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Each political note has its own anchor in case you want to link to it.
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A new scheme for voting on levels resource usage encourages people to vote what they think is good for society.
A Green Party candidate and community organizer in the US is facing felony charges that seem to be fabricated by political opponents.
US combat veterans received horrible treatment while dishing out horrible treatment to the inhabitants of some other country. Some of them are psychologically wounded, but only a handful have expressed this in the sort of violence that the thugs imagine an excuse. The US could handle that problem with perhaps 6 regional SWAT teams, all of which would spend most of their time waiting for a call.
Biometrics Nightmare: Coming to a Street Corner Near You.
A study shows in detail that investments are in great danger due to global heating.
Of course, this had to be true; as global heating degrades ecosystems, it will undermine many industries.
The Australian government refuses to say what it is doing to the people on two boats of refugees that were trying to reach Australia.
The Australian government is trying to hurry complex changes in support for poor and disabled people.
I suppose that the real aim of these changes is dooH niboR, the complexity is meant to disguise and distract, and the haste is so people can't get to the bottom of things in time to demonstrate this clearly.
A radio show host was fired for mentioning that Mohammed had sex with his 9-year-old wife (Aisha), which by today's usual standards would be called pedophilia.
As far as I know, 9-year-olds don't generally want sex with anyone. Mohammed's marriage to a child reflected the general practice of treating girls and women as property. Western countries have mostly rejected this, but many parts of the world still practice it.
By today's prudish standards, having sex with a 17-year-old would be called pedophilia too. These standards go too far in the other direction.
While around 16% of Americans were poor when surveyed in 2012, most of them are poor for periods of months, not for years.
Almost 1/3 of Americans were poor for a period of months in the last few years.
We ought to provide the help needed by those who are temporarily poor, and also help for those who are poor for years.
It is superfluous for right-wing politicians to tell the unemployed to feel ashamed of being unemployed, because they do so anyway.
I can't understand why anyone is ashamed to be poor or unemployed, unless it is that person's own fault. For instance, if it is the fault of a system that inflicts poverty on many, why be ashamed of that? It's the culprits who ought to feel shame. Don't feel ashamed, organize!
Fortunately for me, I have never felt the slightest need to base my self-esteem on being seen to spend money. I don't care if I can treat people to drinks, return a financial favor, or give a "suitable gift" to meet a silly social obligation. I reject the holidays that businesses have converted into occasions when one is supposed to give gifts. When I have a birthday party, I ask people to bring food and desserts for all to enjoy, not gifts for me.
I suggest that poor people feel equally unashamed, so they can organize instead.
Everyone: Call on Egypt to stop sentencing dissidents to death.
PRISM, Local Edition: NY DA Employs 381 Secret Orders to Gather Complete Digital Dossiers from Facebook.
YouTube has made private deals with the copyright industry to censor works that are fair use.
If Google intends not to "be evil", it must stop this.
The US and the EU will fight to the end against a treaty to restrict human rights abuses by corporations.
Facebook, as an "experiment", collected the text its useds started to enter as status updates and ultimately did not send.
Facebook also announced it planned to track mouse movement even in the absence of a click.
Central banks, and especially China's, are creating money simply so they can buy up world assets.
5 absurd arguments US ISPs are making for ending net neutrality.
The Eastern Caribbean faces long-term drought.
In Mexico, women who fight back when raped are often put on trial.
Rising seas have left thousands of poor people in Liberia homeless.
This is no accident: over coming decades it will become millions.
Russia imprisons drug users without medical care.
The US has repressed drug users, but it is starting to soften a little.
US citizens: call on your senators to oppose the bill to stop the EPA from extending the Clean Water Act to more waterways.
US citizens: call on Obama to end Navy sonar training exercises in areas where they kill whales.
Obama's lawyers cited the global-war law (the Authorization for Use of Military Force) as an excuse for killing al-Awlaki.
The NSA makes up its own meanings for everyday words, so we can't assume this statement means what it seems to mean. If we knew all the facts, the number of people in the US that we would say they looked at the phone records of could be up to 248 million, for all we know.
Most Americans falsely believe that racial prejudice has ceased to make the lives of American blacks difficult.
My views were not influenced by reports of atrocities against babies in a hospital, because I did not see those reports. I don't watch TV. I was surprised later to read about this.
I think my views were influenced by the reported threat to attack Saudi Arabia, which according to this article was a fabrication.
I have to raise the question of whether the Kuwaiti government's request for military support against an invader ceased to be valid once its territory is totally conquered.
Chris Christie has given over a billion dollars to companies that support Republicans.
The UK proposes a law to treat its undersea fossil fuel reserves solely in business terms; it would require maximizing income from them.
Egypt has held Khaled Al-Qazzaz in prison without charges for a year based apparently on his having a government job under Morsi.
Libyan human rights advocate Salwa Bugaighis was assassinated.
Poachers in Africa are using poison that kills vultures. It is so effective that the vultures could be wiped out.
Urging people to "cheer up" when they are miserable makes them feel worse.
I have always found it frustrating to be subject to that sort of "help". I understand it as a demand, "Stop being a downer!"
Pro-Russian subversives in Georgia tried to fund a "Gay pride" rally to provoke attacks from bigots, which (they hoped) would create friction between Georgia and the west.
Georgia can make itself invulnerable from this direction by teaching Georgians that bigotry against gays is bad for the nation.
Detroit's water shut-offs are being aimed at poor blacks, while rich companies get away with not paying their bills.
Water shut-off workers attack those who cite laws against them, while the city thugs act like Israeli troops watching settlers attack Palestinians.
Soon they can change the city's name to Detriot.
Assad And Maliki Unite against Common Enemy, ISIS.
Meriam Ibrahim has been banned from leaving Sudan, but has been received at the US embassy in Khartoum.
Now the question is whether she will be trapped there like Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Someone is paying Russians to fight in Eastern Ukraine. If they get killed, their bodies get spirited away to Russia and disappeared, as a cover up.
Human Rights Watch presents satellite images that show where ISIS murdered 160 or more prisoners.
Ashraf Ghani claimed victory in the Afghan presidential election despite charges of rigging the election.
Land Taken Over by Foreign Investors Could Feed 550m People, Study Finds.
The American Red Cross, asked how it spent the money raised for aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy, said this was a trade secret.
UN rapporteurs condemn Detroit's disconnection of poor people's water.
This must be preparation for a bigger nefarious scheme; if they just wanted to collect water bill debt, they would go after the businesses that owe large arrears.
The availability of killer drones encourages the US to enter wars which it would otherwise have stayed out of.
In "post-Constitutional America", the constitutional limits on government searches have mostly been negated through a web of excuses.
We must prosecute marketing companies if they fail to control the working conditions of their production.
Protesters Launch a 135-Foot Blimp Over the NSA's Utah Data Center.
Chinese forged official seals to block evictions in their town.
They have been imprisoned for it, but they did some good.
Republicans are campaigning to allow school staff to grab, hold down, tie up and choke students.
Some US cities want to deal with annoying unsightly homeless people by giving them one-way bus tickets to someplace else.
Many pollinators are in danger, not just honeybees.
Boner says he will sue Obama for making executive orders that exceed his authority. Boner did not mind when Bush did that.
The Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts law that bans protest within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.
35 feet is not very far. Anti-abortionists have a right to present their views, but they can make themselves heard at the clinic door even from 35 feet away.
Republicans are holding highway repair hostage to attack the environment, workers' pay, efficient cars, disabled workers, children, and safety on roads.
They set out to sabotage America by hook or by crook.
A private campaign aims to use drones to expose inhumane and dangerous practices of factory farms.
Pakistan's attack on the Pakistani Taliban has led half a million people to flee the area.
Mayor Bloomberg's ban on large sugary drinks was overturned by a court, leaving the question of how to protect millions of people from obesity and consequent sickness.
US TV network news shows say more about billionaires than about poverty.
Accusing Assad of helping ISIS build up as a rival for his other enemies.
Obama wants to train "moderate" Syrian rebels in Jordan.
It sounds like a good idea in theory, but I suspect that in practice the alliances are fluid and it won't be easy to find the right people to train.
US citizens: call on the SEC to require public companies to disclose all political spending.
US citizens: ask the FTC to make CarMax stop claiming its cars are safe without carrying out manufacturer recalls.
Evidence proves that the National Research Council of Spain blacklists anyone that complains of unfair treatment.
I know someone who was employed as a teacher by a different part of the Spanish and was cheated of pay, but did not dare complain for fear of being blacklisted.
GMO companies are spending heavily in Hawai'i to override popular pressure to regulate or ban GMOs there.
Pesticide experiments in part of Kaua'i threaten endangered wildlife species that live only on that island.
US citizens: tell the Dept of Education to stop dealing with Sallie Mae.
US citizens: call on the FDA to require food labels to mention GMO content.
US citizens: call on Obama not to appoint right-winger Ward Armstrong as a federal judge.
According to Daily Kos, Ward Armstrong voted to abolish Obama's health care law, supported allowing handguns in bars, voted to close Virginia's abortion clinics and supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
A peculiar Chinese tactic against non-famous dissidents: forcing them to take an all-expenses-paid vacation.
Mubarak Bala was put in a mental hospital in Nigeria for saying he is an Atheist.
The Supreme Court's decision on searching arrested people's cell phones applies to computers and any other digital devices.
Some wars are worse than a mistake, of course.
About half the "bee-friendly" plants on sale in the US and Canada contain neonicotinoid pesticides which kill bees.
A coal baron got himself elected to the Australian Senate, and now blocks Abbott's plan to crush renewable energy in Australia.
Greenpeace is embarrassed because its director was commuting by airplane. However, questions of which technologies to eschew personally for the sake of the environment are not so easy to answer.
Burning fuel is not an act of oppression; it only becomes harmful because of the amount we burn. This makes the right decision about Greenpeace's own fuel use less clear. In the end, I think it is important for the director to take trains, not because it will save significant energy, but so he can set a better example.
In the free software movement, campaigning for users' right to control their computing, we face questions that at first sight look similar to those Greenpeace faces, but there is a crucial difference. Nonfree program is not a form of pollution, it is an injustice. If you run a nonfree program, the injustice towards you is independent of who else runs it. Thus we say nobody should run a nonfree program and nobody should develop one. For us to legitimize nonfree software would be self-contradictory.
Human destruction of habitats threatens the survival of apes in the wild. (Along with thousands of other species that are less fascinating to us.)
The road that passes the front of the Chinese embassy to the US may be renamed after Liu Xiaobo.
I am in favor of this. If China does not like to be embarrassed by its own conduct, it can retaliate by renaming the street where the US embassy to China stands. How about "Guantanamo Road"? "Edward Snowden Avenue"? "Dubya's War Crimes Boulevard"?
Many US writers have authorized censored editions for China.
While a large fraction of black US men are in prison, a similar fraction of black US women face eviction.
1/5 of Hong Kong's voting population held an unofficial referendum to call for democratic elections in Hong Kong.
If it were a real referendum, you couldn't trust the outcome, because it is being done over the internet.
Now that the UK has partially banned neonicotinoids, one manufacturer has asked the UK for a giant "emergency" exception.
The malware that the US and many other governments inject into computers to spy on them.
US citizens: call on the EPA to go ahead and limit carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Warning: the FBI's new biometric database threatens Americans with total tracking on the street.
How the US is Fueling Military Repression in Honduras.
Meriam Ibrahim got a passport from South Sudan because her husband is from there. So Sudan has charged her with "forging a passport".
This charge is absurd even denying the passport's validity. It represents malice, nothing more.
Genetically modified corn and soy have created a web of harmful consequences not anticipated when they were first used.
Obama is moving towards imprisoning children and teenagers that cross the US border without papers.
The crucial point is that it is feasible to expel these people without keeping them in prison while their cases are decided.
If the US wants fewer minors from Central America to cross the border, it might be more effective to run a campaign to inform the public in Central America that getting over the US border does not, as they have been told, give you permission to stay in the US.
Striking platinum miners in South Africa have won a raise.
Most US Republicans still believe Dubya's lies that were excuses for attacking Iraq, and reading corrections of these lies only reinforces their beliefs.
They are, in effect, insane.
Many countries systematically persecute Christians.
The ACLU reports that SWAT teams are used nowadays mainly for minor matters when the targets are nonwhite.
Towns acquire military weapons for thugs in the name of "protecting" people from danger scenarios that are theoretically possible but hardly ever happen. The consequence is to expose us to real danger.
The Obama regime's memo on drone assassination shows the flaws in its legal reasoning.
The US government never tested MCHM for toxicity, but a city in West Virginia became the guinea pigs for an unplanned experiment.
The Thai military regime used a malicious Facebook app to trick people into giving their email addresses and passwords when they try to visit banned sites.
Massachusetts thugs lured school children into giving iris scans.
The US Supreme Court ruled that thugs need a warrant to search the phones of people who are arrested.
Showing how the sugar companies have intimidated medical criticism of the effects of eating so much sugar.
Toxic neonicotinoids spread through dust and water to affect wildlife off the farm.
A US judge ruled that the "no fly list" is unconstitutional punishment without due process.
This will surely be appealed, and I have no faith in our current Supreme Court to defend human rights in a meaningful way except for corporations.
Calling on UK employers to pay everyone a living wage, and on the UK government to require this.
In addition, a lot of this work generates more employment than other ways of using the money.
The bank's report also endorses a carbon tax.
The UK minister of repression says that what the UK does isn't mass surveillance, and asks for laws to increase it.
It is wrong to outsource any government service unless people are better off getting the service directly from companies in a competitive market.
Iraq is still about oil. Maliki increased the oil income and directed it to weapons purchase and serving Shi'ites only.
NJ Governor Christie seems to have imposed a deceptive and illegal funding scheme for some bridge improvements.
Julian Assange's lawyers have two new grounds to challenge the warrant that orders him sent to Sweden for questioning.
We know the warrant is a phony pretext because the Swedish prosecutors are welcome to question Assange at any time; they need only visit him in the Ecuadorian embassy.
A more fundamental flaw is the idea that "endangering national security" by journalism is a crime.
Reportedly the Shabaab, Islamist terrorists in Somalia, get most of their funds from illegal timber made into charcoal.
This makes me wonder what part of the trade flow the Shabaab control. Is it the transport of charcoal into Somalia for sale there? Or some other part?
If it is the former, it would be easy for the US to wipe out their funding by selling cheap charcoal in Mogadishu.
Everyone: call on Wisconsin Governor Walker to resign immediately.
These laws expose us to the greater danger of government repression, so a large part of them must be repealed.
Hundreds of FARC soldiers have deserted; the Colombian government has programs to encourage this.
The FARC started as a rebellion against tyranny after a leftist presidential candidate was assassinated, but it subsequently degenerated into a sort of crime syndicate. Its disappearance is to be wished for, all things being equal; but what will Colombia do to eliminate Colombia biggest and most harmful terrorist group — the paramilitares?
The paramilitares have been closely linked to the government.
They work for companies such as the Coca Cola concession, killing union organizers, which is why there is a world-wide boycott of all Coca Cola Company products. I therefore reject Minute Maid juice, and their various brands of bottle water.
The right-wing approach to parents in poor, bad neighborhoods is to offer them lectures in doing the impossible, or punish them.
Some of them could be validly criticized for having children without being in a position to raise them properly. But not all: some of them may have had good jobs back then, and reasonably expected they could afford to raise children. Anyway, society failed to teach them this precept; society therefore shares the responsibility for the current problem.
Whoever's at fault, it's not the children. Society should provide the real help that their parents need.
The UK continues forcing ISPs to keep data about their users' contacts in defiance of the European Court of Justice.
The scientists who reported that Roundup causes cancer in mice stand by their results.
Obama asked al-Sisi to free political prisoners, but al-Sisi sees no need to heed this request.
Al-Sisi knows that Obama's request was for public image only, since the US supports other repressive regimes, notably that of Bahrain.
Belarus has released human rights defender Ales Bialiatski from prison.
Separatists in Ukraine agreed to a cease-fire, encouraged by Putin.
About General Haftar whose army or militia may take over Libya.
Environmental protesters against a mine in Malaysia could be imprisoned for two years.
May 2014 was the hottest May for as long as sufficient records are available (since 1880).
People living in southern Arizona regard the US Border Patrol as an occupying army because it oppresses them constantly.
The Border Patrol can search and molest people in a wide strip of territory extending 100 miles from each border and each coast. 2/3 of the US population lives in this strip, which the ACLU refers to as the "Constitution-free zone".
Strictly speaking, it is not supposed to do this on a whim, but in practice it can act arbitrarily.
The University of Dayton has divested from fossil fuels.
The lunatic theocrats of ISIS are, figuratively, the ghosts of the Iraqis that Bush and B'liar tortured and killed.
But when she tried to leave Sudan, she was arrested again.
Ms Ibrahim was sentened to death for calling herself a Christian despite having been considered Muslim at age 5.
Neonicotinoids put the world food supply at risk by poisoning ecosystems.
Not only bees are being harmed, but other insects too, and worms, and birds.
By imprisoning journalists, al-Sisi also showed contempt for the US, which he expects will support him fully no matter how arbitrary he is.
The UK has banned schools from teaching creationism as science.
A study finds that high pay for a CEO correlates with low profits for the company.
This means the FSF should be in great shape since its president gets no pay at all.
A bill being considered in California would require all portable phones to have a "kill switch". The EFF opposes this because it is tantamount to requiring a back door with which someone could remotely sabotage the phone.
I am concerned also that it would require phones to be designed such that it is impossible to replace the operating system with a free system such as Replicant.
Now that videos of force-feeding prisoners in Guantanamo threaten to embarrass the US government, it has stopped making videos of this.
What grounds can the US government offer for declaring these recordings a state secret? Obviously the only reason is that they are proof of the state's wrongdoing. For a state to keep secrets for that reason is prima-facie wrong.
Medicins Sans Frontieres says that the outbreak of ebola virus is spreading and that it has run out of resources to send teams to new sites that have sick people.
UNESCO rejected the Australian government's plea to remove 270 square miles from the Tasmanian world heritage forest in order to chop it down.
Australia plans to require phone companies to engage in massive data collection about the public.
The UK government stops unemployment benefits for people who can't prove they are spending 35 hours a week looking for nonexistent jobs.
What is the sense in requiring the unemployed to spend 35 hours a week this way? It's not going to find them jobs. It seems to be designed specifically to make sure they have no more free time than if they were employed.
Wouldn't it serve that purpose just as well to let them volunteer for a nonprofit organization? Then their 35 hours would at least serve some constructive purpose.
Al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt have been convicted of "aiding terrorists" and "endangering national security" based on TV broadcasts as evidence. Some of the broadcasts were not even about Egypt.
The court's reasoning must be similar to the reasoning by which a UK court endorsed the interrogation of David Miranda as a "terrorist suspect" in order to attack journalism.
The US has resumed military support to Egypt.
The unpopular right-wing Australian government is trying to privatize state assets as fast as possible, and the Labor party is not resisting very hard.
There is no need to let someone strip the treasury to get money to spend on public works. Making businesses and the rich pay their fair share of taxes will do the job.
Reducing poverty in the US can't be separated from ending plutocracy.
There is evidence of big fraud in the Afghan presidential runoff.
Labeling dissidents as "terrorists" is a pervasive characteristic of oppressive governments world-wide.
Total surveillance at work can lead to more efficient systems.
However, in other cases, privacy for workers can improve productivity.
It would be a mistake to make productivity the main criterion in judging the monitoring.
Monitoring can be a tool to make workers work harder for the same pay (because the high-unemployment plutocracy of the US does not do raises). As for the benefits of higher productivity as such, those will go mainly to the rich.
The people of Albuquerque held a 'People's Trial' of the city thug chief.
US citizens: support reform of the 19th-century US mining law that gives away public resources to private companies.
Bigger floods will transport toxins in piles of waste — from fracking, for instance — into water supplies.
The rebellion against the Common Core has made the Gates Foundation hesitate in pushing it.
Blair should be lecturing on Iraq from the dock at the International Criminal Court.
The NSA surely knows about all the financial conspiracies that have wreaked tremendous harm on the US. Strange that it doesn't try to stop them or punish them.
About NSA facilities in Germany that snoop on the communications of Europeans.
If there were no monopolies on ideas, lands, or natural resources, advances in technology that improve efficiency would automatically benefit everyone.
The article is somewhat misled by the overgeneralization symbolized by "intellectual property". It stands for various things that are not similar and should not be grouped together.
Patents and copyrights are artificial systems and could be abolished just by deciding to do so. Abolishing trade secrets is not so simple, though abolishing punishment for leaking one would reduce the prevalence of them. As for trademarks, they don't prevent people from making comparable goods without the same markup; only people in thrall
Putting the term in scare quotes is not enough to avoid the confusion it causes. See http://gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.html.
Meanwhile, natural resources including arable land and fresh water are in short supply. We can't make more of them by abolishing property rights on them.
We may need to compensate for this tendency of physical property rights rather than abolish them.
Peace Now: Israel must look at its own wrongs, not just Palestinians' wrongs.
70% of Australians now recognize that global heating is occurring, and they think their government is doing a lousy job of dealing with the problem.
Everyone: Tell Indian PM Modi to condemn the politicians that defend rape.
US citizens: protest July 5-12 against "human rights" for corporations.
Egypt has its own Guantanamo/Bagram prison.
As with Guantanamo and Bagram, they are controlled by the military and the state denies them the rights of suspects. As in Guantanamo and Bagram, they are tortured. As in Guantanamo and Bagram, some were arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The torturers come from al-Sisi's part of the Egyptian army.
The Supreme Court doesn't understand that every algorithm is simply mathematics.
Low-wage janitors working at (but not for) the University of London went on strike and got a small raise, but now their jobs will be eliminated and they will all be fired.
Contracting out work instead of hiring people to do it must be regulated such that it does not provide a means to make the work precarious or undermine workers' rights.
50,000 protested in London against austerity.
They need to launch a party to replace Labour, which has turned into a center-right party.
Obama has recognized that US intervention in Iraq can't solve Iraq's problem.
Ukraine's president declared a unilateral cease fire. Rebels have continued to attack with heavy weapons.
Right-wingers pretend that Bush's "surge" won the war in Iraq.
Measles does no lasting harm to most people, but it can occasionally maim and even kill. Spread the word that it is important to vaccinate children.
The Presbyterian Church voted to divest from three US companies directly connected with the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The Obama regime is dumping surplus military supplies on thug departments across the US.
The thugs say they are buying equipment which they hope will never be used. But once they have a SWAT team, they make rules to use it frequently, and it creates an opening for fatal mistakes.
Larry Lessig argues that only public funding of election campaigns can cut the influence of the rich over US elections.
I am in favor of public funding of election campaigns, but reversing the Corporations United decision and abolishing "human rights" for corporations are necessary too. I think he is mistaken in claiming that the Senate vote on the proposed amendment is useless if it won't pass; it can help replace senators who want to keep the Corporations United decision with senators that will vote to overturn it.
Meanwhile, the text of the amendment has problems too.
These will need to be fixed before there is a vote where it may pass.
Governor Walker has been tied directly into a criminal conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.
Right-wingers got a judge to try to shut down the investigation.
A giant right-wing foundation supports political efforts to stop the investigation.
Turkish Censorship: Swedish Built, by Royal Appointment.
(Right-wing UK ministers) Blame the Feckless Parents — As Long As They're Poor.
Comparing Obama's dilemma in Iraq with Kennedy's dilemma in Vietnam.
Increased CO2 in the ocean makes phytoplankton sick. They become less nutritious and more toxic for all the higher levels of the marine food chain.
Their numbers might be affected, and they provide half our oxygen supply.
The House of Representatives voted to stop two NSA surveillance activities by restricting its funding.
A court in Canada ordered Google to remove a particular site from its search results world-wide.
The plan to end Australian federal environmental management and let states decide is a plan to let companies trash and plunder the national heritage.
The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and almost 200 supporters have been sentenced to death.
Neutrality Begins At Home: What U.S. Mayors Can Do Right Now to Support a Neutral Internet.
Obama said he would fix the harmful parts of NAFTA, but instead he is trying to spread them around the world.
The FISA court renewed the NSA's permission to collect records about nearly all phone calls in the US.
US citizens: Tell Congress to provide abortion coverage for Peace Corps volunteers who are raped or face death from pregnancy.
Most internet users value privacy; why don't they act rationally to protect it?
My conclusion: society as a whole must make the internet respect everyone's privacy.
Everyone: call on the Chicago City Council to make reparations to the people who were imprisoned after thugs tortured them into false confessions.
I think those thugs should be prosecuted, too.
It seems like an excuse to delay taking the necessary action
How to find out if your US congresscritter is a capitalist crony (i.e., for sale).
I am not sure this criterion will catch every capitalist crony in Congress. It is a sufficient condition but not a necessary one.
The EFF asks you to run a WiFI net with no password. It also provides free software to put in the router so others can connect through it without slowing or seeing your own traffic.
The copyright industry doesn't want you to do this, and that's exactly why you should: to avoid being conscripted as an enforcer in the War on Sharing.
GM Wants You to Creepily Text Drivers by Scanning Their Plates.
Thugs have been finding women from their license plates for decades. This is not quite as effective since it doesn't show her address.
A drone has been designed to spray protesters with pepper spray. It is being offered to help oppressive South African mining companies crush strikes.
How Politicians Are Using Taxpayer Money To Fund Their Campaign To Sell Off America's Public Lands.
Interviews with Iraqi Sunnis, some of whom want a sectarian war while others fear it.
The number of refugees world-wide has exceeded 50 million for the first time since World War II.
I fear it will grow greatly in the future due to the effects of global heating. Many areas will become too hot, too dry, or too wet to live in.
Large numbers of people from Central America are arriving at the US-Mexico border and asking for asylum in the US.
It's the US "war on drugs" that creates the violence that they are fleeing.
Israel has killed two Palestinians while searching for three missing teenagers.
The UK is waking up to the fact that its censorship jails people for stating views that are considered offensive.
Azhar Ahmed was convicted of the crime of expressing rage against British soldiers for killing civilians. Here is what he wrote.
He said "all soldiers", which literally means all the soldiers in the world, but it seems likely he meant a smaller set of soldiers. It surely includes the British soldiers in Afghanistan, at least.
His words did not threaten violence or call on anyone else to commit violence. This was nothing but a moral opinion, but the UK is a tyranny that makes moral opinion a crime.
Los Angeles's law against living in a vehicle was struck down as vague because it was written to be very broad.
While this is a victory, society must help homeless people, not harry them.
US citizens: call on the senate to reject a plan to undermine the Clean Water Act.
A committee of the UK parliament wants to require explicit UK approval for US activities such as rendition of prisoners.
I think this wouldn't go far enough, because B'liar would have given approval for whatever the US wanted to do. The UK government already uses strange shenanigans to conceal its decisionmaking about Iraq.
Decades of Thatcherite propaganda have convinced most Britons that jobless youth who get welfare are exploiting the system. Even the Labour Party proposes to cut aid for them.
What a convenient way to distract people from those who are truly getting more out of the system than they put in: the rich. The number of millionaires in the world is growing fast, proof of how effectively today's policies concentrate wealth.
The rate of poverty in the UK has doubled since 30 years ago, even though the size of the economy has doubled and the population has not.
That's right-wing economic policy for you.
So many minors are crossing the US-Mexico border that the US border patrol has trouble coping with the ones it catches.
The article says "children", but it is clear the article means "minors". Only some of them are children. But how do 6-year-olds cross the border illegally? Not alone, surely.
Another interesting question is what has caused so many minors to cross Mexico to get to the US.
Conservatives try to blame bad US education on incompetent teachers to distract from more important influences such as poverty.
A World-War-II Japanese torturer became a monk to express his remorse. His British victim was able to forgive him, but did not entirely heal.
So far, there are no reports that Dubya feels remorse over torture.
A study estimates the value of ecosystem services at around 140 trillion dollars a year.
It would have been around 165 trillion if not for the degradation of various systems since 1997.
These figures shouldn't be pressed too far. We can't afford to dispense with a trillion dollars in ecosystem services even if it would gain 2 trillion in production of something. If we lost all the world's ecosystem services, we could not replace them, we would just die.
India has closed a Coca Cola plant for extracting too much water.
King George's abuses inspired the Bill of Rights as a response. Bush and Obama have set it at nought by committing similar abuses.
The US and EU (and various other countries) are negotiating a treaty to deregulate banks. As if they weren't too deregulated already!
That is because these countries' governments are subservient to banks.
The treaty draft was published by Wikileaks. Hurray for Wikileaks!
US citizens: phone your senators to support the amendment to end US attacks on state-legalized medical marijuana.
A measure like this has passed in the House of Representatives so there is a good chance of success.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
10 years after invading Iraq, the US released information about the whereabouts of some 3% of all the dirty uranium (DU) shells that were fired.
The data shows that ttroops often fired them in civilian areas and at non-armored targets, although they were ordered to avoid this so as to minimize the harm that the DU would do.
This might be because they were careless, or because they were short of other ammunition at the time.
Hungary's method of fighting homelessness: jail the homeless.
A NATO official says Russia is supporting the campaign against fracking to keep Europe dependent on Russian gas. In response, Friends of the Earth suggested Russia may have infiltrated the UK government to cancel renewable energy plans, to keep Europe dependent on Russian gas.
Neither one is impossible, but they wouldn't make fracking any less dangerous or renewable energy any less necessary.
Tesla cars allow the company to extract data remotely and determine the car's location at any time. (See Section 2, paragraphs b and c.)
The company says it doesn't store this information, but if the state orders it to get the data and hand it over, the state can store it. Your car should not allow anyone to remotely determine where it is!
Wisconsin Governor Walker is connected to violations of campaign laws.
Blocking people with a history of violent mental illness from buying guns substantially reduces their likelihood of shooting anyone — but those people are so few in number that it makes a tiny difference in the total number of shootings.
The article suggests other approaches that could have more effect.
According to Bowling for Columbine, Canada makes it easy to own a gun but puts lots of safety restrictions on how to store them and how to take them out of the house — and has a much lower rate of gun crime. Perhaps this is a good approach to follow.
Banning large magazines seems to have common sense, too.
Governments imperil people's access to water by allowing companies such as Nestle more influence than people in their water policy decisions.
Providing fresh water to every human being is squeezed between resource grabs by the rich on one side, and population growth on the other. We need to end both of them.
Other governments including Germany and Denmark let the NSA run taps on cables.
It seems corrupt officials in China are too big to embarrass, much as corrupt banks in the US are too big to jail.
The US hounds Wikileaks and Assange because they punctured the pretense that the US respects human rights.
The rebellion in the Ukraine is not over, although Iraq has displaced it from the immediate news.
The US Congress's misguided Authorization for Use of Military Force against al Qa'ida does not apply to ISIS, because those two groups are enemies.
Uganda's president/monarch, who plans for his son to succeed him, excluded a TV station from his events because it showed him asleep during an event.
In the US, presidents exclude reporters from White House events if they ask probing questions.
Iran's women rebel little by little against the regime's clothing monitors, who have given up on harassing men.
US citizens: Call on Congress to reopen the Social Security offices that it has shut down.
More US Bombs And Drones Will Only Escalate Iraq's Horror.
A Murdoch newspaper in Australia published a report claiming that plain packaging for cigarettes has increased sales. It seems to be a false report.
The fact that the report is backed by the tobacco companies shows it can't be true. If this policy really did increase cigarette sales, they would favor the policy.
One of the distortions from the Australian has infiltrated the Guardian article: the term "intellectual property rights". That term is a misleading generalization about unrelated laws, and it's used to suggest these laws represent a bogus "principle" that never existed in the first place.
Every statement formulated using "intellectual property rights" should be distrusted. I take care not to use the term. I won't even cite it without denouncing it as bogus.
"Extremism" means "failure to uphold the ruling extractivist regime".
A US drone attack in Pakistan seems to have targeted enemies of the Pakistani government, rather than terrorists that might attack the US.
That does not necessarily make it worse, because I think that's the wrong question to ask.
If the government of Pakistan is fighting rebels on the battlefield and asks the US for military help in the form of drone bombers, providing that help would not be an outrage. It would be no more horrible to do this with drones than with crewed aircraft or an armored division. (Other questions would remain, such as whether such help in a given situation is necessary, justified, and wise policy.)
What makes the drones particularly threatening is that they are used for assassination away from battlefields.
According to this article, the UK court decision allowing blanket surveillance of social media includes even private messages and data, if they are mediated by a server outside the UK.
I am not impressed by the supposed "earnestness" of the snoopers to protect Britons from "terrorism", because in the UK that term has been stretched to include whatever the government wants it to mean. Sometimes it means possessing a book the state considers suspect. Sometimes it means a journalist's lover making a connection in an airport.
If the Magna Carta originally protected mainly barons, that does not lessen its importance: it was the origin of our ideas of the rights of those accused of crimes.
The UK government's two-decade attack on those rights endangers everyone in Britain, and elsewhere too as the UK's rejection of the "rights of Englishmen" may influence other states.
Since there is no evidence about what happened to three Israeli teenagers, Israel is using their disappearance as an excuse to imprison lots of members of Hamas.
Israel is also wreaking vengeance on prisoners who are members of Hamas, who are the most unlikely suspects in the whole territory of Israel and Palestine.
Meanwhile, Israel kidnaps hundreds of Palestinian teenagers every year.
Nominally these teenagers are "arrested"; but since most of them are beaten and not told charges against them, it is more of a kidnaping than a proper arrest of a suspect.
Iraqis suspect their army was told to surrender territory to ISIS and to the Kurds.
The UK experiences the humiliation of being ruled by politicians that think their job is to attract foreign investment.
Parts of the US need to start recycling water or they won't have enough.
One issue not mentioned is that waste water has lots of medicines and endocrine disruptors. Ordinary sewage treatment does not do anything about them.
US mainstream media are presenting advice about Iraq from the same neocons whose advice 12 years ago was a disaster.
