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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: tell Obama not to approve any part of Keystone XL.
For more effect, phone him also.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter and senators, eliminate imprisonment without trial.
It is good to phone them too.
The "Right to Be Forgotten": A Threat We Dare Not Forget.
SMS microlending knew it was driving Indian farmers to suicide.
A Stratfor executive, who was formerly a deputy chief of the State Department's counter terrorism division, said that the US used to assassinate people like presidents Chavez and Morales.
An AP investigation of casualties from US drone attacks in Pakistan supports the Bureau of Investigations' conclusions: many civilians have been killed.
I have not yet found the AP report in a site I can link to, but it says that 30% of the victims are civilians, which is the same as the Bureau of Investigations' figure.
India's main unions have joined in a large strike, demanding a national minimum wage as well as benefits for their members.
The article errs in saying that India's government is "leftist". The Congress Party is as subservient to corporations as Obama.
Arab dictators use their wives as PR vehicles.
The Heartland Institute sponsored a global heating denial class at Carleton University.
Korea's main opposition party says it will cancel the US free exploitation treaty.
UK's plans for secret "justice" would put the government above the law.
That's what it has already done in the US.
Pakistan wants foreign companies to help implement sophisticated Internet censorship.
Pakistan's censorship already blocks a wide range of sites over many pretexts — all of them unjust.
A patent holder is suing several Republican presidential candidates for infringing an absurd patent.
Absurd patents like these are not rare at all. This is just one way that the patent system is broken.
Wikileaks reports that, according to Stratfor, Israel and Russia betrayed the customers for their weapons by trading the secret codes to control them.
Israel gave Russia control codes for drones Israel sold to Georgia (Russia's enemy), and Russia gave Israel control codes for missile defense systems Russia sold to Iran (Israel's enemy). This means that Israel in effect betrayed Georgia, while Russia betrayed Iran.
This is an extreme case of the general point that you can't trust nonfree software. Do you want your country to use weapons with nonfree software in them?
Teenagers in the US are sent to religious brainwashing camps.
Since the article is short on personal information, I don't have total confidence that it is true, but the comments seem to substantiate it.
Police attacked the Occupy LSX camp late at night so that supporters could not come, and told people they had 5 minutes to clear out everything or face arrest.
The world has an opportunity to redirect the World Bank to work to end poverty and protect the ecosphere from disaster.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to demand an end to imprisonment without trial. Also sign this petition.
Poland must investigate its complicity in CIA kidnappings.
Latimes.com just announced it would put up a paywall. Please look through the past political notes for links to latimes.com and try to find replacement links. Send any links you find to rms at gnu period org.
A lobbying company is attacking the Humane Society for spending money on more useful activities, rather than on shelters for animals found on the street.
Obama's settlement with the banks means they get away with perjury — millions of times.
Why should you have to tell the truth in court if rich banksters don't have to?
A Danish band says that the collecting society sabotaged its plan to play at an anti-ACTA rally.
An important article about the censorship danger of SOPA/PIPA was censored in Google search by a false DMCA takedown notice.
Stratfor told clients a year ago that the US had a secret indictment against Julian Assange.
Obama approved a segment of the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline, choosing the side of the oil companies against the survival of civilization. He repeats the already-exposed lies that this is important to create jobs.
I probably won't live to see the slow catastrophe that kills most humans and wipes out most living species. But Obama will be principally responsible for it.
As his army bombarded cities, Assad held a referendum on a constitutional amendment formally authorizing multiparty democracy.
The change is probably a step forward in theory but irrelevant in practice.
Spain's Supreme Court passed up another opportunity to convict Judge Garzon, but passionately opposed investigation of the murders and disappearances carried out under the dictator Franco.
The US Supreme Court, which awarded corporations human rights, is now considering a request to give them immunity from human duties.
As opponents of wind power criticize the UK's subsidies for wind farms, it turns out that fossil fuels get twice as much subsidy.
I think it is even more lopsided in the US.
Israeli officials that want to attack Iran presume Iran will be unable to retaliate. When possible retaliation is considered, such an attack is likely to lead to a broader war.
While Anonymous carries out the Internet equivalent of street protests, Antisec raids evildoers to extract and publish information. The Stratfor emails were obtained in such a raid.
I think it is wrong to publish personal details such as credit card numbers obtained from such raids. That is going too far in personal retribution, and could extend to harming innocent people too.
The difficult ethical issue concerns stealing and publishing emails, such as Antisec did to Stratfor and parties unknown did to climate scientists. This is wrong, but it is a small wrong compared to the alleged wrongs of the targets. For instance, the climate scientists were accused of lying about and suppressing scientific truth. If that had been valid, it would have been tremendously important. The most important thing about the climate scientists' emails is that the grave charges against those scientists were false.
As for publishing the source code of a virus, I expect that has little harmful effect because virus writers already circulate such information.
China is softening the one-child policy but maintaining it in place.
This policy is crucial for saving the environment and for enabling Chinese to advance out of poverty.
The Afghan protests have led to renewed attacks on US "advisors" by Afghan troops, which (if it continues ) would spoil Obama's plan for Afghanization of the war.
There might then be no option except to pull out US and NATO troops, which is what needs to happen anyway.
Stratfor claimed to have copies of the information found in Osama bin Laden's compound.
Dr. Seuss' work has been twisted into a greenwashing campaign.
His heirs must have made this decision. I hope that Dr. Seuss would have refused to get money this way.
In many US cities, voters have rejected red-light cameras. Other alternatives are as good or better for safety, and the real motivation for these systems is to collect money.
I'm in favor of this change, but we need to get rid of the license-plate recognizers too.
Khadar Adnan illustrates the Israeli practice of imprisonment without trial.
The Canadian government has gagged scientists since 2008 on the issue of global heating, and the gag policy has been applied in other areas too.
The Canadian government does not want the danger of global heating to be addressed, because its main priority is to make money from tar sand oil.
The people of Keene, New Hampshire, have told the town they don't want the police to have an armored personnel carrier, not even if the US government would pay for it.
Experts on diplomacy say that a deal by which Iran would forego nuclear fuel enrichment in practice is still possible.
However, it is only possible with political will on both sides, and either side might prefer no deal.
The ACLU campaigns to limit the storage of data from license plate scanners.
10% of the marine species in the tropical eastern Pacific are threatened with extinction.
Many island states in the Pacific Ocean will link up their marine reserves and enforce fishing limits together.
The World Bank plans to support protection of fish stocks and fish farming.
Fish farming is not a bad thing, but it isn't without problems. Like farms on land, farms in the sea require inputs and produce waste. They can harm wildlife too.
It might be possible to smuggle some arms to them, but it would not make much difference. They are too few to defeat Assad's army even if they had all the arms they could use. They control no region, only neighborhoods in some cities.
It is also not clear that most people in Syria want to remove Assad, even though many do.
The Free Syrian Army started because Assad ordered troops to shoot protesters. Those who were unwilling to perpetrate that evil were compelled to defect instead. I admire them for rejecting evil.
However, the defections were too few to make Assad's army fall apart, and the defectors too few to stand against it for long.
At this point, perhaps other countries should propose to let them go into exile along with those inhabitants of the neighborhoods they hold that want to join them.
Even thought Sarkozy is right-wing, he is moving to block Monsanto GMO plants, which he knows French voters want.
I wonder how long the US has known about this oil.
UK courts have covered up for years an accusation that some "Asian country"'s royal family funded al Qa'ida and knew in advance about the London terrorist bombings.
Wikileaks has begun to publish the Stratfor emails that were grabbed by Anonymous.
Among other things, they show that Stratfor was worried about the Yes Men.Three cheers for the Yes Men!
The Bush regime intervened directly but secretly in Somalia in 2006, using private mercenary companies.
This was in support of the "transitional government", which turned out to be a "transition" to defeat at the hands of the Islamic Courts Movement.
377 congressional aides became lobbyists in the past 3 years.
It ought to be illegal.
Support Obama's plan to raise taxes on oil companies.
A supervisor will face charges for blocking enforcement of safety regulations at a Massey Energy mine.
Bill Gates is a big fan of genetically modified seeds. Perhaps because they make farmers dependent, like Windows users.
The FBI was using thousands of car-tracking GPS's without warrants.
Microtracking by political campaigns makes it easy for a politician to show one face to supporters and another face to their opponents.
Student protesters at UC Davis who were attacked with pepper spray are suing the university.
Arizona has banned teaching ethnic studies, and Tucson, complying with the law, has banned many books including The Tempest.
Citizens of California: help collect signatures for the state initiative to require labeling of GMO foods.
US citizens: sign this petition to end mountaintop removal mining.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the Ellison-Jones letter supporting diplomacy rather than war with Iran. Also sign this petition.
Here's background information on the letter.
I suspect there is an organized PR campaign behind the mainstream media drumbeat for war.
Everyone: complain to the New York Times that it is publishing quotations from anonymous officials that smear people as "terrorists".
Protests in Afghanistan, that began when US troops burned copies of the qur'an unknowingly, keep growing and spreading.
These protests display the irrational absurdity of religion. The burning of copies of the qur'an hurt nobody. It was not even an intentional insult; probably the troops did not know what the books were, since they don't even know the Arabic alphabet.
But I have a feeling that the book-burning incident was only the trigger, and that the protests are fueled by pent-up anger provoked by years of atrocities and repeated real insults.
The EFF proposes laws to stop the sale of surveillance equipment to despotic governments.
Alas, these laws won't be applied to sales to the US government.
A conservative explains why right-wingers have no compassion (and are not conservatives).
In effect, the US right wing is a Christian fascist movement.
Turkey's foreign minister says Iran wants to make a nuclear deal.
It was the US that reneged on a previous deal with Iran.
The question is, does the US want a deal or a war?
Amazon continues to harry small publishers ; it has cut off Swindle sales for an independent book distributor in order to press for bigger discounts.
The article ends by promoting ebooks for another platform, the Shnook from Barnes and Noble. While that company is not as nasty to small publishers, its ebooks do nonetheless have DRM, so they are not acceptable.
Argentina's fatal train crash was caused by privatization of the trains.
Privatization never makes sense unless it leads to substantial competition.
US intelligence agencies believe Iran has not yet started to develop a nuclear weapon.
The US mainstream media have come to condemn the inconsequential lies that were necessary for undercover investigation, except when done by right-wingers.
Since Peter Gleick is not a right-winger, they condemn him too.
Why it is a mistake to trust in Romney's insincerity.
I see a resemblance between the people who suppose today that the real Romney is better than what we see, and the people who made similar suppositions about Obama.
Sheriff Babeu is so tough on illegal immigration that he threatened to have his lover deported to Mexico if he (the lover) told the public they were gay.
One reason to end the War on Drugs: it corrupts officials.
Naturally these officials are in favor of prohibition — they need it to make money.
The UK has spent almost a billion dollars on surveillance cameras in the past 4 years, and has got nothing for it but a loss of privacy.
Uri Avnery: the paradox of Khader Adnan , who says that the only possible resistance to Israeli occupation is with violence, and just proved that isn't true.
Whatever the European Court of Justice decides on a narrow set of issues, that cannot possibly make ACTA legitimate.
Romney's rich backers hijacked the bailout of auto companies so as to destroy unions.
Many UK fishing boat captains and processing plants built secret pipelines so as to violate fishing quotas.
The fines seem small in comparison with the amount of fish that was illegally landed. Are they really enough to deter this practice?
Monsanto settled a lawsuit by people who lived near an Agent Orange factory, whose homes are contaminated with dioxin.
Much of England has suffered from drought for two years, and farm production will suffer.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter and senators to support a constitutional amendment that corporations are not persons.
A subpoena to Twitter about an Occupy protester is probably part of a government plan to look at all his movements and communication for a period of 3 months.
A UN report accused various Syrian leaders of being responsible for crimes against humanity including torture and having snipers shoot children.
The European Commission, surprised by the strong public opposition to ACTA, has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on whether ACTA is compatible with European treaties.
This could create another obstacle to signing ACTA, but if the court says it is compatible, that ruling will be spun so as to overlook other legal issues about ACTA.
Private equity companies, that buy failing companies and often just strip their assets, are so lucrative (especially thanks to a special tax break) that they are paying for a spin campaign to convince the rest of us that they benefit society.
The Heartland Institute plans to spend over half a million dollars supporting Governor Walker's campain in the recall election.
This despite the fact that a tax-exempt charity isn't supposed to do anything like that.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy violated human rights principles by returning African migrants and asylum-seekers on the high seas.
They may or may not qualify for asylum, but they are entitled to present their cases.
Contaminated water due to fracking in Argentina is making Mapuche people sick.
A study says that Republican candidates' tax plans would bloat the US national debt. Unless, of course, they carried out drastic cuts in spending, and you know they would not cut military spending.
Colombia's president has backed off a plan to give the military jurisdiction over human rights violations by soldiers.
Afghan police, ordered to protect against violence from protesters against the US army's mistaken burning of korans, say they support that violence.
With all the Afghan civilians killed and imprisoned, people in Afghanistan have plenty of reason to hate the US intervention. The Taliban have given them the same kind of reason to hate the Taliban, but they mostly don't hate the Taliban the same way. However, their fanaticism shows when what makes them the most angry is the destruction of copies of a book which exists in millions of copies and is in no danger of being lost.
How the Lieberman resolution would push the US into a war with Iran that the US could not win. This would be ideal for the Israeli hawks, and disastrous for the US. Iran's refusal of inspection of a possible nuclear weapon development lab might be just a bargaining ploy.
I won't take that as a certainty, but it is clearly worth negotiating seriously and looking for a possible agreement. But the states won't reach an agreement if they don't want one.
If states would like to risk war, but most people still want peace, what should we do?
In the US: join protests on Feb 27 against corporate control of the world food supply.
The UN decided to increase the "peacekeeping" army that is gradually taking control of Somalia. Meanwhile, Ethiopian forces are fighting there too.
The Somali "government" has no political support in the country. It was set up by the "peacekeeping" army — a misleading term since its purpose is to attack, not keep a peace. It is misleading to say that the "government" is carrying out this offensive, since it is only a front for intervention.
Both the "government" and its enemies, the Shabaab, are factions of the Islamic Courts Movement that established a government in Somalia a few years ago. I don't think the Islamic Courts Movement cooperated with al Qa'ida; its concern was with Somalia, not with the rest of the world. The US should have left well enough alone and been content with a stable Somalia that was not an enemy. However, instead it sent an Ethiopian intervention to destroy that government. Ethiopian occupation troops were unable to rule Somalia, and pulled out, and Somalia collapsed again into disorder.
If the intervening forces do take control of all Somalia on behalf of the "government", Somalia will get almost back to where it was briefly before the intervention, but it won't be stable. Its "government" would face a struggle to gain any loyalty among people who know it was imposed on them.
Israel arrogantly denounced General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as "serving Iranian interests" by saying that an invasion would be a bad idea.
This demonstrates Netanyahu's arrogant attitude towards the US. He believes all US politicians are under his thumb and that he can get away with absolutely anything.
Military and intelligence figures in the US and Israel say that attacking
Iran would be folly, but these politicians drown them out.
Americans who dislike the idea of "containing" Iran should not suppose that an attack would lead to anything different.
The UK has copied India with an unjust prohibition on deciding about abortion based on the sex of a fetus.
The arguments for this ban all presuppose that a woman can in some circumstances be compelled to continue an early pregnancy, and once that is accepted, the main line of resistance to a ban on abortions has been breached. A fetus is not a person, not even if it is female. Women are not incubators, not even if the fetus is female.
Laws saying you can legally do X for reason A but not for reason B amount to thought control.
Alleged voter fraud in South Carolina, which was the argument for a law requiring voter to show photo ID, proved on investigation to have been fictitious.
A report from Syria that Sunni extremists are kidnaping solders from buses and indoctrinating them in sectarian hatred.
I have not read the Arab League mission's report. Someone directed me to it, and I looked at it, but it was very long and hard reading. If my work were focused mainly on Syria, I would have a responsibility to read it.
Al Qa'ida appears to have carried bombings in Syria against Assad's forces. This suggests Saudi Arabia is setting up a Sunni jihad coalition including al Qa'ida (or more precisely the Iraqi group which uses that slogan) and western countries, aimed at Assad because he supports Iran.
Argentine journalists and other public figures spoken up for the Falkland islanders' right to self-determination , and refuse to bow to a hate campaign calling them "traitors".
Iran refused to cooperate with visiting IAEA inspectors, who wanted to inspect a site where iran might be testing explosive triggers for atomic bombs.
Romney proposes a further transfer of wealth to the rich by means of a 20% tax cut for everyone. Of course, a rich person will gain more than anyone else, but I'm sure all the resulting cuts would fall on the poor.
Two foreign journalists in Homs by shelling which may have been aimed intentionally at foreign journalists.
Scroogled, a science fiction story , shows a new side of the danger of a society in which everything is recorded and filed.
The estimate is 15,000, which is much smaller than another estimate.
This analysis did not try to estimate the number of deaths that went unrecorded in both data bases, but if the analysis is accurate, those would not be more than tens of thousands.
Militias that control Misrata and environs are destroying villages and preventing inhabitants to return home to them.
Khader Adnan ended his hunger strike after Israel has agreed to release him in April. But he needs medical treatment right away.
Greece has been "bailed out" and will not default now, but the spending cuts are likely to trigger a further recession.
The effect of the deal is to turn Greece into a colony of the EU, being exploited for debt payments like the third world. A leaked report says that thanks to the coming recession, Greece will again be unable to pay its debt in a couple of years.
Peter Gleick's trick was wrong, but the wrong was much smaller than what the Heartland Institute has done for years: sabotaging science and endangering the biosphere.
Israelis who are shocked at Iranian assassination attempts must acknowledge they are a response in kind for Israel's assassinations.
I am not sure I agree that the recent assassinations (on both sides) should be called terrorism. They were aimed at government officials and people with a role in weapons development, not at the public.
However, this doesn't invalidate the overall point of the article.
Police are testing head-mounted cameras that record whatever they see.
In protests, this could be a good thing if juries are skeptical whenever the thugs make accusations but failed to record what they did. It might impede their regular practice of framing dissidents.
At the same time, I share Lauren Weinstein's concerns that when this is used in your house it could facilitate a fishing expedition.
Republicans who wanted sanctions against Iran's oil exports now condemn Obama because this has increased the price of oil and gasoline.
The world needs higher oil prices to encourage conservation, but they must be combined with higher prices for coal and natural gas so that those are not substituted for oil.
Pakistan won't participate in negotiation with the Taliban unless Karzai does.
Everyone: Fax the president of Colombia to prosecute the paramilitaries who have repeatedly attacked the "peace community" of San José de Apartadó and massacred its inhabitants.
Virginia has sneakily allowed adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples.
If you are in Virginia and thinking of having a baby which would be adopted, have an abortion instead!
Businesses in Central America support drug legalization.
That would be a big step forward but we need it in the US as well.
The Israeli hawks' lobby wants the US to change its policy so as to go to war to stop Iran from developing even the capability to make nuclear weapons.
Wal Mart subcontracts operations to other companies, which sometimes rob their workers.
Climate scientist Peter Gleick says he obtained the Heartland documents by pretending to be someone else.
This affirms that the documents are genuine, except perhaps for the one which Gleick says he received anonymously and sought to validate. However, he says that the other documents agree with that one in substance.
Obama's plans to revive US manufacturing sound good but the methods he proposes are too weak to achieve the goal.
In Homs, hospitals have been turned into torture chambers and doctors that treat wounded protesters are punished brutally.
When it says that "The men torturing him weren't even trying to get information," it falls into the common but erroneous belief that torture is a means of getting information. Torture is a system for getting false confessions, or simply for venting hatred; the supposed desire for information is a pretense.
The US Trade Representative boasts that the TPP negotiations are fully transparent (but only if you're a lobbyist for big business).
The secretive process is part and parcel of the malicious purpose of this treaty.
A proposal to give whales a legal right to life and freedom.
I might support this. It's a lot more reasonable than offering such rights to a 3-month human fetus.
Shows presenting dolphins would be able to continue if the dolphins stay and perform voluntarily. Sometimes dolphins are willing to do that.
Soot from industry in Asia is falling on Himalayan glaciers and making them melt faster.
Environment scientists say drastic action is needed to avoid eco-disaster.
Thich Nhat Hanh says that putting an economic value on nature is not enough — it is necessary for people to love the world's ecosystems.
If that is really necessary, it would require the elimination of corporations (psychopaths).
The Russian heatwave of 2010, which destroyed a large amount of the harvest, became 3 times as likely due to global heating.
In other words, it could have happened without global heating, but probably would not have happened.
Canada is making blustery threats to deter Europe from recognizing the heavily polluting effects of tar sand oil.
Canada's tar sand oil is more dangerous than Iranian nuclear weapons. If Iran builds nuclear weapons, it could very well never use them. If Canada is allowed to finish developing its tar oil export capability, it will attack the world immediately.
Nations threatened with attack (by inundation, drought or agricultural plagues) by Canada's planned weapon would do well to plan preemptive military intervention to prevent Canada from finishing its deployment.
The UK government, which was elected condemning the surveillance state, plans a tremendous increase in surveillance.
Some Americans may be subject to gratuitous drug tests in order to collect unemployment benefits.
No one should be required to take a drug test, not in connection with employment, and much less in connection with any benefits from the state.
They are not a good solution to any real problem.
US police using tasers have killed 500 people since 2001. Most of these people were unarmed and not threatening anyone.
The taser is not a "nonlethal weapon". It is a sometimes-lethal weapon.
Morocco arrested people for handing out leaflets calling for a boycott of the elections.
This also shows the danger of laws that forbid anonymous public statements.
Over a million people protested in Spain against plans to attack workers' rights..
ACTA is part of a multi-decade, worldwide copyright campaign by governments working for corporations to impose injustice.
One step in resisting their demands is rejecting their propaganda terms. Why say "copyright protection" when it is shorter and easier to say "copyright"? Copyright lawyers use the word "protection" because it spins the copyright issue their way. Since they are the "experts", their way of speaking is prestigious, so others imitate it in order to sound prestigious.
While Republican liars call Obama "socialist", he is actually less socialist than any recent president — and much less socialist than the American people.
Everyone: call for action to end Assad's massacres in Syria.
It would be nice if they came true, but 2045 would probably be too late for me anyway. If immortality were ready in 2020, I might live to see it.
Meanwhile, after 2045 the social upheavals due to global heating will probably interfere with scientific progress. If immortality isn't developed by then, society may no longer be in condition to make progress towards it.
Obama's negotiations with the Taliban disregard the Afghan people.
Consulting the Afghan people is not only the right thing to do, it is likely to lead to a better settlement.
The Heartland Institute threatens to sue those who commented on its leaked documents which describe its plans for global heating denial.
Scientists whose leaked emails were commented on by the Heartland Institute point out the contradiction between the way it wants to be treated and the way it treated them.
Obama has no interest in a diplomatic deal with Iran about uranium enrichment. The other parties (including Iran and Israel) also have no interest in reaching agreement.
The Shabaab in Somalia is cooperating with al Qa'ida.
This would never have happened if the US had not intervened in Somalia (using Ethiopian troops) against the Islamic Courts Movement government.
Apple's assembly workers in China got a 25% raise.
Will Apple products' users get a 25% increase in their freedom to control their own computers? If I know Apple, they will seek increased control.
US citizens: support Congressional investigation of the FDA's harassment of whistleblowers.
A police official is aghast that adolescents "as young as 13 years" are using Facebook to look for lovers among their own circle of youth gangs.
This article distorts a real issue by viewing it through the filter of sexual overprotectiveness. You can see that when the official calls these adolescents "very young girls".
These teenagers are being mistreated in various ways. They are being pressured into dangerous criminal activities, such as hiding guns. They may also feel pressured into having sex, which people shouldn't be. Sex is not inherenly harmful, but could be dangerous for them if they don't use condoms. Some of them are abused by their lovers, too; that could mean violence. All these are real problems or wrongs.
But the article treats the real problems as side issues, and focuses on shock at the fact that they are looking for lovers. It even says their lives are "ruined". Involvement in gangs can give people a bad start in life, but that doesn't mean they have no hope of overcoming it, so "ruined" is an exaggeration. But I think "ruined" is meant to resonate emotionally as "no longer virginal". This article uses the problem of youth gangs to endorse victorian prudery.
High school students in Chicago occupied their school to block planned privatization.
Obama is trying to discourage Netanyahu from launching an attack against Iran.
His stronger predecessors would have told Netanyahu not to attack Iran. Israel depends on tremendous amounts of US aid.
There were few shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico this winter, and a large fraction of them were deformed.
Climate Change Killing Yellow Cedar Trees In Alaska.
Syngenta actively targeted scientists, journalists and NGOs that investigated the danger of atrazine.
Obama Proposal Could Lead to Bigger Domestic Cuts, Smaller Defense Cuts.
President Correa in Equador has persecuted journalists who criticized him, to the point of shutting down the country's principal newspaper.
Correa calls that newspaper corrupt, but even if it is the Equadorian equivalent of Faux News, that can't justify punishing it for criticizing an official.
Protests in Europe and the US condemned the dictatorship of the banksters, saying "We are all Greeks now."
Republican attacks against abortion rights include allowing and even requiring doctors to lie to women.
The tyrannical regime of Ethiopia is driving hundreds of thousands off their lands to make way for sugar plantations.
The US has a close relationship with that regime, which has attacked Somalia on the US' behalf.
A color-blind artist who uses a computer to translate colors into sounds had his cameras broken by thugs.
China is arresting Tibetan cultural figures.
The UK Labour Party may advocate subsidizing child care so that poor women can work.
Of course, this is a good policy — but it fails to address the main problem: no jobs. The UK needs to smash the power of the banks so it can increase taxes on those who are not poor.
Greeks link resistance to the IMF with resistance to the Nazi conquest.
Blaming the poor for their poverty, considering them disgusting, is connected with the political policies that spread poverty.
For technology companies, DRM amounts to a ban on interoperable products.
When Obama said he had no choice but to start a super PAC, he said in effect that money rules the US and its government is pure corruption.
Legitimate government is government of the people, by the people, for the people. By this standard, the US government has no claim on our loyalty.
A report concludes that the Earth is now doomed to 2 degrees centigrade of heating, if not more.
Short-term thinking, manipulated and used by the oil and coal companies, have caused a catastrophe, but they are not satisfied yet: they continue to delay countermeasures, making the coming disaster even bigger.
Does this mean that people who sabotage fossil fuel facilities can argue the necessity defense?
The Canadian government is blocking scientists from talking with the press.
Harper is dead set on destroying Earth's climate, so maybe this is meant to prevent scientists them from interfering.
Under the proposed Canadian Internet surveillance law, inspectors would have the power to go to any ISP and copy any data whatsoever.
Colorado is considering banning red-light cameras.
I support this. However, what really needs to be restricted is the indiscriminate use of automated license-plate scanners. These scanners should be required by law to recognize only license plates on a watch list of court-ordered license numbers. Then they could be used to catch fleeing criminals, but could not be used to build up dossiers about everyone.
The Heartland Institute was developing a plan to teach global heating denial in US public schools, comparable to the right-wing campaign to sabotage teaching of evolution.
Copyrighted furniture designs in France mean that many photos of people at home can't be published.
Petr Kropotkin endorsed Anarchism after making a tremendous discovery in evolutionary biology.
Raquel Rolnik, UN rapporteur on housing, accused Israel of pursuing a "strategy of Judaization" in areas where Palestinians live.
More than 70% of the demolitions in Jerusalem are carried out against Palestinian residents, even though they make up only 20% of the infractions.
This bullshit will stop when there is a zero-tolerance policy for perjury and frame-ups by thugs.
Thousands of Americans are living in tent cities.
They are far away from cities, which helps keep them out of everyone elses mind.
Why a country's budget is not like a family's budget.
Phone companies in Kentucky want to abolish regulation, and abolish land lines for remote areas.
Google exploited a browser bug to force third-party cookies into people's browsers.
Beware coupons sent to you in the mail — they are used to track people.
US citizens: sign this petition to break up Bank of America.
Some US officials are trying to legitimize an Israeli attack against Iran, shortly before the US elections.
Since such an attack could at most delay Iran's development of nuclear weapons by a short time, I don't see how it could be a better option for Israel than no attack at all. At least, not directly through effects on Iran. However, a war between the US and Iran could be very useful for Netanyahu.
A war might be useful for Obama too, especially if he can pretend he got into it only as a last resort. It could give him credentials as a tough guy.
Americans tend to vote for the incumbent president when there is a war
The US media seem to be repeating, about Iran, the sort of distortions that paved the way for Dubya's conquest of Iraq.
The claim that Iran and al Qa'ida are working together is particularly absurd. Iran's regime is run by Shi'ites, while al Qa'ida is Sunni. They don't get along very well; in neighboring Iraq, al Qa'ida fought Iran-supported Shi'ites with bombings.
The claim that Saddam Hussein and al Qa'ida were working together was equally absurd (and false).
A Saudi writer faces execution for "blasphemy".
This is the most extreme example, but not unique. Pakistan has also sentenced people to death for blasphemy.
Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan Mousa, imprisoned without trial, is on hunger strike and has also challenged his imprisonment in Israeli court.
Human Rights Watch calls for Israel to release him.
Secret evidence against prisoners in Guantanamo was often a lie. Someone told the lie and then a chain of others repeated it along the chain of custody, without wanting to verify. We know it is the same for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
Protest on Feb 23 at noon, outside Senator Brown's office, JFK Building, 15 New Sudbury Street. He supported the Blunt bill would allow companies to eliminate anything from their employees' medical coverage by saying they have an "ethical objection".
Of course, the main goal is to cater to religious objections to contraception.
The US government appears to have shuttered the JotForm.com web site almost without thinking.
It is indeed stupid of any company to use GoDaddy — aside from the point that you should boycott it because of its support for SOPA.
Using someone else's site to have people fill in a form for you is Software as a Service, which means you lose control of the computing of your site.
None of that excuses what the US government has done to JotForm. There is a vague report this was because of phishing. Phishing is bad, but this was comparable to spraying tear gas over an entire neighborhood because a robber was active in it.
To make pseudoephedrine a prescription medicine might shut down dangerous meth labs, but the costs for society, if people had to see a doctor to get a prescription to unstuff your nose, would be much more harmful.
Then again, it might not succeed in shutting the meth labs. They would turn to another method. The fact that prescription requirements in two states have eliminated meth labs in those states reflects the fact that it easy to bring in meth from other states. If pseudoephedrine required a perscription all around the US, they would get it anyway, perhaps robbing trucks, perhaps corrupting someone to "lose" a large shipment. This is why the war on drugs is futile.
A Jesus and Mo cartoon — an example of what arrogant religious people want to forbid.
The cartoon shows Mohammed in a bar, probably drinking beer, which an observant Muslim would not do. I don't know whether this is an error or an intentional point.
Why do good people feel poor countries must repay loans to the IMF?
Those who repeatedly borrow and don't pay back are spongers. We properly learn not to lend to them.
However, we do not believe that people or businesses absolutely must pay every debt. A business can be set up as a corporation, so that if it fails, it ceases to exist and its debts are never paid. A person can declare bankruptcy, and we do not hold that person in scorn forever (as perhaps was the attitude in some circles in the 19th century).
So why can't poor countries do the same? Theoretically, they can: it is called default, However, the wealthy countries, working hand-in-hand with the banks, discourage this by menacing them.
Political squatters in the UK have taken over the a forest visitors' center and are operating it as volunteers.
There is a new campaign for Internet censorship in Australia.
Syngenta paid "experts" to dismiss and even ridicule concern about atrazine in your water supply.
US citizens: tell Obama to replace Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Ed DeMarco, who works for the banksters against homeowners.
US citizens: tell Congress to reject the transportation bill.
Some states are considering bills to classify ALEC as a lobbying agency and make legislators treat it as one.
Wisconsin Republicans, embarrassed by revelations about their campaign funds, want to pass a law to help disguise both legal and illegal donations.
US citizens: say Bank of America should be broken up.
The Dutch government wants to legalize remix.
Europe's highest court ruled that social network sites can't be required to install copyright filters.
In the nastiest move yet in the War on Sharing, the UK government threatened people with 10 years in prison for downloading a song.
European politicians in many countries are retreating from ACTA.
Popular opposition is having an effect. We have to push harder.
Israel plans to demolish solar energy facilities in Palestine.
UNESCO is holding a conference about the effects of Wikileaks and did not want anyone from Wikileaks to speak.
It's true that UNESCO has a right to invite the speakers it wishes. This is not a trial, so Wikileaks has no right to be heard. But it is a lousy way to run a conference on the subject.
Paid to deny global heating.
In an act counter to freedom of thought and freedom of speech, a French court upheld the conviction of a right-wing politician for saying that the Nazi occupation of France was "not particularly inhumane".
He's wrong, but that is no excuse for repression.
The UK government wants to force partially disabled people to do unpaid work.
This will displace some paid workers, increasing unemployment. Doesn't the UK have enough unemployment already?
The FCC has imposed strict rules on robocalls.
This is one small example of what we need government for. Our government does little of this because democracy is sick.
Microblog services in China will require users to give their real names and to expose them to repression if they spread true rumors.
The International Olympic Committee decided to keep Dow Chemical as a sponsor (and thus promote it) despite its refusal to pay the settlement for the Bhopal disaster.
I'm sure that Dow was happy to take on the assets of Union Carbide.
The bombs used to attack Israeli diplomats in Georgia and India match those prepared by Iranians in Thailand.
So it is pretty clear that Iran was trying to do tit-for-tat for the Israeli assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. On both sides, this is low-level war, not terrorism.
The UK makes unemployed people work without pay as a "learning experience".
I hope they learn to support unions.
General Wesley Clark said that in late 2001 an officer in the Pentagon told him of a written plan from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to overthrow the governments of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.
Somalia did not have a government at that time, and Lebanon is a complex situation. The other governments listed were tyrannies, and in some circumstances eliminating them could be a good thing if the people want such help. It was bad for Iraq, whose people did not ask for help. In Libya, where a large fraction of the populace did want help, it is too early to tell how things will turn out. But it was legitimate to try.
In Iran, even the people who hate their government do not want a US invasion to "help them" get rid of it.
US citizens: tell the FDA to label GMO foods.
US citizens: tell your elected officials : don't vote for any bill that includes an anti-birth control amendment or provision.
Phoning them as well will increase the effect.
In the US: Join a protest on Feb 16 against Obama's arrests of medical marijuana patients and providers.
US citizens: tell Congress to release the drafts of the TPP free exploitation treaty.
US citizens: tell the US trade representative to work for American citizens' rights, not for companies that want to restrict everyone's rights.
In Ngaba, annexed by China and called part of Sichuan, many monks have set themselves on fire.
Many more have been shot or disappeared by the Chinese suppression forces.
The coup against Zelaya, apparently approved by the US, made this much worse.
Keeping out foreign reporters will cost Bahrain in other ways.
The "Justice" Department has failed to report to Congress about some kinds of telephone surveillance, and Congress has failed to monitor the practice.
The Canadian government says, if you defend privacy rights, you're
"on the side of child pornographers".
The term "child pornography" is the basis for
The term "child pornography" is the basis fora demonization campaign that equates cartoons with rape and sexually active 17-year-olds with children.
And it is used regularly as the excuse to crush everyone's rights.
Malaysia hastily deported Hamza Kashgari to Saudi Arabia, without a hearing, and thousands are clamoring for his execution.
Shame on Malaysia for its contempt for human rights.
Leaked documents from the Heartland Institute show how it spends millions of dollars from carbon companies to spread denial of global heating.
Using military force to prevent Iran from being able to make nuclear weapons is neither possible nor necessary.
If we could get Washington and Netanyahu to stop threatening Iran, the subjects of that tyranny would have nothing to distract them from how much they hate it.
Many iPhone apps are spyware and send the user's address list to someone else's server.
So much for the idea that Apple's total censorship will protect users. The only defense for users is to have control over the software they use: that is, to insist on free software.
Guatemala's president wants to legalize drugs so as to undermine the narcotraffickers.
If Republicans attack Iran, how would they pay for it?
More budget cuts to impoverish most Americans, is my guess.
Rich people that fund Netanyahu and Gingrich are using Iran war talk to weaken Obama.
When it comes to restraining Israel, Obama is the weakest US president ever. Apparently this inspires Netanyahu to hope to go even further.
The Taliban's commanders would like a peace agreement, but the footsoldiers find the idea of negotiating peace hard to understand.
Is it only a coincidence that Republicans are the same way? Perhaps because both groups are right-wing religious extremists that have little respect for human rights.
Reportedly Indian investigators do not consider Iran a suspect in the attack on an Israeli diplomatic car there.
However, Iranians were caught trying a similar attack in Bangkok.
A US company continues selling tear gas to Bahrain.
A strong Volcker Rule is one way to make the big banks smaller.
I doubt it will go far enough. I think we need to break them up too.
The UK continues selling arms to Bahrain, as well as Saudi Arabia which can use them in Bahrain.
Bahrain is preemptively suppressing protests on the anniversary of the start of protests last year.
Real soldiers warn the US against attacking Iran.
This article sadly underestimates the civilian casualties in Iraq by calling them "tens of thousands". The best estimates are hundreds of thousands.
Congressman Eric Cantor stood up for banks against homeowners. He had investments in banks and mortgage companies. Coincidence?
Iran now blocks access to major search engines and social networks.
This would build opposition to the Iranian tyrants. The only way they can maintain the loyalty of the population is if a foreign enemy threatens to attack Iran.
100,000 protested in Lisbon against austerity.
Obama wants to expand the army's secret hit squads and send them into more countries.
Including, effectively, the US.
80,000 people protested against the new austerity plan just agreed by the Greek parliament.
Mining companies are using political flunkies in Congress to block a study of how diesel engines in mines hurt miners' health.
Sanctions in Iran are hitting the middle class hard.
US citizens: state your support for Arturo Santos, who is occupying his own home after dishonest treatment by JP Morgan and Freddie Mac.
Israeli official cars were attacked in other countries using the same method that Israel used to kill Iranian nuclear scientists.
It does seem plausible this was done by Iran. I don't find that scandalous; it is retaliation in kind. The targets were not random civilians, any more than Israel's target were. However, I don't think a diplomat's wife is a legitimate target.
Freedom of the press under assault in India from spreading censorship.
The "myth" that India censors only "obscenity and hate speech" is a myth at two levels. India censors sex that only prudes would criticize; I saw a few minutes of American Pie on cable in India, and things seemed to have been cut.
In regard to religion, India censors all sorts of criticism of any religion — no "hate" required. Taslima Nasrin's first book, Shame, about persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh, was banned in West Bengal lest Muslims feel offended by it. I'm pretty sure the cartoons about Mohammed are banned there too. Neither of them expressed hate.
Censorship starts with things that many find disgusting, and spreads from there. So we need to fight censorship at the root. Censorship of "obscenity" or "hate speech" is already too much.
Obama proposed a progressive budget, with a tax increase for the rich and some needed spending increases.
Of course, he knows the Republicans will reject this. A real Progressive president would propose far more things that Conservatives would reject, to keep reminding Americans how bad the Conservatives' positions are. Obama does this rarely because he is not much of a Progressive.
This won't make me forgive Obama for so many wrongs, but I won't criticize it.
Some in Congress want to hamper negotiations with the Taliban by stopping the release of a few prisoners.
Ehud Barak, a minister from Israel's Labor Party, warned that failure to make peace with Palestine would lead to a state that was either non-Jewish or non-democratic.
For once, a corrupt cop goes to prison.
What is most amazing is not that a jury convicted him, but that he was prosecuted at all.
