of immigrants.
Oxfam staff in Haiti are accused of threatening a witness to demand silence about their activities with prostitutes.
Hiring sex workers is not wrong; it is one of those things that prudes condemn for no good reason, and then try to drag everyone else into condemning too.
The danger of retribution by prudes is real and substantial, so the fear of retribution is rational. Sad to say, that fear leads some people to commit real wrongs, such as threatening violence.
To illustrate the general point, this used to be the case for homosexuals. It is not wrong to be homosexual or to have homosexual sex, but prudes condemned that for no good reason, and manage to drag society along with that prudery. To be a closeted homosexual was truly dangerous, and they were vulnerable to being blackmailed and coerced into doing real wrongs.
That is mostly no longer a problem for homosexuals in liberal countries today, because prudish prejudice against homosexuals no longer receives much open support. Instead we see the new prudish campaign against sex workers and their customers. That too can coerce people into doing real wrongs. You can see the campaign here.
The article is incoherent — argument from juxtaposition with derision. The closest it comes to validity is when it points out that Haitians may do sex work because they live in desperate circumstances.
It draws the wrong conclusion from that. The problem those Haitians suffer is not sex work as such, it is their desperate poverty. Sex work is one of the ways they cope with it. To help them would mean giving them improved circumstances in which they could easily avoid sex work, if they wish to.
The poverty of Haitians was not caused by Oxfam. Rather, it is the result of centuries of oppression: first slavery, then decades of war for independence, then the huge indemnity that France demanded in exchange for Haiti's independence, followed for many decades by tyranny supported or imposed by the US, from the Duvalier family to the presidents that the US selected after the US kicked out Aristide for the second time.
To get out of this desperate situation, Haitians need humanitarian aid, such as Oxfam provides, but above all they need self-government that is honest.
The prudish article does identify one practice of Oxfam which will tend to cause problems: giving its foreign staff a luxurious villa to live in, and more generally a life of luxury compared with the local people.
The problem is not a matter of any specific luxury they might pay for. It is that their lifestyle tends to distance them from the people they have come to serve. That can lead them to look down at the local people and consider their work nothing more than a career to make money from. In effect, they forget the point of their being there. That doesn't automatically cause them to act badly, but tends to lead them in that direction.
When Facebook sought advice about how to offer its dis-service to children, it consulted the experts that it funded, while giving independent analysts too little time to respond to the plan.
New National Academy of Sciences Report on Encryption Asks the Wrong Questions.
Reverse-engineers defeated a Microsoft system of DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) for Windows applications.
I would cheer for them, except that even once these applications' DRM is removed, they remain proprietary software — you use them at the cost of your freedom. An unauthorized copy of a proprietary program is a rather bad thing, almost as bad as an authorized copy of the same program.
To protect your freedom, you need to refuse to run the program. And refuse to run Windows, too.
Please don't refer to unauthorized sharing as "piracy". It is propaganda for the enemy.
Arguing for the precautionary principle: evaluating projects and plans by numerical risk assessment is unscientific, and systematically leads to too much risk.
The precautionary principle is easy to apply when "do nothing" is a fine alternative to the project being evaluated. Often that is the case, but it gets more difficult when inaction is dangerous too. Also, it has to be applied with a sense of proportion. Walking downstairs might result in a fall, but it would be absurd to reject a project because implementing it would require someone to walk downstairs.
"Throw Them Out": Plans to Eject Politicians "Beholden to the Gun Lobby".
The plan to give poor people one-size-fits-all imposed food packages will be bad for nutrition, inefficient for the government, and a give-away to big food companies.
There is no need to worry that Americans receiving food assistance money are splurging it on luxuries. Benefits for the poor in the US have been gradually cut, over the past 20 years, to the point where they can barely get by. Thus they are compelled to find the most inexpensive food.
"Peace Through Strength" Is a Racket — an excuse for letting military spending gobble more and more of the US budget.
It's not just a theoretical possibility that the Peace Through Strength Doctrine, or PTSD as the article abbreviates it, can encourage real war. Look at how many countries the US is fighting in.
That leads to ever more veterans with PTSD from the PTSD.
The cheater started diverting funds to his family friends even before being inaugurated.
Everyone: call on First Quantum not to invest in Pebble Mine.
US citizens: Call on the Senate to protect Mueller's investigation.
US citizens: call on politicians to stop taking money from the NRA.
Oklahoma has cut taxes so much that it can't run schools any more. Teachers have to moonlight at Walmart.
Republicans have made it almost impossible to repeal the tax cuts, so the state is trapped on the road to disaster.
Sabotage that will bite Americans later: denying people the right to sue to protect their rights from businesses.
It was accepted constitutional law that the second amendment did conflict with gun control. Right-wing extremists campaigned for decades to gain enough power to change that.
Eliminating gun control, like eliminating abortion and birth control, are not really important to right-wing supporters. Rather, their leaders are expert at using these issues to build communities of supporters who are fanatical about them, and can then be led through them to support right-wing candidates in spite of all other issues and all their real interests.
For manipulating Americans, Facebook is the platform of choice.
Don't be so easy to manipulate — stop being a used of Facebook!
A Florida agency investigated the recent school killer, and concluded he wasn't likely to commit an actual crime.
Such estimates are inherently fallible. At least they looked at the situation.
The governor of Kentucky is so hot to deny medical care to poor people that he's willing to spend millions for the decrease in aid.
Someone warned the FBI about the Florida shooter, but the Miami office never received the message so it did not investigate him.
That appears to have been a mistake. Surely the system can be improved, but there is no way to eliminate mistakes. The FBI may able to prevent some such killings, but it could never prevent them all.
A bigger obstacle is that lots of people show the general signs of being possibly murderous, and only a few of them go on to try to kill anyone. So it would take quite a few investigations to prevent one crime. That gets to the point of oppressing lots of people who have not and will not do anything criminal.
On the other hand, if we got rid of large magazines, those who decide to kill won't be able to kill so many people.
We should also consider following Canada's gun regulations. According to Bowling for Columbine, Canadians can own guns, but there are strict regulations about how to store and carry them, which reduce the use of guns to shoot at people.
Ajit Pai is under investigation for a conflict of interest for his elimination of the limits on media concentration, apparently intended to allow the right-wing propaganda broadcaster Sinclair to take over many more TV stations.
Uber is losing a lot of money every year, but we cannot tell how much because it releases only vaguely defined accounting information, insufficient to tell its real losses.
This is crucial because it can't keep this up indefinitely. Some day it will have to raise its prices quite a bit. If Uber customers patronize Uber so much now that its competitors disappear before that day, they will regret their actions when the price goes up.
An interview with the Zapatistas of Chiapas.
The Balearic Islands want to move fast to renewable energy, but the Spanish state demands to upgrade coal-burning plants instead of shutting them.
Some US states are moving toward voting systems that are less vulnerable to digital fraud.
What I fear most, in the area of centralized digital election fraud, is not that Russia will do it (though it might try to), but that US politicians will do it.
President Clinton was almost removed from office for having sex with Monica Lewinsky. How is it that the bully more or less gets away with it?
The article gives good reasons, but I'd like to add one more. Recall that the hardest charge against Bill Clinton was that he lied when he denied having sex with her. Republicans claimed to hold him to a standard of total honesty (which, of course, they did not meet). And he claimed to meet that standard.
The bully shows blatant contempt for the truth. As a result, to make a big deal about any one lie of his seems like missing the point.
My view is different. I did not criticize Bill Clinton for sex with Lewinsky — I considered it unimportant. I don't believe non-monogamy is wrong. As for lying about extramarital sex, I forgive that because I blame the unjustified pressure society puts on people to be or appear monogamous.
I criticized Bill Clinton for things that hurt or endangered millions of Americans, such as "welfare reform."
Likewise, I don't care if the bully had sex with models, porn stars, or accountants. I don't care if he paid them not to talk about it, or paid them to talk about it. Those things are unimportant. I condemn the bully for the gross wrongs he commits every day. There is no excuse for those.
American theocratic right-wing Christians have got rid of most of the principles that their Christianity used to mean to them.
However, a minor correction is called for. Roy Moore did not date children. He dated teenagers.
Facebook has imposed political censorship on Instagram, bowing to Russia.
The flood of plastics that endangers animals in the sea is tied up with fracking.
California plans to eliminate fees for public colleges with an estate tax.
I am in favor, but this is just a small step towards taxing the rich properly.
A million Afghans have reported war crimes to the International Criminal Court.
What about the Americans that are needy, like the 50% that are broke? When will you let up on them, rich guy?
A teacher in the US faces charges for violently dragging a student out of class for not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Students have the right to abstain from the Pledge of Allegiance as part of the US Constitution, which is what Americans' allegiance really ought to be directed towards.
Immigrants' representatives are suing the immigration thug agency, accusing it of selecting people to deport based on their political views, and planning to grab them at times no one will notice.
Salon magazine offers users two options: view surveillance ads, or mine bitcoin for the magazine.
"Smart" cities are an excuse to replace participatory government with massive surveillance. Big Brother "knows" what you need.
US citizens: call for banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose amendments that would open more channels for the rich to pay for political campaigning.
The Johnson Amendment is the law that prohibits churches from campaigning for or against candidates.
US citizens: call on Congress to keep guns away from those who commit domestic violence.
A federal court's surprise ruling threatens the right to make links.
Iceland proposes to ban circumcision of baby boys, treating it the same as female genital mutilation.
From what I have read, the two practices are not comparable in practice. Female genital mutilation systematically prevents women's sexual pleasure and can lead to life-long medical problems. Circumcision for males is not like that.
But there is an argument for allowing boys to make their own decision about circumcision, when they are old enough to decide.
15% of the world's land area is protected for wildlife, but that's not enough. To preserve most of the species, we should protect something like 50%.
First step: stop increasing the human population.
Facebook has a VPN service, which doesn't respect privacy the way most VPN services do.
Racism is spreading in Italy, where it wasn't traditional before.
A conservative gun owner advocates strict investigations before someone is allowed to own a gun.
He turned in his assault rifle to the thugs because he did not want it to be available to anyone. That was well-intentioned, but does that thug department destroy the weapons that people hand in? Or does it sell them? Some US thug departments sell weapons under those circumstances.
UK jobcenters view disabled people with a "culture of disbelief", treating them all as cheaters to be guarded against.
This is to placate the dictator of Turkey, the same one that is imprisoning journalists and political opposition. Recall that the Turkish state had a truce with the Kurds of Turkey for many years; Erdoğan broke it by starting a civil war, so he could rerun the election and get a majority, which put him in position to eliminate human rights in Turkey.
Cambodia's dictator has crushed all the independent news media.
Listing the NRA's ten most highly paid members of Congress.
The Florida school murderer trained with a white-supremacist paramilitary group, said the group's leader.
Later he said that his first statement was a mistake, that he had been tricked by right-wing trolls.
Who were these trolls, and what was their motive? Were the pranksters opposed to neo-Nazis?
Were they neo-Nazis trying to cause trouble for a rival group?
Were they neo-Nazis who calculated they would win support for their cause by associating themselves with murder? It worked for PISSI, so maybe they think it will work for them.
Turkey has arrested the leaders of the Green Left Party.
Turkish journalists have been sentenced to 30 years in prison, in cruel conditions reminiscent of US "Supermax" prisons.
(Satire) "The Laureate-IV military robot pens haunting verse describing death, grief, and senseless violence to capture the grisly realities of war."
Belgium has ruled that some aspects of Facebook data collection are illegal, and ordered Facebook to delete the data or face a large fine.
While this is firm compared with the usual levels of regulation of companies nowadays, it is inadequate in recompense because it assumes that deleting the data will entirely undo the wrong to the users. There are two reasons that is not so:
The British housing crisis is the consequence of Tory ideology and goals. Kicking out the Tories is the first step to taking all the necessary measures to end the problem.
Britons, hiss at the Tory government when you vote and you can make it hiss-tory.
The US border patrol has cut down border visits between US citizens and their relatives who can't enter the US.
I share the suspicion that "This has to do with the message of hate that Trump screams out."
Poverty Is Now So Visible That Even the Richest Can See It.
I recall a cartoon from the 1980s showing rich people wearing "stealth hats", in the shape of the "stealth bomber", so that they would not see the poverty around them.
The saboteur-in-chief wants to eliminiate the Energy Star efficiency program, which saves energy for a small price.
Is this because it gives his hotels a low rating for energy efficiency? Or because he hates the idea of encouraging people to think about saving energy?
The saboteur-in-chief regrets having appointed David Shulgin to head the Veterans' Administration. It seems that Shulgin is qualified, capable, and wants to do a good job.
Does this sound like The Onion? Alas, it's true.
Saboteur Pruitt has isolated himself inside the EPA office, with personal security guards (several on duty at every moment). He has given people reason to hate him and he knows it.
He said he flies first class because fewer people there disapprove of his sabotage to the environment and the ecosphere.
By his lights, though, the side effects of his security are all to the good. A whole floor of the EPA offices for him? With all the staff he has dismissed, there is surely plenty of extra space, and if not, it is an excuse to dismiss more staff. Paying his guards? Use the funds saved by not paying scientists and investigators.
US citizens: phone senators to oppose the nomination of a coal lobbyist as the second in command of the EPA.
US citizens: tell SCROTUS to ban assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
Mueller has indicted 13 Russians and some Russian companies for meddling in the US election.
But this is not yet proven.
Rich people are "less likely than poorer people to exhibit flexibility, empathy, and all the other traits: that lead to healthy, long-term relationships."
(Satire) New School Shooter Drill Includes Practicing Pleas To Lawmakers To Do Something About This.
(Satire) John Kelly Apologizes For Assuming Everyone Would Ignore Abuse Allegations Like They Do In Military.
War and Poverty: A Compromise With Hell.
There were 10,000 civilian war casualties in Afghanistan in 2017.
Is it worth continuing the war at that cost, to keep the Taliban from winning? No one has an idea for how to really defeat them.
80% of the tax attacks' (temporary) individual tax cuts go to the richest 1% of Americans.
A court stopped the deportation of Syed Ahmed Jamal at the very last minute, but instead of freeing him, the immigration thugs put him in jail.
Japan has almost completely shut the door on political asylum.
What should museums do about the wings and rooms named after the Sackler family?
It is not entirely fair to compare the Sacklers to drug pushers. Drug pushers know, when they start, what harm they are sure to do. The harm oxycontin has caused was just a possibility when the Sacklers started selling it.
Of course, as evidence of harm accumulated, they resisted the conclusion that they were doing something wrong. I suppose they are still resisting it.
This is not limited to pharmaceuticals. Think of the Gates Foundation (funded by subjugating people in their computing) and the MIT-Lemelson program (funded by a bequest from a blatant patent troll).
The Netherlands has so many cows that they can't dispose of the manure safely.
Brazil's president Temer got donations from companies "linked to slavery". So did many other Brazilian politicians.
Some of them actively oppose efforts to stamp out slavery.
Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of Energy, warns that the danger of accidental nuclear war is increasing.
The bully wants to spend billions of dollars to upgrade B61 nuclear bombs which are kept in Europe, even though it is dangerous to have them there.
A South Korean presidential candidate campaigns to end the burning of coal world-wide.
The African National Congress is still full of corruption even though President Zuma is gone.
The saboteur's "infrastructure" plan is designed to make toll roads in places where well-off people are likely to pay the tolls.
The formerly repressive prime minister of Ethiopia has resigned. Something complicated seems to be going on there.
US citizens: protect wildlife by opposing the bully's infrastructure and budget plans.
US citizens: Call on Congress to support the Child Care for Working Families Act.
The latest school shooter was a right-wing extremist. This killing could be an act of right-wing terrorism.
After a school shooting killed 17 people, Russian bots are supporting the NRA against gun control, and claiming that the killer is associated with Antifa.
"Smart cities" use tech that resembles military, for systematic reasons.
The intelligence agencies' inspector general investigated 190 cases in which internal whistleblowers complained of retaliation. Only once did it rule in favor of the whistleblower.
Meanwhile, whatever wrongdoing or corruption they reported has probably been ignored.
The whistleblowers such as Snowden that tell the public know that reporting the matter internally would be useless and would result in their punishment.
A tanker is sailing from Korea to France along the Arctic coast of Russia.
If this were the principal effect of global heating, we could well celebrate. In fact, though, it warns we are approaching a turning point at which the lack of ice greatly increases the absorption of sunlight in the Arctic.
Fallacious arguments often supplied against allowing immigration into the US.
Sessions, as part of the War on Pain Sufferers, said they should take an aspirin and suffer — no matter how bad the pain. Restrictions on opioids are making it difficult for some people to get treatment for their pain.
Before crushing people with pain, let's see if the recent diminution in prescribing oxycontin reduces the number of people that get addicted to opioids.
I expect to have an operation in a few months. I am terrified of what will happen after I leave the hospital.
A professor at Princeton started a discussion in class about racism and racist insults. Students reported him for quoting a racist insult.
We can't discuss and think about the issue of racism if we don't dare quote racist statements.
I am disappointed that the professor cancelled the course in response to this criticism.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, prisoner in Iran, is now a pawn in the hands of the foreign ministry.
Administration Moves To Trample Taxpayers, Public Health, And Climate Via Methane Waste Rule Rollback.
Google wants to put surveillance ads into email, as well as other things that will depend on nonfree software.
You can protect yourself with free email readers, because many of them will refuse to run the "dynamic" (i.e., dangerous) material in email messages.
Republicans know that making life difficult for poor people can result in an irrational reaction where they give up on political activity (which lets the Republicans win).
Results of the Westminster God Show.
Exxon discovered decades ago that fossil fuels were going to cause global heating, and kept it secret. Several states and cities are suing Exxon for this. Now Exxon is suing them, trying to present itself as the poor little rich kid that merely wanted to get richer.
"Baltimore cops so corrupt two of them actually got convicted of something."
The US is number 2 in the world as a tax-dodging host.
All The White Supremacists Running For Office In 2018.
Iran's equivalent of Pizzagate: environmentalists studying rare cheetahs have been accused of spying. One of them recently was killed in prison.
With a scandal in the news about some humanitarian aid groups, right-wingers are inventing lots more fake scandals.
Why? I think they hate the idea that suffering people deserve some help and that governments can fund it.
South Africa's super-corrupt president Zuma has resigned.
US immigration prison thugs, working for a private company, put an asylum seeker in solitary to punish her for reporting other acts of harassment. They said they would not release her unless she retracted her complaints.
US citizens: Tell Texas Republicans to back off their bogus lawsuit which aims to exclude black Democratic candidates.
US citizens: support Senator Warren's bills to protect the public from credit bureaus.
The one and only crime that can get a person fired by the White House is having tried marijuana.
A homeless man died next to Parliament in London, effectively a reproach to the Tories that created most of the homelessness in Britain.
Canada's national medical system covers medical care but not medicines. A million Canadians skipped food or heating to pay for medicine last year, and a larger number skipped medicine because they could not afford it.
Still, it's a lot better than the US.
(Satire) White House Now Just Holding Continuous Going-Away Party For Departing Staffers.
An immigration thug lawyer is charged with using the credit cards of people who were being deported, to defraud them and others.
Instead of forgiving Americans' unpayable student loans, Republicans want to take the money out of their social security.
Israel has dozens of ways to try to chase Palestinians out of their villages in the West Bank. It fabricates excuses to create artificial bureaucratic obstacles to normal life.
Mass Protests Force Ethiopia to Free Opposition Leader.
Ethiopia is ruled by a rather nasty dictatorship.
German Cities to Trial [Gratis] Public Transport to Cut Pollution.
The candidate from one Mexico's main right-wing political party says that the state is spying on him. The candidate of the left-wing PRD says the same.
I am not surprised. 20 years ago, Mexican elections were being rigged by altering the final results — maybe they still are.
Teamsters' union solidarity includes protecting members from deportation.
Why can't the Tories make their system for cutting support for the disabled work without errors? Because errors contribute to the intended effect of cutting aid to the disabled.
I suspect, however, that spending less to help the disabled is a means to another end: demonizing the disabled. Tories don't want the non-disabled people who are likewise suffering to recognize whose fault it is: the Tories and the rich people they serve.
The Taliban publicly invited the US to start negotiating ending the war in Afghanistan.
As long as the situation remains basically unchanged, the US cannot win the war in Afghanistan, any more than the Soviet Union could. It would be better to acknowledge this and stop the useless bloodshed. Much as I condemn the Taliban's Islamist repression, perpetual war is worse.
Now we know that the reason the bully cancelled DACA in the first place was to use those immigrants as hostages to gain these demands.
As President Reagan showed us, giving hostage-takers what they want encourages them to take more hostages. Republicans are no less clever than Islamist kidnapers, and no less cruel. To enable their cruelty because they have hostages would surely make things worse. We should not do that.
Meanwhile, there is a chance of preserving DACA through court actions.
The Department of Energy predicts that fracking will extract increasing amounts of oil and gas for decades.
They might be able to keep increasing this for a few decades, but if they do, there will be no avoiding global heating disaster.
The EPA carelessly approved use of the toxic pesticide dicamba on additional crops. It produced blowing clouds of pesticides that damaged other crops, as well as wildlife.
Apple devices lock users in solely to Apple services by being incompatible with all other options, ethical or unethical.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to reject HR 620, which would weaken efforts to make life easier for people with disabilities.
The saboteur's budget proposal would transfer billions of dollars from education and health to even more armaments.
The suicide rate in Puerto Rico increased 50% after last year's hurricane.
It would be interesting to study precisely what motivates these people to commit suicide. It could be the difficulty of coping with life with many systems not functioning, penury due to the lack of income, death of friends and relatives, the dread of losing your land and house to banks, or maybe something else I have not thought of.
The saboteur's budget could cause millions of preventable deaths over the next decade.
That's not counting the hundreds of millions of deaths that would be likely later in the century.
An estimate suggests that endocrine disrupting chemicals cause $170 billion damage per year in Europe, considering just the effect on human beings.
These chemicals harm wildlife, too.
One additional reason the UK to beware a new business-supremacy treaty with the US: the US will insist on exporting meat that brings antibiotic resistance.
The US may demand the usual ISDS (I Sue Democratic States) provision too.
Canada's easy attitude towards companies whose owners are secret makes it a prime transit site for hiding profits.
PFAS chemicals in food packaging and no-stick pans may cause obesity.
They are also found in firefighting foam, whose use puts them indirectly into water supplies.
US immigration thugs have doubled their rate of arresting (and deporting) immigrants without criminal convictions.
Some of those people face charges, of which they might be found guilty or innocent. If they are found guilty, they could be deported for that. If they are found innocent, there will be no particular reason for deporting them. So what's the rush?
Two more corruption cases against Netanyahu.
Makes one think of President Temer.
How Trump's Budget Would Cut the Safety Net for the Poorest Americans.
California legislators propose to allow tall buildings with dense housing near all major bus lines and train stations.
I am completely in favor of this, because overall it will mean cheaper housing and less homelessness.
However, it should be joined with stiff taxes on dwellings that are not anyone's primary residence or are the primary residence of considerably fewer people than would normally live there.
The US Defense Logistics Agency spent almost a billion dollars which it can't document. What to do? Spend even more.
New software will enable people to avoid pressure to stay in touch with other people by having Eliza-like programs do it for them.
The humans will be effectively isolated from other humans while their social stand-ins leak their personal data autonomously.
The saboteur's budget proposal would cut research for clean energy and better agriculture, as well as monitoring the environment.
It attacks the environment and public health.
The judge that insists on arresting Assange refused to consider the possible plot to deliver him to the US.
We know the UK was lying when it claimed publicly to be pursuing Assange on behalf of Sweden while privately telling Sweden not to stop providing the excuse for this.
President Do-dirty of the Philippines is using misogynist sadism to motivate his base. He called for soldiers to shoot women in the genitals so as to leave them alive but mutilated.
In effect, he is training Filipinos to be sadist monsters, much as the bully is doing in the US.
Education in the US normally teaches students almost nothing about all the democratic governments that the US overthrew and replaced with repressive regimes.
Many of those countries are repressive today. I doubt there would be a jihadi movement if the US had not overthrown Mossadegh.
Corbyn plans to nationalize the UK electric grid.
Meanwhile, the US wants to sell off Puerto Rico's electric grid.
Republicans want to replace part of food assistance with a fixed box of groceries.
If this were an option, and provided more food, I think many people would take it. However, treating poor people like dirt is the purpose of this policy. It is meant to intimidate them so that they don't fight for their rights.
US citizens: Reject the idea of taking parental leave funds out of future Social Security payments.
Making people go hungry when they are old is not an effective or just way of discouraging reproduction.
There is no evidence that the agent was killed at all.
A US appeals court ruled that governments can't fire employees for private sexual activities in the absence of a work-related reason.
I hope the Supreme Court agrees with this.
Whistleblowers in the department that handles asylum claims for the UK say they that some agents hate immigrants and only want to say no.
Even those that want to judge cases honestly can't because they are too overworked,
Does anyone know how the US compares with this?
Even among progressives, racism and sexism are still present.
Federal regulations make it difficult for banks to serve marijuana businesses, but one bank has found a way.
Phony abortion advice organizations (whose advice is always "don't") gave Google Maps so as to fool women that want an abortion.
Rule by oligarchs (i.e., plutocracy) explains why so many US government policy make life worse for the non-plutocrats.
The saboteur-in-chief's infrastructure plan would make development more "efficient" by ignoring the harm a project will do to everyone else.
Egypt's Allies Urged to Denounce 'Farcical' Presidential Election.
It resembles Putin's farcical election.
The melting of ice on Antarctica and Greenland is accelerating, so sea-level rise in this century is sure to be more than two feet.
Agro-forestry is being used in many countries to restore forests.
The real scandal of aid organizations in Haiti is, why did so little of the aid money donated to them for Haiti get spent to help Haiti? I do not think it is wrong to hire sex workers (or to be a sex worker), so I won't criticize the staff of these organizations for hiring them. Hiring a prostitute is not "sexual abuse".
However, if the staff spent a lot of money on sex workers, that could be a sign they were diverting the aid money to themselves. That would be part of the real scandal. Whether this was done by stealing, or "only" by arranging terms of employment that put too much of the organization's money into enriching the staff, is just a detail. It's corruption either way.
Russia is likely to manipulate the 2018 US election, and might improve its approach compared with its successful 2016 effort.
US gun sales have dropped so much that gun manufacturers are in trouble.
The NRA functions as a marketing and lobbying arm for the gun manufacturers. If they don't have money to give it, the NRA may get much weaker.
Indonesia is about to criminalize all sexual acts outside of heterosexual marriage.
A UK court insisted that the UK would arrest Assange if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy.
Even if the judge made this decision "on the merits" of that narrow aspect of the case, due to the context it would be a continuation of the scheme, punishing Assange for the UK government's dishonesty. However, given all the secret machinations, and given that UK judges often uphold such machinations, I so not believe that this ruling was independent. I think the judge is complicit in the same scheme.
If that is not true, let him prove it.
Computational extrapolation, used to predict success or failure in work, turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
A major newspaper in Brazil has stopped publishing via Facebook.
The major newspapers of Brazil are right-wing and sometimes publish fake news. My Brazilian friend told me, tongue in cheek, that he thought this decision was because the owners were concerned their articles would be tagged as fake on Facebook.
However, Facebook itself is so dangerous that any movement by the media towards rejecting it is cause for applause.
Thugs in Baltimore were convicted of stealing money and drugs (to resell), plus lots and lots of lies. They carried BB guns to plant on people to frame them or make excuses for killing them.
None of this was part of their job, which was to seize illegal guns.
Facebook took down a negative movie review because the movie company claimed the review was copyright infringement.
Everyone: Support Aceh's Green Vision.
Everyone: support abortion rights in Poland.
Embracing Bold Platforms, Progressives Working to Unseat Corporate Dems Nationwide.
Ricardo Querales faces death by deportation. The antiviral drugs, without which he will die, are not available in Venezuela.
It is fundamentally wrong to make it a crime to possess drugs for one's own use. Such charges don't justify deporting someone, let alone jailing someone.
Australia's disregard is allowing species to go extinct.
The disregard is so big that the government is allowing businesses to cut down large areas of wild forest.
Police officer Mader treated an armed and suicidal black man the way thugs typically treat only whites. But this was no use — some thugs arrived as "backup" and shot that man immediately. Then thug department fired him for not acting like a thug.
I hope he finds a job as a police officer again.
A campaign of protests targets Apple in France for tax-dodging. Apple is seeking to ban the protests and fine the protesters.
It is Apple that deserves to be fined — or rather, taxed.
Making fibre for clothing from food waste, to avoid using petroleum and polluting the ocean with plastic.
A US school district removed To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn from the high school curriculum because they portray racism in its rawness.
I don't think anyone is going to find tolerance for racism in To Kill a Mockingbird. It is too long since I read Huckleberry Finn, so I don't have an opinion about it.
However, American racists are now so blatant that we may not need books from 50 to 60 years ago to show how ugly racism is.
Lissa Lucas came to the West Virginia legislative hearing and was permitted to testify. When she started saying how much money the legislators in the committee had received from fossil fuel interests, they told her to shut up, and dragged her away.
Bravo Ms Lucas!
Several prisoners have died recently in Iran, supposedly from suicide, but their families don't believe it was suicide.
Suicide can be the best choice for a sane prisoner under certain circumstances, but we cannot assume that Iranian thugs are telling the truth about how those prisoners died, any more than we can trust what US thugs say about how prisoners die.
Legalized medical marijuana reduces deaths from opioid overdose. The easier the access to marijuana, the bigger the effect.
Even remote areas of the ocean have a substantial presence of plastic microparticles.
The tourists jailed in Cambodia for dancing "pornographically" were dancing at a party in a house, nowhere near temples.
South Korea and North Korea are rapidly improving their relationship.
This is a very good thing. It will reduce the danger of renewed war (which could now be a nuclear war), and it might eventually lead North Korea to become less of a dictatorship. It could conceivably even lead to reunification of a democratic Korea.
Modest increases in the minimum wage generally cause no loss in jobs.
A big increase in the minimum wage can cause a small loss of jobs, but as long as the total wages of all workers increases, a system of tax and redistribution among workers could make up for that. Of course, it would be better to tax the rich as well for this.
FBI Warns Of ‘American Dream’ Scam. Millions have been bilked by this.
Congress Puts Aside Partisan Differences For Good Of Military Contractors.
Why Companies like Disney Are Willing to Give Out Temporary Bonuses.
Sweden's prosecutors wanted to drop the arrest warrant against Julian Assange in 2013, but UK officials persuaded them to keep it going.
In 2011, the Swedish prosecutors were ready to interview Assange in London, but the UK pressured them to hold out for demanding Assange go there.
This is two smoking guns — proof that the arrest warrant was part of a political plot.
Crude bigotry against blacks never ended in many small towns in the US, and Republican officials are actively stimulating it and supporting it.
UK schools are short 30,000 teachers. Since their wages are capped and inflation has eaten into it, people don't want the job.
US citizens: call for dropping all charges against inauguration protesters.
US citizens: call on the Forest Service to stop Nestle from taking water from public forests.
Nestle never got a permit and is defying California water regulations.
Republicans always look at a poor person as a potential cheater, but they trust corporations blindly.
Why the minor changes made in FISA section 702 do nothing to protect even US citizens from US government warrantless wiretaps.
The governor of Kentucky is trying to kick 35,000 people in that state off Medicaid.
Kentuckians are suing to block this, so to make them look bad, he calls it out-of-state meddling. Even if that were true, it would be irrelevant — a distraction from the wrong he is doing to them.
Republicans constantly manipulate people with distractive non-issues. Sometimes Democrats do it too.
A Republican legislator in Pennsylvania proposes to impeach the majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. This is a scheme to reverse its decision that the Republican gerrymander violates the state constitution.
There is nothing Republicans respect enough that they won't crush it to get more power.
"Leaked Equifax documents provided to US Senate reveal that they dumped all our drivers' licenses, too."
China's President Xi announced a grand vision of an ecological society, and is leading mighty efforts to implement it.
Despite my condemnation for China's repression, I have to admire this. Contrast it with the bully that has seized power in the US, who does his best to increase both repression and environmental destruction.
China is now using face recognition camera eyeglasses to identify people that are not supposed to be allowed on trains.
How some secret Apple source code was released that may (we can hope) facilitate jailbreaking.
I do not encourage leaking proprietary source code because that would fail to make the source code free software. However, I do not criticize people for doing it. The wrong here was when Apple made that software nonfree — and, even worse, made it a jail.
Nonfree programs in general do injustice to their users. By making this software nonfree, Apple got power over users. Apple employs that power to commit further injustice against users, including censorship, DRM, and putting users in jail.
Ohio's reform plan, supposedly meant to eliminate the Republican gerrymander, perpetuates Republican control but disguises it better.
Russian trolls operated on Tumblr to attack Clinton and support Sanders.
I object to Russian manipulations of our elections even when they operate in favor of the best candidate and criticize an inferior candidate.
Watch out for proposals to cure "fake news" through censorship by the powerful (states, or companies). We've seen those before.
Charles II was overthrown by a revolution with strong public support in 1678, 3 years after the censorship scheme mentioned in the article. That revolution also ended the book censorship system that was the origin of today's copyright.
The Polish law banning discussion of antisemitism of Poles during World War II may unleash a wave of antisemitism there.
Fascist terrorism aimed at immigrants has appeared in Italy.
The Italian economic suffering is due to the Euro-zone rules applied by banksters. It's awfully convenient for them when Italians blame it instead on powerless immigrants.
Yashpal Saxena, whose son was murdered out of religious prejudice, has launched a campaign against religious prejudice.
Brazil's corrupt president has escaped all prosecution due to support from other corrupt politicians.
The FBI can do an "assessment" on anyone for the vaguest of reasons, or even on everyone who lives in a certain area, correlating many kinds of data bases including their phone calls and travel.
The fashionable thing to put on your skin for carnival in Brazil is … microplastics that will get into the ocean and poison sea animals.
The philosophy of the Enlightenment, centered around 1800, survives in today's humanist values.
I agree with Pinker that life is better — for most people — in the modern age than it was in past ages. I disagree with his conclusion that bleak expectations are irrational defeatism. Our progress has been going backward in recent decades.
This article suggests (I have not read his book) that Pinker does not recognize the harm that plutocracy has done globally since the 1990. Although material progress, in the sense of material riches, continues, the richest few are grabbing nearly all of it. In the US, the poor are worse off and have shorter life expectancy. "Free trade" has put the world's low-paid workers into direct competition, which the rich use against all of them. The rich now control many governments, including the US government.
He also does not recognize how increased inequality makes life worse for people, even aside from possible decrease in their own income.
Even if we were not undoing our achievements, we could not maintain them for long by continuing our current practices. Global heating, topsoil exhaustion, and population growth ensure that. The issue of sustainability is a rational one.
It sounds fine to cite past situations where civilizations invented solutions to their problems, but there were other past situations where they failed and the people died. Future progress may do great things, but it is foolhardy to suppose problems will be corrected. Especially when rich people who don't want them to be corrected dominate the state.
Female prisoners in Arizona don't receive enough menstrual pads, and if they use up the insufficient number, they bleed on their clothing and get punished for that.
The legislature is considering a bill to give them the supplies they need, but some male legislators are so patriarchal that they resent even hearing about the subject.
Republicans that control US state governments are systematically reducing the power of city governments to go against plutocratist state policies.
US citizens: call on John Kelly to resign.
The US census counts prisoners for the places they are imprisoned, rather than where they live. The effect is to transfer political power from cities to the rural areas where prisons are found.
The more prisoners, the more power the Republicans gain from this.
The troll's saboteurs have found sneaky way to harm authorized immigrants: denying them visa extensions and changes if they use the government benefits they are entitled to, even for their US-citizen children.