UK legislators invited nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu to a meeting in parliament on protection of whistleblowers. Israel did not allow him to travel.
Solitary confinement is a form of brainwashing. Vanunu has demonstrated his strength of mind by standing up to it. And what kind of state stops citizens from traveling to foreign meetings? Remember when the USSR did that?
There might be hope for peace in Iraq if the government allows Sunnis to be equal citizens.
Researchers retracted their paper about medical harm due to eating cassava because a company objected to the conclusions.
Groups demand respect for Julian Assange's human rights.
The US spent 40 billion dollars on a ballistic missile defense system that does not work.
Superstitious resistance to whooping cough vaccination has left many children in California vulnerable to the disease, which can be fatal for children.
Claims that the US encouraged Kuwait to carry out economic warfare against Iraq around 1990.
This would have stimulated Saddam Hussein to attack Kuwait. In addition, the US ambassador appears to have encouraged this by telling Hussein the US would not object.
Perhaps Bush planned to create an excuse for war with Iraq.
I am not convinced that all the claims in that article are correct.
The US Supreme Court supported the vulture capitalists that are hounding Argentina to pay debts that they bought for pennies on the dollar.
The vulture capitalists seek to profit from suffering. They deserve to lose everything they own and find themselves homeless.
Perhaps Argentina can arrange this by borrowing a technique from the US handbook. Argentina can to pass a law making it a crime to receive interest from debt which has been handled in this way. Then it can send agents to capture the vultures and render them to Argentina for trial.
In the UK: join the march against austerity in London on June 21.
The world's policy focus on economic growth is a relic of the pre-Reagan period when growth reduced inequality (because the rich hadn't reduced the rest to trickle-down).
Today what we need is to spread the wealth, and that fits the need to reduce humanity's ecological footprint.
US officers are reluctant to bomb ISIS forces, saying they don't have the intelligence to identify them.
On the battlefield, friendly troops tell you where the enemy is. Their supply columns are easy to recognize. This leads me to think that the US is considering assassinations rather than a military operation.
If you need intelligence to recognize the enemy, an air strike is the wrong approach.
An Iranian journalist has been imprisoned for working with the BBC, although she never did.
An Afghan presidential candidate alleges election fraud.
Argentina has a scheme for paying all its creditors except the vultures.
Reagan made US health care costs shoot up by opening the door to for-profit hospitals and for-profit medical insurance.
What he did can be undone. We don't have to allow for-profit health care.
Obama says he will greatly extend no-fishing marine zones.
The Pakistani Taliban run unofficial courts that many people prefer because they are less corrupt than the state's courts.
US companies are using a tax loophole to duck US taxes by locating their headquarters outside the US.
Clearly the US tax law needs to be changed so this does not work.
Iraqi Sunnis and Shi'ites got along ok for hundreds of years until the disagreement was politicized by Saddam Hussein.
This reminds me of the situation between Serbs and Croats, who got along well enough until politicians used the split to build their careers.
In both cases there was a violent dispute in the past, which people had stopped making a fuss about, but the politicians were able to take advantage of it.
Obama sent some US troops to Iraq, supposedly not for fighting.
The "ice wall" barrier to keep ground water away from the ruined Fukushima reactors is not working: they can't keep the ground cold enough.
Why not make a concrete wall, or a plastic wall? Digging into the ground is not that hard.
A UK court ruled that the state is allowed to read what people publish in social media.
If you publish something, you must expect anyone and everyone to read it. Thus, society should reject the practice of publishing the intimate details of people's lives, and especially details of other people's lives.
If you post on social media, don't talk about your friends; whether to say what they do or think is up to them.
Charities that help the poor in the UK are being threatened with closure if they talk about the political cause of poverty.
San Francisco is on track to recycle or compost all waste by 2020.
In addition, sale of water in plastic bottles will be banned on public property. I think this is a good idea, but there should be a hefty tax on small bottles of water no matter where sold. I carry a water bottle with me, and refill it when I find potable water available.
24 US states have denied poor people US-funded medical care based on ideological opposition to allowing poor people to get help from the state.
Helping the poor is one of the purposes of having a state.
The Texas agency that regulates fracking has gagged its staff, perhaps to support an apparent coverup of the danger of methane leaks from frack wells.
These companies are taking the world to frack and fruin.
But it will go far beyond that. Some are predicting sea-level rise of 3 meters (10 feet) by 2100.
Shall we start designing the Golden Gate dam?
How the "internet of things" could become a nightmare just by carrying out its stated purpose.
However, in order to become widely used, this technology would need a "social" element: social pressure to use it because otherwise nobody will like you, or nobody will hire you. The designers will surely come up with a way to put pressure on people to suffer the various nastinesses of "smart homes" (including spying and reporting to companies and the state).
You will be well advised to start practicing now to reject addictive technology.
Microsoft is a patent aggressor against free software (in Android).
Economist Friedrich von Hayek accused democracies of doing the nasty things that fascist plutocracies really do. His contrary-to-fact theories have been repeated by generations of Libertarians.
On the other hand, there's a little truth in what he says about how the masses can be led by propaganda — when those who issue the propaganda own most of the media and corrupt the elected officials, which is what those who make use of Hayek do today.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been found in squid for sale.
This bacterium is not dangerous to healthy people, but bacteria exchange genes even with different species.
We need to stop feeding antibiotics massively to farm animals, since that is a major cause of resistance.
A publisher of academic journals ordered the editors of a journal not to publish a paper about the high cost of journal subscriptions. The editors unblocked it by going on strike.
This debate addresses a significant problem, but takes a shallow view of it. It focuses on price rather than freedom, and discusses "open access" which is too weak a goal.
Most Americans still distrust Atheists on principle and would refuse to vote for one.
What fools — it's the religious people that are dangerous.
Published opinions of the US Supreme Court are being surreptitiously changed.
Detecting this is useful, but the real question, I think, is why it happens and why it isn't stopped.
The US military has adopted a policy of covering up war crimes by declaring photos of them "secret".
Urinating on a corpse does no real harm to anyone — it is an insult, not an injury. (If someone pisses on my dead body after I'm dead, I won't even notice it.) I don't see why that should be considered a war crime. However, the same policy would apply to covering up real crimes, including killing and torture.
Broadband for America, an astroturf group funded by the big ISPs and set up to oppose network neutrality, created a false image of broad community support by listing many organizations as supporters without asking them.
Private Wealth, Public Squalor: America's Dilemma.
The Tea Party challenger that defeated Rep. Cantor campaigned condemning plutocracy too.
So the plutocrats have a new lie: claiming that social programs to redistribute wealth to the many paradoxically cause poverty. It's nothing but Reagan's "trickle down" stated in a different way.
Rebels in eastern Ukraine seized a gallery / cultural organization, apparently to shut it down.
A school in Texas has banned sunscreen, causing students to get sunburnt. They say sunscreen is a drug.
This would be merely ludicrous if it were not the natural result of the "zero tolerance" idea that makes strictness (no matter how unreasonable) a goal in itself.
Meanwhile, sunscreen is not enough to avoid skin cancer, over the long term. People with a special susceptibility to melanoma really need to avoid activity in the sun.
The National Academy of Sciences found that many methods of identifying people from traces at a crime scene are bogus science, but juries think crime labs can do no wrong.
As a result, they are an excuse to imprison the "usual suspects" (for instance, blacks).
A medium-size quake near Fukushima reminds us that a bigger quake could release all the radioactive material in the ruined nuclear plants.
US citizens: tell your state governor you want to know when fossil fuels are shipped by rail.
US citizens: Call on the EPA not to approve using Roundup together with 2,4-D.
The Guantanamo kangaroo courts may have been undermined because the FBI infiltrated the defense team.
Nearly all the countries with nuclear weapons are developing new launch vehicles. There is little interest in disarmament.
So we will all run hard just to stay more or less in the same place. However, it may not be exactly the same place. New weapons systems may be more destabilizing. In principle, they could also be less destabilizing, but that isn't likely to happen.
It appears that China has secretly tried and sentenced an Uighur academic for criticizing the government.
The kidnaping of three Israeli settler teenagers has provided an excuse to arrest lots of Palestinians, even members of parliament.
Genetically modified bananas are designed to provide poor people in Africa with enough vitamin A.
This might be a good thing, if there isn't a catch. Any possible health problems will probably be less than the health problems these will prevent. Is there a legal catch, a patented gene?
This can postpone the need to curb human population growth, but not eliminate it.
Chelsea Manning explains how the US military uses embedding to procure favorable press treatment, covering up "bad news" such as Maliki's repression of the authors of articles that criticized him.
The fraction of energy made from coal has risen to the same level as in 1970.
However, the absolute level must be much higher now than in 1970.
We need a carbon tax to put an end to this.
Pakistan's army has attacked the Pakistani Taliban.
I don't think this is meant to wipe them out, rather to teach them to lower their profile.
The US and Iran are effectively acting as allies.
The revolutionaries of Iran, in the 1980s, hated the US. They had grounds, however, so I can't blame them for that. However, I condemned and still condemn the Iranian regime for its repression of non-Muslims, women, and to a lesser extent men. The details are different, but Iran and ISIS represent the same theocracy.
A Republican senator calls for allying with Iran as the "lesser evil".
Maybe he's right, but there was a more effective lesser evil in Iraq, who was Iraqi in addition: Saddam Hussein. Like Iran's regime and ISIS, he was a murderous dictator, but at least he wasn't a theocratic murderous dictator.
Due to drought and heat (both caused by human activity), California is delivering juvenile salmon straight to the sea.
Office workers and professionals are losing their jobs to automation.
We must establish a basic income based on taxing the companies that own the automation.
The Obama regime threatens to prosecute border patrol agents that talk to journalists about how immigrant children are treated.
The UK's plans for a mostly-secret trial use the competition between news outlets to manipulate them to go along with it.
The Federal Reserve Board of Governors can and should represent all Americans, not just banksters.
Bush And Blair Said Iraq Was a War on Islamic Fascism. They Lost.
Making the case to Europe not to allow fracking.
ISIS seems to be murdering captured Iraqi soldiers en masse.
Transport workers in Philadelphia say they are happy with the arbitration process that Obama started as part of ending their brief strike.
UK Uncut is protesting Vodaphone for its tax dodging.
Will Brazil use its new "organized crime" law against these plantations, or only against protesters?
Three Israeli teenagers disappeared on the way home from school to Israeli colonies in Palestine. The government assumes they were kidnaped by Palestinians.
With neocons pushing for the US to enter the war in Iraq, remember how mistaken their advice was in 2002.
Some neocons aimed to split up Iraq to weaken it. The current civil war is almost what they wanted.
Iranian troops are going to the aid of the Iraqi government, since its own troops hardly fight.
The UK Conservatives have another method of sabotaging the UK's National Health Service: by cutting doctors' pay so that they can't maintain staffing levels.
Ibiza is united to fight against oil drilling in the waters near Ibiza.
If you ignore the coming global heating disaster, it would be a matter of weighing the sea life that could be destroyed by a possible disaster against the value of the oil. But given that we must leave 80% of known reserves unextracted it is totally useless exploring for more.
A US judge demanded that the Obama regime hand over secret FISA court opinions.
Protests in Washington read the stories of the long-term unemployed.
Obama, why aren't you participating?
The US says that Russia is letting Ukrainian separatists collect obsolete tanks and surplus multiple rocket launchers, which they take into Ukraine.
Egyptian President al-Sisi is leading a campaign against sexual violence.
Although there are reasons to doubt whether he can or will make progress on this, I think we should give him a chance to succeed. However, we must not let this distract us from his repression. Jailing rapists it is no excuse for jailing journalists and dissidents.
US citizens: tell Obama, don't bomb Iraq.
A future historian writes about how 21st century civilization allowed itself to be destroyed unresisting by global heating.
It is an understatement to say that "Western" civilization faces destruction. Civilization will be hit globally. China will not escape; Shanghai and Suzhou face inundation.
I say "global heating", not "climate change", because the latter term was coined by the denial lobby as a way to downplay the threat, then adopted by environmentalists as a fundamentally misguided attempt to "compromise" with denialists.
Today's Republicans feel no shame about being factually wrong.
Sand for fracking is obtained by eliminating farms in Illinois.
Perhaps it does not matter — global heating will make those farms nonproductive anyway.
The unceasing rise in sea level shows there has been no pause in global heating.
Condom Companies: Twitter Is Censoring Us.
Uri Avnery: Israel, like Prussia, is an army that has a state.
Why you should not use Uber.
Obama says he might conduct air war against ISIS, but only if there is a workable plan for reconciliation between the various ethnic groups in Iraq.
This may serve as a reason for the US not to intervene. But even if a plan looks workable on paper, it may be pure fantasy.
Coca Cola Company (perhaps its subsidiary Minute Maid) is passing off Apple and Grape juice as "blueberry pomegranate", while POM makes dubious health claims about real pomegranate juice.
US mainstream (i.e., right-wing) media are blaming the disintegration of Iraq on Obama for pulling out the Bush forces, rather than on Bush for sending them in.
Obama sets himself up for such criticism by failing to condemn Bush for sending them in.
As Obama considers some sort of military intervention in Iraq, McCain has the gall to claim the Bush forces won the war there.
They didn't win in any military sense. They made Iraq calmer by paying support to the non-jihadi Sunni leaders thus separating them from al-Qa'ida, after which the Iraqi government refused to give US troops immunity from prosecution for war crimes and the US removed them rather than allow them to be prosecuted when they commit war crimes.
US citizens: call on Obama to authorize federal contract workers to unionize.
The EU will limit production of biofuels from food crops.
Unfortunately, the limit is too high, and would allow the amount of food diverted for fuel to increase.
Tesla Motors has followed Twitter in adopting a policy of nonaggression with patents.
Who they are is a secret, where they were sent is a secret, and whether they are now being tortured is a secret.
Nuclear power in Europe will be more expensive than solar and wind power in just a few years.
The expense of nuclear power comes partly from the expensive procedures needed to make disasters less likely, but even with them it is more dangerous than solar and wind power.
Estimating that the financial crisis and austerity have caused 10,000 suicides.
There will also be people who died from consequences of poverty, such as homelessness, stress, and lack of medical care.
US citizens: call for no US intervention in Iraq.
LinkedIn is being sued for miss-using people's entire list of email contacts.
Pu Zhiqiang, who defended Ai Weiwei, was arrested on absurd charges of "creating disturbances" and "illegally obtaining personal information".
The joke is in China, since arresting someone for "creating disturbances" is as tyrannical as arresting someone for "being a human rights lawyer" or "criticizing government policy".
Don't expect Clinton to do anything to reduce massive US surveillance of everyone.
The Thai military rulers are quietly carrying out the agenda of the red shirt protesters that represented an elite minority that lost every election.
Everyone: encourage the Presbyterian Church to divest from the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
US citizens: Call on the US to allow inspection of the prisons for immigrants facing deportation, and respect human rights of children in these prisons.
US citizens: phone FCC Commissioner Wheeler to support net neutrality.
The Iraqi army has proved to be a paper tiger as soldiers deserted en masse.
Ironically, it's not the first time. It happened in 2003 when the Iraqi army had been built by Saddam Hussein.
Oxfam takes action against poverty and hunger, but many Britons think that it should not campaign against poverty and hunger created in the UK.
Their rebukes often start from the ridiculous right-wing claim that there the UK has no money to help the poor. The UK has plenty of money, but lets the rich have it.
Australian PM Abbott called himself a conservationist.
I guess this means he hasn't finished destroying the ecosphere quite yet.
How many levels of falsehood are there in that claim?
Stores ask for customers' email addresses for surveillance purposes: to unify their purchase record with their browsing record.
I don't identify myself to stores. I pay cash anonymously.
Obama is considering a bombing campaign against ISIS.
I shed no tears for ISIS, but bad things could result. For instance, civilian casualties could help ISIS win support among Iraqi Sunnis. This isn't a conventional war against an army: ISIS defeated the far larger and better equipped Iraqi army because the latter had no will to fight.
Dividing Iraq into a federation of regions might enable it to have peace.
A petition to grant Snowden asylum in France has got 150,000 signatures.
I would have urged French citizens to sign it, except that it is on a site (change.org) which requires use of nonfree software to sign. Since I learned about that problem, I never recommend petitions there.
Rescuing Iraqi feminists and vulnerable women from the advance of ISIS.
Militarized funding perverts the social sciences in the UK.
A Palestinian professor who brought Palestinian students to Auschwitz to help them empathize with Jews was hounded into resigning.
US Jews that condemn Israel's occupation practices often get hounded similarly.
Maliki pushed Iraq's Sunnis into the hands of ISIS by rejecting them as politicians and as protesters.
For instance, the Sunni vice president was prosecuted and forced into exile.
The Vietnam War still casts its shadow over the US, in the form of readiness to go to war.
Indian students have been arrested for comparing Prime Minister Modi with Hitler and bin Laden.
Whether that comparison is valid is beside the point: to punish them for stating their views is tyranny.
The EU says it plans to reduce CO2 and methane emissions but it will give a subsidy of around $150 million to fracking.
This is excused by the fallacious claim that fracking reduces greenhouse emissions, but that conclusion was drawn by ignoring the methane leaks from wells.
Australia sent boat people to a prison in Manus Island (part of Papua New Guinea) so that they would not be "in Australia", then claimed that Papua New Guinea was responsible for their imprisonment although in fact Australia had control.
The first part resembles the US excuse for the Guantanamo no-human-rights zone.
Wildlife reserves in Africa face the death of a thousand cuts.
Tar sands mining threatens migratory birds including the whooping crane.
Extracting oil from tar sands is a sort of strip-mining which involves deforestation of large tracts of land.
Some Iraqis are happy with the takeover by ISIS.
I get the feeling that no feminists were asked.
Interviews with three inhabitants of Mosul.
Anne-Marie Cockburn's daughter died from a freak consequence of taking MDMA that was twice as strong as usual. She calls for drugs to be legalized and regulated in potency, to prevent such accidents.
UK PM Cameron objects to any organized pushback against Charoen Pokphand prawns; is it a coincidence that he hobnobbed with its CEO and tried to hush it up?
Since the 1970s, US politicians have created a cult of the US soldier, calling them "warriors" and "heroes" in a way that wasn't done before. This goes along with the increasing general authoritarianism of the US.
The rate of violence in US schools has been declining for 20 years, following the decrease in lead in gasoline.
The multiple killings every week or two are shocking, but don't amount to a lot of victims compared with the other sorts of violence among teenagers, and that has been going down in the US.
Even small amounts of lead make children less intelligent. That leads them to be violent, because sometimes they can't see a better response. But lead-induced stupidity would affect all sorts of decisions, including voting. I wonder if the effects of lead poisoning lead people to believe right-wing "solutions", such as Reagan's "trickle-down", and the idea that cities ought to lure businesses away from other cities by offering them subsidies.
US citizens: Call on the US government to convert its own buildings to solar power.
The Mormon church is moving to excommunicate dissidents.
I cannot criticize a group which stands for a position on some question for expelling members that disagree with that position. That's a separate question from whether I criticize the position itself.
The Canadian government has banned government-funded weather forecasters from discussing global heating.
Squatters have received hospitality in a church where the Pope regularly visits, after they were chased out of a disused office building.
Los Angeles is trying to divert education funds into expanding its school thug force.
Wang Yam was convicted of murder in the UK, after the state imposed secrecy on his defense. He wants to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, but he is forbidden to present his case to the court.
The secrecy is a real factor because, as stated, pertinent witnesses who might exonerate him are unable to know that they are pertinent witnesses.
Poor parents are not more likely to hurt or neglect their kids. They're just more likely to be punished for failings both real and imagined.
The exception is what the complexities of coping with poverty don't allow parents to give their children care by the ideal standard. This provides an excuse to punish them.
More analysis of the basis of this decision.
It's a step forward but it isn't enough. I expect the NSA will still get all of this data about you if you carry a portable tracking device. (I won't!)
What we need is for the system not to start recording your location data without a warrant.
The International Commission of Jurists says that Venezuela's system of justice is weak because judges lack independence from the executive.
The ICJ has also criticized the judicial system of the coup-installed government of Honduras.
The condemnation of the post-coup regime is stronger in the full report in Spanish.
Big US companies are starting to run schools (combined high school and community college), steering people to work for those companies.
This is part of propagating the myth that plenty of job openings exist in the US but people are not trained for them.
The one that's run by Microsoft surely teaches people proprietary software, which is wrong for a school to do.
The coal industry has successfully misled people in a coal region of Australia about how many jobs it supports.
ISIS aims to take Baghdad, and it is not clear the Iraqi army can prevent this.
The Iraqi Shi'ites will fight back with their own militias, though.
A study on mice finds that even the strongest sunscreen does not prevent melanoma, it only slows the development of melanoma.
A tan is a signal meaning, "Don't mate with me, I subordinate important things to superficial things."
Canadians are protesting the plan to export tar sands oil through Quebec.
India's Intelligence Bureau accused Greenpeace of undermining the economy.
This is the standard right-wing argument against environmental protection of any kind: that it gets in the way of the easy profits available by tearing up the ground and by poisoning air and water.
Children as young as 5 cross into the US from Mexico alone, and are treated horribly by the US border patrol.
Governor Walker's program to increase jobs by handouts to businesses claims to have created 5000 jobs at the cost of 200 million dollars.
State handouts to business, supposedly to keep or create jobs, enter a Red Queen cycle where ever more handouts are required just to stay in the same place. We should cut all of them out.
"Reformist conservatives" are another variation of the same old right-wing falsehood.
Fracking poisons water pollutes air: more evidence that this can't be prevented.
The NSA told a US court it is unable to preserve evidence about its operations.
Paid spies infiltrated the protesters opposing the proposed Maules Creek coal mine in Australia, and told thugs how to sabotage every protest plan.
90% of lemur species are threatened with extinction, mostly because humans have cut down most of the forests where they live.
The Australian "social services minister", whose aim is to abolish social services as far as possible, says that welfare support for the poor denies people the opportunity to learn to be "virtuous".
However, it's the opposite. Contemptuous policies like his tend, in the long term, to teach values of contempt for others.
For the short term, many Australians remain virtuous, and demonstrate this by protesting in their thousands against these plans.
Aside from the question of whether those two men are guilty as charged, there is the even more important question of what the supposed crime consists of, and whether than ought to be a crime at all.
Indian thugs raped a woman who would not pay a bribe.
The bribe was supposed to be to get her husband, also a thug, out of jail. The article doesn't say why he was in jail, or whether they wanted the bribe to follow the law or to break it.
Most governments have done nothing in response to Snowden's revelations of how they are spying on us and other governments are spying on them.
A Japanese antinuclear activist faces prosecution for a tweet that criticized a nuclear industry lobbyist.
Another example of repression of antinuclear protesters in Japan.
When Boris Johnson gets himself "hit" with the water cannon he wants to aim at protesters, will he keep to a very safe distance and choose safe surroundings? The protesters won't have that choice.
It was easy enough to see that the invasion was an evil scheme and that the arguments for it were bogus. Millions of people saw that at the time. Has Clinton learned to reject the sort of thinking that enabled those bogus reasons to determine US actions? Surely not, so she should not be president.
The victims of sexual violence in war should get reparations.
First of all, they are entitled to abortions, without charge or fuss, so they are not compelled to bear the child of a rapist who may also have murdered their relatives or friends.
A legal requirement on manufacturers to register their mineral supply chains has prized 2/3 of the mines in the Congo away from warlords.
This suggests that registration of the supply chain could also put an end to other forms of gross industrial wrong, such as deforestation and exploitative factory conditions.
San Francisco will vote on raising the minimum wage.
The Iraqi army is collapsing before attacks by Isis.
There is a dispute about whether the troops ran away or corrupt officers pulled them out.
US corn production is in danger from global heating.
Egyptian freedom Alaa Abd El Fattah has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for leading a protest.
Many governments imprison people for protesting. In the US, the thugs attack protesters and then accuse them. Egypt openly admits that the crime is protesting, thus declares its opposition to human rights.
How Ukraine's Tax Cheats Stole Billions from the Country's Coffers.
London plans to equip its thugs with water cannon as a symbolic statement of readiness to repress possible resistance to plutocratic rule.
Chris Christie's policy, offering a tax subsidy to every company that threatens to move jobs out of New Jersey, has done a lot of harm to state income and hardly any good for the state's economy.
In general, when governments compete to make handouts to businesses, the businesses gain and the people lose. When a politician says he thinks his job includes handouts to companies if they put their jobs in a certain district, state, or company, that means he has the wrong political outlook.
US citizens: call on Kerry to support the UN plan for ocean sanctuaries.
Correction: the Islamist fanatics that have conquered Mosul are not al Qa'ida. Their group, Isis, is even more cruel and vicious than al Qa'ida.
The UK threatens to deport a Tamil refugee back to Sri Lanka for the second time. The thugs raped and tortured him after his first deportation.
He says he will die rather than be sent back there again.
It is not an accident that the UK does this. The legal system has been designed to create excuses to reject refugees, and that systematically leads to results like these. If he comes to the point of killing himself, I hope he does it in a spectacular way that will shame the officials (both the British and the Sri Lankan) who will have driven him to it.
Public pressure has made an oil company drop plans to drill in Virunga national park (where half the world's mountain gorillas live).
Congresscritter Cantor was defeated in the Republican primary by a tea party extremist.
This could cause Republicans to become even more bent on sabotaging the US government than they were last year.
Haitian quake survivors used as 'slaves' in building of World Cup stadium in Brazil.
Haitian migrant workers are being worked into the ground building stadiums for the World Cup in Brazil, and the subcontractors that hired them don't pay them.
Everyone: call on Nike to stop union-busting in Indonesia.
Garment workers in Eastern Europe are forced to work overtime just to make a minimum wage.
They work for subcontractors of big name brands. This problem is the result of the deregulation that made it possible for a famous company to become a shell that outsources its production to contractors that outsource to subcontractors, etc.
The solution is to make the shell companies legally responsible for the wrongdoing of the subsubsubcontractors.
US citizens: call on Senator McConnell to allow a vote on more funding for the Veterans' Administration.
The inhabitants of Camden, New Jersey, have no access to supermarket, but they grow produce and even chickens.
It seems to me that every city ought to arrange a place where people can buy produce and a wide variety of groceries. If private business fails to do the job, why should the city leave people to cope on their own?
Many US government agencies now have their own police, even their own SWAT teams.
iiNET, an Australian ISP, calls on the public to fight back against the War on Sharing.
The US Veterans' Administration is trying to subpoena the complaints about the Veterans' Administration received by the Project on Government Oversight through its anonymous tip line.
POGO argues that the subpoena is invalid and says it will not hand over the information, but will tell the VA about the problems reported.
Here is POGO's response.
New York City will pay half a million dollars to some Occupy protesters that were arrested for no valid reason.
Iraq has fallen into all-out civil war.
A proposal to require US states to select legislative districts through a nonpolitical system.
Gerrymandering undermines democracy, and these committees might be a good idea. I am not sure the federal government has the power to impose this on states.
However, it is a mistake to say that gerrymandering allows "politicians to draw their own districts". Rather, state legislatures draw the districts for the House of Representatives. They sometimes do this so as to kick a real hero such as Dennis Kucinich out of Congress.
The US imprisons a large fraction of teenagers for minor "crimes" such as not going to school.
The US would rather imprison teenagers than educate them; the school-to-prison pipeline feeds this prison-to-crime pipeline.
Perhaps it makes inhumane plutocratic rational sense. The plutocratic state sees the non-rich as nothing but instruments for the rich to use. A large fraction of the population is no longer useful to them as free workers, but it still finds them useful if forced into slave labor. The system has evolved to convert many youths into criminals so it can imprison them again as adults and make them work for a pittance.
Tibetan film-maker Dhondup Wangchen was freed after 6 years in prison for making a movie of interviews with Tibetans.
In the US, the states that lean right-wing are also most dependent on federal government spending.
It is not obvious what this implies. My theory is that the governments of those states have imposed laws that impoverish people, causing them to get more federal aid per capita.
Serbia is threatened by censorship — and not just on the internet; people who criticize state actions face threats for "ruining the reputation" of the government.
Big Data has inherent biases from the system that collects it.
Everyone: tell Walmart to stop paying wages so low that employees depend on public assistance.
US citizens: call on the EPA to ban neonicotinoids, which have now been tied very clearly to colony collapse disorder of bees.
Human Rights Watch says the killing of two Palestinian teenagers by Israeli troops was a war crime.
US citizens: call on Congress to preserve requirements for vegetables and fruits in school lunches.
I just have one small point to criticize: it says "breaching US intellectual property law", but I think this really refers to copyright law only. By using "intellectual property", the article spuriously drags in patent law, trade secret law, trademark law, publicity rights, and others.
If it had said "breaching US copyright law", it would be shorter and clearer — and correct, too!
Resistance to standardized testing in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Legalization of marijuana makes it possible to require products to provide the dose they say they provide.
A plan to protect New York City from rising sea levels uses enlightened methods rather than levees that are dead space.
Any protection that we build will work only up to a certain amount of sea level rise. What amount of rise is this project intended to cope with, and roughly when will it cease to be enough?
Genetic Testing of Citizens Is a Backdoor Into Total Population Surveillance by Governments and Companies.
Right-wing policies of cruelty spread selfish right-wing values, which ultimately make the people in a country more unhappy, even those who aren't poor.
The boats that catch feed for Thai prawn farms are crewed by slaves, who are beaten and even killed at the whim of the owners.
Islamist rebels in Iraq, affiliated with al Qa'ida, have conquered Mosul.
At one point, the Bush forces managed to separate the traditional Sunni leaders from al Qa'ida by paying them. Maliki dropped the practice, and now the fanatics seem to rule the Sunni areas uncontested.
Why you should root for the World Cup protesters.
I won't pay attention to the games themselves — I don't care who wins them.
Australian medical cuts will force old, sick and poor people to do without medicine.
How ironic is the Russian admiration of Stalin as a sort of great fascist.
A Belarusian politician, from Belarus's short period of democracy, says that Soviet-style government is making a comeback.
Democracy still exists in parts of the old Soviet Union, such as the Baltic states, Georgia, Armenia, and in Ukraine more or less. In addition, Kyrgyzstan has a fragile democracy.
Extraction of oil is becoming too expensive for oil companies, so the rate of extraction will have to decrease.
Some companies are writing off substantial amounts of supposed reserves, but this is not yet proceeding at the rate needed to eliminate the carbon bubble.
The Koch brothers will try to force the US to move towards toxic coal rather than towards renewable energy and efficiency improvements.
The US government puts non-citizens into special privatized prisons where they are treated horribly.
Americans, how would you feel if some other country gave special bad treatment to prisoners who are US citizens, because they are foreigners? This is the same.
Australia and Canada have made a boil-the-Earth global heating axis.
The intervention in Libya has had a lot of bad consequences. I say this as one who supported the intervention.
Would it have been less bad to do nothing and let Gaddafi crush the rebels? Was there some other way to prevent this that would have led to a better outcome? I don't know.
A fatal collision between a Walmart truck and a bus was caused by a truck driver that had not slept in 24 hours.
I wonder why the driver had not slept for 24 hours. Was it perhaps that his employer puts drivers under pressure that in practice requires them to do this to get by?
Where Is the Signboard to Warn of a Climate Catastrophe?
In addition to attacking our rights and undermining regulation of business, TAFTA aka TTIP would lead to only a tiny amount of economic growth.
That growth would not go to workers, because treaties like this give business more power to drive down wages and hurt working conditions. The plutocrats would grab all the benefits, and more, leaving workers worse off than without the treaty.
TTIP stands for "This Treaty Is Plutocratic".
TAFTA (its other name) stands for "Turn All Freedom To Ashes".
Mental health care in the US is totally inadequate.
The cause, of course, is insufficient funds, which in turn is caused by plutocracy.
Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department has become an auxiliary of US military action.
Japan intends to resume killing whales despite the court order.
I can't understand why Japan's government insists on continuing an activity whose economic importance is so small, that is unpopular even in Japan, and inspires ill will around the world (as if it were Japan's Guantanamo).
A study by economists concludes that 60% of French public debt is illegitimate — imposed on the country by looters.
The percentage will be much bigger in poor countries that were easier for the looters to push around.
So the next step is to cancel the illegitimate debt. Is it possible to distinguish legitimate bonds from illegitimate ones so as to cancel only the latter?
Jack DeCoster owned 10% of US egg production, and repeatedly committed fraud as well as mistreatment of employees. His company's illegal practices were responsible for making at least 2000 people sick with salmonella.
The fact that the company was able to continue operating for 14 years after it was first caught demonstrates that inspection needs to be stronger. We must treat companies with the suspicion we would give to gang members and juvenile delinquents.
Time for Congress to Investigate Bill Gates' Role in Common Core.
It is interesting that Republicans have said little to oppose the effective cancellation of states' rights in the area of education.
With Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike to protest imprisonment without trial, Israel plans to force-feed them, and cites Guantanamo as an example.
When the US practices torture, it spreads torture around the world.
Modern urban design and architecture is systematically designed to deny homeless people a place to lie down, so that the callous and successful will be spared the ugly sight of them.
The article also explains how aid-cutting right wing governments develop bureaucratic excuses that systematically refuse homeless people any help in finding a place to sleep. This goes hand in hand with the policies that make so many people homeless.
Pakistan's Taliban attacked Karachi airport with suicide bombers and accused the government of using peace negotiations as a sham.
The basis for that accusation seems to be that the government did not cease fire during the talks. But if no cease-fire was agreed on, continuing to fight while negotiating was not dishonest.
Air conditioning is making US cities substantially hotter, leading to more use of air conditioning.
I guess losing Shanghai and Suzhou is not that important to the rulers of China after all.
US citizens: support the EPA in reducing CO2 emissions from power plants.
US citizens: call for ending the overuse of antibiotics on farm animals.
The UK government will fall far short in its supposed effort to reduce child poverty.