EU ministers demand an irrevocable commitment to further austerity in Greece. This is to make the coming election in Greece will be meaningless, and thus effectively squash democracy there as it was squashed in Italy.
US citizens: tell your senators, no Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
The Senate is considering a plan to require the pipeline, with no environmental study.
The Arab League asked the UN to approve a joint monitoring mission to Syria.
Punishing Protest, Policing Dissent: What is the Justice System For?
The US government says it has not got enough money to help the poor, but it wants to pay for churches.
No More Racketware won a court case in France demanding a refund for an unwanted Windows license.
The decision is based on an EU directive so it might affect other countries too.
Reporters Without Borders will set up mirror sites of news sites threatened with overt or covert censorship.
Brazil will be Twitter's first test, to show whether per-country censorship means more censorship.
Protests forced Chile's right-wing government to drop a plan to require journalists to hand over information to the thugs.
Amnesty International: Israel should stop its plan to forcibly displace 2,300 Bedouin.
Thugs attacked Maldives president Nasheed and his supporters during a peaceful march.
The US fires drone-launched missiles at rescuers who pull bodies from the rubble from previous missiles, at medics aiding wounded from previous missiles, and at crowds at funerals of people killed by previous missiles.
Evidence shows this is an intentional tactic, not an error.
I think that other terrorists have used a similar tactic, setting off a second bomb once rescuers arrive at the scene of the first bomb.
The US use of drones to kill individuals obeys neither the laws of war nor the laws of peace.
Senator Wyden has been trying for more than a year to get Obama's secret legal analysis that is supposed to justify killing Americans overseas.
A disabled person and a retired nurse were accused of "aggrevated trespass" in the UK — basically, protesting.
They protested against the agency that is supposed to determine who is really disabled, but actually aims to exclude people on any handy pretext.
Saad Allami texted his coworkers to "blow away the competition" (more or less) at a trade show, so the thugs, who were somehow spying on these messages, searched his house and told his wife he was a terrorist.
Then they secretly blacklisted him.
He is suing, but that won't necessarily explain why his text messages were under surveillance.
Court Challenges Put Unusual Spotlight On Pakistani Spy Agency.
Obama has set up a Super-PAC for corporations to campaign for him.
Colonel Davis, who was stationed in Afghanistan, says that the US military's claims about progress towards defeating the Taliban and strengthening Karzai's forces are totally bogus. US forces don't even control the areas they can see.
More info about Davis's career and whistle-blowing.
The unclassified version of his full report has leaked.
In Vietnam, the commanders and high officials deluded each other. I'm not sure whether they commanders and high officials now are deluded, or simply lying to the public.
He reports unofficial local truces between the Afghan police and the Taliban. These might perhaps offer a path towards peace, once the US decides to stop prolonging the war.
Republicans in many states are trying to destroy science teaching in public schools, while they destroy public schools.
The UK wants to adopt the US policy that makes it effectively impossible for victims of state-sponsored torture to sue.
The effect of this policy in the US is to establish impunity for torture and to cover it up as well.
Hungary Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields.
I am not sorry for those farmers, if they knew what they were planting.
The carbon bubble: carbon companies' reserves are 5 times what we dare burn.
They will never be able to use all those reserves; society will collapse first. But they don't dare admit those reserves are valueless, so they will go all out to deny global heating until the day stock ceases to mean anything.
Low intelligence predisposes people to believe right-wing ideology.
The "terminal niceness" of progressives, which Monbiot refers to, is no mere custom. Fear of the right-wing noise machine pushes politicians and NGOs towards that, while funding from business attracts them towards it.
US citizens: oppose Republicans' latest attack on women and gays.
In the US: join a "shut down the corporations" protest.
US citizens: Republicans are attacking all requirements that health insurance should cover certain things. Say no!
US citizens: tell Congress to get rid of the loophole in the House's version of the STOCK Act.
250,000 have signed a petition to eliminate nuclear power in Tokyo.
The proposed EU-India free exploitation treaty could destroy millions of jobs in India for the benefit of the 1%.
It should be cancelled entirely, but a pause in negotiations would be a step in the right direction.
Austerity: a UK family now lives in a tent on a farm because it was paying its whole income for rent.
I don't think it would be feasible for all the unemployed people in the UK to live this way. Finding farms to host them and so much wood to burn would be difficult.
Limiting fishing in the short term, so fisheries can recover, would provide long-term benefits greater than the EU's fishing subsidies.
Tens of Thousands Across Europe Protest Against ACTA.
I am impressed!
Stop the Hysteria Before War Erupts With Iran.
ACTA Threatens Your Freedom (first published in Poland, by Tygodnik Powszechny).
The New York Times quoted a government official who insinuated that anyone counting civilian casualties of Obama's drone missile raids must be a supporter of al Qa'ida.
Since giving support to al Qa'ida is illegal in the US, I wonder how long it will take before the US lays charges against those journalists.
WIPO seems to be secretly planning something nasty, through a meeting that has been set up in just the way to spring a bad treaty on the world.
The most subtle form of harm done by WIPO is encouraging people to warp their idea of copyright law, patent law, and several other laws by generalizing about them through the term "intellectual property".
The deadly snowfall in Europe is due to an Arctic weather phenomenon that becomes more likely with global heating.
Miami thugs singled out one journalist at a protest for no obvious reason, arrested him on false charges, then deleted his video to cover up their lies.
However, he recovered the deleted video which proved what really happened.
In fact, he was not drunk. He was being affected by diabetes. He sued the city.
Suppose the driver had turned out to be drunk — he would deserve to be charged with drunk driving, but that can't justify kicking him as he lies on the street.
Saudi Arabia used Interpol to get Hamza Kashgari arrested in Malaysia, so that he will be extradited to Saudi Arabia to face execution for his words.
Indigenous people in Panama are fighting with government-imposed mining projects.
"Patients" at a Christian drug "rehabilitation" center in Peru were imprisoned in hellish conditions, and their treatment consisted of Christian cruelty. They escaped by starting a fire.
Nicaragua's green energy projects will take the country from almost total dependence on imported oil to making over 90% of its electricity from renewables, by 2016.
Why can't the US do what Nicaragua has done? Partly it is because the US uses a lot more energy per capita, and has already constructed the obvious hydroelectric facilities. But partly it is because the oil and coal copanies would veto it. The US lacks sufficient democracy to have any vision.
Bahrain has denied visas to reporters from major Western media.
Yes the US still wants to sell arms to Bahrain.
Why sending arms to the Syrian rebels is a foolish idea.
Soldiers and Pentagon employees that donate to campaigns seem to prefer the least militarist of the major candidates.
The article errs in stating that Obama is "slashing the Pentagon's budget".
In fact he only reduced planned increases.
Obama gave right-wing antiabortionists a "compromise" which in practice protected employees' abortion coverage, but would offer Catholic hospitals a way to say it wasn't through them.
If these antiabortionists were inclined to be satisfied with a symbolic concession, this would have been clever. But they are pushy, and this demand was only a step in their larger campaign to abolish contraception. Naturally they say it is not enough.
I am concerned that Obama's clever compromise has undermined the defense of contraception rights by suggesting that these absurd demands were worthy of some sort of consideration.
The issue is about religious institutions tat do secular work. For instance, Catholic hospitals hire non-Catholics to do a non-religious job.
They should not be allowed to impose the Church's rules on their staff.
Thousands of people in the Maldives protested in favor of the elected president Nasheed.
(5000 people would be 1% of the population.)
The US, which had immediately legitimized the coup, has retreated from that position.
A tremendous blizzard fell on Romania. Someone there I know reports that 60,000 people are trapped in freezing houses, and that the government is doing nothing to rescue people in the districts that voted for the opposition.
Are billionaires aiming for a brokered Republican convention with a super PAC that only pretends to be for Romney?
There is reason to be suspicious, but I am not sure it's true. The executives of that super PAC are Romney's close political supporters and it seems unlikely they would all be betraying him for the Koch brothers.
Iranian officials are concerned that the US may soon be capable of building its 8500th nuclear weapon.
(This is satire of course, but just barely.)
Senator Lieberman has proposed a resolution calling on Obama to insist on a probably unattainable goal in any negotiation with Iran.
In other words, block the path of negotiation and assure a war.
Argentina has imposed a system of cards for trains and buses which require identification and track everyone.
Argentinos should resist the government's distraction issues and mobilize to demand anonymous SUBE cards. And until they win, they should swap cards to defeat the surveillance.
Obama has made a deal with the banksters, which will require them to pay the wrongfully foreclosed homeowners about 1% of their losses.
The banks that got bailouts of $700 billion will have to pay only $25 billion.
It's clear whose side Obama is on.
Obama decided to start a super PAC, which Russ Feingold calls a "a legalized Abramoff system".
The danger is not that Obama might sell out to corporate interests: he has little unsold merchandise left. The danger, rather, is that it reduces the chances of fixing the problem of super PACs.
In some states, utility companies, public libraries and even food stamp distribution are demanding proof of citizenship.
The Greek government agreed to more austerity, but the promised bailout won't be enough to overcome the damage done by the austerity.
US citizens: sign this petition to open up the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free exploitation treaty.
In the US: tell Chicken of the Sea to get serious about fish conservation and talk with Greenpeace about it.
Everyone: oppose Brazil's new forest law, which would reduce the protections against cutting down forests.
US citizens: tell President Obama, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich: Don't attack Iran.
US citizens: Phone your congresscritter to oppose the transportation bill.
Here's more about what's bad.
Judge Garzon was suspended for 11 years (probably, in effect, for life) for ordering surveillance of conversations between right-wing politicians accused of corruption and their lawyers.
It was wrong for him to do that, just as it's wrong when the US does that in Guantanamo. The prosecution of those people has to be dropped if they can't have fair trials (which would require disregarding what was learned from that surveillance).
Whether this calls for suspending Judge Garzon, I am not sure. However, if Garzon is punished but the following judge that continued the policy is not punished, that demonstrates a political vendetta.
An absurd Indiana law restricts using celebrities' mannerisms (or their names or faces)) for 100 years after their death. Now Indiana proposes to extend it to celebrities that died before 1994.
Elvis impersonators may be boring, but should they be the subject of lawsuits? Should videos of Elvis impersonators be censored? If US sites outside Indiana can be sued because their videos can be viewed in Indiana, they will delete such videos.
However, I don't know whether this law bans videos of impersonators. It is not copyright law, and I don't know how broad its requirements are. (Can anyone tell me?)
This demonstrates the harm done by the term "intellectual property", which leads attention away from the details that make these laws totally different issues.
In a study comparing many countries, dividing schoolchidren into groups by ability goes with lower overall achievement.
President Nasheed of the Maldive Islands, a long-term democracy campaigner compared to Mandela, has been overthrown in a military coup.
Jill Stein said that the oil companies will rejoice. Nasheed campaigned strongly against global heating, which threatens to convert the Maldive Islands into the Dive Islands. I wonder if some government, perhaps the US or India, arranged this coup on behalf of the oil companies.
The US says that Israel is working with the Mujahedin-e Khalq to kill Iranian scientists.
The US has designated the Mujahedin-e Khalq a "terrorist group". There is a well-funded campaign to remove this designation, based on the claim that the Mujahedin-e Khalq no longer practices violence. If the group is working on attacks, that's clearly not true.
Are these attacks properly considered terrorism? I'm not sure, because they are a borderline case. I call them low-level war, but when is war "terrorism"? One suggestion is, terrorism is when civilians are targeted. I am not convinced that scientists in projects that develop advanced weapons capabilities should be considered civilians.
However, appointed officials should never be the ones to decide such questions. Banning any organization other than through a fair trial is tyranny.
Americans Elect is a plan funded by some rich people to run another presidential candidate "in the middle" between right-wing Obaa and an even-more-right-wing Republican.
What good is that?
Brazil has sued Twitter demanding it censor messages saying where checkpoints for drunk drivers are.
I never drink as much as a full glass of wine, but even totally sober I would not like to be stopped by a checkpoint.
Although the UK's "investigation" into the Fox-Werritty scandal was purposefully incomplete, there is evidence Werrity was given inexplicable high priority by officials.
This suggests he was doing something of great consequence, which might be a great scandal if it were known.
Whoever was behind this has surely not stopped it. Someone else must have replaced Werritty.
Everyone: join protests on Feb 11 against the anti-freedom treaties, ACTA and TPP.
The Cancer in Occupy (the Black Bloc).
Serious armed resistance would not sabotage a nonviolent protest, and senseless vandalism is not protest or resistance.
At the same time, we have to recognize that US thugs thoroughly crushed Occupy's medium-scale protest around the US, without needing anything like the Black Bloc as an excuse.
Drones operating from aircraft carriers, and other military plans, will enable the US to attack anyone anywhere at any time.
And then, no doubt, claim that whoever was hit was a "terrorist".
US states spend lots of money (or tax credits) for "job creation" programs, but often they are useless give-aways to business, ineffective for their goal.
Copyright infringement is not theft — not under US law.
Everyone who refers to it as "theft" is spewing false propaganda.
The League of Conservation Voters presents the environmental voting records of Congeress.
Syngenta's pesticide Atrazine contaminates the water supply in most of the US. The company paid "experts" to claim that it is safe.
Persistent nonviolent protester John Catt sued the UK state for keeping a dossier on him.
Sarkozy's former minister has been charged with illegally receiving lots of cash for Sarkozy's campaign in 2007.
The AFL-CIO called on Obama to postpone the US-Colombia free exploitation treaty after murders of union leaders showed that Colombia hasn't implemented the requirements to protect workers' rights.
Obama does not give high priority to people who resist businesses; if he did, he would not be in favor of free exploitation treaties. But he sees a need to pretend to care, and maybe something can be achieved by pressuring him about it.
A Pentagon official says that the US overestimated al Qa'ida's capabilities after September 2001.
So when will we reduce the nasty "security" measures against an imaginary future attack?
The sanctions against Iran fail mainly on ordinary people — for instance, on food.
Iran is not democratic enough for these people to convince the regime to make a concession, even if they wanted to. But I don't think they will want to, at least not soon.
A new study found that ice in the Himalayas has not decreased in recent years.
However, the world's overall ice loss in Greenland, Antarctica and elsewhere was confirmed.
The reason Abu Qatada can't be deported to Jordan is that he might be convicted based on evidence extracted from others via torture.
Bush is indirectly responsible for this problem. By making torture the official practice of the US, he encouraged it around the world. He even pressured countries to reduce their protections for human rights (one of them being Morocco). It will take a long time to overcome the damage Bush did to the world, and Obama doesn't even try.
This means that the US gave al Qa'ida an avoidable victory through its overreaction. It also means that there is not even a shadow of a justification for the assaults on human rights done in the name of "terrorism".
In the US: support US journalists who have been arrested.
US citizens: sign this petition to extend the right of first sale to ebooks in libraries.
US citizens: support stronger fuel efficiency and emissions standards for cars.
Amnesty International says Egypt should stop trying to prosecute the staff of foreign-funded NGOs.
The US-funded IRI and NDI may be up to no good, but banning (or effectively banning) foreign-funded human rights organizations is dangerous, as can be seen in Israel where the government wants to prevent human rights organizations from operating using foreign funds.
The UK government wants to deport jihadist Abu Qatada to Jordan, but can't do so because he might be prosecuted on evidence obtained by torture. His "bail" amounts to 90% house arrest.
The claim that this man is "dangerous to Britain" is absurd. Supposing there is evidence that he plans some sort of terrorism, that would convince a court to approve any and all sorts of surveillance of him. It is ridiculous to think that he could organize any substantial act of violence under such circumstances. If he tried, that would be a real crime and would be a basis to imprison him without trampling human rights.
Why military spending makes few jobs, and other ways to spend the same money make more jobs.
A bill to close dozens of tax loopholes for companies.
A movie industry pro-SOPA astroturf group is paying people $1 per signature collected.
Trademark law is supposed to protect buyers from inferior imitation products, but it does no good when the trademark holders produce the inferior imitation products.
The article refers to a book called "Against Intellectual Property". I have never seen it, so I don't know what points it makes, and I have no opinion about them. However, since "intellectual property" is a misguided overgeneralization, it is just as foolish to be against "it" as to be for "it".
When Indian censorship bans criticism of religion, that already includes censorship of some criticism of politicians
Ben Griffin, who tried to inform the public about torture, was a hero. If the UK still has him gagged, he should flee to Argentina and speak out.
A US university set up a SWAT team. So it will need to find excuses to use it.
The ban on drug paraphernalia — even real drug paraphernalia — is one of the injustices of having a war that's on drugs.
Google agreed to carry out censorship in India.
Protests against ACTA have spread around Europe.
I think the article is mistaken about ACTA's effect on the US. Obama said he personally could approve it because (he claims) it requires no changes in US law. If that's true, it means that ACTA has imposed unjust US laws on other countries. However, if ACTA calls for changes in US laws, they would need congressional approval.
Uganda is again considering a law to persecute homosexuals.
An anti-abortion executive of Susan G Komen foundation resigned.
Furthermore, she contradicted the founder's claim not to have included her in the decision to defund Planned Parenthood.
State officials in the pay of coal companies have sued to block EPA regulations to limit pollution from coal-burning power plants.
Craig Murray's freedom of information request was answered with the entire substance deleted. But, through an error, it proves that officials lied to the investigation of the Gould/Werrity scandal.
The Czech government has suspended ratification of ACTA.
This means it is feeling the pressure, but it is not yet a victory.
One way to increase the US' savings rate is by increasing the capital gains tax.
Monsanto gave the Vietnamese Agent Orange. Now it wants to give them GMOs.
It is ironic that the Vietnamese government, which triumphed over the US and Monsanto in a long war, now sells itself and the Vietnamese people to the US and to a national corporations, and even to the WTO.
Assad's army is committing a tremendous massacre in Homs.
A federal appeals court ruled that California's initiative that banned gay marriage is unconstitutional because it has no purpose except to discriminate against gays.
Putin has a group of paid Internet astroturfers whose job is to give the impression that just about everyone in Russia admires him.
The UK has 2.7 million unemployed people seeking jobs, and only 460 thousand job openings, but a reality-defying right-wing minister says they could all find jobs if they were willing to work.
After large protests in Romania, demanding the president resign, the president sacrificed his prime minister instead.
US citizens: ask your senators to cosponsor the bill to give Warren Buffett (and other super-rich) the tax increase he asked for.
Everyone: oppose the law proposed in St Petersburg that would ban writing or speaking about being gay.
In the US: call on the Susan G Komen foundation to commit to funding Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screenings.
US citizens: Support the bill against discrimination against gay students.
US citizens: tell Obama, no permits for drilling in Alaska seas.
Everyone: call on Walmart to reject GMO corn.
US citizens: sign this petition rebuking Obama's appointment of a former Monsanto lobbyist as an FDA lobbyist.
Craig Murray on Syria: NATO's stretching of the UN resolution on Libya have made Russia and China wary of similar stretching.
I believe the intervention in Libya was justified and necessary, but NATO wrongfully stretched its mandate, especially toward the end. The fact that there are still injustices in Libya doesn't alter this conclusion.
The US is prosecuting a Swiss bank for helping Americans commit tax fraud.
Computers for students make no difference in learning skills, but they are great for diverting public funds to tech companies instead of teachers.
The article does not mention that computers in schools often have proprietary software with malicious features, making them an injustice, or that e-textbooks are likely to be DRM-ridden.
Mines in Mali use child labor, and children are even more vulnerable to mercury poisoning than adults.
Adult miners in Africa often get silicosis, which suggests to me that they get inadequate protective gear.
The anational corporation fobs off the legal responsibility to intermediaries which cannot fulfill it.
The harm that web sites' "real name" policies can do.
As far as I know, the Korean policy has not yet been changed.
Drone bombers encourage the US to attack in places where it would otherwise not attack at all.
In October a US drone killed a human rights worker investigating the damage done by drones, but the US government still pretends that this never happens.
Obama says that the US and Israel are in "lockstep" regarding war with Iran.
Since he has already renouced te idea of stopping Israel from attacking Iran, the implication is that he will let Israel decide whether to drag the US into war.
The UK government has demonized the disabled , as an excuse to cut welfare for them, and the result is that its supporters revile them on the street.
China says it will forbid Chinese airlines to pay EU's carbon tax.
The idea that the EU needs to "negotiate" about this leaves me puzzled and worried. The EU's response should be straightforward: nobody forces those airlines to fly to European cities. Why is there anything to negotiate? And does that negotiation mean China and the US can force the EU to back off environmental protection?
Assad's army is flattening residential areas with artillery.
Aung San Suu Kyi will be allowed to run in Burma's election.
This election is for only 1/10 of the seats in Parliament. One question not clear in the article is, how many seats in Parliament will her party be allowed to contest fairly in a future election? This system could be like that of Hong Kong, set up so that the people have great hurdles against them.
Sustainable management has made fisheries more profitable.
It was clear this had to be true in the long run, since after overfishing makes the fish disappear, nobody can catch them. The question is whether humanity is smart enough to choose the long run.
The ideology of global trade is endangering food production and impoverishing the poor. It could stir up massive riots.
The proposed agreement between India and the EU will surely have many unjust, antidemocratic provisions aside from crushing 14 million chicken farmers in India. Just about every "free-trade" agreement attacks democracy, and nowadays they typically give corporations power over laws.
Most attack the rights of Internet users too.
Cambodia has kicked hundreds of thousands of citizens out of their homes and lands, for development projects.
These projects aim to make lots of money, and could afford to pay poor people for their homes, but the rich are so greedy they would prefer to screw the poor.
New York students protested plans to close their schools.
Many of them were suspended from school as punishment.
The US plans to fly drones over Iraq and didn't bother to ask the government of Iraq, which objects.
Dubya said he would give Iraq freedom and democracy. The government of Iraq seems to be capable of saying no to the US, and it was elected in a more or less democratic fashion, but it is rather corrupt and suppress political opposition. Police/thugs arrest people just for ransom. I don't think most of the Iraqis driven from their homes by the sectarian war have been able to return home. Thus, Iraq remains worse off than it was under Saddam Hussein.
The FBI Director said that cybersecurity threats "will" be bigger than terrorism as the greatest threat to America. Congress, naturally, is considering a cybersecurity bill that could increase the general effective level of Internet surveillance in the US.
What the director says is not about real threats; it's about the threats the FBI would like us to worry about. I think that the banksters, the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline, free exploitation treaties, and government are all bigger dangers, but he probably did not have them on his list.
Obama is pressuring Iran by pointing at Israel's threats of an overt military attack. I don't see anything wrong with this pressure tactic. What worries me is that Obama is not making sure Israel won't launch a war.
Global heating deniers are pressuring Penn State University to cancel a speech by a prominent climate scientist.
The campaign is run by a business-funded disinformation group. Once again, it accuses honest scientists of forming a conspiracy because it really did so.
Madrid thugs attacked protesters, and journalists that took photos of them, and passersby who criticized that.
Some of the people attacked had entered the metro without paying, as a form of civil disobedience. I don't think that the penalty for that is a beating in the metro.
Despite extreme cold, a hundred thousand Russians protested Putin.
Americans; when will you get off your asses and protest in large numbers?
Scientists: You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals.
US citizens: tell your senators not to use the FAA reauthorization to attack workers' rights.
The New York Times granted unquestioned validity to false claims that Keystone XL would create lots of jobs.
Even if these claims were true, they would be insignificant compared with the disaster that the CO2 from the tar sands oil would produce.
Bradley Manning will face trial.
Nixon wanted to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg in the same way for releasing the Pentagon Papers that disclosed US government lies about the Vietnam War.
The Iranian regime is threatening relatives of the staff of the BBC Persian service.
The BBC is sometimes biased, but whatever bad things it says about the regime in Iran are surely true. However, even a totally dishonest channel such as Faux News should not be censored, and certainly not attacked by hostage-taking.
Iran is not the only country that tramples the religious freedom of people who were formerly Muslims. Malaysia is one example but other Muslim countries do it too.
The Indiana bill requiring teaching of religious creation stories was withdrawn after it received public attention.
Here's the op/ed they responded to.
Note the true but irrelevant statements about CO2. "Plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today" — I don't know whether that's true, but it was hundreds of millions of years ago. Today's species and ecosystem are adapted to the CO2 levels they have evolved under.
Half of the signatories of that letter are funded by oil companies.
This may explain why they make the absurd claim that most climate scientists are conspiring to lie, merely to get grants. They are part of a funded conspiracy to deny global heating, so that's the accusation that occurs to them to make against others.
The Susan G Koman foundation now says it won't say whether it will fund Planned Parenthood again.
We are supposed to think that this reverses their decision to cut off that funding, but actually it only means they might reverse it later. Or they might not.
Reporters Without Borders relates Twitter's per-country censorship feature to a stated intention to have an office in China.
Checking email or other messages can be seriously addictive.
I'm not convinced by the argument that they are harder to resist than tobacco or alcohol. If people resist them less often, because there is less motivation to resist them, that doesn't prove they are "hard to resist". However, that doesn't invalidate the rest.
Syrian dissidents say Assad's army is shelling Homs, and has killed 200 or more civilians there in the latest attack.
Greek workers and employers have rejected minimum wage cuts that the EU wants to impose.
Austerity is targeted at the poorest.
Greece could not meet its targets after the first "bailout". Apparently the plans did not take account of how the first dose of austerity would impact the economy and tax revenue. Maybe that was a mistake, or maybe it was a plan to impose austerity in multiple steps. Using multiple steps could undermine resistance since at no one time did people have a chance to say yes or no to the whole thing. Austerity is targeted at the poorest.
Farmers are suing Monsanto for unwanted genetic contamination of their organic crops.
The danger is not only that Monsanto's patented artificial genes get into their crops, but that Monsanto then sues them.
Most Americans are against war with Iran. Even most Israelis are against it.
That by itself won't stop politicians from starting a war.
It's more important to stop Walmart from expanding than to get it to make some improvements.
Republicans want to eliminate the agreed-on reductions in military budget increases that result from the deadlog of the supercommittee.
That would get them what they always wanted: cuts only in goverment activities that benefit Americans.
Republicans want to kill funds from the gas tax for buses and trains.
Clearly they are doing this for the oil companies. They have a base cunning about tactics, but their goals are predictable: whatever will enrich the businesses in any area is their policy.
Indiana is on the verge of mandating religion in biology classes.
US citizens call on the House of Representatives to pass the STOCK act, which bans insider trading by members of Congress.
The Senate just passed it.
US citizens: call on Obama to revive the Federal Election Commission.
This is all the more important with Republicans' passing so many voter-suppression laws.
Occupy Wall Street stands with farmers against Monsanto.
The FDA should regulate the level of salt in prepared foods.
The copyright industry wants to add SOPA-style outrages to the Canadian copyright bill C-11.
Even worse, Canada's government is desperate to undermine democracy by signing the TPP free exploitation treaty. Absurdly, it is so desperate that the copyright industry is using this as a lever to impose nastier copyright laws.
Canadians should tell their government, don't sign the TPP.
The article would be clearer if it did not use the confusing term "intellectual property" which lumps together unrelated laws.
One of the board members of Susan G Koman is connected with "crisis pregnancy centers" that lure in women and give them false information in order to discourage abortion.
In particular, they make the false claim that abortion causes breast cancer.
A South Korean faces imprisonment for repeating North Korea's Twitter postings.
That he probably intended to mock those posts adds a level of self-defeating stupidity to the accusations, but even if he had meant them seriously, to censor an opinion is tyranny. It is tyranny to censors support for North Korea (as South Korea does). It is tyranny to censor Nazism (as France and Germany do).
Respect for freedom of speech means respecting the freedom to state even views you detest.
The FBI to Internet cafes: when customers try to protect their privacy, consider them terrorist suspects.
When customers don't try to protect their privacy, consider them sitting ducks.
A phone application sends photo and location information about a crime to the police.
Don't believe it is anonymous; the phone company can tell the police who sent it. If the criminal is one of them, they could come after you.
A proposal to regulate and tax sugar like tobacco and alcohol.
As a sugar addict, I don't relish the thought of being asked to show ID when I buy candy. However, I agree it would be good to do something to discourage sugar consumption. I think that a plausible tax would not be enough to decrease the amount of sugar used in restaurant food.
Report: Global Land Grab Efforts Will Lead to "Widespread Civil Unrest".
Digital voting for the Oscars will open the door to indetectable election rigging, just as in public elections.
The US no-fly list has doubled in size in the past year. The US also uses this as a way of exiling citizens, without trial and without admitting it.
The US admits that some are on the list solely to hamper their travel and not because of any expectation that they would try to endanger a flight.
There is no excuse for the no-fly list.
Haiti's US-imposed president is trying to welcome the former dictator Duvalier. This probably why a judge dismissed the torture and murder case against him on secret reasons that can't be valid.
When rap group After the Smoke posted its own performance on YouTube, Universal Music took it down with a false copyright claim.
These bullies enjoy impunity when they falsely use the power they have. They should not be given any additional power. When they ask us what we propose instead of SOPA to "solve their problems", the answer is, "Nothing — you have too much already. We must reduce existing copyright power."
US politicians love bashing Americans with drug tests, unless they have to get tested too.
Welfare in the US is only available to single parents, and only for a limited time. There is no rational reason for drug testing welfare applicants, especially not for recreational drugs that don't cost much and have no effect on their ability to handle their responsibilities. However, it is great as a distraction so people won't focus on how corporations are robbing them.
The founders of the Pirate Bay will have to go to prison, as Swedish courts accepted the argument that posting links to copyright infringement is a crime.
Republicans had Josh Fox and film crew arrested as they tried to film a public hearing in Congress.
How right-wing anti-abortion fanatics infiltrated the Susan G. Komen Foundation and constructed a phony excuse to condemn Planned Parenthood.
Obama's weak restraint on Israel: if Israel attacks Iran, the US won't join in.
Previous US presidents told Israel not to start wars. They were able to do this because Israel depends on US support.
Romney is using the old right-win trick of offering a big tax cut to the rich plus an insignificant tax cut for everyone else.
The main effect on everyone else would come from the consequent tremendous budget cuts.
A bill in Congress would make a small improvement in privacy for US mobile phone users. Phones would not be allowed to send information to anyone except the phone company.
This would not affect Big Brother's ability to find out your present and past whereabouts, so it won't alter my decision not to carry one of these.
US citizens: Obama's men are working on the successor of ACTA, once again negotiated secretly with manufacturers. Phone or fax Vice President Biden to pressure him to try to stop it.
The negotiators and their flunkies lie routinely just to keep activists out of the hotels where they are meeting.
Whatever they are planning, we know it will harm us and undermine democracy. That's what "free trade" treaties are for, and this one will aim to go further than any other before.
Craig Murray continues pushing for information about the secret unofficial foreign policy of Gould and Werritty, while the UK government does its best not to find out.
ABC is using misleading and false claims to make Americans think that Iran is a threat to the US. Reagan tried to pretend that Nicaragua's Sandinista government was a threat to the US, but it turned out only Nicaraguan women were in danger.
Twitter says per-country censorship is better than global censorship, but tries to duck the third option: continue to have no censorship. I already explained how per-country censorship will tend to encourage censorship in the future.
US citizens: call on Obama to dump FDA Food Safety head Michael Taylor, who is a former Monsanto lobbyist and is failing to enforce regulations against agribusiness.
The frequent murder of dissidents and journalists in Honduras "made in the USA".
A US appeals court ruled that Americansn have no legal resource if they are arrested in the US, handed over to the army without a trial, and tortured in prison.
This is especially dangerous given the law, passed by Congress and signed by Obama, allowing imprisonment without trial.
It not only "can happen here", it is already happening.
London's new bylaws for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, imposed in honor of the Olympic Games, ban carrying signs and making speeches.
This continues a decades-long trend to ban protests and convert democracy into a sham. An earlier step was the creation of the crime of "aggravated trespass" which basically means "protesting which wasn't illegal for any other reason."
Why do Americans pay 3 or 4 times as much for medical treatment as other advanced countries? Follow the bills.
Scientists: Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico Dying 'At an Alarming Rate'.
Taxing the rich is not enough — the US needs to redirect spending towards helping the poor instead of arms and war.
A UK report proposes to continue sending police to infiltrate protest groups, only with a little more supervision. Perhaps they won't be allowed to have children with real activists.
Google has set up a system for per-country censorship on Blogger by redirecting access to a country-specific host name.
This can be dangerous for the same reason Twitter's per-country censorship is dangerous.
There is a feature to disable the redirection.
I am not sure whether this is enough to prevent the danger. Will people notice and complain if it ceases to work in certain countries?
A group of Britons plead guilty to plans to set off bombs, including some in the London Stock Exchange.
The UK needs to crush the London Stock Exchange, which is the main obstacle to restored democracy there, but a bomb in its building would not do the job.
The UK has abolished protection against self-incrimination if it happens to cover "commercial" information or "intellectual property". That means only scraps of that human right remain.
Since the concept of "intellectual property" is incoherent, any argument, policy, law or treaty which is formulated in terms of that is almost certainly bad.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose plans for massive US surveillance of the Internet.
In the US: rebuke the foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, for bowing to right-wing pressure and cutting funds for Planned Parenthood to do breast-cancer screening.
Since those right-wing groups are against women's rights in general, women's death from breast cancer doesn't bother them. Especially when they are poor women.
Why so much foreclosure fraud? One explanation is that banks began using mortgages as tokens for short-term trading, and in order to do so, they had to violate legal requirements for assigning mortgages.
The UK government misled Parliament in order to build nuclear power plants.
The conclusions of The Limits to Growth, that economic growth cannot continue indefinitely, are being ignored by the world.
In the short term, economic growth can end the fiscal crisis. But in the long term we need to adapt to a world without growth. I think that stabilizing and then decreasing the population is the way to do it without poverty.
Multinational publisher Elsevier paid New York congresscrony Carolyn Maloney to introduce a bill to hamper public access to medical research.
China's largest lake is empty due to the Three Gorges Dam.
NATO's Taliban prisoners think that the Taliban will oust Karzai after NATO troops leave. I share their expectations.
The Taliban are tyrants, and not only towards women, but Karzai's corrupt regime cannot hold on to anything, and there is no use propping it up forever by perpetual war.
How the International Republican Institute has opposed democracy, in several countries.
Medecins Sans Frontieres says that ACTA threatens medecines for poor countries.
Amnesty International says the US must disclose its policies about drone attacks in Pakistan.
Obama admitted that these are being used to attack in Pakistan, won't allow any discussion about the details, and expects us to take his word that the US is not killing lots of bystanders.
A comparison between Occupy in 2011 and ACT UP in the 80s shows the US is systematically squeezing the right to protest, and aiming a military response at dissent.
Naomi Wolf calls it the beginning of a civil war.
Intentional safety flaws in inspection equipment lead predictably to avoidable leaks in oil pipelines, and this will apply to Keystone XL too.
Obama wants to sell military equipment to Bahrain, which has used military equipment against protesters during the past year.
Obama's big miitary sale to Bahrain was blocked by Congress, so he has split it into many small sales in order to bypass Congress.
Obama seems to be preparing for war with Iran. His intelligence director openly accused Iran of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, which seemed implausible from the outset. I don't think the Iranian regime would scruple to kill someone, but this assassination would onlyt have done it harm.
Obama ducked responsibility for the attempt to extradite and prosecute Richard O'Dwyer for running a search engine in the UK. He says he played no role in choosing that particular target.
That may well be true, but why did the Department of Justice decide to pursue someone like O'Dwyer? Is it because Obama appointed several lawyers from the music and movie companies to important jobs in that department? If so, he is directly responsible for the wrong, even if he did not choose the victim.
His use of the propaganda term "intellectual property" instead of "copyright" is further propaganda for their side.
Assad's men are fighting rebelious soldiers in many cities of Syria including Damascus.
Video proof means the government cannot pretend ignorance.
Iran's phony democracy is imprisoning union organizers.
Ultimately there is not much difference between the Islamic Republic and fascism (which Mussolini said could have been called "corporatism").
Human Rights Watch: Israel's supreme court has abandoned the defense of human rights. This is because the right wing planned to put an extremist "settler" onto the court.
DC thugs tasered a protester who shouted at them. They told him to walk away, which he did, and they followed him and attacked him.
New Yorkers in the South Bronx rallied against the New York Thug Department's practice of searching people on the street without specific cause.
Note how the thugs create excuses to arrest people that they are beating up.
NYPD, under fire, to end CIA collaboration program
A UK resident citizen who joked he would "destroy America" (UK slang for have a party) and "dig up Marilyn Monroe") in LA was treated as a real terrorist and blocked from entering the US.
They even searched his girlfriend's baggage for shovels.
When US border agents tell us how much they do to keep us "safe", I am sure they will count him as one of the people they protected us from.
This reminds me of when the Australian TV producer tried to go to LA to "shoot a pilot", and the border numbskulls thought he meant he would kill someone.
China bashing is cheap talk for US politicians, but it is really the US government that's responsible for the policies that enabled sweatshop workers (some in China) to replace well-paid jobs (often in the US).
In the US: join a local action against war with Iran.
In Europe: support protests against ACTA on Feb 11 (and after).
US citizens: tell Congress not to approve undersea oil drilling in Arctic waters.
US citizens: support the STOCK act, which would make it illegal for congresscritters and senators to do stock trading based on their knowledge of upcoming legislative action.
Employees in Egypt of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute have taken refuge in the US embassy.
I would not describe the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute as working for democracy and human rights. At least, not always. Sometimes they are instruments of US policy.
For instance, they were willing to monitor the election in Honduras, where the violence of the coup-installed government made a fair election impossible even if votes were counted correctly, even as all other international organizations refused to grant the election that legimacy. This clearly reflected US support for the coup.
However, if there is anyone in Egypt that the US would support, it is the generals that closed these organizations. Given their past and present relations with the US, I suspect this is a political ploy.
The Euro-zone has agreed to tie its hands, so that its only response to recession will be austerity and more recession.
Amnesty International calls Fadhila Mubarak a prisoner of conscience. She was sentenced to prison in Bahrain for the crime of protesting.
The FDA spied on the email of whistleblowers who told Congress about wrongdoing inside the agency.
It is legitimate, in general, for the FDA monitor what is done with FDA computers. But it must not harass or fire whistleblowers no matter how it finds out about them.
Today's movie pirates are the 6 major companies that dominate Hollywood.
The page segues into a series of rants, but the first part is interesting. One flaw is that it uses the term "intellectual property", which promotes the spin of the companies that it criticizes.
Military Secretary Panetta had trouble listing all the countries in which US troops are now fighting. And Congress has never authorized most of these conflicts.
Iraqis, in government and on the street, are outraged over unauthorized US drone flights.
The Pentagon invites students to develop better drones.
If any of these ideas is applicable to civilian life, they won't do us much good since the Pentagon will own them.
It would be good for people to protest this program to the schools involved.
The pesticide imidacloprid is suspected of causing the collapse of honey bee hives. In an experiment, it tripled the probability that bees got infected by a fungus.
Libyan opponents of Gaddafi will sue a senior UK spy official over the UK's role in kidnapping them and delivering them to Gaddafi.
Indians: write to your state's chief minister to oppose the BRAI bill that would end states' power to block GMOs.
Human Rigths Watch: Indonesia should drop charges against Papuan activists, and stop punishing political activity as "treason".
Some were accused of reading a declaration of independence for West Papua, which was made from 1961. Can anyone tell me what country West Papua declared independence from? Was it Indonesia, or the Netherlands?
The declaration of independence they read was for indepenendence from the Netherlands.
The copyright companies want to force search engines to agree to a "voluntary code" of censorship.
Republicans want to use the transportation bill to legalize drilling for oil in the Arctic.
Of course they have resisted any reform to reduce the danger of oil pills.
The Public Eye award identifies companies that do great harm to the world.