A Republican senator proposes to allow logging and mining in wild "wilderness study areas", untouched regions under consideration for being made national parks.
This is oppressive to US citizens, not only to immigrants.
Big Business Is Hijacking Our Radical Past. We Must Stop It.
The article also reminds us that we must defend the right of violent opposition to violent and unjust authority. We must reject the unfair standard which allows uniformed thugs to crush protesters for even the slightest deviation from politeness.
The troll is now trying to put protesters in prison for many years for planning a protest at which others committed minor property damage. In effect, that starts from the assumption that protesting is a crime.
It isn't a new thing either. They did it in Chicago in 1886.
Public defenders in Brooklyn went on strike after immigration thugs grabbed a defendant as he left the courtroom.
Trials could not proceed without counsel, so their strike had a powerful effect.
The US military is replacing toxic fire-extinguishing foam with a slightly different, slightly less toxic fire-extinguishing foam.
Non-toxic foams are available, and airports in other countries already use them.
To fight sexual bullying among coworkers, how about focusing on the bullying aspect, rather than banning sexual relationships entirely?
Black Lives Matter is stimulating US blacks to form and join unions.
The US has allocated billions more in aid for Puerto Rico and other places affected by recent local disasters.
I would like to believe that this is a good thing, but I have to be skeptical given that Republicans had to approve it. Is the aid for Puerto Rico's power grid simply a handout to the private companies that it will be sold to?
Pence said that President Kim's latest military parade was a "provocation", but the bully's military parade would be a "celebration".
I would guess Kim says the reverse.
To stop insurance companies from finding loopholes to drive people into poverty, let's get rid of them and set up a single-player scheme.
I wonder why anyone gets medical coverage through Anthem? I suspect that mostly they don't have a choice — that mostly companies choose Anthem for their employees. Under that system, Anthem has no incentive to do a good job for its non-customers.
Right now, we have a government agency that makes regulations for insurance companies, which seek clever ways to shaft people through loopholes in those regulations. Having the government agency set the rules directly will give us more accountability over the rules.
The low wages paid by Uber and Lyft have driven some cab and limo drivers to suicide.
They blame state governments for eliminating cities' power to regulate those companies.
The bully refused to allow publication of the Democrats' rebuttal to the Republicans' dishonest memo attacking the Mueller investigation.
The Republicans on that committee, headed by Rep. Nunes himself, consult closely with the bully. When they voted to approve release of the Democrats' counter-memo, they surely knew that the bully would block it.
I suppose the Democrats anticipated this too. Now they can say, "We can show that's not true, but the bully forbids us to tell you."
Unfortunately, that won't influence the bully's supporters much. They don't care that the Nunes memo is dishonest, even incoherent; they believe the conclusion anyway.
In effect, the Democrats are helpless against the height of Republican dishonesty and manipulation.
Since successful companies owe a lot of their success to public activities such as infrastructure, education, and research, they should have to contribute a substantial part of their income to the public.
The Environmental Protection Agency has cut its enforcement actions to about 1/4 the previous rate, and fines are less too.
We could call it the Environmental Pushover agency, but I fear the whole truth is even worse than that.
Sacramento thugs protected violent Nazis and tried to prosecute anti-fascist counterprotesters that the Nazis stabbed.
Cheating, in the sense of breaking rules, seems to be becoming more common in the US these days.
When a rule benefits society, cheating against it hurts society, but we should not assume that all rules are just and beneficial. When a rule is unjust, disobeying it is virtuous. This includes rules against sharing copies of published works. We should not call that "cheating".
We do not want to be treated by doctors that cheated on their exams or in their practice. We do want to live among neighbors that will share with us.
There is no reason to wait for a red light to change if you can see that no other cars are moving for a few blocks away. To wait uselessly is a loss for you and benefits nobody; to stop, then proceed with caution, is virtuous under those circumstances.
The UK investigation of the underground infiltration of dissident movements seems to be a pretense intended as a coverup.
Everyone: call on the football team Liverpool FC to reject the sponsorship of Chinese company Tibet Water Resources Limited, which is an example of China's exploitation of Tibet.
US citizens: call on District Attorney Faith Johnson to return campaign donations from bail bond companies.
They are a form of corruption because they give her an incentive to demand higher bail for the sake of the companies.
It's time for a replay of the triennial farce where the US copyright office invites people to petition for narrow, temporary half-exceptions to the injustice of DMCA section 1201.
Granting one of these half-exceptions is always better than not granting it, but every campaign for an exception ought to campaign also for repealing DMCA section 1201.
EFF: Newly Released Surveillance Orders Show That Even with Individualized Court Oversight, Spying Powers Are Misused.
Republicans have stopped saying they object to deficits and debt.
They never really did care, it was just an excuse to stop Democrats from helping the non-rich. Now that Republicans can run deficits to feed the rich, they love deficits.
A Danish court says it is a crime to tell people how to use file-sharing software.
The companies behind the War on Sharing will stop at nothing to impose their divide-and-rule strategy — until we decisively defeat them. We must legalize sharing of copies of any published work, and we must block their legal (EULAs) and technical (DRM) methods for denying people that right.
The bully's renewed global gag rule has undermined women's health care in many poor countries.
US prison conditions are so cruel that a UK court refused to extradite a UK citizen to the US on that account.
Please do not use the word "hacking" to refer to what Lauri Love was accused of doing — that gives us "hackers" a bad name.
A substantial group of people have rejected "smart" phones.
Alas, even a non-"smart" phone tracks the user's location — with the phone company and Big Brother, though not directly with other companies — and can be remotely converted into a listening device. That's why I refuse to carry any kind of portable phone.
If you own a car, watch out: it may contain a built-in cellular modem that makes it the equivalent of a "smart" phone. Nowadays it may even have a microphone to listen to conversations in the car. But you can probably disconnect it. Wrapping it in aluminum foil may be enough to make it cease to communicate.
Al-Hudood is the Middle East counterpart of The Onion.
Let's not allow one case of cruelty to interfere with homeschooling.
It is usually a good practice, as long as it doesn't cut off the children from other sources of ideas and knowledge.
Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing Venezuela because they can't get food.
If Venezuela collapses, I fear that the international plutocratic order will be imposed there. It won't be as bad as the current collapse, but it will be as bad as the plutocratic regime that Chavez replaced.
Life expectancy in the US is falling, slowly but steadily, due to increasing discouragement with harder life.
Students at 65 US universities are campaigning for them to move to 100% renewable electricity, and succeeding with some.
This many universities are a drop in the bucket, but when they lead, they may lead many more to follow.
ACLU: 6 ways the US is attacking environmental activists to crush their protests.
Bangladesh is persistently convicting the leaders of the main opposition party for various acts of corruption.
I won't claim these convictions are false. Bangladesh is probably very corrupt. It could be that every politician there is corrupt, but these particular politicians are prosecuted for political motives while other equally corrupt politicians are left alone.
Republicans continue planning new forms of voter suppression.
This goes with the nationwide gerrymander to implement their policy of "power by hook or by crook."
Having children is not a necessity of life; it is a luxury. I support efforts to help, encourage and lead people to reproduce less. I do not support this plan.
For those who do have children, parental leave is not a luxury — it is a necessity for the good of those children.
Pence completely rejected the idea of negotiation with North Korea.
I don't think the troll cares what actually happens with North Korea. Everything he says and does in regard to North Korea is meant to keep his supporters deluded.
US citizens: call on Congress to ban the practice of killing sharks and taking only their fins.
This is not only wasteful, it also endangers the sharks. If fishermen had to land the whole shark, they couldn't kill so many sharks and the species could recover.
The US is doing so little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that they are now predicted to increase, for a few decades.
A few decades from now, the effects of global heating will make emissions decrease, but that will be because disaster is already advanced.
The planet roasters believe they can give their descendants an escape from the disaster they are bringing on the rest of the world. The rest of humanity needs to show them that they can't do that; that the only way their descendants can survive is if the rest of humanity does too.
It is 16 years since Dubya made the United States officially a torture state.
Stanford University has done nothing to defend a professor from false accusations of terrorism, published by a magazine hosted at Stanford and funded by right-wing billionaire Peter Thiel.
I wonder, does he give money to Stanford University? Does anyone know?
Spirit airlines told a passenger she could bring her miniature hamster on board — then when she arrived, told her no, so she had to kill it in order to get home.
The airline spokesjerk expressed shock that she killed her hamster, pretending that this wasn't compelled by the airline's decision. What else was she supposed to do — remain indefinitely at the airport, effectively homeless? Spend a week going home by bus and miss classes?
The airline should have cages for use to keep small animals in the hold, if it doesn't want to carry them in the cabin.
The death of John Perry Barlow is a reminder of the time when we thought the internet could bring people freedom.
The good that the internet can do is being blocked by censorship and drowned out by intentional lies, while the bad (total surveillance and the War on Sharing) is growing without restraint.
If you want freedom, the first step is to build the strength to say "no thanks" when someone offers you convenience in exchange.
The US immigration thug agency has asked for access to all the government's secret surveillance data, which supposedly is collected to "protect" us from "terrorists".
If we tolerate government collection of data about Americans in general, the government will use it against us in ever increasing ways. We must put an end to this data collection.
The Federal Reserve has started to raise interest rates, mainly with the purpose of stopping workers from getting raises.
The US says that Russian agents "penetrated" some states' election agencies.
This is a bad thing, but I'm far more worried about the penetration by Republicans.
The UK state is using local governments as "human shields" to pass budget cuts on to the people.
It is natural that local governments will raise taxes to fund the activities they must do. This solves the immediate problem, but it is not a fair solution.
Local governments can only tax the local inhabitants and local businesses. However, wealthy people and big, profitable businesses are not evenly distributed. In an area where most people are poor, this puts a heavy burden on them. That's why the national government needs to do the taxing, and distribute the money to all the local governments.
Coal ash dumps near power plants are poisoning the local water.
The UK minister called the death of an "independent contractor" a "tragedy".
That death was the predictable result of allowing unjust business practices, for which the minister is directly responsible. That is no tragedy, it is an injustice.
The bully wants to limit Medicaid benefits for people with incurable diseases. That means that they will get treatment only until they reach the arbitrary limit; then, I suppose, they will be put out on the street.
With global heating bringing frequent deep droughts in many regions, how could they think of using fossil fuels in ways that also need lots of fresh water? I refer to coal seam gas production.
It must take a lot of money to convince enough people not to do the right thing by insisting on renewable energy instead.
Truly long-term defense against running out of water requires defending against population increase. We must ask for everyone's cooperation in this.
The "president" of the Maldive Islands arrested judges to stop the Supreme Court from freeing imprisoned legislators.
The elected president Masheed campaigned globally to curb global heating. I suspect that oil interests helped arrange the coup against him.
If global heating goes far enough, the questions of democracy and human rights in the Maldives will cease to matter. Long before they are entirely inundated, they will be unable to support their population. The rulers, however, will probably get the chance to move elsewhere.
When drive-through cafes employ women wearing only underclothes, is that a form of exploitation that they should be protected from?
I don't object to these businesses. What I object to is a society that pays millions of workers so little that some might feel they have no choice but to work in these jobs. People who feel uncomfortable doing them should not have to do them.
UK "national security" agencies in the 1920s treated all unionism as Communism, and sabotaged the Labour government with a falsified leak.
Any two adults should be allowed to make a legal commitment to each other. It should not have to be marriage. It should not have to imply a romantic relationship or a sexual relationship.
The accusations that the election was falsified seemed plausible at the time, and these actions make that more likely. They are the actions of someone that wants to be a tyrant.
Proposing that the EU should become a European Republic, rather than a "United States of Europe".
I think the way to oppose this is with a celebration of the peaceful and truly great achievements of the US, such as the Bill of Rights, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, Social Security, Medicaid, and the Endangered Species Act. Let's oppose cruel and twisted patriotism with benevolent patriotism.
China's total surveillance system will be used for imposing regimentation on any and all aspects of life.
The US is also moving toward a system of total regimentation, in its usual sloppy commercially dominated way, that the state piggybacks on. If you want to resist this, stop using digital payments — pay cash!
US citizens: call on all state governors not to help the bully destroy Medicaid.
US citizens: call on Congress to investigate NRA for funneling Russian money to political campaigns.
US citizens: call on the Senate to support the Antiquities Act to protect national monuments.
It is hard to find aspect in the governance of the Maldives that isn't crooked.
This is what I fear the Republicans will do to the US.
SCROTUS threaten to cut off funding for WHO because it reported that Glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.
The Republican Party considered a sort of group madness that, in advanced stages, disconnects people totally from their loyalty to anything bigger — such as their country or the truth.
The US Federal Reserve has imposes punitive limits on Wells Fargo for swindling customers in several ways.
Sad to say, even if they win, the thug will probably lose nothing since the city will pay the damages. This system protects thugs so thoroughly from accountability that it will hardly ever get them to do anything better.
A new EU data privacy directive will limit certain ways that companies intentionally abuse people's data.
Companies will still be able to misuse people's data, just not in all of the same ways. For instance, Facebook will still be able to sell targeted advertising aimed at its useds. That doesn't violate these new rules.
Also, this directive does nothing to protect people from Big Brother. The directive has no effect on how states in the EU forcibly take the data once companies have collected. The only benefit for dissidents will be if the directive convinces some companies to hold less data about people.
The self-checkout machines that replace human sales clerks also encourage shoplifting.
Shoplifting in a supermarket is not uniformly wrong. Poor people are morally entitled to steal food to eat, if they can't afford to buy it, and the suffering imposed by the plutocratic state often puts them in that situation.
But I hope this convinces the stores to get rid of those machines and hire more human beings.
You can join me in helping to make that happen. When I enter the store I pass by those machines and tell the people using them, "If you use those machines, you are putting other Americans out of work. When I realized that I decided to go always to the human sales clerks so that they can stay employed." I do the same thing when I leave.
You can do it too.
Many university libraries are purging books — they will be available only digitally.
Since ebooks are typically distributed in an unjust way, I'm afraid some of those injustices will apply to these books.
Requiring participants to lock their portable phones temporarily in bags improves the quality of interaction at gatherings and events, and helps education.
It's a step forward, but people should not think this prevents all the harm and wrong portable phones do.
Cancelling Americans' student debt is morally imperative to relieve the impossible burden, but there is a secondary reason: it will boost the economy in a way that doesn't push the non-rich down.
School teachers in the US have a campaign to teach students about racism: the Black Lives Matter at School campaign.
"Valve turner" protester Michael Foster has been imprisoned after being convicted because the judge refused to let him present necessity defense.
Foster courageously puts the emphasis on the giant crime he campaigns to stop.
The willful blindness and pro-business bias of some judges is a large obstacle to efforts to keep civilization going past this century.
Supporters of the occupation of Palestine must oppose measures for the general defense of human rights, unless they make an exception to the general standards for Israel.
Ireland is considering sanctions against products made by Israelis in colonies in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Amnesty International reports an apparent chlorine gas attack by Assad's forces in Syria.
As Vladimir Putin Steals the Russian Election, Our Leaders Are Shamefully Silent.
San Diego trash collectors put a homeless man's tent into a compactor, and discovered just before it was too late that he was inside it.
If his tent had been empty of human beings at that moment, would that have excused the city for destroying it and leaving its owner with no shelter? Of course not!
This is an example of routine intentional cruelty, aimed (naturally) at those who are down and out, which almost this time did more damage than it was supposed to.
The media have plenty of practice calling militarism "presidential".
70-year-old Ian Bone holds clever and funny nonviolent protests against squeezing non-rich people out of housing.
His protests embarrass billionaires from Qatar, so the UK government has used an injunction to ban them. Injunctions are the standard UK method of ordering poor people to obey rich people.
US citizens: stand by the workers that Matchbox Food Group fired.
Everyone: thank athletes from the Super Bowl that refuse to visit the bully at the White House.
Even if you suppose the Nunes memo is honest and accurate, its assertions don't support the conclusions.
A lawsuit is too good for him. He should spend decades in prison.
Vietnam Jails Activist for 14 Years for Livestreaming Pollution March.
Denmark is proposing to prohibit people from covering their faces in public.
Unless the law also ban face recognition systems pointed at public places, in an effective way that can't easily be bypassed, this would attack everyone's rights.
If you live in Denmark, please talk with your legislators!
More about bullying a journalist to change a story about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The Journalism Protection Act would, if enacted, prohibit attacking and intimidating journalists.
A campaign for divestment from arms manufacturers.
The State Department has not issued the climate report required by a UN treaty. Sabotage, I expect.
New Jersey has joined the states that demand ISPs respect network neutrality for all customers in order to sell service to the state government.
The war on sharing scientific knowledge has attacked Sci-Hub by making Cloudflare stop serving it.
Edinburgh University Divests from All Fossil Fuels.
Hong Kong has reduced the sentences for some protest leaders, "this time only".
I suppose this is a plan to avoid creating martyrs while still repressing future protests. It doesn't reduce the injustice of criminalizing dissent.
Focus groups give powerless non-elite people a feeling of participation in decision-making — for minor marketing decisions only.
This feeling of participation is meant to substitute for real participation in important decisions.
Decrying 'Dog-Eat-Dog System,' #PoorPeoplesCampaign Kicks Off 40 Days of 'Moral Action'.
Proposed US laws would limit how Facebook collects and uses personal data, but just a little.
I conjecture that the reason these laws don't doesn't go far enough is that they were written based on the unstated premise that we cannot greatly reduce the profits of Facebook and other surveillance companies.
In my view, ending massive data-collection must take priority over their profits. It would be no loss to society if we drove them out of business as a side effect of protecting ourselves from them. Indeed, by refusing to give Facebook any data, I am taking a personal step to that end. I set up my page about Facebook hoping to convince you to join me.
We should not limit ourselves to acting individually.
Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has halted an investigation of Equifax, apparently because of all the campaign contributions it sent his way.
Corruption is the Republican Way.
Our democracy and our ecosphere are under attack, as well as the very idea of honesty. Movements to overcome these attacks are growing, however.
The attacks of famous male artists against their female "muses" are not limited to forced sex. Sometimes they do simple physical violence.
How interesting it is that Tarantino violently attacked the star of a film he was making. I saw one Tarantino film, Pulp Fiction, and was disgusted by the violence portrayed, to the point that I avoided seeing any more of his films. (I cite that movie as an example of why we should not advocate censorship of art merely because we find it disgusting.)
But I never expected his treatment of the cast to resemble the stories he portrays in the films. I would have considered that sort of inference naive. And yet in this case it would have been valid. Hmm.
A courier company in the UK doesn't allow its workers (all "independent contractors") a day off to see a doctor. The result: one of them died from diabetes after skipping medical appointments.
We have to put an end to this "independent contractor" bullshit.
A company that pays people to do more than 1000 hours per week of a certain kind of work should be required to hire full-time employees to do at least 80% of that work. If the work amounts to more than 10,000 hours per week, the company should have hire full-times to do 90% of it. At more than 30,000 hours of work per week, there must be enough full-timers to do 95% of it.
Work farmed out to contractor companies should count towards the total just as if there were no middleman, and that slight differences in the details of the work should not divide it legally into separate pools.
So far the company has stood firm, but that's not enough. The other news organizations should agree to provide their material to that one.
Deaths due to malnutrition are increasing in England, as welfare often provides too little money for poor people to pay for housing, medical care and food, for themselves or for their children.
Many US college students skip food because they are broke. At MIT, 10% of the students each week skipped a meal due to lack of funds. This is not yet malnutrition, but it can retard their studies, and it would never happen if the educational system worked.
Ozone depletion in the stratosphere is getting worse, in the latitudes where people mainly live.
This despite the fact that the depletion over Antarctica is gradually decreasing.
US citizens: call on Congress not to fund the bully's wall.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to close the Guantanamo prison.
I suggest explicitly saying also that each prisoner should get a fair trial or be released. Otherwise your congresscritter might think you want imprisonment without trial extended from a foreign naval base to the US itself.
US citizens: call on Paul Ryan to remove Nunes from the intelligence committee.
People are upset that dentistry students and their professor had themselves photographed with heads of deceased people that had willed their bodies to science.
I have to ask, who did they hurt by making the photos? I cannot see how this matters at all.
Russia and Assad retaliated for the downing of a Russian plane by bombing civilians in Syria.
Men accused of rape or sexual harassment are not the only Americans in danger of being punished without a trial.
Human rights are for everyone, not just wealthy and powerful men.
The myth of "facilitated communication", which when investigated proves to be pure pseudoscience, continues to take in the loved ones of people who cannot communicate. They desperately wish for it to be true, for themselves to have communication with that person. But that doesn't imply it is true.
I don't believe it is a kindness to tell someone a comforting lie. To get someone accustomed to a false view of the world is an injury to per.
How race bias interacts with class bias in determining who will be imprisoned in the US.
Direct racial bias affects mainly the jailing of poor people, but many other kinds of bias tend to make blacks poor.
Governments are pressuring Syrian refugees to return home even though the war continues.
There are some places in Syria that some refugees could safely return to. But we can be sure that deportation-mad officials will underestimate the danger so they can force more refugees back to Syria even where it isn't safe.
Neighborhoods that invite walking around seem to make people more healthy.
Religious fanatics in Kenya oppose national sex education. Apparently their religion adores ignorance and avoidable distress.
Saboteur of Transportation Chao's family shipping business dodges taxes by being incorporated in a tax shelter country.
The UK plans to facilitate collecting and maintaining inaccurate data about immigrants and would-be immigrants.
Universities often exaggerate the importance of their research results, as a PR practice.
Businesses that distribute plastic to the public should pay for the harm it does, and will do.
This damage could include extinction of filter-feeding whales.
The two major uses of petroleum are to burn, and to make plastic. Since both of them cause great damage, we have got to end petroleum extraction.
I've coined the term "spontaneous moral symmetry breaking" to describe situations where there is a valid moral imperative to do something the same way others mostly do it. For instance, driving on whichever side of the road is generally driven on where you are is right because it tends to avoid collisions.
This is to be distinguished from peer pressure to conform; that is not a valid moral imperative.
People need attention, and paradoxically lack of attention makes people act in ways that repel attention, driving them into a pit of loneliness that digs itself deeper despite their best efforts.
A tiny fraction may be driven by this to commit various crimes, but the number of people that suffer without committing crimes is enormous.
I wonder if humans have a systematic tendency to reject any behaviors that are often signs of loneliness precisely because they may indicate loneliness. We might feel we dislike them for various unrelated reasons, all stand-ins for the fact that they suggest loneliness.
Tying the support for Boko Haram to desertification caused by global heating effects.
The article also says that Algeria has boosted al Qa'ida in the region, with tacit US backing.
Protecting heavily addictive OxyContin was a bipartisan effort.
War is mutating into an urban guerrilla in which there is no one with the authority to make peace.
Privatizing the agencies that find foster parents made the job cost a lot more. A little of that increased cost provided a raise for the foster parents, but most of it went to the business owners, through a tax-dodging scheme.
Privatizing the supervision of convicts on probation was supposedly going to do a better job of keeping them out of crime, and more efficiently. It didn't work. This is what I would have expected, for two reasons — one specific, and one general.
The general reason is that privatizing government services usually does a bad job. It has to cut corners in order to squeeze out profit. It has to pay people less, so it gets workers who are less capable and has them spend less time on each job (convict).
The specific reason is that human contact helps guide people away from crime. The way these companies increase "efficiency" means less human contact.
The Chinese government has set up numerous organizations in Australia to suppress criticism of China, especially by Chinese students, but also targeting universities, businesses, publishers and so on.
Surveillance advertising is making the internet like an airport.
You can prevent this, personally, by refusing to run nonfree software (which includes nearly all mobile apps), and refusing to talk to surveillance web sites. If stopping them feels like a sacrifice, think about how they mistreat you, and you'll realize that the real sacrifice was using them.
Everyone: tell US Bank to stop funding oil and gas pipelines, as it said it would.
US citizens: call for removing Rep. Nunes as head of the Trump-Russia investigation.
He doesn't want answers, only to cover them up with lies.
The UN demands that all countries set up databases for personal information about air travelers, including biometrics.
It doesn't require all countries to collect any particular kind of biometric, but that injustice is likely to follow.
Modern patterns of living push old people into lives of total solitude. Cohousing could help people avoid this fate.
Automated and internet sales are part of the problem. How about discouraging those?
One thing it may require is to give people water priority over agriculture. Those who try growing water-intensive crops that take water from people must be shown they are asking to lose.
Indonesia expelled a BBC reporter for an erroneous tweet that criticized the quality of food sent for malnourished children in Papua.
Her error was to confuse food imported for sale in stores with food aid. She corrected the error later.
Errors are to be avoided. However, to interrogate and expel journalists for what they publish — even for errors — is much worse than an error.
Mexico Protesters Fear US-Owned Brewery Will Drain Their Land Dry.
In effect, beer is an excuse to transfer water from Mexican farmers to US big business.
Hong Kong Democracy Activists Urge UK to Release Unseen Files.
Some of the information might put China under pressure to respect human rights in Hong Kong today.
Paul Ryan’s Push for Workforce Development Is a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.
The idea that training programs could correct for the harm done by eliminating jobs is fundamentally mistaken. Here are many reasons why.
Student loans today are dangerous. If you don't get the degree (maybe you're not among the brightest students), or of you don't get the job afterward (maybe previous graduates filled the demand), you're left with the student loans on your back for the rest of your life.
Refuting some specific lies in the Nunes memo.
Alas, the memo seems to be having its intended effect of convincing Republicans to distrust Mueller's investigation, which is meant to give the bully political cover for shutting the investigation down.
Big and well-known US companies use subterfuges to pay workers less than minimum wage.
Fundamental human rights are suffering a setback in most of the countries covered by the global survey.
Indeed, they could record all the video from these businesses' surveillance cameras, all the time.
These setups should be illegal except when a court order gives permission to hook them up in a particular place.
The racist has ordered the US government to stop enforcing the laws against discrimination by banks. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had the responsibility to do this, but the racist has told it to stop.
China's face-recognition tracking system has been set up in Ecuador.
Many congresscritters want to deal with the opioid problem by being "tough" on everyone except drug companies.
Laws to restrict "overprescribing" end up being tough on people that suffer from pain. There is no cut-and-dried way to distinguish between feeding a habit and treating pain; to cut down on the former tends to cut down on the latter.
Israel arrested a Palestinian teenager who lives near Jerusalem, and dumped her in Gaza where she had never been. There is no way to get from Gaza to the West Bank, because Israel never fulfilled its commitment to the PLO to set one up.
Of course, there was a bureaucratic excuse for this. So what? States are supposed to treat people humanely, not screw them just because they can.
Sequencing people's whole genomes is enabling progress at understanding and curing rare diseases caused by unusual or mutant genes.
We cannot pass up this benefit, but at the same time it leads to danger. The direct danger that people will be denied medical insurance is prevented in the US, for the time being, by Obama's insurance law which Republicans are trying to repeal.
To make use of the genetic danger requires correlating it with lots other personal data, and that's what opens up more danger. The state, and companies, can cause people lots of trouble using knowledge of that personal data.
The UK government is facing a legal crisis about using drones to kill people in areas which are not battlefields.
I wish the US valued human rights enough to find the practice disturbing. Once Obama endorsed the practice, most Democrats went along with him.
EFF: Keep Border Spy Tech Out of [immigrant] Protection Bills
I object to the hokey term "dreamers". This is one of the words that people use to show their membership in a political tribe, and I don't want to do that. I agree politically with some people on various issues, and I am often glad to support their efforts to achieve it, but I won't treat it like membership in a tribe.
It is no accident that the right-wing government of Australia set up an automated debt collection system that bullied thousands of people about nonexistent debts for nonexistent welfare fraud, and wouldn't listen to their counterevidence.
Part of the reason is that right-wingers demonize anyone that needs help. Another part is they followed the typical right-wing practice of privatizing the debt collection. Naturally the system didn't want to hear when the debt wasn't real.
California is about to join Montana in refusing to buy from ISPs that disrespect network neutrality for customers. That seems to mean any customers, not just for the state itself as customer.
The proposed law also directly prohibits ISPs from violating network neutrality, but the FCC's new rules may prohibit this. and it is not clear which side federal courts will take.
US citizens: call on senators to reject the "concealed carry reciprocity" law that would let every state authorize people to carry guns in other states.
US citizens: Tell the Senate: Don’t confirm Eric Dreiband as director of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
Want to Get Your Kids into College [and have them do well there]? Let Them Play.
Kenya's supreme court is trying to protect the freedom of dissent by releasing a lawyer that the president arrested.
A brief explanation of the issue of "the memo" that Republicans want to release.
That article doesn't mention that Nunes has secretly edited the memo since the committee looked at it.
If the FBI says, "keep it secret", I am opposed to that. Keeping us in the dark will not serve the cause of justice.
Releasing the full information, to show what Nunes cherry-picked from, is what we should do.
Remote control is being designed into many companies' driverless cars. Naturally that includes remote viewing, which could be used all the time.
California is considering setting up a state-owned bank, specifically because marijuana businesses need it, but others would use it too.
I hope it has physical branches, because I don't trust internet banking.
Although pot is now legal for adults in Colorado, ever more minors from minority groups are being arrested for possession of marijuana.
Possession of marijuana should be like possession of tobacco or alcohol: people should not be prosecuted, let alone jailed, for that.
When it is data about how a collision occurred, there is a valid reason to collect that data. But their collection won't be limited to that case.
The Pentagon's review of nuclear weapons policy proposes using nuclear weapons first, in response to a non-nuclear attack.
One detail in the notorious Nunes memo shows the real grounds for FBI surveillance of Carter Page.
I condemn broad surveillance of masses of people, in the absence of specific grounds. I support investigation of specific people based on specific suspicion, which this was.
The US is the only country in the UN that has not ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The US's reasons for refusing are quite strained.
It ought to be called the "Rights of Minors", since it applies to everyone under 18 and it is wrong to call adolescents "children." However the substance of it is good, and the US ought to sign.
7 of the 9 top posts at the US State Department will soon be empty.
"To remove art because it is tainted by the sins of its maker sets an impossible standard for art institutions. Yet that is what is happening."
200,000 Americans have pledged to respond immediately if the bully fires investigator Mueller.
If we automate more activities, such as driving, we could also isolate people more.
This is in addition to the near-certainty that driverless cars will record video showing everyone that passes on the street, and have a remote control facility.
There will be a temptation to put AI in charge of launching nuclear weapons, to try to distinguish a real attack from a false alarm. That would be very dangerous.
In every false alarm so far, some human decided, "Never mind what this looks like — let's not destroy humanity on the supposition it is a real attack. How would we feel on finding out it wasn't one?"
An AI system would not reason this way, if it weren't programmed to.
Georgia is considering a bill to explicitly make it a crime to violate a web site's terms of service.
Is anyone investigating which companies fund the legislators that support this bill?
Playboy is suing to establish that posting a link to copyright-infringing material to illustrate a point is copyright infringement.
When a major league sports team talks about moving to a different city, the public generally gets gouged in one city or the other.
The plutocrats' plan for Puerto Rico: shut schools, shut government offices, privatize all infrastructure, and cut jobs. This will cause a depression that will be the excuse for their next stroke.
The coming depression might leave a million Puerto Ricans unable to pay the tax on their land. Then the parasites will have an excuse to take that too. The "government" will take the land, and the parasites will order the "government" to sell it to the parasites.
The bully's infrastructure infraplan aims to take the whole US in the same direction.
Ukraine bans history books for even a shadow or a shade of an appearance of criticizing Ukraine's past.
Gender equality at work: it's not just about equal pay for comparable work, it's also equal respect for comparable work.
While this principle applies to all kinds of work, I think that, in regard to practical campaigning, equality for the many who work in low-paid jobs deserves higher priority than equality for the few who are stars.
Guillaume Chaslot, who formerly worked on YouTube's secret recommendation algorithm, developed software to empirically study YouTube's patterns of recommendations. What he discovered is that YouTube tended to recommend right-wing videos that supported the troll.
Why that occurred is not clear.
Ai Weiwei: to cure the refugee crisis, the west must recognize how its imposed globalization causes disasters that force people to become refugees.
I disagree partially. It was not "the west" that has done this; rather it was the western banksters and plutocrats that control western countries, pretending that their benefit is our benefit too.
The same banksters and plutocrats are spreading poverty in the west, just not as fast. Being part of the lower 50% of Americans today is not as bad as living in a refugee camp, but give the Republicans a few more years and the difference will get smaller. What is a Hooverville, after all, but a refugee camp?
A medical charity aimed at curing diseases made a partnership with Heineken, thus legitimizing a major cause of non-infectious maladies.
Poland Can't Lay Its Holocaust Ghosts to Rest by Censoring Free Speech. Although Poles were not responsible for the Nazi extermination camps in Poland, many Poles willingly killed Jews — 200,000 Jews in all.
Does this amount to responsibility on the part of the "Polish nation"? I don't think either "yes" or "no" is a valid answer. It has to be "somewhat".
I agree with Friedland in condemning laws that prohibit statements of views about history. Whether it is the genocide of the Jews, or the genocide of the Armenians, or any other, forbidding disagreement about history is itself tyranny.
Republicans in several states want to put people in prison for many years for turning off a pipeline, or even entering the land around one. They want to interfere with journalism, too.
If a company says it will distribute your data in "anonymized" form, assume that means it will give the data to data brokers with your name and address right on it. And don't give the company your name!
Fast food workers will protest to demand $15 an hour.
Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns to Plant Just in Case They Shot an Unarmed Person.
LA is making big efforts to provide more housing for poor people, but it isn't anywhere near enough to shelter the growing numbers of homeless people.
They want to replace these with private schools that take public voucher money for profit, and do a bad job for students.
A US court ruled that Florida's scheme for disenfranchising ex-cons is unconstitutional.
Other cities plagued by speculation in housing should do likewise.
The MPEG patent-rent standard organization seems to think its days are doomed. Video compression formats that are protected by patent pacts are replacing MPEG standards.
US school departments' web sites not only fail to have the most basic protection outside against snooping on the visitors, they even host surveillance advertising themselves.
However, the recommendations would eliminate only the most gross violations of students' privacy, which would continue to be threatened by the schools' own data collection.
When algorithms are used to rate people for good or bad treatment, they are often designed in ways that push the bad treatment onto the ones that have the least influence to push it away.
The basis for this is that the US systematically deprives poor people of the possibility of making enough money to cope with the needs of life. Whether the money comes from work or from the state, there isn't enough of it. Inevitably, some people will get squeezed out the bottom.
Precisely who gets squeezed out first depends on lots of details, but those specifics are less important than the general situation that ensures someone will suffer.
"The Nunes memo shows Republicans buy their own conspiracy theories."
We should not rush to judgment about Woody Allen.
Cape Town has a plan to provide rationed water to all inhabitants if drought compels turning off the piped water supply.
This is a short-term plan; it won't work for decades if the rainy season of the past no longer occurs in the future. People may have to move.
As global heating hits increasing numbers of millions, they will find there is nowhere to move to.
US citizens: oppose imposition of a national ID card.
The US review of nuclear weapons policy proposes new tactical nuclear weapons, ostensibly to deter Russia from using tactical nuclear weapons.
It is not outrageous, but I think it is superfluous because I think there is no chance Russia would start a major war in Europe. Putin is unscrupulous and aggressive, but careful and subtle.
The bully wants to eliminate the Chemical Safety Board, whose job is to investigate and avoid major chemical accidents such as the oil platform explosion that polluted much of the Gulf Coast.
Republicans think it is better for companies to poison their employees or blow them up, than to let regulations prevent this.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject heating-denier Bridenstine as head of NASA.
Measuring the climate is part of NASA's mission, and a global-heating denialist is likely to seek to stop that.