That's because its important policies are designed for dooH niboR and increase child poverty.
The corrupt association of Western governments and Western companies supported the monarch of Qatar in luring hundreds of thousands of migrant workers into semi-slavery.
This has proved fatal to hundreds of them, and left a far larger number trapped or maimed, but it is an injustice to each and every one.
I suspect that the government of Nepal declines to act because it wants the foreign exchange that the migrants send home.
The high expense of college in the US relates to a change in attitude: treating college as a ticket to the middle class rather than as a way to give society educated citizens.
US citizens: call on Congress to authorize postal banking.
Send comments in favor of network neutrality to the FCC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Give the Proceeding Number, which is 14-28.
US citizens: Urge Obama to fire DEA administrator Leonhart.
The Texas Republican Party has endorsed conversion therapy which is supposed to convert gays to straights.
Their position is not real family values, it is correct-family-only values.
After Australia leaked the names of 10,000 asylum seekers, it has given them just 14 days to explain why that leak might put them in danger if sent back.
Former Israeli soldiers describe the repetitive cruelty, humiliation and even murder of the occupation of Palestine.
Uri Avnery: Netanyahu says the Palestinian unity government, made of of ministers not aligned with Hamas or Fatah, is unacceptable because it makes Hamas responsible for Palestine's conduct towards Israel.
As Avnery points out, this precise point means that Hamas now upholds peace with Israel day by day.
Vermont senators have proposed a bill to facilitate worker-owned cooperative businesses in the US.
The US continues to allow meat imports from certain countries even though they have privatized their meat inspection systems.
This harm is quite likely to include an early death.
The economic loss caused by destruction of coral reefs has been estimated at around 12 trillion dollars.
And that's just one of the big damages that our CO2 emissions will cause.
Matching chemical signatures show that the contamination in Steve Lipsky's well is coming straight from Barnett Shale's frack well.
I haven't had a TV set since 1970, and I've almost never watched Meet the Press or the other mainstream TV shows that claim to present political debate. It would be a hassle for me to see them. But it appears that they are propaganda outlets for the plutocratic state in all but name.
The New York Times thinks there is a mystery about why US economic growth since the 1970s has not reduced poverty.
The overall answer is, right-wing dooH niboR policies, but the Times is not supposed to acknowledge that.
Right-wing distortions claim that 1/3 of the freed Guantanamo prisoners have "returned to the battlefield" although only 4% of them were reported ever to have been on a battlefield before.
Even if this claim were true, it would not justify imprisonment without trial. Captured enemy combatants should be treated with the respect due to prisoners of war.
The Golden Dawn party has become openly Nazi and a force for anti-semitic violence.
Why do they blame powerless poor foreigners rather than the powerful businesses that have Greece in a stranglehold?
Tutsi women who were raped by those who murdered their families sometimes hated their children.
Abortions should have been part of the aid that the world gave to Rwanda after the genocide.
Everyone: call on India to protect forests from mining companies.
The Geo News TV channel in Pakistan has been shut off as punishment for criticizing the country's spy agency, the ISI.
The ISI has reportedly sponsored the Taliban in Afghanistan.
More about how governments spy directly on Vodaphone customers.
India is working on that sort of spying directly on all communications systems.
It appears civilization will fail to stop global heating and global disaster.
But we should not give up fighting, because we can still reduce the scope of the disaster.
Edward Snowden comments on the first anniversary of the surveillance debate that his heroism made possible.
US citizens: pressure Republicans to raise the minimum wage.
US citizens: tell the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to maintain the fishing regulations that protect right whales.
In the US: call on PBS to make WGBH remove a Koch brother from its board of trustees.
US citizens: call on the USDA not to allow a massive cut of old-growth trees in the Tongass National Forest.
Thailand's military rulers are cracking down on online dissent.
Senator Warner gets the government to admit that the USA Freedumber Act would expand the NSA's access to data about American's phone calls.
Nonviolent opposition to Assad's rule continues alongside the armed rebellion.
They were accused of dissent.
Nigeria's "war on terror" has involved killing over a thousand prisoners. Several journalists have been arrested and tortured.
When the CIA jokes that it "can't confirm or deny", it's a sick joke.
Use of diclofenac in animals can wipe out vultures in Europe as it did in India.
The new president of Ukraine says he will not accept Russia's conquest of the Crimea and will not agree to a federal structure for Ukraine.
I can't see any sense in being stubbornly opposed to a federal structure. As for Crimea, it would be proper to have an honest election in which those who don't want Russian rule can safely vote.
A study finds that GMO corn in the US is the main cause of the decline of the monarch butterfly.
As Brazilians protest the Brazil's support for the soccer world cup for spending money on businesses instead of people, the government's response is to compound the wrong by spending more on security against the people.
New York Governor Cuomo's inadequate and unambitious energy plan.
Everyone: call on Florida to stop sending youth offenders to privatized prisons.
Cable Companies Are Astroturfing Fake Consumer Support to End Net Neutrality.
Privatizing government services hurts the whole community as well as the workers. The supposed "cost savings" don't include the costs of the government assistance that the employees of these contractors will need because of their low pay.
Legalization of marijuana in Colorado seems to have led to a substantial decrease in crime, and no increase in use by teenagers.
We need to end the cruel War on Drugs.
The Vostok Battalion of pro-Russian rebels seems to get money from Russia but maybe not arms.
Defamation Suits Used to Bludgeon Southeast Asian Bloggers and Independent Press.
Most of the Fortune 500 companies are using tax-avoidance schemes.
US citizens: call on your senators to cosponsor Merkley's bill to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan now.
Everyone: call on Obama not to jail James Risen.
He is threatened with imprisonment if he does not identify a whistleblower who would himself probably be sent to prison for many years.
US citizens: support the Students Emergency Refinancing Act.
Chris Christie has rewarded campaign supporters with 200 million dollars in state money for their a new shopping mall.
The mall is apparently directed at the wealthiest customers. In the new US of increased inequality, they can buy more, while others struggle.
China will deport Guo Jian to Australia.
Guo Jian was jailed for an art work that criticized the massacre of hundreds or thousands of students at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Elephant poaching in Kenya is run by organized crime gangs under the control of local elites that are "too big to prosecute".
A forecast says that US oil extraction will start falling in about 10 years.
In London, many poor people can't see a way to get by except by stealing. When caught, their are fined, and the fines are deducted from the already-inadequate welfare payments.
Christian and Jewish religious extremism can be seen in works of art that continue to be admired as classics.
At present, these works do not seem to inspire suicide bombers, but I won't take for granted that can't ever happen.
The technological "advances" that make the difference between J Edgar Hoover's FBI and today's total surveillance state.
Vodaphone says that several governments tap into its phone calls directly.
Europe's top court ruled against the publishers' "irrational" claims that looking at web pages is copyright infringement.
George Monbiot: The Farming Lobby Has Wrecked Efforts to Defend Our [UK] Soil.
Jamestown, the first known English settlement in the US, is being inundated by rising sea level.
Part of the rise is due to global heating.
Geithner's autobiography is full of gaps, inconsistencies and falsehoods, all contrived to present the arsonist as a fireman.
The debt deal that Argentina got is not really such a good deal for Argentina.
The elected leader of Tibetans in exile calls on China to relax the repression of Tibetans so they will stop burning themselves to death.
Counterfeit medicine has helped malaria evolve resistance to the drug used to cure it.
A US report says that BP's system to protect against a blowout was not suitable for the purpose, and the same inadequate system is in use today.
The US has not adopted rules to prevent a repetition of the Big Spill. This reflects the political power of the oil companies: these dangerous beasts are too big to cage.
The UK government not only proposes to have a secret trial of anonymous suspects, it also wanted to forbid the press to report on the fact that this was going on.
Once a state accepts the principle of trampling human rights in the name of "security", its natural tendency is to keep going further until people have no rights that it can't deny them. We have seen the same in the US, where the president can imprison anyone forever without a trial.
A state that escapes from the people's control is more dangerous than any underground group. If we are not willing to risk our lives for democracy and human rights, we won't have them for long.
US citizens: ask your Senators to support the Sunshine in Litigation Act, requiring courts to publish information that is crucial to public safety.
Daniel Ellsberg: Both Manning & Snowden Exposed Government Secrecy to Proper Debate.
The predicted El Niño event will damage coral world-wide, and due to the higher "normal" temperature, they will be less able to recover.
Coral is also endangered by ocean acidification, and if it is extinct by 2050, many other marine species will also be extinct, and a large fraction of sea food we eat will disappear.
Falkvinge: activism alone won't suffice; we must compete in elections.
Four ways Edward Snowden changed the world — and why the fight's not over.
The "authorities" want to shoot the messenger and bury his message.
The ACLU sued Florida to get records of surveillance through phony
cell phone towers, so US
seized the records to make the Florida court impotent.
Now Sprint and T-mobile, two large US phone competitors,
Such large companies should never be allowed to merge. Instead, we
should break up their larger competitors, in this case Verizon and
phone your senators to oppose the USE Freedumb Act, the
house-passed caricature of the USA Freedom Act.
Everyone: tell Canada
plans to attack Canadians' rights with the TPP.
carried a fake cell phone tower from door to door to find a
suspect's portable phone.
We want criminals like that one to be caught. I think it would be
reasonable for a court to give permission to use a similar device,
which would be programmed with one phone number, to locate that
particular phone in this way.
Readers of the Boston
the Globe to stop printing letters that deny global heating.
The Koch brothers have asked the Supreme Court
against "union shop" requirements for public sector workers; this
would lead to low wages and bad working conditions.
write lobbying materials for businesses that wanted reduced
regulation in planning buildings.
Israel has announced
to build 900 more housing units in occupied Palestinian territory.
Wait a moment, does Netanyahu think the "peace talks" are still going
Facebook could control an
by selectively deciding who to urge to vote.
The article repeats a common historical myth, the idea that Dubya won
the 2000 election in Florida. In fact, his campaign stole the
election. Katherine Harris falsely disenfranchised around 50,000
black voters based on the similarity of their names to names on a list
of felons. The voters disenfranchised were not felons, but Harris
vetoed checking who was really a felon.
Now Sprint and T-mobile, two large US phone competitors, want to merge.
Such large companies should never be allowed to merge. Instead, we should break up their larger competitors, in this case Verizon and AT&T.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the USE Freedumb Act, the house-passed caricature of the USA Freedom Act.
Everyone: tell Canada to stop plans to attack Canadians' rights with the TPP.
Thugs carried a fake cell phone tower from door to door to find a suspect's portable phone.
We want criminals like that one to be caught. I think it would be reasonable for a court to give permission to use a similar device, which would be programmed with one phone number, to locate that particular phone in this way.
Readers of the Boston Globe: ask the Globe to stop printing letters that deny global heating.
The Koch brothers have asked the Supreme Court to rule against "union shop" requirements for public sector workers; this would lead to low wages and bad working conditions.
Australian politicians helped write lobbying materials for businesses that wanted reduced regulation in planning buildings.
Israel has announced a plan to build 900 more housing units in occupied Palestinian territory.
Wait a moment, does Netanyahu think the "peace talks" are still going on?
Facebook could control an election just by selectively deciding who to urge to vote.
The article repeats a common historical myth, the idea that Dubya won the 2000 election in Florida. In fact, his campaign stole the election. Katherine Harris falsely disenfranchised around 50,000 black voters based on the similarity of their names to names on a list of felons. The voters disenfranchised were not felons, but Harris vetoed checking who was really a felon.
There is an increase in the rate of thyroid gland symptoms in children living in the area around Fukushima.
It might be a real problem caused by fallout, or it might just indicate more thorough examination.
China has pledged to limit CO2 emissions.
Perhaps the government has concluded that drowning Shanghai, Suzhou, and the whole surrounding region would be a big loss.
US citizens: Ask senators to change the proposed constitutional amendment, SJR 19, to do the whole job — to reject the idea that human rights apply to corporations.
Everyone: support Divest Harvard, the campaign for Harvard to divest from fossil fuel.
Today's Big Brother seduces fools into encouraging everyone to watch them.
Families of Americans killed in US drone attacks in Yemen have given up on suing for damages. US courts have stonewalled them for years.
However, a class action by prisoners in solitary confinement will proceed.
Before you tell the unemployed to "get a job", you had better find some jobs they could get.
How did Kerry manage not to understand that Israel had no interest in making his peace talks a success?
Israel sent bulldozers to destroy half the Palestinian village of Id'eis, which is located in the region near the Jordan that Israel wants to ethnically cleanse.
Meanwhile, fanatic settlers are building another "illegal" colony — that is, one that supposedly has no government approval — with support from the army.
Israel has put 60 hunger-striking prisoners in solitary confinement.
China plans to level over 700 mountains.
Humanity is on track to exhaust crucial resources during this century, as predicted in 1972 by the Club of Rome.
LinkedIn has imposed Chinese censorship on users world-wide.
Perhaps the US should not allow US internet companies to do business in a way that would subject them to foreign censorship laws.
The UK government plans to try people whose identity is secret, in a secret trial. They are accused of possessing books, and unspecified other things.
Could Stalin have done worse?
Discredited claims that the NSA keeps making.
Arabs like the US better as a result of Obama's reduction in the visible US military profile in the Middle East. Hardly anyone wants the US to attack Syria or Iran.
Yemen, where the US is carrying out drone bombings, was not one of the countries surveyed.
The people who raped a Dalit girl (who then killed herself) have threatened violence against her father for rebuking them.
A 30-year study of 800 poor children who started school in Baltimore in 1982 has found very little social mobility: if your parents were poor, you almost certainly end up poor.
Noam Chomsky: the US surveillance state provides the secrecy to shield abuses of US power.
Some crackers' latest prank is to generate a false report of an incident and get a SWAT team sent to an innocent person's address.
These people are crackers because they break computer security. They are hackers because they are practicing playful cleverness. Unfortunately, being playful and clever does not ensure that an activity is ethical. This prank is not innocent: SWAT raids kill innocent people.
However, the prank is merely the trigger for the danger; the root cause of the danger is the policies that use SWAT teams too often.
Koalas have adapted to increased temperature in Australia by cooling their bellies against trees.
This will get them only so far; eventually the heat will kill them.
Biodiversity offsetting is the risky practice of compensating for destruction of some wildlife habitat by constructing replacement habitat.
The main flaw is that the habitat we destroy is sure to be destroyed, but it will take years to see whether the replacement habitat really functions. And what do you do if it doesn't?
This system of offsetting provides the opportunity for developers (and their state backers) to propose replacements without even trying to scrutinize the plans carefully. By the time it becomes apparent that the replacement habitat was never really used by the ecosystem it was meant for, nobody will be accountable.
Activists in Albuquerque held a sit-in in the mayor's office to protest the many killings committed by thugs.
One thug pushed a protester to the wall and charged the protester with attacking him. Typical thug behavior. What's unusual is that the thug said in advance he would do that. This proves it is an intentional act to lie and frame someone. Will this thug be prosecuted for perjury?
Obama is going to revive the "domestic terror task force".
I suppose this will be another scheme for investigating dissidents and journalists, as well as once in a while one of the real right-wing extremists. Thugs generally feel sympathy towards right-wing extremists as long as those have not reached the point of actual killing.
Everyone: call on Monsanto not to sue Vermont for its GMO labeling law.
Everyone: support Premier Clark of British Columbia in rejecting a tar sands oil export pipeline.
The USA Freedumber Act actually expands massive surveillance in several ways. It has been converted into a blow against freedom.
Is Absolute Computrace a trojan horse in the BIOSes of millions of computers? We can't tell, because it is proprietary software.
The point is, precisely because we can't tell, we should never trust proprietary software. It is software for suckers.
Here's the bombshell for which the Obama regime is going to put James Risen in prison.
Do you think Americans should find out when the US government does such stupid things and the result is harmful? The US government thinks it should be able to cover them up so it appears perfect.
Now that Obama has claimed the right to release prisoners from Guantanamo with no notice, nothing is stopping him from trying or releasing every one of the prisoners.
He must shoulder all the guilt for imprisonment without trial in the US.
Disappointingly, Pope Francis urges people to have children. Just what the world doesn't need.
Although the Church opposes artificial birth control, that does not require urging people to have children. He ought to urge people to have humanitarian projects. That way, you won't feel alone when you are old.
The US will work with the Palestinian unity government.
Netanyahu is finding himself a little less able to extract support from the US government.
Obama has proposed limits to require reduced CO2 emissions from existing power plants.
Carbon offsetting is an unreliable method of reducing emissions.
We could easily to a lot more.
Gush Shalom welcomes the Palestinian unity government.
Thousands of illegal migrants are trying to get from Africa into Europe by any means possible.
More and more people flee Africa, due to population growth, the corporate land grab, wars over conflict minerals, and global heating. Population growth is mostly the fault of poor Africans; the other causes are not.
Australia's maverick party leader threatens to reverse Queensland's privatizations.
Hooray! Privatization is an assault on the public's assets, carried out by the state as a surrender to the new owners. Those owners must get punished.
The fighting in Ukraine — and the aggressiveness of gas supplier Russia — should make Europe wake up and move faster to renewable energy.
Governor Chris Christy got New Jersey law changed, which permitted a big state payoff to a friend who donated to his campaign.
Even if these changes were not made specifically for the purpose of giving a payoff to his friend, they still help rich people at the expense of the state.
Seattle has approved the increase of minimum wage to $15 an hour, disregarding the usual claims by businesses that the sky will fall.
Sargent Bergdahl, freed by the Taliban in an exchange, apparently had left his post because he was disgusted with the dishonesty of the war.
The constitutional amendment that the Senate will vote on would reverse the Corporations United (*) decision but would not reject the idea that corporations are people. They are proposing only a half solution.
* Officially called "Citizens United", but I'd rather call them what they are than what they claim to be.
Don't Copy Our Welfare Cuts, New Zealand Experts Warn Australia.
Indonesia refuses to resume diplomatic ties with Australia without a commitment not to spy on Indonesian leaders.
What about the other Indonesians? Spying on other countries' leaders can be justified; spying on everyone is when it becomes Orwellian.
Karzai is angry that the US made a deal to exchange prisoners but has not made a peace deal with the Taliban.
I don't know whose fault it is that the peace talks have failed.
The US Supreme Court sided with the government against James Risen.
He will now go to prison to defend the confidentiality of his source.
In the UAE, people are tortured into confessions and imprisoned for possessing tiny quantities of drugs.
Ahmad Zeidan was imprisoned for possessing 1/20 of a gram of cocaine. It was in a car glove compartment; there must be a doubt about whether he knew it was there.
There's also the man who was imprisoned for a flake of marijuana on the sole of his shoe.
I do not make flight connections through Dubai or Qatar. The risk may be small, but there is no need to run that risk.
Proposing taxes to restrain the housing price in London and make space available cheaply for rent.
In the UK, people will be punished for providing services to people when they had some "reason to suspect" they were helping a criminal group.
I'm afraid this means that lots of people won't be able to hire a lawyer or rent space, even though they are not criminals, because people will be scared to deal with them.
How right-wingers in the National Rifle Association foisted a reinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment on the US.
A SWAT team threw a flash grenade into Bou Bou Phonesavanh's crib, causing terrible injuries.
The US government has paid lots of towns to set up SWAT teams even though they have no real need for one. Rather than leave the teams unused, they make rules saying that on conditions XYZ the SWAT team must be sent "just in case". That creates lots of opportunities for the team to injure or kill people, in situations where nothing bad would have happened without the SWAT team.
I hope that Bou Bou dies from these injuries, because living with them would be horrible.
Poor Americans lose their jobs because they are jailed, then are ordered to pay for jailing them.
I hope Mr Papa and thousands like him tell the state they will never pay a cent, and dare the state to jail them until it chokes on them.
US citizens: call on the Senate to pass the medical marijuana amendment adopted by the House of Representatives.
Everyone: call on T-mobile to respect workers' rights in the US.
The NSA collects millions of face pictures from internet communication.
They could get your face from Skype, if you use that.
An interview with Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.
She was freed before the end of her sentence thanks to international pressure, but is still banned from practising law.
The Australian government's class war can be understood in terms of the very wealthy constituencies where its leaders are elected.
Fossil fuel companies are trying to use the new right-wing anti-EU MEPs to destroy green energy targets.
The effects of growing US plutocracy and inequality harm society as a whole.
A Chinese democracy protester, who got asylum in Australia after the Tiananmen massacre, returned to Beijing to make an art work referring to the massacre. He was imprisoned for that.
The concept of "sexual entitlement" explains part of misogyny.
Boat people seeking refuge in Australia, and sent to Christmas Island, have underlined their hunger strike by sewing their mouths shut.
FCC Commissioner Wheeler repeatedly says he supports network neutrality, yet he repeatedly acts against it.
Palestine's unity government has been sworn in, despite Israeli interference.
The Oslo Agreement called for many things that Israel has not done. I recall there was supposed to be a corridor for communication between Gaza and the West Bank. Perhaps both sides should finish implementing that agreement.
Russia's new method of pressuring Ukraine: requiring prepayment for natural gas.
Australia's right-wing government plans to increase college tuition fees and the interest for college loans. However, graduates whose income is low will not have to pay back the loans. So it will still be a lot better than the system in the US.
Australia has suffered the hottest two-year period since records started.
Sri Lankan refugees in Australia would rather die than be sent back there, and one set himself on fire because he couldn't stand the uncertainty about being sent back.
Everyone: Thank Pope Francis for recognizing the cruelty of the occupation of Palestine.
US citizens: Call on Congress to oppose HR 4752, which would ban the simple right way to restore network neutrality.
The Desert of Maine shows what's in store for us if we don't stop farming practices that cause erosion of topsoil.
The US government plans to make a database with lots of intrusive information about everyone in the US that has a mortgage.
It is possible private data brokers already have all the same information about them. Does anyone know?
Religious repression in Israel and Arab countries requires couples to go to Cyprus to marry.
On two occasions there are connection between Islamists fighting in Syria and murder of Jews.
This is still a fringe phenomenon, but all Islamists advocate repression that violates freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In particular, the religious freedom of anyone they decide is supposed to be a Muslim.
Ma Jian, who was a protester at Tiananmen Square 25 years ago, describes what happened there and the Chinese repression of all reference to it.
The Egyptian trial of three reporters for "endangering national security" shows that the prosecution is a sick joke.
The UK government ha given around 4 billion dollars in tax subsidies to fossil fuel extraction in the North Sea in the past few years. This while cutting the subsidies for renewable energy.
The current right-wing government has shown all along, by its policy changes, that it was working for the fossil fuel companies.
Protect your ears from loud music!
A Somali refugee who became a British citizen is harassed and threatened every time he reenters the UK by agents that want him to become a spy.
Lavabit's fate, and the privacy of all its users, was decided in a secret hearing in which founder Ladar Levison was not allowed a lawyer.
The despicable juridical shenanigans of putting him in contempt of court without giving him a chance to object are redolent of a banana republic.
The Internet With A Human Face (an interesting speech).
Due to insufficient funding, the UK's National Health Service consigns mentally handicapped people to prisons, and the prisons treat them inhumanely.
One committed suicide because he was bullied.
Looting ancient sites in Egypt has shot up since the revolution against Mubarak.
A bankrupt data broker that collected data about students may sell the data as an "asset".
A missive from an anti-drone protester about the multiple levels of lies and secrecy that surround US drone assassinations.
Investigating the effect of antibiotic usage on people's bacterial biomes, which might be part of the cause of increasing rates of various chronic medical problems.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject bills that endanger the Endangered Species Act.
The idea of "digital natives" is a confusion when applied to children or teenagers. They have learned to use digital technology but that mean they understand what's good or bad.
The thugs of Brazil's military dictatorship went to England to learn torture/brainwashing techniques that did not leave physical marks.
Iranians set up a phony news site to attack computers of US officials and journalists.
Attacking computers does not mean these people are "hackers". That's an insulting usage of the word.
It sounds like some of their methods were playfully clever, so maybe they really are hackers, but not because they were attacking computers.
Don't believe the claim that Meriam Ibrahim will be freed, say her lawyers.
Erdogan sent thugs to pre-empt the expected protests on the anniversary of the start of protests last year.
I am glad the US soldier is free, but having five fewer instances of national shame is a bigger step forward. The US must either try or free every one of the prisoners in Guantanamo.
A Congressman funded by the major ISPs has filed a bill to effectively ban the FCC from establishing network neutrality.
Not Forgotten: Street Art to Remember the Victims of the School of the Americas.
Getting the Innocent out of the NSA's Shadow Database.
The rich, by not paying taxes, are dragging the whole US economy down.
Laying out the danger of transporting lots of oil by train.
We require every car driver to have insurance. Why not require every tank car to have insurance too, to cover the small but significant chance of a fatal explosion? This way, tiny shipping companies won't be able to go bankrupt and avoid liability, as happened after the Lac Megantic fire.
US citizens: call on Obama to remove US from Afghanistan now, not years from now.
The NSA released one email from Snowden, which raises subjects relevant to NSA lawbreaking but doesn't allege wrongdoing. Snowden says that this is only part of what he said to the NSA headquarters.
The forces of total surveillance and intimidation will tell one lie after another. Three cheers for Edward Snowden!
The UK Chilcot inquiry into why Bush and B'liar invaded Iraq will release passages and summaries of their conversations, rather than the real text.
El-Sisi threatened to fine Egyptians that did not vote, but they still stayed away in large numbers.
Keeping US troops in Afghanistan through 2016 means keeping secret prisoners disappeared in Bagram through 2016.
Prisoners in Berlin have set up a union to demand payment at the minimum wage for their work.
This cause is important for everyone. Do you want slave labor undermining your job?
The government of Niger is taking action against traditional hereditary slavery.
On the problems in the Veterans Administration.
Indeed, veterans would not need so much care if Dubya hadn't fabricated an excuse to conquer and occupy Iraq, but that's a separate issue. The veterans exist, their wounds and illnesses exist, and the VA owes them treatment.
While dishonesty about waiting lists is inexcusable, the root cause of the long waiting lists is failure to spend enough money to provide all veterans with proper care. That is the fault of plutocratist politicians, mostly Republican but some Democrats as well.
Various illnesses in children seem to be associated with exposure to glyphosate; for some children, removing glyphosate from their food and water leads to a remission of the illness.
To get clear proof that glyphosate causes these symptoms requires a more systematic experiment, but this is enough reason to treat it with great suspicion.
Gun-rights extremists in Texas harass anyone that opposes them.
This is all the more reason to demand that your city get rid of its SWAT team. It's unlikely to do anything good for the city's residents, and has a good chance of killing them from time to time.
New York City Councilman Kallos has introduced a bill to encourage use of free software in the city government.
It is not the strong requirement that every government should have, but it is a start.
New Orleans has closed all its public schools and forced the students into a segregated system of privatized schools with inexperienced teachers.
A tar sand oil extraction mine in Utah will threaten to pollute the Colorado River.
Another mine operated nearby 30 years ago; the site is still a dead zone.
The protests in Syria were triggered by a 6-year drought, for which global heating was probably one of the causes.
When Tony Abbott was criticizing the previous government, he recognized a reduction in planned future spending increases as a "cut", but now that he makes the policy he insists they are different.
Abbott is becoming the suppository of all sophistry.
Google is using its dominant position in one market to muscle into another, something that a few decades ago would have been prosecuted.
The other music streaming services are unethical because of their DRM. Will Google's be better, or just like the others? If it is better, then we should root for Google to get rid of them. If it will be unethical like the others, then we should call for a pox on all.
770,000 households in the UK face the danger of losing their homes in 2 years when interest rates rise.
New pun, Irish constellation.
The US government is threatening security researchers with prosecution.
This suggests that the "security" state has chosen a weak and insecure internet it can spy on, rather than a secure one we can use.
The Egyptian election proves that Sisi's support is not the overwhelming majority that he claimed, but — given his repression — nothing more.
A group of former Russian soldiers has taken control of a building in Donestk.
Perhaps they are still, in effect, Russian soldiers.
Delivery of humanitarian aid to people in Syria has been a failure.
I wonder what else can be done. Would it work to air-drop food packages to areas Assad won't allow aid to reach? Or would Assad drop bombs disguised as food?
US citizens: tell Congress to let Medicaid keep drug costs down.
US citizens: call on the FHFA to stop foreclosures and start helping homeowners achieve reduction of principal.
Everyone: call on Facebook not to listen to sound through the used's computer's microphone.
China's annual repression of anything that alludes to the Tiananmen Square massacre of students is especially harsh and broad this year.
Jordan is censoring web journalism by imposing licensing of web sites and making sites responsible for readers' comments.
Obama and the EU seem to have given their blessing to this repression.
Saudi Arabia has imposed total censorship and repression, labeling any sort of dissent as "terrorism".
The NSA has admitted that Snowden tried to go through channels to report massive surveillance. However, officials systematically quash such attempts to raise an issue. The surveillance state created a Kafkaesque blindness to systematic violation of the Constitution and human rights.
How the spying-industrial complex encouraged the buildup of the US total surveillance system.
US citizens: call on Obama to Keep funding nuclear weapon security programs.
US citizens: call on the government to block the AT&T-DirectTV merger.
US citizens: support proposals for specific increases in the extent of Medicare coverage.
Kerry called Snowden a coward for not returning to the US to be imprisoned and silenced.
Kerry's idea of loyalty is surrender to the US government, while Snowden defends America as a land of freedom where laws restrain government power.
There are many important jobs for which we need a state, but the state must respect human rights.
I suggest that Snowden offer to surrender for prosecution if Bush, his torturers and those who protect his torturers (such as Obama) do likewise.
The people of Barcelona responded forcefully when the city tried to demolish an occupied social center (a squat that serves social purposes) that has functioned for 17 years.
A year later, the Gezi park protests have shown Turks the possibility and need for disputing with the state.
Thanks to the War on Drugs, people dying of cancer in Senegal can't get morphine.
Lots of other people who have surgery surely suffer unnecessarily from the lack of morphine.
North Korea says it will investigate again what happened to the Japanese that its forces kidnaped secretly from Japan.
Elizabeth Warren called on Obama to appoint people to the Federal Reserve Board who will regulate the banks strictly.
Obama won't do it, of course, but it is good to make him take heat about that.
Workers are being exposed to nanoparticles, some of which may be toxic, but the workers don't even know.
Moms to EPA: End Monsanto's Poisoning of America.
The Obama regime's motive for imprisoning James Risen may be that he exposed a grave nuclear mistake.
Is it good for the country to allow the government to intimidate journalists that write about government mistakes?
Various states are considering bills to limit CEO pay, or tax companies more if their CEOs get too much pay.
The advice to get a college education would be good advice, but higher income is not a sure thing. You might find yourself unemployed and saddled with debts that will ruin your life.
Warning: fossil fuel companies that plot to keep global heating going can face liability in the future.
Moral Monday protesters were arrested after a sit-in in the North Carolina Republican legislator's office.
Is David Koch Getting a Tax Writeoff for Dropping $900K on the [Wisconsin Governor] Walker Race?
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, to stop convicted perpetrators of those crimes from buying guns.
If the rich want to save capitalism, they can do it — by ending plutocracy. Free the mass media from corporate control by abolishing media concentration. End voter suppression. Increase the taxes on the rich, and spend the money on education, medical care, infrastructure, and support for the poor.
Or maybe, as the author believes, this is just a front meant to convince the gullible that there is no need to defeat the plutocrats.
A US judge says he thinks somewhere between 1 and 8 percent of defendants plead guilty although they are innocent, to escape long mandatory sentences.
The government of Canada and that of Alberta are attacking science, journalism and civil society to protect the tar sands oil extraction from criticism.
This includes calling Greenpeace "extremists", firing and gagging scientists, spying on environmental groups, and deporting journalists.
We think of oil wells as occupying a small spot on the ground. We don't realize that extracting tar sands involves massive deforestation. It seems to be a kind of strip-mining.
The head of the IMF says that income and wealth inequality is harmful, recommending that states provide education and health care, tax the rich more, and regulate banks strictly.
Will any governments listen when the IMF says such things?
A giant forest fire is burning in Alaska, 243 square miles in size. And it's not even summer yet.
You can guess what caused this.
Frequent strandings of humpback whales seem to be caused by malnutrition.
I can see various ways in which effects of global heating could be contributing to this. For instance, it the whales giving birth could have moved away from the equator for the temperature and perhaps there is not enough to eat in the place they have moved to.
This is a hunch, not a certainty. The certainty is that global heating will mess up lots of ecosystems.
Polar bears in the area around Svalbard are having 1/3 as many cubs as usual. Probably because receding ice has made it hard for them to find food.
The lost Malaysian airliner apparently did not crash in the search area; the pings detected from that area appear to have been a red herring.
The idea that the pilots flew the plane over remote ocean until it ran out of fuel has always seemed implausible to me, mainly because that does not fit with the calm way they seem to have diverted the flight. What motive could they have had for this? If the satellite tracking data is truly conclusive, that must be where it went. Otherwise, I suspect that they landed the flight somewhere in Asia.
Even if that is so, I doubt that the passengers are still alive. It seems unlikely that anyone who arranged the hijacking would be so principled as to keep the passengers alive as prisoners for months rather than killing them.
The global plantation land-grab puts food supplies at risk, since the plantations produce less food per hectare.
It's due to maximizing profits rather than minimizing hunger.
In the long run, hunger will take most people if we don't stop human population growth.
The EU plans to replace Russian gas with fracking, when it ought to reduce its need for gas.
The Australian government is moving to seize the homes of workers fined for striking.
Privatization of prisons is an obstacle to accountability about how they are run and respect for prisoners' rights.
Transcanada does an incompetent job of pipeline construction.
Chicago's gun violence — which is less than some parts of the US — is fueled by lax gun laws in nearby states.
Cambodia's Draft Law Turns Free Speech into Cybercrime.
Pushing everyone to be a "micro-entrepreneur" (aka "the gig economy") is a disguise for making workers precarious.