Egyptian democrats are not satisfied that the military "lifted" the state of emergency... except when they decide it still applies.
Even police joined in mass protests in Barcelona against budget cuts.
UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon called on African countries to respect gay rights.
Protesters in Indonesia have pressured the state to promise to cancel plans for a gold mine that could pollute their land. However, the inhabitants don't trust the government to carry through on this cancellation.
Meredith Alexander: Why I resigned (from a London Olympics body) over Bhopal.
Biofuel from palm oil and soybeans is as dirty as tar sand oil.
A Japanese nuclear engineer says that the recent safety inspections of Japanese nuclear plants were not adequate.
Megaupload's users' data is in danger of being erased now that the US government has finished searching it.
This as users plan to sue the FBI over the files that may be erased.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals will fund a London police unit aimed specifically at organized wildlife trafficking
Hardened wildlife traffickers are just as bad as hardened banksters. So I approve of this plan. But the banksters must not be left out.
Afghan immigrants in Canada have been convicted of an "honor killing" against family members.
The Pakistani MD who helped the US find Osama bin Laden was imprisoned and tortured in Pakistan.
The fake vaccination scheme seems to have been wrong, because it sowed distrust of real vaccination projects. Maybe this should be a crime, but it apparently isn't. In any case, imprisonment without trial, and torture, are just as wrong when Pakistan does them as when the US does them.
If the US consistently opposed torture, and didn't practice torture, it would be in a stronger position to criticize the torture of its friends. It would also perhaps deserve admiration and support.
Assad's army is attacking residential neighborhoods in Damascus where rebels had taken control.
IAEA inspectors will visit Iran's underground uranium enrichment plant.
Explaining why the reductions in planned US military spending are not reductions in military spending.
Americans: imagine if Iran's government said the sort of things that the US government says about Iran.
The Oakland thugs arrested everyone they found at the Occupy protest, even the journalists. This is the report of one of them.
US citizens: tell the National Park Service to respect Occupy DC.
The Treasury Department under Obama approved high pay for banksters that got bailed out, as exceptions to the bailout rules.
There were protests against ACTA as most European governments signed it.
You can tell that ACTA is bad at the root because it claims to be against "counterfeiting" but represses sharing between individuals. You can see more of this mean-spirited propaganda in the way the Guardian described the treaty:
Acta is a far-reaching agreement that aims to harmonize international standards on protecting the rights of those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion, and a range of other products that often fall victim to intellectual property theft.
"Protect" is propaganda, using "rights" to describe private privilege and not users' rights is too. Using "intellectual property" to refer to various laws is always misleading, since it reifies a generalization that is misguided.
The idea that there could be "theft" of this imaginary something is even more twisted. This is the language that the proponents of ACTA use to muddle thinking about what they want.
There is still a chance to defeat ACTA by convincing the European Parliament not to sign it.
How car exhaust causes tornados — as well as floods and droughts.
49 million Americans are at risk that a nuclear power plant accident could pollute their drinking water. This includes the water supplies of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Cleveland and Detroit.
Bahrain's suppression forces have killed over a dozen people using tear gas canisters as weapons. Many others have been injured. Often they fire tear gas into homes, from which it does not disperse.
Oakland thugs arrested 300 Occupy protesters who were marching.
The mayor and the city endorse the democracy-suppression agenda that equates protesters to "terrorists".
This agenda plans for the US to remain democratic in form, but all avenues to reach a substantial number of people with ideas that the 1% don't approve will be shut off one by one.
The French government has voted to ban another historical opinion: denial of the genocide of the Armenians.
This lowers France to the same level as Turkey, which has convicted people for acknowledging the genocide of the Armenians.
In Turkey, to affirm the genocide is heroic. In France, under this law, it will be as worthless as any statement dictated by the state.
Ironically, this law will make it impossible to affirm the genocide in France with seriousness. Where denying a position is banned, affirmation of that position is a ritual of conformity rather than a real statement of belief.
Freedom-loving people in France who do not wish to deny the genocide (for instance, because they agree that it occurred) must object to any any attempt to raise in France the issue of what happened to the Armenians: "Where we are forbidden to discuss this with integrity, we could only have a sham discussion. Let us talk about this issue only outside France."
I hope the lack of diplomatic relations between France and Turkey will not stop them from exchanging political prisoners: Turks who affirm the genocide and Frenchman who deny it.
The US marine who led a massacre in Iraq won't go to prison.
Iraqis are angry, but not surprised.
Tibetans held public protests and Chinese suppression forces shot them.
Like thugs anywhere, the Chinese said the protesters started the fight.
Anti-torture activists in North Carolina have investigated CIA torture activities in their state, and hope to prevent the CIA's subcontractor from doing any more of this.
Apple will soon have more cash than the US government. This shows it should pay a higher tax rate.
An EFF article which argues that Twitter's per-country censorship is benign actual explains exactly why it is dangerous.
The EFF has missed the crucial consequence of the information given. At present, Twitter need only obey court orders from the US, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Japan. Without this handy per-country censorship feature, Twitter would hesitate to open an office in Turkey and make itself vulnerable to orders to censor criticism of Ataturk.
With no office in Turkey, if Turkey ordered Twitter to censor such material, Twitter could disregard it. And if Thailand tried to order Twitter to censor criticism of the King of Thailand, Twitter could shrug it off. If Mubarak, in January 2011, ordered Twitter to delete a tweet criticizing him, Twitter could shrug it off. Mubarak was led to try to block access to such sites by shutting down the Internet in Egypt because he could not censor selectively.
Now, however, there is nothing to discourage Twitter from opening an office in Turkey and censoring people there, opening an office in Thailand and censoring people there, and opening an office in the next Egypt and censoring people there.
In 1981, Gingrich advocated legalizing marijuana. In 1996, he proposed to execute anyone importing a couple of ounces and said that marijuana was "destroying our children".
He smoked marijuana, and reconciled this with his draconian law by saying that marijuana was moral for him and immoral for those of the 90s.
Next he will blame this lack of political constancy on the marijuana he smoked, but I think it is a lack of moral fiber.
The US financial sector has grown to 8% of the economy, and political donations from rich banksters have shot from 15 million in 1990 to 178 million in 2010.
This is how they eliminated the regulations meant to prevent the crisis and how they prevented new regulations to stop another.
The Portuguese collecting society that pretends to represent authors advocates a new tax on blank disks to further subsidize that society. It claimed support from 100 authors, but some of them never gave permission to use their names.
The New York Thug Commissioner participated in making a video condemning Muslims, then lied about it.
I have no information except this article about that video, so I don't know whether it was racist hate, but lying about it is intolerable in a city official either way.
In press freedom, the US isn't number one. It is number 47.
Gush Shalom's weekly ad compares housing security for Israelis and Palestinias in the West Bank.
The cost of globalizating trade policies: 60% of Apple's factory subcontractors make people work more than 60 hours a week.
Even if that were reduced to zero, it is a tremendous step backward in working conditions compared with former production in the US. It was made possible by government decisions and treaties, which were themselves purchased by the megacorporations that take advantage of them.
Employees of Murdoch's newspaper, the Sun, have been arrested as well a policeman; the charge is that the former paid the latter for scoops.
It is interesting to contrast this policeman with whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg and perhaps Bradley Manning. Whistleblowers release information about official misconduct, for the public good, whereas this policeman is accused of selling personal information which doesn't describe official misconduct.
US citizens: Tell Congress not to cancel the reduction in increases in military spending that resulted from the supercommittee's deadlock.
I call it "military spending" rather than "defense spending" since often it is used to attack. And I don't use the term "cuts" since it is a matter of reducing planned increases, not reducing spending. Nonetheless, I signed the petition.
The US should make real cuts in military spending.
Big Pharma companies recruit and pay "key opinion leaders" among medical doctors and academics to encourage non-tested uses of drugs.
This Is a Test... (And Too Many Americans Are Failing).
UK Prime Minister Cameron's argument for giving the executives of a public-controlled bailed-out bank millions in bonuses — in addition to their large salaries — is that otherwise they might quit.
Ok, let them quit. It will help reduce executive pay in general.
The UK's cruel government's attack on the poor is now targeting disabled people, but they made a visible protest in London.
I read elsewhere that the UK is having a worse depression now than in the 1930. Austerity is the cause — it always makes a depression worse.
The Arab League suspended its monitoring campaign in Syria because Assad has continued and increased the violence since the campaign started.
I don't think this is the Arab League's fault. While there was a suspicion that its Sudanese leader might close his eyes to the violence, evidently that did not occur. The plan was worth a try, but it depended on shaming the regime, and the regime did not care enough to change its conduct.
Just as the Argentine military rulers attacked the Falklands Islands to distract attention from the desaparecidos, the current government is using the Falklands to distract from austerity.
That most Argentines support the expansionist agenda does not mean this isn't government manipulation. Rather, it means this is effective and long-term government manipulation. I'm glad some young Argentines are starting to see through it.
The inhabitants of the Falklands are people, and Argentines must stop thinking of them as mere appurtenances to islands they covet.
Laws to ban publishing photos of the conditions in farms have been proposed in several states.
This shows that state representatives are proposing laws for agribusiness that they hope to sneak through without public notice. This is another sign of the corruption of democracy in the US.
RBS, a bailed-out UK bank now largely state-owned, has been lobbying in the US against banking reform.
Pharma companies profit from perverse incentives in the US health system, and they oppose reforms that would remove those perverse incentives.
One reason so many Afghan soldiers attack NATO troops is that the two armies practically hate each other.
USA Today presents Republican lies about Keystone XL jobs as unquestionable truth.
Drive-by x-ray machines now endanger the American public.
These X-ray scanners are not safe for humans. Neither are the airport scanners.
There is no danger if Customs agents x-ray a car while nobody is in it. The car can't get cancer. If the Customs agents drive your car through the scanner, that's safe for you, but it isn't safe for them.
Outside of Customs inspection, the cops in general should not be allowed to search everyone's cars, not this way or any way.
Huffington Post has a special section on health news, sponsored by a drug company.
That means there is a danger it will fail to cover dangerous activities of that company.
Uri Avnery salutes the Egyptian parliament and shows that Israel and Egypt can have real peace.
I think the controversy about privacy policies of Facebook and Google is a distraction. No privacy policies could stop the FBI from collecting whatever data the company has about you, without serving a court order on the company, let alone on you. Thus, I think the crucial issue is to reduce what information these companies get about us.
Billionaire's "philanthropy" is no substitute for justice for the poor, and often it does harm.
Sarkozy and Karzai agreed to push for NATO troops to leave Afghanistan in 2013.
Why wait so long?
Human Rights Watch says the United States fails to enforce human rights conditions imposed on military aid to Colombia, nor the labor rights conditions in the Free Exploitation Agreement.
This doesn't surprise me. The 1% don't care about these conditions; they were added to make a bad activity look good, just as the labor rights conditions were added to the Free Exploitation Agreement
Colombia's military is associated with terrorists, so this "aid" is support for terrorism. And this Free Exploitation Agreement, like all of them, must be abolished.
The Pentagon budget "cuts" (actually reductions from planned spending) need to be doubled.
An Israeli general recognizes Israel cannot stop Iran's nuclear program with a military attack.
The purpose of such an attack would be to get the US and Iran to fight. The Republicans are eager for a chance.
Elliot Abrams says that the US knew how Argentina's military rulers were handing out the babies of dissident women that they killed.
Country-by-country censorship features effectively invite every country to censor, by removing the global pushback.
The US has work to do if it wants to merit the description, "land of the free".
Public Citizen calls for breaking up the Bank of America. Its size endangers financial stability.
Perhaps this is due to the recent new sanctions, or the planned EU oil buying cutoff. If they convince Iran's government to make a deal, that makes them a potential success.
However, the point is to negotiate and get a diplomatic solution, rather than have a war. For this to occur, the US must also sincerely seek a diplomatic solution, rather than a war.
The EU Parliament's rapporteur in charge of ACTA quit and denounced the treaty.
It would have been better to quit during the negotiations, but better late than never.
Police have trumped up various excuses to evict Occupy LSX protests and squats.
Escalating violence in Syria amounts to a kind of civil war.
The UK was about to deport dissidents back to Cameroon, where they had already been tortured. A letter-writing campaign saved them.
That prominent dissidents faced deportation shows the system's criteria are wrong.
US citizens: support reproductive rights.
Everyone: call for protection of the Ross Sea ecosystem and fish.
US citizens: oppose Alaska sea drilling.
The Coast Guard has said that it has "zero" spill-response capability in the Arctic, and the oil industry has no proven cleanup method for ice-filled waters.
Although I admire these achievements, he ought to stop prosecuting people for insulting him. That is an injustice. The law which makes that a crime needs to be repealed.
The former dictator of Guatemala will face charges of genocide and torture.
This is very good, but Mr Torture (Dubya) continues to enjoy impunity.
Although Obama dropped the idea of giving the banksters immunity for fraud, it is too soon to tell if he really will do a good job of prosecuting them.
Obama associates closely with banksters — he keeps appointing them as his chief of staff and to other positions.
Arguing that the US has no case against Megaupload.
Governor Walker is receiving millions of dollars of donations to try to defeat the recall vote.
Greenpeace has complained to the SEC that Transcanada deceived its shareholders by exaggerated claims about jobs from the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
A Republican governor used state funds to lobby for the pipeline.
The Gates Foundation considers global heating an opportunity to make everyone accept genetically modified foods. Not that that would help much.
Genetically modified foods are not inherently dangerous, or harmful to grow and eat. However, any particular kind might be dangerous; and they are all harmful to farmers if they are patented.
Gingrich's think tank, from which he resigned in 2011, was lobbied for various wealthy interests.
Bank of America demands people delete criticism of the bank if they want their mortgages adjusted.
French police persecute Blacks and Arabs with repeated identity checks and searches on the street. Similar persecution is reported from the UK, and I wouldn't be surprised if it still happens in New York City despite the absence of Night-Mayor Giuliani.
However, at least the US makes efforts to stop this.
Making it a crime to "insult police" is an injustice in its own right. (Another unjust French law punishes insulting the president.)
Freedom of speech includes the right to insult anyone.
Obama wants to reopen undersea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, it seems that government agencies knowingly presented false low estimates of spill rate in the Big Spill. And recently it proposed to approve drilling in Arctic waters.
What a friend to the oil companies!
Romney has invested heavily in mortgage-backed securities and profited from foreclosures, show his tax returns.
They also show investments not mentioned in his candidate financial disclosure forms.
Romney says they were left out because he has so many investments that he couldn't keep track of them all. If true, that in itself proves a point about him.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on broadcasters to cover the issue of corporations' political ads.
Blaming poor immigrants is a useful tool for distracting people from how the 1% are screwing them.
Illegal immigration does cause an economic problem: because these immigrants don't dare complain about mistreatment at work, their employers can drive down wages and working conditions for citizens and legal residents of a country.
However, if labor law enforcement were separated from immigration law enforcement, so that even illegal immigrants could complain about abuses by their employers, it would reduce this effect.
Meanwhile, prison labor has the same effect — so why don't the politicians try to eliminate that? Because it isn't a useful distraction, I suspect.
Twitter has a new system to submit to censorship in each country in parallel.
Although this is designed to inform people they are victims of censorship, I don't think that secondary feature compensates for the harm done by Twitter's acceptance of censorship. Ask yourself, would this sort of censorship in Egypt have helped Mubarak stay in power? I think so.
Hawaii is considering a strict data-retention requirement that might ban anonymous Internet access.
Later: the bill was withdrawn.
In Russia, public protest is prohibited — even dolls holding signs.
It appears the government lacks real control over the country, which is run by various militias.
The UK now permits trying the same person more than once for the same alleged crime. The result is that no one is ever really acquitted.
There are so many conditions that can allow trying the accused again, that a person could be tried over and over. Each trial gives a different jury the chance to convict him. Sooner or later, even if there is no significant change in the evidence, conviction will occur.
This is why the rule against double jeopardy was made, and the reason is just as valid as it always was.
Everyone: call on the European Parliament to reject ACTA.
US citizens: call on Schneiderman to prosecute the banksters vigorously.
US citizens: tell Congress to return the MPAA's money.
Whenever prostitutes start advertising on a web site, a pervert kills some of them. Then people propose to "protect" the prostitutes by blocking their advertisements.
This pretends to be motivated by concern for the prostitutes who might be attacked, but that is bullshit. Any prostitute prefers to seek safety by not advertising in a web site can do that now. Shutting the site would only hurt the prostitutes, and I suspect it reflects by the hatred many people feel towards them.
Anyone who really wants to protect prostitutes from violence should support measures to deter the violence rather than obstruct their business.
Mitt Romney: Banks that foreclose "aren't bad people".
That's true, because they are not people. They are bad corporations.
Notice how he presumes that the foreclosures are honest, covering up foreclosure fraud.
That may have to do with his support for a state official that permits foreclosure fraud to continue.
The US is avoiding court cases that might decide whether tracking someone's location through a cell phone requires a warrant.
The EU is considering a directive to regulate collection and storage of personal data by Internet services.
If the order to delete personal data is taken seriously, it requires deleting all backup copies — which is not feasible. But if it does not include backup copies, I don't see that it does much good: you're fooling yourself if you think the data has been deleted.
What's really needed is to prevent the collection of the personal data.
I lean towards the view that this is self-incrimination in disguise.
August Walter says BP fired him for refusing to help BP cover up its defective cleanup of the Big Spill.
Inhabitants of La Rioja, in Argentina, are protesting to stop a mining project that would pollute the province's only water source.
Colombia's most dangerous terror gang, the paramilitares, must still have state protection.
With unions weakened in a time of high unemployment, companies are using lockouts to crush them and lower Americans' wages.
Business profits are booming already, but nowadays, they see no reason to allow any of that to trickle down to workers.
Ralph Nader comments on Obama's State of the Union address.
Romney's budget proposal would make drastic cuts in US domestic spending.
He has enough money to buy his way out of the resulting problems. You and I don't.
Giant dollar signs were displayed on the Supreme Court to protest the Corporations United decision (*).
* The official name of this case, "Citizens United", comes from the deceptive name used by an association to promote the interests of the corporations. We should call it what it was, not what it pretended to be.
College education in the US used to offer broadening of the mind as well as a path to higher salaries. Nowadays the former has been undermined, and the latter often doesn't come through either.
Chris Hedges has sued Obama for signing the law to allow imprisonment without trial.
Mexico's soldiers murder and torture civilians with impunity.
Gingrich, Romney and Santorum all supported Bush's war with Iraq. Now they want war with Iran.
They have not learned the lesson of the suffering caused by Bush's war of aggression. Maybe they learned a different lesson: that war — any war — serves their political purposes.
The UK wants to make the European Court of Human Rights limit itself to criticizing obvious dictatorships, and not protect human rights in corporatocracies such as the UK.
A former stock exchange president speaks at an Occupy Wall Street protest.
Afghan government troops have tried 26 times to kill US or NATO personnel.
People will do things for Karzai's government — mainly in exchange for money, whether salary or via corruption — but hardly anyone feels loyalty to it. Thus, there is no way to build up an Afghan army that isn't full of people who hate the foreign troops.
Only a fraction hate them enough to risk their lives to kill some, but many are almost at that point. A mere insult (like urinating on corpses) can push them over the line.
Karzai's government won't stand for two years after it is no longer propped up, so why keep the fighting going?
Most Americans oppose rule by corporations, but need to be shown ways to put an end to it.
In the US, long prison sentences are imposed for thefts of a few dollars, but thefts of billions go unpunished.
If this is adopted, I still would not carry a cell phone. I do not object if prosecutors could get a warrant to track someone, then track him. However, to put everyone's location data in a dossier that can be checked retroactively goes far beyond that, and I decline to provide data for it.
US citizens: phone your Republican senators to support Obama's proposal that all nominees for office receive a vote in the Senate within 90 days.
Amnesty International warns that the prosecution of Judge Garzon for investigating Franco's murders threatens human rights enforcement world wide.
However, if he really did allow police to listen to prisoners' discussions with their lawyers, that was wrong.
The US will resume diplomatic relations with Burma in response to the release of many (but not all) the political prisoners.
The US, in its foreign relations, often acts to bully and oppress other countries. Perhaps in the case of Burma it is serving the cause it ought to serve. If so, this step might make sense. This reward might convince Burma's rulers that freeing the rest of the political prisoners will bring further reward.
It looks like a very good thing; however, I did not sign it myself because it is not clear what I would be promising to do if I signed. I hope they will clear up that question, and then I can reconsider.
It may be possible to overcome this by having several user names, one for each Google service. However, it is much better if you prevent Google from knowing who you are. For instance, if you make sure that your Google searches are not even known to be from one person.
Only a few of the visitors to Japan experience this arrest, torture and shakedown, but all visitors experience a preliminary injustice described in the fourth paragraph: being fingerprinted. I will not visit a country which does that to its visitors.
Amnesty International reported on this practice in 2002. Apparently nothing has been done to correct it.
So Craig Murray tried to contact the police investigation, to give evidence. The police told him there is no inquiry.
Murray later added that he has been put in touch with a police investigation and will report on whether the investigation seems serious.
Former cabinet ministers probably won't be scared of this, but those who are younger and less well established are likely to be intimidated out of disagreeing with the state.
Many Palestinians in Israeli jails are tortured. Many make accusations which are dismissed. One is suing with an ex-guard's testimony to support him.
If we look at this situation in terms of the idea of national interest, it is incomprehensible that the US does not publicly dissociate itself from Israel enough to remain neutral in such a war.
In fact, US politicians are doing very little to avoid war with Iran. Perhaps the 1% want another war to distract Americans from their economic warfare activities.
Human Rights Watch condemned Israel for many kinds of human rights violations. It condemned Hamas, ruling in Gaza, as well.
Although SOPA is dead in the US, the copyright lobby is pushing for similar provisions in Canada, as well as a vague 3-or-so-strikes disconnection policy (without due process, of course).
If a woman does not want to have a child, for whatever reason, then she should not have one. We should not demand that she justify the decision.
Israel imprisoned the speaker of the Palestinian Parliament without charges, apparently to prevent negotiations between Hamas and Fatah.
The 1% like to claim that they are entirely responsible for a company's profits, so they should keep them all. And that's what they do. They don't allow anything to trickle down.
Obama has attacked whistleblowers like no president before. In effect, Obama considers that telling the public is telling the enemy, because the public is the enemy.
What the US does now is as bad as what Stalin did. The difference is that Stalin did them frequently, while the US does them rarely, and most people think it can't happen to them.
This is the right decision, but I fear it won't do much good for long. With ubiquitous license plate scanners, the police can track all cars without touching any of them.
The Pirate Party of Catalunya is organizing lawsuits against the FBIfor the damage it has done to users of Megaupload.
Jill Stein spoke at the DC "Occupy the Courts" rally for a constitutional amendment to reject the idea that corporations have human rights.
According to the book Corporations Are Not People, by Jeff Clements, the idea that corporations are entitled to human rights was promoted by Justice Powell, who proposed this to the US Chamber of Commerce in 1971 as a way to protect cigarette companies, and shortly thereafter was appointed to the Supreme Court to put it into effect.
Romania's foreign minister was fired after insulting protesters, but they won't be satisfied with that
The comparison of protesters with the "miners" of the 90s is backwards. Those "miners" were organized by the state to intimidate protesters.
An armed band flying the flag of Gaddafi took over a town in Libya.
I wonder what this fighting is really about. I don't think it is about Gaddafi or his family. I speculate it might be factionalism or tribal rivalry. I hope to see analysis from someone who knows more than I do.
Foxconn's chairman compared his employees to animals.
US prosecutors are trying to get data about dissidents from social networking sites without giving the subjects a chance to contest.
It is trampling the rights of people who resist trampling our rights.
Israel keeps Palestinian youths, even children, in solitary confinement for weeks or months, interrogating them occasionally for hours in shackles.
They are pressured to confess, and also testify against others, which provides no real evidence of any crimes except those of the people that run the prison.
Of course, the government spokesmen parrot the official line. How they can live with themselves, I cannot understand.
When religious people say that you shouldn't be allowed to criticize their religion, what they want is this.
SOPA will be redrafted, says its author.
Hollywood will try to divide the opposition by placating parts of the opposition so it can defeat the rest.
Top officials at the "Department of Justice" were formerly partners in a law firm that represented banksters.
It is not enough for high officials to avoid conflicts of interest to the extent required by law. They must make their honesty unmistakably clear. We must know that our Attorney General does not hesitate to prosecute the most dangerous criminals: big business.
Citizens of North Carolina are taking action at state level to stop the use of their state's facilities for transporting prisoners to be tortured.
The South Carolina primary used faith-based voting: computerized voting machines that have been rigged before.
This article cites several examples of election fraud through manipulation of computerized voting machines in the US.
BP (Billionaire Polluters) forecasts a shining future in which the US becomes almost self-sufficient in oil and gas, thanks to plenty of fracking plus tar sands oil from Alberta. (Apparently Canada in this scenario becomes part of the US.)
The forecast includes increased nuclear power generation; does it include any Fukushima-style disasters?
With a world-wide increase in CO2 emission of 28% by 2030, this forecast implies disaster on the way, but doesn't say so.
Some apartment buildings in Japan were built using gravel from near Fukushima, and the radiation level inside them is almost twice the background level in Denver.
I've seen estimates that sea-level background radiation kills 1.5% of the people, and Denver's higher background level (due to its higher altitude) is estimated to kill 3% of the people there (not necessarily when they are young). These buildings, providing extra radiation comparable to Denver's background, might kill 3% too.
This is a naive estimate. Someone knowing the isotopes involved could make a better estimate that might be much bigger or much smaller. But it's enough to show that those buildings ought to be knocked down, or else left vacant until the radiation level has died down
US citizens: tell companies that support ALEX that you want them to stop.
A web site designer in Iran faces execution because someone posted porn on his image-sharing site.
SOPA and PIPA are designed to allow anyone to shut an entire web site if allegedly copyright-infringing material is posted on it. Perhaps Dodd, head of the MPAA, should go to Iran to study best practices.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and senators to support a constitutional amendment to reject "human rights" for corporations. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
The Republican National Committee is suing to allow corporations to give campaign donations directly to candidates.
The grounded cruise ship that killed perhaps 30 passengers and crew could also destroy a nature reserve if its fuel leaks.
Ecosystems in which poor people live provide 500 billion dollars of services annually to the rest of the world.
Maybe it would be fair or useful to pay those people not to allow development which would destroy those services.
Why does Apple do manufacturing in China rather than the US?
This article criticizes Apple's immediate reason. Looking more deeply, I can suggest underlying reasons to criticize too.
Governor Walker's voter-suppression law might protect him in his recall election.
I have said for decades that right-wingers intentionally call centrist media "Liberal" to pressure them to move to the right. Now we have proof: Bill Kristol privately confessed that he was lying when he called NPR "liberal".
(The Guardian linked to this note, but summarized it in a misleading way. See the Guardian Correction.)
The government of New Zealand arrested the founders of Megaupload to send them to the US for trial. They are accused of commercial copyright infringement. And many of their personal goods were seized, for no obvious reason. Here is what the US says about them.
I do not advocate in general legalizing commercial use of music without permission. (I think all works meant for practical uses must be free, but that does not apply to music, since music is meant for appreciation, not for practical use.) So if Megaupload intended to do that, I won't criticize stopping it.
Lots of people used Megaupload in ways that did not infringe copyright. Now they are screwed: the US can get their data and they can't. The US government has shown contempt for thousands of people who it has not accused of anything.
I wonder why the executives of Megaupload have been charged personally with crimes, when the executives of Massey Energy, who intentionally disregarded safety rules and killed employees, are not?
Perhaps it's because Megaupload was the enemy of corporations that dominate the US, while Massey Energy is one of those corporations.
Apple wants to invite millions to work on digital textbooks that Apple would control and would only run on iThings..
Even people who don't understand the injustice of nonfree software see the danger of this.. That's good, but making these textbooks run on competing nonfree platforms is not enough to make them ethical. E-textbooks must carry free licenses and must be capable of running on a free software platform.
Hamas' political leader, who called for a policy of nonviolence except when attacked, appears to have lost a power-struggle.
This means that Hamas continues ready in principle to attack Israel, just as Israel continues ready to attack Hamas. In practice both of them mostly comply with a long-term truce.
Islamist parties dominate Egypt's new parliament.
I hope that won't threaten Egyptians' human rights.
Obama offered religious organizations one extra year to comply with the new requirement that health plans cover birth control.
I don't think this is unreasonable as a compromise, but note that the issue only arises because in the US medical coverage is tied to employment. If we had a national health service, the issue would not even arise.
Obama's "Jobs Council" seems to advocate the Republican agenda.
In effect, he has adopted the lie that increased business profits means more jobs. Business profits are increasing in the US but few Americans are getting jobs.
I go to drug stores and supermarkets that have self-checkout machines. I never use them, and I shout out to the people who do, "If you use those machines, you're putting Americans out of work."
Wilman Villar Mendoza, political prisoner in Cuba, died in prison after being on a hunger strike.
He had been imprisoned after an unfair trial for participating in public protests.
His supporters held a vigil for him outside the hospital, and some of them were arrested for that.
Unfair trials continue in another part of Cuba where the US government is responsible.
In an act of contempt for freedom of speech, the UK convicted people for distributing leaflets advocating a death penalty for homosexuality.
They did not threaten to kill anyone themselves. They simply advocated a law to do so. How can a country that criminalizes legislative proposals be a democracy?
I oppose those views, and I hope you do too. But that does not mean they don't have the freedom to advocate those views. They wished to do a wrong, but the UK has really done one.
Which legislative proposals will be criminalized next? Reductions in copyright laws? Raising taxes for the rich? Shame on the UK for this punishment.
Greece may get 70% debt forgiveness.
That is most of the way towards default, but without the downside of default. I wonder if it could save Greece. Will there be a nasty catch in it somewhere?
A secretive group spent $250,000 to defend Maine's Republican voter suppression law from a referendum. (It lost anyway.) It won't say where the money came from, but since the group is connected with ALEC, we can be sure it came from corporations and the 1%.
ALEC is a business-funded organization which state legislators join in order to receive orders from the megacorporations. It just had its annual convention in a hotel.
A journalist rented a room at the hotel and walked through an open door into one of the ALEC events. He was spotted and told to leave, which he did. Later a group of thugs and hotel staff told him he was not allowed in the hotel. Then the hotel refused to talk about what they had done to him, "for the sake of his privacy."
Despite events like this, ALEC claims its meetings are open to the public. Telling such easily refuted lies is a sign they think their power is so great that no one can effectively expose their lies enough to hurt them.
Outside the event, hundreds of protesters had come to condemn ALEC. The thugs sent provocateurs in to make an excuse, then attacked the protesters, arrested some, and arrogantly made false charges against a cameraman.
Why did they show the cameraman they knew his name? That was meant as intimidation. They figure some people will be afraid to protest if the thugs or other political operatives could take revenge against them later. The US has not reached the point where you really have to worry about that, but if it discourages some people from protesting, the thugs call it a victory.
If you are ever on a jury and thugs testify against the defendant, and you can't be positively sure the alleged crime was not at a protest, you should disbelieve the thugs on principle. They are experienced at lying in court, so you should not suppose you could tell when they are lying. If they lie 20% of the time, that means there is a reasonable doubt about every statement them make.
US citizens: phone your senators saying they should oppose all versions of PIPA. Also tell them electronically.
I suggest adding that they should oppose any plan to give copyright holders more power, because they have been catered to too much. Stop fussing about their problems and start addressing the problems they have imposed on us — for instance, legalize software and devices to break digital handcuffs, and legalize noncommercial sharing.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Congress has "postponed" the vote on PIPA/SOPA. but it is not dead.
Lamar Smith is still using the same lie, that copying is "stealing", stretching it even further to speak of "stealing products", which is utterly nuts.
When he talks about "American inventions" he drifts from exaggeration into ignorance. SOPA's attack provisions only apply to copyright and trademark, neither of which covers inventions. Patents are a totally different issue.
Perhaps he has used misleading over-generalization "intellectual property" so much that he has confused himself.
Thousands are protesting against austerity in Romania.
MPAA head Dodd, a former senator whose career taught him to be unashamed of corruption, said, “Those who count on Hollywood for support need to understand this industry is watching very carefully, ” in a Faux News interview. “Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay attention to me when my job is at risk.”
There you have it. The MPAA buys legislators and expects them to obey, and is so shameless that it says so on TV. We are expected not even to be outraged when they declare they buy our elections.
Of course, you won't vote for anyone that takes Hollywood money. But the ones that don't take Hollywood money took money from other megacorporations, indirectly of course. The only candidates that deserve your vote are the ones who reject corporate money.
Meanwhile: did you give Hollywood money this month? Next time, think twice before you pay to watch a movie. Ask yourself, "How likely is this movie to be very good?" If you don't see a strong chance of that, buy a printed paper book instead. (Or see the html version of this article.)21 January 2012 (Shabab)
The article is full of newspeak. The African Union troops are referred to as "peacekeepers" although their purpose is to fight a war. The "transitional government" is a bunch of puppets put in place by those troops. It never had a mandate from Somalians.
Its enemy, the Shabab, is an Islamist tyranny. If Somalians would like to be rescued from it, I am in favor. But I have seen no evidence that they want this.
Why does the Shabab exist? Because when a somewhat milder Islamist regime (the Islamic Courts Movement) established peace in Somalia, with substantial popular support, the US sent Ethiopian troops in to drive it underground, whereupon it split up into factions. The Shabab is one of those factions. Ironically, the "transitional government" is another.
What was the point of pushing a country that has just achieved peace back into civil war? Was it that the Islamic Courts Movement was not subservient to the US, and the "transitional government" is?
The festival organizer tried enthusiastically to enforce censorship, but he did not want to admit that, so he described it as "not tolerating any illegal action". A Chinese party cadre couldn't say it better. Did he at least condemn the censorship law while enforcing it? If he had said that the law is wrong but he was enforcing it in terror, we could be sorry for him instead of despising him.
There is no bigotry in The Satanic Verses. Muslim extremists condemn it because a character has a dream in which Mohammed does embarrassing things (I forget what). The fact that it's only a dream, that even in the novel's fictional world these things don't really occur, is no excuse in their view. They believe that they are entitled to require the whole world to "respect" their views by not writing such things.
No one has a right to that kind of "respect". I applaud Kunzru and the others who have defied these bigots. To heed their demands, as the government of India has done, only encourages them.
The article errs when it calls the ruling Congress Party "centre-left". Its principal policy is to toady to business, like the Republican Party in the US and much of the Democratic Party. If its heroic past leaders could see it today, they would be ashamed of it.
India is starting to censor the Internet too, banning anything that might "offend" someone. After the Megaupload example, will India start arresting people who publish The Satanic Verses in other countries and allow Indians to access it over the Internet?
ALEC offers state legislators "scholarship funds" to go on vacation and listen to arguments for laws business wants. One state legislator is trying to treat this officially as lobbying and to require legislators to report these vacations as gifts.
Smirnoff made something like flavored vodka with beer as an ingredient, then advertised it on TV as if it were beer, so as to get teenagers hooked on drinking it.
Citizens of Massachusetts: oppose the "three strikes" extra-punishment law that is rapidly advancing in the Massachusetts legislature.
The "check engine" light in a car is an excuse to deny car owners information about what's happening in their cars.
This problem is related to the problem of proprietary software in cars.
Several PIPA supporters are copyright infringers.
Everyone: call on Kmart to stop buying from Asia Pulp & Paper, which chops down rainforests to make paper.
US citizens: tell Obama to take a firm stand against global heating and to stop the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline for good.
SOPA is not dead, just hibernating. Hearings will resume in February.
The UK's Financial Policy Committee warns that the companies in the City of London have large investments in fossil fuels. Successful efforts to reduce dependence on those fuels could reduce those companies' asset value.
I bet that those companies have something to do with the UK's slowdown on its alternative energy plans.
UK subsidies for another nonrenewable energy, nuclear, will be challenged in court.
Ending subsidies for fossil fuels would take the world half way towards climate stability.
People who sued the US governmet over Bush's illegal wiretapping will be allowed to proceed to court.
The phone companies were given retroactive immunity, but the government was not.
Nonetheless, the decision was mostly a defeat for Americans who oppose government spying, since it validated that retroactive immunity.
Thus we have a Congress and a President bought by the copyright industry, and a Supreme Court that is unwilling to restrain them from attacking Americans' rights.
Republicans can advocate damaging budget policies based on absurd arguments because the press does not mention the facts to show what's wrong with them.
Obama reluctantly chose to support Internet companies over Hollywood, but Hollywood will keep paying him since he has served them so well on other issues.
Our current Supreme Court won't give him much else to object to.
The Jan 18 blackout protest has had effects: several senators have turned agaist SOPA/PIPA. That doesn't mean the bill is dead.
In addition, several of them pointedly repeated Hollywood propaganda, such as by calling copying "theft". In effect, they are announcing they will support the next nasty thing Hollywood wants to do to us.
We must say to senators and congresscritters, "Stop working for copyright industry's demands and start heeding ours. Copying is not theft!"
Democrats filed a million signatures, around twice the number required.
However, Obama explicitly said that he had not killed the project. He has only insisted they reapply. And they will.
This article shows its lies ("thousands of jobs"), distortion (ignore global heating for a company's profits) and cronyism (working closely with Transcanada, which also corrupted the US State Department's investigation).
It's up to us to kill this project before it kills our civilization.
Police now have scanners that can be used to check if passersby are carrying guns.
I think there are some legitimate places to use these scanners: for example, on entering an area where security is being maintained. However, they should not be used without probable cause to justify searching that person.
US citizens: support "open access" for scientific literature: oppose the "research works act".
Everyone: tell Cooper Tire what you think of locking out its workers after they took pay cuts to help the company become profitable again.
When a company asks workers for givebacks to get through hard times, the workers should demand stock in return. That way, if the company rebounds, they will benefit — and they may even be able to prevent it from locking them out.
The US wants to use social media in Latin American to restore and maintain its domination.
The US government report says that "Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua are led by authoritarian leaders". That is true in the case of Cuba; Venezuela sometimes violates political rights but not systematically. The most authoritarian policy I've seen reported in Nicaragua is the total ban on abortions, like what most US Republicans advocate. But the list does not include countries such as Honduras and Colombia, where US-stimulated forces commit murder.
How Rick Santorum Ripped off American Veterans (for the Catholic Church).
Ex-senator Dodd, who promised in 2010 not to lobby, is the highest-paid lobbyist for SOPA.
For democracy's sake, we must close the revolving door between government and industry. Anyone who has been an elected official, or a high official in any branch of government, should not be allowed to lobby for 10 years after. And this must include any sort of business position aimed substantially at influencing government policy.
Some states have passed laws to require global heating denial in science classes.
The TSA admits making two old women (on separate occasions) pull down their pants, but says this was not a "strip search".
The TSA is probably using a narrow and extreme definition of "strip search" in order to make statements that are literally true but misleading.
Whether this is a danger to human rights depends on how the cameras are used and how long the video is saved.
This is on top of a doubling due to increased population and construction in vulnerable areas, independent of global heating.
Way to go, USA! Let's bring the sweatshops home. Meanwhile, the private prison industry will use this to justify imprisoning more Americans.
Many think that "hacking" means breaking computer security, but this particular hack did not involve computer security as far as I can tell.
The UK "Labour" party, which has the official support of major unions has endorsed right-wing austerity policies, so the unions are talking about removing their support.
Of course, working people in England should not support a right-wing "Labour" party, but they need to go reject more than austerity. They must reject the policy of bowing down to the banksters, and form a party that will fight to take away the political power of the City of London at any cost.