Paul Ryan Wants to Rebrand Making Kids Go Hungry As 'Closing the Skills Gap'.
Uri Avnery describes the paradoxical alternation of friendship and hatred between Jews and Poles.
Advertisers and stores now try to track things whatever people betray an interest in, even if they don't buy or say they like those things.
Anthem medical insurance refuses to pay for emergency room treatment if the problem was not really urgent. Since patients have no way to know that on their own, this means they risk bankruptcy every time they go.
Attractive-looking people tend to be more right-wing, because they don't understand the struggles others tend to face.
The fanatical natalist running the Office of Refugee Resettlement attempted to stop an imprisoned pregnant refugee from completing an abortion she had already started.
The Paris climate agreement's emissions limit target may be exceeded within 5 years.
The US military budget is so much more than any other countries that it should be reduced.
State of the Union Response: Disaster Capitalism Cloaked as Progress.
The bully ordered the Guantanamo prison kept open, apparently because he looks forward to the opportunity to torture prisoners.
Just as he hates anything Obama did, or tried to do, he may feel unsatisfied if he has not matched every evil act of Dubya.
There could very well be better alternatives to US public schools, but the Koch brothers are not going to aim to make them better for most Americans.
Evidence in a lawsuit against Aflac insurance shows the company signed people up to insurance policies without telling them, falsified records, and cheated the sales agents too.
The EU is considering a weak measure to promote use of tap water instead of bottled water.
Why not require (as France requires) restaurants to offer tap water? Why not label every plastic bottle — of water, of other beverages — with "Buying plastic bottles like this degrades the environment?"
We need politicians who don't hesitate to displease businesses.
We cannot expect to be able to remove CO2 from the air in the quantities needed to compensate for our excessive emissions now.
The proposed methods are either very expensive, very challenging, or very damaging to the environment.
Right-wing cuts in welfare benefits generally come with demonization of anyone who "cheats". The result is that everyone is likely to be suspected of "cheating" — most of them falsely.
What about the few who really do lie? After all these cuts, it is quite plausible they wouldn't get money for food and medicine if they didn't lie. Maybe they could not care for their children if they told the truth.
I think those circumstances justify lying to a bureaucracy.
If the state wants to deserve to be told the truth, it should give decent treatment to those who do so.
Professional US football systematically causes brain injuries, and players typically get many of them. The resulting damage often makes victims irrational and violent. A study of deceased former players' brains found signs of injury in nearly all of them.
I don't think it should be illegal to play football, but society should change the institutions that systematically attract people to the game — such as the NFL.
We don't have to allow streets and air to be clogged with multiple delivery vans. We do not have to let rapid delivery be society's priority.
In principle I agree, but it may be very difficult to prove such crimes based on objective evidence judged by objective standards.
This reminds me of when I visited Tibet unknowingly — my Chinese hosts told me "Tibetans have lived here for hundreds of years" but didn't say that's because China had annexed part of Tibet.
Legalization of marijuana has done a lot of good and no real harm, but it is incomplete. Homeless people and people in federally-subsidized housing have nowhere they can lawfully use marijuana. And lots of minority group people are still arrested for the remaining crimes such as using marijuana in public.
The article uses the absurd word "latinx." Please don't write that unless you are prepared to say it out loud. Using the convention I proposed for gender-neutrality in Spanish, the word would be "latinis", but that proposal has not been adopted.
As the Taliban slowly advance in Afghanistan, the US is covering this up by not publishing status information.
Emissions-trading schemes can be effective, but it is hard to prevent companies from gaming the system. The EU's system was designed wrong, leading to a price so low that it doesn't reduce emissions. The problems have never been corrected, due I expect to fossil fuel lobbyists.
If these states want the system to function, they should adopt an emissions tax rather than emissions trading.
"Unless we rewrite NAFTA, the trade pact will keep giving the green light to corporations to outsource American jobs, pushing down wages for everyone."
I agree, but don't forget the worst thing in NAFTA, the ISDS provision ("I Sue Democratic States") whereby each country gives foreign businesses legal priority over its own citizens and effectively a veto over laws.
The Green Party responds to the Mistake of the Union speech.
Exxon's new investment is a continuation of its previous policy and has nothing much to do with the Republican tax cut for corporations.
The latest systematic Republican attack on representative democracy is to keep elected offices vacant, or occupied by appointed substitutes, for years rather than let the people vote and perhaps elect a Democrat.
Republican politicians don't want to win fairly, they aim to subjugate America by hook or by crook. Patriotic Americans who used to support the Republican Party must recognize this, and join in defending the Constitution against today's un-American Republicans.
Polar bears need more food than was previously thought, meaning they could be extinct sooner than was thought.
Australia spends twice as much on subsidizing mines as on protecting the environment.
So don't anyone offer them a tax break, hear?
One in Three People with Legal Problems Develop Health Issues. This is true in the US, Canada, and the UK.
When PISSI captured Mosul, the first thing it did was suppress the mafias and make city services run smoothly. It took a couple of months to institute murderous repression.
A patent application suggests that Amazon plans to track the position of warehouse workers' hands.
Perhaps it will use this only to give workers feedback when they are trying to pick something up. Or perhaps it will use it to oppress them — if it doesn't already saturate the scale of repression. Let's not let Amazon decide.
The US legal system denies justice to poor people in lawsuits, because they usually have no lawyer at all.
Boston Resists Surveillance and Learns About Programs Targeting [minority ethnic groups].
US Bank promised to stop funding oil pipelines, but didn't do that. Protesters will visit offices of US Bank to protest its duplicity.
Lots of people don't speak English with educated correctitude, and they aren't necessarily stupid either. Many of them support the bully, and when he gets insulted for his speech style, they feel it too.
Old marijuana convictions will be wiped out automatically in San Francisco, so that the victims of that unjust law won't have to ask one by one.
The practice of excluding people from work, school, housing and welfare because of a past conviction keeps millions of Americans trapped in poverty (and crime, in many cases). The practice has been constructed in the past 50 years — before that, it wasn't so. The practice is possible only because we have come to accept a large permanent underclass. We must not have an underclass, so we must stop punishing people with life in poverty.
The coal mining company Adani appears to have altered an environmental modeling study before submitting it to a regulatory hearing.
Adani wants to open a giant coal mine in Australia, and is undermining governments there by pushing for subsidies and for looking the other way as it pollutes. After this, it ought to be banned entirely from operating there.
Nestle is once again using sleazy methods to lead mothers to believe that its milk substitutes are as good for babies as human milk.
The Department of Labor claimed it couldn't forecast how much the tip-theft rule would hurt waiters, but that's false: it had done the forecast and didn't want to show the public the results.
Sanders and 350.org call for candidates to refuse fossil fuel campaign funds.
This will be a way to separate real environmental defenders from those ready to be corrupted, in the Democratic primaries.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject the troll's infrastructure infraplan.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass legislation to protect the Robert Mueller investigation.
Theresa May, PM of Britain, won praise from China for avoiding the inconvenient topic of China's repression and sticking to capitalism.
Since it was obvious to the Chinese state mouthpieces that this would insult her, perhaps this was meant to demonstrate publicly how subservient she is to China.
Wood-burning stoves produce lots of dangerous particulate pollution.
The Maldive Islands supreme court has ordered the release of the main political prisoners, and restored 12 opposition members of parliament.
Every director of the FBI has been a Republican. Democratic presidents cave in to pressure to show "bipartisanship" by appointing Republicans; apparently Republican presidents are not expected to be "bipartisan." This may relate to the general right-wing attitude of the FBI.
The FBI investigated and harassed dissidents in the 60s and 70s.
The NHS is not being given enough money to both carry out today's medical care and compensate victims of past neglect.
I'm sure a large fraction of the past neglect was due to insufficient funding in the past. Sufficient funding would cure the present and future problems.
The head of US immigration thugs says he enjoys his job, which he interprets as terrorizing people and deporting them.
He now plans an explicit policy of haunting courthouses to grab any unauthorized immigrants that are defendants … or witnesses.
Imagine if you are violently robbed, and the robber can't be tried because the witnesses don't dare show up in court. Now imagine that Republicans are chuckling.
Burmese soldiers carefully planned to massacre Rohingya, then covered up the results in mass graves.
25 policies that the US needs in order to improve non-rich people's lives.
They do not include the deeper political changes needed to restore democracy, but if we don't do that, we will have trouble adopting those policies.
A court released the head of Amnesty International Turkey until his trial for "terrorism", but he was arrested again a little while after.
When dissidents and human rights defenders face trumped-up charges from an oppressive state, charges that ought to be dropped right away, I normally don't post about changes in details, such as whether the "suspect" is held in jail meanwhile. I mention this instance because it is particularly nasty.
Let's not use the bland and bureaucratic word "detention" to describe imprisonment of any kind.
US citizens: phone your Republican congresscritters and senators to demand restored funding for community health centers.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: call on the Museum of Natural History to remove climate-denialist Rebekah Mercer from its board.
The new prudery campaign casts its shadow over art.
Using anti-malarial mosquito nets as fishing nets endangers fish.
A court overturned the Kansas law that denied state contracts to anyone that participates in a boycott of products from Israel.
The First Amendment covers the right to boycott, and governments may not condition unrelated dealings with people on their nonparticipation in certain boycotts.
Palestinians and Palestine are not threatening the human rights of Americans. Israel and its agents are an immediate threat.
The sleaze has sabotaged the Federal Trade Commission so much that it hardly cares about monopolies in internet search and advertising.
Other presidents starting with Reagan have been gradually undermining antimonopoly law in the US.
Instead of sending staff to mindfulness courses to cope with the stress of work, businesses should put less stress on them.
A raise is a good way to reduce the stress generated by the employees' lives.
In one regard, the current push for war is not quite as dishonest. North Korea really does have weapons of mass destruction, whereas that claim against Iraq in 2003 was an engineered system of lies.
But that is no reason for launching a war which, in this case, could easily escalate to nuclear weapons.
The right to "insult a nation" is a vital part of human rights and must be protected.
This applies to all nations.
Australian spy agencies want to prosecute journalists for leaks to protect against "Chinese influence".
That seems like a nonsequitur to me. If Chinese influence is exerted through libel lawsuits, perhaps Australia ought to protect journalism from libel lawsuits rather than add its own threat.
Maintaining areas of wild plants around and within a farm can reduce the need for pesticides.
Nigeria does have bookstores, but most children there can't afford to buy books. They depend on the public libraries, which are collapsing from lack of funding.
Donald Savastano couldn't afford to see a doctor until he won a million dollars in the lottery. The delay was too long — he had untreatable, advanced cancer.
If he had been able to afford the visit when he first noticed symptoms, he might have caught it in time.
Young Russians, at least some of them, learn to recognize and resist propaganda.
There is still the problem of how to figure out what the truth is when every side engages in propaganda more or less.
Israeli expansionists are suing two New Zealand activists for persuading a singer to cancel a planned concert in Israel.
They are using a law that was designed to bully Gush Shalom into dropping its campaign to boycott products of the Israeli colonies in occupied territory. It exposes boycott advocates to unlimited financial "damages" based on intentionally weak criteria.
Uri Avnery wrote that some leaders of Gush Shalom were willing to go to jail for peace, but didn't dare risk the punishment of imposed penury for the rest of their lives. Nowadays Gush Shalom does not advocate a boycott. It does still maintain a list of companies that operate in the colonies in Palestinian territory.
These expansionists are trying to extend that bullying internationally. We will see if Israeli courts dare to attempt world-wide repression of foreign criticism of Israel's policy.
A former Facebook executive attributes Facebook's usefulness for fake news to its dependence on digital advertising. This leads Facebook to do whatever suits the advertisers best.
The Grace/Ansari bad date is a lesson about the difference between a kind, caring dating man and a selfish, uncaring one.
It makes no sense to legislate kindness, but men should all try to learn it.
Purchases made with Bitcoin can be traced to you, even years later, unless you are very careful.
This is one of the ways GNU Taler would have an advantage. With Taler, your purchases are truly anonymous, unless you reveal your identity in some other way.
Merchants that don't accept Taler payments are intalerable.
I have a conjecture about how the troll got to be what he is. When he was a teenager he must have read a logic puzzle about truthtellers that always tell the truth, and liars that always lie. And since everyone said that people should tell the truth, his rebellious streak led him to try to become a logic-puzzle liar, or as close as humanly possible.
Most large US companies have done nothing to share the big tax cuts with their employees.
I would bet that none of them has shared any with the "independent contractors" of contracting companies that have mostly replaced employees.
US citizens: call on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the appointees that Sessions wants to attack state-legal marijuana.
US citizens: reject the troll's inferiastructure program.
The US is trying out a "more efficient" system of inspecting butchery of chickens. It's more efficient because it's mostly done by employees of the company itself. The result is, more salmonella.
The billionaire's "disruptive" insurance company is no substitute for Medicare for All, but the danger is people will mistake it for one.
The prosecution of Reality Winner disregards both facts and laws, and disguises this behind secrecy.
A UK appeals court ruled that the state must get something like a court order before accessing someone's internet traffic.
The US is the world's second-largest tax-dodging destination.
"Opportunity zones" offer companies the chance of reduced taxes if they do business in depressed areas. They don't seem to achieve much for those areas, but they do reduce the total tax collected from businesses.
Instead of looking for excuses to let some companies pay less tax if they treat the public better, how about if we charge more tax to the companies that don't.
Ireland will hold a referendum to legalize abortion, because leading politicians have come to support abortion rights.
It is fallacious to argue to prohibit any action on the grounds that "If X and Y had done that, Z would not have been born." There all sorts of things X and Y have a right to do, which would have avoided the birth of Z.
If X and Y had never had sex, Z would not have been born. If X and Y had been in different cities at that time, Z would not have been born. Should they have been compelled to have sex every night until pregnancy resulted?
People in Turkey that criticize Turkey's attack on the Syrian Kurds are prosecuted for "supporting terrorism."
Tyrant Erdoğan has already imprisoned the leaders of political opposition; now he goes after anyone that disagrees.
Poverty is booming in the "booming" US economy.
Raising questions about proper regulation of how and where marijuana is sold and advertised.
An immigrant facing deportation won in court the right to say goodbye to his family.
There are vacant seats in the Wisconsin legislature. Now that Governor Walker has seen that people are likely to elect Democrats, he has decided not to hold the required special elections to fill those seats.
Shrinking the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument would threaten fields of dinosaur fossils.
These fields could be strip-mined if the saboteur-in-chief gets his way.
Two Labour MPs argue that progressives in Britain should support accepting EU trade rules.
Their arguments make sense, but there's another issue they did not raise: these trade rules act as business-supremacy treaties. They go further than the World Trade Organization, which in itself is so harmful to democracy that we should aim to abolish it.
It is insufficient for states to demand ISPs respect net neutrality only for the state as customer. They must deal only with ISPs that do this for all customers.
Labour supporters try to demonstrate that the UK can stay in the EU's single market and still deprivatize industries.
US citizens: call on the FBI to forget the fictitious "Black Identity Extremist" terror movement.
US citizens: call on the Democratic Party to adopt the Unity Commission's reforms.
An Australian minister told immigration to stonewall refugees — to refuse to carry out the investigations to determine whether they were entitled to asylum.
Pompeo says he expects Russian manipulation of the US 2018 election.
The UK's policy towards China is a desperate "Buy something from us!"
California now requires sex education classes to teach something about how to have good and healthy relationships.
This is a big step forward. But I think there also need to be practical lessons about the emotional aspects of sex — how to be kind to, listen to, and please your lover. To learn this — to some extent — by flailing around unaided has cost me decades. I wish someone had taught me when I was a teenager.
North Carolina's supreme court overturned a law designed to create programmed deadlock on all practical questions about early voting — as a system of voter suppression.
A study of the techniques used for digital manipulation via platforms.
Whether the purpose is seizing political power, or selling a product, there is no reason to permit these activities. I think we can make laws that will spike them, without censoring anyone from saying any particular thing.
An experiment found that people tend to trust strangers who look like those that have treated them well, and distrust strangers who look like those that have treated them badly.
If this is a real tendency (one experiment isn't enough to show that), this pattern could tend to encourage bigotry.
The bully's man abruptly forced out deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.
He was going to retire with full pension in two months. It must have taken some big threat to stop him from holding out for that time.
Why take the trouble, since he was going to leave so soon? This could be merely an example of the bully's habitual cruelty, but I expect it is meant somehow as an attack on Mueller's investigation.
The African Union court ordered Mauritania to compensate teenagers enslaved because they were born into a family considered slaves.
US generals have been fighting for 50 years for the claim that the US could have won the Vietnam War with a different military approach — so don't hesitate to intervene in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya and…
How Dubya's invasion of Iraq paved the way for PISSI.
For instance, without the Tunisian revolution in 2011, and the famine in Syria in the preceding years, Syria might still be firmly under the rule of Assad.
Organizing Americans with inherited wealth to work to reduce inequality.
The Koch brothers reportedly think the troll will hurt the whole Republican Party in the coming elections.
Will they force SCROTUS to impeach him?
US national parks' facilities are crumbling. Due to insufficient taxation on businesses and rich people, there are no funds to maintain them.
Turkey is retracting the punishments imposed without trial on some 11,000 people who were mistakenly considered users of the communications app Bylock.
The people taken to be users of Bylock, whether correctly so or incorrectly, were all punished without trial. Erdoğan has shown no evidence to connect the users of Bylock with Gülen, or to connect Gülen with the coup attempt.
In many areas, their arrest records are automatically erased.
The Koch brothers will spend 400 million dollars to keep Republicans in power in state legislatures.
The US farmed out collection of unpaid taxes to private companies. These companies operated inefficiently, so in order to make a profit they charged the US more than the value of the taxes they collected. They also harassed people who didn't owe any taxes. So the US cancelled the program.
Proposed cuts to the IRS budget could be meant as an excuse to start this up again.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call on the state of Massachusetts to boycott ISPs that don't respect network neutrality.
You could also contact Salsalabs and ask them to fix this problem. More complaints could convince them to do it.
US citizens: tell the Bureau of Land Management not to allow oil drilling near Chaco Canyon.
The region is full of remains of ancient towns and dwellings, going far beyond the area designated as a park.
US citizens: demand an end to forced labor in US immigration prisons.
US citizens: Tell the Senate you oppose SCROTUS's planned 20-week abortion ban.
This would imprison doctors that do abortions after that point.
Abortions done that late are done for medical reasons, or because the pregnancy was due to rape. Thus, in each case where this ban stops a woman from getting an abortion, it would either put her in specific danger, require her to carry and give birth to a handicapped baby or one that will die soon, or compound the injustice she suffered.
Geoengineering to cool the Earth would be like those drugs that treat a disease but are dangerous to stop taking.
Aside from that, heating isn't the only harm done by CO2 in the air. It makes the oceans more acidic, and that is going to be fatal to coral in a few decades.
New York State will now boycott ISPs that don't respect network neutrality.
A court has ruled that the song "We Shall Overcome" is not copyrighted.
A thug chief in Pakistan is suspected of murdering 250 people that he assumed were guilty of something.
11 countries including Australia, Japan and Canada have agreed to the TPP, which I think means they have subjected themselves to the ISDS clause ("I Sue Democratic States"). I presume it is still included, because I'd expect I would have heard if it were removed.
I am sorry for those countries.
Puerto Rico's governor is using the hurricane as an excuse to privatize the electric grid.
Privatization sales often bring in far less than what the sold asset is worth. I suspect this is because the officials who favor privatization are happy to enrich plutocrats an the expense of the public — in other words, that they want the state to give the plutocrats a good deal, rather than to get a good deal for itself.
The global economy has been directed towards enriching plutocrats. Someone becomes a new billionaire every other day, while the poorer half of humanity have gained no wealth in a year.
Giving tenants lawyers for eviction hearings helps them tremendously because landlords' lawyers can no longer deny them their rights.
Some restaurants are functioning profitably on a "pay what you wish" basis.
It may work better in a place where people are not poor. Plutocratist politicians should be ashamed of how much they have made people poor in the US.
US Military Fails to Tackle Sexual Abuse of Children by Afghan Allies.
I suspect that the US military doesn't have enough leverage over Afghan troops to make them change this, and still have them fight.
Laws against "hate speech" are threats to human rights.
The Nazi extermination camps in Poland were set up and controlled by Germans, not by Poles. Thus, the term "Polish death camps" is indeed somewhat misleading.
According to the Polish emissary's report, published as Story of a Secret State by Jan Karsky, not many Poles collaborated actively with the Nazis. It was severely punished by the underground Polish state.
Nonetheless, antisemitism was traditional and widespread in Poland. Many Poles didn't particularly mind that Jews were forced into ghettos and then systematically killed.
The book describes, among many other things, how Karsky snuck into an extermination camp by mingling with the guards, and what he saw there.
Once in the US, he reported it to US officials, but they refused to believe it. After the war, they found out it was true.
Although the term "Polish death camps" is misleading (so I wouldn't use it myself), to prohibit the term by law is censorship, an injustice. This law should be rejected.
Antisemitism is a very bad thing, and at its worst is as horrible as anything humans have done. Please do not conflate it with condemnation of Israel's occupation of Palestine.
Navalni has called for massive protests against Putin's rigged election.
Right-wing billionaire Berlusconi is aiming to rule Italy again. I referred to him as "il ducino" because of his past statements of admiration for the fascist dictator Mussolini that lead Italy into World War II as an ally of Germany.
Let's ban the sale of bottled water in countries where the tap water is potable.
I do ask restaurants and bars to refill my multi-use water bottle, when there is no other place to fill it. You can, too.
Now that Erdoğan is fighting the Syrian Kurds openly, that could cause drastic changes in the Middle East.
There is opportunity here as well as danger. Erdoğan might destroy the Syrian Kurds. But if he gets a bloody nose, he might lose control of Turkey, and that could open the way to restore secular democracy there.
I fear that the former is more likely. The Kurds are doughty but Turkey has tremendous advantages in the size of their forces and in armaments.
A Desire for Vengeance Is Human But Checks the Pursuit of Proper Justice.
The troll launched a smear campaign against FBI officials who could corroborate Flynn's testimony against him.
The Maine legislature repealed two ballot initiatives that the public voted for, and left another one unimplemented. Perhaps not by coincidence, they are all progressive.
I am skeptical of the claim that these initiatives violate Maine's constitution. Firstly, because initiative campaigns generally have lawyers check their wording. Secondly, because the legislature could have fixed the problems in a way consistent with the goals, if it were not aiming to thwart those goals.
The one-year delay on legalizing marijuana is not a disaster in itself. As long as they don't do something else worse.
Designing algorithms to find tax and benefits cheaters could be acceptable in some cases. Treating a positive result as proof, never. And designing notices so that replying requires admitting fraud is even worse.
I think that means, "If it were weakened even further and thus rendered totally null."
Chicago thugs and immigration thugs broke into Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez's home in Chicago without a warrant, then disregarded his warning that he had broken bones already, broke his other shoulder with their brutal treatment.
The title is a pernicious exaggeration. They have not got data about all of us; for instance, outside of a few areas, the databases have little information about me. And I hope you too have resisted.
But that doesn't invalidate the idea of the article.
I am skeptical that there will cease to be companies with a hunger for data. There will occasionally be new competitors that want the data that other companies already have. There are fields in which they don't have enough data. Beyond that, they would like to understand every individual, and individuals change.
Notwithstanding that, the projected change may happen to some extent.
This can make a big difference, depending on the precise meanings of the words. Would it include apartments owned by speculators in which nobody resides? Would it include unsold condos in a building of condos?
US citizens: call on your senators to protect Mueller from being fired.
Murray Energy, a coal company, paid the saboteur-in-chief to sabotage the EPA and environmental protection, and that's exactly what he is doing.
The saboteur of the Office of Refugee Resettlement tries to forcibly block female refugees from getting abortions. Often they don't find out they are pregnant until they are already imprisoned. One of them was pregnant from rape, which may have been part of the reason she fled to the US in the first place.
Australia's right-wing government has almost finished eliminating the right to strike.
I agree with the union official that rejected any moral obligation to obey unjust laws created for the purpose of oppression. Even when plutocratic wreckers have power, they are not legitimate.
Here's How to Turn Back the Doomsday Clock: recognize that the dictator of North Korea is rational and can be deterred from attacking.
The danger of a digital dystopia is becoming visible and hard to deny.
Proprietary software is one of the principal causes, though not the only cause. Disservices that track people are a separate problem.
US immigration thugs are now tracking people through thousands of license plate recognition cameras around the country.
It is no longer mere speculation that massive digital surveillance will be used for repression. It is fact. Will Americans wake up to the danger and put an end to this repression?
Hong Kong has blocked another pro-democracy candidate from running.
In the UK, 50% of workers are normally broke.
In the US it is almost 80%. And over 70% are constantly in debt.
We have seen that no form of scandal and no form of opposition will convince Republicans to swerve, we see that the hard way is the only way. This means we have to fight their specific acts of sabotage, until we can get rid of the Republican rulers.
Rationally, this news shows we ought to be trying even harder, but we have to watch out for struggle fatigue and defeatism.
The Taliban put explosives in an ambulance and blew it up.
It was wrong for the US to disguise the hunt for Osama bin Laden behind a polio vaccination campaign, but this is far worse. However, I doubt that many Afghans will hate the Taliban for this the way they hate the US for the civilians it kills.
Islam creates many blind supporters just the way evangelical Christianity and the bully create many blind supporters. Both groups refuse to turn against their militants no matter what depravity those commit.
Tracing the closed-minded political "tribes" in the US to plutocratic domination since Bill Clinton's day. The article says that the plutocratists squeezed all the non-rich and concentrated the media to suggest that the non-rich blame other non-rich for this.
It also says that the elimination of network neutrality is the continuation of that attack.
A 3-year-old in Texas was apparently murdered by her father, and now there is a proposed law to jail parents that leave children home alone.
It's not just excessive and unjust, it's a non-sequitur.
Thousands of expensive luxury apartments, built in London to sell to foreigners as a speculation, find no buyers.
London should tax unoccupied apartments enough to make the builders sell them for whatever price they can get from someone who will really live there.
The bully will launch a new lie campaign with the State of the Union speech.
A transgender woman prisoner in the UK, jailed in a men's prison, says she will fast to death demanding to be moved to a women's prison.
Three others killed themselves already.
Automating public services meant to help people makes them rigid, impersonal, unhelpful, and inaccessible.
That makes it harder for people to get help, so they give up, and the state saves money by not doing its job.
Uri Avnery: The Israeli Knesset (parliament) allowed Jewish MPs to break the rules noisily by applauding Pence. When the Arab MPs broke the rules silently by holding up signs, they were physically kicked out.
However, Avnery is cheered by the many Israelis that refuse to transport African refugees being deported.
Israeli Holocaust survivors implored Netanyahu to let the Africans remain in Israel.
A US air strike in 2013 attacked a truck and killed 14 people from a family. The one survivor was a 4-year-old girl, who was left blind, one-handed, and orphaned. The US insisted on the claim that there were Taliban soldiers in the truck, counter to all the available facts.
For the press to cover the bully clearly in a way that supports the truth, it should not take his bizarre denials and excuses seriously. They are meant to distract, so don't be distracted by them.
A proposed campaign to eliminate car crashes due to alcohol threatens to be repressive and impractical.
I don't have any data, but I would guess that most of the time when people drive dangerously drunk, it is not due to the precise details of the current laws, but rather due to people who don't make any attempt to follow them. Thus, changes such as setting a lower legal limit will not work unless they terrify people. Besides which, you'd need to carry your own breath tester to follow such a law carefully.
Some of the proposals are harmless and might be useful. For instance, to regulate marketing of alcohol more carefully — if that will help, by all means do it. Preventing sales to people who are drunk is legitimate, but it is easier said than done.
A simple game can test for the mental and physical acuity necessary to drive safely. Putting one in the car would make it possible to detect when the driver is too impaired to drive safely, regardless of the cause. When your reflexes are marginal, the law could say you can drive to a place where you can safely rest for a while, but only with your emergency blinkers on — or whatever rules would promote safety for that shorter trip.
Don't fall for AT&T's inadequate "Internet Bill of Rights", designed to permanently deny the rights that are now endangered.
True network neutrality would mean that the ISPs may not take note in any way of what a user's network traffic consists of, except pursuant to a search warrant.
How can we protect free speech from rampant harassment speech that has an effect comparable to censorship?
Which one is the truth — if either of them? We can't tell, since we can't trust either the bully or Erdoğan about the question.
It may not matter anyway. The range of possible deals they might make that would actually be carried out is rather limited, since Erdoğan can't trust the bully's word any more than you or I can. And his own word can't be trusted much either.
Formerly landless Brazilians have made a success of agroforestry on degraded land that the state gave them.
Honduran activists say thugs are making death threats as well as crushing protests violently.
Over 70% of refugees that returned to Afghanistan were forced to flee again.
Since the Taliban is growing in power, and PISSI is also operating there, both fighting and terrorism in Afghanistan are getting worse. Thus, I can't see how anyone can claim it is safe there, except someone whose orders say to lie about this.
A US radio station claims that China has put some 120,000 Uighurs into prisons for "re-education".
The US is not always truthful, but this is plausible for China.
When enslaved people in the UK testify against traffickers, the UK makes them live on the street and beg for food.
In the case of Catalonia, I read claims that some specific photos posted around the time of the quashed referendum were fake. But there was plenty of evidence of the repression.
The ideology of "free trade" pressures all countries to compete to bow down and serve China's tyranny.
This is especially sad now that the "economic growth" that they say requires this goes mainly to make the rich richer — which is hardly a worthy goal.
This is not a natural state of affairs. It results from the business-supremacy treaties.
The right kind of trade treaty, one intended to strengthen democracy, would punish countries with trade sanctions for any acts of tyranny, such as bogus punishment of dissidents.
The citizens of Oregon voted to raise their taxes so as to support medical care.
Australia plans to criminalize reporting on leaked secrets.
Puerto Rico's governor, and its nonelected government, say they want to use the hurricane's damage as an opportunity to privatize its electric system.
The new owner could squeeze out short-term profits.
Kimberly-Clark is using its new tax cut to facilitate cutting jobs.
Julian Assange is ill, and needs an MRI. But he does not dare go to a hospital for one, because he could be arrested and sent to the US.
The US common core standardized tests are too strict, compared with real children in many countries.
Washington Post blames the "Lack of US Leadership" for the famine in Yemen, which in fact was caused by US leadership.
Many Americans are compelled to work long hours on Amazon Mechanical Turk, getting paid a few dollars an hour.
The EU has fined Qualcomm over a billion dollars for paying Apple to reject its competitors' chips.
An indigenous group in the Peruvian Amazon has been hit with mercury poisoning contamination. The only plausible source is a nearby natural gas complex.
George Monbiot: "In the nominally democratic era, the complex state is now, for all its flaws, all that stands between us and disaster." Now, however, states are turning against the cause of survival.
The Tunisian government doesn't seem to really want to prosecute the state officials that killed protesters in the 2011 revolution.
Herbal remedies can sap the effect of prescription medicines.
Driverless cars work just well enough to lull people into trusting them but not well enough to be trustworthy.
I don't call them "autonomous" because that is not necessarily true. If they are "connected" then they are not autonomous.
The NSA has deleted "honesty" from its statement of values.
Ironically, that might make it more honest.
Aside from this, I don't think there was anything wrong in that one activity of his. I condemn him for the many truly bad things he does; but if paying for silence about sex were the worst thing he had done in the past two years, he would be a great president.
It is a mistake to attack evil political figures over minor side issues. Here are the general reasons:
It reinforces the scorn attached to those minor side issues, which may be entirely mistaken.
In this case, it builds up the condemnation of anyone who is not monogamous — to say they are "cheating". Society pressures people to say they will be monogamous, and a large fraction of humans can't live that way, so they are sure to be condemned. This pressure drives people into a trap.
Bank of America just added to the ways that things are more expensive for the poor.
Everyone: Call on China to free Tashi Wangchuk, imprisoned for teaching Tibetan in Tibet.
The bully's frontier wall through the Santa Ana refuge would kill the wildlife that it protects.
Scientists have called on the Museum of Natural History to kick global-heating denialist Rebekah Mercer off its board of trustees.
She and her father Robert Mercer gave 2 million dollars to denialist campaigns last year. I would expect that they offered to help the museum raise funds — and that the rest of the museum's leaders could not help being aware what the price would be.
One of the Koch brothers did the same thing to WBUR. There was a campaign to pressure WBUR to kick him off. Since WGBH produces the science program NOVA, his influence on it is dangerous. However, the campaign failed.
The Syrian Kurds have asked for support from Assad against the attack by Turkey.
Even in states that have legalized or decriminalized possession of marijuana, thousands of people (mainly blacks) are still arrested for just that.
Missing from the article is an explanation of what makes this possible. Why are the charges not immediately dismissed? If there is something in the law that permits it, what is that something?
Use of living quarters for speculation, often keeping them empty, is a big contributor to the high cost of housing.
Perhaps in Britain eliminating the speculation would be sufficient remedy, but I don't think that is true in the Boston area.
Aung San Suu Kyi Lives in 'Bubble', Says US Diplomat in Row with Myanmar.
Republicans agreed to restart funds for CHIP, but not funds for the community health centers that serve 27 million Americans, which they also cut.
Cypriots of Turkish descent feel threatened by the murderous Islamists that tried to attack a newspaper that dared criticize Erdoğan.
If the Cypriots can unite, those of Greek descent with those of Turkish descent, they could set an example of reconciliation and put Erdoğan's tyranny to shame.
The New Orleans resolution I reported on previously did not single out Israel's occupation of Palestine. Rather, it called for boycott of companies profiting from human rights abuses anywhere in the world.
But it was clear that this would include companies profiting from Israel's occupation of Palestine. Supporters of the occupation attacked fiercely and pressured the city council to repeal it.
In effect, they condemn any measure to protect human rights if that might apply to Israel.
I agree that the resolution should have been considered over more time. It is not a good idea to rush any sort of law.
2017 was the hottest year in the ocean since records began.
The last five years were the five hottest years ever recorded, in the ocean.
An Israeli reporter writes about Israel's repeated plans and attempts to assassinate Yasir Arafat, along with dozens or hundreds of bystanders.
One plan involved shooting down an airliner with civilians in it. Officers in Israeli airforce refused to do this and fabricated excuses.
Lyft employees frequently look at the movements of various customers.
Uber was caught doing this, a couple of years ago.
I suspect any non-anonymous transport service will lead to this.
The Arab Syrian rebels are now basically allied with Turkey and fighting Erdoğan's battle against the Syrian Kurds.
There were good reasons for the US not to attack with its own army, as Turkey is now doing.
The last slave ship reached the US illegally in 1860. The descendants of those slaves live in Africatown in Alabama, where their lives are shortened systematically by toxic pollution from heavy industry.
It's unfair that industrial pollution is dumped mainly near poor people and minorities. But I see that as a secondary issue resulting from the basic wrong: releasing these toxins at all. Distributing them more equally would still mean people are exposed to them; that is not a good solution.
The solution we need, and that we could have if our government were good, is to stop releasing them and clean up what has been already released.
Children Are Tech Addicts — And Schools Are the Pushers.
The fact that the programs used are nonfree is pertinent indirectly. For instance, developers make software and services addictive, and make them surveil users. With free software we could try to reduce the addictiveness and the surveillance.
This would be a big victory for PISSI against the people of Afghanistan. It shows what PISSI stands for: primarily to force its rigid and cruel form of Islam on Muslims, and only secondarily to defeat non-Muslims.
Some 50,000 people protested against Australia Day, which celebrates the start of the British colonization of Australia.
The Royal Society for Public Health calls for health warnings on containers of alcoholic drinks.