Entrepreneurs are often praised for "taking risks". The successful ones say they deserve reward for the risk they took. So what does it mean to force everyone, even people who have no savings, to be entrepreneurs? An old adage says, don't gamble what you can't afford to lose. Most Americans are barely getting by and are already in debt. A social system that requires them to "take risks" is one that makes life insecure.
Don't let concern for treating mental illness let guns off the hook.
Transportation between the Atlantic and Pacific via the Arctic opens new risks of spreading invasive species that can wreak ecological havoc.
Here's a small example of what that can do.
Kudzu in the US is a bigger example.
El-Sisi extended Egyptian voting one more day because the turnout is surprisingly low.
It looks like a lot of Egyptians don't like the candidate(s) on offer and are protesting in the only way that is still allowed. I wonder what will be done on the extra third day to make more people vote.
Tristan Thomas describes the web of fear that intimidates many from criticizing the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
When Palestinians condemn Hitler's mass murder of Jews, Israeli politicians get angry because that's supposed to be an Israeli PR asset.
The Israeli government plans to revoke the tax exemption of Physicians for Human Rights for criticizing the treatment of illegal African immigrants in Israel.
Netanyahu boasted to his supporters about how much he extended Israeli colonies in Palestine, and ridiculed the supposed "peace talks".
Those who read Uri Avnery's articles knew all along that Netanyahu did not take these talks seriously, which made them something between a desperate long-shot and a sham.
Dozens of Palestinian hunger-strikers in Israeli prisons have been transferred to hospitals due to medical problems they have developed.
They are demanding basic human rights for prisoners, and an end to imprisonment without trial.
Students at DePaul University defied dishonest lobbying to vote to call for the university to divest from companies that provide weapons or surveillance systems to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
It is a very narrow boycott, since it does not include companies that profit from the occupation. Still, it will be a good first step if the university adopts the policy.
Various sorts of boycott of Israeli companies and institutions are spreading.
I support boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israeli government institutions and companies that support or profit from the occupation. I don't advocate the broader boycott of Israeli institutions that some Palestinians propose, though I adhered to it during the trip in which they brought me to speak in Palestine.
The US judge that stopped an investigation into Governor Walker's dark money has regularly accepted lavish "seminar" trips funded by right-wing groups.
A performer on trial for alleged sexual assault years ago apologizes for an affair with someone younger than him.
I don't know whether his statement is true. What I can say is that if it is true, there is nothing wrong in it. Criticism of the relationship described here is evidently based on ageism and various sorts of possessiveness. That would be equally true if the girl had been 17 years old instead of 18 at the time.
US citizens: call for no mining in a wild area straddling the California/Oregon border.
US citizens: call on the FDA to make food products report the amount of added sugar.
Mexico's right-wing government is planning to privatize fossil fuels, but Mexicans are pushing for an initiative to reverse this.
In Iran, foreign fossil fuel companies lied about their revenues so as to cheat the treasury. They are no more honest now.
The US-established Iraqi government has repeatedly fired US-provided missiles and shells at the hospital in Falluja.
The US-installed Haitian government used US-supplied water cannon against a protest of schoolgirls who called on the government to pay the teachers so that the teachers will go back to work.
Iranian journalist Saba Azarpeik was arrested for criticizing the repression of journalists in Iran.
The Wall Street Journal published an editorial which denied not only global heating but the fact of climate scientists' consensus about it.
This is part of an organized and funded campaign to cause hundreds of millions of deaths (a predicted 100 million by 2030 alone), which is a plot for mass murder.
Obama says he will remove most of the US soldiers from Afghanistan by 2016, but this would not count US-paid mercenaries.
Apparently they will still engage in combat whenever they label an enemy as "al Qa'ida".
A woman in Pakistan was killed by her family for marrying someone of her own choice. Her father has been arrested. I hope he never sees the outside of a jail for the rest of his life.
US university presidents are taking ever-bigger salaries while paying their teachers ever less.
The Chinese government criticized the US for massive snooping.
Of course, China snoops too, as part of its system of massive censorship.
Both of these governments need to learn to respect human rights.
If a new technology will kill 1/10000 of the people who use a product, it's not a big cause of death compared with others. Rather than ban lots of technologies that may kill a small fraction of people, it would be more efficient to check technologies when they get in a position to affect a lot of people, and then require steps to make them safer — much like OHSA.
Chile's President Bachelet proposes to reject neoliberal for-profit educational policies, ending public funding of private schools and providing gratis primary and secondary education for all.
Calling it "climate change" is a mistake, but I agree with the proposal. Alas, the plutocrats' lackeys that rule the US don't want to do either one.
Keep your wifi network without passwords!
A fugitive minister of the pre-coup Thai government gave a surprise press conference and was arrested.
Is the "supreme leader" of North Korea a despot or a puppet? Or both at once?
China is taking stern measures to limit pollution from cars.
In the US, car companies veto such measures.
Confirmed: it is a mistake to talk about "climate change" if you want people to appreciate the disaster it stands for. "Global warming" gets the issue across better.
I use "global heating" instead because it is stronger.
Iran is imprisoning people for political statements on Facebook.
A new "citizen politics" party in Spain has won several seats in the European Parliament.
Fossil fuel companies are following the path of the tobacco companies in marketing heavily to poor countries.
The NSA records nearly all phone calls in Afghanistan.
Maybe that's acceptable during a civil war, which Afghanistan is experiencing. But if the US claims to be supporting that country's government, it should ask that government's permission.
The Koch brothers are now attacking a plan to rescue Detroit from bankruptcy while preserving workers' pensions.
The united corporations called themselves "Citizens United", but I call them what they are, not what they claim to be.
Under a plutocratic state whose masters won't pay enough taxes to maintain the infrastructure, this will mean lots of expense that will probably be met by starving more poor people.
Apple has banned a game about growing marijuana from the iThing app store.
Games about other crimes such as killing people are still permitted. Perhaps Apple considers them to be less heinous.
In the US: tell Scott you will boycott its products until it drops the Roundup-ready grass.
This GMO grass, engineered to be resistant to Roundup, will not be eaten by humans. But the Roundup could poison people who play on those perfect lawns.
Meanwhile, it will get into all the grass around the US, making organic beef impossible.
The chief of Australian Customs refused to tell a senator whether a chart of a ship's entry into Indonesian waters is accurate.
Republicans in Kansas have imposed a policy on the state university that professors can be fired for tweeting anything the university chooses to consider harmful.
Evidence that the US is still trying to prosecute Julian Assange.
The European Commission is negotiating an antidemocratic "trade treaty" in secrecy, and turned water cannon on 1000 protesters in Brussels.
Based on previous treaties we have ever reason to expect these negotiators to be trying to attack democracy and human rights. The burden is on them to show they have changed their spots. Surely their most violent attack on the public is the treaty itself.
The FBI will start making recordings of interrogations.
A renowned burn surgeon has confessed to taking money to make false testimony to support laws requiring use of flame retardants.
The X-ray scanners that exposed American airplane passengers to the risk of dangerous radiation have been moved to prisons.
The prisoners, I suppose, can't opt out, and if a malfunction in prison causes a radiation burn the prisoners might not get proper treatment.
Two counties in California are suing drug manufacturers alleging that misleading advertisements have provoked overuse of addictive painkillers.
A psychiatrist says that the definition of PTSD is being stretched to the point where everyone who has been through a disaster gets that diagnosis. Of the Bosnians she treated after the war, most of them had other problems that called for other treatments.
US citizens: Call on the EPA to reject the 2,4-D herbicide that is likely to be very toxic.
US citizens: urge Congresscritters to sign the letter urging Obama not to send portable antiaircraft missiles to Syrian rebels.
What Thomas Paine wrote in the 1770s is applicable to plutocracy today.
Some economists attack Piketty's arguments by ignoring the wealth that the wealthy have hidden from records.
This may be the real purpose of some luxury goods: to hide wealth.
In European Parliament elections, voters swung to a variety of anti-establishment parties, mostly right-wing.
This article says that the European Union requires fundamental reform. I've been saying so for years: it needs more democracy, and that lack of democracy makes it difficult to change the plutocratic policies of the euro zone.
Donetsk rebels seized the local airport, and Ukraine immediately counterattacked with air power.
I continue to believe that the Crimea is what Putin really wanted, and that he stirred up trouble in the Eastern Ukraine to draw a line under the seizure of the Crimea.
The Santa Barbara shootings demonstrate the consequences of NRA lobbying.
The Thai military government has imposed strict censorship of dissent.
Republicans fight to shield corruption of science by businesses following in the footsteps of the Tobacco companies.
Some academics are concerned that companies such as Elsevier are tracking and manipulating their activities.
A large fraction of the Aboriginal children in Australia have been taken away from their families to "protect" them.
It is possible they really need this protection, but if so, that is a sign of the stress that their families feel, and poverty and racism probably play a role in causing that.
The government of Sudan plans to execute Meriam Ibrahim for marrying a Christian, but only later. In the mean time, she is kept shackled in prison while she waits to give birth.
When you read about "Islamists", think of this barbarity — this is what they stand for.
Colombia faces a run-off between the current right-wing president, Santos, and a foam-at-the-mouth right-wing opponent.
Neither of them would free Colombia from the bondage of its treaty with the US.
An Australian senator is angry that a surveillance camera captured his meeting with someone.
I share his indignation, and I claim that you and I deserve the same respect that he deserves, in the absence of a specific court order.
Coordinated protests against Chevron were held in 16 countries.
There is a project to breed chickens that won't be killed by the future heat waves we are in the process of causing.
To prevent damage from global heating, we would need hundreds of thousands of programs like this. It would be so much easier and cheaper to install renewable energy, and efficiency improvements, and thus curb global heating. But that requires putting an end to plutocratic government.
US citizens: sign this petition to restore the Voting Rights Act.
US citizens: sign this petition to the FCC for network neutrality.
Overcoming the what-the-hell effect.
Large internet companies are suing for permission to disclose the number of national security letters they receive.
What we really need to know is how many people's data they give to Big Brother.
World food prices are close to the 2008 record level, and this is exacerbating the shortage of food in Somalia caused by bad harvests.
Obama said he would end torture by the US, and pretends to have done so, but he did not.
The US Department of Agriculture is planning to corrupt the standards for organic food.
The UK government changes laws to encourage fracking, which the public hates, and hamper solar energy, which the public loves.
I see only one plausible explanation: ministers are working for the fossil fuel industry rather than for the public.
In fact, few Americans want those changes; it's the elites that want them.
His most basic falsehood is the idea that the US has a lot of democracy now. Democracy is fighting a last-ditch resistance to the plutocracy that Brooks supports. We use our remaining shreds of democracy to oppose the changes he seeks.
Thailand's military rulers are now arresting journalists and academics as well as politicians.
Our society's misogynist strain seems to have inspired mass murder by a young man who hated women for rejecting him.
We can't ban misogyny, but organized efforts could lead many men away from it. Proper gun control could reduce the number of victims one man could succeed in killing.
I felt pain like that for years and years. While I was in college I never had a real date, only rejections. However, unlike him, I never hated any women, not even the women who rejected me. It was my fault that I did not appeal to them, or did not know how to make them comfortable. Where he demanded sex with a woman, I yearned for cherishing love with a woman, which is incompatible with hating.
Thus, while I understand and feel sorry for his pain, I don't understand his hatred. But it seems to be connected to certain standard patriarchal prejudices. He interpreted his pain in terms of those prejudices, and it became mysogyny.
The pain is the result of the tendency of teenage society to make some into idols and others into outcasts. Outcasts never get a chance to learn anything, so they are stuck as outcasts. If only teen society could be structured so that the most popular youths would introduce the outcasts to sex and dating, the outcasts could start to understand relationships and could cease to be outcasts.
Uri Avnery: Obama has given up on the hopeless peace process, but not on supporting Israel's increasing colonization of Palestine.
NBC TV's "Meeting America" series presents more of the right-wing white voices that NBC considers underrepresented.
NBC belongs to Comcast.
The Books-A-Million chain of bookstores has a systematic policy of right-wing bias. Ralph Nader is trying to change it.
Without Keystone XL, the company threaten to transport the tar sands oil by rail.
Comcast has 100 lobbyists working for approval of its planned merger. It is also lobbying against network neutrality and supports ALEC.
US citizens: Call on the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to expand protected ocean habitat for the North Atlantic right whale.
US citizens: call on the EPA to protect bees from neonicotinoid pesticides.
The House of Representatives voted to continue limitless war. Here is how representatives voted.
The Oregon legislature's sellout to Monsanto.
The UK government blames the thug union for various dishonest practices and plans to use them as an opportunity to attack the union.
It may be true that the thugs use the union to strengthen their cover-ups for attacking people, but some of their wrongdoing is unrelated to the union and obedient to their commanders.
A commercial college in London is even more predatory than commercial colleges in the US.
In Canada, predatory economics is making people sick, even killing them.
Queensland, a part of Australia, has made it harder for the poor to vote and easier for the rich to buy elections.
Israel is trying to smear the Palestinian teenagers shot by the army by saying the video recording was fake. B'Tselem says it is real.
The Pentagon is trying to manipulate Americans to condemn Snowden by spreading imaginary fears based on documents he says he doesn't have, assuming they were released in a way the journalists wouldn't do.
Calling for an international effort against antibiotic resistance, which presents a danger comparable to global heating.
The UK has a scarcity of available places to live, but maybe not a shortage of housing space as such. Rather, the wealthy use more than before, leaving little or none for the poor.
The article argues that the cause is government-given incentives to invest in housing rather than something productive. The US also has such incentives (the tax deduction for mortgage interest), and it might cause problems in the US too.
EFF Dismayed by House's Gutted USA FREEDOM Act.
The FBI collects US data for the NSA; then the NSA's data (including what GCHQ gets by spying on Americans) is used for prosecutions that have nothing to do with terrorism or national security.
Clinton's "welfare reform" has (as predicted) wiped out aid to poor families. 6 million Americans get no income except from food stamps.
Most US drone attacks in Pakistan are aimed at houses, but this is hidden because the government calls them "compounds".
The military coup in Thailand is related to the effects of global heating and increasing oil prices.
The UK government has decided to impose fracking by taking away landowners' legal right to reject it.
US mainstream media are supporting the criminalization of journalists such as Glenn Greenwald.
Why did GCHQ destroy certain specific chips in the Guardian's computers, such as the trackpad controller?
Ranking the world's countries in terms of treatment of workers.
The US is embarrassingly low on the list.
Twitter has bowed to Russian political censorship without even being subject to Russian law.
US citizens: tell Obama to order US contractors to give their employees paid sick leave.
85% of US online consumers oppose Internet ad tracking.
They are focusing on the symptom (ad tracking) rather than the disease (massive surveillance), but it is a step forward.
The US has ignored pedestrian safety for decades in building roads, and it shows.
Compare the 60,000 pedestrians killed since 2000 with the 3,000 killed by terrorist attacks. And that's just in the US! Wouldn't it be more useful to have a Global War on Pedestrian Fatalities than a Global War on Terrorism?
Revealed: [US] Gov't Used Fusion Centers to Spy on Occupy.
Here is more detail.
A US court ruled in favor of force-feeding Guantanamo prisoners on hunger strike.
This is wrong — for any prisoner. Everyone has a right to die.
Teachers in Nigeria protested the government's weak response to Boko Haram.
Other Nigerians are resisting terror by preventing sectarian violence.
Helping Iran move to solar power could be a win-win solution to the political problem caused by Iran's enrichment of uranium.
Taking Action on US Genocide in Iraq.
Russia is about to impose a penalty of up to 5 years in prison for separatism.
Even advocating a referendum for secession would get this punishment.
Information about Haftar, the commander of the militia that is trying to take control of Libya.
If he were doing this against a civilian government with a history of really governing the country, it would be a military coup. In fact, Libya's government is little more than a coalition of militias.
Kafkaesque proceedings have put a 16-year-old transgender in Connecticut in solitary confinement after a life of horrible treatment.
US citizens: call on Congress to stand up to the National Restaurant Association and support restaurant workers.
Everyone: Tell General Mills and Kellogg to reduce their carbon emissions.
US citizens: tell Obama, don't kill the internet.
US citizens: call for an investigation of the Veterans Administration, not a witch-hunt.
A Chinese investment project in Jamaica would destroy a nature preserve with unique species, as well as many local people's livelihoods.
The NSA Bill That Just Passed Is So Weak, Original Backers Voted Against It.
Israeli troops uprooted 1,500 fruit trees on the Nasser family's farm to deny international volunteers the chance to harvest the fruit.
Global heating is a Weapon of Planetary Destruction that can destroy many of humanity's greatest cities, and the fuse is already lit.
The New Populism challenges plutocracy in the US.
Don't be embarrassed by being in debt, but here are smart techniques for getting out of debt.
'Not Lovin' It': Low-Wage Workers Met by Riot Police Outside McDonald's HQ.
The former president of Guatemala has been sentenced to prison in the US for taking bribes.
Ahmed Rabbani, imprisoned without charges in Guantanamo for 10 years, got an infection from forced feeding and vomited blood.
A US government report says recoverable US shale oil reserves are just 40% of what was previously believed.
Sea level rise could wipe out lots of farm land in this century.
The Pakistani TV station that barely escaped being shut down has been accused of blasphemy.
The Thai army has converted martial law into a coup.
Landmark sites in the US threatened by rising sea levels.
While China approaches 10,000 miles of bullet train lines, the US builds expensive advanced weapons (trains of bullets).
I rode the Chinese high speed rail from Beijing to Hangzhou; it took just 6 hours. I'm sure lots of air miles are being avoided. The nasty thing is that passengers are required to identify themselves, but the US is becoming ever more like China in that regard.
A doctor will be prosecuted in Egypt for carrying out female genital mutilation.
The Senate confirmed David Barron as a federal judge.
Just seeing his murder memo was only the first step. The next step should have been to study it in order to determine his fitness as a judge.
The US seems to have made an extensive library of recordings of force-feeding prisoners in Guantanamo.
In terms of human rights, both Assad and his Islamist enemies are horrible. I don't see how any other side could win. Perhaps that means the best thing to do is help Assad win sooner, thus reduce the bloodshed.
A crucial question is, who is responsible for the civil war in Syria? Was it Sa'udi Arabia? Qatar? Did the US help them?
Contraceptives damage the fertility of freshwater fish, but cleaning them out of wastewater looks to be very expensive.
It would be good for more women to switch to IUDs.
The UK's right-wing government is condemning the MDs of the National Health Service for being overworked.
Why are they overworked? Because the government won't hire enough of them.
A Chilean activist abolished the student debt of a failing university by burying the notes that prove the students' debt.
The NFL gave players dangerous painkillers to keep them playing despite injuries, say former players.
I think people have a right to engage in activities that have a high risk of injury, but I don't get any pleasure from watching them do it.
A study confirms: ending people's unemployment benefits does not push them into employment. It only condemns them to hardship.
After the chemical spill, the jail at Charleston WV gave each prisoner as little as 2 cups of clean water per day. When the jail went back to using tap water, prisoners claim it was still contaminated.
Intimidation in college classrooms: some students demand "trigger warnings" before discussing readings whose material could make someone feel uncomfortable.
Education should help people think about right and wrong actions, and that requires encouraging people to think about wrong actions. The idea of trying to shield people from thinking about them is misguided.
A year after Obama was confronted in a speech about imprisonment without trial and the drone assassination campaign, he has done next to nothing to end them.
Both sides in Ukraine intimidate, attack and kill those who disagree.
Google made a trademark threat against a parody site that criticizes Google's activities.
Two counties in Oregon have banned growing GMO crops. However, the state government may stop one of the two counties from implementing this.
Median income has increased in Canada and Northern Europe, and now exceeds the US, even though US workers have to work harder.
The reason is clear: US workers fail to organize (through unions and government) to stop the rich from taking all that is produced.
Ukraine has arrested a reporter for Russia Today.
Egypt's former president Mubarak has been sentenced to prison for corruption.
I expect he is guilty but I doubt his trial was fair.
I have the same psychological mechanisms as the people who get hooked on these games. But I have learned to sit back and think, "Do I really want to spend a lot of time this way? Is there something else I'd rather do?" I have developed the ability to decide to stop.
Thousands of Australian students protested against gratuitous dooH niboR budget cuts.
The mines in Soma, Turkey, systematically hide unsafe conditions for the occasional visits of corrupt inspectors. The workers don't dare report violations.
It is useful to continue to refute pseudoscience even though fools will systematically fall for it.
US citizens: sign this petition against "investor-state" provisions that authorize companies to sue governments for laws that protect the public interest.
US citizens: call on the Senate to support the climate resilience fund.
US citizens: call on Obama to reject the Cove Point gas export project.
Israeli troops attacked Palestinian homes and a hospital near Jenin.
An Israeli call to support boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, arguing that nothing else can create the political will to remove the nationalists that have colonized the West Bank.
An Israeli blogger was grilled by the intelligence agency after he requested on Twitter that people tell him the identities of the agents that torture Palestinian children.
The European Union shows what it is like to take the mission of preserving competition seriously.
Everyone: sign this petition to make sure the UN's Green Climate Fund supports only renewable energy.
US citizens: rebuke the 20 democrats in Congress who supported the big ISPs against network neutrality.
The Thai army imposed martial law but did not overthrow the government.
A study finds that the climategate "scandal" had only a transient effect on global heating denialism.
Does experimenting on virulent viruses pose a risk to humanity?
The direct murderers of Anna Politkovskaya have been convicted, but whoever hired them is still getting away with it.
Journalism in the UK doesn't talk about the Green Party.
Violence towards the common people is established in today's Turkish leadership.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed Palestinian teenagers with not even a shred of an excuse.
The teenagers were far away from the soldiers and doing nothing in particular.
Looking Back One Year After the Edward Snowden Disclosures - An International Perspective.
The reconstruction effort in Haiti managed by the Clintons has been terribly mismanaged.
The UK wants to cut funds for watching for overuse of antibiotics in animals, which can be deadly for people.
The melt rate of Antarctic ice has doubled in just a few years.
With a few degrees of global heating, all sea turtles will be born female. Unless they move to beaches further away from the equator.
The NSA records all phone calls in the Bahamas and stores the data for a month, not for defense against attack, nor even to prevent terrorism — just to prosecute the War on Drugs.
Canadian protesters shut down construction of a tar sands pipeline.
Credit Suisse pled guilty to helping Americans evade taxes, and got a slap on the wrist; its stock price went up afterward.
The bank was not even required to disclose the names of those Americans. It shows the US government still does not dare to get firm with the banksters.
Teaching poor Americans how to organize politically for the rights and well being of the poor.
A bill intended to stop advertising of coerced or "underage" prostitutes would create a much broader system of censorship.
I am in favor of taking effective action to end coercion of prostitutes.
The US imprisons so many black males that long-term medical studies are left with few black male subjects.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has hired a company of copyright bullies to attack authors that post their own papers.
Shell denies the carbon bubble by projecting increasing use of fossil fuel.
In other words, Shell's projections blithely assume we will not stop baking our planet. Which really means Shell is determined to keep us baking it.
This is a scheme for mass murder bigger than the world has ever seen.
Russia will veto a UN resolution to ask the International Criminal Court to prosecute war criminals in Syria.
Everyone: Call on Human Rights Watch to shut the revolving door to the CIA.
Even though the amended USA Freedom Act would be only a small step against massive general surveillance, the NSA is already looking for ways to twist the meaning.
The US says it will no longer use vaccination programs as a cover for spying.
I fear this will not be enough to convince the Taliban to permit vaccination.
US Republicans in many states have passed laws to encourage theft of wages, reduce minimum wage, weaken unemployment insurance, and generally attack workers' rights in favor of business.
US citizens: thank Obama for committing to peace with Iran.
Turkish mine company executives are accused of deadly negligence. People have various suspicions about the relationship between Erdogan's party and the mine.
Obama's proposed trade treaty with Europe would increase exports of natural gas to Europe, leading to more fracking in the US.
Supporters of fracking claim it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but these estimates neglect the methane that leaks out of the frack wells.
Cecily McMillan has been sentenced to three months in prison.
She reports on the reasons other women were put in jail with her. The reporter who interviewed her was not allowed to bring in pen or paper.
Putin says he will withdraw Russian troops from the border with Ukraine.
I have suspected ever since the crisis there began that Putin instigated it so as to draw attention away the Crimea.
Baha'i leaders in Iran have been imprisoned for 6 years simply for having an unauthorized religion.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to support bills to limit US use of military force in specific ways.
The eurozone rules remain economically harmful, and there is no political will to fix this in either direction.
Now that young people don't understand the meaning of "selling out", artists turn their work into advertising and convince themselves it is ok. Even when they satirize advertising, it is real advertising.
This is the original reason why there is no advertising here or in gnu.org and fsf.org. Of course advertising based on tracking people would be even worse.
Pankaj Mishra: Narendra Modi and the new face of India.
US citizens: call your congresscritter and say, don't sign Gene Green's letter because it opposes network neutrality.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: Support Oregon's referendum to label GMOs.
Abbott admits one of his lies about budget cuts in hospitals.
The cuts will hurt working age adults and single parents the worst.
Why not target the rich with tax increases instead?
A Libyan warlord's forces attacked Parliament, saying they were attacking Islamist/terrorist MPs.
Right-wing legislators in US states are trying to make divorce more difficult.
Right-wing theocratic Christians want to force their rigid idea of sexual morality on everyone. This is part of that, as their opposition to sex education, birth control and abortion. Banning abortion (de facto, if not de jure) is their first target but they intend it as the edge of the wedge.
US citizens: call on the Dept of Interior to investigate ALEC for undermining federal land use policy.
Everyone: tell McDonalds to pay workers a decent wage.
US citizens: Call for making ISP service a common carrier.
Organizing against the toxic local effects of fracking in Pennsylvania.
When fighting fracking, we should not forget global heating. The fact that 80% of known reserves must be left in the ground is crucial to this issue because it means we really lose nothing by not extracting that gas.
Today's radical rich have come to think like an aristocracy, regarding the non-rich as their inferiors and whatever they pay the non-rich as largess.
Bill Clinton has joined the class war on the side of the plutocrats. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton stays mum, apparently hoping for a chance to rule the US on their behalf.
War depends on lies. If we can stop the lies, we can stop wars.
US citizens: call on the Senate to block the judicial nomination of David Barron until Obama publishes his drone assassination legal memos.
Why the Super-Rich Should Pay Super Taxes.
Militarization of "policing" is supposed to "protect" us, but it is the visible face of a government that serves the plutocrats.
The Post-Constitutional Era: now that the US government can imprison anyone based on handwaving, nobody really has any rights.
Arguing for a federal Ukraine, in a hurry.
Cecily McMillan was convicted of attacking the thug who groped her.
Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy has been on hunger strike for 100 days in an Egyptian prison. He has been held without charges for most of a year.
The Four Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Inequality.
The leader of Boko Haram says he intends to sell the captured schoolgirls as slaves, and claims that Islam legitimizes slavery.
In the US, the Southern Baptist church was founded so as to endorse slavery.
The Most Important Economic Number Isn't GDP or Unemployment. It's Wages.
Decreases in the full extent of unemployment do tend to translate eventually into higher wages.
In the past, stimulating economic growth was an effective way to decrease unemployment and increase wages. But this is not true any more, as the US in recent years has seen lots of growth in total economic figures with little benefit for workers. We need to stop measuring the economy with total wealth, total production, etc.
The visible effects of plutocratic regime change in the US.
Religious fanatics in the US make abortion unobtainable pretending to be assuring they are safe. The effect is to endanger pregnant women, who are forced to choose between risky underground abortions and risky childbirth.
Instead of the inheritance tax, that millions of fools oppose because of some irrational taboo against "taxing the dead", how about taxing bequests as ordinary income?
The US's reputation for freedom of the press is suffering from Obama's War on Journalism.
Everyone: tell Google, Pay your taxes!
US citizens: ask your state officials to support clean energy and oppose the Koch brothers.
Mathematicians, refuse to work for the NSA!
Thomas Piketty has demonstrated that the world is moving beyond rule by an oligarchy of acquired fortunes, to rule by an entrenched oligarchy of inherited wealth.
Australia is trying to pressure Syrian refugees to return to Syria, and has imprisoned them separately to weaken them.
One of them has gone mad from captivity.
Congress is considering a bill to turn the Voice of America officially into a state-controlled propaganda outlet.
The US has resegregated its public schools, and privatizing them makes segregation even worse.
Many "charter schools" are effectively prisons, preparing black youth for other prisons.
South Sudan faces famine and genocide.
I don't know what can be done about it. Is outside influence fueling the fighting?
Students in Kano, Northern Nigeria, continue to defy Boko Haram for education.
However, the same spirit of oppression has already conquered Kano in the form of Shari'a law, with a "morality police" that enforces a code of prudery that has nothing to do with morality.
Several African countries agreed to joint military action against Boko Haram.
Algeria is not in the list. I linked to an article that claimed Algeria has stimulated Islamist violence in North Africa. I found that claim surprising because the government of Algeria fought such an Islamist movement in the 1990s (after suppressing an election which the Islamist party won).
If someone can show me more information about how Algeria relates to this, I'd appreciate it.
Two senators have proposed a law to protect the privacy of student records that schools let companies hold.
This is a step forward but does not go far enough. It protects students from some kinds of commercial abuse, but that's all.
Schools should keep their own records, not entrust them to companies. They should store nothing but encrypted data in any off-site server.
US corporate media ignored the study that demonstrated US laws are controlled by elites, demonstrating that the corporate media are also controlled by those elites.
A defector from North Korea says that Kim Jong Un is a figurehead for a group that does not talk about itself, and that most people in the country don't know exists.
Not surprisingly, the Putin-supporting Russians that took over Crimea are torturing and killing Tatars that oppose the takeover.
It's possible that the people of the Crimea would have voted in a free and fair election to become part of Russia. The Tatar minority would be disappointed, but they would not be entitled to a veto.
But there was no such election, only a Soviet-style charade.
The pro-Putin forces in Donetsk used intimidation to "win" their "election".
It appears that the US and other governments that favor use of fossil fuels interfered with the latest IPCC report, weakening the "summary for policymakers" to understate the danger.
A few years ago, global heating deniers fabricated a phony scandal based on the leaked emails of climate scientists, distorting their words to claim that the scientists were overstating the danger. It will be interesting to see whether they condemn the intervention of much more powerful parties.
An aide to would-be Turkish tyrant Erdogan kicked a protester who was being held by two soldiers acting as thugs.
Erdogan is right that mines have a long history of fatal accidents — but why? Often this is because the mine companies skimp on safety, which they can do because governments fail to do their job and force the mine companies to do the job right.
Sudan has sentenced a woman to death for marrying a non-Muslim.
The death penalty is always a injustice, but not the only one. To punish this in any fashion represents denial of human rights.
Muslim countries typically do not respect religious freedom. The oppression is greatest on non-Muslims, but, as this article shows, they oppress Muslims too.
To punish her would be equally unjust if she had had an affair instead of a marriage. Neither one is wrong.
Religion-based electioneering is illegal in India and a BJP candidate is being investigated for this.
I am of two minds about this law. It is a limit on freedom of speech, but not for people in general, only for electoral campaigns. It is comparable to limits on campaign spending. Religion is to India as money is to the US.
Privacy International has sued to end GCHQ's practice of breaking computer security (cracking).
Please don't call it "hacking".
Cyber-bullying is Canada's excuse for abolishing anonymity online.
A similar law in South Korea was repealed because of its oppression.
The Obama regime's approach to Snowden's reports: "la la la I can't hear you."
The Obama regime calls various countries' public-interest policies "trade barriers". These policies protect health, privacy and financial stability.
The US should adopt many of these measures, but you can't expect that to be done by someone who favors "free trade".
I sent a message to Senator Markey's office opposing the TPP, and received a message saying that he judged trade treaties in terms of gain or loss of US jobs. While that may have made sense back when trade treaties affected mostly the amount of exports and imports, it is absurd today. Nowadays the main effect of trade treaties on employed people is that they help the executives and owners get a bigger share and pay the workers worse. The treaties also attack our rights by abolishing public-interest policies and giving business more power. Finally, they undermine democracy by giving business lobbies an additional lever to use.
So I phoned his office and said the senator was too soft on trade treaties.
You can phone your elected officials, too.
A very careful scientist rechecked his own discovery of gluten-sensitivity and found the problem does not really exist.
US women that advocate gun control are persistently harassed and threatened by gun nuts.
As major US ISPs threaten to stop investing if we don't let them discriminate on the internet, they have been cutting investment for 7 years.
Female CEOs are more likely to be fired that male CEOs, an indication that prejudice is operating.
We should not let the treatment of female executives, or even female not-chosen-as-executives, distract us from the far more larger issue of the rights of female workers and female unemployed.
Some Americans are planting milkweed so that monarch butterflies can continue to exist.
In a few decades, I expect US agricultural land use to diminish due to global heating.
A US appeals court ruled that APIs are copyrightable.
Here's why that is dangerous.
I've seen reports that this isn't a precedent and won't affect many other cases, but even if it is not certain disaster, it is a danger of disaster.
The Australian government has launched an army of lies to justify its attack on the poor and the environment.
Thanks to Snowden, we know Obama regime officials lied to the Supreme Court.
US citizens: Oppose fracking near Chaco Canyon.
In the US: tell Lumber Liquidators, don't buy lumber from places in Brazil where most lumber is illegal.
Skeptics on NSA Reform: Beware the 'Backdoors and Loopholes'.
We can't solve this problem by limiting how the NSA is allowed to access massive dossiers about everyone. We need to prevent the accumulation of those databases.
ABC News in the US presented a "debate" about Snowden, with two guests that agreed in supporting massive surveillance and lying about Snowden.
The US announced plans to increase shipments of arms to the "moderate Syrian opposition".