Whatever that costs the UK, it will be less than the harm that the banksters will do if they are not defeated.
If Europe raises its carbon emissions reduction target for 2020, it will save money in the long term. This is because the stricter target will encourage people to make pre-2020 long-term choices in ways that will lead to emission reductions later.
However, it seems to me that basing policy on targets, and cap-and-trade, is a weak policy in general. A simple carbon emission tax would be more effective, since it would give everyone an incentive to conserve more no matter how much he has conserved already.
Romney is a right-wing extremist, proposing more tax cuts for the rich even in a time of hardship.
We know that sleep deprivation is brainwashing, but an Israeli judge accepted the confession of a 14-year-old Palestinian who was subject to sleep deprivation and denied contact with a lawyer.
Israel is developing the idea that legal rights simply do not apply to Palestinians. Israels judges systematically give that a facade of legality.
And Netanyahu has already spoken of extending this to Jews too. The disregard for human rights which most Israelis have winked at is likely to turn around and bite everyone there, making things even worse than they are now.
Palestinian from the West Bank who have married Israeli citizens cannot get permanent residence in Israel.
The appointment of a right-wing judge to Israel's supreme court, who lives in a colony in the West Bank, makes this even more likely.
This article explains the bias carried by the term "intellectual property". That's a sufficient reason to refuse to use it. However, the term is misleading in another, subtler way: it lumps together laws that in practice are totally unrelated. Clear thinking about any of these laws requires that we not confuse it with the others
A Guantanamo prisoner is facing the possibility of the death penalty and is denied basic rights accepted in other US trials, as Obama protects the people who tortured him.
Obama's policy is to continue most forms of torture that Bush used and protect the guilty, so he will surely refuse to cooperate. However, this has a chance to build the pressure to make him stop protecting torturers — some day.
Romney says it is unthinkable to negotiate with the enemy during a war. Why, that might bring peace!
Funny response from an audience with a lot of people who make a big fuss about Christianity.
Your garden pesticide may be killing bees. Even potting soil can have it.
The article includes a lot of speculation, and I am not ready to say that it is true. But I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it is true.
At the same time, we should not forget that Iran's regime is a brutal and totalitarian tyranny. Many Iranians hate it, and the only thing that can make them support it is if the regime can manipulate them through their patriotism — such as, by citing a threat of attack.
US citizens: thank Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline.
He called the oil companies' bluff, after their congress puppets voted to require a decision by Feb 21.
It is good that Obama is not totally feckless, but this is surely not the end for that pipeline proposal. They forced a quick decision hoping he would approve it without a safety study. Since he didn't cave in to that, they will come back and ask for a safety study, which they will try to rig the way they rigged the State Department's study.
While the danger of pipeline leaks is important locally, the danger of the CO2 emissions it will lock in is bigger and global.
US citizens: sign this petition against PIPA/SOPA.
Also phone your senators against them — even if you did so before.
* Yes, I know the name of the organization these corporation made was "Citizens United". But I don't have to treat their dishonest label as truth.
US thugs are not content to arrest photographers or club them. They also try to censor posted videos of their crimes.
People who don't care much about freedom often think it is foolish to make a sacrifice of other secondary goals for freedom's sake.
This can cause extinctions, and as we pump more CO2 into the air, it will get worse.
(The advice is at the end of the article).
These senators are saying, in effect, "I don't represent you, I represent Hollywood."
Ethiopia is forcing 70,000 Nuer herding people off their fields and into "villages" where they have no food and no work. Apparently this is in order to sell the land to foreigners
The OPEN act is a proposed substitute for SOPA/PIPA. It is a lot less bad but it is still bad.
Copyright gives too much power, not too little; increasing copyright power is going in the wrong direction.
Increased repression of prostitutes in the UK has led to a crime wave against them.
This article blames Obama without mentioning that Congress is even more dead set against a diplomatic resolution. The latest sanctions against Iran were adopted by Congress against Obama's opposition.
In the hands of skilled negotiators, and paired with a positive offer, this promise of future sanctions might do some good. But the will to negotiate needs to be there.
The article errs when it says that the goal is inspection of Iran's nuclear facilities, because the IAEA has been inspecting them all along and still does. A rash of similar errors in US media give rise to suspicions that they are participating in a campaign for war.
The US has done nothing to bail out people with home mortgages, and millions more foreclosures are likely.
However, there are things states can do about the fraudulent and invalid mortgages.
But that doesn't mean we are safe. The Senate is still considering its similar law, PIPA, which reveals its ill-foundedness through the words "intellectual property" in its name, and another law which would imprison musicians such as Justin Bieber.
Thus, we must keep up the pressure on the senate.
In effect, the state is terrorist and the police are hostage-taking terrorists. Bombing a police station in Iraq is fighting terrorism.
One policeman was quoted as saying it is the same as under Saddam Hussein. I wonder. Hussein showed no mercy to opposition, but did his police take Iraqis hostage merely for money? I never saw that accusation made against him, and if it had been true, Bush would have used it.
Ex-marine Ross Caputi, who was in the Bush forces that occupied Iraq, thinks that the fuss about troops' urinating on corpses is a distraction from the real issue: what US troops do that creates corpses.
The US border control at San Ysidro x-rays all vehicles with high-frequency x-rays, and the so-called safety tests are bogus.
The freedom-loving Russian government wants to impose biometric digital ID cards on all citizens.
Non-theocratic right-wingers say they can ignore what Romney says to win votes from theocrats, since it's mere election year dishonesty.
This reminds me of all the progressives who told themselves that the "real Obama" was progressive and would show up one he was elected.
Thousands of Indonesians protested against their president, who has supported large companies in grabbing land.
SOPA's supporters have started to offer concessions, but as yet only very small ones.
The problem with a campaign whose aim is to defeat a proposed law that goes in the wrong direction is that is easy for the supporters to "meet us half way" by eliminating half of the bad provisions in the law. Copyright is too restrictive already; we need to reduce it, not increase it. And when we oppose SOPA, we need to demand change in the other direction. Then "meeting us half way" would mean no change.
The real winner in the Iowa caucuses: Super-PACs, which can accept unlimited funds from anyone, and coordinate privately with a candidate while pretending to be independent of the candidate.
I would not be willing to own one of these. Fortunately I broke off watching TV in 1970, because I didn't want to spend my time on it. That's a good reason for you also not to buy a TV, in addition to the DRM.
However, even if these companies didn't in fact do that, the devices can still be used that way.
A UK student who ran a sort of wiki search engine of TV shows may be extradited to the US for trial, though he never was in the US and neither was his site.
The US has failed to prosecute gross Wall-Street corruption, and the culprits are spending their money in arrogant excess.
We used to have regulations so that banksters couldn't reach the point of doing such things, but Obama has not fought to bring them back.
Sanctions have not stopped Iran's development of technology for nuclear weapons, and a military attack couldn't stop it, but there is still a chance for diplomacy.
When Rasiej says that "we all agree" that "piracy" is a problem, that may be true of the members of his organization. I do not advocate eliminating copyright, but "piracy" is a propaganda term whose purpose is to create a climate favorable to unjust laws like SOPA.
Uruguay's prosecutors apparently tried to protects its troops from prosecution for rape in Haiti by claiming they couldn't find the victim.
Apparently they never tried.
Even fairly wealthy parts of South America drop their sewage into rivers and lakes. Driving along the beach west of Rio de Janeiro, passing a line of recent high-rise buildings on the other side of the road, I was told that their sewage went straight into the lagoon beyond them, and it had become very polluted.
Shaker Aamer, now in Guantanamo, wants the UK to investigate his accusations of its complicity in the torture inflicted on him in Afghanistan.
A French journalist in Syria was killed by mortar fire. The killing was almost certainly set up by Assad's men.
The fact that there is no demand for the all whale meat that is caught is a crucial fact. The whale hunt is simply wasteful government spending, and it should be ended.
That resembles what US cities did to the Occupy protests.
I appreciate his concern, but before the protest camp he should close down the rats' offices — Congress and the lobbying companies.
Canada says it protects polar bears, but it pays a big bounty for each one that is shot.
Maybe the government of Canada figures the CO2 from its tar sand oil will wipe out all the wild polar bears anyway, so why not shoot them all?
Professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones started organizing to stop global heating after his favorite run in the alps shrank by hundreds of yards.
I believe the accusations. At the same time I don't trust Karzai's men to me any more humane than the US. Thus, it is hard to see what to recommend here. Perhaps end the war and free the prisoners.
Ironically, the product being made was the Microsoft Xbox, a locked-down computer with DRM, which should not be made at all.
Canada's "natural resources" minister is resorting to ad-hominem distractions to confront the resistance to its tar sands export pipelines.
He is part of a gang that aims not only burn up Canada's resources and spread pollution, but also to burn up the world.
The IAEA has a little recent evidence that claims to show Iran is developing nuclear weapons. But there are reasons to suspect that evidence was falsified.
Despite strong evidence that the UN "peacekeeping" troops brought cholera to Haiti, the UN still pretends it wasn't so.
Lots of "aid" was offered to Haiti after the earthquake, but most of the people displaced two years ago still live in tents and have no access to water.
A lot of the aid was never delivered, or was spent inefficiently on expensive foreigners instead of work in Haiti.
Might as well let him know people will be disappointed if he doesn't.
Pakistan's army and its spy service are undermining the civilian government by accusing it of giving the US a memo asking for help keeping the army under civilian control.
No article I have read about this "scandal" has explained what is scandalous about this. Everyone just takes for granted it is a scandal.
The only scandal I see here is that the army was so defiant and uncontrollable as to make this memo necessary.
It seems the US has prevented the prosecution of other agents UK for cooperating with US torturers in Afghanistan, by refusing to give the evidence needed to prosecute. More shame on Obama, who protects US torturers.
I am more concerned about the killing, rape and torture of living people.
Micro-RNA from plants humans eat can get into human cells and have effects on them. This disproves the general claim that genetically engineered plant DNA can't directly hurt humans.
That genetically engineered plants could produce micro-RNA that hurts humans does not mean that they do or will. The genetic engineering that is done is typically not intended to change the plant's micro-RNA at all. It might do so accidentally, but that would be unlikely. For that change to be harmful to humans would be a freak accident.
I think the other problems of genetic engineering — patents that harm farmers, and toxins that harm wildlife — are bigger issues in practice.
Daniel Ellsberg speaks for Bradley Manning, who is not allowed to speak for himself, and admires him for standing firm against brainwashing and refusing to incriminate Obama's other targets.
Ellsberg says that Obama is repeating Nixon's attempt to stretch the Espionage Act to cover informing the American public. When Obama accuses Manning of "aiding the enemy", "the enemy" are we the people.
A "super-PAC" set up by Romney's close associates raised millions from rich people and corporations to pay for attack ads.
Romney claimed in a radio interview that he was not responsible for these ads or for what they say. Legally, that may be true.
Morally, it is a lie.
The US Supreme Court should follow the ethics standards for other judges.
US neocons are pushing for an unjustified war with Iran, and Congress is helping them along.
However, is it a good thing to make kids "fit in" by helping them be manipulated by the fashion industry? I think that teaches people to be weak.
The telling argument, which shows that the TSA is not deterring airplane attacks by unidentified terrorists: such terrorists, if they were really in a position to attack the US, would have attacked softer targets instead. However, such attacks have been very few.
Although much of the TSA's activity can be explained as an out-of-control bureaucracy, that doesn't explain the audio warnings in our trains and buses, and now signs on our streets. I am convinced that the people who hate our freedoms understand full well what they are doing to the US this way.
Occupy Rigged Elections is looking for web developers and programmers to set up its web site. If you want to help, write to firstname.lastname@example.org but add con to the front of that address.
US citizens: call on Obama to break up the Bank of America rather than allow it to move junk derivatives into its FDIC-insured division.
Israel's new law that calls for mandatory imprisonment of asylum-seekers violates human rights treaties.
It makes me think of the movie, Exodus.
The law punishes anyone "assisting [immigrants] who were armed or engaged in trafficking people or drugs." It is acceptable to punish collaboration in those activities (though some drugs should be more or less legalized), but does this law require proof that the accused knowingly and voluntarily helped such immigrants? If not, does it turn humanitarian aid into Russian roulette?
Argentina has advanced towards a universal surveillance state by putting mandatory national ID cards in a computer data base.
Mandatory national ID cards are an injustice in themselves.
One of the Arab League monitors sent to Syria resigned, saying he had seen "scenes of horror" and his mission was ineffective at stopping them.
Republican candidates plan tax cuts. The tax cuts for the rich would be 100 to 270 times as big as tax cuts for the middle class.
Meanwhile, the necessary cuts in government activities would crush the poor. I guess they figure the poor won't notice what they are planning, or perhaps that the poor will be blocked from voting.
Muslims in the UK are on trial for advocating a change in law.
The law they want, which would impose the death penalty on homosexuals, would be extremely unjust, and I have posted condemnation of a similar proposed law in Uganda. However, to criminalize proposals for changes in laws is incompatible with democracy. What political position will the UK ban next? Abolishing "free trade" treaties? Legalizing file sharing? Taxing the banks?
Another Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated.
This is a kind of low-level war, but very different from an overt military attack. But Israel is not starting a war; if I understand right, Israel and Iran have been officially at war for decades.
Bayer's pesticides are killing lots of bees. This suggests that the pesticides play a large role in the massive honeybee die-offs in the US.
If so, the use of these pesticides on other crops is likely to increase the bee die-offs.
I also wonder whether honey is contaminated with these or other pesticides.
On March 2-6, AIPAC, the Israeli hawks' lobby, will have a meeting. Protesters will be there too.
Some Democrats say we should ignore US imprisonment without trial to protect Obama.
How can our freedom be less important than a politician that failed to defend it?
US threats against Iran may have convinced Khamenei that the US is set on war, and only nuclear weapons can stop it.
The Pentagon accuses Iran of helping first Iraq and now Afghanistan kick out US troops on schedule.
If this were the main thing Ahmadinejad had done, I would thank him. However, this does not cancel out the tyranny of the Iranian regime towards the Iranian people.
Regular protests continue in Nabi Saleh. Here's how some nonviolent protesters were arrested, tortured for a while, and threatened with false charges.
These protests are against Israeli colonies in the West Bank which take away Palestinians' land. In 2001, Israel increased the rate of colony extension.
There is an Israeli colony in the middle of the town of Hebron. The colonists seek to drive out Palestinian residents through violence and threats. Israeli soldiers who see this do nothing to stop it.
Elsewhere, colonists put up a fense through a Palestinian's farm and soldiers kicked the farmers off their land.
One of the "settlers" leaders has called for the abolition of democracy in Israel.
Putin's men used a doctored photo to make a false accusation against an opposition leader.
This sounds like the way a right-wing sabotage squad attcked ACORN.
The US and Israel are integrating their forces and command structure for missile defense.
I see no harm in Israel's installation of antimissiles — though they may not work as well as supposed; in the 1991 Gulf War, Patriot missiles supposedly knocked down many Iraqi SCUD missiles, but further study suggested the Patriots had not really damaged them. I hope that the newer missiles really do work.
To integrate US and Israeli command structures for missile defense is not directly dangerous, but its implications could be far-reaching. If this means Israel cannot attack Iran without US backing, maybe Obama can use that to prevent the attack. On the other hand, if Obama lacks the guts to do that (which it seems he does), this integration might pull the US into the war.
Shell's enormous oil spill in Nigeria, 20% to 40% as large as the Big Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has been ignored by the world, and nobody seems likely to start to clean it up.
The cause of this is the corruption of Nigeria's government. Its leaders have not got the courage and integrity necessary to challenge Shell. They have surrendered (perhaps in exchange for a rich reward).
Things are somewhat better in the US, but not much. The US government has not imposed the regulations needed to prevent another Big Spill, because our leaders have not got the courage and integrity necessary challenge Big Oil. On the contrary, Obama wants to allow Arctic undersea drilling.
Los Angeles wants arrested Occupy protesters to pay hundreds of dollars to a private company for lessons about freedom of speech.
Aside from doubts about whether these lessons would be slanted, and the fact that the protesters don't need them, these protesters should not be charged with anything. It is the city thugs who arrested them that should be in prison.
New forms of torture leave 'invisible scars', say researchers.
What is handy for the torturers is that these mental scars are not easily characterized: it is hard to prove they were caused by torture.
Of course, old fashioned physical torture is still practiced too, even by the US.
The New York Times treats it as a certainty that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, even though there is no evidence of this.
I am convinced Iran is preparing to be able to make nuclear weapons, but that is not the same as actually making them. The facts support the view that Iran wants to reach a point where it could make nuclear weapons in under a year, then pause there.
The difference is significant, because as long as Iran remains in that intermediate position, no one need fear it will launch a nuclear attack.
At present, Iran's nuclear activities are being monitored by the IAEA. If Iran decided to press towards nuclear weapons, the IAEA would see this, or else Iran would have to kick it out to prevent that. Either way, there would be warning.
But even if Iran did try to make real nuclear weapons, war would not be able to prevent it.
US citizens: tell the FDA to make its approval standards for medical devices strict, not weak.
Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) give banks ways to repackage bonds in ways too subtle for their clients to properly judge. They played a major role in creating the financial meltdown.
Now it seems that the banks selected the bonds that were going to fail to put into the CDOs.
A German police official illegally used spyware on his daughter, and got paid back drastically, as she opened the door for freedom-minded hackers to reveal information about secret state surveillance systems.
This would make a great novel.
I believe the GPS tracking devices referred to are attached by police to the targets or their cars.
Bahrain denied entry to Richard Sollom of the Physicians for Human Rights,
He was going to observe the trial of a protester, which apparently the Bahraini government expects not to pass muster.
The Uruguayan troops caught on video raping a Haitian prisoner have been freed.
The charges against them have not been dropped, but prosecutors say they can't find the victim for testimony.
I wonder what happened to him. It must be easy in Haiti to make someone disappear.
Everyone: sign this petition calling on the UN to have Syria's tyrant prosecuted in the International Criminal Court.
Game designer Amir Mizra Hekmati has been sentenced to death in Iran for making games in which US troops attack Iran.
He was made to confess that he did this for the CIA. That confession proves nothing — Iranian torturers can extract false confessions just as well as US torturers. At the same time, it would not surprise me if the US government (perhaps not the CIA) did somehow support the development of that game. It acknowledges doing such things.
If so, that would not justify punishing Hekmati. Nobody should be punished for making a game — not even if it is proprietary.
If You Want More Local Food, Stop Criminalizing Family Farmers.
A town should not be able to nullify all state and federal laws as Sedgwick tried to do. And I am not particular a supporter of unpasteurized milk. But many food safety regulations that are needed for agribusiness can safely have exceptions for local food production.
Parts of China are increasing the minimum wage.
I did not think I would see the day that this happened. Note that the wages mentioned in the article are per month.
In much of the US, police department thugs tyrannize students starting in primary school, sending them to prison for absurd "crimes" such as leaving crumbs on the table after eating.
The result is a school-to-prison pipeline for anyone who has mental deficits, anyone who is eccentric, and anyone who won't bow and scrape to a bully.
The impunity of the police is crucial for their bullying. They are never punished for starting violence; instead, the victim is punished, unless he maintains a level of self-control that most adults couldn't match.
The supposed reason for the presence of these bullies in the schools is to prevent very rare crimes. Maybe they do — it is not certain. Even so, they do far more harm than they prevent.
As for disruption of class, 60 years ago disruptive students were sent to the principal's office, and if they didn't stop, they were suspended. This did not normally require a policeman. Once in a while it might, but police can be called from outside on those rare occasions; and there is no need to press charges against the student just for that. Suspension will solve the problem.
The political philosophy of libertarianism, based solely on property rights, cannot deal with the issue of externalities, such as environmental pollution, that damage others.
The easy way out for them is to deny the existence of the problem. This may partially explain why many right-wingers deny global heating.
Flight posed a similar problem in countries where landowners were considered to own the space above their land. No airplane pilot could possibly have obtained flight permission from every landowner on the route between New York and Washington; in fact, you can't fly so precisely as to be sure you'll go over A's farm and not B's neighboring farm, let alone A's building rather than B's neighboring building, and an emergency or even a cloud might require a deviation miles away from the intended route.
The solution chosen by governments was to decide that pilots did not need landowners' permission. However, once people couldn't order airplanes not to fly over their houses, they needed some other way to limit noise from airplanes, and this too had to be done by the state.
A recent note about US/Israeli missile defense mentioned that Ahmadinejad was falsely accused of wanting to destroy Israel.
In fact, he expressed a general wish for regime change in Israel, which was mistranslated, and the correction was not circulated widely.
US citizens: call for abolishing imprisonment without trial.
Nigerians protested the end of gasoline subsidies, and troops shot them.
Shooting was inexcusable, but I don't support the protests: fuel must be expensive, so people will use less.
This is a separate issue from corruption. Corruption in Nigeria surely does great harm, end reducing it would provide funds that the government could use in many ways to help the poor, including forcing Shell to clean up its oil spill and take safety precautions in the future. However, subsidizing oil is a foolish way to use the money.
Giving the money directly to the citizens might be a good thing, but it needs to be done carefully. Rather than give in proportion to how much petroleum each person uses, the state could give an equal annual sum to everyone who was alive on Jan 1, 2001, or to the person's heirs. This would create an incentive for the poor to have fewer children.
Wikileaks revealed that the US and Canada are waging a global campaign of spying and sabotage aimed at indigenous peoples.
Occupy Portland has called for a national day of action on Feb 29.
Lamar Smith: no lie is too big for SOPA.
Why dissident movements need to start on the communications platforms that lots of people use.
The point is valid — except that nowadays the widely used communications platforms are themselves bad for freedom, and call for opposition from dissidents like me.
What we and the public domain have lost due to the US's extensions of copyright since 1976.
These changes must be cancelled.
Suing the city for this is not enough; the thugs must be prosecuted.
Social activist data mining exposed a network of slumlords who traded buildings among themselves to evade housing laws.
The US expelled a Venezuelan diplomat who had previously discussed a hypothetical cyber-attack against the US.
The US launched a cyber-attack against Venezuela (specificially PDVSA, the state oil company) around a decade ago, whereupon Chávez realized that the state needs to move to free software.
Iran is preparing for a worthless election (only Islamist fanatics can run) by talking about war to win support.
Ten years ago, Bush and al Qa'ida needed each other. Now US Republicans and Iranian tyrants need each other. People in the US can criticize the Republicans who talk about war for helping Iranian tyrants distract the Iranian people from oppression.
The Republican War on the Poor has a new tactic: find excuses to exclude people from unimployment insurance.
Here, it would be people without high school degrees. In some states, it's anyone that takes drugs. In some states, it's anyone that isn't pursuing several job offers a week (what if there are none in your field?). What they all have in common is their goal: to kick people when they are down.
Easy possible savings in US military spending.
Religious bigots in New Hampshire have proposed laws to ban the teaching of evolution.
A note to Bergevin: Hitler was not an Atheist and the Nazi regime did not advocate Atheism. The Scandinavian countries are highly nonreligious and quite peaceful; while Iran supports religion very strongly. Where would you rather live?
Investigators sent by Karzai accused the US of torturing prisoners in Bagram, and imprisoning them without evidence.
It is probably true, since the US has done this in other places. However, we cannot have confidence that Karzai's "goverment" would treat its prisoners any better.
Evan Emory was charged with "making child pornography" for singing lewd lyrics and remixing this with a separately-made video of children, making it appear that they they were reacting to his song.
Emory pled guilty to a lesser charge and was jailed for 60 days. The plea bargain means that no court will consider the constitutionality of these charges, so the "authorities" can go on threatening people with 20 years in prison to show how tough they are.
I am glad he did not face years in prison, or the much worse requirement to register on a sex offenders' list (which is often imposed for no real reason), but he should not have been punished at all.
This page shows what was in Emory's song.
It isn't funny, because it has little wit. The wit is limited to one shocking juxtaposition, and drawing that out at length adds no humor. It is also somewhat crude, and with no wit to sweeten the mix, the crudeness sticks out unpleasantly. However, it is not deeply disgusting like the violence in Pulp Fiction. And this crudeness is not a crime: the newspaper wasn't prosecuted for stating the lyrics in that web page.
Should juxtaposing the lyrics with recordings of kids, made on another occasion, be a crime?
The parents accuse Emory of hurting their children. It didn't hurt them directly. If young children saw this video, they would not understand the sexual aspect. The parents could understand it, and might have felt offended, but it takes more than a feeling of offense to justify punishing someone.
A parent says his kid was teased after the video became known to other kids. Teasing hurts, and teachers should try to stop it — but kids find and make all sorts of occasions to tease, so it is futile to try to prevent teasing by declaring war on possible occasions for it. Kids have been teased for not wearing the latest clothing fad. Shall we imprison parents for not following childrens' fashions? Even imprisoning the executives of the companies that create the fashions would be unjust. Efforts against teasing must focus on changing the teasers' behavior and on supporting the victims.
I think (though IANAL) the parents could sue Emory for using the kids in a video without permission, regardless of details, but that isn't a criminal matter.
It was crude and it wasn't nice, but that's no grounds for a witch hunt.
CNN was so totally in the Pentagon's pocket that it fired commentators who didn't support Bush's war party line.
This was in the time of the Pentagon's Paid Political Pundit Program, which the Pentagon just decided was in accord with its rules. This means it would not hesitate to do the same thing to promote war with Iran.
The Israeli government plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Dkaika.
The school will be left standing, but its students will all be homeless.
The people of an Andaman Islands tribe, isolated until recently, faces dangers from tourism that they can't possibly understand.
I don't know what is right to do in such a situation, except for one aspect: they could be offered vaccination against most of the diseases, and taught how to avoid the others.
A former staffer at New York's Department for Environmental Conservation says that fracking would be dangerous and must not be allowed.
New York's "Democratic" governor is the one who wants to end the state's ban on fracking.
Pentagon head Panetta acknowledged Iran is not currently building a nuclear weapon.
General Dempsey says he would like Iran to believe that a military attack could wipe out its nuclear facilities. I don't think Iran will oblige him.
Canadian harp seals are threatened by global heating.
The pups need sea ice that lasts into summer, and there is now little of that.
Thus, Canada needs to end the slaughter of the few pups that survive or it will wipe out these seals.
Republicans deny facts — such as that Americans die for the lack of health insurance.
"Just in time" supply delivery is efficient in good times, but leaves businesses and society no reserves to cope when anything goes moderately wrong.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, necessary to avoid disaster later this century, provides an opportunity for short-term economic growth too.
So why don't governments do this? I think it's because existing businesses, the ones who have bought the politicians, would lose even though the economy as a whole gains.
Americans must recognize that their current political system is corruption and that most congresscritters are working for the companies that pay them.
The UK is waking up to the fact that the London Olympics will not provide the public benefits that were used to sell the plan.
Holding the Olympic games is a government-subsidized boon for business. To sell the plan to the public, or the public's political representatives, the business interests and their political allies claim that the games will provide public benefits too. These claims are often based on distortions, such as counting benefits for a few as if they were benefits for the many.
Stimulating the economy with government spending is called for in bad times like these, but there are better and worse ways to do it: the money that is spent can buy a lot for the public, or just a little. Olympics spending may get the public more than military spending, but not as much as improved education, public transport, medical care, or renewable energy.
US citizens: sign Amnesty International's petition to close Guantanamo.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and senators and say to cut military spending deeply. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Muslim fanatics in northern Nigeria have launched a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Christians.
They also intend to oppress Muslims, along the lines of Iran and the Taliban.
Right-wing Israeli's pogroms are now aimed at Israeli peace activists as well as at Palestinians.
How Romney learned that bailouts are bad: a company he controlled got one in 2001, and he profited handsomely from that.
Uri Avnery believes Obama will stop Israel from attacking Iran, and thinks Israeli officials are talking about attacking Gaza because they need to attack someone or other.
A Bahraini student was arrested and tortured, apparently for talking to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.
Bahrain's tyranny will not get less nasty as long as the US stands behind it.
Gazan prisoners in Israel are totally cut off from their families.
More Tibetan monks have burned themselves as a protest.
I wonder if there is any chance they could get to Beijing to do it.
The US media's obsession with presenting an image of balance lends half-validity to any lie or cover-up, not matter how flagrantly false.
Call on Obama to hold the banksters accountable for their crimes.
US citizens: support higher fuel economy standards for cars.
US citizens: call on the US to reject the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
Now that the government is required to decide yes or no within 60 days (less, by now), and since that's not enough time even to study the safety against leaks and spills, the decision must be no.
US citizens: tell your senators to support Feinstein's bill to end imprisonment without trial.
Estimate that Fukushima fallout caused 14,000 deaths in the US.
US citizens: call on the Department of the Interior not to approve Arctic undersea oil drilling.
Economic sanctions are crippling Iran's business and creating shortages.
Maybe this could result in an agreement and avoid the Israeli attack that Obama lacks the strength to veto. But I think Israel's hawkish government would rather have the war.
The first warden of the Guantanamo prison says it is an injustice and should be closed.
He also said that very few of the prisoners knew any information that the US needed.
The deficit-cutting plan, if not corrected, will leave US domestic spending less than it has been since 1930.
Military spending would be cut less, and would be more than 5)% of the federal budget.
I am not sure if military pensions and veterans' benefits are counted as military spending in this breakdown. Can someone check?
The US Ambassador to Iraq says that the prosecution of Vice President al-Hashemi is being carried out fairly.
Supposing that the Ambassador's statement is true (we can't take that for granted), what does it imply? I would not be surprised if al-Hashemi really did set up a death squad, but I would be surprised if no other Iraqi officials had done so. However, al-Maliki is not prosecuting them. Thus, both views of this situation might be correct: this might be a proper, honest investigation, and an anti-Sunni power grab, at the same time.
Reports of an internal dispute within Hamas' leadership between those that want to end violence and those that don't.
The UK government plans to keep intelligence information secret from court inquiries.
In recent years, the UK has been the only avenue for some of Bushbama's torture victims to seek justice. This is because US courts dismiss their cases when the torturer-state asks them to. If the UK changes its laws, none of the victims of the US or the UK will ever get justice, or even a hope of release from prison.
A suicide bombing in Damascus has boosted support for Assad.
I doubt Assad's men could have found anyone willing to carry out a false-flag suicide bombing. But they might have planted a bomb on someone and set it off by a radio signal.
Or it might have been intended by dissidents to attack police. If so, this shows that suicide bombs, like drone bombs, kill noncombattants.
Republicans are now trying to destroy private sector unions in Indiana.
The ACLU is suing to overturn the Wisconsin voter ID law.
Voter ID laws are a favorite Republican tactic for stopping poor people, old people, students, and minority group members from voting.
The US and Israel plan joint missile-defense systems and exercizes.
The concern is that this will enable Israel to attack Iran and push the US into "defending" it.
Costa Rica formally abolished its army, but it is allowing the School of the Americans to effectively convert police into an army.
Pharmacists and doctors are on strike in Greece.
Several US news companies are planning to collude to make sites pay for links with excerpts.
This wouldn't affect stallman.org, because I don't copy whole paragraphs from articles into these political notes. However, I am against any attempt to narrow the bounds of fair use.
Honduran Priest Says Cops Tortured Him.
Behind those thugs stand the coup-installed Honduran government, and behind it the US government, without whose support the coup could not have happened.
Colombia's president Santos wants to shield soldiers from prosecution by transferring jurisdiction to the military.
Bahrain's lobbyists secretly helped write an opinion article in the Washington Times in favor of disregarding Bahrain's attacks on protesters.
Belarus, like Iran, demands Internet users identify themselves.
The government pretends that this is not effectively censorship. Belarus' tyrant is a shameless liar like Putin.
Chile's government plans to alter textbooks to stop mentioning Pinochet's dictatorship.
US citizens: call on the FCC to make broadcast stations say who paid for every political ad.
Everyone: call on Google to quit the US Chamber of Commerce in protest to its campaign for SOPA.
Shame on Obama.
But it plans to exclude those who need this help the most — those whose condition won't kill them soon, and face decades of torture or forced inactivity.
The former "socialist" Spanish government, which gave Spain the Internet censorship law, was also planning to prevent EU fishing reforms designed to protect fish stocks.
This is because business lobbying successfully prevented increases in CAFE standards and gas taxes for a long time.
Obama says he can't stop Israel from attacking Iran.
Dubya did it, why can't Obama? Because Obama has caved in 110% to the Israeli hawks' lobby.
When Palestinians win court victories against "illegal" Israeli colonies, Israel doesn't remove them — rather, it moves them a short distance.
I put "illegal" in quotes because this refers to colonies built without approval of the Israeli government. All of Israel's colonies in the West Bank violate treaties that Israel has signed.
This year's presidential election is a distraction from the central political issue: the 1% vs the 99%.
However, this distraction can throw up dangerous issues of its own, as the elites push to launch a war against Iran.
Never mind that there's no reason for war, no grounds to justify one, and the American people don't want it.
EPA regulations to clean up Chesapeake Bay are creating jobs too.
I don't entirely understand the name "Kopimism". Sure, it starts with "copy", but where does the "m" after that come from? [Later: it seems they started with "kopimi" = "copy me".]
I decline to seriously endorse any church, but I do say, "sharing is good."
A whistleblower who worked on the smaller existing Keystone pipeline says that Bechtel and Transcanda cut costs at the expense of safety — and it shows, in oil spills.
If the larger Keystone XL pipeline is built, avoiding climate disaster will depend on the pipeline's leaking so badly that they shut it down.
Obama's Climate Betrayal.
Pakistan's Taliban made a separate peace with the government of Pakistan so it can help fight the US in Afghanistan.
Hamas is moderating its position, moving towards Fatah and acceptance of Israel. Should Israel respond by saying it wants war?
US citizens: pledge to support the ACLU in fighting Obama's imprisonment without trial law.
As many as half a million former Bush forces troops may have lasting injuries caused by the war in Iraq. That's comparable to the number of Iraqi dead, which is probably between half a million and one million.
Indian troops in Kashmir shot at protesters and killed a student.
The US is planning to free a few Taliban leaders from Guantanamo to try to get peace negotiations started.
This is a sensible practical step, but what about the other Guantanamo prisoners who the US acknowledges were not connected with the Taliban or al Qa'ida? Will they be kept in prison because they were never enemies?
Three myths about Obama's imprisonment-without-trial law.
California prisoners suspended their hunger strike in October when a state official promised a proposal for substantive changes in 60 days.
However, so far they have seen no proposal.
The incoming right-wing government has put the anti-sharing censorship Ley Sinde info effect.
This law was enacted by the previous "socialist" government.
Recently imprisoned Russian opposition leaders are in addition to thousands of other political prisoners.
Ron Paul combines some good ideas with a lot of crackpot ones.
Nonetheless, I think he does some good by bringing a message of respect for human rights and nonmilitarism into media that don't give progressives a chance to say two words. The point is not whether Paul is a good messenger, but whether he is better than none.
The government of Hungary is attacking human rights, and nobody can do anything.
The vague dimensions of imprisonment without trial in the US. (This law was signed by Obama; shame on him.)
Cuba will soon begin undersea oil drilling.
The US, for its own protection as well as humanitarian decency and the environment, should eliminate sanctions on anything that pertains to cleaning up oil spills.
In Israel, women's rights are linked to Arabs' rights.
The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force recommended prosecuting people as "terrorists" for making undercover videos of animal farms.
The ACLU, representing one of the users, moved to quash the subpoena.
The ACLU does not know whether it succeeded. The judge refused to tell the ACLU the outcome, because it is "secret".
US secrecy has reached levels incompatible with justice or democracy.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority have arrested theater founder Zakaria Zubeidi.
Clinton's "welfare reform" is now causing the disaster that progressives predicted at the time.
The disaster did not happen right away, because there were plenty of jobs in the late 1990s.
Omani journalists have been sentenced to prison for accusing a minister of crime and dishonesty.Laws making it a crime to insult an official are a plague on many countries. There is no excuse for them.
Chile's education minister has resigned.
President Pinera did not give him room to make any concessions to the protesting students.
Poaching of rhinoceros in South Africa is increasing despite great efforts to protect them.
It is driven by quack medicine. Laws against using rhinoceros horn would not be very effective, but an education program might do some good.
As for restoring the Sumatran rhino species in the wild through captive breeding, even if it succeeds in producing young, it would have no chance against current levels of poaching.
The UK's health minister colluded with Philip Morris to oppose smoking reduction policies.
Shaker Aamer faces another year in Guanatano, for no crime, and may die there.
All because of the moral cowardice of Obama and his men.
Digital cameras put unique identifying numbers into their photos.
I am glad that this enables some people to retrieve stolen cameras, and under a state that respected whistleblowers and human rights, the discussion would end there.
Ecuador has raised .1 million to delay oil extraction in the Yasuní National park.
To permanently leave the oil in the ground, Ecuador asks for 3.8 billion dollars — half of what it would get from extracting the oil. It seems fair to me that Ecuador asks the wealthy countries to match its own sacrifice.
Weapons Sales to Iraq Move Ahead Despite US Worries.
In Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and Iran, militant Islamists have Israel to thank.
I disagree with the conclusion, though. Christian fundamentalists in the US and Islamic fundamentalists need each other as enemies, so they will never make peace.
The Chinese state proposes to imprison Ni Yalun for protesting, but its beating already left her crippled.
China has learned to use normal-sounding nonpolitical charges against dissidents such as Ai Weiwei. We see them in this case, but it has not been completely sanitized of obviously political charges.
Swedish journalists who snuck into the Ogaden have been sentenced to 11 years in prison in Ethiopia.
I disagree with the mother who said they should be punished only for entering Ethiopia illegally. Excluding journalists from an area, whether it be Ogaden or the vicinity of Liberty Park in New York, is a sign of evil intentions. To punish journalists for entering that area — regardless of what the nominal "crime" might be — only compounds the government's wrong.
Google should not get away with presenting Google+ as a "public space" while making private rules for it.
Obama has resisted linking the billion dollars a year given to the Egyptian military with respect for democracy.
The presence of Arab League visitors inspired 500,000 Syrians to protest.
Americans need to protest like this against the banksters and the 1% and the politicians that work for them.
A new "anti-terrorism" law in Argentina could be used against protesters.
Mossad chief: Iranian nuclear weapons do not threaten Israel's survival.
Afghan women depend on men to advocate women's rights because hardly anyone there will listen to a woman.
Chilean students ended 8 months of protests with only small gains. But they may start again in 2012.
Ten years later: the three most dangerous provisions of the PAT RIOT Act.
The many methods used to rig US elections.
I've already seen information about most of the methods of rigging listed here. I don't know about dishonesty in exit polling — if you can point me at the facts about that, I'd appreciate it.
It is too bad they ask people to organize on Facebook. I won't be doing that. If I can find another way to contact them, I will ask them to provide another way.
Two thirds of U.S. "Foreign Aid" is military aid for armies.
Human Rights Watch: Syria has transferred political prisoners to military sites so that Arab League visitors can't see them.
The US aimed a slap at the Afghan Press Center because it held a press conference with an official commission that criticized US night raids.
Obama has set up a global high-tech US death squad based on drones.
Drones are not fundamentally different from manned bombers or sniper rifles. Used in a war zone, they don't raise a special issue. However, using drones to kill people in other areas ought to be as controversial as sending manned bombers or snipers into those areas. Thus, the real significance of drones is that they have bypassed obstacles that used to restrain the US use of death squads. In effect, they have made it the general operation of a death squad acceptable, while all the details remain secret.
Israel pressures Gazans to turn informer in order to travel for medical treatment. Woe to whoever has no information to sell them.
Some Israeli Taliban leaders have got the same treatment usually reserved for Palestinians.
I have no doubt that some of these people merit imprisonment for crimes, but not this way.