An appeals court ruled that the Demaree parents are allowed to sue the social workers who took away their children and put them on the "sex offender" list. They had taken photos of their daughter nude in the bathtub, and the social workers jumped to the conclusion this proved some sort of sexual abuse.
US citizens: call on the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate charges that the NRA funneled Russian money into the US election campaign.
Idaho Republicans have decided to baldly disregard the federal medical insurance law, to cut medical care for poor people.
The bully tried to fire Mueller in June. He abandoned the idea because his lawyer said he would quit rather than implement that command.
London will push back against the use of bottled water by providing water fountains and bottle-filling points. Also, city hall will not sell bottled water.
US national parks did this, but the saboteurs made them start selling bottled water again.
President Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is using force against protests that call for him to abdicate.
He inherited the presidential throne from his father, the former president. Clearly not a legitimate government.
The bully has made US bombardment campaigns more secretive, as well as more deadly. Apparently he thinks the US will escape blame if the public can't tell what is going on.
Raqqa and Mosul really were war zones, and many soldiers might have been killed in battle if the US had not given them close air support. It was impossible to do this without killing civilians sometimes. However, was it possible to do this while killing fewer civilians? Denied information, we have no way of knowing. We know only that we can't rely on the bully to lead the US military to care.
Under Dubya and Obama, the US generally denied causing civilian casualties, sometimes persisting in the denial despite incontestable proof. You could even say that they blazed the trail for the bully's persistent lies.
The collapse of a giant conglomerate for privatized government services sheds light on the many other cases where outsourcing services has been a disaster.
If companies think they can hold agencies hostage by signing long-term contracts, they will look for every opportunity to corrupt politicians into signing them. This crime against the nation must not pay!
States can eliminate the threat, and make the crime not pay, by changing their constitutions to declare long-duration privatization contracts invalid.
Eight members of No More Deaths were charged with the crime of "abandoning property" — that is, leaving water bottles near the Mexican border so that border-crossers would not die of thirst.
With this action, the US government declares its direct intention to criminalize leaving water for them, as well as ancillary actions required in order to do so.
Senator Doug Jones shockingly voted to confirm Alex Azar as saboteur of Health and Human Services. Apparently he is a right-wing Democrat.
What I saw from his web site made him look progressive to me. I now wonder how I can tell which candidates are really progressive.
I also wonder when will he face reelection? That will be time to fight him in the primary.
Meanwhile, Alabama's Republicans have voted to stop holding special elections to replace senators that die or step down.
Their aim is to seize and hold power by doing whatever it takes.
Chinese refugee Wang Yam was convicted of murdering Allan Chappelow based on no pertinent evidence, in a trial that was unfair because his defense was kept secret by the court.
When more evidence came up to exculpate Wang, the appeals court charged with reconsidering the verdict didn't even ask one witness to say what he had seen.
In some parts of the US, getting a search warrant is usually quick and easy. Sometimes so easy that it proves judges didn't exercise enough care before issuing them. And it is rarely so long that waiting for it is a problem.
Plastic debris is making coral reefs sick.
The ACLU is suing Pennsylvania for keeping all prisoners on death row in solitary confinement, in some cases for decades as they appeal.
The death penalty is an injustice, and this is a separate injustice.
The ACLU explains when an NDA to cover up some sort of sexual crime could be legally invalid.
This situation is too complex and uncertain. I think we should legislate to make it completely clear that an NDA has no legal force to block someone from reporting a felony.
To reduce agricultural greenhouse emissions enough, we need to reduce wastage of food and change our diet to eat less beef, as well as changing farming practices to use less fertilizer.
For each of these changes, there are other reasons to do it.
Students and Puerto Ricans are pressuring US universities to divest from the vulture funds that profit from Puerto Rico's suffering.
60% of Americans now call for legalization of growing and using marijuana.
SCROTUS plan to vote on a sick version of the DREAM act, according to which it would be a crime for one of the supposed beneficiaries to earn less than a certain amount per year. Also, it would put all immigrants in danger of criminal conviction.
I have not supported petitions for including the DREAM Act in the spending authorization bill because I don't think it is right to demand changes in law that way. That tactic tends to put a monkey wrench into democracy. I think it should be limited to preserving the status quo.
Thus, I support demanding extension of DACA as it was in the spending authorization bill.
Congo 'State Agents' Murdered Hundreds in 2017, Says UN Report.
If outrage becomes too cheap, it loses impact.
So it is important to support human rights causes persistently. Don't expect to win quickly, and be prepared to take action again, and again, and again.
US citizens: oppose the saboteurs' plan to authorize oil drilling on US coast lines.
Global heating denialists are using phony scientific journals to create an appearance of denial from climate scientists.
The central principle of right-wingers is that no lie is too vile.
Chile's new right-wing president seems to be more right-wing than his campaign indicated.
US citizens have been imprisoned in Egypt for years, just for being at the wrong time and place during the coup. Pence has taken up their cause, and maybe it will do some good.
Even a lunatic religious fanatic will occasionally do something good. It doesn't change my opinion of Pence, but I hope those prisoners are freed.
Republicans are gerrymandering the election of judges in North Carolina.
The Democratic Party establishment is organizing to protect the plutocratist Democrats (that lost to Republicans) against progressives that might win.
Prioritizing economic growth over equality tends to lead to increased inequality, and increased poverty.
I think that's because the methods to achieve economic growth involve a lot of dooH niboR, which is designed to boost inequality.
I suspect that this is part of why the plutocrats put the focus on economic growth — it provides an excuse for dooH niboR.
The spending bill to keep the government operating for 3 weeks also eliminates Congress's control over what the CIA spends money for.
I can't tell whether this is a permanent change, or only for the three weeks.
A former thug chief in Kentucky told a recruit, "If black shoot them."
Thus, it's not only unconscious racism to blame when thugs kill blacks.
Mohammed Al-Mustafa is stateless, but the UK demands proof he can't supply before it will recognize that. In the mean time it does every imaginable cruelty to him hoping to pressure him to do the impossible: go to some other country.
Facebook Helped Consolidate Power for Cambodia's Dictator and His Attack-Dog Media, Then Killed the Independent Press's Platform.
To some extent the Cambodian government figured out how to use the policies that Facebook had anyway. However, some of the methods described in the article show that Facebook went out of its way to cooperate.
Plutocrats should be afraid of tiny killer drones, and so should the rest of us.
I wonder if it is possible to design headgear that would keep the killer drones a few inches away, if that would prevent grave damage.
Ideas for replacing some uses of plastic.
Gorsuch discussed the DACA case with politicians. By Supreme Court rules, this means he must recuse himself from that case.
The saboteurs are arranging to build a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, which would lead to despoiling its particular ecosystems.
If we succeed in taking power away from the saboteurs, we will need to eliminate that road.
Meanwhile, Peru authorized building roads through the Amazon forest, which will pave the way to cutting it down.
Many US states are looking for more excuses and ways to block citizens from voting.
Immigration thugs boarded a bus in Florida and demanded that all passengers show them proof of citizenship.
Even US citizens should be afraid of random checks, of being denied the freedom to move around without being identified.
The Satanic Temple is suing to overturn a Missouri law that requires abortion clinics to make their clients read a presentation of the doctrine of some Christian sects. A woman who went through this asserts that it constitutes discrimination against her religion.
The depressive effect of being used by Facebook is directly traceable to its "real name" requirement and stopping people from having multiple accounts.
The executives of Sears Canada have been cheating the employee's pension fund for years. Will they get away with this?
Executives should be required to get permission from the staff to underfund their pension fund. If the staff are the ones who will take the risk, they should decide whether to take it.
A modern car is Big Brother on wheels. It transmits lots of data to the manufacturer, including where the car goes.
In some cases — perhaps all — it transmits the data by cellular modem. I don't know of any other way it could be done. On some cars — perhaps most — it is possible to unscrew the modem, thus blocking all transmission. If the car is under warranty, maybe that voids the warranty. Or maybe it doesn't. Would someone like to check this and tell me?
However, it is also possible that something in the car computers makes a log of all this data, which the warranty service can read out. Would someone like to research this question?
New York City thugs used to randomly stop and search people on the street for no reason that they would admit. In 2011, they did this almost 2000 times a day. They claimed this was reducing street crime.
However, crimes by banks have shot up since 2000 and have not gone down. Should New York City start a program where it offers randomly chosen customers an audit of the bank's dealings with them, with a view towards prosecuting any crimes by the bank?
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, now run by a saboteur, is taking the side of payday loan companies rather than their customers.
Why do three-year-old children attack themselves?
Has this been happening all along?
The US does a bad job of protecting children's lives, compared with other developed countries. On the average, 10,000 more American children have died each year (over 50 years) than would have died if the US did a comparably good job.
Young Tunisians know that freedom and democracy require more than replacing their former corrupt dictator with an elected agent of the foreign banks.
Unauthorized immigrants in the US are now dropping their medical insurance and their childrens', from fear that they will be deported.
Israel does not want Hezbollah or Assad's forces coming near the Golan heights, so it is giving lots of money to the local militias that control that part of Syria and to the local inhabitants.
Iran recently endorsed the two-states Arab peace plan, so in principle there is no need for Iran and Israel to remain enemies.
A new world-wide list of invasive species should help efforts to curb some of them.
Barbudans are campaigning to block the plan to privatize land on Barbuda so that rich foreigners can buy it.
One of the rich foreigners is Robert de Niro, and this provides an opportunity for pressure.
In Egypt, running for president is considered a crime.
Remember how people used to call someone a "Neanderthal" meaning "brutish and subhuman"? And white supremacists used to claim that blacks were "more like apes"?
Now some white supremacists say their proclaimed superiority is the result of Neanderthal genes.
I find this ironically amusing. They will argue from any invented premises as long as it reaches their desired conclusion.
US citizens: Call on Bill Nye not to attend State of Union speech as a guest of climate-denier Bridenstine.
US citizens: Tell Health and Human Services not to allow doctors and hospitals to refuse treatment based on their religious prejudices.
Some new cars will be pre-equipped with biometric scanners for use by the TSA.
India's minister of education is a creationist and denies that evolution ever occurs.
His statements indicate a general idiotic preference for ignorance over knowledge.
If the goal were to boost US production without reducing use, it would make more sense to start the tariff smaller and raise it each year. That would give domestic production a chance to ramp up.
The article uses the confused term "intellectual property", which gives people a totally misguided idea of what current laws say and do.
Japan plans to build a faster ship for its "scientific" whaling, so it can speed away from whale defenders.
Slavery is rife in the Thai fishing industry.
A lunatic proposal that might tempt fools: to let people get multiple votes in public elections by having babies.
This would be a strong incentive to increase population growth, and thus would threaten global disaster.
The US and its allies have stepped up air attacks against al-Shabaab, resulting in plenty of civilian casualties. It is hard to tell how many civilian casualties there are, or how many air attacks there are.
The ally mentioned in the article is Kenya, but I would expect Ethiopia is involved also, since it was Ethiopia's intervention that destabilized Somalia and brought about the creation of al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab is not just an underground terrorist gang. It is also an army that controls territory. I don't think that fighting that army with air power is wrong in principle, but there are moral requirements (also supported by international law), and I wouldn't trust the US, let alone Kenya and Ethiopia, to try to follow them.
The US is morally responsible for air attacks by its allies, whether or not it specifically arranged all or any of their attacks, since it arranged for the allies to carry out air attacks in Somalia.
The US might abandon the Syrian Kurds to conquest by Turkey to stop Turkey from allying with Russia.
It is sad for Russia and Turkey that Putin and Erdoğan are made for each other.
Sweden is rebuking China very strongly for the arbitrary arrest of Gui Minhai.
China's government seems to think it can get away with anything, much like the US government — much like the bully.
Some of Australia's prisoners on Manus Island are going to the US, which has accepted them as refugees.
The now-cancelled national voter-suppression commission asked for voter data from all states. With Texas, it asked for one more step: to indicate which family names were Hispanic.
Canada has terminated its main climate research program.
Canada's national thug force has secretly endorsed global heating denialism and calls the "anti-petroleum movement" a threat to national security. This in a briefing memo aimed at proposals for new "anti-terror" legislation.
In the long term, "anti-terror" laws are a bigger threat to national security than the few terrorists they claim to protect us from.
Corrupt Republican congresscritters accuse the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of "lobbying" because she published editorials about the danger of chemicals whose suspected toxicity has not been studied.
Amazon is starting a long term attack against the option of buying groceries anonymously, by opening stores that accept only electronic payment.
States should pass laws requiring stores to accept cash payment without hassles.
Unauthorized immigrants enable companies to drive wages down precisely because they are unauthorized. One way to stop this would be to authorize them.
The flaw in that solution is that it would encourage tremendous numbers of people to try to enter the US expecting to be authorized later. US population growth is due to immigration; more immigration would mean rapid population increase, and rapid increase in ecological footprint.
Maybe someone can find a way to modify the proposal to avoid this flaw while still serving the purpose.
US immigration thugs want to deport Lukasz Niec, M.D., who has lived in the US for 40 years since arriving at age 5, over misdemeanors he committed as a teenager.
Their motto is, "When in doubt, hurt people."
Bangladeshi unions have used a new arbitration process to force a multinational clothing front company to pay for having failed to fix safety hazards in a factory producing goods for it to sell.
A system that protects women in tomato farms from sexual harassment might work for Hollywood as well.
Several US states are passing laws to strengthen abortion rights and insurance coverage for abortion rights.
Violent actions by the US, for decades, have repeatedly led to blowback in the form of hostility and violence towards the US.
Citizens of Massachusetts: Support the Mass Environmental Justice Act.
Some progressive elected officials are calling for cities to use collective bargaining in dealing with Amazon's plan to make them bid against each other.
I proposed something like that in 2003.
As wolves spread into depopulated rural areas of Europe, they are starting to hunt farmers' sheep.
It might be desirable to tolerate a certain population of wolves in each area, but not more. We don't need to protect a species to the utmost if it is pushing against the land's carrying capacity.
Amnesty International declined to hold a debate between supporters and opponents of Israeli colonies in Palestinian territory.
I think this is valid. Amnesty supports the boycott of products made those colonies, and therefore does not want to appear neutral.
Amnesty International campaigns against censorship, but that doesn't mean it is obligated to offer a platform to those who disagree with it.
I hope the hosts of the debate find a different place to hold it.
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court invalidated the Republican gerrymander.
Distrust of fake news and social networks is leading many people to disregard the events around them.
You can't resist injustice by tuning it out.
Arab members of Israel's parliament held signs to protest a speech by Pence. They were forcibly expelled from parliament.
The UK has been paralyzed from replacing unsafe cladding in public housing apartments, because the government won't pay for it and nobody else can.
The US is reducing carbon emissions from electric generation. Now it needs to do that for transportation. Promoting electric cars would help.
Even better would be mass transit, which with a large ridership is more efficient than any single-passenger vehicle.
To make mass transit popular, we should build higher and increase the density of housing. Building dense housing will also help end the housing shortage that raises rents and makes people homeless.
China is putting political agents in charge of Hong Kong universities, to impose censorship on students and fire noncompliant professors.
Gui Minhai, the Hong Kong publisher that was kidnaped by China and then prevented from leaving China, was arrested to stop him from reaching Beijing for a medical exam at the Swedish embassy. (He is a Swedish citizen.)
It is almost impossible to travel between cities in China without being tracked. Passengers must show identification to take a train, and I think that applies also to buses. In the US, Amtrak checks the identity of passengers, which is why I refuse to use it.
Conditions in British prisons are like those in old insane asylums: bad enough to drive people mad, if they aren't mad already.
"Billionaire Boom": While World's Richest 1% Took 82% of All New Wealth in 2017, the Bottom Half Got Zero.
A few billionaires gave the Rep. Ryan's Republican campaign committee a million dollars as a reward for the tax attacks.
Russian Twitter-bots are supporting Republican efforts to blame Democrats for the shutdown of the government.
This does not necessarily prove collusion. Putin can see for himself how to weaken the US, and would do this even without a quid pro quo.
On the other hand, that doesn't prove there is no collusion.
Old people in the UK are in danger of death from malnutrition. If they have money to buy food, they have no way to reach a place to buy it.
Australia will work to reduce the fertilizer runoff that damages the Great Barrier Reef.
It is important for various reasons to reduce fertilizer runoff, but this won't protect the coral for very long. We need to stop putting more CO2 into the air (and therefore also the ocean).
The UN special rapporteur on adequate housing interviewed homeless people in California, and saw the beginning of the shantytowns that poor Americans will soon be made to live in.
Denver started a program to hire homeless people temporarily, and many of them found permanent jobs.
Alas, nowadays just having a job doesn't mean you can afford to live anywhere but the street.
Many species of seabirds have had big population decreases — overall 70% decline since the 1950s.
The US Coast Guard captures alleged smugglers on the ocean, then keeps them chained to the deck of a ship for weeks, even months, before handing them over to a court for trial. In many cases the ship sails into a US port and then out again with the prisoners still on board.
They are accused of crimes, and surely some are guilty, but even convicts should not be treated like this.
To make things even nastier, the Coast Guard finds twisted excuses to disregard laws intended to protect the rights of the accused. This is part of a general US government attitude of contempt for laws that get in its way.
Women's marches around the US have drawn more than a million participants.
I wanted to post an urgent note to suggest that people participate, but the site for finding events demanded too much information about participants and I didn't think I should send people there.
A study rejected the good and bad extremes of likely global heating in this century if we fail to cut back greenhouse gas emissions.
However, this assumes that we don't hit a tipping point. We know of several possible tipping points, and we don't know whether they can happen, or at what temperature. The methane tipping point seems to be starting to move.
Some citizens of North Carolina are investigating a company that flew prisoners for the Bush regime to other countries that would torture them.
Food shortage in Venezuela is driving people to loot stores, even steal race horses and eat them.
How Democracies Die — sometimes in a sudden coup, sometimes gradually as the institutions of democracy are subverted by a minority.
The rich minority in the US have been working for decades to destroy our democracy, and it hasn't functioned as a democracy since 20 years ago under President Clinton. Now that people are awakening to this, we will see if there is anyway to take our country back from the plutocrats.
China is setting up total face-recognition in Xinjiang. The rest of China will surely follow.
In India, every classroom will have a video camera, so that each child can be watched by the parents of the other children. And by who-knows-who-else.
I wish we were safe from this in the US.
Leading Marxist Scholar David Harvey on Trump, Wall Street, and Debt Peonage.
Harvey talks about problems caused by the internet, but (like most people) he doesn't see how a large part of that stems from from nonfree software. It's funny how people that criticize the power of business in other fields have a blind spot here.
Rich people in Montana are enclosing public lands with private property so that other people can't get to them.
I think the private landowners adjoining public lands should be legally required to provide adequate access to them, and that access must not impose a long detour on anyone.
What unions need to do to advance workers' organizational rights.
Tickets for some large concerts are now being sold through a system of surveillance. It demands a Facebook account. In some cases, it does extortion as well.
Don't surrender to this pressure to let Facebook use you! You don't need to be a Verified Fan of a musician that is a Verified Fad. There are plenty of good musicians that you can enjoy, that are not so famous and could really use your support, and will respect your freedom.
In addition, every time you see or hear a discussion of the musicians that act unjustly, it is an opportunity to say that they organize snooping on their fans, so you have decided not to be one of those fans. You don't need to have an argument, just to say it. In under a minute you can take a small easy step to promote surveillance awareness.
The IMF Has Choked Tunisia. No Wonder the People Are Rioting.
In 2011, the US used a polio vaccination campaign as cover for finding Osama bin Laden. The terrorist blowback from this is blocking the eradication of polio.
The killing of bin Laden was not very effective at damping down Islamist movements and terrorism. In general, the leaders of guerrilla rebellions are not essential, and killing or capturing them does not defeat the rebellion.
What conclusions should we draw about Grace's painful date with Aziz Ansari?
We cannot take for granted that one participant's account of a stressful situation is factually accurate. However, we can take Grace's account as accurate, since Ansari does not contest it. What can we conclude from these events?
She went to his apartment expecting and intending some sort of sexual encounter, but as the encounter proceeded, she began to feel uncomfortable with it. After some time, she realized that she did not want to continue.
That is not unusual. When you "have a bad feeling about this", it often takes time for that to crystalize into "I'm not going there."
Grace first made gestures to hint at her unwillingness, which Ansari did not seem to recognize. Later she rebuked him for that.
It is not valid to rebuke someone for "misreading" hints. A hint is a veiled form of communication. It is unfair to intentionally obscure a message and then rebuke someone for not understanding it. If you want someone to understand "no", say "no". (Eventually she did.)
On the other hand, he might have figured out her feelings if he had tried to. It is clear in many ways that he didn't care much about them. Ansari was selfish and inconsiderate throughout the date.
He pressured her persistently for penetration. Apparently that particular act was more important to him than her pleasure, or even her contentment. He acknowledged that they could only continue in sex if she too were "having fun", but it seems that her desire and enjoyment mattered to him only as a requirement he had to satisfy to get the pleasure he sought. They were not, in themselves, important to him.
Neither of them was a monster, but they both have things to learn. I hope Grace learns how to better recognize her wants and then express them clearly. I hope Aziz learns to care about what his lovers feel.
Methods for reducing bullying in school other than by slapping down the bullies.
Turkey is attacking the Kurdish enclave of Afrin with planes as well as artillery.
I doubt that the Kurds of that small enclave can hold out for long. After that, the Turkish army could move on to the main Kurdish region.
The US talking about building up the Kurds' strength, but if it doesn't act fast, those words will be meaningless.
A coal mine owner who killed miners by violating safety standards now wants to run for the senate.
I think Republicans are expecting to rig the election.
US immigration thugs jailed Adi Othman by surprise for no reason when he came for a scheduled appointment. Not long before, they told him they had backed off the intention to deport him.
Amnesty International rebuked Venezuela for a police operation that used lethal weapons and killed 9 people.
If Labour adopts the policy of remaining in the EU's single market, as most supporters wish, will it be blocked from deprivatization as Corbyn warns?
"If Trump is an authoritarian, why don’t Democrats treat him like one?"
How medieval trial by ordeal managed to give correct results, most of the time: it was rigged based on the assumption that only innocent accused would submit to the ordeal.
US citizens: phone the White House at 202-456-1414 and urge the bully to veto the massive surveillance bill. He was against it before — he might perhaps veto it now.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, thus offering child-immigrants a path towards US citizenship.
Large companies tend to be nastier than individuals as rental landlords. When they send your rent sky high, there isn't even anyone to negotiate with.
One of the roots of the housing shortage is in the zoning laws that limit how much housing can be built on a plot of land. We can't make housing inexpensive while keeping it low density.
Another root is the death of small towns and rural America. There are few jobs now outside cities. Retired people may remain but sometimes find it hard to get to a place to buy food. Younger people have to move to where work is, and there isn't enough housing there.
Making agriculture less efficient would make for more jobs in rural places. Many Americans would like to live in them. Making cattle ranching less efficient could also help Americans eat less meat, which they need to do, for their own health and for the health of the ecosphere.
Talking about other countries as "shitholes" can facilitate violence against them.
This is not limited to the military interventions described in the article. Economic aggression can be facilitated too.
If you think of a country as covered with shit, you shouldn't neglect to ask whose shit it is. Don't assume the local people produced it, though some of them probably helped. In many cases, it's the shit of former colonial powers at the bottom layers, with US shit piled on top of that.
In some countries, Chinese shit is now being packed on top.
Students in the US learn almost nothing about the Vietnam War, and the series of lies that the US government used as excuses, which makes them susceptible to lies when used to push them into another war.
The saboteur-in-chief is trying to sneak a partisan gerrymanderer into control of the 2020 census.
Republicans will stop at nothing to manipulate the census, because that will help them rig subsequent elections.
Many people nowadays work at jobs they know contribute nothing to society.
Why are there so many bullshit jobs? I think it is partly because people push to get those jobs rather than suffer the disaster of unemployment. Partly, governments allow this to happen so as to avoid the unrest that the unemployment would cause. The problem of unemployment, under today's economic system, is real, and this is an attempt to solve it. But it has very bad side effects, and is greatly inferior to the solution of increasing everyone's non-work time.
How Martin Luther King Jr criticized capitalism.
Over 60 companies and interest groups buy the bully's favor by paying dearly to hold events at sites he owns. They include unsavory foreign governments.
Prohibition of drugs continues corrupting thugs in the US.
Heating up the War on Drugs reduces the supply and causes the price to go up. This increases the temptation, which brings more thugs, airport employees, and whatever, into the business. That is a poor return for the price society pays, in the form casualties from the war.
There are some things that we have to fight, such as wildlife poaching and deforestation. That's because they threaten to do harm that goes beyond making some people addicted. We can't protect elephants or rhinoceroses from extinction by legalizing the hunting of them. But not for drugs.
Research suggests that psilocybin is a good treatment for depression.
The EFF rebukes the members of Congress that voted to continue and increase massive surveillance, and vows the fight is not over.
Several US hospital chains are joining forces to make generic drugs which have become outrageously expensive, or scarce.
It is not clear in the article whether they will sell to the general public as well. If they don't, the problem will get even worse for everyone else.
I suspect that the problem is the result of the many mergers in the pharma industry. Idealized economics says we can count on competition to do certain jobs, but that doesn't work when companies can merge instead of competing.
The EU and Greenpeace are pushing for a very large protected area of ocean near the Antarctic Peninsula.
This will be a significant step, but we need many more such steps. Overall, we should protect around 30% of the ocean.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to protect US coasts from oil drilling — and protect the ecosphere too.
Here's the message I attached:
Please block plans to allow oil drilling off US coasts. In addition to the risk this will cause a local disaster, damaging seafood and tourism for years, there is the certainty it will contribute to global heating and harm everyone. The world needs less oil extraction, not more.
US citizens: call on senators to reject Thomas Farr, voter-suppression lawyer, as a judge.
Outsourcing forensic analyses leads to miscarriages of justice.
The companies that do the job will not try to hire the best people. They will hire the least qualified people they can get away with and tell us to have faith in the results.
Prosecutors dropped charges against 129 inauguration protesters, but still want to imprison 59 others for years for being present when some others committed minor crimes.
The Republican tax attacks will also cut the construction of affordable housing.
Some Americans that don't like abortion are starting to recognize that the best way to avoid abortion is to give Americans reliable birth control.
Please don't refer to those opposed to abortion rights as "pro-life". They are not defenders of the life of real human beings, only the life of fetuses, which aren't human yet.
A windfarm in Australia has invited the surrounding community to invest.
Apple Avoided $40 Billion in Taxes (by lobbying for a tax cut). Now It Wants a Gold Star?
Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling has been released from prison.
The US government, indeed any government, is supposed to work for the people. We the people are supposed to be the government's boss.
Government staff should not be punished for reporting on the government to its boss.
Trump Jr is selling condos with a side of political influence.
The Church of England is concerned that if Down's syndrome is completely eliminated, existing people with Down's syndrome might feel hurt that no more people will be like them.
This made me aware that the polio eradication campaign threatens a similar problem. If we complete the campaign, people with polio will eventually disappear. Good heavens! Should we stop the campaign?
There are people with congenital deafness that object to the idea of preventing or curing congenital deafness. Their culture, which they have developed to cope with deafness, would be lost of it nobody needed to cope with deafness any more.
If you want to be deaf, I think you should have that right. (We should not allow you the right to have a polio infection, because that would expose others to the risk of contagion.) But you are not entitled to impose deafness, or polio, or Down's syndrome, on anyone else.
How could it make sense to require people to graduate high school to go to barbering school?
How could it make sense not to offer a shortcut for someone who already knows how to do the job to skip most of the schooling?
How could it be just to impose a heavy fine for barbering without a license, on the first complaint?
How could it be just for a court to issue a fine and not appoint a lawyer to represent the person that might be fined?
My friend Paul sent me this:
It might help understand this if you know that an amazingly high proportion of cosmetology school students are older black guys who have gotten out of prison. Opening a barber shop is one of their few avenues to owning a business and making a living, given that their criminal record makes it almost impossible to get a regular job. So it sounds like Tennessee is trying to put more obstacles in their path.
Special advertising agents pay journalists and bloggers to mention specific products and companies.
For me, product placement in movies is a form of corruption. It is equally corrupt in print.
I will never do this in my writing, but I can't tell whether it has happened in the articles I link to.
The exclusion of masses of poor from making a living by working is leading to reconsideration of the role of work in life.
In a world with too many children, taking care of them is a lot of effort — it is work. The (mainly) women who do this feel their work is undervalued, since they are either unpaid (for caring for their own children) or badly paid (when it is child-care business). The reason it is so much effort is partly due to the high birth rate and the large existing population.
If there were fewer children, so the total effort needed were much less, maybe plenty of people would be glad for the chance to play with children, show children how to do things, even take care of some children for a few hours once a week. Maybe it would be fun rather than work.
The Senate approved the bill to continue and increase warrantless surveillance of everyone.
Israel will keep Ahed Tamimi and her mother in jail until her trial. They are considered "dangerous".
The CO2 output of Bitcoin is prodigious, as it makes miners compete for who can use the most electricity.
AI stands for "Automated Inequality" when it makes decisions to prefer one person to another.
Hamza bin Walayat, a Pakistani, announced he was a humanist and not a Muslim. Later he asked for asylum in the UK. The officials rejected the claim based on misunderstanding what it means to be a humanist.
Republican rule favors big agribusiness companies over the small farms that have to sell to them.
Twelve charged for defying California city's ban on feeding homeless (or giving socks to them) in the park.
The thugs say this is to prevent the spread of disease, but they didn't object to eating together at picnics in the park.
A right-wing lone wolf terrorist in the UK received only a short jail sentence. Apparently the double standard extends there, too.
The bully's "fake news awards" are a clever psychological strategy, and threaten to be an effective platform for attacking journalism in general. If the press covers them following its usual practices, it could magnify their effect.
It is ironic that the article promotes another conceptual confusion by referring to its readers, people such as me and perhaps you, as "consumers" of articles. For why this is harmful, see this.
3/4 of the US National Park Advisory Board members resigned, recognizing that Saboteur Zinke was ignoring them completely.
The governor of Kentucky imposed a work requirement on Medicaid. The governor of Kentucky imposed a work requirement on Medicaid. Then he threatened to reject federal support for Medicaid entirely if any court overturns his work requirement.
People should sue anyway to overturn this, because we must never give in to the demands of hostage-takers. If the governor harms Kentuckians who are ill, the wrong and its punishment will be his.
Many Rohingya refugees, living in refugee camps in Bangladesh, don't want to go back to Burma to live in refugee camps there (and maybe get murdered). They say that living in Burma won't be safe unless they are recognized as citizens of Burma.
A protester that died in Iranian prison was forced to take pills that made him sick, according to his family.
Right-wing sexists are suing to put male-to-female transgender prisoners in with male prisoners.
The lawsuit alleges practical (but apparently fictitious) problems, but they are not the motive for the lawsuit. The right-wingers are suing because they have taken up sexism as a religious principle.
In other words, global heating was 3/4 of the cause of the high level of damage. The other 1/4 was chance, as far as we know.
The nationwide focus on encouraging students to have more "grit" focuses on a secondary factor, and this focus pushes aside the giant handicap imposed on poor people's children by poverty and by their underfunded schools.
Publicly-supported private schools invite asset-stripping.
Right-wingers who condemn "chain migration" turn out to be products of it.
Any babies can become good members of our society. Human babies are flexible, and can pick up whatever culture they are brought up in. They can do this more completely if the state provides them with good schools to help.
We only need to avoid letting the total population increase very much.
Amazon is run so as to undercut the competition and never make a profit, thus never pay much taxes. Instead, its aim is to make its stock value go up.
Perhaps a corporation should pay taxes on increase in its stock price.
Some of Tillerson's stated goals for Syria are impossible or incompatible. The US cannot come close to achieving them all.
I think the principal valid goals are (1) peace for Syria and (2) protecting the Kurdish enclave of secularism and comparative liberty, ideally through an autonomy and peace deal. As well as crushing PISSI, but that's not going to be difficult — all the other regional powers want it too.
The violence of the Israeli Army is something we must not forget. However, Ms Tamimi's case illustrates the implacable cruelty of the occupation towards all that resist. They are both worth covering.
Apple wants Americans to be grateful it is paying some income tax, even thought the amount is under half what it should have been.
So why does the US allow them? Because of the lobbying of big companies (including Apple).
Manhattan billionaires object to setting up a homeless shelter on the next street from their skyscraper.
Boo hoo for them.
The FBI is investigating accusations that the NRA accepted funds from a Russian that was working for Putin, for the cheater's campaign.
FEMA and US Treasury decide to 'help' Puerto Rico by withholding a billion-dollar emergency loan, claiming that Puerto Rico is not really broke.
What Puerto Rico needs is a grant instead of a loan. But that wouldn't serve the purposes of disaster capitalism.
The troll has set up an office to provide legal defense for religious doctors and nurses that want to deny treatment to patients out of prejudice based on religion.
Corbyn says that Labour will make outsourcing government services to businesses a last resort.
Outsourcing cut the workers' pay. Reversing this will enable them to get a raise.
The newly appointed president of Zimbabwe says he will run democratic elections.
Some details need correcting. For instance, I don't think Putin or Xi play any role in continuing the bombardment and blockade of Yemen; that's down to the US and Salafi Arabia.
How privatization reduces the monetary cost of public services: reducing the number of workers by 1/3, and paying each of them 1/3 less.
The workers do not magically become more efficient by being paid less. When their numbers are insufficient, they fall behind on the work. The outsourced work is "more efficient" only in the sense that it costs less per worker, and that's due to the reduced pay.
I didn't know, before reading this article, about how outsourcing part of the work in an organization can cause discoordination and rigidity.
To kill dooH niboR, we should restore the workers' old salaries and the rich people's old tax rates.
I can't reach any conclusion about whether those specific people ought to be allowed to remain in the US, but US citizens' rights are at stake here too. When the state acts to harm a person without waiting for the court to decide about the matter, it expresses contempt for the idea of legal rights — for anyone whatsoever.
Moving possible deportees in places far away from their homes, without demonstrating a need, is an act of gratuitous cruelty.
US citizens: support the Marijuana Justice Act.
If one of these Democratic senators who voted to increase warrantless surveillance, and allow its use for prosecution, is from your state, call to state your disapproval.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
The proprietary program used to estimate a convict's chance of recidivism proves to be a little less accurate in its forecasts than averaging people found through Mechanical Turk.
I wonder, are human experts any better at it?
The Republicans have presented a report that purports to show most terrorists in the US were immigrants. The data were selected support the intended conclusion — the report omits domestic terrorists.
The majority of terrorist killings in 2017 in the US were committed by right-wing extremists.
After Chechnya arrested the leader of a human rights group, on apparently false charges, someone burned the group's office.
The bully's right-wing and (in many cases) untrained judges will threaten women's rights for decades.
The UK has numeric targets for jailing people to deport them, and hopes that it can get away with disregarding their legal rights long enough to put them where it is not feasible for them to appeal.
The US does similar things.
Cambodia is prosecuting an Australian journalist for "spying."
Apparently the thugs would rather kill foreigners than to let them get into the US.
I do not advocate unrestricted immigration into the US or any other country. However, there are acceptable and unacceptable ways to stop unauthorized immigrants from entering. Making border-crossers die of thirst is not acceptable.
What's the best surface temperature for the Earth's ecosystems?
The one they are used to.
The root causes of enslavement and forced labor.
Although some unauthorized child immigrants are protected by DACA, it doesn't cover all of them, and the US is aggressively deporting the others.
A US appeals court has ruled that simply violating a web site's terms of service is not a crime.
US citizens: Tell Congress to extend CHIP.