Whatever kind of arms they get, a fraction will fall into the hands of al-Qa'ida groups that will either buy them (they are funded by Sa'udi Arabia!) or steal them. There is no way to support a just outcome in Syria by arming rebels.
Assad, evil as he is, is the lesser evil in Syria today. He is also winning, so opposing him means prolonging the war.
For the sake of the future, we should investigate whether the US helped or allowed Sa'udi Arabia to foment war in Syria, back when Syrians were doing peaceful protests for human rights.
Obama has allowed medical insurance plans to limit what they will pay for a procedure, dumping the rest of the cost on the patient.
US hospitals regularly gouge patients, and the only thing that limits what they charge is that insurance companies push the prices down. If this decision means that insurance companies won't do that, the result is that most Americans will be gouged, losing the biggest part of the benefit of medical coverage.
Uri Avnery on Palestinians' expulsion from Israel and their right to return.
Roundup seems to combine with metals in the soil (present in some regions) to cause kidney damage to farm workers.
A report condemned the way thugs in Quèbec attacked student protesters.
A mask is now available to fool face recognition cameras.
Some countries and some US states have banned masks, essentially making people helpless to resist surveillance by face-recognition cameras.
With most Britons owning houses, none of the main political parties cares about the suffering inflicted on the poor (who don't own houses).
Almost half the world's population lives in countries where it is a crime to be homosexual.
US citizens: Tell the government to protect parrotfish and endangered corals in the Caribbean.
US citizens: call on the US government to block federal funds to Texas until Texas implements federal requirements to protect prisoners from rape.
US citizens: ask your congresscritter to stop US government raids on state-authorized medical marijuana providers.
In Pakistan, people accused of "blasphemy", and lawyers that defend them, are murdered by Muslim fanatics.
I propose to the US (and any country) to require all immigrants, perhaps even visitors, to make public statements on video saying "I affirm people's right to criticize, mock, even insult any religion or view about religion, no matter who believes in it, even if you or I believe in it." Without making this statement, they would not be allowed entry.
This way, those unwilling to reject religious intolerance will not be allowed to bring it with them.
Portugal has obeyed banksters' orders to drive wages down, but the banksters say it has to knock them down even further.
China has adopted an enlightened policy against financing foreign projects that damage the environment, but Chinese banks disregard the policy.
An organized media campaign continues fabricating a false appearance of doubt about global heating.
Obama is no fool. Why did he appoint a telco man to head the FCC? He must have expected this to attack network neutrality. No wonder he fails to defend it now.
He's not just "missing in action", he has defected to the enemy.
Taking wealth from others gives a higher rate of return than producing wealth. We have to change that.
Millions have been killed by fighting between factions in the Congo, and the US keeps stirring it up because of the minerals there.
The major US ISPs threaten not to make any more investment if the FCC maintains network neutrality.
This article says they are bluffing.
If we give in to threats from businesses, they will push us around. We must treat them like any other bully and tell them that we will never give them what they want for threats. If they threaten us, we will make them regret it.
We could do as some other countries do, and separate the physical cables from ISP service. That way we could have a lot more competing ISPs that communicate over the same cables.
Microsoft lets the US government snoop directly on its "SkyDrive" storage system.
Letting a company keep your data is for clods. We could call it a clod storage system.
Coversnitch: snooping on the public as art.
In San Francisco, buses have microphones. In Canberra, taxis have microphones. Lampposts with microphones are being sold; where they have been installed, I don't know.
The US kept Briton Yunus Rahmatullah prisoner in Bagram Prison for 10 years with the connivance of the UK government. He has just now been freed.
10 admirable things about Uruguay's President Mujica.
Guantanamo prisoners' lawyers have sued to stop the Obama regime from destroying videos of force-feeding them, as well as the brutal way the guards grab these very weak memn from their cells.
A new US demand seems likely to make the nuclear negotiations with Iran fail.
US citizens: call on Obama to protect network neutrality from the FCC.
US citizens: tell your senators to vote against Michael Boggs.
The US obsession with an imaginary idea of "sexual predators" inspires policies that deny teenagers the chance to learn to deal with sexuality, while not helping much against real exploiters.
California voters: vote for Proposition 42 (local government transparency) on June 3.
US citizens: tell your elected officials not to listen to the National Restaurant Association's lobbying.
US citizens: call on your senators to support renewable energy measures in the EXPIRE act.
US citizens: call on the government to protect parrotfish and endangered corals in the Caribbean.
The US depends on Russian rocket engines which its own sanctions now forbid importing.
China's oil drilling in a disputed area has sparked deadly anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam.
Priests in Chile stole newborn babies, telling the unmarried mothers that the babies were born dead.
This wrong grew out of an underlying wrong. I expect that a considerable fraction of those women would have chosen to have an abortion, but abortion was banned by unjust laws. I think that remains the case.
Lawyers for the al-Jazeera journalists on trial in Egypt have been told it will cost them $150,000 to see secret "evidence" against them.
A report says the rate of US honeybee deaths decreased last winter, but it is still so high that it threatens to wipe them out.
Massive surveillance of Americans by the US government is linked to orders allowing military intervention against possible riots caused by likely future environmental disasters.
I've said that the US government is effectively a government of occupation, subjecting Americans to rule by the rich. Now it has a force of 20,000 soldiers to fight the American people on behalf of the rich.
California fires are behaving in May the way they normally would in October, due to heat and drought.
Now imagine it's 70 years from now, 4C hotter, and even drier, and firefighting equipment has broken down and we can't afford to replace it.
Glenn Greenwald: U.S. Corporate Media [are] "Neutered, Impotent and Obsolete".
The FCC is pushing ahead with its plan to kill network neutrality despite tremendous opposition.
It is not by mistake. That is their mission.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass the SAME Act which would make Social Security recognize all legal marriages.
US citizens: call on Obama not to permit export of crude oil from the US.
The US is #1 in bad treatment of new mothers.
We need to know why DHS is an NSA intelligence "customer", and what that means.
South Korea has started ordering ISPs to block web sites without a trial.
Victims call for regulation of air emissions from gas and oil wells.
Anonymous US officials reportedly admitted in an interview that Israel is blocking peace.
Big oil companies no longer bribe officials directly — they do it in subtle, indirect ways.
Ukraine is following a dangerous course by recruiting volunteer militias to fight separatists. They could so easily turn towards atrocities. Also, neo-Nazis will join these units even if the units are not officially aligned with neo-Nazis.
I suspect they will try to buy the electorate's favor with some sort of spending or short-term tax cut 4 months before the next election.
Prisoners in Guantanamo accuse the US of falsifying the number of hunger strikers and using force-feeding as a punishment.
In the US, workers doing the hardest and lowest-paid work are successfully organizing even though officially they have no right to unionize.
US citizens: call your congresscritters and senators to oppose HR. 6 and S. 2083, bills to authorize liquid natural gas export facilities.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Canadian mining companies harm the environment in Latin America, after bullying governments to allow it.
Israeli forces demolished some "illegal" settlement housing.
The fanatical settlers have generally got government support for their construction even for houses the government deems "illegal". (All the Israeli colonies in the West Bank are illegal under international law.)
Boko Haram: six reasons why the Nigerian militant group is so powerful.
Arguing for a tax on high-frequency stock trading.
Of course, one could go further and put a tax on all stock trading. Why not?
The International Criminal Court is investigating war crimes by the British Bush forces, based on evidence that the crimes were carried out following orders, not by rogue individuals.
Illegal logging is racing in Brazil, with the lumber passed off as legal.
In one state, over 3/4 of the timber is illegal.
Illegal logging is facilitated by a change in law imposed by arrogant business interests a few years ago.
Qatar admits almost 1000 foreign workers have died over the past two years.
California is emptying an aquifer, and this might cause a big earthquake.
The FBI agent who shot and killed Ibragim Todashev while interrogating him was a former thug with a history of violence.
If Todashev really attacked them, why did they have no video to show it?
Plutocratist politicians such as President Clinton smear supporters of democracy by comparing our position to "blood lust".
The latest educational fad in the US is trying to teach children better character, but there is no evidence that it works.
Israel used to reject negotiations with the PLO because it didn't represent all Palestinians. Now it rejects negotiations because the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation means the Palestinian Authority represents them all.
Israeli troops keep on shooting Palestinians even at a considerable distance inside the Gaza border.
US citizens: call on Holder to prosecute Wells Fargo for its foreclosure fraud.
On Press Freedom Day, Palestinian journalists held a protest against Israeli attacks on Palestinian journalists. Israeli forces attacked the protest.
The Jewish National Fund gives lots of money to Israeli colonization of the West Bank.
Palestinians are moving back to making houses of earth and roofs of straw. It's easier to rebuild if the Israeli army demolishes the house.
In the US: action against dirty fuels.
How the FCC will handle the issue of rules for network neutrality.
US women die in childbirth at three times the rate in Britain, due to lack of prenatal care, and government interference with abortion and birth control.
Abortion is considerably safer for the woman than childbirth. Forcing large numbers of poor women to go through childbirth when they wanted an abortion will kill a substantial number of them. But not most of them.
Most of them will begin raising a child they did not want and can't afford to take care of — which is going to cause lots of suffering.
Egypt has disappeared Abdullah Elshamy, an al-Jazeera journalist who has been imprisoned most of a year without charge.
The US also holds prisoners never charged with a crime who are on hunger strike, and tortures them every day.
Ukraine is starting to consider a federal approach to restore peace in the eastern region.
Now that the Endangered Species Act has enabled the recovery of the wolf population in parts of the US, the US government has decided to let hunters wipe them out again.
The return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park was not enough to enable willows and beavers to return. The problem is, each one has trouble surviving if the other is not present.
The coal company government in Australia says it will cancel many research projects in clean energy and conservation.
Also it will stop concerning itself with how coal mines pollute water.
Anything at all for the coal companies.
Teenage tobacco-pickers in the US become nicotine addicts by absorbing it through their skin. They often get sick — perhaps from pesticide exposure.
US citizens: Call on congresscritters to co-sponsor the bills for single-payer health care.
US transportation infrastructure is falling apart because Republicans reject increasing the gasoline tax to make drivers pay for fixing it.
Of course, the fossil fuel lobby is at work here. Increased tax on fossil fuels would lead to using less of them, so if you aim to keep consumption at a maximum, you would naturally oppose that tax.
A free software activist finds that around half the emails he sends go to Gmail addresses, and that gives Google too much data about him.
Some people will look at this and argue that we should give up. That's bad logic. Keeping half your email away from companies that do tracking is a good first step, in any case. The point is, we need to go further.
Before we start a campaign for people to move their email to a service other than Gmail, for the sake of their friends' privacy, we need to find a good replacement to recommend. Running your own email server is good but too difficult for most people. The Freedom Box project aims to make that easy, but it isn't entirely ready.
The easiest thing would be an email service like Lavabit in a country that won't cooperate with snooping by the US government or the government of the country where you live.
Calling these thugs "law enforcement" gives them excessive respect, which is self-defeating for any attempt to restrain their power. It also misrepresent facts, such as that thugs frequently commit crimes, often gross bodily harm followed by perjury, and then enjoy impunity.
A plan shows how the US could convert to nearly 100% renewable energy for electricity and heating, by 2050, if the Koch brothers don't stop it.
1/3 of Americans fear they would be tortured if arrested — and they have reason for fear.
Since one had perhaps committed robbery with a gun, it was legitimate to treat them as probably armed and dangerous. That doesn't excuse using them as shooting gallery targets.
A study finds that heavy users of mobile phones are 3 times as likely to get brain cancer as other people.
Whether this is important depends on how frequent these types of brain cancer normally are. If the phone changes a .01% chance into a .03% chance, neither one is really worth worrying about.
Tax data confirm UK economic growth benefits only the top 1%.
This is what the plutocrats' economists call a "recovery" which is why economics students rebel against that sort of economics.
China is arresting dissidents because the 25th anniversary of the massacre of students at Tiananmen Square is approaching.
In Australia, everyone will feel the pain of the new budget, but it falls mostly on the poor.
That's what plutocratists do.
The UK government is trying to accelerate the inundation of London by cutting subsidies for solar farms.
The European Court of Justice ruled that Google Search must stop showing links to old personal information about people that demand it.
Indeed, it could point the way to limiting massive surveillance.
A US coal mine with a history of violating safety rules killed two miners.
Putin threatens to retaliate for US sanctions by ending cooperation over the International Space Station.
Search engines have substantial influence over elections — enough to control the outcome in races that are only fairly close.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say, "Don't give portable anti-aircraft missiles to Islamist fanatics in Syria".
The last US president who did this was Ronald Reagan, who encouraged terrorism against Americans by rewarding Islamist hostage-takers with similar missiles.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Glenn Greenwald: from Martin Luther King to Anonymous, the state targets dissenters not just "bad guys".
It's not just in digital surveillance that the state attacks dissidents. Look at how the US repressed unions.
While the tendency to harass predominantly members of minority groups demonstrates the nastiness of the practice, random harassment would not be any more legitimate if it were done equally to people of all races. And it would still fall disproportionately on the non-rich.
Israel regularly puts Palestinian children in solitary confinement.
It probably makes them confess — whether guilty or not.
In effect, the US has returned a substantial fraction of blacks to slavery by putting them in prison. Privatized prisons in the US make $20,000 a year from each prisoner by using them as slaves.
This is the result of the insufficient taxes on business, together with pressure for a "small state" which won't protect us from business.
Pesticide companies are using tobacco business tactics to distort science and mislead the public.
Australia asked the US to spy on Australians.
The Free-Trade Regime: Oligarchy in Action.
If Obama were not the oligarchs' man, he would not be supporting the TPP.
FCC Commissioner Wheeler was shocked by the opposition to his plans to attack network neutrality, so he is proposing cosmetic changes to confuse the matter.
The one who is really at fault here is Obama, for appointing someone who was a lobbyist for the telecom companies that this plan favors, and apparently still considers himself one. Obama should have known Wheeler would try to do the wrong thing. I expect Obama did know, and intended this outcome.
Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers.
The increase of poverty in the US has increased domestic violence against women.
Florida Couple Fined $746 For Crime Of Feeding Homeless People.
By enforcing this unjust law, thug chief Chitwood makes himself personally responsible for the injustice he carries out. He ought to quit rather than enforce that law.
The heartless people that passed the law are probably Republicans and responsible for the cruel policies that make people homeless. Then they kick those people when they are down.
They deserve to be sentenced to a year of homelessness.
Low-wage work keeps workers busy for so many hours that they have no time to study new skills. (Even supposing they can afford to.)
It is unethical for universities to entrust their computing and email to Microsoft services because this exposes them to surveillance.
In addition, letting someone else's server do your computing means you lose control over that computing. This is known as Service as a Software Substitute.
Microsoft services also involve running nonfree software.
By the way, the article falls into confusion when it calls services "products". A product is something physical that you buy, own, and take home.
Toxic chemicals that can cause breast cancer are all around us.
The boat to carry exports from Gaza will be repaired.
Estonia is using internet voting, and naturally its security is ludicrous.
You must not trust a computer for voting, not even a computer inside a voting machine.
Endocrine disruptors in food packaging and toothpaste interfere with human sperm.
This is very useful since it could help curb human overpopulation. That will help avoid the collapse of technological civilization. We will then be able to replace these ingredients, once they have brought the human population down to a safe level such as 500 million.
US citizens: Support Senator Warren's college finance bill.
US citizens: call on Obama and Holder not to imprison reporter James Risen.
Risen is ready to go to prison to avoid putting a whistleblower in danger. The US government is wrong to try to make this necessary.
US citizens: call on the USDA not to approve another neonicotinoid-like pesticide.
Some US states ban people from wearing masks in public.
In the age of massive surveillance, such laws are an intolerable injustice. Ban surveillance systems or legalize masks!
Zero-hours contracts tend to intimidate workers so they abandon their rights.
The truce in South Sudan did not last long.
Many professional organizations, and even organizations for worthy causes, have been corrupted by money from business.
Investing in energy efficiency is a way to reduce pollution while boosting the economy.
Iranian women are protesting religious oppression by posting photos of their unveiled faces.
Gentrification of slums in Rio de Janeiro has forced thousands of poor people into squatting.
This requires a two-pronged solution: increased house construction and reduced birth rate.
Recent research dispels the last hope that the complexities of the Earth's system would reduce the heating caused by a given amount of greenhouse gas.
To avoid catastrophic heating we must emit less greenhouse gas. However, the heating-denial machine keeps rolling on to make sure the Earth does not escape the Koch brothers' intended doom.
The Western Antarctic ice sheet is melting, and it will eventually raise sea level up to 4 meters (13 feet).
It will take centuries, but many great cities will be drowned. I think Miami will be little loss, but New York, Washington DC and Boston will be a shame, not to mention London, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Way to go, Koch brothers. Can the landowners that will be flooded out sue you now for the decrease in their property values?
exporting natural gas from the US.
on your senators to support the Smarter Sentencing Act.
The UK has
export of repression equipment to several repressive regimes.
As part of Obama's War on Journalism, Barrett Brown pled guilty to
to unauthorized access" to Stratfor's computers.
He was reporting on what was found.
Obama's example: a journalist is being imprisoned for publishing
Amazon demonstrates its dangerous power by
This is one of many reasons you should not buy from
We defeated SOPA/PIPA, but legislators that serve the copyright
industry are trying to
advertising networks into dropping clients accused of facilitating
While I oppose this intimidation campaign, those ad networks are evil
One ISP has
the FCC's web site to low speed access as a form of protest
against the FCC's attack on network neutrality.
This demonstrates how any ISP will be able to slow down access
to sites it does not like.
of Boko Haram.
The idea of Algeria's supporting that organization and other Islamists
seems implausible on its face. Is there any other evidence to support
One Israeli soldier was disciplined, apparently, for embarrassing the
a Palestinian while a camera was watching. Thousands of soldiers
responded by expressing support for the soldier. They openly say
nobody should be punished for abusing Palestinians.
On ABC television,
advertising counts as news.
The Koch brothers are
to spend over a hundred million dollars to buy the next US
Obama's Orwellian order: US intelligence officials are
even to acknowledge the fact that Snowden told us something.
Legalization of prostitution in Germany
ended mistreatment of prostitutes by their employers, including
forcing them to work too much, stealing their pay, and stopping them
It should not surprise us that this happens in prostitution also.
I don't think this is a reason for criminalization of prostitutes or
their customers, any more than it is a reason to criminalize factories
or their customers. Rather, governments must do more to prevent abuse
of all kinds of workers. In some cases this requires additional
regulation of employers designed specifically to prevent abuses.
The Mozilla Foundation proposed a weak halfhearted network neutrality:
connections to servers a common carrier but not the connections with
users (the ISPs' customers).
The intended result of this is to block one specific abuse —
discrimination by ISPs among web servers — without blocking other
abuses directly against internet users. For instance, ISPs would
still be allowed to punish their customers at the request of the
No thanks, Mozilla Foundation.
Alexander Aan, imprisoned in Indonesia for saying he was an Atheist,
been released from prison. He still faces the threat of murder
from Muslim fanatics.
Punishing the victims of religious hostility for "instigating" it is
like punishing women for "instigating" rape. Oh right, these
religious fanatics would probably do that too.
Before his sentencing, Aan let down the cause of religious freedom in
Indonesia by apologizing for his "crime" and officially converting to
Chelsea Manning's apology, that gave the enemy a victory that it
could never have got on its own.
Right-wing ideology calls for a "small state" in regard to help for
the non-rich and regulating business, and
state" in regard to welfare for the rich and punishing the rest.
opposite on each of the four points.
Israel's fanatical "settlers"
to clash with the state.
Usually they attack
the "security" forces support them.
The "referendum" in Donetsk seems to
free nor fair.
It is Putinesque bullshit.
Need a Revolution in the Way We Teach Economics.
The article doesn't mention that neoclassical economics tends to
promote policies that harm the non-rich.
Bottles are being
plastic retrieved from the ocean, but this is a tiny fraction of
the plastic waste that continues to enter the ocean.
Uganda's anti-gay law
harassment and violence against gays, at a rate far exceeding the
application of the law itself.
Glenn Greenwald writes about
to reveal Snowden's name, and what happened after he did.
With hindsight, I think it would have been advisable for them to wait
for Snowden to reach a safer refuge before revealing his name.
No Sense of Urgency: Obama's
Energy Commitments Are Still Just Baby Steps.
US citizens: call on Congress
the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
A worker in the Walmart that Obama visited reports what it's like to
to rent a place to live or pay for medical tests because Walmart is so
bad to workers.
In the US: call on Home Depot and Lowe's
selling neonicotinoid pesticides, since they endanger bees.
vote for Ellen Brown for state treasurer.
Big pharma companies
ride on public research funds while dodging their own taxes.
To make giant "US" corporations pay their taxes instead of "deferring"
them, we could
impose a tax
on deferring taxes.
Most of Europe has submitted stupidly to the power of the European
Patent Office, which imposes software patents, but
has a chance to escape.
to force law students to rent a textbook for a year and then
For the moment, the publisher has backed down, but we need to organize
publishers from distributing ebooks this way. The right of first
sale should be extended to ebooks.
It's fatuous to ask whether massive surveillance "works" for some
purpose (even preventing real terrorism), because it
people's ability to think.
Studying the underpinnings of
Some servers collect so much information about users that they
anticipate what users want.
If your own computer, running free software, made these
suggestions, it would not be dangerous.
A Hong Kong publisher of books banned in China has been
in China for "smuggling industrial chemicals".
I wonder what evidence they could possible have to prove that he has
smuggled these chemicals on multiple occasions. Did they repeatedly
inspect his baggage? Or are they making it up?
Albuquerque residents tried to do a
arrest of the city's chief thug.
Giant Indonesian companies use
companies in British colonies for tax evasion.
The full solution is for the victim countries to change their tax laws
so that businesses can't send their profits out without paying tax.
In the US:
on Yahoo to stop dishonest ads for crisis pregnancy centers.
More CO2 in the air promotes plant growth, but it also
promotes microbes that convert soil carbon into CO2, and
Nigeria had 4 hours' warning that Islamist fanatics were planning to
kidnap schoolgirls, but
not try to stop them.
Rebels in South Sudan and the government have
If Putin keeps attacking human rights in Russia, Belarus may cease to
A controlled experiment ties the death of bee colonies directly to
The US government report on
global heating and
its effects, present and predicted.
of how US temperatures have been changed.
A committee of UK MPs calls
of the oversight of intelligence agencies, citing Snowden as the
A Republican federal judge is trying to shut down an investigation
in Wisconsin Republican fund-raising.
The UK government's opportunistic attacks on benefits
the rate of evictions to a 10-year record.
One of the 16,000 political prisoners in Egypt is a US citizen.
Soltan has been on hunger strike for 100 days.
tax to build up a reserve to spend in bad times. A public bank
could do the same job.
Pressuring the US government to try to rescue the girls kidnaped in
do harm rather than good.
It appears that the peoples
the most feel the least concern about what they do to the natural
an intensive effort to end female genital mutilation; agents talk
with families that seem to be leaving on a trip to carry this out.
I wonder if similar efforts might be effective against human
trafficking. Often that relies on victims' ignorance of what is
really likely to happen to them.
US citizens: call on the EPA
endangered Florida panthers from oil extraction.
The petition for a referendum to ban drilling in the Yasuni
on the grounds that many signatures were invalid.
on Congress to defeat the "Regulatory Fairness Act".
US citizens: phone your senators to block David Barron's confirmation
as a judge until Obama complies with the court order to
publish the gist of the assassination memo Barron wrote.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and
It is useful to report the results of your calls
Foreign Policy, but their pages sometimes fail to run with
your call, or
use LibreJS, and
complain to Just Foreign Policy if the page does not function that
Alberta (Canada) is holding required hearings on a new oil extraction
project but has
environmental groups and indigenous peoples.
It's equivalent to saying, "Favorable testimony only," but without
admitting that's what it is.
The Alberta government has taken the side of the oil companies against
the people. It is that simple.
Stanford University has
divest from 100 companies whose business focuses on coal.
of the 12 jurors in the Cecily McMillan trial have written to the
judge asking him not to sentence her to prison.
The EFF explains why the USA Freedom Act, just approved by the
way short of what is needed to protect privacy in the limited context
of phone calls.
More about the
702" excuse for surveillance.
Snapchat has admitted its messages
in fact be saved.
The attempt to prevent them from being saved is a kind of DRM. In
effect, the goal of Snapchat is to give the message's sender control
over what the message's receiver's computer does with the message. As
always, that requires nonfree software and a secret communications
They should distrust all three.
companies participated in the US snatch-and-torture network in
Pope Francis has not given support to the
nuns that are being punished for focusing more on social justice
rather than on attacking abortion.
Business lobbyists have gained a lot of influence in the European
Parliament, and a revolving door has started where
We should demand our candidates pledge not to work for business
lobbies after they leave office.
If the investors were in danger of losing their money, we would have
no reason to care about that. But they won't give up so easily. They
have a lot of money, and they are using it in
ways to make sure we remain on track towards global heating
Obama joins Republicans in
myth that charter schools are good for students.
What they are good for is profit.
Right-wing members of the US Supreme Court tend to uphold free speech
for the wealthy and right-wing.
The USA Freedom Act was
by the House Judiciary Committee, somewhat weakened.
It is a significant step forward, but
near enough to restore privacy rights on the Internet.
Although Seattle has approved a $15/hr minimum wage, greedy bastards
in business are still
to delay and undermine the policy.
Measures to help working people (more generally, regulation of
business) can backfire, but often they are very helpful. However,
each time a measure is proposed, the greedy bastards will always come
up with an excuse to claim that it will backfire. Occasionally the
claim is valid; usually it is bogus.
They construct a bogus claim by cherry-picking the evidence and the
arguments, adding some lies when they think they can get away with it.
When it becomes clear, later, that the claim was bogus, they pay no
Therefore, we must never believe claims by a business or its
mouthpieces that regulating the business will hurt the public. They
are inherently untrustworthy on the matter,
To find out which measures really might backfire, we must get advice
from someone they have not corrupted.
An increasing level of CO2 makes many food crops
nutritious in iron, zinc and protein.
This won't affect the world's rich; we get plenty of iron and zinc and
too much protein. But it will be a disaster for billions of poor.
Raif Badawi has been sentenced to
lashes of the whip, and ten years in prison, for starting a web
site to discuss (i.e., question) the role of religion in Saudi Arabia.
I am not sure whether a sentence of 1000 lashes is fatal, or whether
it is meant to be fatal. Does anyone know?
Saudi Arabia needs regime change.
Update: 1000 lashes are usually not fatal if they are done
per week. But you might wish you were dead.
After a marijuana legalization campaign meeting in Australia,
86 people for driving under the influence of marijuana, on the
pretense that doing so is dangerous.
There is no evidence for that claim,
indication that marijuana makes driving less safe.
Getting a driver's license in the US takes a lot of time — and
poor people often
afford to do that just to vote. The point of voter ID laws is to
take advantage of this.
US pot farmers are
Mexican pot farmers out of business.
A study of unauthorized sharing computes by extrapolation that the
fines demanded by the copyright industry total about
times the world's GDP.
It is not valid to extrapolate from Finland to the whole world. I
expect that at least half the world's population has never received a
copy of any song or movie over the internet. But even if we suppose
that only 16% of the world's population behaves like Finns, the fines
would still equal the world's GDP.
Please don't refer to unauthorized sharing as "piracy". That's a
smear term promoted by the publishers that make these bogus claims
about "losses". Every time you refer to sharing as "piracy", you
give them very helpful support.
I reserve the term "pirate" to refer to someone that raids ships.
Using the word "steal" to refer to making a copy is likewise
propaganda, as well as evidently false.
Comcast is trying to destroy the
of billing that makes competing ISPs possible. And the Comcast
merger would give it more power to do this.
A new surveillance and security threat: the US government's
When universities cease to run their own email servers and force
students onto gmail, that is part of massive surveillance on campus.
The W3C is
ineffective at resisting the demands of businesses to pervert the
World Wide Web.
Putin said that the referendum pro-Russia separatists plan to hold
of Eastern Ukraine should be postponed.
I don't see anything wrong with adopting a federal structure in
Ukraine, offering that and other regions more autonomy. It could
result in more democracy, in addition to possibly satisfying the
concerns of ethnic Russians in the eastern part.
I speculated some weeks ago that Putin was
this second crisis so that, by eventually giving in, he could get
the world's attention off the Crimea.
US citizens: call on your senators to support the Smarter Sentencing Act.
The UK has authorized export of repression equipment to several repressive regimes.
As part of Obama's War on Journalism, Barrett Brown pled guilty to being an "accessory to unauthorized access" to Stratfor's computers.
He was reporting on what was found.
China is following Obama's example: a journalist is being imprisoned for publishing leaks.
Amazon demonstrates its dangerous power by punishing one publisher.
This is one of many reasons you should not buy from Amazon.
We defeated SOPA/PIPA, but legislators that serve the copyright industry are trying to bully advertising networks into dropping clients accused of facilitating sharing.
While I oppose this intimidation campaign, those ad networks are evil because they track people.
One ISP has consigned the FCC's web site to low speed access as a form of protest against the FCC's attack on network neutrality.
This demonstrates how any ISP will be able to slow down access to sites it does not like.
On the background of Boko Haram.
The idea of Algeria's supporting that organization and other Islamists seems implausible on its face. Is there any other evidence to support the claim?
One Israeli soldier was disciplined, apparently, for embarrassing the state by abusing a Palestinian while a camera was watching. Thousands of soldiers responded by expressing support for the soldier. They openly say nobody should be punished for abusing Palestinians.
On ABC television, Disney advertising counts as news.
The Koch brothers are prepared to spend over a hundred million dollars to buy the next US election.
Obama's Orwellian order: US intelligence officials are forbidden even to acknowledge the fact that Snowden told us something.
Legalization of prostitution in Germany has not ended mistreatment of prostitutes by their employers, including forcing them to work too much, stealing their pay, and stopping them from quitting.
It should not surprise us that this happens in prostitution also.
I don't think this is a reason for criminalization of prostitutes or their customers, any more than it is a reason to criminalize factories or their customers. Rather, governments must do more to prevent abuse of all kinds of workers. In some cases this requires additional regulation of employers designed specifically to prevent abuses.
The Mozilla Foundation proposed a weak halfhearted network neutrality: to declare ISPs' connections to servers a common carrier but not the connections with users (the ISPs' customers).
The intended result of this is to block one specific abuse — discrimination by ISPs among web servers — without blocking other abuses directly against internet users. For instance, ISPs would still be allowed to punish their customers at the request of the copyright industry.
No thanks, Mozilla Foundation.
Alexander Aan, imprisoned in Indonesia for saying he was an Atheist, has been released from prison. He still faces the threat of murder from Muslim fanatics.
Punishing the victims of religious hostility for "instigating" it is like punishing women for "instigating" rape. Oh right, these religious fanatics would probably do that too.
Before his sentencing, Aan let down the cause of religious freedom in Indonesia by apologizing for his "crime" and officially converting to Islam. Like Chelsea Manning's apology, that gave the enemy a victory that it could never have got on its own.
Right-wing ideology calls for a "small state" in regard to help for the non-rich and regulating business, and a "big state" in regard to welfare for the rich and punishing the rest.
Justice is the opposite on each of the four points.
Israel's fanatical "settlers" are starting to clash with the state.
Usually they attack Palestinians, and the "security" forces support them.
The "referendum" in Donetsk seems to be neither free nor fair.
It is Putinesque bullshit.
After the Crash, We Need a Revolution in the Way We Teach Economics.
The article doesn't mention that neoclassical economics tends to promote policies that harm the non-rich.
Bottles are being made using plastic retrieved from the ocean, but this is a tiny fraction of the plastic waste that continues to enter the ocean.
Uganda's anti-gay law has encouraged harassment and violence against gays, at a rate far exceeding the application of the law itself.
Glenn Greenwald writes about the decision to reveal Snowden's name, and what happened after he did.
With hindsight, I think it would have been advisable for them to wait for Snowden to reach a safer refuge before revealing his name.
No Sense of Urgency: Obama's New Solar Energy Commitments Are Still Just Baby Steps.
US citizens: call on Congress to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
A worker in the Walmart that Obama visited reports what it's like to be unable to rent a place to live or pay for medical tests because Walmart is so bad to workers.
In the US: call on Home Depot and Lowe's to stop selling neonicotinoid pesticides, since they endanger bees.
In California: vote for Ellen Brown for state treasurer.
Big pharma companies free ride on public research funds while dodging their own taxes.
To make giant "US" corporations pay their taxes instead of "deferring" them, we could impose a tax on deferring taxes.
Most of Europe has submitted stupidly to the power of the European Patent Office, which imposes software patents, but Denmark has a chance to escape.
A publisher tried to force law students to rent a textbook for a year and then surrender it.
For the moment, the publisher has backed down, but we need to organize to stop publishers from distributing ebooks this way. The right of first sale should be extended to ebooks.
It's fatuous to ask whether massive surveillance "works" for some purpose (even preventing real terrorism), because it oppresses people's ability to think.
Studying the underpinnings of unconscious prejudice.
Some servers collect so much information about users that they can anticipate what users want.
If your own computer, running free software, made these suggestions, it would not be dangerous.
A Hong Kong publisher of books banned in China has been imprisoned in China for "smuggling industrial chemicals".
I wonder what evidence they could possible have to prove that he has smuggled these chemicals on multiple occasions. Did they repeatedly inspect his baggage? Or are they making it up?
Albuquerque residents tried to do a citizen's arrest of the city's chief thug.
Giant Indonesian companies use shell companies in British colonies for tax evasion.
The full solution is for the victim countries to change their tax laws so that businesses can't send their profits out without paying tax.
In the US: call on Yahoo to stop dishonest ads for crisis pregnancy centers.
More CO2 in the air promotes plant growth, but it also promotes microbes that convert soil carbon into CO2, and they cancel out.