At this point, Israel will either react against these practices, or abandon the idea of human rights entirely,
Congress Places Conditions on Military and Police Aid to Honduras.
This alone won't restrain the government installed by the US-backed coup as long as Obama still supports it.
Egypt's military rulers have raided a number of foreign-funded organizations that promote democracy or human rights.
Since some of these organizations are funded by the US government, it is not inconceivable that they might have some harmful purpose. But I doubt Egypt's generals would object to that.
It is interesting to compare this with Israel's plans to prohibit foreign funding for human rights organizations.
An Egyptian army officer writes about the army's attempt to stir up division in Egyptian society.
The UK will save money by moving heavily to renewable energy, once the damage caused by global heating is accounted for.
Greek parents are giving up the children they can't afford to support.
While this illustrates the depth of suffering that the banksters have imposed on Greece, it also shows that people should have fewer children.
After Hamas said it will fight only defensively, Israel is talking about attacking Gaza some day.
The Israeli hawks need Gaza as a dangerous enemy, so they can't allow peace to break out. If Hamas won't commit the necessary aggression, Israel must do it.
Bahrain: Last Night It Rained Tear Gas.
The suppression forces shot teargas into houses.
A progressive government would fine this company so badly that it would sell all these hospitals to someone else, even at a loss.
GoDaddy's policy of shutting down domains whenever anyone complains about them gives a foretaste of what SOPA would do.
It should be illegal to shut down a domain without a court order, and a permanent shutdown should require a criminal conviction of the domain owner.
The Japanese government hid information about the Fukushima meltdown as it was happening.
It also pretended that the danger from a tsunami was "unforeseen". when the truth is that designers rejected the concern when it was reported to them.
The most important protective measure is to prevent human population from growing by 80 million per year.
Those who condemn Bradley Manning, and his prosecution, are following the course of those who condemned Daniel Ellsberg and tried to prosecute him.
Some sweatshop jobs are moving from China back to the US.
In other words, "free trade"'s effect on the US was to knock down wages and shaft everyone but the 1%.
Right-wing lies about renewable energy standards.
A proposed giant coal mine in Australia would drive the world into climate catastrophe.
Thousands of Israelis protested gender segregation, but the Israeli Taliban are ready to fight.
Comedian Louis CK sold recordings without DRM, and was amazed how much money he got.
The Israeli court that allowed torture in "ticking time bomb" situations fell for a foolish misunderstanding of torture. It is not good for getting information. It is good for false confessions. If the person being tortured really is involved with the bomb, all he has to do is tell a lie that will stand up until the bomb explodes. And if he was arrested by mistake and knows nothing about the bomb, he will do the same thing.
Much of the danger of nuclear power plants exists because businesses cut corners on safety. And businesses will always do that, because otherwise nuclear power plants would not be profitable.
(I am not convinced they would be entirely safe even if businesses did not cut corners.)
Republicans and Democrats are preparing to destroy Medicare by privatizing the most profitable cream and letting the rest sink.Why this plan would destroy Medicare.
Kazakhstan's tyrant is torturing prisoners and suppressing press coverage of a violent riot. The same thing happens in the US.
How whaling continues, and how it is actually done.
That $335 Million Bank of America Settlement: The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly.
The Israeli Taliban have started harassing and threatening girls going to school.
The Unending Legacy of Torture
Texas will cancel a women's health program to spite Planned Parenthood. And to spite women, who are the ultimate targets of right-wing hatred.
An Egyptian court ruled that subjecting protesters to "virginity tests" was illegal. The victims may get compensation.
French journalist Florence Hartmann faces possible imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for publishing documents stating the reasoning of the judges.
Bangkok's vulnerability to floods, combined with incresed rain and sea level rise due to global heating, is leading some to talk of moving part of the city.
Karzai dropped his objections to a Taliban office in Qatar for peace negotiations.
However, his list of preconditions will prevent any negotiations, for now.
The CIA has nearly suspended drone attacks in Pakistan, but not 100%.
After the condemnation Iran received for planning execution by stoning, its government is considering hanging as a substitute.
I appreciate this statement also for condemning SOPA thoroughly and deeply, avoiding the usual fundamental concessions that grant legitimacy to the War on Sharing. Some other name registrars have criticized SOPA for its side effects but have taken pains to legitimize its unjust purpose. I could not endorse their statements.
One other little good thing that Positive Internet does, which I have reason to appreciate personally, is donate the hosting for stallman.org.
Why almost everything the TSA does is just security theater, not relevant for stopping terrorists attacks.The TSA's measures might stop poorly planned attacks, but it could achieve that just as well while harassing us far less. There is no need to confiscate cupcakes, for instance,while gaping security holes remain elsewhere.
Was security theater a plan to reassure Americans that later went awry? Maybe some had that intention, but I think there was a more subtle and fiendish plan.
There is one purpose for which security theater is supremely effective: making Americans afraid, so they will surrender freedom without resisting. For those in the state who hate our freedoms, this is the goal.
The messages repeated in our subway trains and buses, telling us to be
very afraid of bombs, are further evidence of this. Americans did not
need reassurance to continue taking buses and subway trains. We did
not demand that the government do something to protect us from
terrorists there. Thus,
reassurance as a motive doesn't fit.
Although I admire this lawyer's pro bono victory, I have to say it
would have been better if the article had avoided the misleading term
IP. That term lumps together many laws that are totally different
in practice. The resulting confusion lends itself perfectly to
intimidation by vague threats.
SOPA would ban TOR as well as DNSSEC. And nobody can tell how much else.
It is probably unconstitutional, but we can't count on our current Supreme Court to value freedom of speech for human beings.
These articles have the flaw of using the propaganda term
intellectual property. That doesn't make their substance invalid,but it spreads confusion needs to be counteracted by this paragraph.
The gay community of Minnesota has apologized to former Speaker Amy Koch. She told them that their campaign to legalize gay marriage would cheapen the concept of marriage. That must be why she had an affair with a staffer, outside her marriage.
I would not criticize Koch for having an affair, if it was for sincere love or sincere pleasure. I disagree with the idea that love, or sex, ought to be limited to one partner, and I think it is wrong for society to pressure people into making promises of monogamy that they cannot keep. It is only natural that some people will cave in to this pressure, then not carry through. The fault is in the pressure.
How David Gessner came to support the Cape Wind project.
Maybe it's not such a bad idea for us to see just where our energy
is coming from.
It is unfortunate that windmills kill some birds, even not enough to endanger them. Is anyone studying methods to warn birds away from windmills?
This sort of manipulation had been prevented by a SEC regulation, but in 2007 the SEC withdrew the crucial regulation.
The crisis resulted from the bursting of a bubble. The bubble was able to grow (and later burst) due to deregulation, including the repeal of the Glass-Stiegel law. The cause of this deregulation was the banksters' political power.
We must take back control over the US government from the banksters and the other rich people and corporations. We must restore democracy. Until we do, the US government is no more legitimate than King George.
The US government refuses to state its legal argument for killing Awlaqi, or the evidence it was based on.
This means, in effect, that Obama claims the right to assassinate anyone and never explain why.
Obama is taking US government secrecy to absurd new heights.
At least 70,000 domains have been moved away from GoDaddy, and the protest move continues.(I wonder how many domains remain registered with GoDaddy.)
However, punushing one SOPA supporter is not enough to eliminate corporate support for SOPA. Who else on the list can we punish?
Museum directors stood up to pressure to bury an old skeleton that demonstrates acromegaly.
In the US, the NAGPRA law which required museums to dispose of the indigenous skeletons in their collections was a blow to scientific research. And since it failed to block scientific study of the 8000-year-old skeleton of Kennewick man, some want to extend it to do so. Scientists should stop trying to justify or excuse this misguided requirement, and start criticizing it.
Canada's business-controlled government proposes to let the US control Canada's border, trade, food and privacy policies.
GoDaddy tells us it no longer supports SOPA. It tells Congress that it still supports SOPA.
Macy's dirty secret: selling gold obtained from mines that harm workers or the environment.
The Kimberly Process, intended to discourage trafficking in
diamonds, is falling apart.
Can anyone tell me the situation of blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who started a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment?
Republicans want to make Americans take drug tests to get unemployment
The argument for this is clearly invalid. If a person was laid off, not fired, his drug use clearly didn't stop him from holding a job before, so why wouldn't he be able to do it again. Republicans are simply looking for every possible way to oppress someone.
Another inventive way to shaft the unemployed is to make each person
report five jobs he applied for each week.
When few jobs are available, it is pointless to make people bang their heads against closed doors. It will have no effect on the number of unemployed people that find jobs. It is just a way to deny benefits to some of the unemployed.
US police are using drones for surveillance in ordinary criminal cases.
Maybe it was proper that a drone be used in the specific case described here. But you can be sure that police will misuse this power if nothing stops them. With newer, more capable drones, they will be able to watch and record everyone's movements, if nothing stops them.
Secrecy without sense: State Department Censors Cables Already Published by WikiLeaks.
US citizens: Tell Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
Obama signed a bill requiring a decision on Keystone XL within 60 days. A rushed environmental impact investigation is no investigation at all.
The reason is it would effectively eliminate any hope of avoiding global heating catastrophe.
Police in China attacked protesters and tried to discourage press coverage.
Facebook in Europe may be required to discard some user data after a time, without sending it to the US.
This may reduce the harm that Facebook does, but is not even close to enough to make it ethically acceptable. Most of the criticisms reported in this site remain valid.
Censoring flu virus research to keep the information out of the hands of terrorists is likely to do more harm than good, because the biggest danger comes from nature.
I also point out that members of real Qa'ida-affiliated groups are probably smart enough to realize that an artificial epidemic would not limit itself to their enemies. It would spread around the world, and would kill the people they believe they are fighting for. The only terrorists likely to want to develop an epidemic disease are the naive Walter Mittys that get entrapped by the FBI, who couldn't do anything without FBI help and probably wouldn't even try.
It would be useful to contact the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the National Governors' Association (and your governor), the National Sheriff's Association (and the sheriff of your area), and the US Conference of Mayors (and your mayor).
The 60 Plus organization, Americans for Tax Reform, and Concerned Women for America must either be astroturf (phony) grass-roots organizations or real grass-roots organizations whose support has been purchased. (Remember how AT&T purchased the support of GLAAD and the NAACP for its merger with T-mobile?)
Can you find out which they are?
The US government is considering forcibly closing a Twitter account used by the Shabab militia in Somalia.
I detest the Shabab's Islamist policies, but Somalis might prefer them to the endless war that the US has imposed on Somalia or the "government" whose only support is foreign-imposed.
As long as they are not arranging crimes on Twitter they have a right to state their views.
Google and Facebook are being sued in India for presenting "religiously offensive" material.
Imprisoning people for what they say is tyranny, but freedom of speech is threatened around the world in supposedly "free" countries. In the US, investigating and criticizing agribusiness is called "terrorism" and punished by imprisonment. In the UK, speaking "racist insults" is punished by imprisonment. In France, some opinions about 20th century history will be punished by imprisonment. In India, books are banned; Taslima Nasrin's book "Shame", about oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh, was banned in West Bengal — and now ideas distasteful to any major religion are likely to be banned too.
Whether you like a work, or find it disgusting, please don't refer to it as "content".
The FBI considers investigations and protests at factory farms as "terrorism", and many other governments do this or propose to.
Taking and "rescuing" some animals might properly be called theft, but theft is not terrorism.
Republicans want to eliminate temporary hunting and fishing bans on federal land.
The Republican Party Principles:
Clinton is threatening economic warfare to stop an EU plan to make airlines pay for their carbon emissions.
Since the plan would affect US and European airlines alike, airlines in the US cannot claim it is unfair. What they object to can only be that making airlines pay for their pollution would tend to discourage flying.
When Clinton opposes this, she says that airline profits are more important than limiting global heating. She cannot help knowing this. She must be totally corrupt in her heart.
Russia followed the EU in banning import of Canadian harp seal fur.
I approve of the decision, but it hardly outweighs Putin's contempt
Turkey has arrested over 25 journalists for their writing. They are associated with the cause of Kurdish independence.
The accusation that these journalists' articles contain prearranged coded messages directing specific people to launch violent attacks is absurd. The BBC did that during World War II, but the method is obsolete today. It would be easier to create a Gmail account and mail the prearranged code phrase to some other Gmail account.
This absurd accusation shows that Turkey's government is lying.
Some imprisoned journalists in Turkey are accused of "membership in a terrorist organization". If a government can arbitrarily declare an organization "terrorist" and make membership in it a crime, that is evident tyranny.
National security advisers to the Republican presidential candidates have ties to military and energy contractors companies that get billions in US government contracts.
Not surprisingly, they plan to spend more on these companies and take it out of poor Americans.
Christmas: Brought to You by Chinese Slave Labor.
I decided 40 years ago to stand aside from holidays whose main purpose is to make people buy things.
The prosecutors in Bradley Manning's pretrial hearing were unable to present evidence that Manning had hurt US national security.
The Justice Department blocked a South Carolina voter ID law.
It was obviously right to do this, but why haven't all the other voter ID laws been blocked? They are all designed to suppress votes by groups that typically vote Democrat.
Governor Haley promised to give poor voters a ride to the DMV, but refused to do it when someone actually tried to take her up on the offer.
The FDA abandoned a plan to block the practice of giving farm animals small amounts of antibiotics.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died in recent decades from the infections that cannot be treated because of the resistance stimulated by that practice.
Clearly this is the work of agribusiness and pharmaceutical companies, and shows how many Americans they are prepared to kill to avoid a decrease in income. But the real scandal is that our governmental system allows them to do this.
Eliminating the politcal power of business is the only way to restore legitimate government in the US.
Obama reached a prisoner-release deal with the Taliban, then let Karzai veto it.
Any plausible peace deal means Karzai will lose power, so he will veto any deal if he is permitted to.
The U.S. Double Standard on Elections in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Protests against government and business secrecy over the Fukushima meltdown have broken a social barrier to protest movements in Japan.
Mona Eltahawy describes how Egyptian police found her in a protest, broke her arms, and sexually assaulted her.
Boycott Go Daddy is still a good idea, even though it now says it doesn't support SOPA any longer.
But don't sign the pledge if that requires a Google+ account. It still requires users give their real names, and Internet communication services with such a policy need to be rejected.
Here's what GoDaddy actually stated.
It seems ready to support something similar to SOPA.
A Christmas message from billionaires to the rest of the US, saying effectively that the rest of the country means nothing to them. They regard it as prey.
2011 broke records for many kinds of weather disasters.
Sponsorship of art by big corporations is used to inject subtle propaganda — for instance, for strip mining.
"Piracy" and "intellectual property" are comparable examples in the computing field.
Pakistan rejected the US report on what happened when US airplanes attacked a Pakistani army base.
I find the US report basically credible, not based on any special information, but simply because the US had no plausible motive to knowingly attack Pakistani troops.
Chinese dissident Chen Wei was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
His trial was probably bogus too. However, what the US Congress advocates is worse: life imprisonment with no trial at all.
Call on Obama to declare a truce in Afghanistan for Grav-mass.
Occupy Wall Street takes on Congo's 'debt vultures'.
Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a unity government for Palestine.
Now that Hamas has agreed to cease military offensives, Israel will have only the most strained excuses for refusing to recognize this unity government. And the US will have no grounds for calling Hamas "terrorist".
However, since the US government is thoroughly submissive to the Israeli hawks, I expect it will support their policy no matter how absurd.
A US night raid, sent to arrest one of Karzai's drug-war officials, killed his wife.
At least the US apologized for that. Less prominent innocent victims are not even get recognized.
The fact that a goverment official was arrested in such a violent fashion is a sign of how bad the Karzai regime is.
I won't say arresting him was unjustified, since I'd expect any "counter-narcotics" official in Afghanistan to be receiving protection from drug traffickers. On the other hand, I doubt the arrest was motivated by a shocking discovery that he was on the take, since everyone probably knew that all along. Perhaps it was a dispute about what fraction to pay to some higher official.
Thus, the arrest reminds us of what we already know: the Karzai regime, which was imposed through a rigged election, is too corrupt to win a war, and too corrupt to deserve support.
US citizens: thank Obama for the new EPA regulations on toxic mercury emissions.
It's so rare that Obama does something good that thanking him makes sense.
In Obama's twisted American exceptionalism, crushing human rights is horrible except when the US does it.
Republicans in Congress censored C-SPAN.
Putin's latest tactic: tapping phones of opposition leaders and publishing edited recordings to make them look bad.
Indian companies are joining Chinese companies to buy up farmland in Africa to grow food for export.
Africans who face starvation because governments have kicked them off their land ought to use their last ounce of strength to fight. Even if they don't win, they can make this practice less attractive to the investors, and thus protect other potential victims.
Microwave body scanners have a high rate of false alarms, especially when using the software that hides what bodies look like.
I'd rather they use the microwave scanners without that software. If TSA employees can survive seeing me naked, I am sure it won't kill me. I am willing to go through a microwave scanner if asked; but when asked to go through an x-ray scanner I always say "No way -- feel me up!"
Most Americans drift on placidly as the TSA spreads its security theater into train and bus stations.
The purpose of this security theater is to focus American's attention on an unlikely danger (terrorists who inexplicably choose to bonb an Amtrak train rather than a New York City rush-hour subway train), and away from the big and real danger: the crushing of democracy and human rights by the US government.
No freedom of expression in the UK: prosecution for a "racial slur".
Meanwhile, France proposes to make it a crime to deny the genocide of the Armenians.
That too attacks basic human rights.
This issue is not about the treatment of Armenians in 1916. This is about freedom of expression in France today.
UK Uncut will sue the government for its sweetheart tax deal with Goldman Sachs.
100 Syrian soldiers tried to defect, but were cut down by other soldiers.
Argentina has foisted a ban on Falklands islands ships onto other countries in South America.
I have zero sympathy with this demand, which treats the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands as if they were mere adjuncts to the land, like the grass on it.
All the rest of the security council condemned the US for blocking peace by supporting Israel's colonization of the West Bank.
A new Israeli checkpoint separating Shu'fat refugee camp in Jerusalem from other Arab neighborhoods has a secret nasty purpose: to revoke the Jerusalem residence permits of the people who live in that camp.
182 countries (out of 193) in the UN General Assembly voted to support Palestine's right of self-determination.
Israel is considering a bill to imprison asylum seekers, and imprison anyone who gives an asylum seeker assistance (such as a glass of water).
I did not make this an urgent action note because it looks like the action is for Israelis only.
The US said it will attack Iran if it tries to build a nuclear weapon.
The UN must acknowledge that it brought cholera to Haiti, and pay compensation.
The CIA drone attacks in Pakistan have killed 60 people since September. The Obama regime has covered up the identities of 59 of them, as well as all other relevant information.
Human Rights Watch says the CIA must cease its drone attacks.
Iraq may be headed towards an authoritarian Shi'ite government and sectarian war.
If this is true, what I said recently, about Iraq's having enough democracy to make the Bush forces leave, would be incorrect. Iraq may once again be worse off than it was under Saddam Hussein.
Selling toxic sewage sludge under the name of "biosolids".
A proposal for gender neutrality in Spanish, suitable for both speech and writing.
Egyptian government thugs attacked protesters with hatred.
It appears that they see Egyptians as the enemy and have dehumanized them.
We have seen the same attitude in New York City, Berkeley, Oakland and LA,
US citizens: tell the FCC to require TV stations to disclose information about who pays for ads and infomercials.
Occupy the Food Supply: to reduce corporate power, we must eliminate the giant agribusiness corporations.
Kazakhstan's tyrannical rulers say they will continue to shoot protesters.
Corruption in Birmingham, Alabama, has driven up water and sewer rates to the point where many poor people are being cut off.
If many people can't pay the rates, will they need to raise the rates even more? The end result of that path is obvious: everyone kicked off and no money coming in.
The bankruptcy must be used as an opportunity to void all the debt so that the rates can be lowered again.
The protest movement againt water-destroying mining in Peru is spreading despite its betrayal by President Humala.
Note that tyranny in Peru, with a few people deciding for everyone, did not start with the Spanish conquest. The Inca empire was just as tyrannical, even more narrowly regimented, and practiced human sacrifice too.
Poisoning your water is morally equivalent to shooting at you, so it isn't wrong to fight back using a gun. However, peaceful protests do less harm if they work.
Seattle high school students walked out to protest education cuts.
Facebook has been sued for putting users' faces in ads.
Unemployment is pushing large numbers of Americans into poverty.
2 million people started using food stamps in the first 9 months of 2011.
Outright lies used to support SOPA.
It makes me think of the way Putin lies to demonstrate that truth has no meaning.
Egyptian military thugs have attacked protesters for 4 days.
A protest at the World Bank in DC condemned its plans to help a mining company force its way to poison El Salvador's main water supply.
El Salvador should withdraw from CAFTA. In fact, why hasn't it?
Negotiations between the US and the Afgan Taliban are showing hope of success.
The US admitted that Afghan local police have committed crimes against civilians.
The Taliban do that too, but we their supporters so the fault does not fall on us.
Victoria's secret is child labor.
Obama is considering supporting the Robin Hood tax.
Geithner opposes this because he is "the bankers' man in DC".
Israel is considering declaring violent West Bank colonists as "terrorists".
A couple of comments are called for. First of all, lots of Palestinian youths are interrogated (i.e., brainwashed/tortured) and confess to something, but that doesn't mean they really did it, because torture extracts false confessions. It's wrong to do this to Palestinians and would be equally wrong to do it to Jews.
Second, the Israeli state created this monster by sponsoring the West Bank colonies in the first place.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj has sued the UK for handing him over for Gaddafi to torture.
The UK police have apologized to a photographer who they accused of terrorism for taking photos of a parade.
Christians in Leesberg, Virginia, are angry that other groups get to put up their own end-of-year displays, and it isn't limited to Christians any more.
Next year, would anyone in Leesberg like to put up a Grav-mass display?
Evidence that a radical Palestinian group was known to be responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103, and al-Megrahi was framed as part of political machinations.
North Dakota flood victims still await aid from the incapacitated US government.
The only things Republicans are willing to spend money on are weapons. Unfortunately you can't live in a weapon (unless perhaps it's a personnel carrier).
The National Academy of Engineering finds that major safety problems in undersea oil drilling have not been corrected.
In other words, nothing has been changed to prevent another Big Spill.
Tell Obama he should veto the NDAA (imprisonment without trial bill).
Blackwater's wanton violence in Iraq is now fully documented, aside from a few celebrated incidents. They shot Iraqi drivers on the slightest hint of an excuse, and lied afterwards.
Once, when the victim was an Iraqi judge, he was paid compensation for damage to his car. (His wounded leg apparently did not call for compensation.) But even he did not receive an apology.
Universal Music used the DMCA to censor a news show that covered its censorship of Universal's censorship of the Megaupload song.
Gingrich says he would arrest "activist judges" that stand up for civil liberties he considers "risky".
I wonder, would he have arrested the Supreme Court after the Citizens United decision?
The UK government plans to protect against bank-induced fiscal crises with a separation along the lines of the former Glass-Stiegel Act.
That law protected the US from bank-induced fiscal crises from the 30s to the 90s, when legislators corrupted by the banks eliminated the law. The new UK separation doesn't go quite as far, but might do the job.
The US congress remains so thoroughly under the control of the banksters that it has been unable to reestablish this crucial separation in any form.
However, in general the UK government continues to support the power of unregulated banks, which it unleashed on the world 25 years ago.
Hamas says it will use violence only to defend against attacks by Israel.
That means its position is now comparable with that of Israel, which also reserves the right to use violence when attacked.
US citizens: phone your senators' offices to oppose PIPA, the Senate version of the Internet blacklist bill. Also sign this petition.
SOPA would prohibit secure domain name lookup via DNSSEC.
However, let's not focus on the bad byproducts of SOPA. The worst thing about it is its purpose: to stop sharing. Sharing is good, and anyone who calls it "piracy" is antisocial.
Police seeking to crush Occupy London are twisting the facts.
(What else would police do?)
Mugabe is financing his terror by selling diamonds to China, and the Kimberly Process, which was supposed to control sale of "blood diamonds", has neutralized itself by letting him do it.
Some public spaces in New York are privately owned. The New York Thug Department uses that as an excuse to attack and arrest protesters and journalists.
Two wealthy groups will decide what election messages the US public sees on TV.
I am glad I won't see any of those messages, since I don't have a TV.
Republicans pushing voter-suppression laws cite imaginary voter fraud. There is no evidence it exists, but some newspapers feel obliged to present two sides of every disagreement.
Election rigging may exist in the US, but that's a different issue.
The FBI admits, more or less, having information obtained via the Carrier IQ spyware in mobile phones.
Senator Wyden demands the goverment explain itself about domain seizures.
US courts need to subject domain seizures to stricter control before the whole Internet gets epilepsy.
The article should not have used the term "intellectual property lawyer" to describe Mr. Lyon, because that term spreads confusion.
Congressional staffers who helped write SOPA have been paid off with jobs at media business associtions.
SOPA appears to be unconstitutional; here's why.
It would be folly to rely on the US Supreme Court to defend human rights — it is too pro-business. We need to fight this injustice at every step along the path.
Hollywood movie studios do lots of peer to peer movie downloads.
The article makes the mistake of suggesting, at times, that it's wrong for the employees of these companies to do file-sharing. Sharing isn't wrong, sharing is good. The wrong here is punishing others for file-sharing.
An interview with Mohammed el Gorani, who was sent to Guantanamo and tortured at the age of 15.
He was released and sent to a country he had never seen, and still bears the brunt of US malice.
Sarkozy established HADOPI, the first law to punish Internet users without trial by disconnecting them. His own household meets the criteria for punishment.
Will Sarkozy be disconnected?
The NIH decided to put strict limits on use of chimps in experiments.
I agree with this overall; I don't know enough to comment on the precise rules.
Uri Avnery refutes Gingrich's hogwash about Palestine.
The Fukushima reactors are now in "cold shutdown", but dismantling them will cost at least 5 billion dollars. It is not clear when the inhabitants of the nearby region will be able to return home.
Policies to save banks are adopted in days. Policies to save the biosphere drag on for decades.
In the fiscal area, governments obey the banks. In the area of fossil fuels, governments obey the oil companies.
Russian opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov is on hunger strike to protest his imprisonment.
Putin wants people to recognize that he has people arrested on false charges, because his aim is to intimidate. He does this to show people that the truth won't protect them, because his lie is louder than the truth. We have seen the same behavior in US police attacking protesters. Putin came to power through the KGB (or whatever they call it now), so it's the same thing.
Desmond Tutu asked a New York City church to let protesters camp.
Several China internet microblog sites will demand users' real names.
US citizens: call on the IRS to investigate the "charity" that is supporting Wisconsin Republican candidates.
Obamacare will require all Americans to buy health insurance. Insurance companies are lobbying to give them insurance which is junk.
US citizens: sign Reddit's petition against SOPA.
Please keep taking actions against SOPA. We had a partial victory in that the House committee decided not to vote, but we must keep up the pressure.
The software that oil companies use to inspect pipelines has been rigged to overlook some problems. These problems can cause deadly explosions.
Here's Greg Palast's own statement.
Animal rights activists have sued to overturn the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which punishes criticism as "terrorism".
I only partly agree with their cause — some experiments on animals are vital for progress in biology, just as experiments using embryonic stem cells are — but they have the right to try to convince others.
Broad definitions of "terrorism" threaten the rights of everyone.
The SEC has sued some executives of state-organized mortgage lending companies for fraud against investors.
If you or I were accused of fraud, we would be prosecuted. Why are these ex-executives merely being sued?
The House committee adjourned without voting on SOPA, but the threat is not over.
Today is Bradley Manning's birthday. His pretrial hearing already appears to be rigged.
This article explains why the defense claims the judge may be biased: he is a prosecutor.
If Manning is indeed responsible for leaking the Wikileaks cables and the Collateral Murder video, the whole world is in his debt. Next year, if the trial has found him guilty, we should celebrate his birthday.
20% of the children in Catholic institutions in the Netherlands were sexually abused.
UMG says that Google has given its broad powers to censor YouTube.
US citizens: call on Congress to investigate use of US tear gas to kill Palestinians.
The IMF warns that Europe may be heading for a bigger recession, and could pull the rest of the world with it.
It's not strange that austerity during a recession makes it worse. What is strange is that so much discussion of austerity policies fails to mention this.
Another Russian journalist was murdered, apparently for investigating corruption.
Since 1977, the life expectancy of wealthy US males retiring at age 65 has risen 6 years. For poor men, it has risen 1.3 years.
However, plans to raise the retirement age are once again shafting the poor.
If we someday have low unemployment, so that requiring one old person to work longer doesn't mean tossing someone on the dole or the street, it might make sense to raise the retirement age — but only for the higher incomes.
Netanyahu says he will treat Israeli vandals like Palestinian protesters: imprisonment without trial.
Does Netanyahu think applying injustice to Israelis will make it acceptable? It's wrong in one case and it's wrong in the other. These vandals deserve a fair trial, like anyone else acused of a crime.
UN troops in Haiti attacked three Haitians for no apparent reason, robbed them, and left them for dead.
Most Haitians already wanted the UN troops to leave. They are called "peacekeepers" but their real function is as an occupting force.
Gingrich says he would launch an all-out war with Iran, the goal being "regime change".
As I said when Dubya was planning to replace Saddam Hussein in Iraq, an intervention to overthrow a tyrannical government is justified provided (1) the people ruled by the tyrant want that kind of help and (2) we can be confident that the new government will be democratic and respect human rights.
A religious school in Pakistan held students prisoner, brainwashing them for terrorism.
US companies that make solar panels accuse China of dumping them.
That might be true — I would hardly expect the Chinese state to deal fairly or honestly with anyone. However, it appears that the cut-price solar panels have stimulated other US businesses, creating jobs and helping the US move away from fossil fuels.
China responded by accusing the US of dumping the material the solar panels are mainly made from.
Instead of penalizing Chinese solar panels, the US should subsidize domestic producers so they can compete. This way we will move even faster to solar energy.
A police thug shot a 14-year-old girl with a taser after grabbing her and choking her.
Russia proposes to filter the Internet, citing the usual excuses including "child pornography" and "extremism".
Once Russia has filters, we can expect that "Putin rigged the election" will be considered extremism. Censorship must not be tolerated no matter what the excuse.
LA's mayor says he had police shut down the Occupy LA encampment to protect the protesters.
The thugs "protected" them with cruel violence, causing pain and lasting injury.
I disagree with Meighan's decision to forgive the thugs on the grounds that they were "just doing their jobs". That's as much as to say they were following orders, which is not an excuse.
As a person, you are personally responsible for every thing that you personally do. The mayor and others who gave those orders have a deeper responsibility, but that does not exonerate the individual thugs who obeyed them.
If you are literally forced to do evil, as were the Syrian solders who were going to be shot if they did not shoot protesters, that might be a valid excuse, though you must still try your best to undermine your orders. The LA police thugs faced no such threat. If a policeman refused to be a thug, refused to initiate violence against people sitting on the ground, I doubt he would even have lost his job.
Naomi Klein: Saving Earth's climate will taking away corporations' power, and global heating deniers know it, and that is why they deny the danger of global heating.
Here's a follow-on interview with Naomi Klein.
Thousands of Americans are in prison for unpaid bills.
Some had not even been informed about attempts to collect the money.
This practice, even in defiance of state constitutions, illustrates the way governments use verbal trickery to disregard human rights that they have agreed to respect.
This practice, in regard to debtors prison, started with laws imprisoning men that didn't pay child support. The laws that authorized this pretended it wasn't debtors' prison by finding another way to talk about it.
The self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in the US" has been condemned for systematically violating the human rights of Latinos.
Migrant farm workers in the US work for 10 hours a day and often don't receive their pay.
They show that the Bush forces troops killed civilians often, and frequently for no reason at all.
This is par for the course, when an army occupies a hostile population. Bush should have known that the occupation of Iraq would lead to this.
A massive Indonesian offensive, four battalions carried by helicopters, has attacked villages in West Papua. 26 villages were burnt, and the inhabitants were forced out of 130 others.
Indonesia fought for years to win independence from the Netherlands. Now in West Papua Indonesia is the colonial power.
Obama's surrender on imprisonment without trial is a historic tragedy for human rights.
Ralph Nader: Congressional Tyranny, White House Surrender.
The "smallest fingerprint swipe sensor" is apparently going to be put in Chinese mobile phones.
Present-day cell phones are Stalin's dream. With this added, they will be Stalin's orgasm.
Over 20,000 Libyans protested in Benghazi demanding changes in the new government.
Obama agreed to sign the bill to give him the power to imprison anyone without trial.
This follows the general pattern: Dubya starts an atrocious attack on human rights, and Obama makes it officially permanent. If indeed Obama was scared of being called "soft on terrorism", that only demonstrates he is a coward as well as evil.
Human Rights Watch says that torture in Uzbekistan is getting worse.
The US and Nato countries disregard tyranny and torture in Uzbekistan in order to pass supplies to Afghanistan.
In other words, all the people of Uzbekistan are casualties of this war.
Syrian soldiers who defected tell of the torture and death meted out to soldiers who refused to shoot unarmed protesters.
US citizens: support the RESTORE the American Dream for the 99% Act.
Israeli troops murdered a Palestinian by shooting him in the eye at close range with a teargas canister.
Those are supposed to be fired at the ground, not at people. Any time a person is hit in the head, and a trained soldier fired the canister, that soldier intended to maim or kill.
The Palestinian was throwing stones, but there is no indication that these soldiers needed to defend themselves.
Israeli soldiers who shoot Palestinians in cold blood have no need to fear the law.
Asia Pulp & Paper created a "tiger reserve" on its land but cuts the trees anyway.
Thiessen, a Washington Post columnist calls Amnesty International foolish names because it wants US torturers to be punished.
I suspect he sees this as a pre-emptive strike to undermine the condemnation that Amnesty International will surely make of Obama's shiny new imprisonment-without-trial law.
Thiessen's argument can be summarized as, "Anyone who calls for Bush to be tried for his crimes is despicable because few others say this." But why are they few? Because others are scared of bullies like Thiessen.
Bush is guilty of worse crimes than torture. The conquest of Iraq was a war of agression launched based on lies. Bush should be tried for crimes against humanity.
Palestinians made homeless by Israeli demolition hit a new record in 2011.
Walmart spends a lot of money to elect anti-environment candidates, including global heating deniers.
Chevron's undersea oil leak in Brazil still has not been capped.
Oil companies' energy investments are devoted 98% to dirty energy.
Top US executives had pay gains of 25 to 40% in 2010. This shows that the system is still totally broken.
Gulnaz, who was imprisoned for reporting that she was raped, has been released from prison after two years. But she is being pressured to marry the rapist.
This shows how little Karzai's government respects women's human rights. The Taliban might be worse, because things can always get worse, but it is no use killing thousands of people to defend such a small amount of women's rights.
Honduran police attacked people protesting the unpunished murders of journalists.
The coup-installed president said the police were not supposed to do this. I suppose the people who murdered the journalists weren't officially told to do that either.
Pakistan talks about a tax on NATO supply transport to Afghanistan.
Americans seem to care more about the monetary cost of the war than its human damage. The more Pakistan adds to the expense, the better our chances of ending the war sooner.
Japan is subsidizing the whaling fleet using funds for tsunami relief. Say you object.
Sign this petition against the proposed US law for imprisonment without trial.
Here's what makes that bill un-American.
Obama called the war in Iraq a "success" and pretends that Iraq is better off now than in 2002.
Obama should get an award for world champion barefaced lying.
A few years ago, Iraqis generally said they were better off under Saddam Hussein. I don't know if this has changed. However, at least Iraq does have enough democracy that it can make the Bush forces leave. So it has gained something.
Police in Aceh arrested 65 people for attending a punk rock concert, then humiliated them.
This is not as bad as putting gay people in prison, but it remains inexcusable.
Requiring women to wear headscarves is also tyranny, of which the French law banning face covering is an equally tyrannical mirror image. Perhaps secularist women in Aceh should constitute themselves as a militia, and groups of them should grab solitary men and whip them for not covering their faces. It might teach them a lesson about tolerance.
In Jerusalem, Shufat refugee camp has been converted into a controlled ghetto.
The Peres Center for Peace was told it could have a tax exemption, if only it abandoned the plan to train doctors from Gaza in Israeli hospitals.
In any other country, training doctors is exactly the sort of activity that would qualify for a tax exemption. In Israel, however, the policy is to punish Gaza in any way possible, even in its medicine.
Small changes in the House version of the Internet blacklist bill don't change anything important.
What must New York City do to crush this armed menace?
House [Republicans] Tack Health Care Law Rollbacks Onto Payroll Tax [Cut] Bill.
In other words, Republicans treat even a tax cut as an opportunity to cause mischief.
Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto protocol.
Canada's logic is, "If the US and China are pushing the world towards catastrophe, why shouldn't we push alongside them?"
This probably has something to do with the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
El Salvador suffers from a US-imposed foreign exploitation treaty and US-backed militarization of society.
This provides a basis for understanding the harm that the Trans-Pacific Partnership plans to do.
China's equivalents of Twitter are censored, but the censorship is insufficiently effective to block information. So now China is pushing a "real names please" policy in order to discourage "rumors".
Even insignificant extrapolations from real observed facts are being punished. There are false rumors in China, but since official news is false too, it can hard to tell the false rumors from the true ones. However, some false rumors can be identified: the HIV-spreading rumor had to be false because nobody would gain anything from doing that.
The US medical establishment has been greatly corrupted by the pharmaceutical business. This saps the credibility of whatever they say, even when it is true. The result is that false rumors about vaccines can spread. These rumors are deadly.
Of the 140 who died from whooping cough in the US from 2000 to 2005, most of whom were babies, 90% would never have got the disease if their parents and siblings had been vaccinated against it. One person not vaccinated against measles can expose thousands of others to the disease.
The false rumor that global heating does not exist, or has nothing to do with our greenhouse gas emissions, could destroy our civilization. But this rumor is not spreading on its own power. The oil companies pay to spread it.
The IMF abandoned absurd predictions that the Greek austerity would lead to economic growth.
Thousands of Libyans protested that the new government is not democratic and transparent.
Bicycling could cut the EU's greenhouse gas emissions 25%.
Israeli colonists in the West Bank attacked an army base to protest plans to disassemble colony outposts that didn't have government permission.
They didn't use guns, but nonetheless went well beyond what Palestinian teenagers do alongside protests, I bet that the army's reaction will be far gentler than the way it treats those Palestinian teenagers, and even the way it treats the nonviolent protesters.
Declaring a unilateral ceasefire in Afganistan might be the best way to lead the Taliban into peace.
The Occupy protest at the Port of Oakland was partly successful.
Blackwater has changed its name again, but not its business.
The Republican Party has declared war on Americans' drinking water.
Italian workers have started nationwide strikes against austerity programs imposed by the banksters' man, Monti.
The bankster's regime kills: 5000 additional suicides in Greece.
Using Debt to Crush Democracy.
Police attacking Occupy Boston covered their badge numbers and pushed journalists away to disguise their dirty work.
When the nonviolent protesters get out of jail, they will tell us whether the police attacked them with violence.
Every time Mayor Menino gives a speech, he should be reminded, with fresh protests, of his dishonest excuses for attacking protesters.
How right-wing newspapers in the UK cover up society's major political problems, and defend their perpetrators, with a cloud of distractions, side issues, and double standards.
Various political and environmental leaders comment on the Durban agreement.
Inching forward is progress of a kind, but it falls short of what's needed to avoid climate catastrophe.
Developments in brain imaging suggest that humans up to the age of 20 may not be ready for the legal responsibilities of an adult.