US citizens: call on the EPA to block Syngenta's application to spray thiamethoxam, a bee-killing neonicotinoid, on wide areas of crops in the US.
No thanks, Winfrey — one billionaire president is enough. Or, rather, too many.
A prisoner in Arizona has been denied painkillers for a long time. He chewed off some of his fingers because he couldn't bear the pain in them.
Since the War on Drugs is basically harmful, it is hard to tell whether coordinating it better would make things better or make things worse.
China is bullying multinational companies into pretending that Taiwan is not a country.
Most countries face shortages of fresh water, and a billion people have no easy access to water to drink. It is going to get much worse.
You'd think we would learn to stop making more humans.
The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Quality, where Jews and Arabs can meet for nonpolitical activities, is being shut down because Israel is becoming too repressive to allow such a thing.
Potato farms in Jersey are having trouble hiring workers from Poland.
Maybe these farms need to (shudder!) pay a higher wage to attract some Britons off their zero-hours contracts.
What Happens When the Jobs Dry Up in the New World? The Left Must Have an Answer.
Part of the answer, in the short term, is banning technology that eliminates lots of jobs. We don't have to allow driverless taxis. We don't have to allow automated sales counters in stores. We can permit them when and if people don't need employment.
We must stop equating progress with technical advance.
Computerized face recognition threatens to leave us with not a smithering of human rights.
The rest of the article is so sadly shallow. It's as if the author felt ashamed of having said something serious and important, and felt obliged to cancel it out. I wish I could link to the first part only.
A Tory politician called, 5-6 years ago, for pressuring unemployed males to get vasectomies by denying welfare for their "excess" children.
By calling the unemployed people "wasters", he asserted the standard right-wing claim that if you're poor, it's your own fault.
The children of the unemployed are likely to be unemployed, due to forces beyond their control:
It is both cruel and futile to try to reduce people's birth rate by imposing poverty on their children. But there are legitimate methods, not cruel, for encouraging people not to have children, and we should use them.
Having a baby in the US costs over 30 thousand dollars (average) — if nothing goes wrong. When there is a problem, it often costs hundreds of thousands.
For one family, care for their premature twins cost millions of dollars, and did bankrupt them. They lost all their possessions. At least 50,000 US families a year go bankrupt this way.
This is what Republicanism stands for.
Poor people get deeper and deeper in debt because the system gives them no other way to survive.
The ones at fault are the plutocratists who set up the system this way.
Tories have driven down UK investment in renewable energy by more than half in 2017.
Fossil fuel companies will be grateful. Future generations will be dead.
The EU voted to ban electric pulse fishing, but rejected other measures such as limiting the catch of immature fish.
The parliament does not have the final say; other EU institutions are likely now to make the law even worse.
A monitoring group says that a Chinese factory for Apple products exposed workers to toxic vapors and they needed hospitalization. Meanwhile, it makes people work very long hours, breaking even China's laws.
3 million Americans lost their medical insurance in 2017, due to Republican attacks on medical care.
Everyone: call on MSNBC to start reporting on bombardment, famine and disease in Yemen.
US citizens: Tell Congress to legislate that the president must get the approval of Congress before launching a nuclear first strike.
The latest changes in Facebook's newsfeed reduce access to publishers but boost fake news.
It seems many people have got out of the habit of looking for interesting publications in any way other than through Facebook.
This bodes very ill.
A fictional (as yet) movement calls for independence of "Tabarnia" — the coast of Catalonia from Tarragona to Barcelona — from Catalonia.
The people in that region of Catalonia do not want to separate from Spain.
The EU will aim to eliminate single-use plastics packaging.
Just making packaging recyclable will not cause it all to be recycled. Something more is needed to achieve that.
The UK kicked the Chagossians out of their homes, and now makes it prohibitively expensive for younger Chagossians in the UK to become UK citizens. They face deportation to the Seychelles, where they are second-class citizens.
Jeanette evidently has many children. It would have been wiser and more socially responsible for Jeanette to use birth control and abortion to avoid some of those births. Whether that's her responsibility depends on the circumstances. Perhaps others blocked her from doing the right thing.
Pakistan has released an aged and ill former Taliban leader.
Normally, people that old are no danger to anyone, and releasing them from compassion is good. This one may not be incompetent.
In 1920, Jews, Italians, Irish and Greeks were the People from "Shithole" Countries.
The US is planning to build a substantial military force with the Syrian Kurds of Rojava as its center. This would protect Rojava from Turkey, Syria and Russia that aim to destroy them.
I have no reason to take a side between Turks, Kurds and Arabs, considered as ethnic groups. However, I support Rojava against Turkey and Syria because Rojava is a secular state that endorses human rights, whereas Turkey is becoming a religious dictatorship and Syria is already a dictatorship.
CODEPINK's staff have been banned from Israel for supporting boycott of companies that do business in Israel's colonies in Palestinian territory. These include RE/MAX and Airbnb.
This is an additional reason to refuse to use Airbnb, besides the two obvious ones: it requires use of nonfree software, and it puts you in a database.
Four courageous Pakistani women published about their own experience of being sexually abused when they were children.
Tax-dodging financial schemes are now packaged retail sale.
A Tory minister admitted that they may deny some human rights in the process of removing Britain from the EU.
London thugs have failed until the last minute to give two men accused of rape the evidence that would exonerate them. Budget cuts may have played a role in this.
In general, I expect most accusations of rape are true. However, some fraction of the men accused are innocent. I agree with Margaret Atwood: every accused person is entitled to due process.
US citizens: call on Congress to repair the Voting Rights Act.
US citizens: call on the FCC to preserve the Lifeline program, which subsidizes telephones for poor people.
Refugees fleeing various places increased greatly when the places experienced unusual heat.
If Martin Luther King Jr Were Alive Today, Politicians Would Denounce Him.
At least, those who admit a plutocratist stance would do so.
Facebook's News Feed Change Won't Help Social Media Addiction.
If it reduces publishers' Facebook dependence, that could be good for freedom of speech. Whether the change will reduce that dependence, I don't know, but I expect to see reports over coming months.
Medea Benjamin says that being banned from Israel for her political views makes her both sad and determined.
The loud music in a bar or restaurant may be calculated to make people drink or eat faster. However, it works by eliminating the possibility of a good conversation.
Republicans are planning to change the Community Reinvestment Act so that banks can extract more from communities around the US and give them less.
Why So Little Empathy and Compassion Within American Culture? The plutocrats, with their systems and their media, systematically deaden those feelings; many of the non-elite internalize specific aspects of this.
I can see some ways in which I have done so.
Iran is no longer an implacable enemy of Israel. It has endorsed the Arab peace plan for two states.
Israel has used a series of bogus legal excuses to confiscate Palestinians' land. A Palestinian lawyer explains them carefully.
Tunisia has announced significant increases in support for the poor, as a response to mass protests.
Bernie Sanders: Let's wrench power back from the billionaires.
Cornel West: America is spiritually bankrupt. We must fight back together.
A prosecutor in Washington State wants to jail pipeline protesters for walking on a highway. The troll's agents showed him how to make Facebook give up lots of information about the protester group, effectively crushing it.
The US government is moving towards total repression of protests that might resist the dominion of the plutocrats, and therefore towards a total loss of legitimacy.
Turkey plans to start attacking Syrian Kurds.
The first target is Afrin, a small region disconnected from the main Kurdish area. But if Turkey conquers or destroys that, it will be encouraged to conquer the whole of the Kurdish state, Rojava. All of Rojava is close to the Turkish border.
Florida prisoners are going on strike, demanding a fair wage for their work, protection for their lives, and the possibility of parole.
Citizens of Massachusetts: Support passing the Safe Communities Act.
US citizens: Tell Congress to have experts decide whether presidents are physically and mentally fit for the job.
When Australia found that Said Imasi was not a citizen of any country, and couldn't go anywhere let alone be deported to anywhere, it put him in prison without trial — for life, apparently.
It exhausts aquifers, topsoil, and deposits of fertilizer. Meanwhile, the fertilizer runoff is turning increasing regions of the sea into "dead zones".
It also concentrates wealth, which keeps most of humanity in deepening poverty.
So we need to replace it.
The theocratic Polish state intends to ban aborting a defective fetus. Their religion puts human suffering second to a hypothetical sadistic god.
Belize has banned all oil activity from its territorial waters.
It is hard to demonstrate clearly that nuclear deterrence is actually effective.
The sabotage administration is systematically rejecting applications to protect endangered species, and trying to unprotect some so they will go extinct.
Next target: migratory birds.
Republicans have privately admitted that they are holding the CHIP medical funding hostage.
They are also blocking DACA told hold some immigrants hostage, the ones who are more American than anything else.
That's the spirit of the Republican Party today — take vulnerable people hostage. They will take any hostages they can grab.
Legalizing marijuana in the US cuts violent crime, because it destroys the drug gangs' business model.
Republicans continue to systematically attack voting rights in the US on many fronts.
Assad is now attacking rebel-held Idlib province, and threatens to send up to 2 million people fleeing into Turkey.
Beyond the intentional cuts in corporation income tax, the tax attacks include a loophole that lets businesses cut the tax even more.
Cypriote independence guerrillas are suing the UK for torturing them in the 1950s.
The bully is a racist from way back, and we have seen it plenty.
Israel has ordered unauthorized African migrants to leave or be jailed. Some are so afraid to go home that they have chosen jail.
Shouldn't they be entitled to political asylum?
Half of the population under 25 indicates rapid population growth. If these youths continue reproducing at the same rate, the change they cause will be disaster, first for India and then for the world.
Regarding the boundary between an overture and an invasion: "Has #MeToo gone too far, or not far enough? The answer is both."
Iran is restricting the internet in many of the same ways as China, though not as strictly.
Many countries do this, and it's unjust anywhere.
Elif Shafak describes how Turkey has become more repressive on every dimension, in the years since she was put on trial for "insulting Turkishness."
A Rohingya refugee on Nauru badly needs medical care in Australia, but Australia won't bring him there, since he probably wouldn't get well enough to be returned to Nauru safely.
In other words, Australia would rather kill him than let him get to Australia and remain there in a hospital.
Nauru's press exclusion is very strict, so Australia can get away with almost any sort of dirty work there.
US nuclear weapons systems are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. If the troll wanted to do something useful with funds for nuclear weapons systems, he could take them off the internet.
Does he think that the US government does not have enough national debt?
When Will [Leading] Democrats Start #Resisting GOP Voter Suppression?
Walmart announced a small raise for employees, amounting to 2% of the tax cut that it just got.
But it turns out this is only for the small fraction that are full-time employees.
US immigration thugs regularly ignore the law of political asylum, and lie, to send people from Mexico and Central America summarily back to where they say they will be murdered. Lo and behold, quite a few of them really are murdered after that.
Increased online sales are causing many low-paid working women to become unpaid unemployed women.
We are not obligated to allow online sales that drive so many Americans into poverty. We are not obligated to prefer increased efficiency and convenience for some, at the cost of great suffering for others.
New York state prisons plan to ban most gifts to prisoners, including nearly all books. Only a small list of books will be permitted to them.
Aside from causing tremendous bitterness for very little reason, this will make it difficult for prisoners to find a way of life other than crime after they are released. It is an example of a tag wagging a dog.
Everyone: call on the US to free torture victim Toffiq al-Bihani, to shut down the Guantanamo prison, and to end imprisonment without trial no matter where.
US citizens: object to adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Ajit Pai's next blow: wiping out small ISPs.
Reportedly Russia is setting up a militia in the Serb part of Bosnia to destabilize Bosnia.
I can't be sure whether this report is true. I don't see what Russia has to gain through this.
The chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep Nunes, is going all out to prevent the investigation from advancing.
A US hospital faces shame for carrying a sick patient out to the street after denying her care.
The hospital staff surely did this because they were under pressure from management. The hospital's apology is bogus as long as management continues the pressure. But I doubt they do this out of sadism. They are surely responding to pressure from funding institutions. We need to change those too.
Medicare for All is a good way to do it, but one way or another we have to put more money into medical care — and less into the military, into massive surveillance, and into wasteful and polluting fossil fuels.
The Interior Department will henceforth offer grants only to science projects that promise to advance Republican sabotage goals.
When funders specify the desired result in advance, that is corrupt science.
Puerto Rico is still wrecked, and not being repaired fast.
Amazon cheats the public by paying workers so little that they need public assistance.
Right-wing extremists continue killing in the US.
Most did not make the news, because only one person was killed.
Putting a work requirement on Medicaid would result in an increasing number of people who need treatment and have trouble working until they get it. Whoever judges whether someone is disabled would probably be under pressure to bias the decisions, as happens in the UK.
Preparing in advance to handle local disasters is a very good investment — it returns 500%.
Changing the practices that cause increasing numbers of "natural" disasters might be an even better investment.
A saboteur after the troll's own heart.
Democrats should be ready to shut down the government to block some very bad Republican changes.
I personally don't think that DACA rises to that level. I support continuing DACA but I would not shut the government down for that alone.
On the other hand, blocking the automatic cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which would otherwise be imposed because of the deficits that the tax attacks will create, is a justification for shutting down the government.
At least the unarmed UK thugs couldn't shoot him dead on the spot the way they would have done in the US.
A large protest has been announced in Tunisia for Sunday.
Deandre Harris, who was attacked by white supremacists during their rally in Charleston, has been charged with carrying a loaded rifle in his car when he was stopped for driving too fast.
Democrats that voted for continued warrantless spying on Americans made the difference; if they had not, we would have defeated it.
The US owes its importance to the slave revolt in Haiti.
Iranian thugs torture and kill protesters they have arrested.
This is wrong no matter which country does it. I feel especially pained when US thugs do it.
Pakistani Journalist Who Criticised Military Tells of Attempted Abduction.
This was apparently done by the military. I suspect it was intended as a warning to make him shut up.
A new wrinkle in Google search pressures web sites to talk with users via Google, in a way that tends to keep users inside Google.
It seems to me that it should be illegal for one company to own a search engine and a publishing platform.
In November, thugs associated with the UN in Haiti raided a violent area, captured some people, then killed them on the spot. The UN says they did this without orders. The state will not explain what happened.
Terrorists in Egypt are persecuting Christians.
Brazil has used the real danger of fake news as an excuse to allow officials censorship power over political discussion on the internet.
The government of Brazil is so corrupt that we can be certain this will be misused.
Americans, don't need an operation now! US hospitals are short of intravenous bags because many were made in Puerto Rico. Due to the inadequate US help to putting Puerto Rico back on its feet, the factory there is not producing very many.
If this causes a problem for you or your loved ones, comfort yourself with the thought that you are the price to be paid to help the plutocrats grab Puerto Rico's wealth.
A relaxation in Iran's drug laws could prevent 5000 executions.
The "war on drugs" approach won't work in Iran any more than it does in the US.
I am curious what fraction of those facing execution for drugs charges in Iran those 5000 amount to.
George Monbiot: "The establishment voices who vilify student 'snowflakes' are routinely excluding political ideas they don’t like. Socialism or environmentalism, for instance."
As he says, the latter doesn't excuse the former, but we should focus on the latter because it is a bigger problem.
It appears two thirds of people who tried one cigarette subsequently became smokers. This suggests it is very important to discourage young people from trying a cigarette.
The study methodology leaves lots of room for error, but even if really only half became smokers, that still supports the same conclusion.
The revocation of DACA permissions has been temporarily blocked pending resolution of lawsuits about it.
Muslim women in Greece will no longer be compelled to follow Shari'a law for family disputes.
North Carolina's Republican gerrymander of Congress has been rejected by a US appeals court.
Since the current governor is a Democrat, maybe the state won't appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.
Apple faces an investigation in France for building iPhones for planned obsolescence.
The issue is not the battery slowdown software as such. If the slowdown was needed to keep the product functioning at all, it was better than no slowdown.
Rather, the issue is designing the hardware so that it would be expected to stop functioning normally.
To thwart Republican's selective leaks and threats, Senator Feinstein published the whole testimony of Fusion GPS.
Why has Israel Banned Jewish Leftists But Not Members of Nazi-Linked Groups?
My theory: since Israel's leaders have redefined "antisemitism" to mean opposition to Israel's occupation policy, they no longer recognize real antisemites as such.
Israeli soldiers shot 10 Palestinian protesters dead recently.
The soldiers were in no danger that could justify shooting. Some of the protesters were throwing stones, but the soldiers were too far away for them to hit.
In one case, the soldiers fired at people who tried to bring a dying protester to an ambulance.
New STABLE GENIUS Act Would Mandate Mental Fitness Exams for Presidential Candidates.
An unusually intelligent jackass could be called a stable genius. Maybe that's what the bully meant when he described himself as one.
Pesticides chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon, even at low concentrations, harm salmon. Their presence in a river can wipe salmon out there.
MSNBC Ignores Catastrophic US-Backed War in Yemen.
Two Burmese Reuters reporters are being prosecuted for "possession of state secrets" under a law that was imposed by the British empire.
According to their story, it looks like thugs set a trap for them.
The inadequate funding of the NHS is forcing even cancer surgery to be delayed.
Delays in cancer surgery can be fatal.
US citizens: call on the senate to oppose Howard Nielson for US judge.
US citizens: Tell US Bank to keep its promise to stop funding oil and gas pipelines.
US immigration agents is pushing to deport 92 Somalis before they can have a court hearing which might grant them asylum.
When a government agency intentionally defies the law to trample someone's rights, it proclaims contempt for the idea that people have rights.
"Think of the ocean as a trust fund. If you want to rely on that fund for the rest of your days, you can only use the interest."
New Orleans adopted a law to judge companies based on human rights and how they treat workers.
In the US we give too much to the military and the business owners, at the expense of the people.
On the arms race between addictive technology and people's resistance to it.
I've done even better than become immune to many different attention-suckers. I've learned to recognize the influence of an attention-sucker, and decide to stop paying attention to it. Even things that are not exploitative for anyone else's benefit, such as a puzzle, I consciously walk away from, and I have taught myself to do this quickly.
So stop playing those video games and campaign for free software!
Forcing workers that can't afford living to save money for retirement hurts them, because they have to borrow more money to live on.
The only way to make them better off is to increase their pay. The reason their pay is too low is — plutocracy.
It Took Only Three Days For Germany's New Hate Speech Law To Cause Collateral Damage — censoring a post meant to mock real words of hatred.
The ACLU, which I support, campaigns for even Nazis to have the freedom to speak and to protest. Not because of any love for Nazis, but because censorship is akin to Nazism.
It looks like Disney is not going to try to buy another 20-year copyright extension.
The US doesn't have a medical system. It has many systems that can't figure out how to deal with each other.
Sanders' Medicare for All would fix this.
Utah is considering a bill to protect parents that let their children play outside or walk to school.
The "Goldwater" rule should be altered somehow to allow diagnosis of certain untreatable mental illnesses in political candidates.
What about disabled people that can't work? What about students?
US citizens: if you vote in one of the states below, call on the senators listed to prevent the massive surveillance provisions in S.139 from passing, no matter what it takes.
The issue concerns section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. It supposedly authorizes massive surveillance of non-Americans' communications, but in fact it is used to spy on Americans, too. See this.
US citizens: call on the FCC inspector general to investigate Ajit Pai for corruption.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to call for protecting Mueller's investigation.
US citizens: call on the Senate to reject the mad deporter, Thomas Homan, for head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Assange is now an Ecuadorian citizen, but the UK will arrest him if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy.
US citizens are now advised to avoid 5 Mexican states as if they were war zones.
Nevada killed off the solar power industry to please the electric utility. The same decision screwed all the people that invested in solar power for their homes.
It is entirely legitimate for employers, as well as you or me, to shun people for promoting right-wing bigotry at work. Damore has no valid complaint about being fired by Google for that.
Damore also claims that Google discriminates against men — citing various sorts of efforts to find more women to hire. Since men are overrepresented among Google employees, this is an issue about the proper bounds of affirmative action.
That's an issue I don't have a position about, but I won't make Damore my guide on the issue.
Patients are dying in UK hospitals because there are not enough doctors to treat them.
I hope they have the courage to tell the relatives, "your mother died from underfunding; Parliament is directly responsible."
The bully has made Guantanamo prison a faith-based initiative, defining "dangerous" to mean "Muslim".
Some of the prisoners are suing, claiming that this bias invalidates his decision to keep them there.
There is no excuse for imprisonment without trial. Every prisoner deserves a real, fair trial, or else to be released.
Hollywood history is full of deliberately inserted falsehoods.
Some of these falsehoods may not specifically matter much. For instance, the fact that Churchill didn't sample public opinion in the London tube doesn't seem to me to make a significant difference for thinking about Churchill and World War II. Nor does the fact that the Germans had not yet rigged Pegasus Bridge for demolition (according to Pegasus Bridge by Stephen E Ambrose), contrary to what is shown in The Longest Day, make much difference to my understanding of the Normandy landings or the war.
However, the acceptance of small changes in history just for the sake of drama paves the way for larger changes that alter the history drastically. I've read accusations of drastic changes in movies that are "based on a true story", to the point where that phrase has come to mean "bullshit" to me.
If you want to tell a story that isn't accurate, call it "fiction".
Giving quotations of gossip, and presenting them as such, is a different matter. It isn't direct falsification, but it can mislead people if they take it as certain. Steele, in his dossier, carefully indicated what was unconfirmed hearsay. I don't know how Fire and Fury does on that scale.
Even moderate levels of agricultural runoff are enough to kill mayfly eggs. The disappearance of mayflies deprives other wildlife of food.
Large power-grid storage batteries are proliferating.
Reportedly the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were published in this 2015 thesis.
I don't have the expertise or time to study it. Can someone tell me whether it really shows the same vulnerabilities, and whether it makes clear what they are?
"The Tories’ obscene joke: shred the safety net, then toss people into it."
US plutocratists have gone even further: homeless Americans appear to number in the millions, though I can't find a figure now.
Protests in Tunisia, against the poverty imposed by foreign banks, turned into riots.
In one city, protesters chased the thugs out of town and burned down their building.
I hope Tunisia can democratically choose a government firm enough to defy the banks. That's what it would need to do, to represent the people.
Parts of New York City will end the jailing of people accused of misdemeanors.
This is not a law, just a policy decision by two current district attorneys.
Catherine Deneuve and other women condemn the current sexual "witch hunt", saying that people should not be punished for overtures such as tentatively putting a hand on someone's knee or stealing a kiss.
In other words, sexual invitation should not be automatically defined as sexual coercion.
Critics immediately condemned the signatories as "apologists for rape", but this misrepresents them totally.
An overture has to cross the line of usual behavior, or it doesn't function as an overture. But that is no excuse for going far beyond the line.
If you hope your overture will be accepted, you will try to make it in a way that will inspire "yes" rather than provoke "no". However, few are such masters of human relationships that they never mess up an overture; every overture is risky. The resulting anxiety can itself make you mess up. Thus, there has to be slack for people who go a little too far — a way to teach them more finesse and gentleness, rather than ruin their lives.
Some men try to stretch the concept of "overtures" to cover unlimited nuisance, but that is erroneous. It does not stretch very far.
Overtures cannot go way beyond the line. This is not a matter of intentions, it's a matter of actions. A stolen kiss, to be an acceptable overture, must not be pushy — meaning no pushing the tongue into someone's mouth. Calling groping an overture doesn't make it a legitimate overture — groping is an attack. As for masturbating in front of someone, that might be an acceptable overture in an orgy. But not anywhere else.
If you've made one overture and did not get a positive reaction, you mustn't do them repeatedly, because that is being a nuisance. Every woman recognizes an overture, and if she doesn't respond, it's not a sign that she didn't get the message, but rather a sign of "no".
Pakistani human rights activist Aasim Saeed was kidnaped and tortured by state savagery forces.
New York City Plans to Divest $5bn from Fossil Fuels And Sue Oil Companies.
The divestment is aimed at specific large fossil fuel companies.
Over 100 Democratic congressional candidates support the OFF Fossil Fuels Act. For the rest of them, the question is, "Why not you?"
The UK has privatized housing for asylum seekers, with the results you would expect if you read my political notes: broken shower, broken heating, broken furniture, mold, mice, run by a company that manages to hear complaints and forget them.
How could you expect the company to do its job? Profits are its first priority.
Witchcraft accusations in Papua New Guinea are going out of control and spreading feuds.
Helena Maleno informs authorities (the Spanish coast guard, I think) of border-crossers in danger of drowning in the Mediterranean. Spain determined that this is not illegal, so it asked Morocco to prosecute her.
US citizens: call for removing Scott Lloyd as head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, for using force and threats to stop imprisoned refugees from having abortions.
In the mean time, these women might ask Scott Lloyd if he will agree to adopt the baby. He might conceivably adopt one or two, but he couldn't adopt 10, 50 or 100 babies.
South Korea and North Korea have begun peace talks.
North Korea will not give up its nuclear arms, but might agree to treat them as a deterrent only.
South Korea's president thanked the bully for this, saying that the new sanctions helped bring it about.
That may be true, but the bully is nonetheless considering launching a nuclear war with a "limited" nuclear attack on North Korea. This would be a gratuitous bet that Kim would not dare to respond militarily.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected Saboteur Perry's plan to subsidize uneconomical nuclear and coal-powered electric generators.
I find this surprising because the FERC tends to do whatever energy companies want.
The bully wants to redesign US nuclear weapons to encourage actually using them.
This is supposedly intended to deter a Russian attack scenario that is completely implausible.
Art teacher Mateo Rueda was fired in Utah for showing his class reproductions of famous art, because some of them included nudes.
The UK has banned cosmetics, toothpaste, etc. from using plastic microbeads.
The US is unable to defeat the Taliban because opium funds the Taliban.
The UK has plenty of buildings that have been unused for many years. People should squat in them.
Facebook's business model and algorithms inherently favor campaigns that are wildly irrational and dishonest.
The proposed remedies are generally steps in the right direction but mostly don't go far enough. "Owning the data about you" is not enough to prevent its misuse. We need to replace systems that identify and track users with systems that don't know who the user is.
The idea that watching porn while at work is some sort of evil and deserves reproof is becoming an article of the modern sexual counterrevolution.
People who want to condemn porn have redefined the word to mean only sexual stimulation that is repellent in some way — for instance, it has no plot, no feelings, treats women only as sex objects, etc. (The other porn, they call "erotica".)
I appreciate the distinction, and I like the erotica much more. But I object to redefining "porn" to mean only crappy porn. It makes "porn" a weasel-word. If people reprimand you or punish you for watching "porn", they will use the word in its broader meaning. They won't pay attention if you claim it was really erotica.
When a government sees the harmful results of privatization and refuses to recognize them, its support for privatization can no longer be called merely "misguided". It has to be a scheme to cheat the public.
US federal thugs practice dishonest tricks to hide their illegal searches.
This shows an additional reason why laws limiting use of surveillance data are bogus: the state will break those laws and cover it up.
"Zero Tolerance" and "No Excuses" are Counterproductive (in a school).
Yanto Awerkion, one organizer of a petition for a referendum on independence for West Papua, is being tried for treason.
Hasn't Indonesia learned anything from East Timor?
Some Venezuelan opposition leaders say they wish the military would launch a coup to remove Maduro.
It is not impossible for a military coup to pave the way for democracy — that's basic what Chavez did. But only a few generals will sincerely try to establish democracy and help the poor, as Chavez did. A coup is much more likely to lead to a military regime such as Latin America 40 years ago was full of.
Starstruck Democrats support Oprah Winfrey for president — never mind that she has no political experience, no voting record, and little in the way of publicly stated political positions.
Obama and Clinton served the plutocrats. Winfrey, a billionaire, is pretty close to being a plutocrat. That doesn't absolutely prove she will be a plutocratist like Obama and Clinton: FDR came from a rich background and gave us the New Deal. Americans could count on him to do this because he had made his views, and his determination, very clear.
Winfrey grew up in poverty; perhaps she will champion the poor. But she has not committed to do this, let alone say how.
Why settle for less than Bernie Sanders?
The "Imminent Mini Ice Age" Myth Is Back.
A weak solar cycle would cool the Earth just a little, and only temporarily.
The heat around Sydney killed most of a colony of fruit-eating bats.
In a few decades, the species will no longer be found in that region. Many kinds of trees might disappear as a result, though individual trees will live on for a while.
The governor of Chihuahua accused the Mexican federal government of attacking the state's finances in retaliation for Chihuahua's investigation of corruption in the 2016 election.
We Americans used to laugh at countries where corruption went so deep. Now we are in no position to laugh.
New Jersey prison guards promised not to stop prisoners from reading The New Jim Crow.
2017 set a US record for damage due to "natural" disasters, almost 50% more than the previous record.
This is partly caused by the fact that these disasters are not "natural" any more. Human activity causes them to happen more.
Calling on homeless British people to occupy vacant housing.
Inmates of immigration prisons are suing the private prison company for making them work at tiny wages so they can buy soap.
US banks are turning student loans into a fraud scheme the way they did with mortgages in the 2000s.
Fussing about how often people in the UK Parliament tried to access porn through the Parliament's LAN is nothing but a way to boost the foolish prudery that considers this question important.
Tories' plan to negotiate secret trade treaties without involving Parliament means danger without limits.
Thousands of employed people in California now live in cars or RVs. They can't afford a room in an apartment.
This is not necessarily good for the environment. They may be forced to drive the RV every day from night parking to day (work) parking and back. What if a person gets too sick to leave the night parking area? And since parking lots are usually one-storey except in very dense areas, RVs could even take up more land area than multistorey residences.
Leaving food for stray cats makes hedgehogs dangerously obese.
If you leave food out for stray cats, the result will be to increase the number of stray cats. That is not particularly desirable.
New low-price ecological funeral options.
Do you heirs a favor, and arrange your own funeral while you're alive. That way, funeral directors won't be able to exploit your family.
Many species of reptile determine gender this way, and they could all be wiped out similarly. We might be able to protect sea turtles, which are wildlife "stars". But we can't protect all the species that are endangered.
"The ubiquitous, unspoken business model of AI-induced mental illness."
The richest humans are directing the world towards being unable to sustain the lives of the rest of us. And perhaps not even their own lives.
The troll's partial ban on Muslims is blocking some US citizens from bringing their children to join them.
Others may die because they can't visit the US for surgery.
The girls who were kidnaped and conscripted into the Lord's Resistance Army face continuing scorn in Uganda.
Reducing sulphur emissions avoids a lot of deaths.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter at 202-224-3121 to oppose the "backdoor search" loophole in Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.
US citizens: call on Senators to reject Alex Azar to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
US citizens: call on Sessions to reverse the decision to attack state-legalized marijuana.
US citizens: Call on Congress to protect state-legal marijuana sales and use.
If you don't see the Submit button, try narrowing the browser window to under 1000 pixels to make it use the "mobile" format.
US states convict people of driving while under the influence of marijuana for levels of marijuana too low to influence their driving.
Gaza's hospitals are on the verge of running out of fuel for electricity.
Israel is making it even harder to get permission to leave Gaza for medical treatment, and denying permission amounts in many cases to murder. A siege is an act of war, and Gaza is no exception.
Exit from the EU could offer Britain the opportunity to stop subsidies for land owners and instead subsidize wildlife-friendly farming.
It would be a good thing to do, but it is hard to trust Tories to do it in an honest way.
Israel has banned the staff of Jewish Voice for Peace and American Friends Service Committee from entering Israel, even to visit their Israeli relatives.
Israel is becoming increasingly repressive towards those who criticize the occupation of Palestine in any way.
Iran has arrested around a hundred protesters.
Aggressive Israeli radicals are trying to take over and encroach on the Christian quarter of Jerusalem.
Palestinians now hate the US so much that they want to reject US-funded projects, even humanitarian projects.
How to prevent gentrification by changing street names.
China is forcibly moving millions of rural people to different homes, in the name of "reducing poverty".
China has reduced poverty quite a lot, and I salute that. But there is no justification for forcibly moving people so that they will be less poor. If they agree that the offered new home provides a better life, they will gratefully accept it. So if they say "No, thanks", they probably have a reason, and China should let them.
US citizens: call on Democrats to commit to repealing and replacing the Republicans' tax attacks.
In 1819, the British government massacred and imprisoned the unarmed, peaceful protesters that wanted only the right to vote.
Many garment workers in India are imprisoned in their factories.
The World Trade Organization treaty, one of the business-supremacy treaties, is responsible for this. As explained in No Logo, the WTO made countries desperate to compete with other countries for abusive employment, wiping out their labor movements which could have protected workers from various abuses.
Ralph Nader calls for defending cash payment.
As immigrants already fear to answer the US census at all, Sessions wants to add the question, "Are you a US citizen?"
Leftist Coalition in Honduras Calls for Uprising Ahead of Presidential Inauguration.
Fire and Fury Confirms Our Worst Fears — About the Republicans.
Rep. Joaquin Castro says the congressional investigation has already seen evidence of crimes committed by the bully and his officials.
Treating addiction as a moral failing is an excuse for denying the help that will enable a good fraction of addicts to quit.
In the case of obesity, part of the problem is that poverty, exacerbated by food deserts where poor people live, force them to eat badly. Is this their fault?
To a contemptuous right-winger, I suppose it seems that way.
Facebook compiles extensive profiles about people that are not its useds.
If you resist other forms of profiling, such as carrying tracking devices, identifying yourself to web sites, and paying other than with cash, you will deny lots of data to Facebook as well as to the others that accumulate that data. What data nobody collects, nobody can get.
The protest movement in Iran consists mainly of adults under 25, and they demand better pay and working conditions. Organizers are trying to convert this into a union movement.
Early in 2016, North Korea offered Obama a deal: it would stop nuclear tests if the US stopped joint military exercises with South Korea. Obama rejected the deal.
Naturally, Obama was not as bad as the bully, but it now appears he made quite a mistake here.
The chlorofluorocarbon treaty is working: ozone depletion in the atmosphere has reduced by 20% since 12 years ago.
The Department of Homeland Suppression seems to be the next Republican tool for voter suppression. Perhaps using a data base that is full of errors as an excuse to claim some Americans are not citizens.
US citizens: support the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act.
US citizens: call on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not to reopen offshore oil drilling.
AT&T just received a big boost from Republican legal changes. To share this with its employees, it is dismissing them and replacing them with subcontractors.
Outsourcing is a scheme to reduce workers' pay and working conditions, so we need to thwart that scheme. One way would be to require any company's agreement with its employees to apply to subcontracted workers as well.
We can resist the right-wing shift of the overton window by denying the moral legitimacy of the Republican judges.
Competition for CEOs cannot explain why US companies pay their CEOs 4 times as much as successful companies in other countries.
The best way to deal with the high pay given to CEOs is to raise the income tax on very high incomes. Under President Eisenhower, the tax rate for the last bracket was around 95%.
US organizations use the protests in Iran to call for regime change, mainly to bring Iran under US hegemony.
I think Iran deserves democracy, and if Iranians were rallying for democracy, I would support them. However, plutocratist or right-wing US organizations would not.
Dr. Ambedkar rejected nonviolence as a moral principle in resistance against violent oppression.
A bipartisan bill proposes to require all computerized voting machines in the US to produce paper ballots, and provides for statistical auditing of the vote-counting.
Detroit, not known for treating human beings with respect, is proposing to require all businesses open at night to set up cameras for the thugs to watch people through.
If the state watches everyone and everything, it can reduce street crime, but it reduces everyone's freedom too.
Someone posted a 10-hour video of white noise on YouTube. YouTube has automatically recognized 5 supposed copyright infringements in it.
Please don't use the term "monetize" to mean "make money from" or "charge rents for".
A Nebraska Republican legislator has proposed feudalism for companies: companies would buy "sovereignty" over rural parts of the state.