Nigeria had 4 hours' warning that Islamist fanatics were planning to kidnap schoolgirls, but did not try to stop them.
Rebels in South Sudan and the government have signed a truce.
If Putin keeps attacking human rights in Russia, Belarus may cease to be special.
A controlled experiment ties the death of bee colonies directly to neonicotinoid pesticides.
The US government report on global heating and its effects, present and predicted.
A map of how US temperatures have been changed.
A committee of UK MPs calls for reorganization of the oversight of intelligence agencies, citing Snowden as the impetus.
A Republican federal judge is trying to shut down an investigation into corruption in Wisconsin Republican fund-raising.
The UK government's opportunistic attacks on benefits have pushed the rate of evictions to a 10-year record.
One of the 16,000 political prisoners in Egypt is a US citizen. Mohamed Soltan has been on hunger strike for 100 days.
California considers an additional tax to build up a reserve to spend in bad times. A public bank could do the same job.
Pressuring the US government to try to rescue the girls kidnaped in Nigeria can do harm rather than good.
It appears that the peoples that consume the most feel the least concern about what they do to the natural world.
The UK is making an intensive effort to end female genital mutilation; agents talk with families that seem to be leaving on a trip to carry this out.
I wonder if similar efforts might be effective against human trafficking. Often that relies on victims' ignorance of what is really likely to happen to them.
US citizens: call on the EPA to protect endangered Florida panthers from oil extraction.
The petition for a referendum to ban drilling in the Yasuni was rejected on the grounds that many signatures were invalid.
US citizens: call on Congress to defeat the "Regulatory Fairness Act".
US citizens: phone your senators to block David Barron's confirmation as a judge until Obama complies with the court order to publish the gist of the assassination memo Barron wrote.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Alberta (Canada) is holding required hearings on a new oil extraction project but has barred environmental groups and indigenous peoples.
It's equivalent to saying, "Favorable testimony only," but without admitting that's what it is.
The Alberta government has taken the side of the oil companies against the people. It is that simple.
Stanford University has pledged to divest from 100 companies whose business focuses on coal.
9 of the 12 jurors in the Cecily McMillan trial have written to the judge asking him not to sentence her to prison.
The EFF explains why the USA Freedom Act, just approved by the Judiciary Committee, falls way short of what is needed to protect privacy in the limited context of phone calls.
More about the "Section 702" excuse for surveillance.
Snapchat has admitted its messages can in fact be saved.
The attempt to prevent them from being saved is a kind of DRM. In effect, the goal of Snapchat is to give the message's sender control over what the message's receiver's computer does with the message. As always, that requires nonfree software and a secret communications protocol.
They should distrust all three.
US companies participated in the US snatch-and-torture network in Africa.
Pope Francis has not given support to the US nuns that are being punished for focusing more on social justice rather than on attacking abortion.
Business lobbyists have gained a lot of influence in the European Parliament, and a revolving door has started where ex-MPs become lobbyists.
We should demand our candidates pledge not to work for business lobbies after they leave office.
If the investors were in danger of losing their money, we would have no reason to care about that. But they won't give up so easily. They have a lot of money, and they are using it in many ways to make sure we remain on track towards global heating disaster.
Obama joins Republicans in endorsing the myth that charter schools are good for students.
What they are good for is profit.
Right-wing members of the US Supreme Court tend to uphold free speech preferentially for the wealthy and right-wing.
The USA Freedom Act was approved by the House Judiciary Committee, somewhat weakened.
It is a significant step forward, but nowhere near enough to restore privacy rights on the Internet.
Although Seattle has approved a $15/hr minimum wage, greedy bastards in business are still fighting to delay and undermine the policy.
Measures to help working people (more generally, regulation of business) can backfire, but often they are very helpful. However, each time a measure is proposed, the greedy bastards will always come up with an excuse to claim that it will backfire. Occasionally the claim is valid; usually it is bogus.
They construct a bogus claim by cherry-picking the evidence and the arguments, adding some lies when they think they can get away with it. When it becomes clear, later, that the claim was bogus, they pay no penalty.
Therefore, we must never believe claims by a business or its mouthpieces that regulating the business will hurt the public. They are inherently untrustworthy on the matter,
To find out which measures really might backfire, we must get advice from someone they have not corrupted.
An increasing level of CO2 makes many food crops less nutritious in iron, zinc and protein.
This won't affect the world's rich; we get plenty of iron and zinc and too much protein. But it will be a disaster for billions of poor.
Raif Badawi has been sentenced to 1000 lashes of the whip, and ten years in prison, for starting a web site to discuss (i.e., question) the role of religion in Saudi Arabia.
I am not sure whether a sentence of 1000 lashes is fatal, or whether it is meant to be fatal. Does anyone know?
Saudi Arabia needs regime change.
Update: 1000 lashes are usually not fatal if they are done 50 per week. But you might wish you were dead.
After a marijuana legalization campaign meeting in Australia, the thugs arrested 86 people for driving under the influence of marijuana, on the pretense that doing so is dangerous.
There is no evidence for that claim, no indication that marijuana makes driving less safe.
Getting a driver's license in the US takes a lot of time — and poor people often can't afford to do that just to vote. The point of voter ID laws is to take advantage of this.
US pot farmers are putting Mexican pot farmers out of business.
A study of unauthorized sharing computes by extrapolation that the fines demanded by the copyright industry total about 6 times the world's GDP.
It is not valid to extrapolate from Finland to the whole world. I expect that at least half the world's population has never received a copy of any song or movie over the internet. But even if we suppose that only 16% of the world's population behaves like Finns, the fines would still equal the world's GDP.
Please don't refer to unauthorized sharing as "piracy". That's a smear term promoted by the publishers that make these bogus claims about "losses". Every time you refer to sharing as "piracy", you give them very helpful support.
I reserve the term "pirate" to refer to someone that raids ships.
Using the word "steal" to refer to making a copy is likewise propaganda, as well as evidently false.
Comcast is trying to destroy the practice of billing that makes competing ISPs possible. And the Comcast merger would give it more power to do this.
A new surveillance and security threat: the US government's one-size-fits-all internet ID.
When universities cease to run their own email servers and force students onto gmail, that is part of massive surveillance on campus.
The W3C is mostly ineffective at resisting the demands of businesses to pervert the World Wide Web.
Putin said that the referendum pro-Russia separatists plan to hold about secession of Eastern Ukraine should be postponed.
I don't see anything wrong with adopting a federal structure in Ukraine, offering that and other regions more autonomy. It could result in more democracy, in addition to possibly satisfying the concerns of ethnic Russians in the eastern part.
I speculated some weeks ago that Putin was provoking this second crisis so that, by eventually giving in, he could get the world's attention off the Crimea.
Republican and Democratic populists are converging on common political points.
End the failed "war on drugs", say five winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics.
I'm glad they have had the daring to speak up.
US citizens: phone your senators to oppose the nomination of Michael Boggs as a federal judge.
He voted for a state bill to interfere with abortion.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Two thugs in Dallas shot, separately, people who were no threat to them or anyone, then made false accusations against them.
This is not news; this is standard practice. What's news is, these thugs are being prosecuted.
Israeli Arabs face repression for criticizing the government on the internet.
Israeli holidays are accompanied by total curfew on Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Arab-Israeli journalist Majd Kayyal remains under house arrest for visiting Lebanon.
Non-Arab Israelis that visit Lebanon don't get prosecuted.
Israeli soldiers arrested several Palestinian youths armed with video cameras who were suffering harassment from Israeli expansionists.
One Israeli politician sees hope for peace in the reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas.
A village of Bedouin shepherds near Jericho faces expulsion by Israel, which has been squeezing them for 8 years.
Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes doesn't always ignore Israeli law. Sometimes it proceeds by stretching the law.
Of course, the law itself is unjust.
US citizens: call on the EPA to establish stricter standards for exposure to pesticides.
The Thai constitutional court ordered Prime Minister Shinawatra to step down.
The US and UK are offering support to fight Boko Haram.
I doubt that rescuing these girls, as such, is possible. Defeating Boko Haram might be possible somehow. I am in favor of it in principle, but it is easier said than done.
Australia tows boat people into Indonesian waters after putting them into lifeboats from which some safety equipment has been removed.
The threat to the Great Barrier Reef from planned dredging is even greater than previously reported.
Is Ben and Jerry's still campaigning against this? Can anyone tell me?
Australia's government is eager to cut support for the poor so it can maintain subsidies for fossil fuels.
If plans are carried out, there will be 400 dams in the Amazon region. Their ecological consequences have not been studied.
Emily Letts posted a video of her abortion to show how safe it was.
In Afghanistan, abortion substitutes for birth control.
The merger should be blocked, as all mergers of large companies should be blocked, for the sake of competition and to reduce lobbying power. The right fix for this reduction in taxes is to eliminate the tax deduction that this merger would take advantage of.
If companies were taxed at a progressive rate, it would give them an incentive not to merge.
A proposal for restoring peace in Ukraine.
Is facial recognition arriving at the point of total tracking of people on the street?
Global heating is inundating the land of some native peoples in Alaska, leaving them nowhere to go.
Global heating threatens electric power generation.
Poaching in Africa is enabled by corruption of the officials who are supposed to prevent it.
Unfortunately, anything that is illegal and sells for a high price tends to encourage corruption. (As illegal drugs do.)
Since the drugs really work, and some are addictive, while neither is true for ivory and rhino horn, I hope it is easier to reduce demand for the latter two.
An Australian organization that raises funds for the right-wing ruling party from business advertises it is selling the opportunity to meet with Australia's treasurer. But he says he's going to sue a newspaper that said he was for sale.
It appears that NATO countries are regularly bombing in Libya.
Global heating effects in the US are causing harm in areas from agriculture to allergies.
Norway has admitted snubbing the Dalai Lama to suck up to China.
Poverty And Inequality, Not Teachers, Are the Drivers of Deficits in Education.
Uighurs in China, who were resisting Chinese domination, are turning to terrorism and might take up Islamist extremism too.
Mubarak's party's leaders have been banned from running for office in Egypt.
They probably discredited themselves, but no more than al-Sisi's supporters have.
Ukraine's neo-Nazis continue to play a role.
How the RIAA and its masters, the record factories, shaft older musicians while using them as an excuse to attack.
A lot more detail about the trial and conviction of Cecily McMillan.
It appears that the jurors voted to convict her because the video did not seem to support her statements of what happened. Reportedly it might not be clear enough to show what happened.
A arrogant Brazilian politician boasts of representing the political power of agribusiness, and says they will destroy anything and everything that gets in their way (indigenous people, rain forests, wildlife, probably human rights).
These are the sort of people that would tear Earth's ecosphere to shreds trying to get a bigger share for themselves.
Australia's offshore prison for boat people is a hell-hole.
US TV stations are supposed to require political advertisers to post information, but many stations are ignoring the requirement.
It appears that some Canadian telco is giving the government access to each and every packet that is transmitted.
US telcos do the same.
They say "smart" phones are addictive, but maybe it's just that businesses force their staff to use them all the time.
The article shows evidence that this practice makes employees less productive. If that convinces some companies to stop making their employees work an 80-hour week, that's good. But protecting workers from exploitation should not depend on convincing employers that exploiting them is counterproductive.
What we really need is a labor movement strong enough to force companies to stop exploiting workers, as we saw recently in France.
The problem of interruptions only occurs if you are notified immediately when a message arrives. I spend all day reading my emails and answering some of them, but I only get new mail when I connect and ask for it. Thus, it never interrupts me.
US citizens: phone your senators and urge them to allow master limited partnerships for renewable energy.
US citizens, and anyone in medical fields: call on the American Pharmacists Association to stop its members from supporting inhumane executions.
Everyone: call on Shell to stop working with Gazprom and stop undersea Arctic drilling.
US citizens: call on Obama to protect the habitat of sage grouse. This will also protect other species that live in the same habitat.
A little more global heating could unlock 3-4 meters of sea level rise. It will take millenia for all of this rise to happen, but it will be unstoppable even if we lower the CO2 level back down.
A spinoff of the RIAA is illegally lobbying for stricter copyright rules for radio stations.
The idea that she made these statements out of ignorance is unbelievable. She must have thought long and hard about what she would say, and these statements represent her allegiance to the security state.
Her support for unjust power extends to other issues too, so I will not support her or vote for her. If she is the Democratic nominee for President, I will vote Green.
An employee of WIPO accused a director of misconduct, but WIPO has wiped the report off the net by threatening lawsuits.
Almost 1/3 of US women who survive breast cancer have lost their jobs in 4 years.
The right-wing party governing of Queensland (Australia) has put a coal company in charge of its environmental policy since 2012.
Piketty has neglected the detailed causes of the temporary 20th century setback for the power of the wealthy. Studying them suggests ideas for how to repeat that setback.
Faux News explicitly asked a guest on a show not to talk about climate change (global heating).
Toddlers have an impulse to help others. Modern materialistic society can teach them to lose it.
US citizens: phone your senators to give renewable energy the same tax benefits that fossil fuels get.
I would go further and suggest taking these benefits away from fossil fuels.
US citizens: call on Congress to reject subsidies for charter schools.
E-cigarettes can make nicotine less dangerous, but they might also encourage people to continue or resume smoking.
Perhaps this can be changed by making e-cigarettes conspicuously different from cigarettes.
Human Rights Watch says that many protesters in Venezuela were abused after arrest. 150 were held incommunicado. Some had their bones broken.
Even if the US organized these protests as part of a destabilization campaign, that doesn't justify this.
Obama nominated as a judge a lawyer whose secret legal memos purported to justify Obama's assassination drones.
Putin gave medals to 300 journalists that cover the situation in Ukraine in accord with his wishes.
The Pope is stepping up the campaign against those who "follow Jesus for money".
Introduced small snakes are destroying the wildlife of Gran Canaria, where they have no predators.
The Ukrainian army is fighting rebels around Slavyansk. The rebels have heavy weapons including mortars and armored vehicles.
Are these the armored vehicles that were taken away from the Ukrainian army a couple of weeks ago, or are they different ones?
Reporters interviewed one rebel militia unit and found only Ukrainians who favored Russia, no representatives of the Russian government. Also no mortars or armored vehicles.
Ukrainians, and not those living just near the Russian border, should be afraid of IMF shock treatment. But you'd have to be nuts to prefer Putin's dictatorship.
Economics students around the world have condemned the way economics is taught, focusing on the easily falsified neoclassical approach to the subject.
Thug departments and others around the US store license plate camera data in a private data base which aggregates all the data.
Furthermore, the clients of this company are forbidden to talk about their use of it. (It should be illegal in general for any public body to bind itself to secrecy about its use of a company's services.)
The New York Times has been working hard on pro-Kiev spin in covering fighting in Ukraine.
There is, nonetheless, plenty of support for the conclusions that the rebel militias in Eastern Ukraine are organized by Russia, that they are armed (and with more than small arms), and that they are trying to drag their region by force under the power of a tyrant that lies without hesitation.
US citizens: tell Congress that raising the minimum wage will strengthen social security too.
US citizens: Hold predatory career colleges accountable for abusing students and ripping off taxpayers.
Everyone: state your solidarity with Harvard students calling for divestment from fossil fuel companies.
US citizens: call on your state legislators to oppose ALEC's agenda for outsourcing public services.
2013 was a bad year for freedom of the press, in "free" countries as well as others.
It's not just due to evil regimes: religious fanatics that believe they have a right not to be offended are also responsible. Until not that long ago, Christian fanatics censored through prosecution and violence, just as Muslim fanatics still do.
Energy efficiency could create 600,000 skilled jobs in the US while saving 17 billion dollars and burning a lot less fossil fuel.
The Odessa thugs allowed a pro-Russia mob to rescue pro-Russia prisoners arrested after the battle at the labor union building.
The NRA builds up fear of gun violence to facilitate gun violence, but institutionalized racism and inequality contribute to the fear.
Iranian right-wingers are pressuring to reject a nuclear deal with the US, saying the deal would not offer Iran enough.
Complex supply chains for food products, together with governments that do little to inspect, mean that fraud is rife.
The root of this problem is that governments are subservient to the food companies, so have ceased to inspect them. Frequent inspections at the food processing company's expense would create an incentive to simplify the supply chains.
Thomas Piketty and others propose a common eurozone income tax and a joint eurozone debt, to take over the debt of austerity-stricken countries such as Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.
This seems like a step forward, but I think that an element of direct democracy is needed too. The European chamber could be unnecessary if the people vote directly as the second chamber.
If such a big change is done, it would be a good opportunity to allow governments to create money without borrowing it from private banks, which is greatly profitable to the owners of the banks at the public expense.
Intelligence agencies and workers rights: political surveillance at its worst.
Obama is trying to increase the effective extent surveillance by giving companies immunity for caving and handing over data on people in response to invalid subpoenas.
ALEC is organizing owners of coal-fired power plants to fight against EPA limits on CO2 emissions.
This is in addition to many state bills intended to keep the consumption of fossil fuel as high as possible. Their arguments are based on comparing the costs of avoiding global heating disaster with an impossible fantasy future.
Poor people in the UK have to pay cash in advance to get electricity or gas, so when they can't afford both heat and food, their heat gets cut off immediately.
It was convenient for him that her injuries precluded testing her for alcohol at the time.
We need to put take these thugs off the streets and put them in prison.
Uri Avnery: the reconciliation of Hamas and the PLO is a crucial step towards peace between Israel and Palestine. No wonder Netanyahu is screaming.
Australians are pressuring the big banks with a campaign to move their money if the banks continue supporting fossil fuel projects.
The twisted system of medical research mostly avoids searching for new antibiotics. It's merely life-saving, not lucrative enough.
For decades, most new drugs that save lives were not developed by Big Pharma. We should tax Big Pharma heavily, and use the money to fund medical research that aims at curing diseases.
US citizens: call on the Federal Bureau of Prisons to bring back education for prisoners.
US citizens: call on Scalia to recuse himself from the case about dishonest "crisis pregnancy centers".
Shale gas (fracking) and shale oil can't keep the US supplied with fossil fuel for very long.
But even if it could, we would destroy ourselves by burning that much.
Obama and the mainstream media assiduously flatter and fawn on the young plutocrats that are going to inherit billions.
Video games raise another moral issue: if they contain nonfree software, that attack your freedom. I won't have a nonfree video game program on my computer. But that's an orthogonal issue, so let's assume the game software is free.
I think that there is something disturbing about enjoying these games, but it is not limited to them; it extends to games involving killing of nonplayer characters, too. But it does not include all ways of enjoying them.
I've played such games, and enjoyed them, because I dissociated myself from the killing aspect, considering those shapes on the screen as nothing more than shapes on the screen. Thus I saw the game only in terms of a tactical challenge. If I had imagined the shapes vividly as people dying, I would have neither wanted to play nor been able to focus my mind on winning.
Thus, the killing of fictional characters in a game can elicit (at least) two different reactions: the player can dehumanize shapes on the screen, or imagine them as humans and dehumanize both shapes and humans.
When a game displayed the "death" of the nonplayer character in a graphic way with a gory corpse, that made it more work to completely dehumanize the character. I did so anyway, but I considered the gore a drawback of that game. But maybe it means that players, competing to win, face the challenge of learning to disregard the gore. That could be a good lesson.
Our imagination can leap large gaps. The game of chess is an abstraction of battle; most of the pieces stand for people. A player could imagine the taking of a chess piece vividly as killing a fictional personage, and wallow in emotion about it. Such distraction from the moves would not help one win at chess.
The People's Assembly vows to bring down UK's austerity government.
They are starting in the right direction, but could use a positive program as well as a negative one.
Australia's right-wing government has broken so many campaign promises that it sets a record for lies.
An armed pro-Russia militia took over a building in Odessa, and were defeated in battle by armed pro-Ukraine militia.
Ukrainian troops are attacking two cities.
I am not very impressed by the pleas of the unarmed separatists that try to block the army in support of the armed separatists. This is not a protest movement, this is a rebellion or an invasion, and one that has imitated Putin's dishonesty at every turn.
The criticism of "conspiracy theory" is applied to claims that certain parties have planned to cooperate, when there is no evidence that they have done so.
In the case of the TPP, the governments involved do not deny that they are secretly discussing planning joint action (i.e., a conspiracy). The only room for uncertainty is about what they will do.
Cheat Fresh: Subway Is The Biggest Fast Food Wage Thief.
Too Big to Jail Continues: DOJ May Charge Two Banks with Criminal Acts, But Not Hold Them Criminally Accountable.
Ann Moody, homeless grandmother, has been arrested 59 times in Los Angeles for sitting on sidewalks.
If 100 homeless people did that, the thugs would give up trying to stop them.
Many US cities persecute the homeless. Callous selfish people demand this. San Francisco has prohibited parking RVs on the streets because some people were living in RVs they own.
Many parts of the US prohibit giving food to homeless people; the idea is that they should starve to death rather than make the city look messy.
Vermont is considering adopting single-payer health care.
The Bangladeshi RAB has assassinated 700 people since 2004. Who is selling it cell phone surveillance equipment?
A local leader of al-Qa'ida in Arabia was killed in a fight with the Yemeni army.
The world is better off without him, but we should not get our hopes up that this will do great damage to al-Qa'ida. Underground organizations depend most of all on their ability to recruit.
If US drones are providing air support, this is much better than the usual use of war-drones — assassination, far away from any battlefield. People will understand and forgive the use of arms on a battlefield, and civilians usually won't be threatened because usually they will have fled the area.
The ANC, which nobly fought apartheid, has since become corrupt through and through.
The UK Labour party proposes to undo the privatization of British Rail.
I'm in favor, but what's crucial, in the economy, is to make the rich and businesses pay more taxes.
Protesters convinced Condoleezza Rice to cancel a highly paid speech at Rutgers.
Yahoo announced it will disregard "Do Not Track" settings and profile users anyway.
"Do Not Track" does not really mean users are not tracked. Sites that honor that system agree to limit how they use the tracking data, but they do not stop collecting it, so it does nothing to reduce the dossiers available for Big Brother to view at will. Thus, I have mostly not paid attention to Do Not Track.
However, this defiance by Yahoo might heat up the surveillance battle.
Reading on paper seems to be better than reading ebooks, even in a direct practical sense.
This point is interesting, but doesn't go beyond the shallowest of values: what it's like to read. Ebooks affect other values that people have considered important.
For instance, when technology and EULAs block and prohibit people from giving or lending books freely to others, they damage our social relationships. Most commercial ebooks are like that.
When ebooks are designed for products that snoop on users' reading, and permit a store to remotely erase their books, they damage our human rights. Most commercial ebook readers are like that.
See https://stallman.org/ebooks.pdf for more details.
Even acquiring a copy means being snooped on, if you have to identify yourself to the store. That's massive surveillance. See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy.html.
I've read some ebooks on my computer's screen, and it's ok. But I'd never get an ebook under the limits that commercial ebooks impose today. I won't let the question of what it's like to read distract me from what it's like to lose freedom.
Apple's patent aggression against Android resulted in a loss for free software, even though Apple did not get the big money or the injunction it sought.
Software should be exempted entirely from patent law.
The Heatland (*) Institute worked long and hard denying the harm that tobacco does to health, before it took its expertise to denying global heating.
* Officially the "Heartland" Institute.
US citizens: phone FCC Chairman Wheeler and demand real net neutrality.
Flagrant racists such as Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy should not distract us from pervasive everyday institutional racism.
Ukraine's army attacked rebel checkpoints, and set up its own, encircling Slavyansk.
Rebels attacked helicopters with surface-to-air missiles, which confirms they are really soldiers armed by Russia.
The Syrian rebels are evacuating Homs under truce.
Educating Israelis about the expulsion of Palestinian civilians during and after the Israeli war of independence.
We should not forget the context in which these expulsions occurred: Arab armies had just failed in the attempt to conquer Israel and expel the Jews.
The only thing to do about those massacres is for both sides to acknowledge them and apologize for them.
Eco-defenders can be though of as an "indicator species" for the ecological health of a region.
A right-wing Australian politician says he will prosecute Ben and Jerry's for false advertising for saying that the dredging of a coal port threatens to damage the Great Barrier Reef.
What Ben and Jerry's says seems to agree with all authorities, except those working for the coal companies. In effect, these right-wingers are following the Putin path: lie, and accuse their enemies of lying, and threaten to punish them for bogus crimes.
I hope that Ben and Jerry's responds with an attack.
In the Boston area: May 4 teach-in on police militarization.
US citizens: sign this petition against the ALEC agenda.
US citizens: sign in support of amending the constitution to overturn the Corporations United decision. It's usually referred to as the "Citizens United" decision, but I prefer to call that organization what it really is rather than what it pretended to be.
The full harshness of No Child Left Alone has fallen on every school in Washington State.
After Naji Mansour refused to work for the FBI, the FBI had him tortured in Sudan.
A transcript of his conversation with the FBI.
The US has had at least 8 US citizens imprisoned, even tortured, by other pliant governments, and one of them has been sentenced to life in prison based on a worthless confession probably tortured out of him.
Tennessee passed a law to punish drug addicts that get pregnant.
The ideal solution for such situations is an abortion, but the same Republicans who want to punish these women for getting pregnant are also trying to deny them the abortions that would enable them to become un-pregnant, and from the contraception that would enable them not to become pregnant. These religious fanatics want a chance to make someone suffer, and they have seized on the weakest possible victims: the babies they can force pregnant addicts to have.
Vladimir Putin calls for Ukraine to remove Ukrainian troops from southeast Ukraine.
How about withdrawing the Russian troops from southeast Ukraine, eh Putin?
Ukraine says it will impose conscription to build up its army.
It would take 6 months to a year for this to have any practical effect. I expect that the crisis will be over by then.
Parents of girls kidnaped by Boko Haram protested for the Nigerian government to take action to rescue their daughters.
A large part of Amazon's success is due to exploiting a tax loophole.
Meanwhile, global heating also makes
storms and flooding more likely.
That does not make it ok for a school to give student data to Google.
Doing so facilitates government surveillance of those students.
Google for deleting the phony ads from "crisis pregnancy centers"
whose purpose is trick or pressure women into not getting abortions.
on Congress to pass Senator Warren's 21st Century Glass-Steagall
push against Sodastream
for supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
US plans to end inspection of chickens means
chemicals that make workers sick.
Greenpeace protesters tried to block the arrival of the Russian ship
oil from the Arctic Ocean.
If Europe wants to punish Russia for real, it should invest more in
efforts to reduce its use of fossil fuels.
Australia's right-wing government believes that most Australians are
too well-off, and the rich need more. So it
a wide range of dooH niboR measures. Everyone in Australia will
have to make do with less,
Wages will be
College students will have to pay more.
But it still won't be as bad as in the US: unemployed graduates
won't owe lots of money that they will never get
The UK's "recovery" is a fraud: people's
incomes are expected to continue declining through 2018. And
that's ignoring the danger of another crash.
That does not make it ok for a school to give student data to Google. Doing so facilitates government surveillance of those students.
Everyone: thank Google for deleting the phony ads from "crisis pregnancy centers" whose purpose is trick or pressure women into not getting abortions.
US citizens: call on Congress to pass Senator Warren's 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act.
Everyone: push against Sodastream for supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
US plans to end inspection of chickens means more chemicals that make workers sick.
Greenpeace protesters tried to block the arrival of the Russian ship carrying oil from the Arctic Ocean.
If Europe wants to punish Russia for real, it should invest more in efforts to reduce its use of fossil fuels.
Australia's right-wing government believes that most Australians are too well-off, and the rich need more. So it proposes a wide range of dooH niboR measures. Everyone in Australia will have to make do with less, except the wealthy.
Wages will be reduced.
College students will have to pay more. But it still won't be as bad as in the US: unemployed graduates won't owe lots of money that they will never get
The UK's "recovery" is a fraud: people's real incomes are expected to continue declining through 2018. And that's ignoring the danger of another crash.
It appears that the Lusitania, sunk in 1917 by a German submarine, really was carrying munitions for Britain.
1/3 of the women in the US military get raped. And then they get denied veterans' benefits for treating the consequences.
Global terrorism increased 40% in 2013, perhaps partly because US assassination drones motivate people to join terror groups.
The Australian ruling party is selling businessmen access to the prime minister.
Human trash in the ocean accumulates in the deepest marine trenches.
Most of it is plastic; the plastic can be toxic to marine organisms or get them tangled up.
The World Health Organization warns we must take action to keep antibiotics effective before it is too late.
Others have warned about this for years. Will WHO be enough to motivation governments to act against the deadly lobby of agribusiness?
Nanoparticles in diesel engine exhaust do considerable harm to human health.
The Sultan of Brunei is imposing cruel Islamic law. This includes punishment for not participating in prayers.
Ukraine's Government Has Lost Control of East, Says Acting President.
One man has personally bought control over a large part of Missouri's political system.
Japan, ordered to cease hunting whales in southern waters, has started hunting whales in the North Pacific.
Afghan poppy production is higher than ever.
The "internet of things" means tracking every thing you possess (and reporting everything about them to a data broker and Big Brother).
Whatever inducements are offered, don't accept spy products into your life. Of course, the first spy product is the portable phone, which you might already be using, if you have not energetically defended your freedom.
A most peculiar peace proposal: give Israel a mostly deserted piece of Texas in exchange for making peace with Palestine.
I wonder what the inhabitants of that area would think.
The campaigners for a referendum on drilling in the Yasuni reserve say that Ecuadorian officials are sabotaging their signature drive.
Three Ecuadorian opposition politicians face imprisonment for making accusations against President Correa.
We need laws to restrict the use of face recognition.
Bigotry against homosexuals in Africa was instilled by colonial powers.
That doesn't excuse Africans' bigotry today.
The European Union is stopping Apple and Samsung from suing each other for patent infringement.
Unfortunately, its "solution" is a terrible mistake: imposing "reasonable and nondiscriminatory" terms. In practice, this means patent licenses that discriminate against free software by charging license fees per copy, which free software developers can't possibly pay. There is nothing "reasonable" about that.
A study estimates that 4% of the prisoners on death row in the US are innocent.
The point is that many prisoners on death row have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, and once that happens, they get no aid in proving their innocence. Thus, they are not counted in figures for number of exonerations. However, if the same care were taken for those cases, they'd probably be exonerated at the same rate as those whose sentences were not commuted (if not more!).
Verizon will plant cookies in its subscribers' computers so as to link their (non-Verizon) desktop browsing with their mobile browsing.
Kerry has retreated from using the word "apartheid" in connection with Israel. But then, Kerry does not know as much about apartheid as Desmond Tutu.
People who fled to Australia seeking asylum will get asylum in Cambodia instead.
At an abstract level, the substitution may be acceptable: they will be allowed to settle in a place where whoever threatened them before can't reach. However, will they face destitution there?
The US and UK are trying an experiment in arbitrary punishment, pressuring banks to close the bank accounts of people involved in work that the government disapproves of — for instance, pornography.
This highlights the danger of massive surveillance. If the government finds out what work you do, it can arbitrarily get your bank account shut.
A boat being built in Gaza, to carry exports for sale, was attacked with a bomb in an act of terrorism, presumably by Israel.
The Israeli excuses for attacking boats sailing to Gaza, while not really valid in that case, are totally nonsense for boats sailing out of Gaza. The only motive for this is to cause suffering.
US citizens: call on candidates to take the "people's pledge" to resist outside campaign spending.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to call for a vote on repealing two unjust surveillance laws.
The US explains why it keeps software vulnerabilities secret.
Any time someone cites "intellectual property" as a justification for something, it is a sign he is up to no good.
The term "intellectual property" is pure confusion; it distorts the facts about various laws with spin, following the agenda of various companies that gain privileges from one or another of those laws.
To keep the internet healthy, cities must set up local access as a civic service.
It is not enough for cities to own these networks. They must also make sure people can use them without identifying themselves.
An execution in Oklahoma left the victim writhing in pain until he had a heart attack half an hour later.
I usually don't concern myself with the details of how executions are carried out, because I think the death penalty is wrong regardless of the details.
Amnesty International relates evidence that Pakistan's military intelligence has threatened, attacked, even killed journalists.
Modelling says that the UK's recent floods, which used to happen once every hundred years, are now substantially more frequent: with the current climate, they will happen once in eighty years.
Once in 80 years is still pretty rare, but global heating is going to get much worse.
The Obama regime is trying a sneaky argument that its secretly negotiated understandings of the meanings of copyright law have the force of law.
US citizens: phone your senators and ask them to tell the FCC to classify ISPs as telecommunications services, so as to implement real net neutrality.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
US citizens: support paid family medical leave.
Coming along behind the TPP: the Trade in Services Agreement threatens to ban governments from doing useful things for the public.
This represents the attitude of predatory companies for which people are not citizens but rather meant for them to exploit.
Verizon Knows You're A Sucker: Takes Taxpayer Subsidies For Broadband, Doesn't Deliver, Lobbies To Drop Requirements.
The US lawsuit against threatened imprisonment without trial was quashed by the Supreme Court.
This leaves Americans with no basis not to be imprisoned except the hope that the government won't decide accuse them.
Turkey has made it a crime to publish leaks from spy agencies, and given the spies immunity for violating human rights.
New York City can expect flooding around every 4 years nowadays, due to rising sea levels and higher storm surges.
It is not certain what effect global heating will have on storms near New York City, but accelerating global heating will mean accelerating rise in sea levels. Some parts of New York City, including lower Manhattan, may eventually have to be abandoned.
US citizens: call on the EPA to require clean water in all US waterways.
I would not suggest legal restrictions specifically to prevent a danger of such small magnitude, but it is adds to the pile of evidence that having a gun in your home is more likely to kill you than protect you.
Combining prisons in the UK will make them cheaper, but it is a false economy.
False economy tends to result when governments fail to consider social investment as consumption rather than as investment.
Wisconsin's voter-ID law has been ruled unconstitutional. However, this is not a final ruling.
Senator Leahy will block funds for the Egyptian military.
Everyone: thank former US President Carter for taking a clear stand against Keystone XL and the Koch brothers.