Brain maturation occurs at different rates in different people. To treat everyone as a minor until age 20 would be unfair to many. Perhaps a brain imaging test — or a practical test — could determine whether someone is ready for legal adulthood.
A French uranium mining company has agreed to monitor the health of its workers in Niger.
Canada has banned wearing a full face covering while taking the oath of citizenship.
I don't see anything wrong with this particular rule. There is no possibility of anonymity in becoming a citizen of a country. However, if it is extended to merely being in a "government-funded institution", that goes too far. There are many things that one can do in some of those institutions without need to identify oneself.
The pirates who attack YouTube, claiming to hold copyright on public domain works and getting them taken down.
Although the Bahraini monarchy accepted a report condemning its violent repression of protesters, the repression continues unabated.
In effect, the report is being used to pretend that state violence will be stopped, while in fact doing nothing to stop it.
The "war on drugs" has morphed into a war on the people or Mexico, Colombia, and to a lesser extent other countries in Latin America.
Those countries must disregard the US and legalize drugs enough to end the war (or at least, to get it off drugs).
Don't Embarrass My Moneyed Friends! As Fundraising for Congress Goes Up, Hearings Go Down.
The hearings that do occur are rigged, like the ones about SOPA.
This represents a defeat for Bush, which is good, but Iraq continues to suffer from his crime.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter again to oppose the Internet blacklist bill.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Occupy the Food System.
Thousands of Bedouin protested in Israel against plans to destroy their unrecognized villages and forcibly relocate them.
Australia shows it is possible to defeat the global heating denialists if you fight them hard.
Obama has a lot to be ashamed of.
The Koch Brothers' pressure group claimed credit for sticking most Republicans' heads into the hot sand.
The Republican Party should replace the elephant with the ostrich as a symbol.
Karl Rove says, Elizabeth Warren is a corporate flunky.
Isn't it interesting that the bad guys' false accusations resemble their own actions? Perhaps those are the misdeeds they understand best.
This shows Rove realizes that Americans hate big business and hate its flunkies. But it also shows Rove thinks he can drown out the truth by spending corporate money, and I can't be sure he is mistaken.
Human Rights Watch criticized police attacks on US protesters, but the criticism is strangely weak. If the same thing had happened in Belarus, we would have seen a strong denunciation.
Republicans voted to cut unemployment insurance.
Their strategy is to do everything possible to hurt most Americans, then hope to put the blame on Obama. If Obama campaigned hard to fight them, their claim would be a lie. But he's so weak that he makes it partly true.
Obama should run for president on the Republican ticket, so a real Democrat can run against him.
Republican Senator Mike Lee says he filibustered the confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because he wanted to prevent the agency from functioning.
It would have been better to confirm Cordray, but at least he confirmed our suspicions.
The New York Times pressures its readers to use Facebook; that is the only way they can become "trusted commenters".
This is shameful and disgusting.
I do not post links to articles on nytimes.com. This is because of its paywall. However, what I object to is not the paying as such, but rather the requirement for users to identify themselves. If people could pay anonymously, I would not mind; I would even pay, sometimes.
A review of the book Reckless Endangerment, which describes how the banksters corrupted and controlled the US government, and crushed resistance by state governments.
Pakistani officials say they are not talking peace with the Pakistani Taliban.
Cory Doctorow explains clearly and thoroughly how SOPA is bad,
The EPA has finally taken notice that Monsanto's genetically engineered bt-corn has generated resistant insect pests. But Monsanto still tries to cover it up.
The EPA might have prevented this, but Monsanto was so powerful that it overrode the EPA. In effect, Monsanto was defeated by its own power and greed. But it has not learned any lesson, and unless the EPA throws off Monsanto's power and does its job, it may destroy the follow-on product too.
Agencies do their job when they are given political will by the executive that appoints people to them. Obama doesn't do much of that, because his spirit is subservience to business.
Fighting the Family Friendly Fiends of Internet Hate.
UK universities are getting injunctions to declare protest camps a crime.
The response these enemies of democracy deserve is a sit-in so large that they don't dare apply the injunction.
Interviews with Syrian soldiers, who say soldiers defect if they think their families will be safe from reprisals.
If a tyrant holds hostages against you, you must not let that give him victory, since that proves how important it is to defeat him. So declare the hostages dead, hold a funeral for them, and fight the tyrant.
The Palestinian Authority says Gingrich repeated Israeli lies about Palestinian education and Palestinians, and dares him to present evidence to support his claims.
These claims about Palestinians remind me of the false accusations that Nazis and other anti-Semites told (and still tell) about Jews.
Speaking of Nazis, some right-wing Britons, maybe including a Tory MP, may face prosecution in France for dressing up in Nazi uniforms and pretending to be Nazis.
Even if they thought of it as a joke, it still deserves criticism. But not prosecution. To prosecute people for their opinions is tyranny.
Bigotry against Jews, or against Arabs, is nasty. However, censorship is nastier.
Megaupload commissioned famous musicians to make a music video to praise it. One of the big record companies censored the video by sending YouTube repeated false accusations of copyright infringement.
Please don't follow the example of Megaupload in using the term "content" to refer to a song. That term disparages this song, as well as any other works it is applied to.
Likewise, McSherry of EFF should know better than to confuse the issue by saying the vague term "IP" instead of the specific term "copyright".
Everyone: call on Delaware to revoke the charter of Massey Energy.
Debunking the cult of the CEO — specifically Steve Jobs.
I am pleased to see broader progressive circles take note that Jobs was nasty to the users of his products, not just to the people who designed them and the people who build them.
Rajasthan, in India, offers lottery prizes to women that get sterilized.
This is a great idea. Reducing India's birth rate is crucial, both for reducing poverty in India and for reducing CO2 emissions.
The other proposed methods should be used also.
US citizens: support a tax increase on millionaires.
It is not enough, but it's a start.
A gouging US bank demanded $229 to close a bank account which had been left with a $4.85 balance.
If the depositor hadn't paid that bill, the bank would have demanded more.
This shows that bank fees need to be regulated. In particular, a bank should not be allowed to charge anything because a fee drives an account below zero, as long as the account is not active.
Rep. Berman wrote to the State Department calling for reevaluation of US aid to Honduras' suppression forces.
The letter lists many crimes that they are suspected of, including torture and murder.
The Gates Foundation gave $370,000 to ALEC to bust teachers' unions in the US.
US citizens: Tell Obama to approve the morning-after pill without a prescription.
The banksters are the West's equivalent of Mubarak and Gaddafi.
The Supreme Court puts the US in danger of patenting medical knowledge.
The world agreed to adopt a binding climate defense treaty. Even India and China, even the US, said yes. But it won't enter force until 2020, and that may be too late to avoid global catastrophe.
U.S. Says Mexico Tortured American in Custody.
If police discover that teenagers have made nude pictures of themselves or their lovers, even though they have done nothing to hurt anyone, 18% of them face arrest.
The article wants to see this glass as 82% full, rather than 18% empty. That would be valid if the harm facing those 18% were small.
Pakistan is negotiating peace with the Pakistani Taliban.
Such a peace deal could be good, unless it helps the Pakistani Taliban grown and subvert more of the country. The effects on Afghanistan won't matter, because Karzai's corrupt government can only stand as long as foreigners prop it up.
Tens of thousands protested in Moscow against Putin's election-rigging and his attacks on political criticism.
The EPA has recognized that fracking pollutes water wells.
This pollution has been seen before, but the EPA didn't want to recognize it.
Police evicted the Occupy Boston encampment.
It appears the large crowd of defenders did not come again.
The Occupy movement is going to shut down US west coast ports in support of a port workers' union.
Strangely, the union says it does not want this form of support. The Occupy movement says the union leaders are legally compelled to say they don't want it, since the union is not allowed to strike now.
However, this is still strange. Are the union leaders legally required to denounce their unofficial supporters? And if the port is violating the contract, isn't that a basis for a strike?
It is hard for Republicans to explain why they object to Obama's cut in the employers' contribution to social security, compensated by an increased tax in employers whose income is over a million dollars a year. They need help from unquestioning journalists.
By contrast, another reporter asked to talk with the heroic "job-creators" that the Republicans say would be thwarted. They couldn't provide any.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose imprisonment without trial. The House will vote on a final version of the NDAA in the coming week.
PBS's Mediashift website argues that we should rejoice in business influence over the substance and position of journalistic publications.
PBS was corrupted in the 1980s or 1990s by accepting corporate "underwriting" for programs. The corporate "underwriters" (i.e., sponsors) decide what is acceptable for the show to say. (They also get commercials, though PBS pretends they aren't commercials.) Funds from viewers and the government add leverage to the companies' money.
The result not as right-wing as Faux News, but it is still compelled to be right-wing. I can't see why Republicans want to stop it.
I was never a regular PBS viewer. since I have not had a TV set since 1970. However, I noticed the same thing happen to NPR (Not Progressive, Really) in the 1990s, and that is why I stopped donating.
There is still some good NPR programming, and even occasionally good journalism (another note today links to an example). However, many of its principal journalists have been right-wing for a long time and its new head decided to make it worse to placate Republicans.
Thanks to media consolidation, Matt Romney's radio company has eliminated progressive talk show in San Francisco.
The UK government recognized that riots will recur unless "structural reforms" are made in poor communities.
However, it surely won't recognize that this requires steps to give young people in those communities the possibility of work with decent wages. They probably can't find anyone in their communities who succeeded through hard work in the last 10 years.
Gingrich promises he would be more subservient to the Israeli government than any US president before.
Supporters (servitors) of Putin are trying to flood Twitter to drown out real postings by opposition.
They are also shutting down phone lines by constantly repeated robocalls.
Microsoft plans a new backdoor in Windows 8 for disabling installed applications, similar to Apple's backdoor in the iThings.
ALEC fights to ensure children and eagles in the US continue to get sick from rat poison.
House Republicans have voted for obstacles designed to make it impossible to regulate business in the US. They call regulations "job killers", which is false, but without regulations many businesses are people killers.
US health insurance companies are lobbying to defeat one of the good parts of Obamacare: the requirement for simple, clear descriptions of what a plan covers and what its charges are. I am sure Wendell Potter is right that the companies profit from confusing the public. But it may go beyond that. They also profit from having rules so complex that few would ever try to understand them.
US citizens: tell your congresscritter and senators to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
Phoning them as well is good; it carries more weight.
US spy drones have apparently found no additional evidence of nuclear weapons development in Iran.
It strains my credulity to believe Iran would work so hard to develop uranium refining capability merely for nuclear power plants. It must be trying to do something with nuclear weapons. However, the theory that Iran plans to get fairly close to being capable of building nuclear weapons, but defer the last steps for later, seems plausible, given the lack of signs Iran is taking the last steps.
Hamas is leaving Syria; Assad has become too embarrassing.
When will the US exit Bahrain? Has the US no shame?
Pakistan threatens to move anti-aircraft missiles to the border areas that the US might attack.
I don't believe that the US intentionally attacked Pakistani military forces, mainly because the US government would not have wanted to exacerbate conflict with Pakistan.
Israel threatens to cut off Gaza's water supply and electricity.
The inhabitants of the Syrian town of Benish defend its independence from Assad's army using guns and IEDs.
Some of them may have learned to make IEDs from others who fought to liberate Iraq from Bush's invasion.
Gingrich's choice for Secretary of State is a man who lied to launch the invasion of of Iraq, and wants to bomb Iran.
Is the Mojahedin-e Khalq really a terrorist group? The US government said it is; if you think the US government would never lie, or even make a mistake, then you can take it as certain. I consider it an open question. The MeK, like any group accused of being terrorist, deserves a fair trial to determine whether that accusation is valid.
The US government censored a blog site for a year based on no evidence, and refused to let the blog site's lawyer have even a hearing. Instead, the government kept the case secret — from the public and the victim.
Thousands of protesters supported Occupy Boston all night and deterred police from attacking the encampment.
Former CIA agents showed where the CIA operated a secret prison and torture operation in Romania.
Occupy Wall Street protesters occupied foreclosed homes in 20 states.
Here's more information on how the bank smooth-talked Ana Wilson into getting a new mortgage.
This is a good action, but since only small numbers participate, it is not a substitute for the encampments. The movement needs to find a way to put the mayors back on the hook.
Four members of the US Congress who are pushing to approve the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline also own stock in the company that wants to build it.
The European Investment Bank has loaned 5 billion euros to fossil fuel projects, directly undermining efforts to save Earth from climate disaster.
A whistleblower in the UK tax agency reported how Goldman Sachs was allowed to pay too little tax. He is now threatened with being fired.
It makes perfect sense if we understand that the UK government is subservient to the megacorporations, including the banksters.
The US has only partially agreed to the EU climate plan: it has accepted a binding treaty but rejects any timetable to reach it.
Meanwhile, China has not decided, and India has rejected it.
The Netherlands has formally apologized for murdering 400 civilians during Indonesia's war of independence.
A Honduran radio journalist was killed, and a newspaper was attacked, apparently as retaliation for criticizing the US-backed, coup-installed governmenmt.
Here's a new reason not to use the self-checkout at a supermarket. Or at least, only pay cash (which you should do anyway).
I never use self-checkout machines unless a store gives me no choice. The biggest problem in the US today is unemployment. Why help stores eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs? I'd rather pay slightly higher prices and keep them employed. In fact, states should consider banning self-checkout.
The US backed the EU proposal for protecting the Earth's climate.
Romney spent his own money and wasted state money to destroy records from his term as governor of Massachusetts.
So what if this didn't break laws? It was still hostile to the public.
Massey Energy (actually its successor) will pay $200 million in fines and compensation.
It is good that Massey will pay a lot of money, but it avoided something else that should have been demanded: a criminal conviction. Massey will use this later to pretend it deserves a good name.
The important question about low-level looting in the UK is not, "How did the looters communicate" but "Why do so many young people hate the police?"
Another important question is, why doesn't the government take steps against the big, rich looters such as TopShop.
Capturing CO2 from the atmosphere will be so expensive as to be totally impractical.
Capturing CO2 from power plant exhaust is advancing, but it is still small-scale.
A leading Israeli right-wing politician says that "Joe McCarthy was right about everything."
Muhammad Attoun was imprisoned by Israel for years for being elected to the Palestinian Parliament. After he was released, Israel arbitrarily banished him from Jerusalem, where he was born. He stayed in the Red Cross office, but Israeli agents snatched him from there.
Arab residents of Jerusalem face expulsion on numerous pretexts, and even arbitrarily.
Fukushima #1 may be forced to release water with radioactive material into the ocean because water tanks will be full.
Joe Gordon translated part of an unauthorized biography of the King of Thailand and published it in the US. He later visited Thailand and was sentenced to prison for that publication.
I won't risk visiting Thailand after posting this note. Why give them a chance to do harm?
The news about Spain's Ley Sinde is not as good as it sounded. This unjust law was not withdrawn. Zapatero's decision was not to adopt regulations to implement it. This doesn't prevent such regulations from being adopted later, and the new ruling party will probably do that presently.
The head of the Motion Picture Assocation of America admitted that SOPA, the Internet blacklist bill, would impose Chinese-style censorship. According to Variety, he said:
When the Chinese told Google that they had to block sites or they couldn't do [business] in their country, they managed to figure out how to block sites.
US citizens, take action now.
US citizens: call the Office of the United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk at 202-395-6890 and tell him to release the draft Trans-Pacific FTA negotiating texts.
We know they are planning an injustice because the whole point of "free trade" treaties is to surrender the country to the hands of private owners.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose SOPA, the Internet blacklist bill.
Tell Congress to reject the National Defense Authorization Act provisions that require military prison and military trials.
The Indian government has backed off plans to let Wal-Mart attack employment.
Everyone: call for an agreement to limit global heating.
Amnesty International called on the US to stop sending ammunition to Egypt's military rulers until they stop using it against protesters.
To call a tyrant's army "security forces" is to propagate distortion. Adoption of these partial lies leads to a thoroughly false world view. Please join me in refusing to use that term.
The government finds money to crack down on food stamp "fraud." The reason Obama does not prosecute the banksters is that he is working for them.
Governments are fiddling while the Earth burns.
Seas filled with ships are as noisy, for whales, as a night club is for humans.
Pile driving under water is so loud it can kill them.
The Dead Sea dried up 125,000 years ago, during a warm period, so it is likely to dry up again thanks to global heating.
The Secretary of Health has vetoed an FDA decision to allow women under 16 to get the morning-after pill without a prescription.
It appears Obama is being sensitive to the wishes of parents who would feel that if their young daughters have sex, they ought to be punished with an unwanted child.
He must be seeking support among the Christian extremists that normally vote Republican. Perhaps he figures that the voters who elected him will not vote for him again.
Assad said he has no control over the Syrian military and cannot stop it from murdering civilians.
If that's true, he should ask for foreign help in subduing the murderous mutineers.
The European Union's unelected executive wants the power to take control away from national governments in order to impose austerity. In effect, unelected officials would have power to crush any country in the name of the banks.
The EU already suffers from a lack of democracy.
We need to defeat SOPA, but parts of it may be implemented by courts even without an explicit law.
The NAACP has complained to the UN that 14 US states have adopted laws that impede blacks and hispanics from voting.
The Justice Department could have taken action, but seems not to care. Did you think a Black president would defend equal rights for Blacks?
Italy is increasing the retirement age with the goal of balancing the budget by 2013.
Increasing the retirement age for healthy people makes sense, given increased modern life spans, but not when many younger people can't find work. And balancing the budget is a lunatic policy in a recession.
Instead of crushing the poor and causing a deeper depression to appease the banks, European countries should be correcting their economic systems so that the banks no longer have this power.
Another aspect of the situation is that Germany's exports to the rest of the EU are pushing the other countries into difficulties.
The TSA says it wasn't a strip search. Why the differing claims? Knowing the habits of goverment officials, I think the TSA could be using some minor distinction, of no real significance, as an excuse to duck an accusation that carries opprobrium. For instance, perhaps they only required her to remove her clothes below the waist, rather than entirely strip.
The TSA says that a two-dimensional gun design is an illegal "replica of a gun".
What would they say to someone who has a gun tattoo?
CBS misrepresented the number of Iraqis killed by Bush by presenting a partial figure as the total.
An intelligent combination of the Iraq Body Count records with the US records disclosed by Wikileaks leads to an estimate of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed.
Congress proposes to ban diplomatic contacts between the US and Iran.
It is crazy in terms of rational US interests, but maybe not for those proposing it. If their aim is to push the US into war with Iran, this might be an effective method.
Militant ultra-orthodox Israelis think they are entitled to impose segregation of the sexes.
Secular Israelis had better make peace with Palestine without delay, so they can focus on the long term threat.
Witnesses in Bassem Tamimi`s Trial: We were Instructed by Interrogators to Incriminate Him.
Israeli torture and brainwashing of children and adolescents is especially likely to lead to false confessions.
They cannot resist torture the way Bassem Tamimi did. This abuse does permanent psychological damage to the children and their families.
Some of the Palestinians freed from Israeli prison in exchange for Shalit were exiled. They cannot see their brothers, spouses, or children, because Israel arbitrarily forbids those relatives from leaving the West Bank.
This reminds me of the Soviet Union, which did not allow Jews to leave the country.
The Jewish National Fund finds it embarrassing that it prohibits selling apartments to non-Jews, and plants forests over evicted Palestinian villages.
Israel plans to kick 2000 Palestinians off their land near Jerusalem.
But this is just the beginning: 20,000 more inhabitants of the West Bank will follow.
In rare positive news, an Israeli court blocked the demolition of a Palestinian village in the Negev.
We need to defeat SOPA, but parts of it may be implemented by courts even without an explicit law.
Republicans propose to solve US transportation problems with more oil drilling.
The UK's priority in European negotiations is to protect the UK banks' privileges.
Britons, you will be ruled by the City of London until you overthrow its dominion.
Although the insurgency in Kashmir has almost ended, Indian troops can still torture and murder there with impunity.
Occupy Wall Street and Organizing for Occupation aim to set off a mass occupation of foreclosed homes.
Governor Perry accused Obama of attacking a traditional American value: bigotry.
The government of India demands that web sites censor postings so that people cannot criticize high officials, make fun of religion, etc.
What can one expect from a country that is trying to impose national ID cards except tyranny?
The major web services are not complying, but their defense of freedom of expression is weak.
The strongest of them, from Google, expressed a willingness to censor any postings (please don't call them "content") if it is illegal, with no hint that such laws might be unjust.
Putin mobilized a private youth organization as well as police to attack protesters in Moscow.
France and Germany want to impose balanced budgets on the entire eurozone.
This is crazy — a balanced budget in time of downturn makes it worse.
The UK government showed secret, privileged Greenpeace court submissions to nuclear reactor companies, and coordinated its press statements with them.
London police listed the Occupy movement in a list of terrorist organizations.
Jill Stein condemns White House blockade of Durban climate progress.
The tyrant of Uzbekistan is never criticized by the West since NATO supplies flow to Afghanistan through there.
Craig Murray is sure that Karzai will flee Afghanistan in 2014. I hope so, but I have less faith than Murray has.
Thousands protested the fraudulent election in Moscow; then police arrested opposition leaders.
BP accused Halliburton of destroying computer modeling records about how it cemented the Macondo well that turned into the Big Spill.BP Halliburton Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
If Halliburton did this, it was culpable. However, if BP did not require that Halliburton turn over those records before proceeding with further operation on the well, BP was culpable.
South Korea requires all large web portals to demand users' real names. This leads to leaks that harm millions of people.South Korea Hacking Problems
I applaud Google for refusing YouTube uploads in South Korea to defend
anonymity. However, Google+ goes in the opposite direction. Google
should eliminate the real name requirement on Google+, and you should
insist on this before considering use of Google+.
Read More about Stallman's view of social networking.
Russian independent media organizations accuse the state of secretly attacking their web sites and putting them out of action.Russia Press Freedom
It is interesting to compare this with the Anonymous protests, which are the virtual equivalent of crowds protesting outside the door of a building. These attacks, if indeed carried out by the state, are the equivalent of a police raid on the building.
It is a shame that the article misuses the word
Read more on hacking. There is no evidence that these saboteurs enjoy playful cleverness.
US senators want to legalize torture.
(Ayottes Torture Amendment Kaput)
The Army Field Manual already permits interrogation methods that are generally considered torture.
(Ayotte Amendment Secret Torture)
The Fukushima disaster has polluted the ocean with strontium 90, in the largest discharge of radioactive material ever into the ocean.Radioactive Water Leaks Report
The big question is, how much strontium 90 is anyone likely to ingest from eating fish in the course of the next century? Is it enough to be significant, or is it lost in the vastness of the ocean?
Millions of Russians voted
no to Putin.
Millions Vote Against Putin in Russia
Last week in Moscow, people told me that Russians mostly ignore the elections, having given up on the process. It seems they have seen a reason to participate.
UK MPs are pushing to revise the unfair extradition treaty with the US. MPs Backing Extradition
Since probable cause is much less than what is required to convict someone of a crime, there is no need to allowing extradition without probable cause, and that would lead to the extradition of many people that cannot be convicted in a fair trial.
Lobbyists claimed they could sell access to UK high officials, even
Bell Pottinger Claims Access Politicians
They also offered a service to make or break reputations.
The latest from the Neocons: the danger of Iranian nuclear weapons is not that Iran might use them, but that it might change the balance of power just by having them (and not using them).Read More
That may be undesirable, but it cannot justify war.
Israeli drone bombings have killed over 800 people in Gaza. Read full story. Most of them were civilians. Children hear the drones daily and are scared.
grassroots political group gives legislators
awards for defending the rights of old people. But many of them are
Republicans. Republican Ties
Florida police systematically lie to get search warrants against people that have visited Simply Hydroponics.Read more. And they destroy evidence that shows they were lying.
One of many reasons to end the War on Drugs is that it makes the police dishonest.
This article also explains the falsehood in the media companies' claims that sharing hurts jobs.
A former Chase banker says his bosses encouraged him to make high-rate mortgages to naive people who could not pay them back. A banker's Confession.
The Gingrich that Stole Congress — a parody from the 90s — explains what may have made Gingrich endorse heartless policies.
Peru's President Humala has abolished human rights to protect a mining project from protests.
8 opposition MPs in Turkey are imprisoned for political reasons.
Foreign organizations are replanting forests in Mozambique with alien species of pine and eucalyptus.
The EU proposes to extend the Kyoto treaty, but give less developed countries more time before the requirements apply to them.
The UK rioters were motivated for hatred for the police.
It would be good for the police to act in a way that arouses less hatred. Less racial profiling, less attacking protesters, not searching people without probable cause.
How the Gingrinch Stole Christmas.
This is from the 1990s, when he advanced the Contract on America.
The US unemployment figure fell to 8.6%, but it's mainly because 300,000 Americans gave up on looking for work.
Putin's party no longer has the support of most Russian voters, so it has resorted to widespread falsification.
Although Egyptian elections were peaceful and might have been honest, many opposition figures remain imprisoned by the military.
Even the Democrats' supercommittee plan would have been harmful. A small tax increase on the rich could have been reversed by Republicans next year, but Social Security cuts, if made, would have been effectively impossible to reverse.
The European Union has created a "debt crisis" to impose austerity.
Canada's Plan B to roast our planet, if Keystone XL is not built, is to ship the tar sands oil to China. This involves a dangerous pipeline to the Pacific coast where dangerous supertankers would collect it.
Once oil spills and global heating have made the Canadian west look like the coast of Nigeria, it could be used to resettle a hundred million Africans who are starving due to global heating.
The idea of REDD is that companies pay communities in poor countries to preserve their forests, for carbon offset. It's great in theory, but it seems that companies are pressuring communities to sign secret contracts that they can't even read.
The mayor of LA says he arrested hundreds of protesters for the sake of a few children who stayed in the protest camp. Strangely, he shows much less concern for the 13,000 homeless children in the city.
India massively surveils the Internet, with no legal restraint.
The Cyber Intelligence Bill threatens US software users' privacy.
African women, facing destruction from climate change, are protesting the inaction of the Durban climate summit.
The police prevented the protesters from reaching the summit. The callous politicians there can sentence millions of Africans to death without feeling the slightest odium.
Canada's secret police told the public they did not use torture. They told a minister that they couldn't operate without torture.
An anti-sharing campaign in the Netherlands used music without a license and refuses to pay the composer.
I believe everyone should be free to noncommercially redistribute exact copies of all published works. I do not, however, call for legalizing commercial use without permission. Thus, I believe this composer has a valid grievance.
The Swiss government decided to do nothing to discourage unauthorized file sharing.
The article has the flaw of using the propaganda smear term "pirate" to refer to unauthorized copies. Please don't repeat the propaganda of the companies that want to restrict us.
The reason Israel let the Palestinian Authority have its funds was that Germany insisted on this as a condition for the sale of a submarine to Israel.
Germany has eliminated the network filtering to block access to sites that distribute "child" pornography. Instead it will aim to shut down the sites.
This is an improvement, since it doesn't create an excuse for filtering, but it is still a kind of censorship, and it is based on a persistently repeated falsehood: the claim that all "child" pornography is an image of real abuse of a real child. For instance, this article quotes someone saying, "These pictures and videos have to come from somewhere. Children are being abused."
In the US, if two 17-year-olds have sex and take a photo of it, they can both be imprisoned for "making child pornography", but only a twisted sex-hater would say they "abused" each other. This is why I put quotes around the word "child". Once humans are sexually mature, it's normal for them to have sex, and with cameras ubiquitous it's normal for them to take a photo.
I don't know whether Germany's definition of "child" includes 17-year-olds, but the European Cybercrime Convention's prohibition includes drawings and animation made without living models. Who is "abused" by the act of drawing a cartoon?
Lots of children are being sexually abused in the world today, mostly by family members. Many have been forced into prostitution by their families. Adults are being sexually abused, too. But censoring art has nothing to do with ending that.
Western countries have used bribery and tricks to manipulate climate negotiations against poor countries.
What Sinclair says is classic misdirection: true in general, irrelevant in particular. It's true that giving each of 200 countries a veto over any agreement would make agreement difficult. However, requiring unanimity is not the only way of allowing all countries to participate fully in the negotiations. Meanwhile, as we know it is a few powerful countries that are blocking this agreement.
Thousands of secularists and Islamists held rival protests outside the interim parliament in Tunisia.
Cable-TV set-top boxes do surveillance of their users.
I don't think this becomes acceptable just because it has been snuck into many systems without people's noticing.
Why can't people disable this surveillance? Because the set-top box runs nonfree software, which evidently is malicious. It also implements DRM. And nowadays it can be remotely replaced with a new version, which means that the fact that this is a computer running nonfree software cannot be disregarded.
A US campaign to resist banning cluster bombs (and merely regulate them) was rejected on humanitarian grounds.
The New York Times twisted the issue, pretending that the US campaign was to ban cluster bombs.
US citizens: tell congressional leaders to oppose Republican plans to force approval of the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
Speeding up Obama's decision, by itself, would be tactically advantageous since it would make Obama face election pressure about it.
Zapatero's last act as Prime Minister of Spain was to cancel the Internet censorship law (the Ley Sinde) that he had enacted, when it was supposed to be rubber-stamped.
If the PSOE renounces this policy, it may perhaps be acceptable to vote for the PSOE again.
Further news: this law was not really retired.
The current UK government's plans will make it the most environmentally destructive ever.
Governments often state policies of the form, "Business B is harmful, but as long as it continues, we aim to have as much as possible done in this country." In the abstract, this is not self-contradictory. In practice, it results in promoting business B and blocking the efforts to reduce the harm it does.
We see this in banking as well as in the environment. The UK government resists all measures to reduce the power of the banksters, supposedly so that banks won't move out of the UK. This means that the banks effectively control the UK government and use it to control the whole EU.
States must put aside the short-term minor goal of competing for a bigger share of deadly polluting businesses, and prioritize reducing the pollution.
The media companies have paid 5 million dollars to congressional supporters of SOPA.
This may not be illegal, but it is corruption.
Governor Walker wants to make protests prohibitively expensive by charging protesters for repressing them.
A tolerable alternative to SOPA has now been proposed.
Meanwhile, the MPAA has suggested it might approve small changes in SOPA, in effect acknowledging that the part of Congress that supports SOPA is obeying the commands of the MPAA.
Anyone in office that takes orders from business has betrayed his country.
Senator Franken's questions about Carrier IQ.
After police arrested the protesters of Occupy LA, they kept them handcuffed in small cages for 7 hours, and forced them to urinate where they sat.
Occupy Wall Street plans to "re-occupy" a vacant foreclosed home.
Occupy LA disrupted a foreclosure auction, but didn't stop it. With ten times as many people, they might have stopped it.
The water pump in Illinois was not sabotaged. The person who logged in to the control computer from Russia was an engineer on vacation there.
This isn't the worst confusion that these confusion centers have spread. An ACLU report showed how they had targeted dissident groups for investigation as "terrorists".
The US is not planning to give Afghanistan enough money to fight the Taliban. This is just as well, because Karzai's government has a fundamental shortage: it provides little basis for anyone to be loyal to it. No quantity of money could replace that.
Thus, whatever money the US gives to Karzai's government will wasted anyway.
I hope that this is Obama's plan to slowly pull troops out and let Karzai fall. But it is too slow.
The US Federal Trade Commission ruled that Facebook's violation of its stated privacy policies was illegal.
It is proper to make Facebook keep its promises, but this does not go far enough to make Facebook acceptable to use. It does not limit Facebook's data collection — for instance, it doesn't stop Facebook from collecting of data about browsing through "Like" buttons. It only limits what Facebook can do with that data, and certainly does not stop Facebook from handing it over to Big Brother under the U SAP AT RIOT act.
US citizens: call on the EPA to ban the pesticide atrazine.
It interferes with reproduction of vertebrates (including humans).
Faced with Palestinian complaints in court against illegal expansion of some West Bank colonies, Israel retroactively declared them legal.
The refers to colonies that were constructed in violation of Israeli law. All Israeli colonies in the West Bank violate international law.
Cell phone manufacturers and networks have been sued for their use of Carrier IQ.
This door must be shut, but not just part way. We must stop all the ways that phone companies track the location of portable phones, beyond the unavoidable minimum needed to know how to communicate with the phone.
The Muslim Brotherhood, having come out on top in the election, demanded that Egypt's military let go of power.
Sacrifice Yourself to the Golden Calf of Capitalism.
Indian stores went on strike against plans to allow wage-crushers such as Wal-Mart to operate there.
For the mainstream media, it's newsworthy that US troops kill turkeys, but not newsworthy that they kill children.
Amnesty International says that Saudi Arabia has arrested thousands of dissidents, calling them terrorists.
The bad example of the US casts a maligh shadow around the world.
Brazil plans to protect its torturers until 2035.
Activists protested the latest ALEC meeting and made the participants well aware of public resentment.
US citizens: send a comment to the FCC opposing increased media concentration.
I edited my comment to make it stronger: I suggested that the FCC should look for ways to reduce existing media concentration.
Paradoxically, the increasing economic inequality in the US makes the economy smaller, which leads to high unemployment.
Massachusetts has sued the big US banks for foreclosure fraud.
US citizens: call on Congress to investigate the use of the Carrier IQ telephone spyware.
US citizens: sign this petition not to create loopholes in protection of national forests.
Pesticide companies must be held responsible for the destruction of honeybees.
Egyptian videographer Mostafa Bahgat courageously went close to the troops who were shooting protesters, to collect proof.
The US Senate voted to speed the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
The Colombian oilworkers' union's organizers received death threats from the paramilitaries.
The US unfair trade treaty with Colombia was adopted on the supposition that Colombia now respects workers' rights. Of course, that was empty words.
Wikileaks has documented how governments around the world use digital technology for massive surveillance, through computers, GPS, and portable phones.
Some in Congress have plans for cutting the military budget.
The Russian-backed ruler of South Ossetia "annuled" an election after someone else won.
Russia's troops established South Ossetia's independence from Georgia and apparently also imposed its dependence on Russia.
US citizens: sign this petition also to ask Obama to veto the bill for imprisonment without trial.
Also sign this petition, but a phone call carries more weight.
Sign this petition criticizing Starbucks for its imposed requirements for arbitration.
A UK soldier in Afghanistan, who stabbed a child with a bayonet for no reason, was punished with nothing more than dismissal.
Can't he be made to pay the costs of the boy's medical care, etc?
Venezuela's President Chavez has organized an international group for the Americas without the US and Canada.
I would say this represents not so much the fact of decreased US influence as an effort to further reduce its influence. Given the way the US has used its influence in Latin America — for torture, dictatorship, and treaties to subordinate governments to business — reducing its influence may hamper its ability to do more harm.
The banksters gained 13 billion dollars from the US government's secret loans.
In addition, they gained a free hand to continue their abuses when the government had them over a barrel and could have imposed the regulations that we need.
Russians have begun to boo Putin, who plans to be alternatingly president and prime minister for life.
It is a sure thing that this won't affect the outcome of the next election, because Putin does not allow viable opposition.
Toronto police were ordered from the top to make illegal arrests of protesters during the G20 meaning.
Legal analysis of the arrest of Ray Lutz while registering voters in Civic Center Plaza in San Diego.
A policeman in California handcuffed and arrested a five-year-old child.
US citizens: tell the Federal Election Commission not to let Karl Rove stretch campaign finance laws.
A US court attacked sites offering imitation Chanel products, ordering the domain names seized and ordering "all search engines" to delist them.
Having decisions to shut domains made by a court is potentially much better than the administrative decisions we have seen before, but only if each site threatened with closure gets its day in court. Also, the order to remove information from search engines seems dangerous. Does this mean that it is illegal to publish the list of these sites on the net?
Meanwhile, the US continues seizing domains arbitrarily without trials.
The article misleads when it uses the term "IP". That term is used to refer to a dozen or so unrelated laws, which are totally different at the practical level.
Only copyright law and trademark law have been the basis for domain name seizures.
Artists' income from live performance continues to increase, making the question of how to charge for recorded copies less important.
Please join me in rejecting the perverse word "monetize" which appears in this article.
Fukushima 1 reactor 1 had a complete meltdown, and the fuel melted through the pressure vessel and 2/3 of the way through the concrete containment structure.
British MPs write to the US Congress to plead for the release of Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo.
Wikileaks plans to document the world-wide scope of massive govermnent surveillance.
African countries should arrest Bush when he visits them.
The crushing of the Occupy protests means that the US has, in effect, arrested an idea.
"Abstinence-only" sex education (or should we say, sex non-education) correlates with high rates of teen pregnancy.
The high pregnancy rates may be caused by sex non-education. Or perhaps the high pregnancy rates are caused by the up-tight religiosity which was the motive for this perverse practice.
Police in Kashmir attacked journalists, as they often do.
Military Police State: Why is the Senate so determined to allow the U.S. military to arrest and detain U.S. citizens?
The government and the big banks deceived the public about their $7 trillion secret loan program.
They should be punished as anyone else would be.
Iraq Veterans Against the War says the 1% are profiting from their sacrifices.
An Israeli man on trial for death threats against peace groups got a gag order so he cannot be named, using family connections in the state.
Rally Dec 6 at noon in Boston against the Internet blacklist bill.
The Fukushima 1 nuclear plant was planned to cope with tsunamis up to 5.7 meters, and the owners ignored warnings of danger if a bigger tsunami were to arrive.
In effect, the owners bet that they wouldn't have a bigger tsunami than that. They had bad luck and lost the bet, but was it a good bet? I don't know if it was a good bet for them, but what's clear is that many of the losses fall on others. A good bet for the power company isn't necessarily a good bet for society.
The developer of pepper spray condemns the use of his invention to suppress protests in the US.
San Diego police arrested congressional candidate Ray Lutz for registering voters in Civic Centor Plaza, at the Occupy protest.
They confiscated his voter registration forms. If they had voter registrations on them, isn't that a crime?
The UK government urged Oxford to accept Gaddafi's son as a student.
Amy Goodman: Why Durban is the Kyoto protocol's last chance.
The US is now the biggest obstacle to success at Durban.
Meanwhile, the EU demands that China take strong steps to reduce emissions.
I think that is a valid position, not because of taking one side or the other, but because we need all the major CO2 emitters to take strong steps.
The inhabitants of Kivalina in Alaska are trying to sue oil and gas companies for washing away the land under their village, but courts have rejected them.
They are blocking any attempt to stop global heating.
Occupy London has published a political program.
Apple is censoring information about abortion providers,
Gingrich's neocon advisors.
Minnesota is pressured to divest from Israel government bonds due to state law requirements.
US citizens: tell Obama to insist on birth control coverage in health insurance.
US citizens: phone Obama to say, veto the NDAA because it of its un-American imprisonment without trial.
The White House comments line is 202-456-1111.
A lawsuit aims to block the practice of US doctors' demanding copyright-assignment contracts to suppress critical comments by their patients.
Obama is even worse than Dubya in overriding regulations on behalf of business.
The pesticide atrazine interferes with reproduction of fish, frogs, and mammals including humans.
Reducing human births is a benefit, but I doubt it is sufficient to outweigh the damage.
Cambodians who make clothing in sweatshops for US companies are on strike.
The New York City Council is suing Night-Mayor Bloomberg for pushing homeless people out of shelters.
Until recently, Liberty Park housed some homeless New Yorkers, so Bloomberg is responsible for two ends of the problem.
Even some Republicans favor upgrading privacy rights in the US.
The bill is two steps forward, but it falls short if it does not cover access to a person's past geolocations. Without that, carrying a portable phone that is transmitting signals remains orwellian tracking.
Protests in Kuwait have a victory: the prime minister resigned.
Florida Governor Scott hopes that handing out turkey to homeless people on one day of the year will make up for cutting the funds to take care of them.