Nominally this fiefdom is supposed to be temporary. However, just as in medieval times, it would tend to become permanent. The pressure against stripping a corporation of "sovereignty" over "its" lands would be enormous, as all the other corporations would oppose any attempt by the state to "tell them what to do". Plutocratist politicians such as Schumacher would surely find an excuse to keep the fiefdom in being.
Studies show that most Americans are not in a partisan news bubble, and nearly all are aware of basic political facts that the right-wing tries to deny.
However, for those that are in the right-wing bubble, fact-checking does no good because they don't look at fact-checking articles about the fake news they read. On the contrary, fact-checking articles can backfire by transferring the right-wing terminology, with the biases it carries, into other media, which magnifies their effect.
I don't let that happen in stallman.org; I reject the right-wing propaganda terminology.
It is unfortunate that the article's author uses the term "consume" to refer to reading articles, because the word denigrates all articles including that one.
The city of Elgin (near Chicago) protects homeless people from the possible dangers of sleeping in Greg Schiller's basement by making them risk freezing to death outside. To make damned sure they have no place to stay warm, the city threatened to force Schiller out as well.
Limiting the use of a basement as a shelter would be acceptable if there were enough other shelters for all the homeless people there.
Prosecution of "witches" in Europe was most common when and where different variants of Christianity were in intense competition.
Beware the Illiberal Alliance of Poland And Hungary, a Grave Threat to the EU. (And also to justice and freedom in those two countries.)
The bully's mental health is visibly deteriorating, and this danger should be investigated.
Everyone: Call on the Uzbek Government to drop the charges against Malokhat.
US citizens: call on Congress to end federal prohibition of marijuana.
Tina Johnson accused Roy Moore of grabbing her 25 years ago. Now her home has been burned completely in an arson attack.
I don't blame Moore personally (I doubt he arranged the attack). Rather, I blame Republicans in general (Moore and the rest) for encouraging repressive reprisal against whoever dares to stand up against them.
An appeals court rejected parts of one state's ag-gag law, saying it was designed to restrict journalism.
Israel is preparing to annex large areas of Palestinian territory which have been colonized with Israelis.
The bill would declare those areas to be part of Jerusalem, which implies taking them away from Palestine.
Of course, many of us figured this was the intended final step, the reason for establishing the colonies in the first place.
Since such annexation violates international law, many countries will refuse to recognize it. Nonetheless, some important countries ruled by corrupt nincompoops might recognize it, which would advance the process of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Israel will surely accuse those who criticize this land grab as "antisemitic", but that is calumny. The issue has nothing to do with whether anyone is or isn't Jewish.
Republicans cancelled the special tax on oil companies to raise funds for cleaning up oil spills.
New Hampshire Republicans are trying to enact a voter-ID law and ban students at school there.
Republicans in Indiana have seized permanent control despite the voters through gerrymandering.
Republicans have made rigging elections their standard method.
A Christian rebuke to the Christians that support the bully.
Not being a Christian, I don't recognize the biblical citations, and I don't need to find a basis in Christianity for my judgment of them, or him.
However, there is a substantial commonality between my Secular Humanist morality and Christian morality. The main difference is that Christians treat sex differently from everything else, whereas I apply to sex the same moral ideas I apply to the rest of life.
Twitter will allow the bully to do bullying on Twitter no matter how vicious it gets.
Facebook Declines to Say Why It Deletes Certain Political Accounts, But Not Others.
Asking companies to censor based on some criterion is inherently problematical.
However, support for a protest means support for its demands. What do they demand?
When they demand higher wages, I support that in a general way, though really it depends on what changes they demand so as to make wages higher.
When they demand continued subsidies for fossil fuels, I can't agree.
If they demanded a secular state with human rights, I would support that demand, but they don't.
Texas Police Chief Hands Over Undocumented Smuggling Victims to Local Organizations, Shunning ICE.
Obama cut military funding to Pakistan in 2011, then found that the US needed Pakistan so much it had to restore the funds.
The troll threatened to cut funds for Palestinians, but there are two ways that could be done.
Cutting US funds for the Palestinian Authority would hamper it from helping to maintain Israel's dominion over the West Bank. Cutting US funds for UNRWA would starve Palestinians both inside and outside of Palestine.
There is something sleazy going on with the generic name, "voretigene neparvovec-rzyl". Even to write it is a pain, and as for pronouncing it, should we treat it as English or as Polish? I don't know of any language other than Polish in which "rz" has a meaning.
In effect, the drug theoretically has a generic name, but not in practice. So I suggest calling it "parzyl".
The Republicans have a new plan to abolish parts of Indian reservations. First, designate parcels of land as private property of some Indians. Then make them sell it. Hell, it worked before!
Some Motel 6 motels betrayed lots of customers by giving information about them to immigration agents.
I don't think we should have to trust a company with knowing who we are. I am not in danger of being deported from the US, but I could face other forms of danger and mistreatment, just as you could.
California is considering getting rid of the bail system, which tends to impoverish poor people, but the bail bonds industry lobbies against that.
Saboteur Zinke plans to allow oil drilling off nearly all US coasts.
Even many Republican politicians are against this.
Why is Facebook selectively blocking the accounts of some repressive rulers and not others?
I signed this despite the use of the harmfully vague term "sexual assault".
US citizens: Call on Congress to stop the president from pardoning per family members, cabinet members, or former advisors.
I think a better criterion would be: pardoning acts done for the president, in association with the president, or at the orders of the president.
When fracking started, North Texas hadn't had an earthquake for 300 million years. Now it has many of them.
The Republicans control the Virginia lower house after a random selection in a tied election chose the Republican for one seat.
Macron wants to give the French state blanket censorship power in the name of stopping "fake news".
That's as absurd as giving the state broad surveillance power in the name of stopping "terrorism". Oh, right, France has already done that.
California has shut the door to applications for new or increased use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
That is a positive step, but they are already used at a dangerous level, and they remain in the soil for years.
After three years of partial ban, still 1/4 of the honey samples in the UK contain neonicotinoids. Before, half of them did.
The cheater urged Sessions not to recuse himself from authority over Mueller's investigation.
1/3 of the money given to Sierra Leone to cope with Ebola seems to have mysteriously disappeared. Survivors who did not receive promised help are suing to find it.
On the use of words of endearment for treating someone with disrespect.
This article shows with calm firmness how the problem is not in the specific words, but rather in the disrespect they are used to express. Females often find themselves on the receiving end of this, but even if on occasion it is directed against a male, it is nasty then too.
Pennsylvania has suspended construction of the Mariner East 2 oil pipeline because of "egregious and willful violations" of environmental law.
Ethiopia's dictator announced a plan to free all political prisoners and shut down the torture center.
If Ethiopia can do it, the US can do it.
I used to suspect (only half seriously) that President Bush II and Osama bin Laden were working together secretly to make public statements to boost each other's support.
I don't suspect the troll of doing something like that, because he knows it would be neither necessary nor useful. His supporters are so disconnected from rationality that nothing the Iranian ayatollahs might say or do would make any difference to their support for the troll.
Tories' loathing and contempt for the homeless shows clearly in the plans to kick homeless people out of a part of London just to make things nicer for people coming to a wedding.
US citizens: Tell Congress: Expose destructive corporate mergers.
Norway will stop selling ammunition to the UAE because it is being used for killing civilians in Yemen.
Yemen Is Today's Guernica.
"Equality of opportunity" is a mockery when inequality of conditions makes many poor people grow up stunted and unable to take advantage of opportunity.
Bolivia's Lake Poopó, which used to be 400 square miles, has dried up into a salt flat, probably permanently.
The lake was crushed between irrigation on one side and global heating effects on the other.
Alas, the pleasure of this can hardly compensate for the harm that Republicans are doing to the world.
Its abolition is a good thing, since the word "integrity" risks being tarnished when associated with a person who can't imagine what it means. But that doesn't mean the integrity of US elections is safe. Republicans have been scheming to bias elections for decades, and when one new attack is thwarted, their old methods don't stop.
Patent applications show that Google and Amazon are interested in making "digital assistants" study people's activities to learn all about them.
AI programs would understand what people say to each other, observe what they wear including slogans on t-shirts, and track people's movements around the house including to the toilet or to bed.
It should be illegal to have such a device in your apartment without getting signed consent from the people that live in the other apartments in the building.
Historians should investigate the actions and effects of the British Empire, not set out to whitewash them.
300,000 Dalits rallied to celebrate a battle where Dalits helped the British defeat an army of higher-caste Hindus, in 1817. Hindu-nationalists attacked the rally, after which Dalits protested in many cities. Thugs attacked some of the protests.
We all hate "red tape" until we see that the neglect of safety regulations can kill more people than a terrorist attack.
Syrian rebel groups refused to participate in Russian-sponsored peace talks.
Russia is no more an honest broker in Syria than the US is in Israel/Palestine.
Ordinarily I would say this is an encouraging sign, but you can't expect the troll to go for weeks or months without reversing himself.
Saboteur Sessions will restart prosecution of state-legalized marijuana sellers, maybe even customers.
The decision leaves it up to US attorneys whether to prosecute. But there's a good chance they won't succeed in convicting people for these "crimes". Let's do our best to spread the word to resist while in a jury.
However, if agents go around confiscating the marijuana and the money of sellers, the sellers will have to shut down. People will be limited to what they and their friends can grow.
The government claims, absurdly, that the breach is harmless because it didn't include the people's fingerprints and retina scans.
The Tories want to replace the EU with the much worse TPP. So much for their bullshit about "taking back control".
Coral reef bleaching is so frequent now that the reefs can't fully recover before the next bleaching event.
Oceans Suffocating as Huge Dead Zones Quadruple Since 1950, Scientists Warn.
People in Papua New Guinea still believe in witchcraft, and recently burned two women to death for supposedly magically killing someone that died from malaria.
Meanwhile, European countries are sending Afghan refugees there because it is "safe".
I don't know whether this is legally criminal insider trading, but that's what it is in spirit.
However, whether will turn out to be advantageous in practice, I can't begin to guess.
The US has begun to try ideological rehabilitation on convicted supporters of PISSI. It sometimes works.
The NHS has been knocked down so much by insufficient funds that it has cancelled all non-urgent surgery.
I expect the NHS will resume non-urgent surgery when Labour is elected and gives it more funds.
Finally a program for piecing together shreds of paper really exists.
In the 1970s, the CIA had an office in 545 Tech Sq right across from the Logo Lab (Logo was a programming system for children). Every day, the CIA set out some bags of shredded paper to be collected as trash. Many MIT people in the building had a very negative attitude towards the CIA.
One day, as a CIA person went to the toilet, two MIT people went there after him and and had a conversation between toilet stalls. One said, "How is that shredded paper vision system coming?" The other replied, "It's starting to work. We put the shreds in front of the camera and the robot arm can line them up."
The next day, the CIA did not put out its usual trash bag of shredded paper. A few days later, the bags resumed, but the paper had been shredded twice.
Of course, there was no such vision system in the 1970s. It was far beyond the technology of the day. The two MIT hackers had made it up as a hoax to hack the CIA.
Or at least, this is what people in that group said had been done. If there was any documentary record of this, I suppose the CIA shredded it long ago.
Negotiation with the bullshitter is worthless since he famously does not keep the deals he makes.
Certain bird-friendly farming practices can bring back some species of birds that have been harmed by intensive farming.
Businesses do many kinds of harm to people. Why, then, the reflex of offering to subsidize businesses that make an effort to do less harm? Could this reflect a mental habit of genuflecting to business?
Perhaps that mental habit is why the solution offered for every problem takes the form of reducing taxes on business.
Since we need business to pay more taxes, how about if we instead fine farms for doing harm to birds, and reduce the fines for those that do less harm?
One province of Argentina will send hunters to protect whales from seagulls that have learned to attack whales.
It appears that the motive for caring about the whales is that whale watching is a big business there.
The province says that this is temporary and that it will implement the right solution, which is to deny gulls access to garbage.
One interesting point is that keas in New Zealand attack sheep in the same way. Keas are not closely related to gulls, so it seems that this kind of behavior is a potential for many kinds of birds.
Iceland will now require companies (other than small ones) to prove they are giving men and women equal pay.
Previously, the law required companies to do this, but the bosses didn't comply with that law. No surprise there — businesses that want to increase profits by exploiting someone tend to be persistent about it.
When other countries relax regulations or do favors for the sake of the cheater's businesses, that is a "foreign emolument" such as the US Constitution prohibits the president to receive.
Israel has jailed several Palestinian elected officials without trial or charges.
US citizens: call on Congress to support the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with drug companies.
Sheikh Sayah's great grandfather bought land near Beersheva in 1905. Since 1952, Israel has been making excuses to confiscate that land.
If Israel were willing to pay what the land is worth, I suppose it could take the land through eminent domain, without violating anyone's human rights.
63 Israeli high school students committed themselves to refuse to be drafted into maintaining the occupation of Palestine.
The troll is on track to make 2000 public lies per year.
We don't know how many additional lies he makes in private.
To free writers and publishers from the power of Facebook, don't let Facebook direct what you read or watch.
You will do this automatically if you refuse to be a used of Facebook. I don't have a Facebook account, so Facebook doesn't know what I read, and has no direct influence on my choices.
Growing up as a plutocrat tends to shape people to treat the rest of society with contempt.
This suggests that we should make sure no one grows up very rich, just as we should make sure no one grows up poor.
One of the few progressive changes in the Republican tax attacks was to cap the deductibility of state and local taxes from federal tax. People that pay more than $10,000 a year in state and local taxes will have to pay more federal tax because of this change.
Perversely, there is a proposal for the states to cancel the effect of this change by replacing the income tax with a payroll tax.
This change would have a bad long-term side effect that the article does not mention. Payroll taxes encourage businesses to cut they payroll expenses by replacing workers with automation.
I think we should eliminate all payroll taxes, and compensate by raising the income tax, and by taxing fossil fuels more.
The new US newspaper chains buy lots of local newspapers, fire most of the staff, and make them part of a centralized business that treats local news reporting as the lowest priority. With this cost cutting, they extract profit for some years until people catch on that the newspaper is no longer worth looking at.
The person who made the hoax call that sent the SWAT team that killed Andrew Finch is morally responsible for the killing.
I presume that the money to pay for these ads comes through a secret channel from the Koch brothers or fossil fuel companies.
In 1971, a group of experts concluded that a digital payment system that tracks people would be the most effective but unobtrusive system they could imagine for a dictatorship. ( pages 10-11 of this pdf , or search for "Electronic Funds Transfer Systems" in this plaintext version )
Now that exists, we see it is indeed ideal for that purpose. So join me in promoting the use of cash — by insisting on paying cash, and telling businesses "No cash? No sale."
It looks like the bully really doesn't want a peace deal. So what does he want? A chance to use nuclear weapons?
Food companies' advertising is aimed at convincing people to eat larger portions of candy.
Removing parts of current protected maritime national monuments would endanger ecosystems.
For the planet plunderers, every species wiped out is one less potential obstacle to their plunder.
When one protester was dying in the hospital, the thugs kept the man's family away for days, until he was dead.
Keep Global [heating] Under 1.5C Or "Quarter of Planet Could Become Arid."
This will cut into global food production.
2017 was the hottest ever non-el-Niño year.
The US mainstream media are a spectrum from center-right to extreme-right-wing. Right-wing extremists call it "Liberal" as a lie campaign.
The aim is to persuade naive people that "Liberal" is what they see in the right-wing mainstream media, therefore the "center" must be somewhere to the right of that.
A New Year’s Resolution for the Media: Do Not Let Republicans Get Away With Saying "Reforms" When They Mean "Cuts".
10% of US young adults were homeless or forced to crash at friends' houses in the past year.
If all they do is notice violent crime and disasters, I think it is fine. However, these drones, like body cameras, threaten to impose tyranny if their use is not carefully limited.
Behind a Corporate Monster: How Monsanto Pushes Agricultural Domination.
The FBI has arrested around a thousand prostitutes, as part of an annual operation supposedly intended to "recover children" from trafficking, except that it hardly ever finds any children. Not even many adolescent minors. It finds prostitutes and arrests them.
Palestinian Girl Filmed Slapping Israeli Soldier Is Charged with Assault.
Her mother has been charged with "incitement". Apparently reporting on slapping a soldier is now "incitement".
Government agencies in the US sometimes sue people for making FOIA requests. It is completely bogus, but if you are not in a position to deal with being sued, it is very intimidating.
As environmentalists try to reduce plastic pollution that is choking the oceans, Big Oil is investing in increasing production.
Republican saboteurs will do anything to boost fossil fuel extraction, even letting the drillers endanger their workers' lives.
It is a shame that the article refers to people accused of forbidden sharing as "pirates", as if sharing copies were somehow wrong.
It is well known that designing an appliance so that the owner needs to connect to it through the internet, rather than locally and directly, makes it insecure in many ways. To that list we must add the danger of being disconnected from it.
Those insecurities are in addition to the malicious things that the appliance could be built to do you.
For your safety, don't use any appliance with a connected to the real internet.
WTO negotiations to extend a business-supremacy treaty, GATS, aim to impose privatization on public medical systems such as the NHS.
Privatizing any government service leads to low wages, bad service, and lack of accountability. If the private implementers are "more efficient" that's because they pay workers less or cut corners.
Israel bullied Facebook into imposing tight censorship on criticism of the occupation of Palestine.
USDA regulations, necessary for and designed for large food-processing companies, can put an end to the small companies that don't need them.
Bruce Schneier: Personal data is a toxic asset.
Just as in the case of toxic chemicals, we need laws to make the cost of the toxicity fall on the companies or government agencies that collect or accumulate the data. But that's not enough in the case of toxic chemicals, and it's not enough for toxic personal data either. We need to prohibit building systems such that they collect or save more that the smallest amount of data that they could collect or save.
Marijuana is now legal in California. There are even some businesses licensed to sell it.
The thugs oppose this; they refuse to admit that the biggest danger of using marijuana was the danger from them.
Some protesters in Iran are raising political issues, including freeing political prisoners, ending foreign interventions. Just the sort of things that Americans used to protest, 15 years ago, but have mostly forgotten about.
The bully is undermining the protesters with hypocritical claims to support them. The only effect such "support" could have in Iran is to inspire a reaction against the protests. I hope Iranians have the good sense to resist this.
What Bitcoin and Amazon Are Doing to the Middle Class.
Funding for charters schools in California turned out to be a big spigot for wasteful failures.
The IRS intentionally sought to prosecute businesses that made cash deposits close to but under $10,000 but were getting the money legitimately. It seized lots of money from them.
President Kabila of the DR Congo has reached the end of his term but refuses to hold an election to choose his successor. Citizens are protesting, and the state suppression forces are trying to prevent the protests. Now they have killed two protesters.
The suppression forces have cut off communications for the people.
There are protests all across Iran about low wages.
The protests are very visible but it is not so clear what they mean.
Iranians may dislike the elimination of subsidies for gasoline, but subsidies on fossil fuels endanger the whole world. The way to help non-rich people to accept this is to give that money to the non-rich in another way that isn't limited to those that use gasoline.
When large organizations seek to control costs, Institutional dynamics pressure them to make rigid rules, enforce them with cruelty, and punish whistleblowers that report problems internally to anyone but their immediate supervisor — while pretending to be small, local, and friendly.
Have you ever bought "extra strength" antacids?
One "extra strength" tablet is equivalent to two "regular strength" tablets. It cost as much as two "regular strength" tablets. It weighs as much as two "regular strength" tablets. Taking it is equivalent to taking two "regular strength" tablets.
The only difference it makes to get the "extra strength" tablets is to make it difficult to take the equivalent of just one "regular strength" tablet. It is possible to break the "extra strength" tablet in half, but it's hard to do so with the unaided fingers. So you might take more than you really want to take.
In other words, "extra strength" gives the purchaser no benefit, only inconvenience. True, it is not a big deal, but why give in to a minor swindle if you don't have to?
Next time you buy some antacid, insist on "regular strength". If the store doesn't have any, or not in a flavor you can stand, complain to the manager.
Popular Indian Parody Site Closes after Death Threats from [theocratist Hindus].
The government doesn't directly organize violence, but it directly encourages and facilitates those that do.
Why we need to increase the inheritance tax — and why that won't do the harm that the myths pretend.
US citizens: tell Congress not to allow the TSA to do face recognition on US citizens at airports.
Global heating is eliminating the regularity of the seasons in Britain (and, I'm sure, many other places). The immediate effects of this are good in some ways and bad in others, but over time it will cause the extinction of many species.
The loss of one species can easily cause further change that will wipe out other species.
I forecast that the thugs will try to take the blame off themselves by blaming the hoaxer instead. Making such a hoax call is very wrong, but that doesn't excuse the thugs for shooting first and asking questions later. Don't let the thugs off the hook!
For three years running, US thugs have killed more than a thousand people per year.
Before that, there weren't any complete lists or counts of people killed by thugs.
All state agencies and all thug departments should be prohibited by law from using body cameras that do this. The law must be written so that it can be enforced in court at any time — citizens must not have to wait until they need footage and encounter this requirement so as to challenge it retroactively.
There are estimated to be around 100,000 undercover informants in the US, most of whom were effectively blackmailed into being informants by mandatory minimum sentences.
Here's what the FBI did to make one person work as an informant.
Poverty causes stress, which makes people grow up biologically damaged. Poverty makes ordinary cheap goods expensive, so it is a real trap. To get out requires luck, so it teaches people to take mad-seeming risks, without which they have no chance to get out. And they have to run these risks with poverty's damage tying one hand behind their backs.
When they do escape and become well-off, they can't trust it, because poverty taught them to be anxious all the time that something is about to kick them back into the gutter.
We should never allow our society to subject someone to growing up in poverty.
The UK is privatizing the NHS even more.
Homeless people in Houston are fined $500 if they put a tent under a viaduct. The city calls them "obstructions".
Kirsten Lobato's murder conviction was overturned after many years of struggle. She was convicted after a biased investigation — not mere mistakes. Why do we not punish the thugs that act in such biased ways? That would do a lot to make this happen less often.
Former Egyptian president Morsi has been given an additional prison sentence, this time for "insulting the judiciary".
With this sentence, the Egyptian judiciary has just insulted itself. Morsi's policies as president did not respect freedom very much, but jailing people for "insulting" is never excusable.
English volunteers help the asylum seekers that are legally left destitute.
Solidarity protests in Chicago for Hondurans fighting their stolen election.
The US Constitution is a skeleton that depends on joints, muscles and tendons to make the government move in the right ways. Now that Republicans have torn those up, we see that a Constitution interpreted by machines or unscrupulous lawyers fails to do its job.
"The people who understand corruption best are very poor people and very rich people. The stronger the middle class, the less powerful corruption is."
It follows that plutocracy makes for more corruption.
The state-supported "loyalist" assassins in Northern Ireland warned the prime minister of Ireland that officials had asked them to kill him and to spread diseases in Ireland.
They refused to kill him, and presumably refused to spread the diseases either.
Peruvians Protest Against Pardon For Jailed (murderous) Ex-President Fujimori.
A wave of fraudulent comments support the saboteur's move to cancel the regulation that says retirement advisors must not cheat their clients with intentional bad advice.
Fraudulent comments seem to be the new tactic of choice for the people of the lie.
US citizens: tell Senator Grassley to stop rubber-stamping the saboteur's nominees for judges.
The men video'd beating up unarmed protester DeAndre Harris have been charged.
Farmers in Colombia are rapidly cutting down the forest for farms that wear out the land quickly. Some are trying to teach them to plant fruit trees and hardwood tree plantations.
The other half of the solution for preserving the forest is to limit the numbers of human beings that try to make a living in it.
I asked a volunteer to check the points in the article about US prisons and he found references to support all of them.
The bully's saboteurs are attacking both human rights and democracy; even to undo this damage may be difficult. And if they get enough control over the courts, they will never allow opposition to win elections.
Still, we have to try — because giving up guarantees the worst possible outcome.
Fat lot of good that will do when thugs commit crimes.
Cars track lots of data about drivers, and one way or another companies get it.
Since it puts the users further under the power of Big Data, it's ultimately bad for the users. I call it the "internet of stings".
Israel develops its "security" technology, more properly described as repression technology, by practicing on Palestinians. Israel now exports this to US thug departments so they can learn the "best practices" for repressing Americans that protest.
New York State spent lots of money on zero-tax "start up" zones.
Subsidizing business to do business tends to become nothing but a giveaway to businesses. It is self-defeating when it "succeeds".
Businesses in the US pay too little tax overall. Therefore, we have to stop thinking of reducing taxes for "better" businesses and instead raise them on "worse" business.
Hondurans continue protesting massively against the theft of their presidential election.
US neo-Nazis are pretending to support progressive criticism of the political power of business, hoping they can substitute "Jews" for "business" and convert progressives to antisemitism.
Uri Avnery: Ben-Gurion told God, I wish that Israel will be a Jewish state, that it will encompass all the country between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River and that it be a just state. "That is too much even for me," God said.
Fungicides are very dangerous to some species of bumblebees.
Studies show that vaping is far less dangerous than smoking tobacco, provided one stops smoking entirely.
Israel bullied the National Basketball Association to deny that Palestine is occupied territory.
Right-wing politicians frequently demonize "coastal elites". Many of the bully's cronies are part of the coastal elite.
They succeeded in convincing him to arrange the attack in a way that would not do much damage — it would only make him look tough.
Although antisocialists take many stands that progressives can agree with, we can never expect real support from antisocialists, because their highest priority is always laissez-faire: to make the government stop doing good for people in general.
In other words, they are far more against what they call "socialism" (which is what they call any policy that isn't total laissez-faire) than they are for liberty.
This helps explain how the term "libertarian" misrepresents their views. It highlights their attractive secondary stand (for civil liberties), while claiming falsely that their repellent primary position (for laissez-faire) has something to do with civil liberties.
Idiots such as the president think a few cold days in winter imply that more global heating would be good, or else that there isn't any.
Native idiocy isn't enough to believe things like this. They have to work at it.
When you experience a cold day in winter, remember that the cold is killing tropical diseases and parasites. As global heating makes winter gradually less cold, they spread further north.
Carrying newly hatched salmon to the sea by truck appears at first to be effective. But when the salmon are ready to go upstream to spawn, they don't know which way to go up the river, since they never went down the river.
US nursing homes asked the government to please stop fining them for mistreating patients. The saboteurs granted their wish.
For millions of working women to push away sexual pressure from their bosses, they need to form activist unions.
Facebook now asks users in India to give their official biometric ID linkage.
Being used by Facebook was harmful already. This makes it more harmful because it enables Facebook's data about people to be linked easily with many other databases also indexed by national ID numbers.
This is an example of why a national ID number is harmful. Once everyone has that number, it becomes natural for every business or organization which has a database of people to index it by national ID number — and presto! they are all cross-linked.
The FBI, advised by Ayn Rand, denounced films such as It's A Wonderful Life as Communist propaganda.
The acting head of the official internal whistleblowing office for US intelligence agents was transferred to a no-op job for no stated reasons.
Perhaps he tried to actually do his job? As has been reported, that office has generally operated as a mousetrap to catch whistleblowers.
Fossil fools have funded fake news and fake science since the 1990s, but they needed to present it with a serious front. Now the Heatland Institute has decided, based on the strength of the US anti-rationality movement, to dispense with that and spew evident nonsense.
The organization calls itself "Heartland", but the name "Heatland" describes it more accurately.
Twitter banned a bot that was very effective at identifying impersonator trolls (who make false-flag racist verbal attacks), because the right-wing lie movement started reporting it for "abuse."
Any sort of crowdsourcing of information or judgment is vulnerable to manipulation by a sufficiently large dishonest movement.
Saboteur Pruitt has redefined environmentalism to mean extracting as much as possible and ignoring effects on the environment.
The cancer drug Lomustine costs 15 times as much as it did 4 years ago.
UK pro-fracking politicians go to great lengths to sabotage protests.
A Mexican reporter, afraid of being shot by gangsters, tried to ask for asylum in the US. He was imprisoned for 100 days and treated like a criminal. Told he'd probably be held in prison for a year, he went back to Mexico even though he still feared being shot.
In Xinjiang, China tracks every move that people make.
Coming soon to a country near you.
Proof that the NSA-designed back door in RSA's TLS library was operational in a commercial product.
The white supremacists that attacked unarmed DeAndre Harris have been charged. Unfortunately, Harris still faces charges too.
Tom Hughes is about to become homeless, and considers committing a harmless crime so as to get into prison instead.
The Real Costs of Cheap Surveillance.
I have presented solutions here.
Roy Moore will go to any lengths of absurdity to prevent Doug Jones from being seated in the senate.
This accusation is absurd because of the facts. I won't claim that Democrats are so moral that they couldn't conceivably try to rig an election. But the ones that are in the habit of doing so are Republicans. Alabama's government is dominated by Republicans. Democrats would not be able to rig an election there if they tried.
Privacy.com offers the service of a VPN for credit cards.
Aside from the question of whether you can trust privacy.com with your data, I wonder also about what happens if you need to cancel a payment.
Rather than use workarounds like these, I'd rather go to a store, offer cash, refuse to give my name or zipcode, and see if they are willing to refuse to sell me something.
To return society to rationality, we must stop preferring powerful authentic emotions to dull authentic facts and reasoning.
"Ice will return but extinctions can't be reversed. We must act now."
China's "sponge cities" help direct rain underground, to reduce flooding.
Extremists in the US killed 372 people in the 10-year period, 2007-2016. About 3/4 of the killings were done by right-wing extremists.
Israeli troops fired at medics and journalists that moved towards a wounded Palestinian protester.
An Israeli official made a vague threat of violence against nonviolent protesters in Germany.
Men now face being fired for vaguely sexual conversations that were not sexual harassment and that no one complained about.
Naturally, the announcement of dismissal used the vaguest possible word: "inappropriate". That word means "not correct in my judgment." Such a vague criticism can never justify the conclusion that someone has done wrong. Any act might be frowned upon by someone.
If you want to demand that someone be fired or prosecuted for some action, or justify firing the person for some action, it behooves you to make an accusation that is concrete, not vague like "inappropriate". You need to say what the action was, so we can judge how wrong it was. If you can't or won't describe it with something more concrete than "inappropriate", we must presume it wasn't bad enough to punish.
This note is not meant to defend conduct that merits some concrete criticism. Once there is a concrete criticism, we have a concrete issue to consider.
Most of Labour's supporters want Britain to stay in the EU. The party is vulnerable to competition from a party that would support this.
UK exit from the EU is a paradoxical issue. The EU requires every country to be part of several business-supremacy treaties, each of which cements the nondemocratic and therefore unjust power of business. The EU has plutocratic policies of its own in several areas including copyright, agriculture, and inequality of wealth. In principle, returning to freedom and democracy requires escaping from the EU.
However, the EU also regulates businesses and protects some human rights. Therefore, exit from the EU does not necessarily imply things will get better.
If the plan for Britain's economic policy after leaving the EU is to sign a bunch of business-supremacy treaties, the effect will be to make things even worse.
Oil drilling in the Peruvian Amazon has poisoned land and rivers. The indigenous people sometimes occupy and shut down oil facilities for days or months.
The local oil pollution might degrade or wash away in a couple of centuries, but the damage done by global heating is forever. The most important fight in the Peruvian Amazon is to prevent construction of new wells.
Poverty Is Both a Political and a Moral Choice Made By the Powerful.
Decades of planning enabled right-wing plutocrats to take power in the US, so they could let most Americans "fall by the wayside".
As a result of their success, poor people in the US today have discarded the American Dream. They have learned that hard work won't get them a decent life in the US. Especially poor whites have given in to despair.
At the economic level, they are right. Hard work to make money won't get most poor Americans a decent life, because the rich take most of the value of their work.
However, there is another kind of hard work which could enable everyone to have a decent life: work to elect progressive leaders that will make the rich give back what they took.
Concern about how the bully deals with Putin should not lead us to take speculation for fact.
Visa plans to pay US businesses to stop accepting cash.
Before I supported the Doug Jones campaign, I had a volunteer show me his positions and found things that sounded progressive to me. It looks like I missed some things that are not very progressive.
Too bad. We need senators about whom one can say something more than, "Better than Roy Moore."
A second disaster for Barbuda: now that the houses have been destroyed, the communal lands will be privatized.
The land will then be sold to rich foreigners for funds for rebuilding. This will probably include much of the wild areas, which will then be bulldozed.
This issue may not matter for long if global heating and sea-level rise combine to make Barbuda uninhabitable.
The effectiveness of Russian troll ads in Facebook demonstrate something bad about the American people, but also about Facebook.
It may be true that Facebook is "a mirror" for its useds, but that does not mean it is safe. The useds are also a mirror for what Facebook says to them. Two mirrors facing each other, with something in between that resonates with a certain kind of energy, make up a laser, and a laser can be very dangerous if it is powerful.
I am puzzled by the article's presupposition that "Democrats" adore Facebook unquestioningly. Does that really happen?
Venezuela's all-powerful "constitutional assembly" has arbitrarily banned the three main opposition parties from the next national election for the "crime" of boycotting the recent local elections.
The "constitutional assembly" is really the "constitution override", since it serves to enable Maduro to set the constitution aside arbitrarily. The government obeys the constitution except when it doesn't.
UK ministries conceal supposedly public government files by "borrowing" them permanently from the archives, then saying they "can't find" the files.
In the US, the government says the files are secret, or denies they ever existed.
Cats in Australia kill a million birds of native species per day, and may be a crucial factor in wiping them out.
I seem to recall having read about an effort to eradicate cats from some island. Might it be possible to sterilize the feral cats of Australia, and keep all non-neutered cats indoors, for the birds' sake?
EFF: Protect the Privacy of Cross-Border Data: Stop the DOJ Bill.
Chinese economists advocate total surveillance in the name of making a planned economy work.
Total surveillance means total tyranny, so even if it does function in some economic sense, it is a bad system.
In the Cretaceous period, mammals could only come out at night — because daytime was so hot it would kill them. We could get there again.
If a university has many Chinese students, it had better take care to prevent them from intimidating others from condemning China's tyranny.
We might help Chinese students understand that they should not identify themselves with Chinese repression by showing that we criticize our own countries' repression, too. We are not against China, rather we support all peoples (including the Chinese people) against the injustice of whatever state.
Turkey is fortunate to have a decreasing birth rate that will help end poverty there. However, some fools believe that this is a problem.
The local inconveniences of a decreasing population are nothing compared with the global disaster of population pushing up greenhouse emissions and overusing every limited renewable resource.
We need laws to stop drug companies from raising the price of a drug to an unconscionable level.
Wu Gan, Chinese human rights activist, has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for holding a protest at a courthouse.
China never ceased to be a vicious tyranny. The Panchen Lama was disappeared in 1995 and has not been seen or heard from since. But China did these sort of things only rarely, until a few years ago.
The axolotl appears to be extinct in the wild, apparently due to pollution from humans that have invaded its habitat.
Japan has declared approaching a whaling ship to be "terrorism".
The UK and US have declared releasing animals from a farm to be "terrorism".
The US refers to protests as "low-level terrorism".
Lying laws such as these are a form of tyranny. The dishonesty also undermines efforts against real terrorism.
Wages in the US are depressed substantially because many Americans have few potential employers to choose from.
This is another reason why we need to break up the large companies.
Putin has officially banned the only real opposition candidate from running against him.
Reality Winner published the secret intelligence about Russian phishing at a US "election services" company because everyone knew that the the official internal whistleblower system is just a mousetrap to catch anyone that would even think of trying.
She will have an unfair trial, demonstrating why it is absurd to claim Snowden should return and face a similarly unfair trial.
Meanwhile, use of private companies for "election services" makes me worry on principle. How can we trust a company for that?
Washington State has sued Comcast for tricking hundreds of thousands of customers into paying for nothing.