Everyone: call on Spain to proceed with prosecution of US torturers.
The thugs allowed Putin's supporters to club pro-Ukraine protesters.
Capitalism in North Korea uses military conscripts as coal miners.
The example of China has demonstrated since the 90s that capitalism will not bring freedom to a former Communist country. Now the example of North Korea shows that it does not even necessarily put a limit on the general level of oppression.
Children near some French farms show past exposure to toxic pesticides, some of them banned.
A US court ordered Microsoft to hand over personal data from a server in Ireland.
If the appeal sustains this decision, the next question will be what Ireland or the EU will do to enforce their data protection laws.
I've warned people outside the US not to give any personal data to US companies.
In 2002, the US missed a chance to make peace in Afghanistan.
It missed a previous chance in 2001, when the Taliban offered to kick out al Qa'ida for the sake of peace with the US.
Something about the way almond trees are now cultivated in California has started killing 20% of the bees brought there to pollinate them.
It's not clear what is causing it, but it might be mixes of chemicals uses in pesticides.
The extractivist government of Australia wants to ban environmental groups from calling for boycotts of companies, while calling for a boycott of Ben and Jerry's for trying to raise awareness of the danger.
Governments, following the example of corporations, are becoming shameless liars, hoping to drown out the truth. And it's not just tyrants like Putin that do this.
US citizens: call on the SEC to require publicly traded companies to disclose political campaign spending.
The Senate has backed off from its plan to impose a tiny bit of transparency on Obama's drone assassination campaign.
Israeli teenagers and Palestinian teenagers, when accused of throwing stones, are treated very differently.
The "Science Media Center" is a business-funded PR group, currently working for the GMO industry but pretending to be "independent".
Prosecution of Occupy activists is the last stage in the US clampdown on the right to protest. Many protesters are bullied into pleading guilty to escape a threatened many-year prison term; then they are given long probation terms which ban them from participating in a protest.
The thugs that attack and frame protesters are the scum of the Earth. Only some thugs will attack protesters violently, but nearly all of them will lie to help cover it up. Police lie in court so frequently (they call it "testilying") that they have become accustomed to it; they don't feel nervous, so you might think they are telling the truth. Don't be fooled. If you are ever on a jury, don't believe a thug's testimony about a protester.
The sanctions on Russia are too weak to bother Putin.
The UN must be less cautious about delivering humanitarian aid to besieged Syrians.
UK prisons have banned steel-string guitars, as part of the same massive dose of irrational strictness that banned giving prisoners books.
As a result, 350 steel-string guitars donated to prisons to encourage rehabilitation can no longer do that.
In Greece and in the UK, politicians trumpet a "recovery" that is fictional.
The fiction is even deeper than what the article says. Even per-capita GDP is no measure of how well off the non-rich are in a country. It is skewed by the rising incomes of the rich.
The UK's Food and Environment Research Agency is threatened with privatization, which would mean a chance to corrupt it directly.
I can think of some companies that would like to invest in FERA's research into the effects of pesticides.
Resistance to business power in technical fields has been undermined by cyberlibertarianism, a blind faith that technology will correct injustices.
Big US "fast food" companies have the biggest gap between CEO pay and workers' pay, and they fund the National Restaurant Association to lobby against raising the minimum wage.
Follow the Honey: 7 Ways Pesticide Companies Are Spinning the Bee Crisis.
10 years after the public learned that the US government was committing torture, the government has shifted from denying it to endorsing it and protecting torturers.
The US has a legal obligation and a moral duty to prosecute those responsible for torture, from Dubya on down.
2000 Americans protested against plutocracy at the US Capitol building.
Alas, that is not very many people. If we could get 200,000 to protest, repeatedly, we might have more effect.
Anti-nuclear protesters convinced the government of Taiwan to halt construction of two nuclear power plants.
Iraqi suicide bombers (al-Qa'ida, I presume) attacked polling places to try to disrupt the election.
The gag order on Barrett Brown's lawyer has been dropped, so he has explained the dishonesty of the charges against Brown.
The UK plans to punish the unemployed by making them visit a jobcenter each day, pretending that this is help for them.
It has been clear since the 80s that trickle-down is a sucker's tale: letting the rich get a bigger share may enable them to increase total production, but they keep the increase for themselves; in fact, nothing trickles down. But now it appears that the growing inequality reduces growth too.
An anti-Russian politician in Eastern Ukraine was shot by a sniper and may die of it.
An Egyptian court has convicted 683 members of the Muslim Brotherhood and sentenced them to death after a one-sided trial (no defense possible).
Kerry has started to put verbal pressure on Israel to make peace.
It is not much, but it is a start. Defying the Israeli hawks' lobby is the only way to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine.
China has published 1940s documents that prove the Japanese army forced Korean women to be prostitutes for Japanese soldiers in China.
Many nations have atrocities in their history — Japan is not uniquely bad. (The US has quite a few.) Nations that deny their atrocities get twisted up in a net of lies that prepares them to commit more atrocities.
The drought in California is forcing ranchers to move lots of cattle out of that state.
Global heating is expected to cause more and worse droughts there and in the US southwest.
The folly and impudence of the fossil fuel industry knows no bounds. Some are looking for ways to extract and burn undersea methane hydrates.
Methane hydrates under the land or sea are tremendously dangerous, since global heating causes them to leak into the air, where the methane becomes a powerful greenhouse gas. This is one of the positive feedback cycles that could accelerate global heating,
It is pointless to consider using them, since the known fossil fuel reserves are five times what we dare burn. Meanwhile, messing with the deposits in any way could easily make more methane leak out (as fracking already does).
I suspect that fossil fuel industry funding or lobbying is behind these studies.
A campaigner says that the forced closure of brothels in London was the last step in converting London into another Monaco.
Some of the rich absentee owners might spend more time and money in London if the brothels were still there.
How to Disappear a Mentally Ill Grandmother: Throw Her in Solitary.
US citizens: call on Obama to stop prosecuting whistleblowers.
The workers in London's big subway project are afraid they will be fired if they report injuries at work.
The UK's privatized public schools are deregulated in regard to students' nutrition.
I don't see a scandal in what the thugs did in this case. Once the system said the car was stolen, they had to try to stop it and arrest the putative thief. We can hardly demand that license plate readers have a 0% error rate either.
What does strike me as scandalous is the idea of a "felony car stop" that involves pointing guns at the driver by default (without reason to think he is armed and dangerous). Innocent people have been killed that way.
I don't object to using license plate readers to detect cars that appear to be stolen or in some other way deserving of being stopped. The scandal is when they save data about cars that do not deserve to be stopped.
South Carolina has proposed to extend "stand your ground" to include killing anyone you believe threatens your fetus's health.
This is just what pregnant prisoners need, to justify killing prison guards that deny them prenatal care.
A mass die-off of starfish off the US Pacific Coast threatens chaos for the the marine ecosystem, and it could happen in the Caribbean too.
US thug departments have obtained equipment for tracking cell phones under a nondisclosure agreement in which they conceal from courts that they are using the equipment.
Iraqi planes attacked people in Syria, accused of being Islamist extremists. Some of those are allied with al Qa'ida in Iraq.
A theory of what Putin aims to achieve in Ukraine.
I think the article's points are valid, except at the end where it asserts that this crisis is "primarily a domestic one" in Ukraine. The conquest of the Crimea is not a domestic issue, nor is the presence of Russia-organized militias in other parts of Ukraine, nor Putin's repeated threats to use those provocations as excuses to invade Ukraine again.
Some Afghan officials say the US is running secret prisons in Bagram.
A Russian militia leader in Eastern Ukraine gave an interview, saying he is in the Russian Army and the invasion was organized from outside the region.
Decades of right-wing policies have made the "American dream" a pipedream.
People in Western Sahara call for tourists to boycott Morocco.
US citizens: tell the US government, don't allow oil drilling in Arctic waters.
Once upon a time, the US desegregated public schools, but segregation and racial inequality have been allowed to come back.
Russia is setting up US-style total surveillance of the Internet.
Obama regime trade negotiators keep moving back and forth between government and the copyright industry.
I disagree with the author on one point. I think these officials, like their boss the US Trade Representative and his boss Obama, are constantly aware that their future careers depend on pleasing certain companies. I don't suppose that they feel any qualms of conscience; they probably think that boosting those companies is serving their country; they may identify those companies with their country.
Britons: sign this petition against selling UK tax data.
"Anonymous" data is no protection; it is often possible to deanonymize.
Two towns in California are trying out constant aerial video surveillance.
Supposedly this is ok because the towns already have cameras giving immediate view of their streets.
Rice in China often comes with high levels of cadmium, arsenic and lead.
Cadmium is a persistent toxin, so even tiny doses can accumulate to kill you.
The Obama regime launched its annual campaign for press freedom, while asking the Supreme Court to imprison US journalist James Risen.
The NRA has launched a massive campaign for traditional American values, the point being apparently that you're un-American if you're not ready to shoot people at any time and place.
How about traditional American values such as "If you're willing to work, you can get by", and "Support the underdog (not-rich person)"?
US citizens: call for stronger measures to protect endangered manatees.
From now on, if the US government gets its way, all national security news will be authorized announcements. Journalism is forbidden, only government PR is allowed.
In One City, Columbus Day Now 'Indigenous Peoples Day'.
In the US, disabled children are "taught" with electric shocks as punishment.
Privatized prisons are purchasing tough new laws to keep people in prison for longer.
Penguins' survival is threatened by human activities such as CO2 emissions and overfishing.
While I loathe the error of using Tux the penguin as a symbol for the GNU operating system (which typically goes with the error of calling the system "Linux"), I don't hold this against real penguins.
Mexico is considering a bill to attack internet freedoms.
US citizens: call on Obama to maintain funding for nuclear security initiatives.
US citizens: tell the FCC to uphold net neutrality and declare ISPs a telecommunications service.
The "sharing economy" is an attempt to commercialize or marketize yet another part of society.
It's easy to break the security of digital medical equipment in hospitals.
The article uses the word "hack" to mean "break security". To avoid insulting us hackers, please call that "cracking".
The software in these devices is generally nonfree. In addition, some of it can be altered remotely, making it malware.
To protect freedom of speech from government repression, such as Putin is now setting up in Russia, we must be able to use pseudonyms without telling the site our official names.
The US investigation of the radiation leak at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, that was supposed to never leak, says there were pervasive management problems as well as physical problems. But it fails to address some important questions.
Modern privatization schemes are designed to label the public schools where lots of poor children go as "failing" as an excuse to privatize them.
It is interesting how the "Rocketship" privatized schools are a nonprofit front for a proprietary software company, whose software, in addition to being an injustice, does not even seem to do any good.
The Russian-directed Ukrainian separatists captured a team of EU observers.
Simon Ostrovsky says they tortured him, and he saw several other civilian prisoners there.
Russia is systematically imposing control over all internet use.
The National Research Council concludes that the US is not prepared to cope with an oil spill from Arctic Ocean drilling.
Humanity has only one chance to avoid global heating disaster. We can't afford to fail this test. Fortunately there is a straightforward solution if only the fossil fuel lobbyists don't stop us.
Another reason not to support Hillary Clinton for president (or anything): she parrots the Obama/NSA line about Snowden.
As we understand, that's a coded way of taking the spies' side against the public. According to them, the only legitimate response to government crimes is one that won't do any good. Clinton has made it clear that she will continue Obama's War on Whistleblowers.
US citizens: call on Attorney General Holder to intervene against Ohio's voter suppression.
Verizon plans to link its tracking of customers' browsing with those same people's other Internet activities from other computers.
The description of how this will work is garbled; can anyone show me a technically clear explanation?
In any case, I think it is unacceptable for an ISP to track customers' browsing at all.
The article makes a bad surrender when it legitimizes the surveillance of Google and Yahoo on the grounds that they offer "cool [gratis] services". This is tantamount to accepting that we should all sell our privacy.
The Israeli right wing rejects even the word "peace" in regard to Palestine. Its substitute, "political settlement", suggests something more like a permanent? truce.
If you have wondered why I adamantly insist on talking about "free software" and reject the term "open source", it's the same sort of issue. If you want peace, you must say "peace". If you want freedom, you must say "freedom".
There are many abandoned uranium mines in the US, and some of them are leaking noticeable levels of fallout into water supplies.
Ukraine, watch out for western frackers!
US citizens: tell Obama, don't let CIA censor the report on CIA torture.
Everyone: call on Duke Energy to reveal its contributions to the campaigns of its employee/state governor in North Carolina.
US citizens: call on Congress to preserve the Endangered Species Act.
Microsoft's remote storage disservice, OneDrive, has been caught inserting modifications into code in some of the files users store there.
Although this has not been reported about any other remote storage disservice, any of them could start doing this, which means you would be a fool to trust them with anything other than checksummed files.
All of these disservices spy on their users, and that is plenty of reason to reject them, for anything other than encrypted (and checksummed) files. In order for the encryption to be trustworthy, you need to do it on your own computer with free software.
The purpose of the marketing buzzword "cloud" is to encourage you to disregard the facts and not judge. Don't let them "cloud" your mind: reject the term "cloud".
Indigenous people demanding a cleanup of pollution have occupied an oil field in the Peruvian Amazon.
Kenya will deploy 60 drones to catch poachers of elephants and rhinos.
China has decided to adopt tough measures against pollution. The tough part will be overcoming corruption in order to enforce the requirements.
The UN calls on Qatar to abolish its system that treats foreign workers almost as slaves.
A US-Japan negotiation meeting about the TPP failed to reach agreement, but the damned thing is not dead yet.
ALEC is attacking the environment on many fronts.
For legal reasons ALEC says that it does not track where its proposed bills are introduced, but leaks prove that it really does so.
This article, from 2011, claimed that the US and Saudi Arabia planned years ago to build up Syrian Sunni extremists as a way to overthrow Assad and defeat Hezbollah, and thus weaken Iran. And that they started implementing this plan once Mubarak was overthrown.
I don't know how we could prove this, but subsequent events seem to confirm it. In other words, the US is responsible for building up jihadists that are that now allied to al Qa'ida.
By stirring up a civil war as Syrians were protesting peacefully, the US made itself responsible for all the horrors of the Syrian civil war. Surely the US and Saudi Arabia expected the war to be over quickly and not lead to these horrors. But plans sometimes go wrong, and when you start a war, you're responsible for the consequences, even if it doesn't end the way you expected.
Whistleblower Peter Van Buren had to work as a temp in a "Bullseye" store (Target?) because government retaliation tried to deny him his pension.
Van Buren got out of this, but 30 million other Americans are still trapped in it, and fear being dropped into the even worse fate of unemployment and starvation.
Americans, should we allow companies to treat workers this way?
Putin called the internet a "CIA Project".
Silly Putin, don't you know it was done by the US Department of Defense?
DDT is still available for fighting malaria, notwithstanding inaccurate claims by Stuart Brand and James Lovelock that it was banned.
Several years ago Stuart Brand tried to convince me to support nuclear power. His arguments did not seem valid to me.
Journalist Simon Ostrovsky, who had been made prisoner by a Russian irregular militia in Ukraine, has been released.
I guess Putin decided he was pushing a little too hard.
The article describes him as a "hostage", but I don't see that he was one. I have not seen anything suggesting a treat to kill him or hurt him, or any ransom demand. Capturing/kidnaping journalists is nasty enough in itself without exaggeration.
How US plutocracy operates to give the rich control over laws.
Since local officials in China often try to hush up complaints rather than address them, the central government is embarrassed by citizens bringing complaints that local officials ignored.
The central government is going to solve the problem by refusing to accept any more complaints.
US prison guards put prisoners in solitary and deny them medicine frivolously, even maliciously such as to punish a prisoner for reporting rape.
To deny a pregnant woman prenatal care — would that constitute criminal endangerment of a fetus? Could these thugs be put in prison for it?
Global cooling 20,000 years ago united the Galapagos Islands into a couple of large islands one could almost walk between. This had big effects on the evolution of species living there.
The Marshall Islands are suing the nine countries with nuclear weapons for failing to disarm.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obliges the recognized nuclear powers including the US and Russia to negotiate for nuclear disarmament.
Jonathan Fleming was convicted of a murder in New York, and kept in prison for 25 years, because the prosecutors concealed the receipt that proved he was in Disney World in Florida on that day.
I am glad he has been freed, but that's not enough. We must stop this from happening in the future. I suspect his defense lawyers were incompetent or irresponsible, and that the prosecutor was dishonest.
Amnesty International rebuked Spain for repressing protests with fines and beatings.
I can't criticize Spaniards for responding to this violence with their own violence. Austerity is deadly; how many Spaniards has the right-wing government killed, through eviction or through cuts in medical care?
Vermont passed a law to require labeling of GMOs. Unlike the laws in Connecticut and Maine, this law will take effect regardless of what other states do.
The UK Conservatives intend to eliminate subsidies for windmills on land and give local people the power to ban them. They do not intend to give local people the power to ban fracking or to abolish subsidies for nuclear power.
As US economic growth goes exclusively to the rich, the lower and middle classes in the US are becoming poorer than in other countries.
Australia's energy planning is based on the assumption that they can ramp up combustion of fossil fuel ad infinitum and never encounter any problem that imposes limits or costs.
As humans abandon large regions of Australia, weeds and feral plants destroy the native wildlife.
The Supreme Court made it easy for thugs to use an anonymous 911 call as an all-purpose excuse to arrest people, search them, and charge them.
They can always make the call themselves — who would know?
Instead of trying again to defend network neutrality, the FCC is considering surrendering on a crucial issue: allowing ISPs to charge web sites for high speed access to them.
This contrasts with Brazil's adoption of network neutrality as a legal requirement on ISPs.
Obama talks of offering clemency to prisoners serving long sentences, but clemency is inadequate to remedy the harm done by the war on drugs.
Obama has shown no concern for the workers of other countries whose factories may collapse. Why should anyone trust him to put anything good into a deregulation treaty such as the TPP?
In some fast food companies, the CEO gets paid 1000 times as much as an ordinary worker.
This "food" is not made for eating, it is made for fasting.
The US is giving Egypt armed helicopters.
The Islamists in the Sinai are violently opposed to human rights, but the violence they have committed is probably less than the Egyptian government's. What's more, the Egyptian government's killing of protesters has done a lot to boost violent Islamism in Egypt. Instead of giving that government the endorsement of military support, it would be more rational to caution the Egyptian government to cut down its provocative repression of dissidents.
Palestinians protested the repeated attacks by Israeli fanatics against Palestinians and their cities. The Israeli government almost never tries to punish the perpetrators of these attacks.
The updated list of what Netanyahu demands from Palestinian President Abbas.
US citizens: condemn the TPP and its secret negotiations.
GMO soy beans that are engineered to resist Roundup contain levels of pesticide that may be dangerous. In addition, the pesticide used in growing them gets into our water supply.
When it comes to killing birds, windmills are insignificant; buildings, power lines and cats kill thousands as times as many birds in the US.
The guards at Australia's asylum seeker prison in Nauru attack the refugees, even children.
Runaway slaves who are caught are imprisoned for months, effectively incommunicado.
It is crucial to defeat their secrecy about their operations. The reason companies say they want secrecy is to keep secrets from other companies. That argument never justifies putting the public interest at risk.
A prominent Pakistani TV journalist was shot and survived. He and his TV station say the country's intelligence agency tried to assassinate him.
That agency has a history of kidnaping, torturing and killing reporters.
Turkish PM Erdogan has apologized, in a way, for the killing of a million Armenians.
He did not use the term "genocide" but at least recognizes that the killing was wrong. It is a step forward.
This is not a matter of personal blame. I expect that none of the people who decided how Turkey would treat the Armenians is still alive today. The point is that states need to acknowledge their wrongs in order to avoid repeating them.
The heat in Texas prisons is deadly, and that makes it cruel and unusual punishment.
The Russian or pro-Russian forces in Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, have taken several journalists prisoner. One is an American.
Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a unity government and hold elections in Palestine.
Uniting Fatah and Hamas is easier said than done, but it is a prerequisite for democracy in Palestine. It will not be easy to get Hamas to respect democracy, though.
Unification would remove an obstacle to a real peace deal, since it could result in a government with enough support and authority to agree to a deal and implement it. Alas, it is not the only prerequisite. We also need Israel to be ready to make a real peace deal.
Cheap chicken in the US comes at the costs of injuries for workers.
In the US, change in regulation supposedly justified by reducing costs of production are misguided in general (unless it is production of something to reduce greenhouse gas emissions). Our problem is not that goods are too expensive, it is that workers are not paid enough.
The US minimum wage is too low, but many businesses have created excuses to pay even less.
Louis Allstadt, former VP of Mobil, says fracking is not safe and calls for banning it.
US citizens: call on the Department of Education to stop profiting off of student borrowers.
Everyone: support the campaign for Seattle to raise the minimum wage to $15.
US citizens: call on Obama and Kerry to meet with the Cowboy Indian Alliance.
US citizens: on May 9, ask your congresscritter to contact the Bureau of Prisons to end the vindictive cruelty to prisoner John Kiriakou.
Everyone: call on Walmart and the Children's Place to give compensation for the dead Rana Plaza workers, and join in preventing a repetition.
Deer in the Czech Republic still avoid the places where the electrified border fences used to be, 25 years ago, almost twice the lifespan of a deer.
That means the cultural memory has been passed on for at least two generations.
More than half the groundwater monitoring sites in China report polluted water.
A Chinese labor organizer appears to have been arrested and disappeared.
The US is working quietly to undermine an international agreement on internet freedom.
This article uses the weak word "open" to describe what this agreement is supposed to do. I think using that word is a mistake, since "open" leads one's thinking down paths that don't even try to defend freedom. Thus, especially when others use that word, we should not join them in that mistake.
Massive greenhouse gas emission coincides with harmful political and social developments that weaken democracy, such as corporatocratic "free trade" politics and the idea of living to consume.
Disasters typically happen when several errors occur together. Here we have quite a few big errors.
The founder of Russian social network VKontakte says that Putin's men have kicked him out and taken over.
The Greek austerity government is handing out money to the poor, because an election is coming.
The government says it can afford this, based on arguments that are peculiar because if they are valid today they were valid all along. Indeed, they were valid all along — but the plutocratic parties did not like them before.
What's the conclusion? The government is right to help the poor, but you if you want a government to continue the policy after the election, you should vote for the leftist party.
Companies that make toys seem to intentionally teach gender stereotypes to children.
US cities are trying to stop train transport of oil, which causes sickening spills and deadly explosions.
The FBI put Naveed Shinwari on the no-fly list to bully him into becoming an informer on nobody in particular.
The no-fly list is punishment without trial, and must be abolished.
A pro-Kiev Ukrainian politician was captured by a pro-Russia mob, then tortured and killed.
It is regrettable that the article uses "hackers" to mean "security breakers".
The UK's National Health Service has been ordered to use subcontractors, and naturally it causes things to go wrong.
The privatization ideology says that having a private company do something will automatically make it better than if the state does it. It's only true in special cases.
The inter-ethnic conflict in South Sudan is extending into genocidal killings.
Iranian political prisoner Emad Bahavar says that he was forced to run past lines of thugs that hit him with sticks, organized torture rather than spontaneous venting of sadism.
California is considering a bill to increase taxes on CEOs whose pay far exceeds that of the lowest paid workers in the company.
It is a step in the right direction, but I have a feeling that a 5% increase in taxes won't create much pressure for CEOs to reduce their incomes drastically. As for raising revenue, CEOs should pay higher taxes, but the other rich people should too.
Republicans have blocked federal funding for research into patterns of gun violence, but Professor Wintemute continues it with private funding. Some of his conclusions are surprising.
Republicans are frothing at the mouth at the idea that we might learn which forms of gun control are effective for reducing murders.
Protests against the TPP are following Obama through Asia.
The US Border patrol is converting whole regions miles away from US borders into total surveillance and oppression zones. All the roads out of the Tohono O'odham reservations have permanent checkpoints.
Florida Is 'Ground Zero' for Sea Level Rise. And there's no use putting dikes around Miami, since the rock underneath the city is porous.
White House Approves Coal Dust Rules Aimed At Dropping Rates Of Black Lung Disease.
The families of 1/5 of the children in the US had trouble getting food in 2012.
Obama told Elizabeth Warren she shouldn't head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because she made banksters "very nervous".
In other words, they feared she would lead the agency to do a vigorous job of protecting the public from them, and Obama was uncomfortable with that.
After wasting most of our helium on party balloons, we don't have enough for scientific experiments.
US citizens: support universal single-payer health care in the US.
In the US: tell Safeway to label GMOs in their products.
The US is attacking Yemeni Islamists very intensely.
Killing members of a guerrilla group, even fairly many of them, does not defeat it if they can recruit more.
In Eastern Ukraine, a chaotic scramble of militias that don't really aim to be more than an excuse for a Russian takeover.
The UK's right-wing government excuses cruelty to disabled people by claiming they are faking disability.
Plutocratist governments know better than to claim "all" poor people are to blame for their own poverty or that "all" disabled people are fakes. Such a simplistic claim would be recognized as false. So they arrange complex systems of rules, artificial hurdles for disabled people to jump, so that anyone who fails can be convicted of "faking" and punished.
The system is stacked against the disabled, which ensures that most of them will fail: this provides an excuse for cruelty, and if a few manage to jump the hurdles, most are still screwed.
The details of these systems are not important; what is important is their overall purpose and effect: dooH niboR. Poverty is spreading because the rich have arranged to take a bigger share of society's production, leaving too little for everyone else. To remedy that, governments must tax the rich more and support the non-rich enough.
Arguments against Seymour Hersh's claim that Syrian rebels launched a chemical weapons attack with Turkish backing.
I linked to that article previously.
400 environmental activists have been killed in Brazil, presumably by people involved in illegal deforestation.
Inaudible audio recordings were presented as evidence against the al-Jazeera journalists on trial in Egypt.
To value natural systems in monetary figures adopts a framing designed to justify getting rid of them. It also opens the door for governments to use dishonest figures to justify getting rid of them.
Although life in North Korea is very hard, some defectors in South Korea want to return there.
This one was apparently in a privileged position in North Korea. He has experienced poverty in South Korea despite the country's overall wealth, but he may not have a clear picture of the poverty of most North Koreans.
A large strike has hit Chinese factories; workers are concerned their wages will be stolen.
The Afghan government has a 20% budget gap and will have trouble paying salaries if it doesn't get aid.
The amount at stake is tiny compared with what the US spent on the war. This seems to be penny wise and pound foolish.
Everyone: tell Pepsico to stop buying palm oil made from deforestation.
Australia's immigration minister seems to have lied completely about a riot in the immigration prison on Manus island, to put the blame on the imprisoned boat people.
A company meant to collect data on students in the US has shut down because states banned schools from sending student data to it.
This demonstrates that we can stop corporate surveillance on the Internet if we are willing to go to the necessary lengths.
10 years after Mordechai Vanunu's release from prison, Israel still forbids him from emigrating to join his family.
The only crime for which US national security officials get prosecuted is leaking. Torture, assassination and perjury are considered ok.
Cracking down even more, the perjurer Clapper has just banned all spy agency staff from talking to the press without advance permission.
Wildlife in the uninhabited area around Chernobyl shows serious harm from radiation.
Ominously, some animals show more damage than their parents had; the effect seems to be cumulative.
A US appeals court ordered Obama to release the supposed legal justifications for assassinating Anwar al-Awlaki.
Jerry Hartfield has spent 33 years in prison for a conviction that was overturned on appeal.
Austerity in Greece caused 500 extra suicides in 2009/10.
Poverty has got deeper since then; I would expect that another 500 or 1000 have committed suicide since then.
The Meritocracy Myth: How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money.
The Cowboy Indian Alliance opposes the Keystone XL pipeline on the ground.
The FBI's new database of face photos is not just a new way to keep track of photos of criminals. It is a plan to collect photos of millions of people, some who were arrested and not tried, and some who were not accused of anything. And to share them with state thugs, and try recognizing people against these photos.
The convenience and cheapness of streaming services and corporate remote storage may be impossible to resist, if you are spineless and don't mind being antisocial.
The spineless author made himself susceptible to bad judgment by adopting shallow economic values that show up in the concept of "consuming services".
Landlord companies that bought housing in New York City are going to vicious lengths, even sabotage, to make tenants move out so they can raise rents.
Other tenants are shafted because the landlords are being foreclosed on.
The NSA is not the only threat to privacy in the US. Local thug departments are installing technology that can track all cars around the city.
Charging UK patients for crutches is the wedge being used to abolish gratis medical care in the UK.
The UK government has been striving for years to destroy the National Health service by underfunding it, denying all the while that that is its goal. The result would be a lousy US-style medical system in which the poor can't afford medical care.
Meanwhile, if they want to save money on crutches, they could do various things to encourage patients to return them for reuse.
I tried to hand a wrist brace back to MIT medical after I no longer needed it, and MIT medical refused to take it, or even tell me where to find anyone that would take it. Apparently in the US all medical organizations are scared they will be sued if a medical appliance transfers some sort of pest from one patient to another. Someone there suggested I give it to Good Will, but Good Will doesn't accept wrist braces.
This makes no sense, except in terms of absurd litigation. A crutch or wrist brace is no more likely to transfer any sort of infection than a dress or shirt that Good Will would handle.
It would be easy enough to adopt a regulation saying that clinics will not be liable for infections supposedly transferred by crutches and wrist braces provided they follow certain specified sterilization procedures. But no one in the US cares about this.
The UK government said its cuts won't starve the poor because "emergency funds" are available, but they are filtered through a system that makes it hard for poor people to get those funds, if they even think of asking.
They seem to be part of the UK right-wing government's policy of shafting the poor, pretending not to be shafting the poor, but demonizing the poor.
A bureaucrat's slip reveals that the UK's internet censorship agenda respects no limits.
The article distinguishes between censorship of illegal material and censorship of material that is not illegal, but that is a mere legal technicality. Mere laws cannot justify censorship; if they try, laws that try to do this only invalidate themselves.
Armenia faces chilling censorship through a ban on online anonymity.
Malaysia's government has driven the main opposition leader into exile through politically-motivated charges of homosexuality.
Supporters of Russia in Eastern Ukraine have reported a firefight with possibly imaginary Ukrainian right-wing fanatics. They stopped reporters from visiting the location of the supposed fight.
It appears to be as phony as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
US citizens: call on the US government to collect what Cliven Bundy owes.
Everyone: call on the UK to suspend deportation of homosexuals so as to avoid sending people back to countries which threaten to imprison or execute them.
Enric Duran cheated Spanish banks to fund anticapitalist activities.
In the past I would have said that cheating a bank was wrong. Then I learned how much banks cheat everyone else.
A worker in the UK was fired for stating religious disapproval of homosexuality.
I think people should be free to state their disapproval of anything at all, and other people should be free to ignore those views.
The callous rich of Palo Alto want to ban homeless people from sleeping in cars.
Is there anyone reading this from Palo Alto who would like to launch a street campaign to shame those rich people? If there is a business that supports this law, it would be interesting to make signs condemning them and invite homeless people to picket that business during the day.
Malta may hold a referendum to end the licensed hunting of birds migrating north to breed.
When a bird species is being wiped out, typically many causes are at work. As in the case of global heating, if we want to preserve what is threatened, we must reject arguments of the form, "Let us keep endangering it — tackle some other threat instead."
The US and UK, by distorting the picture of their surveillance and claiming it is compatible with democracy and human rights, provide a precedent for governments even less democratic to make similar false claims.
General el-Sisi is running for president of Egypt, but TV stations are taking his critics off the air.
Palestinian Christians find that Israel blocks them from Jerusalem.
Everyone: pressure AT&T to stop lobbying to ban community-owned network access points.
Everyone: call on Bayer and Syngenta to drop their lawsuits against the coming ban on neonicotinoid pesticides in Europe.
How patents stifled American aviation for a decade or more.
There is no good reason to have a patent system; it exists due to pressure from the businesses that hold patents.
Big sports events nowadays leave a permanent legacy of surveillance. Boston has installed cameras across the city that are monitored constantly by an AI system, set up to report anything "unusual" to human thugs.
We can have fun with this. How many unusual things can you do on the street each day? Why not back up to the entrance of 10 parking lots just for fun?
But that won't get rid of the surveillance.
It might be more useful to walk around in Boston with a sign saying, "Surveillance of all threatens all", and hand out printed copies of that page.
Live internet camera feeds pointing at public places, if they are good enough to identify people, should be banned to preserve privacy. Security cameras should be required to store their recordings locally, so that access to the recordings requires physically visiting the site.
The myth that rapists are monsters that could hardly pass for normal men paradoxically helps perpetuate the social toleration of various levels of harassment of women by men that don't appear subhuman.
Over 30 years, each decade has seen an increase in wildfires and drought in the US west.
The extreme drought this past winter was made possible by human greenhouse gas emissions; it could not have happened in the climate of 50 years ago.
The New York Times avoided coverage of a Palestinian journalist's arrest, complying with an Israeli gag order.
Kerry's peace negotiations went "poof" all of a sudden when it was revealed that they were a balloon full of hot air all along.
After the Big Spill, it was clear that the US needs stricter regulation of undersea oil drilling. Oil company lobbying blocked the necessary changes in laws.
As a result, we must expect it to happen again.
In terms of sheer production, we would still have plenty of the things we want if the decrease in production is taken out of the income of the rich.
However, most people can't simply decide to work less. They may be working two or three jobs just to get by, or they may be professionals who won't be hired at all unless they agree to work 60 hours a week. If we want to reduce working hours, we will have to organize politically and take from the rich.
On Russian methods for surveillance of communications.
The captain of the Korean ferry that sank faces several criminal charges.
I don't know enough about ferry operations to judge how serious his alleged wrongs were. But it would be unjust to punish him more for these actions than they would punish another captain who did the same things without causing any loss of life.