Malaysia plans to impose strict limits on public protests.
Malaysia also practices imprisonment without trial, following the evil example of the US.
The owner of a mine in Peru has "suspended" the project in the face of protests by people worried about water pollution.
I think "suspended" means that they will wait a year and try again, hoping that the opposition will disperse.
Iceland has recognized Palestine as a state.
Israeli vandals destroyed 7000 Palestinian olive trees in 2011.
But the biggest damage to Palestinian agriculture comes from blocking Palestinians from access to their farmland.
Israeli troops have demolished 170 Palestinian houses in 2011.
In the most recent incident, they sprayed teargas on some of the inhabitants and then arrested them.
Candidate Jill Stein endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement, and says, "Occupy the White House."
Palestinian protest organizer Bassem Tamimi is getting an unfair trial, and it is clear that the teenagers were coerced into testifying against him.
Israel regularly imprisons Palestinian children as young as 12 after torturing them and pressuring them to sign confessions they can't read.
2 million public employees went on strike in the UK against austerity.
The UK recently admitted that the austerity measures are likely to cause another recession.
The new Libyan government holds 7000 prisoners. Some have been tortured, and some have not been allowed a lawyer.
The war is over and Gaddafi is dead. There is no need to hold anyone as a prisoner of war. Except for those accused of war crimes, which must be based on specific evidence, all should be released.
CBS interviewed Ron Paul, and tried to distort his views and condemn the idea of criticizing US policies for provoking hostility.
He put the interviewer down very cleanly.
I agree with Ron Paul on human rights and peace issues. However, I agree with Jill Stein on these issues and on economic and social issues too.
Pakistan is displaying outright hostility to the US in many ways in response to the air attack on a Pakistani army base.
I think that it was inevitable this would happen sooner or later, given the amount of conflict in the situation. I believe the accusations that Pakistan supported, and still secretly supports, the Afghan Taliban.
I don't believe the US government decided at a high level to attack Pakistani troops, simply because I think it would have expected what the consequences would be, and would not have chosen them.
Warnings about the need for an "overall Afghan settlement" are pointless because there is no possibility for such a settlement. The US should pull its forces out, and the sooner the better.
An opposition candidate in the Republic of the Congo says that the election was rigged.
Some shopping malls have stopped tracking visitors through their cell phones, but they will surely want to try again.
Note the vicious argument that physical stores ought to be able to track visitors as much as on-line stores do. Most people don't realize how much websites track them, but I have some idea, which is part of why I refuse to buy from them.
US citizens: Transcanada, that wants to build the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline, is using suing farmers that refuse to sell land for it. Sign this petition to stop that.
Aboriginal peoples around the world have noted the effect of global heating on their climate.
Automatic License Plate Recognition cameras are turning the US into a total surveillance state.
The Egyptian election was held, with high rates of participation, and protests temporarily ended.
Many secular candidates said they would boycott the election; I hope that does not put the Muslim Brotherhood in power.
Washington State plans to tax the poor and cut off medical care for the poorest.
The Federal Reserve kept Congress in the dark about massive bailouts to the big banks, and this may have killed the chance for proper regulation of those banks.
UC Berkeley professors call for the resignation of the chancellor.
Student protests disrupted a meeting of the University of California Regents.
Students called for the resignation of two chancellors that ordered violence against protests.
A proposal to reduce long-term US deficit due to Medicare by allowing Americans to get their health care cheaper, in other countries.
I am not sure whether this idea will really work. Most Americans would find it hard to travel to Canada or the UK for health care, especially if they are old and sick. Other countries would involve a language barrier for most Americans.
Putin ordered the RIA-Novosti press agency to stop publishing Russian translations of stories that criticize him.
Total Information Awareness has been privatized, and the result is a company called Palantir.
The article assumes that toll booths recognize license plates and put them immediately in a database. It is feasible to do this, and this sort of technology is being rapidly installed across the US. It amounts to a great threat of tyranny. It should be impossible for police to get access to that data without a court order about a specific car.
The article assumes that surveillance camera photographs are indexed by the name of a person. This presumes that the images are immediately given to the police and the police run face recognition software which works reliably. I am not sure how much of that is currently feasible, but we don't want the kind of society that would give us.
An importer of fruit from Israeli colonies in Palestine was picketed in London.
Student protests in Chile inspired protests in 13 other Latin American countries.
Cities have attacked protest camps, claiming that giving homeless people a place to stay is endangering them.
That explains why these cities are cutting the budget for homeless shelters: to give homeless people a place to stay is to endanger them. These cities figure that the cheapest place to put homeless people is the cemetery.
The cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions is being gamed by treating new, more efficient coal power plants as CO2 savings.
They would be savings if they replaced older inefficient coal power plants, but often they are new capacity.
The cap-and-trade system has been gamed and scammed in many ways, and in Europe it has been ineffective in reducing emissions. This is why I advocate taxing the fuels instead, to discourage consumption. If all fossil fuel is taxed, there is no way to game the system. The tax funds can be spent in many ways to facilitate reduced CO2 emissions.
New EPA regulations on toxic emissions from coal burning power plants could save lots of lives and lots of money, but Republicans are against them anyway.
Cyberattack false alarm: the water pump was not sabotaged.
US citizens: phone your senators to support the Merkley and Paul amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, which would push to end involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, and oppose the Kirk amendment, which would facilitate war with Iran.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Also call on them to support the Udall amendment, to remove the part that would allow arbitrary imprisonment and military trials of anyone whatsoever.
See this urgent note.
The Egyptian military rulers insist on proceeding with an election that appears to be rigged.
The UK is secretly promoting use of Canada's tar sand oil.
Nobelist Nadine Gordimer, whose books were banned by the apartheid regime, accused the ANC of imposing the same sort of censorship.
Renewable electricity is receiving more investment than fossil fuel electricity.
What this says to me is that the world could now afford to ban new fossil fuel electric generation construction. It would be painful, but not disastrous — much better than what will happen if we increase the CO2 emissions.
US and Pakistani troops got into a battle, which each side says it didn't start.
The soldiers on one side or the other might be lying to their superiors to cover up a mistake. That happens often, and the superiors might prefer not to question the lies.
However, it is also possible that neither of them started it. The article hints at another theory, that Taliban fighters attacked the US troops from near the Pakistani base. Maybe the US retaliation hit the Pakistani troops by mistake instead of the Taliban.
It takes active coordination for troops in a battle zone to avoid shooting at each other. The US army and Pakistani army clearly don't have that.
At previous climate summits, rich countries tried to buy poor country votes.
When that didn't work, they lied to trick the poor country representatives into missing crucial meetings.
The Department of Homeland Subjugation was directly involved in the nationwide wave of attacks on Occupy protests and journalists.
Obama must have approved this.
Pakistan says its list of words to ban was preliminary, but still plans to impose censorship of text messages.
5 myths about the supercommittee.
Global heating is damaging the catch of fisherwomen near Cape Town. It threatens to devastate fishing all around Africa.
Alternative medicine superstition is the cause of the extinction of several varieties of rhinoceros.
Can a "fake" substitute be developed? Such a substitute could be cheaper than poaching, and most buyers would never notice the difference.
Many powerful countries, some developed and some not, are blocking the climate treaty that is the world's last chance to avoid disaster.
The weak countries, that will be unable to cope with the consequences, are no longer inclined wait quietly.
Protest to close Guantanamo on Jan 11 with a human chain around the US capitol building.
The last two winters in the northern hemisphere were cold, overall. But they had unusual warm periods, reflecting global heating.
The cost of air pollution in Europe is estimated at something like 200 billion dollars a year.
"Corporate social responsibility" reports are full of glaring errors because they are hardly ever checked.
In other words, you can't count on this to get businesses to stop their abuses.
The US budget cuts planned in the name of "deficit reduction" will cut programs that save lives world wide.
If US cuts were necessary, one would have to argue about whether to preserve this program or some other beneficial program. However, the US should be increasing deficit spending now. The only place to make cuts is in the military and corporate welfare.
Peruvians are protesting against a gold mine that could poison their water supplies.
It makes sense that President Humala would like to boost exports, but he shouldn't do it in a way that endangers the environment. Once he said he would not cancel the trade treaty with the US, which is harmful to the people of both Peru and the US, I realized he would not make things much better.
Over 1/3 of US states are putting debtors in prison.
Is this an election issue yet?
India's sell-out-to-business government has opened the door to foreign retailers.
Based on US experience, this is likely to increase poverty and unemployment.
Mexicans have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the president of Mexico, and drug dealers, for being responsible for murders.
Greece has started arresting wealthy tax evaders.
Reportedly, preventing tax evasion would have avoided the euro crisis.
This raises the question of why the EU prefers to impose austerity on the poor rather than close the tax loopholes. Perhaps it's because the tax-evading businesses control crucial governments.
It's not just Big Brother tracking movements of cell phones; shopping malls do it too.
Even worse, they are using face recognition in real time.
Apple left a security hole in iTunes unfixed for 3 years after being informed about the problem. During that time, governments used that security hole to invade people's computers.
Belarus sentenced a human rights defender on charges of tax evasion because he did not report his organization's funds as his own personal income.
The Pentagon says that scheduled budget cuts would be a disaster, but it can't keep track of how it spends its money. Its budget has doubled in the past ten years.
Kuwaiti protesters started a hunger strike in jail.
Egypt's generals appointed a new minister, but the protesters are having none of it.
The generals are losing support, but refuse to budge.
Republican ads quote Obama deceptively to make false accusations.
It's common practice for right-wingers to make deceitful claims, but here we have it at the highest level.
Craig Murray reports on the UK coverup about relations between Fox and Werritty and Ambassador to Israel Gould.
Thousands protested to close the School of the Americas, which has trained thousands of officers who since have carried out torture and coups.
A Filipino tribe protests a plan to start a mine in their land.
Romanian activists gathered 100,000 signatures against a proposed gold mine.
They are concerned the mine will pollute their land and water, as often happens.
Bernie Sanders says why it is good to have no Supercommittee proposal.
The UC police gave "beat poets" a new meaning.
Ethiopian Troops Said To Enter Somalia, Opening New Front Against Militants (i.e., the Shabab).
There is so much irony in this that words fail me.
A right-wing third party is aiming for a shot in US elections by calling itself "moderate".
Obama is to the right of the American people on many major issues, including social security, jobs, and corporate power. Anyone wanting to bow down to the empire more than he does is very right wing.
Thailand's government has asked Facebook to implement Thai censorship, something Google did in 2006.
Google implementing censorship for China, for a while, but later discontinued it. What is Google's position now on censorship for Thailand?
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose imprisonment without trial, which the "National Defense" Authorization Act would allow. Also sign this petition.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Everyone: state your support for the University of California faculty who have condemned police violence against protesting students.
US citizens: phone your senators on Tuesday Nov 29 saying no to the Internet blacklist bill, which is now being presented as a jobs bill. See more information here about the situation and who and how to call.
The use of thousands of police to repress Occupy protests costs a lot of money. The 1%ers say this is a reason to repress the protests.
Benny Wenda, Papuan independence activist, is afraid to leave England because Interpol might hand him over to Indonesia.
The Syrian army is using tanks and artillery against rebellious soldiers.
Now that Yemen's president Saleh has ceded power, the opposition has split into factions that are fighting.
Occupy language — rejecting words that carry prejudice for the 1%.
Seymour Hersh explains how the US is preparing excuses to attack Iran just as it did with Iraq.
The new IAEA report, which claimed to have new evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, presents no new information, and some of the information comes from questionable souces.
Wikileaks cables show that the current head of the IAEA has a close relationship with the US.
Even if Iran has not made facilities for building bombs, I think that the underlying purpose of its nuclear program is to gain a nuclear weapons capability. I don't think Iran's government would persist in an activity so likely to provoke conflict merely for nuclear power. However, the absence of bomb-construction activity lends support to an argument that Iran's plan is to reach a situation where it could build nuclear weapons fairly quickly, but hold short of actually building any.
AT&T has "temporarily" withdrawn its bid to take over T-Mobile in the US.
Popular opposition seems to have pushed the government to block the merger, but the fact that this was necessary demonstrates the extent to which US institutions are subservient to business. With the officials we deserve, AT&T and T-Mobile would not even have suggested it because they'd have known it was a non-starter.
Egypt's generals defied the protesters, and said they will go ahead with elections that the secular opposition does not trust.
Nicholas Mercer was the legal advisor for the British troops in the Bush forces in regard to treatment of prisoners. The government order him ignored.
Bob Ostertag: the militarization of police came to my campus.
There is a dispute among officials regarding whether a water pumping system in Illinois was sabotaged by a cracker who took control of its computer system.
See (30 November 2011 (Water Pump False Alarm)) for an update.
The UK is considering extracting natural gas from shale beds, but if it uses even 1/5 of the supply, its CO2 targets will be shot for good.
Meanwhile, US Republicans want to abolish regulations on extracting oil from shale deposits, even though it isn't feasible to extract.
And if it were feasible, it would lock in global heating disaster.
Twenty retired US generals and admirals wrote to the Republican presidential candidates to oppose torture.
An anti-austerity general strike shut down Portugal.
300 people a day are being evicted in Spain, and neighbors protest when it happens.
Foreclosure in Spain is worse than in the US; it does not eliminate the mortgage. Those whose equity is negative will be pursued for the rest of their lives for debts they will never be able to pay.
As a result, there are people in Spain who are "fiscally dead": they cannot have jobs, because their paychecks would be handed over to creditors.
The people who are forced onto the street should organize to make the banksters regret it. Perhaps they can protest outside the homes of the bailiffs and call on them to quit.
Supporters of Ai Weiwei are posting nude photos of themselves as a protest.
Freedom to communicate on the Internet is vulnerable to censorship through intimidation of the many middlemen it depends on.
See also my 2010 article about the US government's DDOS attack against Wikileaks
In the Supercommittee negotiations, Democrats moved to the right, and Republicans demanded even more.
Thus, neither party supported the 99%.
There is a dispute among officials regarding whether a water pumping system in Illinois was sabotaged by a cracker who took control of its computer system.
US citizens: call for an investigation of "Prosperity USA", the "charity" that pays Republican candidates Herman Cain's expenses.
US citizens: support the corporate nonpersonhood constitional amendment.
US citizens: sign this petition, saying congresscritters who voted against Medicare/Medicaid shouldn't accept taxpayer-funded health insurance.
Crackers have leaked climate scientists' emails again, together with misleading out-of-context quotes, apparently trying to sabotage the Durban climate treaty meeting.
With the refutation so clear and fast, I think this attack will not achieve much. But it doesn't need to, since the Durban talks were already going nowhere. We have come to expect the world to continue on course to disaster.
Climate change denial is a well-funded PR campaign, and we know at least part of the funds have come from oil companies.
The United Nations' environment chief says that postponing a climate rescue treaty to 2020 is "very high risk".
Facebook tries to discourage users from visiting other web sites.
(This article uses the word "content" to refer to published works. I think that is a bad practice since that term disparages the works. See.)
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to say, defend the military cuts called for by the absence of a Supercommittee deal. Also sign this petition.
We can at least derive some partial benefit out of the misguided idea of deficit cutting during a downturn.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Afghanistan aims to take biometric measurements of everyone in the country and share the info with the US.
Perhaps this is acceptable in a country with a civil war in progress. That situation does justify some things that normally are unacceptable. What I fear, though, is that the practice will spread and be established as "normal". Many countries demand fingerprints from all citizens, and have national ID cards. This is tyranny.
Internet censorship in Turkey was turned on this week.
When it was announced, the state said users could choose between censorship and more censorship. Now the state says that censorship is "voluntary". Do users really have the option of no filtering, or does "voluntary" refer only to a choice of how much filtering? If the former, some people may in fact have censorship imposed nonetheless: those who use public access points that impose the filters.
Yemen's president Saleh signed an agreement transferring power to his vice president.
This could mean some change, but it's not clear it will result in decent government.
A journalist in Southern Sudan was arrested and tortured, and his newspaper blocked from publishing, for harsh words about the president's daughter's choice of husband.
I don't see why marrying a foreigner should be bad, but people should not be arrested — let alone tortured — for their opinions, even bizarre opinions.
Bahrain's king accepted an investigation which accused his men of cruelty amounting to torture in repression of protesters.
That is a good first step — many US politicians refuse to go that far — but this by itself does not achieve respect for human rights in Bahrain.
More about the investigation and its report.
Seattle police apparently caused Jennifer Fox a miscarriage with their blows to her stomach and their pepper spray.
A new twisted low in the War on Sharing: a Texas judge beat his teenage daughter for file-sharing.
I am skeptical of the claim that what she did was illegal. It might have been copyright infringement, but that probably wasn't a crime when done noncommercially on a small scale.
Under the cruelty of Islamic law, an Afghan woman who was raped faces years in prison for adultery unless she marries the man who raped her.
An additional, preliminary injustice is that she wasn't offered a morning-after pill or an abortion. The article does not discuss this, but I suspect it too is due to Islamic law or the sexism and cruelty that goes with Islamic law.
I will not claim the Taliban couldn't make things worse. But even if Karzai's government is a lesser evil on this particular point, it is too evil for us to defend.
Veteran Mitch Green calls on US soldiers to obey their oath by refusing to obey if ordered to attack protesters.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center told Norman Smith that he is not eligible for a liver transplant because he uses marijuana — following a prescription from his doctor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
US companies have lots of cash, but use it for stock buybacks, while firing workers.
This shows the falsity of arguments that we should reduce their taxes to crete jobs. We ought to raise their taxes and spend the money to create jobs.
Oregon's governor announced a moratorium on executions.
Several states have recently ended the death penalty.
Mass murderers such as Bush should be imprisoned, but executing them is sinking to their level.
Thailand has sentenced a disident to prison for 20 years for "insulting the monarchy".
By doing this, the monarchy insults itself.
Canada's right-wing government wants to turn ISPs into agents of warrantless surveillance.
Iraqis demanding an independent inquiry abuse of prisoners by into British Bush forces troops won a court victory, but it is not clear they will get the inquiry they demand.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians occupied Tahrir Square to call for the head of military to resign.
A group of Wall Street executives in the Pentagon wants to cut soldiers' pensions.
There are gaps in the arguments that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
US sanctions against Iran are building support for the regime.
In effect, they help the regime get away with more mistreatment of Iranians.
Most Republican candidates are getting advice from the same people that supported Bush in conquering Iraq.
However, Ron Paul plans to end conflicts by reducing US intervention nd US military bases.
Earth's biggest ancient mass extinction was caused by CO2 in the air.
CO2 made by human activities 50 years ago is welling up from deep water off Oregon, and killing oyster larvae.
Oyster farmers can take steps to protect the larvae they produce, but wild oysters have no such protector.
Tha Pakistani Taliban declared a cease-fire to hold peace talks with the government.
One bad consequence of the cuts agreement that set up the Supercommittee is that environmental protection will be cut.
This is bad, but any agreement accepted by Republicans would have been worse.
Many states in the US are pushing fracking closer to cities and their water supply facilities.
This risks disaster, and shows that the officials in question, including Andrew Cuomo, are not worthy of elected office.
This is not the first time I've heard he adopted a policy favorable to the 1%. He's just the sort of person that today's Democratic Party would run.
America Is Not Broke.
A South Korean MP set off tear gas in Parliament to try to block ratification of the unjust trade treaty with the US.
It was a heroic defense of democracy in his country (and in the US), but it was defeated.
Everyone: Sign this petition callimg on the University of California to end its violent attacks against peaceful protesters.
US citizens: ask Senator Wyden to read your name out in his filibuster against the Internet blacklist bill.
Climatic disaster is now a virtual certainty, as the world's powerful economies give up on any agreement to avoid disaster until 2020.
Only a fluke can avoid climate changes that will drive millions out of regions which have become uninhabitable.
Obama proposed substantial fuel-efficiency improvements for cars, but only weak improvements for small trucks.
This could perversely promote sale of SUVs.
The Seattle police chief during the Battle of Seattle criticizes the military attitude and structure of police departments, and presents a model of police for a free and democratic society.
Egypt's ministers have offered to resign, as the generals they work for send troops to shoot protesters.
"Occupy The SEC" Scrutinizes The Volcker Rule For Loopholes.
The supercommittee has announced it could not reach agreement.
This is a triumph for democracy, but it is incomplete. The non-agreement is much better than any agreement the Republicans might have accepted, because it includes cuts in the military budget and not in basic entitlement programs.
However, as the article points out, deficit reduction now a is misguided goal no matter how it is achieved. What we need now is to stimulate the economy.
Naturally, Obama has taken a stand in favor of budget cuts.
Perhaps it is actually the military budget that Republicans might seek to increase. If so, I support him on that. But he's wrong on the larger issue.
St Paul's Cathedral is pushing to kick out Occupy LSX on the grounds that schools are cancelling tours.
Schools which do that are evidently concerned to avoid the special opportunity for education in civics offered by the presence of the protest camp. Students and parents should oppose this firmly.
I support the Cathedral in criticizing vandalism, however. The protesters should organize to stop that.
Students in Afghanistan protested against keeping US troops there.
A Republican-connected PR firm proposed to the American Bankers Association a PR campaign aimed at attacking Occupy Wall Street and any politicians that support it.
The Seattle city council endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement.
South Africa is about to adopt a strict press censorship law to criminalize revelation of government secrets to the public.
Kellogg Garden Products has set up a line of children's products just to market sewage sludge as garden fertilizer.
Wisconsin is collecting signatures to recall Governor Walker, and Republicans are talking about sabotaging the operation by posing as supporters, collecting signatures, and destroying them.
Republicans are systematically attacking financial regulation in the US.
If they win, they are likely to cause another financial crisis, but the 1% have ways to profit from that.
Three leaders of the Khmer Rouge are on trial for mass murder.
The formerly Communist government of Vietnam did few good things, but one of them was to force the Khmer Rouge out of power in Cambodia. The US opposed the new government of Cambodia for years because of its links to Vietnam, which was supported by the Soviet Union.
The right-wing Partido Popular won the Spanish election.
When the journalist says that Rajoy will have more power than previous governments but will have little choice, he admits that Rajoy is a satrap of the empire. He will be a cruel master to Spain, and an obedient servant to his masters.
Rajoy can't do miracles, but he can impose austerity that will drive Spain into depression.
The first hearing against Bradley Manning will be held soon.
When the US government accuses Manning of "aiding the enemy", it says that we, the people of the US, are the enemy. In effect it has declared war on us.
SOPA would make the US Internet very much like China's Internet
Iran has banned a newspaper for publishing an interview with Ahmadinejad's press advisor.
US food megacorps use surveillance through cell phones and social networks to pressure teenagers to use fattening food.
Journalists were systematically kept away from Zuccotti Park as the police attacked the protesters.
Authoritarian rule by the banksters is spreading in the European Union.
Before We Bomb Iran, Let's Have a Serious Conversation.
How congresscritters profit from stock trading based on what they know from legislation.
There is a bill to prohibit that.
Defense Cuts Affect Jobs, But Other Cuts Are Worse.
In other words, cutting military spending and transferring it to other areas will create jobs.
The US, in trade treaty negotiations, is attacking access to AIDS medicine in Asian countries.
Aung San Suu Kyi will run for parliament in Burma.
That she can do so indicates Burma has made great strides. However, with a considerable amount of parliament pre-stacked in favor of the army, democracy forces will need to win much more than a majority of the vote in order to gain control of parliament.
Medecins sans Frontieres has published a book describing its responses when oppressive governments demanded to use it for harmful purposes.
Although I respect the good intentions of MSF, I think some of its compromises went too far. It should not agree to actively aid belligerence, or cover it up.
There are many conflicts in the world, and many poor people who could use medical help. MSF can do only a small fraction of what needs doing. If a government makes demands that conflict with integrity, MSF should denounce it, and move the resources elsewhere.
Gaddafi's poison gas shells may have been made by Iran.
This may be a US fabrication, but it may also be true — it would be natural for Iran to providfe chemical shells for another enemy of the US, which Gaddafi was at the time. This doesn't change my views about Iran's government, which is an evil tyranny.
I think chemical weapons should be eliminated, but the US does not always agree — it supported Saddam Hussein in using them against Iran.
Israel shut down a peace-oriented radio station run by Israelis and Palestinians.
St Petersburg is considering a law that would impose censorship in the name of bigotry against gays.
US citizens: Republicans want to gut the US Postal Service (even though it is profitable) and attack its workers' union rights. Phone your congresscritter to say don't do this.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
India's government blamed indigenous people for the pollution caused by a dam project, and burned the floating islands they live on.
The Israeli right wing is aiming to control or neutralize three institutions necessary to protect human rights: the supreme court, the media, and human rights NGOs.
License plate readers are being installed around the US, tracking the movements of all cars and storing the data for years.
My suggestion is to design these systems so that they record only the plates on a certain list. And only a court order should put any plate in the list.
Syria's protests have spawned an underground guerrilla armed resistance to Assad.
Unlike the Libyan rebels, the Syrian rebels hold no territory. I doubt it would be feasible to assist them.
Crackers took control of a US water utility's pump and remotely sabotaged it.
Do you want your home appliances to be turned on and off by a "smart grid"?
Two of the three community leaders asked to advise the investigation into the shooting of Mark Duggan by London police have quit, saying the investigation is shoddy and untrustworthy.
Egyptian protesters have succeeded fighting the police and soldiers, and several candidates and parties have rejected the election that the military proposed to hold.
The American Library Association condemned the New York Thug Department's callous destruction of the library of Occupy Wall Street.
Proposal: make "ecocide" a crime.
I am curious to see the definition of the crime. Can anyone find it?
Israel allowed a limited amount of construction materians into Gaza to rebuild 10 factories.
A protest vigil at a US private prison condemns the megacorporation that runs many prisons and lobbies for more imprisonment.
Green presidential candidate Jill Stein comdemned the police attack against Occupy Wall Street
The New York Police Department has occupied Liberty Park but has not presented a clear list of demands.
The thugs took a library of 5000 books and threw most of them in the trash.
Celebrate Buy Nothing Day, Nov 25 in the US, Nov 26 elsewhere.
The UK government compels unemployed people to take jobs in supermarkets — without pay.
That's a great way to generate more unemployment.
IPCC reports that global heating has already increased the frequency of weather disasters.
Police attacked protesting students at UC Davis and sprayed pepper spray down their throats.
A professor responded by calling for the resignation of the chancellor, who ordered the protest broken up.
The US published a propaganda video to show that indefinite arbitrary imprisonment in Guantanamo is a nice life.
People in Kuwait are not amused.
Egyptian insecurity forces attacked protesters in Tahrir Square with armored vehicles. The protesters received more support and pushed the troops out.
New Yorkers should do the same, and push the police out of Liberty Park.
Foreign investors are buying large amounts of land in Mali and using it to grow biofuels.
Rice from an area near the Fukushima I nuclear plant has been banned for the amount of radioactive material in it.
Many shooter video games embody the fascist war ideology: the enemy is human, but the point of the game is to deny this.
Egyptian dissident Abd El-Fattah remains imprisoned and facing a military tribunal (kangaroo court), and Maikel Nabil Sanad's hunger strike has lasted over 80 days.
The Republican governor of Ohio has authorized fracking in state parks.
These Republican politicians act like enemy saboteurs, seeking to do as much damage as they can during whatever time they hold the power. However, Democrats are often little better.
Craig Murray reveals that ex-minister Fox, and Werrity, met several times with Gould, the UK ambassador to Israel, and there is reason to suspect they were planning to get the UK into war with Iran.
US police have been militarized, and now use military weapons and military tactics against protesters.
Freedom of expression is in danger in Tunisia as the head of a TV channel was put on trial for showingn the film Persepolis.
False nasty Internet rumors about US politicians nearly always support right-wing extremists.
This article spreads another false rumor against prominent US Democratic politicians: that they are on the left. What a laugh, calling Clinton that!
US citizens: phone your senators to support the Shaheen amendment that would extend abortion coverage to women in the US military who are raped.
NARAL has a campaign about this, but I cannot support it because it says that these women are "fighting for us". As we all know, the women (and men) in the US military are fighting for the 1%. In supporting this amendment, I must not deny that fact.
China plans to prosecute Ai Weiwei for "pornography".
This demonstrates that censorship of "pornography" endangers human rights. You may find some works "disgusting" — I do — but that is no excuse for censorship.
The House of Representatives rejected a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced budget.
This is good because recessions call for deficit spending.
It is possible to reduce future deficits by $7.1 trillion just by allowing some temporary tax cuts and spending programs to expire.
(This includes 1.3 trillion from rejecting the Supercommittee's plan and allowing automatic cuts.)
However, the idea of reducing deficits now is dangerous. The time to balance the budget is when the economy is strong, as it was when President Clinton balanced the budget.
50,000 Egyptians protested in Tahrir Square against the military government.
Egyptian dissident Abd El-Fattah remains imprisoned and facing a military tribunal (kangaroo court), and Maikel Nabil Sanad's hunger strike has lasted over 80 days.
There is a senate proposal to require a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan.
The European Parliament condemned the US Internet blacklist bill for its interference in European activities.
Many cell phones (including some Android models) come with a built-in general surveillance package, Carrier IQ, whose presence is in many cases completely hidden.
The root cause of this problem is that the users don't control the software on these phones.So if they didn't put in this surveillance package, they would put in some other. The users' only protection against malicious features (surveillance, intentional restrictions, and back doors) is to insist on free software.
London protesters have occupied an empty building owned by a bank to call attention to the plan to make squatting a crime.
Protesters in Berkeley allowed their camp to be shut down by the police.
This sounds to me like a victory for the police.
The designers knew the Fukushima nuclear plants would fail in an strong earthquake.
They planned only for weaker ones and bet that a strong one would not occur there.
After the Burmese government reneged on a promise to free thousands of political prisoners, monks in Burma are protesting again.
However, the National League for Democracy has decided to participate in future elections.
Privatizing Liberty in New York City.
50,000 Egyptians protest against army rule.
China's appetite for wood is deforesting the world.
Massachusetts Senator Brown owned Bank of America stock as he demanded concessions for the big banks.
70,000 Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, but the FDA rejected petitions to take the necessary protective measures.
This is an example of how the political power of business can kill you, even in the US.
If meat farmers couldn't use antibiotics, their costs would go up, and many Americans would eat less meat. That itself would save lives by reducing heart disease.
Brazil's Indian Affairs Department fired an Indian representative, apparently because he opposed the Belo Monte dam.
In other words, he was fired for doing his job.
Why a Catholic organization was rightly denied a federal grant to serve trafficked women.
The Luddites were misrepresented by their enemies: they weren't against technology. They were against using technology to reduce wages.
I get the feeling that the author might appreciate the free software movement but has never heard of it.
Police fought with thousands of protesters in New York, and prevented their protest from impinging on the 1%'s business.
We need tens of thousands of protesters — so many that the police will have to yield.
Haiti is much less violent than its reputation.
There is suspicion that a US company illegally exported Internet surveillance systems to Syria.
Given the US practice of massive surveillance, and its tendency to obey corporations rather than citizens, I think the US should be on the banned list for such systems too.
The US military is not a jobs program. And if it were judged as one, it would be a big failure.
Two mid-level banksters face criminal charges over fraudulent foreclosure.
This is better than no action, but the kingpins are the ones that must be prosecuted.
Pakistan has banned 1500 "rude words" in text messages.
Some are entirely innocent.
People will construct euphemisms for them, and those will be banned in turn. It will add up to a total pain in the donkey.
But why wait — make it happen, and chose the words to make the system untenable. I suggest referring to male genitalia as "car" and female genitalia as "garage", as in "I want to have your car in my garage". When those words are banned, try "digit" and "ring".
Tunisia's largest party's leader threw a scare into secularists by talking about an Islamic state.
US citizens: tell Democratic senators, no compromise on Social Security and medical benefits.
Any Democrat who tried to "meet the Republicans half way" on this is at least half Republican.
US citizens: sign this petition against the Internet blacklist bill.
It's a different petition, so even if you have signed before, please sign again.
European countries are building Internet surveillance systems for repressive regimes.
A CCA privatized prison charges prisoners $5 a minute for phone calls, but pays them $1 a day.
This is standard gougers' logic for a captive clientele.
The new bipartisan plan to cripple regulation of the banksters.
Colombia's military continues to kill civilians and report them as FARC guerrillas. The practice did not end when Santos replaced President Hurrible.
The motive for this practice was to claim a bounty on corpses of guerrilla fighters.
The US military is making wild predictions of disaster to ward off budget cuts.
US media generally exaggerated the IAEA report on Iran, making Iran appear much closer to having nuclear weapons than the report actually claimed.
I continue to believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. I wouldn't trust anything said by the Iranian government without independent confirmation. But I don't believe there is any way to prevent it, other than an all-out war that would kill millions and still might not achieve the goal. That cure would be worse than the disease.
Israeli "settlers" violence against Palestinians has increased this year, after increasing last year.
Bank of America is running ads to say it is doing fine — because it isn't.
It has also set up its Web banking system to make it hard for people to move their money elsewhere.
For general distrust, I don't use the Internet for banking, and I suggest you avoid it too.
Students at UC Berkeley reestablished the protest camp that was violently attacked by police last week.
The FBI is very good at recruiting self-imagined "terrorists" to ruin their lives, though this does little to prevent real terrorism. Now an appeal might put a weak limit on the practice.
The UK will have to eliminate its X-ray body scanners under the decision recently made by the EU. I presume it will replace them with microwave scanners, which are probably safer for passengers' health.
I have never been terribly concerned about the nude image issue. If seeing an image of my flab doesn't kill the TSA agents, I suppose I can survive it too.
Thousands of Kuwaitis occupied their Parliament briefly as a protest against the prime minister.
A team of UK lawyers has launched a campaign to eliminate laws against homosexuality in many countries that inherited them from the British Empire.
Nathan Jones, who cares more about the "local businesses and employees" than about the health of society, is a narrow-minded selfish jerk. He would like us to be more concerned about the few employees in those local businesses than about the UK's millions of unemployed people who need these protests to succeed. I hope protesters picket his restaurant asking people not to eat there until he eats his words.
Republicans want schools to be able to classify the tomato sauce on a pizza as a "vegetable" so that children can have poor nutrition.
Wasn't it Reagan who said, "Ketchup is a vegetable"?
Israeli covert attacks on Iran might be intended to provoke an excuse for a full-scale war.
Thinking outside the Cold War nuclear box.
The US is trying to sabotage the treaty to ban cluster bombs.
Protesters are returning to New York's Freedom Square, but police are searching each one for any sign of tents, or even sleeping bags.
The nastiest parts of this are that the police blocked access by journalists (can you say "Syria"), and that the law is being twisted to attack the right to protest. The judge's decision banning structures was one attack; the police's actions, banning sleeping bags (which are not "structures") was a second attack.
Syrian soldiers have rebelled against Assad's rule and attacked government installations.
Hawaiian guitarist Makana was invited to sing for the world leaders of the 1%. He turned it into a protest for the 99%.
Protesters in Bologna have launched three occupations against the austerity regime imposed on Italy as Berlusconi's parting shot.
The Afghan national bank lost a billion dollars on worthless Dubai property and loans to people identified only as "dear uncle".
Meanwhile, the IMF says the bank can receive more donations now, and the people accused of this wrongdoing seem to be getting off the hook.
Aside from the fact that any further donations to this bank must be considered payoffs to Karzai corruption, I have to ask what possible excuse this bank could have had to buy foreign property with funds that were meant to support Afghanistan. I also wonder who the property was purchased from, and whether they received more than it was worth.
Israeli religious extremists are launching into violence against women, as well as billboards showing women and police who protect women.
This as a natural continuation of their violence against Arabs and against Israelis that support peace with Arabs.
A neo-nazi group in Germany that committed murders for 13 years had an undercover police infiltrator since at least 2006.
The Arab League is going ahead with its already-voted suspension of Syria, where the insecurity forces have killed 4200 people so far this year.
One of the protesters hit and then arrested by the police shutting down Occupy Wall Street was an elected city official.
If your elected officials do not support the protests, replace them!
Sidney Morgenbesser on pragmatism:
It's all very well in theory, but it doesn't work in practice.
In Spain, vote to weaken all the Sinde parties.
Right-wing justices attended a dinner sponsored by the companies that will argue against Obamacare in the Supreme Court. This is not illegal, but it smells corrupt to me.
A peaceful protest of Colombian students was attacked by the police just as it was ending.
If the state continues down this violent path, it will stimulate another guerrilla uprising.
Call on Congress to endorse Rep. Baldwin's resolution opposing immunity for banks that committed fraud.
Endorse Rep. Baldwin
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121,888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: send one more message to your congress critter against the Internet Blacklist Bill.
Demand Internet Freedom
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121,888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: tell the supercommittee to cut subsidies for dirty forms of energy use.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on US mayors (and especially New York night-mayor Bloomberg) to respect freedom of the press, and not attack journalists.
20 journalists have been arrested so far while covering these protests.
This page gives details about how much facebook tracks users' browsing, which applies even to users that don't have facebook accounts.
The UK government inquiry into the invasion of Iraq is being stalled by secrecy by other government departments.
The report. However, there is already evidence of wrong doing by Tony B'liar.
A Brazilian court reversed itself and approved Belo Monte dam. The aboriginal people who will be flooded out need not be consulted.
Billboards in Florida will say that Christianity is a myth.
This December, celebrate Grave-mass. Newton's work is no myth.
Vint Cerf spoke against SOPA, and seizure of domain names in general.
The article is weakened by its use of the terms "intellectual property" and "cloud computing", both of which spread confused thinking by being so vague that they fuzz all the real issues.
Pledge not to buy from Amazon in this gift-buying season, on account of its sweatshop shipping department.
There are other reasons to refuse to buy from Amazon.
Everyone: sign this statement of support for Palestinian "freedom riders".
The European Commission adopted rules for body scanners: X-ray scanners are banned entirely.
I am not sure whether this decision is effective. If this is an ordinary EU directive, it probably needs to be voted on again by Parliament.
Gush Shalom reproves the proposed Israeli law to ban its funding.
There are rumors that Israel sabotaged an Iranian military base and killed people involved in developing long-range missiles.
I don't criticize this sort of attack against Iran's nuclear weapons program. It was done in a military base and aimed at weapons designer, and it did not threaten to start an all-out war.
However, military means (even a large attack) can only delay Iran's development of nuclear weapons. Only the conquest of Iran could stop it, and such a war of conquest would be a bigger disaster than the conquest of Iraq.
Palestinian "freedom riders" boarded a segregated bus reserved only for Israeli settlers.
They were dragged off by soldiers.
Irish activists, imprisoned by Israel since it captured them on the Gaza aid boat have been subject to pointless body searches and sleep deprivation.
Israeli troops destroyed many Palestinian wells in October.
This is part of a long practice of stealing Palestinian water resources.
The Israeli social justice movement is incomplete because it has neglected the rights of non-Jews in Israel.
Organizations that might require a bailout should be banned from paying bonuses to anyone.
Police thugs arrested, choked and tortured a protester in San Diego for lying down in a sleeping bag.
Transcanada has offered to reroute the Keystone XL pipeline to avoid areas or Nebraska that would be particularly endangered by oil spills.
This article strangely fails to mention the biggest danger of the pipeline, the reason it must not be built at all. Extracting and burning the oil from the Alberta tar sands would condemn the whole world to climate disaster.
Obama also has carefully avoided acknowledging this point.
The world needs a system of binding limits on greenhouse has production, and soon, or it will face disaster. Such a system of binding limits would prevent the burning of the tar sands oil, making the pipeline a total waste of money. Conversely, the interests that want to build the pipeline will go all-out to condemn the world to disaster. Obama is on their side. Millions now living will be killed by him.