"Innovation" in the area of how to charge for services is something we should discourage, or even criminalize.
Sessions lied to Congress about the troll campaign's plans for contact with Russia.
Senator Warren explains how Equifax is making lots of money from "helping" people protect themselves from the consequences of its data breach.
The data breach resulted from the carelessness of Equifax's security department.
The welfare programs of the welfare state are a triumph of organized human decency. We should champion them with pride.
Want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness: banished by the welfare state, imposed once again by the plutocratic state.
National Security Agencies Are [still] Evading Congressional Oversight.
Many congresscritters accept the agencies' claims without question, or allow themselves to be brushed off with "it's a secret".
It's Not Just Niger — U.S. Military Activity Is a "Recruiting Tool" for Terror Groups Across West Africa.
Boko Haram is a vicious gang, and I don't have any objection in principle to helping to defeat it provided the means are legitimate and the effort makes things better, not worse. But we can't judge those questions if we don't know what the efforts are.
"The lie that poverty is a moral failing was buried a century ago. Now it’s back."
People who attributed poverty to bad luck are not entirely wrong. The reason why x% of the population are poor is bad social policies. The reason why person A is part of that x% rather than person B is chance.
At least 73% of the Fortune 500 companies used tax havens to dodge taxes, in 2016.
The "paradise papers" might demonstrate that the percentage is even higher.
Brazil's president Temer weakened the law against slavery to buy support from agribusiness, so that it would vote its congresscritters to protect him from trial for some of his corruption.
His maneuver succeeded; Brazil remains ruled by corruption.
We should not use the word "reforms" when referring to his plans. The only thing Temer wants to do is dooH niboR.
The EU has a big plan to make more biofuel for airplanes, and it would cause big harm.
Right-wingers are suing pipeline protesters, calling them a terrorist conspiracy.
"The darkest dream of totalitarianism is now our daily life, carried in our purse and pocket... Every first person feels ever more alone and lost... What if truth is the precarious hinge that holds freedom and progress together?"
Interviews with Taliban, which have been growing stronger for years. One says that many former prisoners of the Afghan state forces are so ashamed of the way they were tortured that they volunteer to be suicide bombers.
Fake news in Facebook has been used to stir up violence in several countries.
The Tories' welfare system is so determined to cut the funds for disabled people that the assessors lie to fabricate an excuse.
The job of assessor would naturally attract people who enjoy callously saying no to someone in need, but that alone can't account for 250 reports that an assessor lied. Clearly the cause is pressure from the bosses of the companies that the assessors work for.
Privatizing a public activity is an invitation for a company to cut corners and do a bad job.
The Tories are making disabled people come in for interviews about putting them to work, even if they are too sick to get out of bed.
Many Iraqi children will find it hard to grow up as healthy and capable adults. Their bodies have been poisoned by chemicals and Dirty Uranium from US weapons, while their brains are poisoned by PTSD from the violence they have witnessed.
American Airlines Gave Its Workers a Raise. Wall Street Freaked Out.
The tendency for US companies to focus on short-term changes in stock price is harmful in many ways. It encourages short-term thinking which implies long-term loss. This is one more way it is harmful.
Products being sold to US thugs include new systems for watching everyone, listening to everyone, identifying everyone, and integrating the data about everyone.
The bully could save the US 7 trillion dollars by not pushing the US into a pointless (and unjustified) war with Iran.
Journalists Who Relayed GOP's Deficit Moaning Owe Us Apologies.
Google is trying out teaching based on pervasive surveillance and data collection, in the expensive context of a class with two teachers for 24 students from wealthy and well-educated, which will surely make it look effective.
Building a data model of a student's state of knowledge, and abilities, could be a useful method. In order for it to be ethical, only rough summaries (comparable to grades) should ever leave the school in any form.
However, I doubt a good teaching method can overcome the detrimental effects on learning and ability caused by growing up in the stress of poverty. Personal attention from teachers could help, some.
The Thomas fire in California is now the largest in the state's history. It has burned over 400 square miles.
Suggesting that financial bubbles will burst in 2020.
Several of the genes that make human skin darker or lighter existed before Homo sapiens evolved. They were inherited from an ancestral species.
Someone pushed some pork through the mail slot of the Belfast Islamic Center.
This gesture of bigotry was nasty and I disapprove of it, but the word "attack" is not justified. To qualify as an attack, it would have to cause damage or harm, not mere offense. A dirty spot in a door, and on the nearby floor, are not harm.
Complex regulations are pressuring small US banks to merge with big ones. A publicly owned bank, in North Dakota, helps the local banks there to survive.
The idea that it is easier to enforce regulations on a few large banks than on small ones is backwards. On the contrary, very big banks can cheat with impunity, as Wells Fargo has shown. To make banks obey the law, we need to get big banks to split up.
My progressive business tax proposal could help do that.
US Nuclear Arsenal to Cost $1.2tn Over Next 30 Years.
It is part of a broad military spending program that might cost even more, and is totally unnecessary since the US military could easily defeat any three other nation's militaries.
What fraction of world greenhouse gas emissions could we eliminate with that much money?
Horse manure is not a bomb, it is a political statement and nothing more. To treat this is a crime is an attack on American's political freedom — like treating protests at the bully's inauguration as a crime.
The falling price of renewable electricity and batteries may enable India to provide electricity to everyone using renewable energy instead of coal.
India should decide now to reject coal. It will do little good for millions of poor Indians if they get electricity in the next 20 years, only to die from global heating effects in another 20 years.
In the long term, for India to reduce the number of poor people it must stop making more of them by means of birth control. Without that, it's a Red Queen's race.
Save Israel, Stop the Occupation — an organization that asks Jews outside Israel to support Israeli opposition to continued occupation of Palestine.
Israel confiscates Palestinians' water pipes and tanks so its colonies can grow bananas.
Six crimes by the bully and his officials that ought to be prosecuted.
The Tory "reform" of welfare payments in the UK tends to make recipients fall behind on rent. Now many landlords won't rent to welfare recipients at all.
Sanders Slams Trump for 'Bragging' About Millions of Americans Losing Healthcare.
This as the cheater congratulated his rich friends for the big gains they will get from the tax attacks.
Ahed Tamimi slapped and kicked some Israeli soldiers who was standing unwelcome in her family's yard. The soldiers forbore to retaliate, so right-wing Israeli haters began demanding some harshness. Soldiers returned in the middle of the night and arrested her.
Her parents have led weekly protests for many years against Israel's theft of their land through the annexation wall.
European organizations that rescue drowning would-be immigrants are being prosecuted for facilitating illegal immigration.
Similar things have happened in the US near the Mexican border.
Defending college teachers' rights to protest at the rallies students hold on campus. Both have the right to express their views.
Workplace surveillance systems track everything staff do online through company-provided computers.
I wouldn't use them if I were you.
Guatemalans hope a return to regenerative farming could enable the country to support all its people.
The article doesn't explain why investment money is needed for this. I can guess at various possibilities, but we need to know the actual answer.
If they can make their economy more sustainable this way, and they want the improvement last, they must not squander the gains on increased population. Thus, reducing population growth needs to be part of the plan.
Offshoring as shown in the "paradise" papers encourages corruption of public officials, as well as tax-dodging and corruption.
Investments in companies which exercise power, such as Twitter and Facebook, have the potential to influence their use of that power.
Maybe this was just an investment for profit. But then why hide it?
Even if Twitter and Facebook didn't know that they had Russian state institutions as investors, those investors had ways to push for developments that suited them, without revealing who they were.
Will AI dolls for young children interfere with their understanding of the difference between people and things?
I am not convinced, a priori, that this will do harm. Perhaps it will have a subtle effect that is only statistically detectable.
However, the crucial question is not whether AI dolls, inherently, are likely confuse children. It is, rather, whether AI dolls could be designed to manipulate children in a particular way: to make them more susceptible to addictive technology.
Because, if there is a way to do that, companies will find it.
Companies such as Facebook are searching madly for ways to make their technology more addictive. They have lots of money to invest in research. If a certain kind of robot doll could predispose people to be more addicted to Facebook, Facebook is likely to discover that. Then it might push those dolls on children under some pretext — perhaps "They are educational", perhaps, or "They make up for the lack of teachers in our austerity-hit schools". Facebook-funded research could substantiate these claims.
Perhaps some other kind of AI doll might be entirely harmless, or even beneficial, but that's not the direction that Facebook et al. would find profitable to promote.
Russians have met to nominate Alexei Navalny to run for president. They will have to overcome the criminal convictions that Putin has engineered as an excuse to stop him from running.
In a previous election, Putin arranged to prevent the nomination process for Garry Kasparov by making all the large rooms in Moscow unavailable.
Putin would probably win a free and fair election, and surely knows this, but he still won't allow one in Russia.
UK law particularly favors companies against journalists that publish about leaks. And the Tories plan to make it even worse.
Privacy needs more protection, but data brokers, data thieves, and repressive states will not be deterred by laws about the use of personal data. (The data brokers are experts at achieving want they want through loopholes in data protection laws.) The effective way to protect privacy is to limit the accumulation of data.
Exploring the world of do-it-yourself gene therapy.
I think people should be free to make and try untested genetic modifications on themselves. But the risk scares me; I would never do it except as a last resort.
Acts of hatred against Indian Christians hit a peak at Christmas.
The bigoted ruling party has inspired Hindus' violence against many other religious groups.
Some of the world's best soccer clubs belong to Arab despots, and the money that buys their players comes from oppression.
Other clubs have been bought by Russian oligarchs, who certainly didn't get so much of Russia with clean hands.
A fire in a shopping mall at night seems to have killed 37 people working in a call center.
It's a shame that 37 people got killed, perhaps painfully, but that's life. I hope Filipinos do get worked up enough about this to bring about improvement in fire code enforcement.
Now, imagine that 37 people got killed by a terrorist. Fools around the world would demand, "Tear up our freedom at once!", stirred up by would-be authoritarian politicians.
The bully and his agents are attacking science in every part of the US government.
If the Republicans don't cancel democracy in the US the way Hernández just did in Honduras, we may have them out of power in 3 years. But it won't be easy to repair the damage they are doing now. All staff who remain in these agencies are either struggling desperately to maintain their integrity despite being forbidden to show it, or becoming cynical and thus useless as a support for integrity. In effect, we will have to replace them and start over.
That effect is not limited to agencies that are involved with science.
Twitter accounts suspected of being Russian trolls were used to stir up conflict after terrorist attacks in the UK.
Associating the Twitter accounts with Russia may admit of uncertainty, but there's no uncertainty that the system is susceptible to being used this way. Individuals and right-wing extremist organizations do it, too.
What's not clear is how to fix the Twitter system to make it less susceptible to this sort of instability, without censorship that would threaten our freedom also.
If we can believe the CIA that it briefed the bully on Jan 6 about Russia's election meddling, that implies he has been lying about it ever since.
Courts and scientists are trying to clarify the boundary between firm opinions and incitement to violence.
This may be the most damaging thing yet that the Republicans have done. Millions of Americans who were being rescued from the repression of perpetual debt will now have no hope of escape.
American children have had almost all their freedom taken away in the past 40 years.
The Election Fraud in Honduras Follows Decades of Corruption Funded By the U.S. War on Drugs.
Everyone: Call on Ecuador's President Moreno to pardon the indigenous mining protesters.
Saboteur DeVos has revoked the plan to cancel the student debt for some students of fraudulent Corinthian Colleges.
After the artificial disaster of the hurricane in Puerto Rico comes another artificial disaster: a wave of foreclosures imposed through legal trickery. 1/3 of the homeowners in Puerto Rico are currently vulnerable, but the number could increase.
Massive inequality in the US, in 12 charts.
Europe Sends People 'Home' to Afghanistan, Where They Have Never Been.
Scientists are working on genetically engineering corals and their symbiotic bacteria to help them survive the heating of the ocean.
This approach is better than nothing, but I see two shortcomings:
The real purpose of the Republican tax attacks is to eliminate the welfare programs that enable many poor Americans to survive.
The case against Cliven Bundy collapsed because prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense. It was evidence of misconduct in investigating him.
Bundy was fighting for a cause — the same twisted cause that the Koch brothers fight for. They demand the right to wear out the Earth through unsustainable practices, leaving nothing for the future. These practices won't continue indefinitely, because the damage they do will eventually stop them. But things will go hard with humanity and wildlife if we don't stop them before that.
Protecting our forests by preventing overgrazing is one of the jobs we need the state for. But the US went about this in a way that started stupid and finished unjust.
It should have been easy to deal with Bundy's protest-by-overgrazing. Cancel his license to graze cattle on national forest, for violating the rules of so doing; fine him or sue him; seize some of his cattle; sell it to collect from him. There would have been no violence unless he started it himself, and he could not have got away with that. (I think he is smart enough he would not have tried it.)
Instead, the US government handled Bundy the way it handled the inauguration protesters, twisting the law in a dangerous way. Thugs shot one of the protesters, who was not violent, then covered it up with lies, much as they normally lie about killing blacks.
The US congratulated its protégé, Hernández, for his "victory" in stealing the election in Honduras. That was after weeks of pressuring the opposition to "calm down" and stop protesting the theft.
Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, permitted the military coup that ran the enabled Hernández to get "elected" president the first time. The coup overthrew President Zelaya, who had the temerity to propose a non-binding referendum (after he left office) on whether to allow a president to run for reelection.
Hernández didn't bother with a referendum. He simply ran for reelection.
The Security Council approved tighter sanctions on North Korea.
This is pointless. Sanctions, in themselves, will not stop North Korea's nuclear development, or lead to a peace agreement. Only negotiations can achieve anything.
A million Yemenis had caught cholera as a result of the bombardment and siege.
Salafi Arabia is doing the bombardment with support from the US.
Many Americans' homes will be abandoned to the sea within 10 to 15 years.
Interviews with former white-supremacist bigots that rejected hate.
74% of the terrorist killings in the US in the past 10 years were carried out by right-wing extremists. They are much more of a danger than Islamist extremists.
However, neither group is so dangerous that we should give up our freedom and privacy to catch a few more of them.
The biggest danger of right-wing extremists is not their individual violence. Rather, it is the danger of their alliance with the plutocratist extremists behind the Republican Party.
Uri Avnery: "The executed rebel becomes a national hero, for every rebel executed, dozens of others join the fight." So when the Israeli army protects the soldier that murdered a disabled Palestinian protester, while punishing soldiers that refused to kill teenage girls, it is a crazy policy.
Daniel Barenboim: "After Trump’s Jerusalem gambit, the world must recognise a Palestinian state."
Mahmoud Abbas has acknowledged what we have long known, that the US is no "honest broker" for Palestine and Israel. He asked France to try.
US citizens: tell Congress that the big tax cuts for rich people are no excuse to cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
New Guinea is being deforested rapidly. Indonesia may fail to meet its Paris (i.e., weak and insufficient) greenhouse emissions commitments because of the deforestation in the part of Papua ruled by Indonesia.
But it seems Indonesia's colonial rule is no worse at protecting forests than the government of independent Papua New Guinea.
New Highways in Remote Amazon Risk "ethnocide", say Peruvians.
The UN will start drawing up a treaty to protect international waters from overfishing and pollution.
Lobbyists, acting through plutocratist states, will do their damnedest to make the treaty so weak that it is effectively useless.
Europe Rebuked for Removing Afghans to One of World's Most Dangerous Countries.
Apple is being sued for programming some iPhones to slow down when the battery gets discharged or gets old.
Ethically, this situation is complicated. Apple says it slows the phones so that they won't shut down unexpectedly. That, in and of itself, does not seem wrong to me.
However, the real fix for the problem of failing batteries is to replace them. It could be that Apple chose to slow down the phones so as to cover up the problem and avoid replacing them. That would be wrong.
There is also the ethical question of whether it is legitimate to build phones with batteries that can't be replaced — or removed, for privacy.
A dream wedding is not a good start for a real-life marriage.
If you are thinking of marrying a woman, and she is lost in a dream of a wedding, best wake her up first and see if you really get along together and then have a non-dream wedding.
The wedding dream may explain what seems so surreal to me in many Hollywood romcoms. All the characters are caught in the wedding dream/trance and nobody ever asks "why?"
Transplant Patient's … Plea: Talk to Your Family about Organ Donation.
I won't make a plea for anything in the name of Christmas, which means nothing to me, but any time is the right time to think about saving other people's lives with your organs.
I don't think relatives of the deceased should be consulted about organ transplantation. Corpse fetishism is not a valid reason to deny other people life-saving medical treatment.
However, if the laws where you live give your relatives authority, it is important to make sure that they won't block your last contribution to other people's well-being.
China: five years in prison for running a VPN.
Giving to Those in Need [at any time] Is Noble, But a Living Wage Would Be Better.
Senate Democrats voted for a temporary spending bill without DACA.
Catalan separatist parties won a narrow majority in the election for the Catalan parliament.
Since the turnout was very high, I think this election is a valid indicator of what the people want, and what it shows is that they are split. I don't think such a fundamental change should be made based on support from 52%, while 48% oppose it.
After the IRS profiled right-wing tax-exempt organizations for investigation, right-wing pressure weakened IRS enforcement to the point that it effectively gave up on policing political activity by tax-exempt organizations.
Naturally, right-wing corruption finds that useful.
The EU is almost powerless against national governments that seize nondemocratic power.
Facebook facilitates age-discrimination in employment ads.
The first six inauguration protesters, put on trial for "rioting", have been acquitted.
The repressors are nothing if not persistent. They seem to be planning to change their arguments somewhat for the next batch of protesters on trial.
A special unit in Facebook actively aids political campaigns in the US and other countries. These politicians are likely subsequently to protect Facebook from regulation afterwards.
We should not allow any company to be as powerful as Facebook.
The debt and deficit dance of plutocratist politicians.
A movie present a picture of the Washington Post's involvement in publishing the Pentagon Papers. It presents the publisher as heroic, omitting the union-busting and the previous support for the Vietnam War.
Running against the Republican tax attacks will give Democrats a great opportunity, if they dare to take it.
They need to lead the non-rich people's side of the class war that the rich have been fighting and winning.
New York City and New York State have decided to divest their pension funds from fossil fuels.
Actual divestment will take considerable time, and there is a lot of leeway to undermine the new policy with excuses.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to say, "Don't renew section 702, which authorizes massive surveillance of Americans. Stop using 'security' as an excuse for making our privacy insecure."
Some of the rapists have been identified and prosecuted.
Tech entrepreneurs fear out-of-control AI because they assume it will be a psychopath, like their corporations.
It would be foolish to assume that it won't be a psychopath. If a psychopathic, unrestrained corporation develops an AI, why wouldn't it make that AI a psychopath?
The final tax attacks bill is even more skewed to benefit the rich than the earlier versions.
China will require companies making driverless cars for use in China to work with a Chinese company.
China's policy goes in the right direction, but doesn't go all the way. To defend privacy rights, we should ban driverless cars no matter which companies make them, unless they are built so that they don't track people's movements.
The article uses the bogus term "intellectual property". It's always a mistake to use that term because it lumps together various laws that are so different that generalizing about them is misguided.
Everyone: call on Governor Brown of California to pay prisoners for fighting fires the same wage that non-prisoners get.
The UK subsidizes arms exports so much that they can't even be much of a profit. What rational reason could there be?
Israeli soldiers killed several protesters in Gaza, including Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, who was disabled and sitting in his wheelchair.
The army says he "was not targeted". Apparently they were shooting wild.
China is imposing a greenhouse gas emissions-trading scheme on power plants, and plans to extend it later to other heavy industry.
This has the potential to drive emissions down rapidly, if China manages it carefully. The EU's greenhouse gas emissions-trading scheme was mismanaged, and efforts to correct the scheme's rules have been blocked. By planet-roasters' political influence, presumably.
I expect China will do a better job of resisting the fossil fuel industry's power.
"Non-lethal" bullets often cause injuries, including loss of an eye, even death.
If the shooter is close to the protesters, the bullet can easily kill. If the shooter is not close, these bullets can't be aimed carefully.
Austerity has brought millions to the edge of bankruptcy; now the bankruptcies are happening in the UK.
In the US, the millions of fraudulent foreclosures happened almost a decade ago.
Spikes attached to a tree branch, meant to keep pigeons from perching there and dropping shit on a car, are a minor issue that illustrates a dangerous general attitude towards nature.
If we recognize only the costs of nature, and only the benefits of cars, we will continue destroying the ecosphere we depend on.
The author made an unfortunate choice to use the term "anthropocene" to describe what humanity is doing to the Earth's geology.
Democrats have won enough seats in the Virginia legislature to block new plutocratist laws, if they are united in doing so.
But they don't have the majority that would be needed to pass laws to correct existing plutocratic injustices.
A new Swedish law would define millions of men and women as "rapists".
Republicans now regard all rules, and all democratic norms, as obstacles to converting the state into a mechanism for the dominion of the rich. But this is not new. Many of them thought the same in the 1970s, when the vote to impeach Nixon barely succeeded.
The bully threatened to punish the countries that voted in the UN to rebuke the US for moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
This will build up hatred for the US across the world.
Facebook increased its visible use of face recognition.
Nothing stopped, or stops, Facebook from privately recognizing all the faces in photos, and selling that data as part of "anonymizied" records to other companies that can reidentify them.
Legal and political challenges still prevent the Keystone XL pipeline from going forward.
US citizens: call on the US Senate to end Yemen intervention.
US citizens: phone your senators and tell them, "Keep warrantless mass surveillance out of the budget".
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
227 congresscritters voted for the tax attacks. Each one deserves your firm opposition.
Australia is protecting fossil fuel electricity even harder, so that its supposed carbon emissions targets will be impossible to meet.
Many renewable energy projects face cancellation as a result.
The right-wing government of Australia has been blatantly protecting fossil fuel use ever since it got in office.
Humans have eliminated 10% of Earth's wilderness in the past 25 years. The remaining wilderness is likely to be destroyed soon if we don't stop it.
The UK backed itself into a commitment to build an incredibly expensive nuclear power plant, and paying extra for power from it, apparently so as to be able to maintain an industry capable of building and operating nuclear submarines.
I wonder whether nuclear power plants built by French and Chinese engineers will have the intended effect. Maybe it will help only France and China build and operate nuclear submarines.
If they can't get the plant running by the current deadline of 2025, will that be a better outcome for Britain?
Neoliberal states operate by crushing the solidarity that enables individuals to thrive. Europeans see the need for more solidarity, and the way to get that is from democratic socialism.
The European Union stands in the way of implementing it, though, because it is undemocratic and its rules give business more power. People in Europe will need to make the EU democratic, and change those rules.
Then comes the WTO, which doesn't even pretend to be democratic and its rules give business more power. World-wide, we need to weaken it or eliminate it.
The Tories plan to try a voter-ID system, supposedly to prevent fraudulent voting. Surely it is a coincidence that such systems block legitimate voters that are not likely to support the Tories.
Is there convincing evidence that fraudulent voting happens enough to be worth paying a price to stop it?
Facebook faces the possibility of punishment in Germany for merging data from its WhatsApp tentacle into the Facebook tentacle.
The FBI Routinely Abuses Its Powers but the Trump Investigation Has Been By the Book.
We no longer have an Environmental Protection Agency; the bully has converted it into the Environmental Poisoning Agency.
The EPA tried to support the coal industry with a program to encourage disposal of coal ash as dirt wherever dirt was needed. It had not checked whether coal ask pollution would do damage, and was made to stop.
Now that coal ash has been verified to have poisoned land and drinking water, Saboteur Pruitt wants to start spreading it again.
Saboteur Pruitt is also replacing the Clean Power Plan with a scheme designed not to change much.
He has put the brakes on a plan to ban three toxic solvents.
The EPA is considering an application for spraying a neonicotinoid pesticide. Merely soaking seeds in it is poisoning bees and birds; spraying it could wipe them out.
Joinul Islam, refugee on Manus Island, was attacked with a machete for the second time by someone unknown.
It is not safe for the refugees to be in the town of Lorengau where they have all been forced to go.
The supermarket Marks & Spencer now publishes information about use of antibiotics in raising the meat it sells.
This is important as a nucleus for public pressure to eliminate the practice of regularly giving antibiotics to farm animals.
Even in Britain, drug companies sometimes demand prices so high that the medical system refuses to buy them.
It's much worse in the US where Congress, corrupted by the drug companies, tied the government's hands about negotiating prices with the drug companies.
The main reason drugs are so expensive is patent law, imposed by the WTO. This is one of many reasons we need to make big changes in the WTO or else get rid of it. However, the concentration of the drug industry, through many mergers, has given the drug companies greater clout (as has occurred in many other areas of business), and this contributes to the problem. We need to make big companies split up. My tax proposal would be one way to do that.
George Monbiot: "Each generation is normalising the erosion of our environment, and the devastating losses to fragile ecosystems mount up."
The speculation about bats and the evolution of moths has erroneous dates. According to Wikipedia, the oldest known fossil bat lived 52 million years ago, and wasn't capable of echolocation. Meanwhile, the oldest butterfly fossil dates from 56 million years ago. So it is possible that bats did affect the success of butterflies, albeit more recently than the article says.
An illuminating analysis of sexism, and misogyny, and how the two relate to each other.
The statement at the end about Clinton is ironically sad: she "won over" the bankers and the generals by surrendering to them, and that's why millions of us refused to vote for her.
The bully's UN ambassador threatened to punish countries that voted for the resolution to rebuke the US's move of its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. In response, all the other countries voted for the resolution.
The European Court of Justice ruled that each EU country can regulate Uber and other such companies.
In principle, this means a country can require such companies to offer an anonymous option. People will have to work hard to campaign for this.
An Australian was prosecuted for refusing to vote, but the judge accepted his reasons of principle as valid justification.
Australia's laws not only require each eligible voter to cast a ballot, they also require a valid ballot to list every party. (The voter's choice consists of assigning a numerical order to the parties.) As a result, it is not easy to vote for the minor party you support, without your vote's subsequently being counted for one of the major parties that you detest.
Albert Langer recommended a hack for voters to get that result, and was imprisoned for it.
Israeli soldiers frequently violently attack Palestinian journalists who are covering protests.
Does glyphosate cause cancer in humans? This has not been clearly established, but the EPA decided to let Monsanto be the judge.
Loneliness is a plague of modern life, and every change in technology and social institutions seems to make it worse.
The elimination of libraries makes it worse. Housing the disabled in rooms they are physically unable to leave makes it worse.
Making people take "Uber-like" rides instead of buses will make them more isolated, as well as tracked everywhere.
I am disappointed with the Guardian for publishing an article that takes this one-sided stance seriously.
Neo-Nazis intentionally confuse their serious message of hate with humor as a shield against serious criticism.
Knowing this, we should regard their humor as serious hatred in disguise.
The US government aims to crush press coverage of protests by prosecuting journalists for "conspiracy" if anyone commits an act of violence.
Even if they don't apply this to journalists, applying it to protesters alone is un-American tyranny.
Senator Cornyn admitted that the purpose of that special tax cut was to win support from senators who would personally benefit.
14 Republican senators will get lots of money from this change.
We knew they were not going to invest it, because big companies in the US mostly have lots of money on hand, but see no useful investment opportunities. The SCROTUS plan was bogus from the start.
We need taxes to take that money away from them.
Fatal overdoses on opioids don't usually happen to sick people taking them on prescription. They happen mainly to people who get them on the black market.
Some US politicians are eager to use Russian election-meddling as an excuse for censorship. Or even for the War on Sharing.
Big digital companies are pushing the WTO to give them dominance over digital life in all the signatory countries.
Crowd-control weapons, often used against protesters, are less likely than guns to kill, but they do kill, and they cause permanent injury too.
The Palestinian Authority Is Using a New Cyber-Crimes Law to Crack Down on Dissent.
In effect, Israel and Palestine are working arm in arm for this one unjust goal.
Burma's violent expulsion of Rohingyas has continued into December.
Farms for Christmas trees spray toxic pesticides while workers are planting trees nearby. The Republicans want to help them keep it that way.
Workers are also required to work 12 hours a day without access to drinking water. No wonder the only people they can hire are Mexicans, probably undocumented.
If they treated the workers decently and payed more, they could find US citizens to hire. The trees would cost more. Good! Let's make them do this, let's make all the employers in the US do this. Let's buy products that cost more because they aren't based on endangering workers.
Perhaps we won't buy quite so much goods — we could instead give the Earth a bit of a rest.
The PR campaign to smear the White Helmets illustrates how Russian propaganda professionals collaborate with credulous people and those who would like to see everything the US does as an evil scheme.
The US does participate in evil schemes, just as Russia does.
US gun nuts tell Mr Pring, "How dare you give up your guns? We will shoot you to teach you a lesson."
This raving evil shows up in all right-wing causes. People like that are the last ones we should allow to have guns.
Pring sought to reduce the number of guns in the US, but he chose an ineffective method to achieve it. It is pointless to surrender your guns to someone that will resell them. You need to destroy them instead.
More broadly, it is not very effective to eliminate a handful of guns while new guns of similar models are being sold every day.
A deranged congresscritter from Arizona claims that the right-wing violence at Charlottesville was a false-flag operation funded by George Soros.
US citizens: tell the DEA not to ban kratom.
US citizens: file a comment to oppose the Republican change in regulations for tipping that would give restaurants a legal excuse to steal part of waiters' tips.
Various studies show that clouds do not reduce global heating.
Reagan started the practice of letting businesses eat US government agencies from within. The Republicans now want to eliminate the Civil Service so they can fire any US government employee for any reason.
If they do that, they will be able to coerce the staff to act illegally on threat of firing them.
"Drug-free school zones" are excuses to make the war on drugs more harsh, in a semi-random way. In some cities, most of the land is part of some "drug-free" extra punishment zone.
Warsaw is "returning" public housing buildings to heirs of people that formerly owned part of the land they were built on, or claim to be heirs. They couldn't have inherited the buildings, though, because those were built later by the state.
The lucky new owners force the tenants out using cruel dirty tricks.
Even if one adopts a heartless 100% capitalist point of view, giving the buildings to them is unwarranted and unnecessary. All they are entitled to is the value of the land they have a claim to.
The former president of Honduras has finished stealing the election in which he was not supposed to be allowed to run at all.
Plantwatch: Wildflowers Lose Out Twice from Nitrogen (fertilizer) Pollution.
The article is unclear on one point: when it says "nitrogen", it evidently refers to nitrogen in compounds that plants can use. The air is full of nitrogen molecules, but those don't count, because plants can't use nitrogen in that form.
A hoax restaurant got first place in Tripadvisor on the strength of its hoax reviews. Real would-be customers went into a frenzy because they could never get a reservation.
Republicans are pushing a bill to put students that can't repay student loans at a further disadvantage.
Fast food workers that had won cases against companies such as McDonalds will immediately lose again under the rule change that the troll's saboteur in the NLRB plans to make.
The FBI sent an undercover agent to infiltrate protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, who seduced one of the protesters and gave her a gun. She now faces charges of firing the gun.
I suppose that's what the infiltrator wanted — to act as a provocateur.
Republicans have been working for decades to eliminate US laws that gave most people a decent life. If they pass the tax attacks, they will have totally wrecked them.
People who get seriously ill and are not rich will not be able to afford treatment. If they do get treated, they will starve after.
Black Americans are in danger of being convicted of crimes based on flawed face-recognition software that says they resemble a photo of the suspect.
What Public Libraries Will Lose Without Net Neutrality.
Cornel West says that Ta-Nehisi Coates' intense attachment to Obama has clouded his understanding of politics as it affects American blacks, blocking him from relating racism to militarism and plutocracy.
Obama showed that racism in the US has decreased to the point that a black can be elected president. Obama also showed that you can't assume a candidate is progressive just because person is black.
Chicago thugs have a special system for appealing against any sort of punishment they get for treating the public badly, and it reduces or eliminates the vast majority of punishments.
Philip Morris is indirectly offering money to people involved in efforts to reduce tobacco smoking, including many officials.
The only plausible motive for offering this money is as a scheme to undermine those efforts.
Archivists are preserving the digital publications of the US government so that we can see what the bully's saboteurs do to them.
Liu Xia, in effect imprisoned for 7 years without trial, is depressed from isolation.
What Do You Give to the Person Who Has Everything? How about Nothing?
I opted out of the practice of birthday and holiday gifts when I was around 14. I had outgrown the childish desire to receive gifts, and I couldn't think of anything to give to anyone else in my family. Then I recognized that the customs that pressure people to give gifts on certain occasions are really commercial schemes to convert people's money into waste.
If there is someone you feel a real wish to give something to, and person is short of money and has a pressing practical need, give per the thing person needs.
If person is not short of money, how about writing per a letter on paper? Nowadays, receiving a personal letter from someone you know is a rare and special experience. Don't even think of substituting a commercial card for the letter!
The scientist who proved that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer was subsequently paid by Monsanto and other chemical companies for 20 years, even being paid by them to investigate a specific chemical; he concluded that vinyl chloride did not cause cancer, a conclusion that was subsequently rejected. Was his conclusion influenced by his conflict of interest?
It is true that, when that was published, there was no rule about stating conflicts of interest. The rule was made in response to awareness that conflicts of interest such as these were undermining the integrity of research.
If the scientist did give all consulting fees to an academic organization that he founded, that doesn't mean he wasn't avid for more fees to make the organization bigger, or that he could not possibly have biased his research to get them.
Biasing research does not always mean lying. There are more subtle ways that involve fooling oneself. If he was convinced that the main causes of cancer were things that the victim had consumed, that too could have been a motive for bias in the same direction.
Wikipedia's article on vinyl chloride, as of 23 Feb 2017, footnotes a printed article from the Houston Chronicle that says chemical companies tried to manipulate research about the medical effects of vinyl chloride. When companies do this, they typically try many avenues of influence.
A scenario of a hurricane hitting Miami in 2037 illustrates the world-wide effects of sea level rise to come.
This is just one of the disasters that global heating will cause.
The San Francisco SPCA has discontinued use of a security patrol robot.
Homeless people, and anyone walking in the area, are right to be suspicious that it is making and transmitting videos. If it wasn't actually doing that at the time, it could have been reprogrammed to start doing so at any moment. We must judge these systems by the worst they _could_ do, and ignore the side issue of what they are doing today.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter and senators to vote to override the FCC and preserve network neutrality.
Everyone: Call on MGM to release the tapes of the bully's sexual harassment.
US citizens: call on the Democratic National Committee to adopt the Unity Reform Commission recommendations.
Australia is considering a law to imprison journalists for 20 years for publishing what whistleblowers tell them.
A list of 84 Republican congresscritters that were paid by telecommunications companies and then encouraged the FCC to abolish network neutrality.
There were 23 others, but their signatures on the letter were not clear.
Saboteur of Education DeVos has completely stopped the practice of cancelling the debts of students defrauded by private colleges.
Do not under any circumstances enroll in a private college!
Roy Moore advocated repeal of all the US constitutional amendments after the first 10. This would mean bringing back slavery and racist/sexist voting criteria.
It would also mean that the people would no longer vote on senators. I am sure Roy Moore would have preferred to let the Alabama state legislature choose him.
Insurance companies in Britain that monitor how a person drives also keep track of where.
I don't see any harm in monitoring a person's style of driving. However, any system that tracks where people go is a threat to democracy.
The fact that the UK tracks all car travel, through cameras on the street, does not make this new injustice any less grave. Britons must someday demand elimination of massive surveillance; the cameras should be modified so that they don't take notice of most cars, only those being sought for specific valid reasons. The existence of two independent systems for tracking people could be used to argue against any campaign to abolish either one of them.
If we want to end massive surveillance, we must fight against new system of surveillance.
In general, laws should prohibit the operation of systems that collect too much data about people.
People being deported by the US were kept shackled for 46 hours, in painful heat, and not allowed to use a toilet.