The article cites GATT, the agreement that gave us the World Trade Organization, as an example of how an agreement can accumulate signatories one by one. That is a valid point, but we should not let it make us thing of the WTO as a good thing.
Every effort to prevent disaster runs into opposition based on minor side issues. For instance, businesses want the UK to fail to act in order to preserve 6000 jobs mining coal that is dirtier than unusal. The argument also asks us to believe that carbon capture and storage will be a reality soon enough to matter. It is just a research idea; nobody knows if it will ever be practical.
Short-thinking people oppose attempts to increase gasoline taxes. Statesmen would ask, and help, the people to live using less gasoline.
Oxford in the UK demands all cabs install video and audio recording devices that can't be shut off.
Fortunately some are trying to oppose the plan legally.
I encountered something like this in Canberra, Australia. I handed the driver a note saying
Cab is bugged.
Please take me to
NNN Foobar Road
and I refused to speak.
Israeli reporter Uri Blau is threatened with years of imprisonment for his reporting.
He was Israel's leading investigative reporter until the state attacked him.
I think he would have achieved more by going into exile and condemning Israeli "justice" than by returning home to suffer it himself.
Israel is denying the Palestinian Authority $100 million in taxes owed, as a punishment for obtaining membership in UNESCO.
Goldman Sachs helped Greece's government cover up huge debts.
Then made profitable short sales betting that this would get Greece into trouble.
This article defends Goldman for this, but does so with a false analogy with the practice of insuring oneself against random harm. In this case, Goldman led Greece into its current disaster, and did so for profit. The short sales were part of what made this possible.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the Internet blacklist bill (SOPA).
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
See this pol note.
The ball does not roll. Colombia's president Santos wants drug legalization, but doesn't dare start the ball rolling.
Antiabortion right-wingers operate large numbers of "crisis pregnancy centers" which pretend to be there to help pregnant women, but which systematically give false information to discourage abortion.
Morris Davis, former Guantanamo chief prosecutor, says Obama is no better than Bush.
EPA regulations don't just keep us safe — as a byproduct, they create jobs.
The US gives 30 billion dollars in personal aid to millionaires.
Haitians deported from the US are jailed in conditions that endanger their lives.
Congressman Bachus, head of the House Financial Services Committee, profited by short sales after he was warned, in his official capacity, that the financial crisis was coming.
Boehner and Hastert did it too.
The UK army lied that it had done a study about whether Dirty Uranium shells endanger civilians. It also made a fallacious claim that there was an excuse not to need a study.
If officials really misled the minister about the nonexistent review, will they be sacked?
UC Berkeley sent police thugs to take down a student encampment. They beat up the students and told them, "You have no rights".
A protester analyzes the university's policy of using violence arbitrarily to maintain its power to use violence arbitrarily and then refusing to admit it did so.
The students should reestablish their camp as soon as possible. The thugs and their blackwhiting bosses probably won't dare violence a second time.
41 states provide unemployment insurance through the big bankster banks, which frequently gouge the recipients of the aid.
Police roughly arrested anarchists who tried to squat in an unoccupied former car dealership in Chapel Hill.
This occupation didn't immediately hurt anyone, but it challenged the idea that property rights trump all others. The 1% can't stand that.
The EPA found toxins in a Wyoming Aquifer, with chemical signatures suggesting they came from fracking.
Several varieties of rhinoceros have been driven extinct this year.
20,000 protested in Israel against right-wing extremism.
Undercover police infiltrator Mark Kennedy helped the Danish government eliminate a century-old labor and progressive organization.
Burma's government has allowed Aung San Suu Kyi's party to present candidates for parliament.
The Business for Social Responsibility conference has given Chevron a featured role.
In other words, this event is a PR tool for businesses that want to present themselves as "socially responsible". I doubt that business "social responsibility" programs and codes achieve much more than that. They don't seem to follow their own codes very much.
The Coming Fascist Internet.
Religious extremists in Israel are trying to impose public segregation on women.
Spain's indignados have protested again before the election.
20,000 students protested in Bogota against privatization of universities in Colombia.
Modern bestselling video games are not just grotestquely violent, they are violent in a callous macho spirit.
Everyone: phone the New York Police Department at 1-646-610-5000 to rebuke them for attacking the Occupy Wall Street camp.
Keep the moral high ground by keeping your temper. Show them cold condemnation rather than hot rage.
At Blair Mountain in 1921, mining companies used an army of troops and strikebreakers crushed a miners' strike. Now they want to destroy the mountain.
Hollywood's has extended the War on Sharing to a attack software freedom and internet innovation.
MP Birgitta Jonsdottir argues we should have the same rights against government searches in cyberspace as we have in the physical world.
Many US cities are trying various excuses to attack or shut the "occupy" protests.
If the protesters respond with persistence and fortitude, cities will find that this is self-defeating.
When Oakland video journalist Scott Campbell move away from police and asked them, "Is this ok," police answered him with a shot.
Tories plan to privatize an English hospital, and the company privately recognizes its desire for profit will result in worse care.
The UK's National Heath Service is a great achievement for sick people, but a US-style system would be more profitable for business.
Gaza aid boat activists describe the violent attack by Israeli soldiers.
When Israel commemorates assassinated premier Yitzhak Rabin, it tries to hush up the right-wing hate campaign that led to the assassination, as well as the peace with the PLO that the right-wing hated.
US citizens: call on Congresscritters to tell Obama: don't give the big banks immunity.
Reporters touring the Fukushima nuclear plant say it is full of twisted ruins. It could take 30 years to decommission the plant, says TEPCO.
I wonder if there is any estimate about the cost of the disaster, and how that compares with the value of the energy the plant would have produced. 80,000 refugees will never be able to return home. Fortunately Japan is a wealthy country and I expect they will get new homes somewhere else — unlike the Nigerians who were devastated by Shell.
Global heating denial gets special media attention in English-speaking countries.
Liu Xiaobo's poetry has been published translated into English, but there is no way to tell him about it in prison.
Shell has failed to clean up oil spills in 2008 which destroyed the livelihoods of 69,000 Nigerians.
Russia and China plan to start prospecting for oil in Antarctica.
The Arab League told Syria it faces suspension and sanctions if Assad does not end the violence.
Why planting GPS devices should require a court order.
The article argues also for limits on surveillance via cell phones carried on persons and built into cars. However, I am unwilling to hand over that sort of data about my movements at all, which is one reason why I refuse to have a mobile phone.
I think that a court order should be required even to store data about people's movements.
Nebraska ranchers' opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has turned into a big political obstacle.
However, Obama has only postponed the decision until after the elections. I suspect that he is planning to approve it once he no longer has to fear the voters' disapproval. Transcanada said the delay might force cancellation, and we can hope so, but we had better not count on it. The statement could have been a bluff, aimed at getting immediate approval. Having failed to do that, they may "find" a way to go ahead anyway.
Berlusconi il ducino has resigned, but there will be no election: Italians will face a "national unity technocrat" government intended to impose austerity on the poor.
13 protesters were killed by tank fire in Yemen as thousands marched.
US paramilitary police carry out 50,000 raids per year, nearly all about drugs.
Even if you don't have any drugs, you could easily be on the receiving end of a raid. Some of the victims have died from heart attacks.
We need to end the police's drug habit and eliminate most of these militarized police, so that towns don't find some other excuse to keep them in busy.
The Indian army wants to maintain its power to shoot anyone arbitrarily in Kashmir.
European institutions are angry at the US court decision to make Twitter hand over private contact information of various Europeans associated with Wikileaks.
A US court would normally require anyone to hand over information relevant to a criminal investigation, so I can't argue that it should have made an exception in this case. (The investigation into Wikileaks is an offense against the public and the truth, but that's a separate issue.)
I do criticize the court's decision to conceal such searches from the people whose information is sought.
The problem Ms Jonsdottir should attack is that Europeans are giving data to US companies (Twitter in this case, but also others), which makes this data available to the US. The European Union should require foreign companies operating in Europe to entrust their data about their users or customers to a European company, which would be covered by European law about data protection and searches.
For the mean time, maybe people outside the US can access Twitter and other such sites through non-US proxies designed to conceal any private information (such as IP addresses) from Twitter.
US energy utilities procure rate increases to cover taxes they are supposed to pay, then don't pay those taxes.
Businesses are lobbying to neutralize a legal requirement for health insurance to cover certain "essential benefits". They want "essential benefits" to be defined so weakly that this requirement won't do any good.
US citizens: Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Don't allow coal mining next to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Republicans are proposing a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
This would make it impossible to get out of a recession through deficit spending.
Brain scanners show that some people in a "vegetative state" can respond to simple requests with their thoughts.
31 Indians received life sentences for participating in a massacre of Muslims.
Human Rights Watch: Mexico's "war on drugs" regularly involves murder and torture with impunity.
Tasers can kill, but the mistaken idea that they are safe leads police to use them frequently, sometimes with fatal results.
5000 Haitians who got cholera from UN troops have sued the UN.
If the world does not limit construction of fossil-fuel-consuming facilities now, it will be committed to disaster.
Texas Gov. Perry lost most of his support because of a momentary memory lapse during a debate.
It is foolish to judge a candidate by such a superficial and insignificant thing as a momentary memory lapse. That can happen to anyone who is as old as most presidential candidates.
The reason to reject Perry is for his policies that would hurt women and poor people.
Thousands of students protested in London, but were tightly restricted by thousands of police, who set up barricades blocking off streets.
The UK has banned a UK Muslim political group, without trial, just before its planned protest against UK and US war crimes.
The group's activities seem to consist of annoying peaceful protests. It has been banned for its views, which the government says "glorify terrorism". The article did not say what the group's views are — I suspect the Guardian, as a UK newspaper, was afraid to state them. But they don't really matter: banning any political viewpoint is tyranny.
The UK threatens to imprison people for merely appearing to belong to this group, whether or not they really do. Anything that group members frequently did is in effect now grounds for imprisonment, not for everyone, but only for those that the state wishes to persecute. Any statement or action that alludes to the group could be taken as a sign of "membership" and used as grounds for imprisonment. I suspect that participating peacefully in the group's planned protest against war crimes is enough basis to imprison someone as a "terrorist".
This reminds me of China's treatment of Falun Gong.
It is much more efficient to eat sardines than to feed them to farmed salmon.
The US "war on drugs" has casualties among the sick.
China is carrying on climate blackmail, demanding billions of dollars or it will release the long-lasting greenhouse gas HFC-23 into the air.
The UK government is covering up its involvement in US torture, say MPs.
The main US ISPs have contrived to pay little or no taxes.
The Franklin Center provides "news articles" with right-wing spin for major US newspapers.
Kuwait has arrested people for criticizing the monarch.
The leader of an unauthorized army murder squad in Afghanistan has been sentenced to life in prison. (He might be paroled after 10 years).
In this case, justice has been done. But what about the murderers of unarmed Osama bin Laden, who should have been arrested and tried?
Occupy Atlanta is helping to protect a policeman from being evicted.
What the exit of Berlusconi might mean to Italy.
The "chief of staff" of Herman Cain's campaign seems to have set up a tax-exempt organization which he is using to pay Cain's campaign expenses.
Even more sinister, he is connected with the Koch brothers.
US health insurance companies don't want to tell consumers what the policies really cover.
If the rules of an insurance policy are so complex that it is hard to tell purchasers what they cover, those rules should be simplified.
Everyone: support the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.
Everyone: Oppose the US-backed treaty to legalize cluster bombs.
US citizens: tell Obama, delaying the decision on Keystone XL is just a first step — now cancel it.
US citizens: sign this petition to tax Wall Street.
US citizens: sign this petition for Attorney General Holder to enforce the voting rights act against Republican voter-suppression laws.
Saudi Arabia doesn't want the world to know how poor most Saudis are.
There will be an investigation into the corrupt handling of the Keystone XL approval study.
Some unions have been duped into supporting the pipeline, believing exaggerated claims it would create jobs, but they would only be around 1400 jobs, for a few years.
There are lots of ways to spend money and create jobs. They could spend it on solar power or urban transit. No amount of jobs could compensate for the global heating disaster this pipeline will cause.
Gov. Walker plans to give businesses more rights than citizens in lawsuits.
Updated measures show 16% of Americans are in poverty.
This especially includes old people, showing that social security and medicare need to be increased.
How the music and movie companies are paying for the Internet blacklist bill.
The League of Women Voters is going to challenge the Wisconsin voter-suppression law.
Tell California Attorney General Harris not to accept broad immunity for the banks, and to protect foreclosed Americans.
ALEC wants to eliminate paid sick leave in the US.
Wall Street has profited more in 3 years under Obama than in 8 years under Bush.
The fact that Obama kept Geithner in office as "the bankers' man in Washington" probably reflects the subservience that is responsible for this.
US citizens: tell Obama not to give the banksters immunity.
The War Against the Poor.
Some Democrats in Congress are trying to oppose Republican voter-suppression campaigns. But there is little they can do.
Obama could have done something, but didn't, as far as I know.
There is new evidence that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
This doesn't surprise me; I never believed Iran's denials. (I wouldn't believe such denials from Bush or Obama, so why trust Ahmadinejad more than them?) If it were feasible to destroy these facilities with a simple air attack, I might support it. But it is clear that Iran has planned for this and has already made it impossible.
Berlusconi il Ducino has pledged to resign in a couple of weeks.
Natanyahu advocates blocking Israeli human rights groups from receiving foreign financial support.
Global heating will spread sleeping sickness in Africa.
Sarkozy and Obama agreed, privately, that Netanyahu is insufferable.
Anat Kamm was convicted of espionage in Israel for releasing secrets to the Israeli press.
This interpretation of the idea of espionage implies that the Israeli state considers the people an enemy power. If that's how the state views them, it must indeed be their enemy.
Full information about this attack on the press in Israel is in a previous note.
A leak in the US government says that Israels leaders told the US they may attack Iran regardless of what the US thinks about it.
The US proposes to allow some dangerous undersea Arctic oil drilling. Not as much as was proposed, but still dangerous.
Syria's government has killed 3500 protesters.
Protesters have asked the UN to intervene.
The Federal Election Commission is effectively inoperative.
The Supreme Court will decide whether the police can put a tracking device on your car without a warrant.
If I found a tracking device on my car (if I had a car), I'd move it to someone else's car.
The Israeli navy seized the Gaza aid boats violently and abused the passengers and crew.
The 1% claim to be wealth-creators, but they are really wealth-destroyers. The qualities business looks for in executives are not very different from a psychopath.
The Oakland police are concealing evidence about their attack on protesters on Oct 25.
The London police sent letters to hundreds of activists warning them about participating in a protest on Wednesday.
Denmark is trying to cover up cooperation in US torture flights with a limited and ineffective investigation.
Drug terror in Mexico is fueled by the US' War on Drugs.
Iran's nuclear weapons development might have ended in 2003.
Mississippi voters rejected the constitutional amendment to declare that a fetus is a person.
Google can't quite bring itself to say that there should be no software patents.
See endsoftpatents.org for why software patents should be abolished.
Activists propose to occupy the School of the Americas and shut it down.
This school became infamous for teaching South American officers how to repress and torture dissidents, and in response to criticism, the US changed the school's name.
Australia has adopted a tax on carbon emissions.
I think this is necessary to reduce emissions.
Most "honey" in US supermarkets has been laundered, removing all sign of its origin. Much of it comes from China, and it is likely to be contaminated.
This is illegal, but the US government doesn't police it.
Giant mines in Mongolia produce so much dust that the truck drivers need to use their headlights all day.
It seems to me that replacing the trucks with a railroad would eliminate at least part of the problem. It would make all that shipping far more efficient, and it would produce no dust. And many animals might be able to cross it.
US citizens: sign this petition against the Internet blacklist bill.
A hot, dry summer devastated Italy's truffle harvest.
Global heating might come close to wiping them out.
In the US: attend teach-ins on Nov 9 on "How the 1% Crashed the Economy".
The US government now shuns representatives of the Tibetan government in exile, pandering to China.
Thousands marched around the White House to protest the Keystone XL pipeline.
In the US: move your money out of the banks that corrupted our government and created the crisis, and into a local bank that supports your community.
Everywhere: participate in solidarity actions on Nov 12 for the Egyptian revolution: no military trials for civilians.
In the US, you could make this demand about both the US and Egypt.
Republicans are against spending public funds for the sake of jobs, except when it is military spending which we don't need.
Spending the same amount in some other field would make more jobs and could produce something beneficial.
Obama and Congress want to go easy on federal contractors that have failed to pay their taxes — in the name of jobs.
Why not simply hand the entire federal budget to rich people for nothing and hope they will spend it in a way that will create some jobs? On the other hand, that's not so different from what they ARE doing.
The Egyptian protesters, who say the military is stealing their revolution, have asked for international support particularly from the Western protesters.
State police fought with protesters the night after protests shut own the Port of Oakland.
As Kayvan Sabeghi was leaving the protest, police attacked him and beat him so badly that he remained, as of Friday, in intensive care.
The students in Professor Mankiw's Harvard economics class walked out in protest against his right-wing views.
Paraguay is letting multinational companies destroy forests to the point where an uncontacted indigenous tribe has no space to live.
Obama found a sneaky was to cut Medicare benefits.
Since the banksters and the military have priority, Obama takes it out on sick old people.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the TSA for disregarding a court order to request public comment on the body scanners it has installed in airports.
Noam Chomsky on Occupy Wall Street and reversing the despair of the American non-rich.
Statement of Egyptian activists, asking for internatinal support to defend the Egyptian revolution.
Lebanon is attacking freedom of expression on the Internet.
I don't believe a word of the claim that this is a way to protect web sites. Registering them now will do nothing to make it harder to ban them in the future.
Instead of the promised referendum on EU-imposed austerity or default, Greeks will get a national unity government, which means that there will be no elections any time soon, and no parties to vote for if you don't like what they are all doing together.
While US copyright companies say they are harmed greatly by sharing (which they call "piracy"), in fact they are doing just fine.
The greedy psychopaths (corporations) attacking our freedom are not satisfied with making plenty of money. No matter how much they get, they are always ready ready to attack us to get more.
Colombia has killed a leader of the FARC guerrilla group.
I cannot regret this, but the FARC are not the worst terrorists in Colombia. The worst are the paramilitares, are connected with the military and the government and with former president Horrible. They remain at large and immune to punishment.
Sugar and fat in food have brain effects similar to addictive drugs.
Sri Lanka's tyrannical government blocked a dissident web site and demands all we sites register with the government.
Sri Lanka's greatest editor was assassinated by government agents.
Peru's president has dismissed the top indigenous rights official for doing her job right. She blocked a gas project that had not been approved without proper study.
President Humala's first disappointment was when, as a candidate, he agreed not to cancel the free exploitation treaty with the US.
As Nebraska prepares to protect its water supplies from the Keystone XL pipeline, the pipeline company threatens to sue the state.
While pollution of water supplies could be a disaster, the normal functioning of this planet-roaster pipeline would be a far bigger disaster.
Why NPR is wrong (and dangerously stupid) to fire journalists who hold up signs in public.
A previous note refers to an article which mentioned that severa prominemnt NPR correspondents had publicly stated right-wing views (which they did not get fired for). This news made sense of something I began to perceive in the 90s: All Things Considerer was attacking Clinton from the right. This is part of why I mostly stopped listening to public radio around then.
Another reason was that I heard commercials. Officially NPR says that they are not commercials but rather "enhanced underwriting", but I reject their distinction and consider them commercials.
Greenhouse gas emissions jumped 6% in 2010.
Would it be good to have a Steve Jobs in every industry?
BP's executives regarded their Russian partners as "crooks and thugs".
I am sure they are good at recognizing such.
Mississippi's "fetus is a person" bill covers ectopic pregnancies too.
Thus, standard medical procedures will be illegal.
Even if they fix this, it will still be an injustice.
The establishment doesn't want Greece to follow Argentina's example.
The inhabitants of Dimock, Pennsylvania, say their wells are still toxic and say the fracking company should not stop providing them with water.
Some US businesses are moving their money out of the monster banks.
The Free Software Foundation moved its money out of Bank of America this year.
US citizens: tell your federal represantatives to support the constitutional amendment to limit corporations' political spending
US citizens: co-sign Rep. Slaughter's letter calling for an ethics investigation of Clarence Thomas.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on the senate to reject Rand Paul's attempt to stop the EPA from enforcing the Clean Air Act.
Obama is appeasing China by shunning representatives of the Tibetan government in exile.
The Taliban are feeling the resentment of Afghanis for their killing of civilians.
Exxon continues resisting paying the damages for the Prudhoe Bay oil spill of 1991, and gutless governments don't try hard to make it pay.
The copyright business in the UK wants to make ISPs block access to many foreign web sites.
General Peter Fuller was removed from duty in Afghanistan for rebuking Karzai's hostility to his US sugar-daddy.
Generals must not be allowed to oppose US foreign policy. Hoewever, what he said about Karzai is true, and the US is fooling itself by supporting Karzai.
The protest movement in Spain has led many to reject the two major parties.
However, unless they find a party they can vote for, the government can ignore them.
The FBI used a fake cell phone tower to search all cell phones in the vicinity.
And it argues this is ok because Americans have no general right to privacy about their movements if they have cell phones.
The CIA kills large groups in Pakistan without knowing who they are.
General Motors launched an advertising campaign against bicycling.
Israel boarded and captured two aid boats headed for Gaza.
The Israeli navy is wrong when it claims these boats were violating international law. The siege of Gaza does that.
In the US: participate in an Occupy Colleges teach-in on Nov 9 and 10.
US citizens: phone Obama to tell him not to approve the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
US citizens: tell Obama not to give the banksters immunity for their foreclosure frauid.
US citizens: tell Congress to fix the disastrous weakness in the whistleblower protection bill.
Real ID, the plan to convert US state drivers' licenses into scannable national ID cards, has come to a halt, but continues to do harm to the extent it was implemented.
Global heating is causing tree species in the American west to shift their ranges.
Imagine what will happen with 3 or 4 times as much global heating.
Private prisons in the US use sleazy ties with state governments to increase their business, which includes keeping sentences long.
Chinese companies bring China-style sweatshop conditions to African mines.
The US accused Allied Home Mortgage of fraud adding up to almost a billion dollars.
It waited a long time to do this, and Allied kept making more mortgages.
30 major US corporations paid no income tax for three years.
Homosexuals in Uganda face persecution from strangers and from their relatives.
They can be tortured and even killed if they are sent home, but they may be denied asylum anyway.
The US is growing GMO crops in wildlife refuges.
Why are any crops grown there — doesn't that defeat the purpose of a wildlife refuge?
The Department of Injustice has withdrawn its proposal to authorize lying in response to FOIA requests.
A Texas judge ruled to deny a DNA test to a prisoner facing execution.
This is ridiculous. There may be plenty of reason to think this man was guilty, but there is no harm in doing the DNA test to make sure. If he is guilty, the test will confirm that.
But even if he is guilty, execution is still not justified.
Thousands of protesters shut down the Port of Oakland.
Jacob Appelbaum says governments want to keep computer security weak, so that they can spy on people's computers.
Alaa Abd El Fattah smuggled a letter out of his cell, describing the conditions of his imprisonment for criticizing the Egyptian military rulers.
Even worse, the military seem intent on poisoning the new constitution, and several parties have walked out on the process.
I suspect that Obama has encouraged this.
A study found that the minor looters in London in August were motivated by a "party atmosphere", desire for the luxury goods, and hostility towards the police.
I hope they develop discipline so that they can in the future express their hostility towards the police in a more effective and constructive fashion.
Meanwhile, the major looters of the UK — the banks, and the corporations that transfer their profits out and don't pay tax — are motivated by pure greed.
Israeli prison doctors are turning a blind eye to torture of Palestinian prisoners.
Ann Jones, a Fulbright scholar in Norway, was blocked from accessing her US bank account by a US agency called OFAC — without a trial of course.
At some point, the US government deleted the principle that citizens have rights.
Ordinary Greeks Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands
Syria's president agreed to an Arab League plan to end violence against protesters. Protesters will test this on Tuesday with large protests.
Obama responded contemptuously to a petition to legalize marijuana by asking the "Drug Czar" to respond.
The Drug Czar is a state-paid lobbyist against legalization of any drug. Such state-paid lobbying is an outrage in itself.
Thousands of Tunisians have expressed their solidarity with the "occupy" protests around the US.
The Corporation of London, which is the government of the City of London (a small piece of what we normally call London), is elected by the banks, and the banksters use it as a law-free zone to wreak fiscal harm around the world.
Oakland police, in their violent attack against protesters, violated a 2004 agreement the city made after it was sued by a previous bunch of protesters it attacked.
10 protesters were arrested at Occupy Portland but police wouldn't tell them what law they had broken.
Jonathan Billinghurst says he wants criminal charges against the police who attacked his car with baseball bats.
Most wealth is created using knowledge developed by thousands of activities over a long time. Many of these activities were publicly-supported. When the 1% take most of this wealth for themselves, they are stealing it from us.
Employees at the Baum foreclosure mill dressed for Halloween to mock their victims.
The prime minister of Greece reneged on his plan to hold a referendum on new austerity measures.
I don't think Greeks will take this lying down.
Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua, has been accused of personally leading a campaign against women's rights
Perhaps that is why Nicaragua has banned abortions even when they would save women's lives.
PBS NewsHour corrected the error of misattributing a pro-inequality quote to Lincoln, but continues to support the same pro-inequality position.
Why give money to a right-wing "news" program? If it is going to support the rich, let them pay the whole bill.
Americans are pushing back hard against genetically modified corn as food.
Local Money Creates Wealth Outside the Bubble
Totally unrelated bacteria species share genes with very high frequency.
Thus, the use of antibiotics in cattle, which led them to evolve resistance, probably contributed directly to the resistance among pathogens that prey on us.
In other words, the empire of the megacorporations could kill you.
Nurses have protested to demand a financial transactions tax.
A Colombian officer in the unit that randomly killed civilians accused its US-trained commanding general of supporting the practice.
Chile's president and right-wing politicians propose to imprison the protesting students.
Israel to forcibly evict 40,000 Bedouins from ancestral land
There was a large protest in Seattle as an executive of predatory bank JP Morgan Chase came to speak.
We should protest in this way whenever Apple and Microsoft executives speak.
The French magazine Charlie Hebdo was destroyed by arson just as it planned to publish mockery of Muhammad.
This offense against freedom calls for the strongest possible response, including help in setting up new offices that would be difficult to attack again. Moslems must learn to respect the rights of non-Muslims.
US citizens: tell the Department of Health, no employer opt-out for contraception.
Syria is planting land mines along the border with Lebanon.
Industrial air pollution from India is causing big and destructive storms in the Arabian sea.
I support this amendment, but what we really need is a broader one that would abolish the idea that corporations are entitled to human rights.
Republicans want to ban the US from carrying out any discussions with Iran.
The anti-abortion law in Nicaragua has killed 100 women; they needed abortions to save their lives.
Their relatives should condemn the politicians who voted for this law as murderers.
Call on Obama to pay real attention to the petitions he set up a site for.
US citizens: sign this petition against the E-TYRANT Internet blacklist bill.
E-TYRANT = Electronically Trashing Your Rights: Another Nasty Try.
On Nov 5, move your money out of the big banks that caused the crisis and profited from the suffering they caused.
London Police who attacked a man's car with baseball bats and broke its windows will not even be fired.
The thugs said they thought the victim might already harbor resentment against them for killing his brother, and that this excused their attack. Does that remind you of the Bush forces in Iraq? This is the behavior of an occupying army.
The UK is planning how to join the US to attack Iran.
If the other claims of Iranian involvement in assassinations are as weak as the evidence about the so-called plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, they are all suspect.
Such an attack would strengthen the Iranian government, thus harming the freedom of Iranians. The attack might be justified if it would succeed in eliminating Iran's nuclear capability, but it probably can't do that either. So why do it?
I wonder if such an attack is the bipartisan plan to pull public attention away from Occupy Wall Street, increase the military budget, and gag most Americans from complaining as they are driven into poverty. All in the name of "patriotism", of course.
UK judges ruled in favor of extraditing Assange to Sweden.
The most important political issue raised by this is that what Assange is accused of doing, though clearly unkind, would not be a crime in the UK, or indeed most of the world.
US citizens: tell Congress to end tax breaks for oil companies.
Call the State Department: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 202-647-5291 U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro 011-972-3-519-7575 Office of Israel/Palestinian Affairs Paul Sutphin 202-647-3672 Office of Consular Affairs, Kim Richter 202-647-8308
and President Obama: 202-456-1414. Also sign this petition:
(Action recommended by Jewish Voice for Peace.)
The Gates Foundation's supposed malaria vaccine is really just a small step forward.
However, the Gates Foundation 'preferred to assessments rather than cranky ones.'
Students in Sudan protested rising food prices.
I suppose corruption contributes to the high prices, but part of the problem is due to population growth. A government policy can't make that problem go away. The only solution is a long-term one: cut births.
Thailand imprisons web site operators if people post comments on the site that "insult" the king.
The change suggested in the article would only reduce the injustice. Laws punishing "insults" to any part or official of the state are fundamentally unjust.
Thailand tried to censor news about the flooding, too.
Two Tibetans are imprisoned in China for their writing.
Finland's investigation of US torture flights is a whitewash.
A big increase in use of coal is leading to worse global CO2 emissions.
Collapse of a huge dump of toxic coal ash into a waterway has occurred twice in the past few years, showing the need for careful regulation of how to dispose of coal ash.
Anything which happens this often cannot be dismissed as a "freak accident".
The Washington Post uses fallacious reasoning to present an imaginary crisis for social security.
The supercommittee gives bipartisan support to cutting social security, but prevents Congress from even considering a tax on financial transactions.
So you can see whose side they are on.
A Nashville TV reporter's camera showed how police attacked him, then made false charges against him.
False charges against protesters are standard practice for the thugs. A policeman's testimony against a protester should be considered inadmissible in court unless there is a recording to support it.
Unlimited political spending by business has overwhelmed Maine's public campaign financing law.
The Citizens United decision was effectively Clarence Thomas' reward to the people organization that got him his Supreme Court seat.
Debt rating agencies have a fundamental conflict of interest: they are paid by the debtors that want their debt rated.
The Church of England in London has rejected evicting the protesters and expressed great support for them.
Rick Perry and the Bankruptcy of Modern Day Conservatives.
Right-wingers want you to be afraid of shadows in Occupy Wall Street.
Libya's interim leader said Libya's new laws will be based on Islamic law, but since has partially backtracked.
It remains worrysome, especially in regard to marriage, since women's rights might be threatened.
The school staff in a high school (in Hartford Connecticut, I think) held an "intruder alarm", locking the students in their classrooms, as an excuse for police to search the school for drugs.
I suspect the whole idea of these "intruder drills" is bogus. The possibility of murderous strangers in a school is the sort of shocking but rare danger that our society exaggerates, thus distracting people's attention from more important dangers (for instance, the danger the banksters may send thugs to kick you out of your home, or that cigaretts may kill you).
Blue Coat acknowledged that its products are helping Syria censor the Internet.
X-ray scanners are expected to cause from 6 to 100 people in the US to get cancer per year.
Since that is a rough estimate, we can make a further rough estimate that half of them will die from it.
Since there is no sign that these scanners have ever prevented an act of terrorism, this probably means they kill more than they save.
In the US: tell major retailers not to use paper made by destroying rain forests in Indonesia.
Climate researchers say the frequency of major weather disasters is increasing.
And since it is probably due to global heating, they will become far more frequent in coming years.
Israel's latest pretext for building more colonies in Palestinian territory is "punishment" for joining UNESCO.
As a justification, it's inadequate. As an excuse, it's unnecessary, since Israel would have done this anyway.
EU citizens: help stop the EU from ratifying ACTA, the treaty to attack the Internet.
Hermain Cain, who hasn't been despised for his proposal to cut taxes for rich Americans and raise them for everyone else, is in trouble because a woman says he propositioned her.
Whether it's true or not, I think it's unimportant. There's no harm in asking, and people shouldn't get bent out of shape when they need to say no.
The real scandal about Herman Cain is the way he wants to screw everyone in America who isn't rich.
Some clubs in England record the identities of all their customers — and hold on to the data. Even creepier, they offer the "convenient" alternative of using your fingerprint on return visits, instead of showing your ID again. But that seems to be optional. The permanent record is mandatory.
I sympathize fully with the goal of reducing the rowdiness and petty violence of drunks. (I personally detest drunken behavior at a level far below the point at which they would try to punish it.) But I would refuse to go to club that kept records of the fact that I was there.
I would much rather let them hold — but not record — my ID for the time I was there. That would do just as well to discourage rowdiness, wouldn't it?
Everyone: send a message to Israel to release nonviolent protest leader Ashraf Abu Rahmah.
The three nastiest points in the U SAP AT RIOT Act.
Oakland protester Scott Olsen, who was shot in the head with a tear gas canister, is no longer in critical condition, but may need brain surgery.
Israeli troops often fire tear gas canisters directly at Palestinian protesters heads. They are good shots, and wouldn't hit anyone's head if they were aiming at the ground as they are supposed to. Are Oakland police good shots?
In Irvine California, the city council and mayor gave firm support to the protests.
Justin Bieber's lawyers sent a bogus threat legal to freebieber.org.
Since Bieber seems to have stated his agreement with the campaign, this seems a bit contradictory. What gives?
The victory Occupy Wall Street has already won.
In addition to protesting, the assemblies at the protests test a new form of social organization.
Welcome to the Oakland general strike.
Uri Avnery's comments on political developments in Tunisia and Libya.
US citizens: sign this petition calling on Congress to demand an investigation into the State Department's rigged review of the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
The Greek government will hold a referendum on its debt deal with the EU and IMF.
The deal now includes forgiveness of half the debt, which is a big plus. But unless that is enough to make it feasible for Greece to get out of recession and actually pay the remaining debt, Greece will need to default, and there is no benefit in putting it off.
Egyptian protest leader Alaa Abd El Fattah has been arrested by the military, which is trying to blame him and other protesters for a massacre of protesters carried out by the military.
The protest movement has denounced the validity of the military tribunals, which are just as rotten as US military tribunals.
The Northeast US experienced a record snowfall for October.
I personally wish I were home now, because I love snow. However, looking beyond the personal, I suspect this is a sign of global heating. It is expected to lead to increased precipitation in some regions and I think the Northern US is one of them.
UNESCO granted full membership to Palestine, refusing to be bought by the US.
Everyone: tell the G20 meeting to cancel commercial sponsorship by a bank.
Visa and Mastercard are trying hard to use credit card purchase records to target people with Internet ads based on their purchases.
Legislation should be adopted to stop them from doing anything whatsoever with credit card information, even in aggregate, except for scientific research that is published.
Actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been freed, without being flogged, but many Iranian filmmakers remain in prison or under threat of prison.
As the EU plans to impose its carbon emissions cap-and-trade scheme to air travel, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill to fine US airlines if they obey EU law.
If this bill passes, the EU ought go ahead with this plan, and inform the US government, "You don't have to let US airlines fly across the Atlantic; feel free to leave the market to European airlines." But that would require having enough guts to stand up to the US and the megacorporations.
The airlines' claim that cap-and-trade is a "tax" is false. But even if it were a tax, the rest of their argument is the usual right-wing anti-regulation bullshit. Repeated experience shows that if companies have money to invest, that is no reason to suppose they will use it to reduce CO2 emissions — not unless government policies push them in that direction.
Greeks are organizing to resist attempts to collect property taxes from poor people (many of whose income has been cut).
Greece needs to improve tax collection, but it needs to start with those who are wealthy and have substantial income.
While Greeks condemn Germany, thousands are protesting in Germany at the European Central Bank. I would expect most of those protesters are German; thus, Greeks should remember that some in Germany are on their side.
The UK police have devices that can monitor and censor mobile phones in a given area.
If the software in the phones were free, it might be possible to develop countermeasures.
Police in New York arrest children in school, sometimes violently, over trivial excuses. The ACLU has sued them.
In one point the article defeats its purpose: when it accepts the ridiculous claim that "being a smart alec" is "delinquency" it seems to endorse punishing children for a trivial excuse.
US citizens: sign the EFF's campaign against E-TYRANT.
The world's nuclear powers plan to put tremendous resources into more and newer nuclear weapons.
Several of them reportedly envision making a first strike with nuclear weapons (i.e., not having them solely for nuclear deterrence). The US led the way in this; all through the Cold War, the US rejected pledging "no first strike", and I don't think it ever did make such a pledge.
PBS NewsHour presented a right-wing pro-inequality speaker who cited a false Abraham Lincoln quote opposing government welfare programs that tax the rich and help the poor.
Everyone: Call on PBS to issue a correction.
Habitat destruction in Canada is wiping out the caribou. Rather than protect them, Canada proposes to compensate by wiping out wolves too.
Oglala tribe leader Tom Poor was arrested for telling Obama that the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline would violate the US treaty with his tribe.
The US government increasingly refuses to inform people that their homes or belongings have been searched by police.
This is one of many attacks on Americans' rights that was launched in the name of "stopping terrorism". However, as Bush and Obama have shown, a government that disrespects people's rights is a much bigger danger than terrorism.
The Federal Reserve holds its policy discussions in secret, and releases only edited transcripts, 5 years delayed.
Australia's "Labor" government imposed an end to a strike against Qantas.
Now the airline can go ahead with its outsourcing and offshoring plans. Australians should be pleased.
The UK will cut aid to countries that ban homosexuality.
Libyan journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad found and interviewed his former jailor.
There may be good reasons to arrest some of the men who worked for Gaddafi. Some may have to be prosecuted for crimes such as torture. I hope that the new government is taking care to approach this with respect for the rights of the accused.
Obama has proposed a 20-year ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.
This is the right thing to do, though why only for 20 years. Nevertheless, when Obama does the right thing, that's a rare exception.
When British companies ruin the environment, when they torture and kill the people who protest, the victims can sue in the UK and make the companies pay. The UK government now proposes to protect these companies by making it hard to sue them.
Our corporation-subservient Supreme Court is considering whether to exempt US corporations from all such liability.
The British Commonwealth's plans to criticize members that don't respect human rights were blocked by a few of the member states, that apparently want to protect such violations.
Guantanamo guard Brandon Neely says he saw prisoners beaten for no reason . The guards had been told that all the prisoners were hard-boiled killers, though in fact many had only been in the wrong place at the wrong time. But even if they really were hard-boiled killers, that wouldn't justify punching them while they were tied up.
Years later, Neely contacted some former prisoners to apologize for the way they were treated.
Since the US can't keep official troops in Iraq, it plans a "closer relationship" to keep them in other Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Republican budget cuts (which Democrats failed to properly resist) destroyed 370,000 jobs, according to a study.
St Paul's Cathedral in London, which is threatening to evict protesters, has suppressed a report about the morals of banksters.
The banksters are evidently too important to be criticized.
Colonel Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, condemned the prison as a "law-free zone" and called for prosecution of the government's torturers.
If there are grounds to prosecute al-Nashiri, he deserves the same fair trial you would deserve if you were accused of a crime.
100 leading economists warned the UK government that its budget cuts are leading to a deeper economic crisis.
This is equally true in the US, but the Hooverites dominate the media.
The mainstream media continue to promote the nonsense that free exploitation treaties create jobs.
They are more likely to do the opposite.
Occidental Petroleum said it built its pipeline in Ecuador using helicopters. In fact, it built a road, and stationed soldiers to chase away anyone who tried to prove it was there.
Does anyone know where this project stands with the government of Ecuador? Are these gunmen soldiers of the Ecuadorian army, or private security guards?
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to oppose the e-TYRANNY Internet blackist bill (now called SOPA or e-PARASITE). Also sign this petition.
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