How can it be legitimate to deport people to Mogadishu anyway? It is a war zone.
The modern Republican "no bullshit is too absurd" approach applied to prosecution of protesters.
Harvey Weinstein punished actresses who wouldn't have sex with him by badmouthing them so they wouldn't get work elsewhere.
The blacks that gave Doug Jones the victory last week overcame powerful Republican voter-suppression efforts.
The Moral And Intellectual Bankruptcy of the Republican Party.
France's law making it a crime to read "terrorist" web sites "regularly" has been overturned as unconstitutional.
Any law prohibiting people from reading something, or having a copy of something, is an offense against human rights.
The UN special rapporteur says that the US is becoming the "world champion of extreme inequality".
It's not just the saboteur who is doing this. SCROTUS are hard at work at making it worse, with the tax attacks bill they are about to pass.
Genetically modified bananas could protect crops from the spreading bacterial infection, but they threaten farmers with patent pollution.
Australian charities don't dare advocate for the rights of the poor or homeless people they serve.
I suppose the saboteur figures this judge will simply decide the way Republicans and companies tell him to.
It will be interesting to see whether SCROTUS rejects him for this, or confirms him anyway.
The UK decided that the European Convention on Human Rights would no longer apply to what its soldiers do in wartime, to protect soldiers from charges that they violated prisoner's human rights.
The change turned out to be futile, because a British court ruled that the soldiers violated the Geneva Conventions as well.
Poverty in America Is a Moral Outrage. The new Poor People's Campaign has to confront the evangelical "Christians" for whom "Christianity" is another name for a hard heart.
Representative Schiff says that SCROTUS are planning to shut down the House of Representatives investigation into the cheater's relationship with Russia and that they also want to end the criminal investigation.
The president of Peru is likely to be impeached for corruption.
Uri Avnery explains the feelings of Palestinian teenagers who "uselessly" throw stones at Israeli occupation soldiers, with the example of his own protest at age 15 against the British occupation soldiers.
Paul Ryan has done plenty to make most American families poorer. Now he asks them to finish the job by having more children.
To reduce the extent of global disaster requires having even less children.
Salma Hayek: after she refused to have sex with Harvey Weinstein, he took revenge by repeatedly trying to sabotage the film "Frida".
Unions in Alabama see Doug Jones as a pillar of their campaign to increase union membership there.
US citizens: call on senators to stop considering judge appointments until Doug Scott is seated.
US citizens: call on the immigration thugs to stop taking babies away from from parents that bring them and ask for asylum.
The EU will make companies publish their true owners, but trusts will only have to provide the data to the state.
I am in favor of regulations like these. At the same time, I am against tracking what products people purchase. The two issues are similar in structure, but very different in practical consequences. Tracking people enables profiling them and denies their human rights. Tracking companies helps stop tax-dodging and other forms of massive cheating, and companies are not entitled to human rights.
However, the restrictions on buying using anonymous prepaid debit cards are an injustice.
NATO gave Gorbachev clear promises not to extend further towards the Soviet Union, over and over.
"Connected" driverless cars will report where they see a pothole.
This suggests they will also report where they take you.
The dishonesty of "crisis pregnancy centers" is revealed by a documentary. Even knowing that they are dishonest, I would never have imagined how far their dishonesty goes. The basis of it all is the idea that most people shouldn't have sex.
This is not the only campaign that demonizes sex. Plenty of prudes set a blanket cut-off age — perhaps 16, or 17, or even 18, depending on nothing but where you are located — and act as if even being attracted to someone under that age were a perversion.
The normal occupation of human adolescents is sex. People are ready for sex when they decide they are ready.
A digital attack defeated security computers used in many power plants, meaning that many power plants could be at risk of a cyber-attack.
State Attorneys General Line Up to Sue FCC over Net Neutrality Repeal.
New York AG Schneiderman shows the sort of frauds that the FCC is protecting from prosecution.
One of the victims of the fraud is Senator Leahy.
This didn't faze Pai. For Republicans, to lie with impunity about a Democrat is something to boast about.
The ACLU is campaigning for Congress to override the FCC's decision.
Upper-caste Indians have been convicted of murdering a Dalit man for daring to marry their relative.
I oppose the death penalty under all circumstances, but I applaud their conviction.
A Journey Through a Land of Extreme Poverty: Welcome to America.
Teaching people to make better sales pitches is a distraction from real issues.
Sales pitches presume there is a competition and only a few pitches will win. Basically, competition implies that some competitors lose. In many situations, it means that most competitors lose.
If we wish to make most people's lives better, we can't achieve that by teaching everyone to compete better. Rather, we must make it less bad to lose the competition.
Cryin'air has agreed to recognize its pilots' union.
What about other employees?
UK sex workers will hold a vigil to demand decriminalization of working in safe conditions.
Palau has created an enormous marine sanctuary zone. Such protected areas give fish a place to reproduce, and once they are well-established, they can refill surrounding non-protected areas with fish that people can catch.
However, if we continue acidifying and heating the ocean, the effect will wipe this out.
Even workers with stable jobs are likely to end up homeless in the UK.
Three tyrants that imprison lots of journalists are getting full support from the bully.
A campaign calls for replacing NAFTA to eliminate incentives for outsourcing and protect workers' rights and the environment.
I am in favor of this, but I am worried that this campaign does not mention the worst part of NAFTA: the ISDS or "I Sue Democratic States" provision.
US citizens: Tell Mitch McConnell: Seat Senator-elect Doug Jones Now.
Everyone: call on JP Morgan Chase and BlackRock to stop funding deforestation in the Amazon.
Security robots are being used in San Francisco to drive away homeless people.
Aside from the cruelty of driving them away without making a place for them to go, these robots will make more homeless people by replacing human security guards.
Providing services that have to be done in a particular locality is the last source of employment for most Americans, so if we allow these jobs to be automated, we will predictably get a lot more homeless people. We need laws to limit the robots' use so as to protect the jobs.
Most Muslim countries have officially recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
Kelvin Fawaz was brought to the UK at age 14, where he was enslaved. The UK is so determined to deport him that it has imprisoned him. But this is impossible as no other country that will acknowledge him as a citizen. Given the UK's avid cruelty to immigrants, it could keep him in prison for the rest of his life.
CO2 emissions from US airlines grew by 7% from 2014 to 2016.
The US major media consistently spread the idea that poor = black and welfare-recipient = black.
Burma has arrested two Reuters journalists, part of its general efforts to suppress journalism and dissent.
I can't see any way this could make sense as foreign policy. I think the troll regards North Korea as an opportunity to look tough to American supporters, and likes it so much he won't give it up.
The EU plans to surrender to the movie companies by requiring all communication networks to impose an automatic copyright censorship system.
DooH niboR forces 100 million people each year to choose between food and medical care.
The fossil fuel interests have been very successful at subverting governments to protect carbon emissions and a future of global heating. What is less well known is that they are doing the same thing to protect toxic air pollution.
Leftist parties are going down to defeat in Europe because they failed to challenge the supranational structures that impose plutocratic policies on them: namely, those of the EU.
This opens the door to triumph by right-wing parties whose platform is cruelty to some scapegoat. They don't really make things better for the non-rich; all they offer is a chance to feel better by beating down someone weaker.
Limiting freedom of speech on the internet is the wrong way to address the harmful general practices that Russia took advantage of.
Russia was able to use Facebook and Twitter for influence because they were designed to magnify the influence of anyone with money. Big "American" businesses, and "American" pressure campaigns they fund, do even more damage with those sites, and the fact that this is supposedly "not foreign" does not make it less harmful.
Médecins Sans Frontières says that at least 6700 Rohingya were killed by attackers driving them out of Burma.
EU Must Not Burn the World's Forests for "Renewable" Energy.
When Guantanamo prisoners go on hunger strike to protest their imprisonment without trial, the guards punish them with solitary confinement and refusal of medical care.
Imprisonment without trial is a terrible injustice, but the US government is not satisfied with committing that. It adds insult to injury, by demanding that the prisoners legitimize the injustice by not protesting it.
The US must free every one of these prisoners, or give him a fair trial.
US citizens: Call your members of the Senate or the House at (202) 224-3121, and tell them NO TAX VOTE UNTIL JONES IS SEATED!
The UK is building new nuclear power plants, which are needed because the Tories have put an end to solar and land-based wind power development.
Chinese thugs beat up a South Korean press photographer who was trying to follow the president of South Korea in his visit to China.
Extreme income inequality in the US results from bad policies. The Republicans' plan for even worse policies is the wild extension of what plutocratist politicians have been doing for 40 years.
Adopting good policies now can still reduce the problem.
We have only a rough idea of how many species of insects exist on Earth — perhaps tens of millions — but we are wiping them out faster than we can discover them.
A right-wing US propaganda company stirred up hatred of immigrants to influence the election in Kenya with a phony grass-roots campaign.
That was the election that was rigged by the incumbent.
I wonder what result the intervention aimed for. Did it benefit the incumbent? The opposition candidate? Neither?
Congolese Fighters Convicted of Raping Young Girls in Landmark Case.
Spies-for-hire that work for businesses to hamper organized criticism go beyond just snooping. Sometimes they try to stir up disputes within the organizations.
"While rightwing papers call for better regulation of social media, history shows us that when such crackdowns happen it is often the left that suffers the most."
Other agencies are giving the oil companies plenty of other gifts. This is the culmination of a decades-long lobbying campaign which includes government agencies set up specifically for the oil lobby.
If you are young, the goal they are working for will probably result in killing you. And they have reason to know this.
A zip code, a birth date, and a sex are enough to uniquely identify most people in the US. This defeats most data anonymization schemes. Many other collections of data also permit deanonymization.
I think there is a way to do crowdsourcing of recommendations without enabling any person to be identified. The trick is not to save a long list of things that one contributor liked.
Suppose each person anonymously contributes many separate triples of things which person liked. "I liked A, B, and C." "I liked A, B, and D." "I liked A, C, and D." (The software wouldn't have to submit all the n!/(3! * (n-3)!) combinations of three of the n things you liked.) This may be enough to make somewhat useful recommendations; but if the system does not know when various triples are from the same person, its data are not enough to identify any person.
I would rather have privacy than personalized recommendations. I reject Netflix entirely for several reasons, but preserving my privacy would be enough reason by itself.
There may be strong psychological reasons to forbid children and teenagers from using smartphones.
The article says "children", but clearly intends teenagers as well; the French prohibition on using smartphones in school includes high school. If we want teenagers to become capable people, we should not infantilize them by calling them "children".
I think the same kind of argument applies to portable phones. They may not be designed to be so addictive, but we should not get our children in the habit of letting Big Brother track them. We hope they will grow up to be activists for good causes, which means they will have something to hide, though not a shameful something.
The fire that burned some rich people's mansions in Los Angeles was started accidentally by a homeless person's cooking fire. Is this a reason to repress the homeless, or is it poetic justice?
Paleontologists are suing to prevent irreplaceable fossils of Mesozoic life in Utah from being destroyed for coal mining.
The Fight to Control the CFPB Isn’t Over Yet.
Global [heating] Made Hurricane Harvey's Deadly Rains Three Times More Likely.
In other words, global heating gets 3/4 of the blame.
Faux News is running a distortion/pressure campaign demanding the arrest of some of Mueller's team.
Governments talk about protecting the climate while they continue subsidizing fossil fuels. This charade must end.
Poland fined a TV station for broadcasting images of protests against Polish government policies.
Ironically, the protest was against a measure to interfere with journalism.
This is a step down the path to Turkish-style repression of the media.
Big public investment organizations are putting lots of money into building obstacles to decarbonization.
Note that the World Bank Group is not the same as the World Bank. I wonder if that name was chosen for its confusing nature, so as to obstruct public attention.
Arctic Permafrost Thawing Faster Than Ever, US Climate Study Finds.
In addition to the dangers mentioned in the building, this can lead to large leaks of frozen methane into the air, which would increase global heating for decades.
Egypt has imprisoned the makers of a music video for "depravity". From the description, it would not seem unusual in the US.
The Democratic National Committee has a policy of supporting incumbents against primary challengers, by making its voter data base available only to the incumbents.
I wouldn't say that the Democratic Party fails to support progressive values, because it doesn't claim to do so, but this is certainly an obstacle to making the Democratic Party worth supporting.
When I support political campaigns, I make sure to support progressives only. Most of them are in fact Democrats, but I don't give to organizations that support them just because they are Democrats.
Some Airbnb hosts, like some hotels, put hidden cameras in bedrooms.
The purpose of Democracy is to give the many non-rich a way we can unite and prevent the rich from dominating us. It is supposed to discriminate — against those who are so powerful that they are likely to take even more power.
Why Americans, in general, save so little money.
The World Bank says it will no longer fund searching for more oil and gas deposits. Since using them would cause global disaster, there is no point in searching for them.
Of course, oil is not used only for burning. Some of it is used to make plastics, which are causing a different kind of global disaster.
The related World Bank Group continues to fund fossil fuel "development" projects.
If we can convince big banks and investors to stop funding fossil fuels, that could avoid global disaster. But it is a shame that banks and investors dominate such decisions. A good political system would have the strength to save the world from disaster despite corrupt wreckers that would profit from the disaster.
Doug Jones won the senate election in Alabama. What does this imply for the Republican Party?
Whatever the voters' reasons for voting for him, we are well off that a progressive Democrat was elected, instead of theocratist bigot Moore.
However, the demonization of Moore as a "pedophile" makes it harder to draw conclusions about future races. If Moore had had the same bigoted, theocratist views, but had not dated teenage women, would he have won?
On the other hand, will the Republican Party's support for Moore work against future candidates whose positions are comparably cruel and unjust, but don't have personal scandals against their name?
Moore has refused to concede and demanded a recount. Perhaps he hopes to give someone else a chance to cheat. But perhaps this is a play to delay seating Jones in the senate. His presence there would make it substantially easier to block unpopular Republican bills, and Republicans may have asked Moore to please delay until they get the tax attacks through.
Massive waste: people buy "Christmas" clothing and wear it just once.
This is an additional reason to celebrate Grav-Mass instead — Grav-Mass is not associated with the idea that you're supposed to buy things for the sake of buying things.
Tests of rivers in Britain found that most of them are polluted with neonicotinoids — in some cases, at dangerous levels. These toxins can harm various kinds of wildlife.
Maya women in Guatemala have organized to sue a mining company for the pattern of repeated crimes carried out by miners.
If evictions for the sake of the mine were approved and carried out by the Guatemalan state, I don't think that lessens the moral responsibility of the mining company. That the mine was sold to a different company changes nothing at all.
The president of Tanzania wants to arrest pregnant teenagers to force them to testify about the men who raped them.
I am sure that other, kinder methods could achieve that goal.
Australia says that the refugees it has imprisoned in Papua New Guinea are its own property, to oppress as Australia sees fit. Therefore, when New Zealand offers to receive some as immigrants, that's blatant meddling in Australia's internal affairs.
This reminds me of what China says when its human rights violations are criticized. ISTR there has been criticism in Australia of the threat of Chinese influence. Is this an example of the danger of Chinese cultural influence?
Chinese Authorities Collecting DNA (and iris scans) from All Residents of Xinjiang (except children and old people).
I expect this is a pilot project, and they will extend it to everyone in China in a few years.
We must all fight against biometric identification in our countries. If you are in India, please campaign against Aadhar and for payment in cash.
Forget Mark Zuckerberg's charity -– We Need Corporate Tax Reform.
There is a plan to spend $17 billion to restore Puerto Rico's electric grid and make it more resilient.
What the article does not say is whether this would add $17 billion to the debt that Puerto Rico is unable to pay, and whether this would be used as a level for privatization — of the electric grid and other systems too.
The Grand Canyon and the Havasupai tribe that lives in it are still threatened by uranium mining nearby.
The fact that mining is even being considered for that area illustrates the plutocratic tendencies of our government.
US Ready for Talks with North Korea "Without Preconditions", Tillerson Says.
At last, a bit of sense. But it reaching an agreement depends on mutual trust, and if there is any government on Earth that is harder to trust than North Korea under Kim Jong-un, it is the US under the bully.
Bannon and Yiannopoulos organized a campaign to attack Twitter, through public condemnation, lawsuits, and driving down its stock price.
The saboteur running the National Labor Relations Board is canceling a reform that made union organizing less complex.
Republicans have been trying to handicap unions in the US for decades.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to impeach the cheater for collusion with a foreign country, specifically Israel.
It hasn't been proved (as of now) that the cheater colluded with Russia, but it has been proved that he colluded with Israel to interfere with US foreign policy (before he was president).
International jurists say that North Korean leaders should be prosecuted for holding tens of thousands of political prisoners and committing various crimes against them, including rape and murder.
A man who asked Starbucks for a discount, claiming to be a detective, was charged with "impersonating an officer".
More of concern to me, did he have any reason to think that a detective would get a discount from Starbucks? Does Starbucks give thugs special favors?
India's Hindu-theocratic government banned condom ads on TV during the day and evening. It's higher priority to protect "children" from sexual ideas than to protect them from disease and pregnancy.
A legal dilemma: to fire a star or executive for groping or harassment, and not pay millions for the length of the person's contract, requires the company to claim it has no prior complaints about the practice.
Over a quarter of the people in Silicon Valley have trouble paying for food.
The so-called "paradox" mentioned in the article is based on a misguided idea of what it means for the economy to get "better" — judging it by what things are like for the top 10%, or by totals.
Robert Mueller Is Closing in on [the cheater]. Congress Must Protect His Investigation.
Wildcats, Butterflies, Tortoises: all are endangered by the destroyer's border wall. Humans will find it far easier to climb over it.
The UK is bringing beavers to some areas as a flood control measure.
China is reportedly preparing to receive lots of refugees from North Korea.
The insurance company Axa will divest from coal and tar sands, and stop insuring oil pipelines in the US.
As investors realize that they can't make money from fossil fuel investments without destroying the society in which their profit would do them any good, they will stop investing in fossil fuels. The question is, can we enlighten them fast enough to avoid disaster? And what about the other sources of funds for fossil fuels, such as government subsidies and the "development" organizations that are corrupted by plutocratists.
The strange story of Shen Yun, a dance troupe that presents valid propaganda against the tyranny of the Chinese state.
I went to a Shen Yun performance once, and had a peculiar reaction: the propaganda annoyed me even though I agreed with its point of view. I told this to the friend who saw it with me, who said, "Yes, it preaches too much."
US jurors often won't convict people for possessing small amounts of marijuana, to the point where some thugs have decided to stop prosecuting it.
Which country supplied the helicopters and the ammunition? Either the US or the UK, I would guess. But it would be useful to know for certain.
A former vice president at Facebook says that the site's addictive "social-validation feedback loop" is "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works".
EFF to Court: Accessing Publicly Available Information on the Internet Is Not a Crime.
A number of studies of the causes of childhood obesity were supported by Coca Cola Company and covered that up.
The studies pointed the finger at lack of physical activity and not at sugar. I am ready to believe that lack of physical activity (caused by computers?) was a big factor, but sugar surely was too.
ACLU Announces Nationwide Campaign to Support Movement to End Money Bail.
"America's super-rich are taking not only from their own nation, but also from the rest of the world." They took 70% of the world's growth in wealth since 2012.
The Democratic National Committee is using dirty tricks to obstruct progressive pressure for reforming its structure.
I look forward to publicizing grass-roots pressure for this.
Macron Awards US Scientists Grants to Move to France in Defiance of Trump.
This is just the beginning of what other countries must do to protect themselves from global heating disaster.
Everyone: phone JP Morgan Chase and say not to fund the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
While you are at it, you may as well say that funding any fossil fuel projects means pushing humanity and thousands of species to destruction, so the bank should stop doing so.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter, no uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.
New Yorkers have learned not to be terrorized by a small explosion from a terrorist's bomb, but right-wing extremists are trying to magnify the terror.
Even when a terrorist attack causes substantial casualties, we face the choice of aggravating the harm or not. Aggravating it may serve the interest of some political or commercial group. Not aggravating it serves the interests of Americans in general, and America. Whatever the problem is, dealing with calmly will help us avoid doing something stupid and destructive, such as occupying Iraq.
One tweet cited in the article used the contraction "who's" incorrectly. The contraction "who's" is short for "who is" or "who has", and neither of them fits grammatically there. The word that belongs there is "whose", the possessive of "who". Like all the other possessive forms of pronouns, it has no apostrophe.
They can still get cars and trucks, so there will still be some deadly attacks. Since the plans for such attacks take place within the attacker's mind, even total surveillance couldn't stop them. So enough with the plans to snoop on us all.
Mobile computers and data centers could cause 14% of global carbon emissions by 2040.
If all our electric generation is renewable by then, it won't be a problem — but we will have trouble achieving that if we allow unlimited computers.
Women that the bully groped or harassed call on Congress to pay the same attention to their accusations as it paid to Al Franken.
"Inappropriate behavior" is not a valid accusation against anyone, not even the bully, because it is too vague and weasely. If you can't spell out what you're criticizing someone for, and why it was wrong, then your criticism is not valid.
Argentina barred 60 civil society delegates from the WTO meeting for bogus reasons. It relented on five of the delegates after ministries from their countries went to bat for them.
Columbia Sportswear threatens to move its headquarters out of Portland unless the city kicks homeless people out of the neighborhood.
The company could easily donate to support a project to give them better alternatives to their annoying behaviors, perhaps inviting other businesses in the neighborhood to join forces. That would be solving the businesses' problem by helping poor people rather than by harming them.
The US is not training enough doctors to perform abortions. This is partly a result of pressure by theocratist Christians.
A German court rejected collective responsibility for ISP services: the official subscriber cannot be required to snoop on other residents and family members to see which one did forbidden sharing.
Nuclear war is "one tantrum away".
In Turkey, signers of a petition calling for an end to Erdoğan's civil war against the Kurds are on trial for "propaganda for terrorism".
Many of them have been punished already in various ways.
When your country proposes measures that would endanger human rights in the name of "fighting terrorism", remember that "terrorism" will mean whatever a future government says it means.
In the US and Europe, "anti-terrorism" measures have already gone much too far. Government attacks on human rights are potentially far more deadly than underground terrorism, because governments are stronger than underground terror groups. We need to make them strong so they can do their job, so we must keep them in check by defending human rights from them.
Maduro said he would ban three opposition parties from future elections because they boycotted the mayoral elections yesterday.
Since Maduro has effectively suspended the constitution of Venezuela, he can do this arbitrarily.
Harvard says it can't afford to subscribe to the paywalled journals any more, and urges its faculty to resign from their editorial boards.
Sad to say, professional organizations as journal publishers are little different from the commercial publishers. Consider, for instance, the American Chemical Society which is trying to force ISPs to block access to Sci-Hub.
The Department of Injustice plans to carry on the Senate investigation of Planned Parenthood, which found that the accusations were spurious.
After food prices rose, partly due to extreme weather that destroyed crops, the US changed its farming laws to subsidize production instead of non-production. Now the US is dumping cheap food around the world. That is good for some of the world's poor, since they can afford food, but bad for those who are farmers.
With a large harvest, farmers suffer from low prices. With a small harvest, prices go up and poor people go hungry. A good economic system for farming would need to avoid both problems. Meanwhile, we are using up topsoil around the world so a good economic system for farming needs to protect the soil. I fear that putting marginal land into agricultural use seems likely to damage it.
In the medium term, a few decades, agriculture faces many threats.
We will need a tax on meat to discourage people from eating so much of it.
How to have a conversation instead of talking at someone else.
The bully's saboteurs have cancelled a proposed rule requiring airlines to say clearly what they will charge for checking baggage.
A rise in the death rate suggest that the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico has killed thousands of people, though not immediately.
When African migrants head for Libya, they don't realize that they will be sold into slavery there.
The Polish government backed off when it tried to ban abortion entirely; but abortion was already illegal except for limited circumstances, so most women have to get very expensive illegal abortions.
JP Morgan was required by a court to aid homeowners by forgiving part of their mortgages. It cheated, by forgiving mortgages it had previously sold to others.
A bank should not be allowed to sell a building's mortgage to any buyer except another bank.
The authoritarian Polish government is considering a bill to eliminate the independence of the Supreme Court.
Giving witnesses false memories about events they saw is surprisingly easy; legal systems must take care to avoid it. Supposed "recovered memories" can hardly be trusted at all.
US soldiers were ambushed and some killed in Niger, but what were they doing there? The Pentagon gives conflicting statements.
I don't trust the companies that make the devices not to listen through them. And even if they don't specifically do so, the devices might have universal back doors that would let Big Brother listen through them at will.
Note that the article legitimizes other Internet of Stings devices that it is unwise to trust.
We don't need to investigate whether the election was stolen, because the thieves' suppression of the counts and the protest is enough to convict them of that.
Intel appears to be violating the BSD licenses that cover Minix by distributing it inside the Management Engine backdoor processor without the notices required by that license.
This is an ironic side issue, because the Management Engine is an injustice and including the required notices would not excuse that injustice.
The US and Canada must do more to protect North Atlantic right whales, and soon, or there will be none left.
A UN investigation found that US thugs use tasers without justification and sometimes in ways tantamount to torture.
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would have the FBI take statistics on terrorism committed by domestic extremists, typically right-wing extremists.
A debate about hostile architecture: designing buildings and outdoor objects to prevent some uses of them.
I think the crucial questions are, which people is it hostile to? And is it justifiable to mistreat those people? The purported justification offered here seems to be, "We were obeying orders from the organization that paid for the project." This gives carte blanche to screwing homeless people if a local government or landowner decides to.
If you don't want homeless people to sleep in your doorway, how about making some other place for them to lie down, where it won't get in your way.
Ethiopia seems to be attacking journalists and dissidents with fishware purchased from spy companies.
Right-wing fanatics are trying to sabotage public awareness of sexual harassment and rape by exaggerating and faking accusations.
They are also doing this by insisting that only Democrats should resign in response to such accusations, while Republicans ignore them.
The article explains that "believe women" does not mean women's accusations cannot be false or that we should rush to judgment of those accused. It means, rather, that we should take women's accusations seriously, not dismiss them out of hand as has so often been done.
I support that principle wholeheartedly.
The troll's men are launching a FUD attack against Prosecutor Mueller to prepare an excuse for his supporters to disregard all the hard evidence Mueller is digging up.
Legalization of marijuana in Uruguay has been a great success, marred only by interference by banks.
Twitter and Facebook have so much data that there is no feasible way to archive it for future study. But even if that were done, it would be impossible to determine in the future, from the data, what users would have seen in the past.
I disagree with the ho-hum conclusion of the article. Given the way these networks influence politics, the question of what they did will be important to study in the future. If we have in the future a political system that permits people to research such questions, the question of why we still have such a system will depend on it.
On-line banking makes bank depositors vulnerable to fraud — and gives banks an excuse to put the responsibility on the depositor. To be safe, don't do it.
Debt collectors harass Americans to pay debts they don't owe — millions of Americans. Many are intimidated into paying, or get convinced that the false debt was real.
Most of the article describes one exceptionally talented victim who identified some of the culprits, investigated them unceasingly, and set the feds on them. Bravo! But this is not something most of us could succeed at.
US hospitals charge thousands of dollars for a visit to the emergency room, as a "facilities fee".
If you meet an attractive woman at a wealthy company's holiday party this year, maybe she is a model being paid to pretend to be a guest.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter one more time to oppose the tax attacks bill.
Along with network neutrality, the FCC's Pai-in-the-face plan includes weakening the rules for ISPs to be honest about what they charge.
"Ajit Pai says an informed public (not Net Neutrality) will discipline ISPs (BTW, he's also killing the rules forcing ISPs to inform the public)."
The troll is not a normal kind of liar. He lies exceptionally often, even among big liars. Even more unusual, half of his lies are intentionally cruel.
Protesters held a sit-in in Senator Collins's office as it closed, demanding that she vote against the tax attacks.
GOP Tax Scam Attacks Renewables While Nurturing Nuclear and Fossil Fuel Industries.
UCS: USDA's Pledge to Allow Food Stamp "Flexibilities" for States Could Open Door to Misguided Eligibility Requirements.
Even reputable, and partly reputable, scientific journals accept some articles that are glaring pseudoscience.
A journal that accepts 90% of the offered papers, and is willing to retract one, is not in the lowest category. The truly predatory journals accept around 100% of the articles offered to them, and I doubt they ever think about retracting one.
Argentina claims that deportation of journalists and activists who were authorized to participate in the WTO is for the sake of "security".
I must wonder what sort of "security" issue this concerns. Securing ever-tightening plutocratic control over the whole world, perhaps?
I Was Banned From The WTO [based on lies] For Defending People’s Rights.
The WTO must be eliminated, because of the power that it gives to the plutocrats over supposedly-democratic states.
African hospitals often imprison patients that can't pay their bills. Many of them are women that came to give birth.
Aside from the injustice of what the hospitals do, we should notice that parents who can't pay for hospital care for the birth surely also can't pay to raise a child properly. It is irresponsible for them to have children.
Section 702 massive surveillance gives the FBI tons of evidence to go fishing for excuses to prosecute US citizens.
Six other ways that massive personal data harms society.
Glenn Greenwald: CNN published an incorrect story about an email that apparently indicated Wikileaks secretly offered DNC leaks to the bully's campaign. It appeared that way because CNN had the wrong date for the email.
Greenwald says that CNN should publish who told it about the email and gave it the wrong date, and reports that several news reports criticizing Russia or Putin appear to have been planted and false.
I saw some of those stories, and didn't know they were false — I have no practical way to check that — but I felt they were drawing big conclusions from small evidence, or exaggerating the significance of what was known. So I did not post about them.
Progressives must resist the pressure to criticize the tax attacks about increasing the deficit or the debt.
Atlanta Targets Good Samaritans Sharing Food with Homeless.
Open letter from economists to the U.S. Congress, published by the Sanders Institute.
Pipeline protesters barged into the "Wells Fargo Investment Thought Leadership Forum" to deliver a petition for banks to stop funding the Keystone XL pipeline.
The name of the event seems to indicate a greatly distorted world view, as events in China about "Xi Jinping Thought" do.
The wildfires in Southern California are unprecedented; the head of firefighting for California said "There will be no ability to fight fires in these winds." The fires spread through forest and town as if through tinder.
This is because global heating has caused a persistent drought in the area for several years. It will get much worse over the decades.
US medical care nowadays is so horrible that mentally ill people get put in prison instead of treated. In prison they are beaten and tased instead of treated.
Should prisoners' human rights include in-person visits with family?
It might be very important for society to encourage such visits.
Disabled people (and people who will be disabled) are campaigning against the Republican tax attacks, which would cut off their medical care.
The Republican tax attacks bill would sabotage many government programs that Republicans' rich masters don't like. Plutocratist Democrats are not campaigning for a positive alternative.
Tax experts say that the SCROTUS tax attacks are full of confusions, loopholes, and provisions that would be hard to interpret.
The Grand Unifying Theory of the Republican Party is plunder.
Amnesty International: the troll has authorized secret permissive policies for drone assassinations nowhere near battlefields.
Arguing Over Art Is Right But Trying to Ban It Is the Work of Fascists.
Teaching everyone to program (or trying to) is of no particular benefit to most students, but it sure feeds a lot of money to computer companies while getting students hooked on those companies' proprietary software.
The biggest 10 US drug companies are pushing up drug prices very fast and dodging US taxes.
Leading Economists Demand that Not a Penny More Goes to Fossil Fuels.
It appears that US chicken farmers are using less antibiotics in their factory processes. The total used in agriculture declined 14% in 2016.
This will be significant if the trend continues, but that one decrease will not by itself change much.
The fact that the US has not adopted laws to drastically reduce the cause of a problem that kills over 20,000 Americans a year is worth contrasting with the harassment and tyranny inflicted on us in the name of saving us from the comparatively minuscule danger of terrorism.
The FCC Still Doesn't Know How the Internet Works.
A careful analysis of the legal jeopardy of the bully and his campaign team: what the evidence is, and what charges could be sustained.
Note the report that firing Mueller would not protect them, because he has arranged for New York State prosecutors to take over if he is stopped.
We have known since November 2016 that the bully did not win the election "fair and square" that month. The election was rigged by Republican voter-suppression, including voter-ID laws in several states.
There was also the "crosscheck" program which gave Republicans an excuse to remove a million Americans from voting rolls.
Republicans tried to rig previous elections, too, and they will try to rig the next one.
The US "economy" is "doing very well", so why don't Americans see much benefit?
US citizens: call on the Senate to block the "concealed carry reciprocity" bill that would enable one state to undermine another state's gun control laws.
Jewish Voice for Peace held an event about the difference between criticism of Israeli policies and antisemitism, including for instance the antisemitism of right-wing US supporters of Israel. The Anti-Defamation League defamed the organizers, and right-wing US supporters of Israel tried to interfere with the event.
Some Orthodox Jews opposed Zionism for a century or more, and perhaps still. They believed that Jews were supposed to wait for the Messiah to bring them back to Israel, so that Zionism was sacrilege. I think that idea is ridiculous, but it certainly isn't antisemitism.
The FCC Tried To Hide Net Neutrality Complaints Against ISPs.
Success would have helped ISPs such as AT&T cover up the ways they violated network neutrality.
Former Argentine president Fernandez may be prosecuted for treason, the specific occasion being that she made an agreement with Iran to help Iranians escape prosecution for a bombing at a Jewish community center which took place in 1994.
Her alleged actions don't fit the word "treason" as it is used in the US, but would constitute a coverup of crime.
Thatcher (a Tory) began selling England's public housing to the tenants, and not replacing it. 40% of them were eventually resold to private landlords that charge a lot more rent.
Tories regard poor people as a nuisance, and privatizing public housing offered an excuse to tell some of them, "We can't help you."
Gush Shalom: the bully has put an end to Middle-East mediation by the US, but since the US was nearly 100% on Israel's side, it was hopeless as a mediator. Now there is room for a new mediator, probably Putin, but perhaps the EU.
If the UK goes ahead with exiting the EU, it will carry all the requirements and burdens of EU membership without any say in what those will be.
If you want to reduce killings, reduce inequality.
Many poor men feel they have nothing to be proud of except maintaining themselves high in the pecking order, which means nobody dares to disrespect them.
Ralph Nader: "Slashing and burning in every direction, this legislation [the tax attacks] endangers the financial security of regular Americans of every age and every occupation."
Indigenous Climate Action, in Canada, has refused a prize from the insurance company Aviva because it invests heavily in fossil fuel companies.
A Sri Lankan family, trapped in the United Arab Emirates by ever-increasing debt, tried to commit suicide. The parents succeeded, but the daughters survived and now face punishment.
I can never understand why people who are oppressed hate themselves instead of hating their oppressors. If I were one of those daughters, I would dedicate my life to bringing shame and disgust on the UAE.
Half the coal-burning electric plants in Europe are running at a loss, but they all need to be closed and soon.
A woman writes about being groped at an office Christmas party, and how she has hated them ever since, and now is glad she can refuse to go.
I never was in a situation that compelled me to go to office holiday season parties, but I did sometimes go to them. I appreciate that they weren't designated "Christmas" parties, and sometimes I enjoyed conversing with people that were not drunk. The culture of Cambridge, Massachusetts, doesn't pressure people to get very drunk, the way it does in England.
I don't expect anyone would grope me at drunken parties, but I still find them horrid. I can't understand how anyone can stand them. I can't imagine letting other people pressure me into going to them, either. There is a limit to what I will do to "fit in" with others, a rather low limit.
I am glad the author of the article can now refuse to attend office parties, but she shouldn't have to justify or explain it either.
People with state permits to carry concealed guns have killed a substantial number of people.
After six months, most of the families made homeless by the housing project fire in London are still not living in permanent homes.
This is because of the UK's general poli