Disasters happen when several errors and failures combine. Each of the individual errors happens often but usually does not cause a disaster. The error is equally culpable whether it leads to a disaster or not.
If we want crews to change practices and thus reduce the errors that could contribute to future disasters, we should take measures that are effective.
The small chance of a very heavy punishment does less to change people's behavior than a large chance of a small punishment. To convict this captain of many crimes and sentence him to years in prison will not do much to change other captain's practices, because each will figure that a disaster is unlikely to happen to him. (Some will reflect on their practices and change them out of a desire to be safe, but the disaster alone is enough to cause that.)
It would be more effective to pick some of these errors and punish all the captains or owners that commit them — even when no harm results, as is usually the case.
Armed right-wing tax rebels in Nevada stood off US forces to preserve the right to graze cattle in a wildlife preserve and not pay fees.
Their readiness to resist the state power would be admirable if they were doing it in a good cause, but they are doing it for the sake of their own exploitation.
Assad's forces have besieged 18,000 in a part of Damascus, and they are running out of food.
If the US wants to do something in Syria, how about air-dropping food to them?
High pay for company executives has become a status symbol.
I don't want to abolish business as such, but I believe we must put an end to business as we know it (the plutocratic system). We must not be scared to say this.
It is the usual sad story: when a country hits an economic crisis, people in wealthier regions of the country start demanding independence so that they won't have to help the poorer regions. What foolish selfishness, for the not-quite-so-poor to fight against the poor, rather than joining forces against the rich.
Childhood stress seems to affect growth of the hippocampus and to make people more prone to depression when older.
Obama's economic advisors had previously advised and pressured Bill Clinton to deregulate banks.
Look at the idiotic reasons that were given.
Each "argument" can appear to be an argument for further deregulation if you close your eyes to the way it is an argument for further regulation.
Iran has offered to redesign its nuclear reactor in Arak so that it can't produce much plutonium.
Perhaps they will redesign it to make arak with heavy alcohol.
Organizing collectively in wealthy countries to demand better working conditions for the people that make our clothing.
I support these efforts, but they are aiming at treating persistent symptoms of a known underlying problem: the "free trade" treaties. They destroyed unionization and labor rights around the world by enabling companies to shift their production anywhere. This exposes labor to many abuses (including low pay, insecurity, dangerous working conditions and theft of wages).
We must reject the idea of "free trade", whose supposed benefit is no more than increased total economic activity, while implanting a plutocratic system that ensures that increase goes to the rich.
Thomas Piketty's research demonstrates that the natural tendency in capitalism is to make the rich richer and increase inequality; the period from 1940 to 1975 was an unusual exception.
Thus, we need laws and taxes to spread the wealth around.
I don't think we should argue about whether this should be done through higher taxes for the rich or through regulations to stop exploitative practices. Either can help, and both are desirable. Plutocracy is a complex system, and very strong, so we need to weaken it at many points.
A Spanish judge defies the right-wing government's attempts to shut down his investigation into Guantanamo torture.
A broad grass-roots campaign calls for keeping BP suspended from new US government contracts.
Tennessee is considering a bill to punish women that use some illegal drugs while pregnant.
This law is not just nasty, it is also likely to lead pregnant addicts to avoid prenatal care, which will backfire against the babies. The law is therefore likely to harm rather than help those babies.
It is wrong to take drugs while pregnant that result in producing a damaged baby. However, when someone addicted to one of those drugs gets pregnant, what's a useful response? I think the right solution is an abortion. A useful response is to encourage and help that person to get an abortion.
Obama will scramble for excuses to keep prisoners in Guantanamo once the US ceases to be at war in Afghanistan.
The massive capture of migrating birds in Egypt has reached a level where it endangers some species.
It's not just the NSA that's doing massive surveillance; the FBI does it too.
The NSA circumvents and neutralizes rules against spying on US citizens and people in the US, but the FBI has no such restrictions.
Haiti's US-imposed government has made a vague threat to punish radio stations that make statements that the government does not like.
The president was "elected" in a process which was rigged by the US and excluded the only party that has real popular support (Aristide's party).
Officials begging for more ships to capture drug smugglers cite a list of reasons that demonstrate that legalization would do a better job.
A leaked recording purports to be a conversation between ministers in Turkey planning a false-flag attack as an excuse to attack Syria.
I would not put this past the Turkish government, but at the same time I think that if it wanted to intervene in Syria it would just do so, with no need for the false-flag attack.
Here's an example of Pielke's misrepresentation of science.
Irish thugs appear to have made a habit of recording prisoners' conversations in jail with their lawyers.
Orange, a mobile phone network in France, gives all its customers' call data to France's NSA.
US citizens: demand transparency in the decision about the Keystone XL pipeline.
US citizens: call on Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Putin is planning to require registration and strict censorship on bloggers and discussion sites.
Anonymity will be forbidden, naturally.
This means recordings purporting to reveal corruption of officials.
Twitter is moving aggressively to extract personal information from its users, for profiling purposes.
It may be necessary to develop rules for safe use of Twitter. I am no expert, but I suggest these rules.
I hope that people who know more will suggest additional rules.
A new medicine that reportedly cures hepatitis C costs $84,000, which means most of the people who need it can't afford it.
If you can hold out 20 years or so, till the patent expires, the price may come down.
In remote US national parks, fish have high levels of mercury. That's because it spreads through the air.
I wonder if some of the mercury in Alaskan parks came from Chinese coal-fired electric plants.
Chris Christie is making a second try to drive a natural gas pipeline through a protected wildlife reserve.
The US government focuses on the threat of terrorism by Islamist fanatics, while mostly disregarding right-wing terrorists who in fact do more harm.
I am not saying that the US should treat right-wing extremists as it has treated Muslims, denying them freedom of expression and association on strained pretexts and fishing for crimes to accuse them of, or as it has treated animal rights activists, imprisoning them for running a web site and claiming that is "terrorism". That's unjust no matter who the target is. However, there is surely a middle ground between excess and nothing.
The US and UK overthrew the elected government of Azerbaijan in 1993 and installed a dictator, in order to help BP get a good deal over exporting oil from Azerbaijan.
This enabled BP to drill oil wells in the Caspian sea, and one of them exploded.
BP's men lied to Congress, saying said their operations were safe and had had no serious problems. So BP was allowed to drill in the Gulf of Mexico and promptly had another explosion.
An honest government, not corrupted by oil companies. would never trust BP in any way ever again.
The UK is considering selling taxpayers' tax return data, "anonymized" (though that may not do much good).
Obama has put off the decision on the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline until after the elections in November.
I think Obama intends to approve the pipeline and has intended this all along. He knows what harm it will do, and if he cared greatly about those problems, he would have cancelled it long ago. I think he is maneuvering to reduce the condemnation he will receive for approving it.
But this does not mean campaigning against the pipeline is useless. If we can make the approval painful enough, and require evident enough lies, he may feel compelled to cancel it.
A British MP who was tried and acquitted now believes he was wrong to vote to cut the reimbursement of the legal fees of those who are tried and acquitted.
Discussing the effects of marijuana can rot your brain, if you're not careful.
A crowdfunded genetic engineering project aims to produce a glow-in-the-dark variety of arabidopsis, just for hack value.
I don't see any danger in glowing arabidopsis. What scares me is the possibility of making viruses this way. However, that can't be prevented by the sort of regulation that people are thinking of; a totally secret project could ignore the regulations.
A study finds that every stage of fracking spreads toxic substances.
Hillary Clinton would be another Obama, giving lip service to the progressive causes that most Americans support, but only until she gets their vote.
Over 4 million US children go to school within a mile of a dangerous chemical facility.
Thugs rampaged through Evin prison, where some of Iran's political prisoners are held, breaking prisoners' bones.
The media has an "anything but carbon" prejudice: any scientific paper claiming that global heating is caused by something other than carbon emissions gets tremendous media attention.
Caroline Lucas: The fight against fracking continues — and I'm proud to rejoin it.
Russia has started extracting oil from the Arctic and shipping it to Europe. Greenpeace's efforts did not succeed in blocking this.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that fossil fuel subsidies are ten times the subsidies for renewable energy.
It is unconscionable to subsidize an industry as profitable as fossil fuels, even if it were not causing world-wide disaster.
Dubya is responsible, though indirectly, for all of these bombings even though the ones he directly ordered were back in 2003.
The US systematically violates human rights to imprison Muslims thought to be leaning towards terrorism.
We're not talking, here, about people who have committed real acts of violence. These people have not done that, and most of them have not even planned to do that.
Iraq veterans in the US commit a substantial number of killings, most of the time not noticed by the press.
This is the most extreme aspect of broader psychological damage caused by sending people to fight a war that only lies can justify.
Botswana has banned Bushmen from living in the desert and hunting, supposedly for the sake of wildlife protection, but perhaps really to enhance the income of the president's family.
Recruiting them as a society to fight poaching seems likely to be more effective.
1/5 of the farmland in China is polluted with toxic metals.
Snowden's question to Putin about massive surveillance in Russia was designed to give him a chance to make claims that could subsequently be studied and challenged.
Given Snowden's precarious position, I think it took courage to do this and courage to talk about it after.
Tea Party, Taxes and Why the Original Patriots Would've Revolted Against the Surveillance State.
Illegal logging is rife in the Peruvian Amazon. Many logging concessions are being canceled.
It may be quite difficult to design AIs with desires such that we can be sure they won't take horrible revenge on humans.
However, the problem may not arise if we stick to AIs that don't have desires.
Technology and data mining enable companies to indirectly bypass nondiscrimination laws.
Their money has spread acceptance of their pro-exploitation ideas, which used to be considered shockingly extremist in the US.
Companies that amass personal data, such as Facebook, wield power that compares with states.
Since they are not democratically controlled by the people whose data they control, their power is illegitimate.
8 million Americans have signed up under Obama's health care program.
It is good, as far as it goes; it just doesn't go far enough.
In the UK, in a private test, 40% of prepared "lamb" dishes tested proved to have other kinds of meat. To address this problem, the UK will cut the budget for testing food.
ALEC is pushing state laws to pressure the US government to give states control of federal land, the idea being that the states will be pushovers for mining companies.
They refer to this with the romantic-sounding name of "sagebrush rebellion" to make it look like something other than exploitation.
The Australian government is giving states control over environmental planning precisely to make it easier for mining companies to despoil and pollute.
Everyone: sign this petition asking the governor of Tennessee to cancel contracts with privatized prison company CCA.
Ecuadorians have collected enough signatures for a referendum on whether to extract oil from Yasuní.
Big business in Seattle, trying to undermine implementation of a living wage law, have made a plan to disguise their lobbying as coming from mom-and-pop stores.
More information about the fighting in Mariupol.
UK anti-fracking protesters including a Green member of Parliament were cleared of criminal charges over an anti-fracking protest.
Now who is going to make the thugs stop arresting anti-fracking protesters.
Illinois is trying to get the microplastics out of its refuse, and thus out of its waterways, but it's going slow about it.
Egypt's government is imprisoning lots of gay men.
South Africa plans to farm rhinos to sell their horns.
I don't see anything wrong in principle with farming rhinos for their horns. If the farmed horn is cheap enough, no one will bother poaching. However, this article claims it will be expensive and the gangs will not slow down their poaching.
The fact that the horns are sold as phony cures suggests that educating people that the cure is a lie might help. Could phony rhino horn be made from cow hooves or human fingernails?
A genetically modified plant is being tested which produces oils that fish normally get from marine algae.
Since they are not used with a special pesticide regime, and would either be fed to fish or used as a dietary additive, I don't think these plants are likely to harm health of humans or wildlife. However, is there a danger that patented genes will contaminate farms trying to grow ordinary camelina?
Would it be possible to cultivate the algae instead?
US citizens: call for a ban on fracking in US national parks.
US citizens: tell Congress, don't prohibit states from requiring labeling of GMOs.
Everyone: call on the Governor of Tennessee to cancel contracts with privatized prisons.
US citizens: call on Congress not to renew two loopholes that enable many companies to get out of paying taxes.
Please sign this one too.
(Eliminating these two loopholes would not necessarily save all of that.)
Placebos proved effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome even with patients who knew they were getting a placebo.
Strange, these humans.
High-pressure education in the UK can keep children in school up to 10 hours a day, denying them any time for personal life.
A leader in the Greek Golden Dawn party praised Hitler. Now there is no doubt that it is a neo-Nazi party.
One of the "great" things that Hitler did was conquer Greece. I wonder how Greeks feel about that.
How US millionaires pay lower income tax rates than middle-class Americans.
The French labor rule, against sending employees work emails after 6pm, says something about other countries where people let the boss impose their life priorities.
Environmental activists are being killed in greater numbers because the land-grab and resource-grab are speeding up.
(In the US) CEO Pay Soars As Worker Pay Stagnates.
Canada's tar sands oil extraction threatens to be imitated in many other parts of the world including the US. The result would be global disaster for certain.
The "climate bomb" might turn out to be one submunition of a cluster climate bomb.
People involved in running the Rana Plaza factory face murder charges in Bangladesh.
I think this charge is unjust. Running a factory in a badly built building created a risk of a deadly collapse, but the chance was still small. It ought to be a crime, but not murder.
Contrast this with the fossil fuel industry's lobbying and disinformation campaign about global heating, which is sure to kill millions of people (perhaps even billions) unless some stroke of luck saves them. That is a real murder plot.
If the goal is to put an end to using substandard buildings as factories, it is more effective to impose heavy fines on a large fraction of the operators whose factories are not protected against collapse, than to imprison or even execute the few whose factories actually collapse.
A study finds poor people and minority group members in the US face 40% more exposure to toxic chemicals than wealthy Whites.
I think, however, that rather than calling for a more equal distribution of toxins, we should give priority to reducing toxic pollution for everyone — something that companies resist.
Obama has proposed to put the CIA in charge of deciding which parts of the Senate report on CIA torture should be published.
In effect, he has taken the CIA's side against the Senate, the American people, and human decency.
The IPCC has laid out clearly what the world needs to do to avoid global heating disaster. Since most of the emissions come from ten countries (including China and the US), these countries above all must reduce emissions.
The Tax Breaks (for oil) That Are Killing the Planet
Bombshell: Study Ties Epic California Drought, Frigid East To Manmade Climate Change.
Pennsylvania Teen Convicted Of A Crime For Recording Bullies At School.
I think that schools should have a policy of authorizing students who are being bullied to make recordings of the bullies, so as to show the school what the bullies are doing, but these should not be distributed outside the school. (In particular, they should not be placed on servers outside the school.)
Fracking wells' methane emissions are up to 1000 times higher than claimed, and that's even before the fracking starts.
This means it is stupid and self-defeating to try to reduce global heating by switching from coal to fracked gas.
In any case, calling it "switching" is misleading because just as much coal continues to be extracted and burned. Fracking is in addition to coal.
The Koch brothers lobbied for a Tennessee law to ban construction of structures to make for more efficient bus transit.
Americans, your taxes may be supporting a private prison that profits by keeping imprisonment rates high.
The people of Arivaca, Arizona, feel the heel of the US Border Patrol as an occupying army, which also represses those who photograph their activities.
The Border Patrol is planning to extend its permanent checkpoints to New England, repressing all Americans in the name of deportation.
US citizens: call on Congress not to allow the CIA to facilitate delivery of portable anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebels.
The rebel groups sell arms between them, and also capture arms from each other. No matter what care the US might take, jihadis would get some of them.
Everyone: tell Nestle to stop trying to patent the use of fennel flowers as a medicine.
US citizens: call for a ban on fracking in US national parks.
US citizens: tell Congress, don't prohibit states from requiring labeling of GMOs.
Everyone: call on the Governor of Tennessee to cancel contracts with privatized prisons.
US citizens: call on Congress not to renew two loopholes that enable many companies to get out of paying taxes.
Please sign this one too.
(Eliminating these two loopholes would not necessarily save all of that.)
US citizens: oppose "fast track" for the TPP.
US citizens: call on Congress to repeal the U SAP AT RIOT Act and the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the government's collection of much of the dossiers that companies accumulate.
US citizens: tell Democratic holdouts to endorse increasing Social Security.
The intended terminus of an alternate tar sands oil export pipeline from Alberta, running to the West Coast through Canada, has blocked the pipeline with a referendum.
The US obtusely fires teachers based on students' standardized tests, disregarding the fact that nearly all the difference in test outcomes results from other factors such as class size and students' background.
10,000 people protested in Russia condemning Putin's lies about Ukraine.
Iran's theocratic ruler has called for banning vasectomies, abortions and contraception, in an effort to force people to have more children.
With human population growth continuing to endanger civilization, such policies are very dangerous.
Boko Haram Islamist fanatics kidnaped 100 schoolgirls as they were taking an exam.
Arguing that a real technological singularity, as Vernor Vinge envisioned it, is not likely to occur, especially not any time soon.
Please do not buy his books (or any books, or anything else) from Amazon!
A UN investigator was barred from the UK's privatized prison for people to be deported.
Ukraine's government has started military action to recover control of some eastern cities.
The armed groups that have taken control of buildings and streets are either rebels or invaders, or a mix of the two. Referring to them as "terrorists" is a smear, however: they have shown no inclination towards violence against anyone but soldiers. This verges on war, but it is not terrorism.
That point might seem like quibbling, but it is very important. If we want "free" countries such as the US and the UK to stop making opportunistic accusations of "terrorism" against protesters and journalists' lovers, we should object whenever the term is stretched.
A bill to make US intelligence agencies publish their budgets might provide leverage to reduce those budgets.
The adults who are vulnerable to this are those who do not have custody of any children.
If anyone asks, "How could we pay for these tax cuts", it's simple: tax the rich more, and tax companies more.
America's war machine, far bigger than any other country, should be reduced so as to spend the money on things we really need.
Of course, we should increases taxes on rich people and companies too.
A detective in Utah examined prescription records of hundreds of employees of the Salt Lake City area looking for something suspicious, to try to find who stole some morphine.
I hope that the Fourth Amendment blocks this warranties search, but I don't think that is enough. Putting everyone's prescription records in a central database is asking for trouble.
A church in North Carolina has illustrated the contradiction between Christianity and persecuting the homeless, with a bronze statue of Jesus as a homeless person sleeping on a bench.
I reject Christianity as a whole, but there are a few aspects of it that are admirable, and this is one of them.
Here's an example of the sort of persecution that a sincere Christian can't do.
The US government illegally confiscated Nader El-Dajani's passport without a hearing, and refuses to say why, or that it has any accusations against him.
A court ruled that Israel can't keep Shuafat totally deprived of water. So now Israel provides water between 03:00 and 08:00, the time which is most harassing for the inhabitants.
Amazon's book recommendations are not an honest attempt to figure out what a customer might like. Publishers pay to have books promoted in this way.
Obama officials have proposed "moving" the drone assassination program in Pakistan from the CIA to the military so that it would have to follow clear military rules. That proposal was pure pretense, since in fact the US military has been running these drone assassinations all along. The "CIA" label is just an excuse ignoring those rules.
The IPCC says that our carbon emissions will take us to the brink of disaster and that we must start vigorously cutting them now if we are to avoid the big disaster. However, we can still afford to do this; the cost will be bearable.
Australia's government's response is to insist on burning fossil fuels, saying that carbon capture will someday reduce their emissions.
Carbon capture for power plant emissions is purely theoretical, but even if it turns out to be possible, that will be too late to prevent the disaster.
Meanwhile, an Australian court ruled that coal mines are not responsible for the emissions, on the grounds that if one mine doesn't provide the desired coal, another will.
That ruling is based on the premise that the point is to decide who to blame, not to prevent disaster. Preventing the disaster entails making sure that no mine produces that coal, and that means first of all not this mine.
How the Koch brothers stack up against Jefferson's political views.
Spanish banksters say it will take 10 years for Spanish workers' incomes to return to the level from before the financial crisis that was caused by the rules of the euro-zone, which impose policies that make any recession worse.
The "solutions" recommended are part of shock capitalism; they will do nothing to change the euro-zone rules, or to help workers against the rich.
Drug traffickers in Central America are causing substantial deforestation by building roads and runways through jungles.
This adds to all the other forms of harm caused by drug prohibition. The traffickers are directly responsible for the deforestation, and I do not mean to let them off the hook, but in practice the only way we can prevent the deforestation (and the other forms of harm) is by ending prohibition.
Right-wing Christians are shutting down abortion clinics in many states by imposing pointless "safety requirements" that are impossible to satisfy.
There are now bitcoin ATMs, but since they require users to identify themselves, I don't see what good they are.
Looking at the IPCC's call: what must humanity do, to avoid global heating disaster.
India now offers people the option of "other" as a gender.
I applaud this move, but raises a difficult question: what symbol will indicate the toilets for the "other" gender?
Chinese human rights lawyers were kept in a secret prison and tortured. They have fractures to prove it.
Air pollution in China can make storms stronger in the western US.
The killing of environmentalists and land rights defenders has more than doubled in a decade.
Thomas Piketty's economics explain ow unrestrained capitalism entrenches wealth and knocks down the poor.
De Toqueville, in Democracy in America, explained what the solution was 200 years ago: large fortunes were split up among several heirs at each generation. To avoid an oligarchic state, we must always have some solution.
An ex-minister in Australia has exposed how thoroughly the right-wing Israeli lobby dominates politicians there.
The idea that one should think of oneself as a "personal brand" directs people's thinking away from the collective action they really need.
I see two problems in that idea:
Workers in the past realized that they were interchangeable for their employers. Rather than trying, each one, to stand out from the rest of the workforce, they built unions to require employers to respect the rights of all their workers.
If you try to confront the work situation alone, treating other workers as your competition, you're aiming for a kind of success that at best a small fraction of workers can achieve.
But I never did anything with that as a goal. I didn't choose any of these traits to be different from others. Each of my unusual traits, I have either because I found it fun, or because I found it useful, or because I resented and resisted a demand to change it, or because changing it would have involved an insupportable indignity, or because I have tried to change it but have not entirely succeeded (yet).
Be true to yourself, and be true to society as a whole.
Government-led reductions in salt levels in foods, in the UK, appears responsible for a 40% drop in deaths from strokes and likewise from heart attacks.
A leaked copy of part of the Senate's report on CIA torture says that the CIA tortured lots of people and went beyond what it had got approval for.
That the CIA lied to the rest of the US government about its torture practices does not seem implausible to me. However, we must not let this exonerate Bush, who has already admitted approving some kinds of torture.
The CIA also seems to have lied about how many prisoners it held.
When the CIA says it released a prisoner, I wonder what that means. Was that person freed? Released to some other prison? Released to a cemetery? Without a thorough investigation of the facts, we must not suppose that words used the CIA mean what we would normally expect.
Here's the text that was leaked.
Greenpeace: tell the fossil fuel industry its time is up.
Fossil fuel interests corrupt our governments (including Canada, Australia, the UK and the US), and our media, to push the world into continued dependence on fossil fuels. This is a conspiracy to commit mass murder, and all those involved should be put behind bars.
US citizens: ask your congresscritter to cosponsor the Sunshine in Litigation Act.
Everyone: call on Kellogg's to treat its employees and farm workers decently.
US citizens: call on Obama to withdraw the nomination of a bankster as an official of the Commerce Department. The bankster just got a 9-million-dollar bonus for moving to a position where he will be in a position to help his former employer.
The US asks the public to report anything "suspicious", and nearly anything someone feels strange about can be "suspicious", which makes for a big data base with lots of info about lots of people.
Another privacy threat: cell phones with always-on retina trackers.
The cute "3D" feature they are used to implement is of no real importance, but I wonder what other information the proprietary software in those phones can extract using those sensors and give to companies.
The IPCC has presented targets for renewable energy development to avoid the worst kind of global heating disaster.
Since we don't know how precisely how much greenhouse gas emissions it will take to cause disaster, we should try to exceed these targets by as much as possible.
Crime statistics are not all that UK thugs lie about.
Being a black male in a US city is like being an American in East Berlin in 1980: continual harassment by thugs, due to who you are rather than what you do, creates a sense of constant oppression.
The US government is considering new rules about racial profiling, that would not change much.
British journalist Sarah Harrison explains why she must not return to the UK: her lawyers warn she could be interrogated about her sources, and imprisoned if she does not answer.
A public school teacher calls on other teachers to fight against the billionaires' plan to privatize public schools and turn education into a standardized test.
They plan a protest at the Gates Foundation on June 26.
Chattel slavery in the US was officially abolished after the Civil War, but current US prison practices are quite similar to modern slavery.
The US government tells the public its military plans in Africa are small, but it tells construction companies something rather different.
ALEC is about to publish another "Rich States, Poor States" report which grades states on how friendly they are to the rich.
It turns out this was funded by the Kochs.
The FBI turned a member of a Guantanamo prisoner's defense team into an informant.
The FBI did this trying to figure out how a prisoner's writings reached the press. The US government is keeping the prisoners incommunicado so that they can't tell us about how they were tortured. In effect, the whole system of "military tribunals" (which are corrupt by design) has been corrupted a second time by the US's torture coverup.
Human rights observers were barred from the "open" trial of Gaddafi's sons and supporters, and not all the defendants were present.
Aside from the falsification of LIBOR, banks should not be allowed to invent complex financial derivatives because that's a recipe for suckering people. If the bank can make up a game with complicated rules, it is almost certain to win the game even if the game is not actually rigged.
Banks are regulated and licensed businesses; they cannot cite "Buyer beware, especially if you're buying form us" as an all-purpose excuse for inventing gambling games that endanger the public.
Four main phone companies in Sweden have ceased retaining customers' call records, based on the court ruling against the EU data retention directive.
The UK is arresting anti-fascist protesters en masse and forbidding them from protesting any further.
CO2 makes many small fish behave dangerously, which endangers the entire marine ecosystem.
This is not to mention how it can wipe out molluscs and coral.
A preliminary study of a small number of US mothers found high levels of glyphosate in the breast milk of several of them.
A larger study is called for, but what's clear already is that US safety standards have been corrupted by powerful businesses.
Poor Americans convicted of comparatively minor crimes are locked out from many careers and educational opportunities. Practically speaking, all they are allowed to be is criminals. The banksters' crimes are far worse; the harshest consequences should be reserved for them.
Egyptian dissidents, imprisoned without trial, say that thugs raped them in prison.
The UK national health service pays a data broker to hand out forms — and ask new mothers (still recuperating in hospital) for personal data while they're at it.
These are the sorts of things that teach children that "everyone and everything is for sale, all the time, and there's nothing that shouldn't be for sale".
I think it was a terrible mistake for US cities to sell the names of stadiums as a form of advertising, because that was a very loud statement that "everything is for sale". Any time you're thinking of letting companies buy something that is public, it means you're not taxing them enough.
It appears that Russian army units, pretending not to be such, are capturing cities in eastern Ukraine.
They seem to have some support from the local civilians, but there is no way of telling how many civilians do not support them; those people are facing powerful intimidation now.
UK school principals are denying raises to teachers unless they "volunteer" for unpaid extra work.
The Australian government has ordered government employees to report their colleagues for posting anything on the internet that criticizes the government.
You'd expect as much from the mining industry's government of occupation.
San Jose State University (and probably other universities too) requires some students to run nonfree test-supervising software used to impose a regime that must drive people nuts.
I'd fail a test in algebra, if I had to spend an hour answering questions while never looking away from the camera. And if I were not allowed to look down at the keyboard, I would make typos too. A program that imposes requirements like this must be considered malware.
But even if it were not known to be malware, it would be unacceptable if it is non-free, which is surely the case.
Financial analyst Eric Garland says that Bain Capital (and similar leveraged-buyout companies) are converting the US economy into a system of financial parasitism, in which business decisions are no longer supposed to make sense for the company, and imposed company debt is put into complex schemes so it can be resold to a "bigger fool".
The "bigger fools" in this case are rich and greedy, so I offer no condolences to whichever one gets stuck with the hot potato. But the bursting of this bubble could hurt nearly everyone (except the parasites that did the leveraged buyouts).
US mainstream media ignored Israel's breach of the interim deal with Palestine, and blamed Palestine's response as the cause of the breakdown of the "peace negotiations".
Since Israel's government does not want peace, these "peace negotiations" were never more than a sham, a way for Israel's government to pretend it wants peace.
I guess they want to be free to beat people up unmonitored.
People in general should not be "followed all the time" by the state or by companies, but thugs are a special case because they have special power, and because the state gives them near total immunity for their violence.
A science teacher in LA was fired for supervising the construction of devices that could conceivably launch projectiles. Someone else thought they "looked like weapons".
One might be tempted to say that the school administrators are rash idiots, but it's not that simple. The problem is that they think that their job is to act like rash idiots. That's what "zero tolerance" means.
A million workers participated in a general strike in Argentina.
A subtle campaign of global heating sabotage uses distorted facts to criticize climate scientists for not promoting certain dangerous or ineffective "solutions".
I wonder where this group gets its funds.
Citizens of Massachusetts: support the bill to require labeling of GMOs.
The UK has been caught helping the CIA run a secret prison on Diego Garcia.
US citizens: call on Congress to try to restore what the Supreme Court weakened in the 5th Amendment.
Citizens of Albuquerque protested the street executions carried out by thugs, to demand that corrective action be taken in a way that the thugs can't undermine.
Snowden, speaking to the European Parliament, summarized the broad reach of NSA massive surveillance.
Everyone: support efforts in Colorado to pass a law protecting access to reproductive health care.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to oppose the dishonest bill designed to block states from requiring labeling of GMOs.
The EFF is campaigning against commercial misuse of people's medical records.
I support this campaign but I think it does not go far enough. Both companies and governments can misuse our medical records, so a real solution must make it hard for either of them to get our records, hard enough that they will only get them in individual cases, never in bulk.
The fossil fuel industry is continuing its policy of shock capitalism to exploit every crisis, including Crimea.
Some teenagers in the US no longer understand the concept of "selling out", because they know no other approach to life.
The article relates that to the 30-year-long campaign to attack public education, which may be related to it. However, antisocial networks such as Facebook may be more responsible for it. Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle, says that Facebook encourages people to present phony, calculated images of themselves.
Parents can't stop their children from being used by Facebook. I wonder if they can teach their children to reject Facebook. Perhaps teaching them to distrust what anyone says in Facebook, and that friendships among people heavily influenced by Facebook tend to be superficial and empty. Would that be effective? I don't know.
In any case, this is an additional reason not to have children. Why go through so much effort to make yet another Facebook used who won't be able to envision any way of living except self-marketing.
The FBI did not bother to question Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but now says his example shows it needs more snooping authority.
The Boston Marathon bombers killed four people, not as many as a recent bus accident, but it has been sensationalized so much that people perceive it as signifying a far bigger danger. That makes it an ideal excuse for efforts to undermine our freedom.
The SEC is blocking reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by demanding additional surveillance powers.
Note that even if this reform goes through, you will still have less rights over your email when it is in a company than if it is in your home.
The ACLU is suing to get information about FBI and Massachusetts involvement in investigations relating to the Boston marathon bombing, and whether massive increases in surveillance that threaten our freedom really provided any security at all.
Japan has apologized for some atrocities in World War II. When will the US do likewise?
Andrew Auernheimer's conviction was overturned on appeal on the grounds he was prosecuted in the wrong state.
This is not the trivial issue it appears at first sight. The US prosecuted him in New Jersey, although his case had nothing to do with New Jersey, because that court tends to stretch the law to give convictions. Blocking that approach will protect other people.
Nonetheless, it means that the twisted logic behind the claim that Auernheimer's actions were a crime will not be reconsidered.
The US has deported thousands of "Mexicans" who came to the US as children and don't know what it is like to live in Mexico. Many stay in Tijuana, trying to feel close to their families in the US.
Campaigning to reduce the toxic pesticides used to make McDonalds' french fries.
If this succeeds, they will only be bad for the people that eat them ;-).
The Albuquerque thug department has been condemned for frequently using "deadly force" with no justification.
Desmond Tutu calls for a boycott on investing in fossil fuel companies.
I agree, on this, and on the point that it is unconscionable that our governments continue to offer cooperation (such as the Keystone XL pipeline) and financial support to fossil fuels.
In the US: tell Comcast what you think of its claim that there are no rational objections to its proposed merger with another large ISP.
Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras visited the US, and were not harassed by government agents on arrival.
Poitras used to be harassed regularly each time she returned to the US.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call for ending a big tax loophole for businesses.
In addition to being unsustainable, growth has also become nearly useless for the non-rich, in countries under plutocratic rule. The benefits of growth are seized by the plutocrats so little benefit trickles down to the rest.
You can't expect a rising tide to lift your boat if the plutocrats have taken planks from the hull and demand you lease them back.
Thus, taking wealth from the rich is a more appropriate policy nowadays than growth.
US Lacks Accurate Drone Civilian Casualty Data, says Military Analyst.
Being more careful, with better data, would be a useful step. But really the US should cease using military force outside of war zones.
The company making the GMO salmon claims that the FDA has already decided not to require labeling of this salmon.
This is not officially true, but the FDA is doing nothing to rebut the claim.
My guess is that the FDA has in fact made that decision, just not officially.
PBS is firmly and persistently supporting the billionaires' movement for privatization of US public schools.
PBS's shows have been largely controlled by business since the 1990s, if not before. Often you can tell which companies exert the control over a show because their commercials appear in it.
Compare this with the campaign to pry loose the control of the fossil fuel industry over PBS.
A few scientists publish papers criticism some aspects of the accepted understanding of global heating. Their theories sometimes endure in the mainstream media long after they have been refuted by further data.
Burmese newspapers printed black front pages to protest the imprisonment of a journalist.
A scientist says, let's celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week by making the public aware of how absurd and ineffective homeopathy is.
US citizen Sharif Mobley is accused of murder in Yemen, much like Obama. Unlike Obama, Mobley was supposed to be prosecuted there; but now that it is time for a hearing, the government now refuses to say where he is.
The US Supreme Court has narrowed the right to remain silent and not have that used against you in court, by saying the right applies only if you have explicitly cited it.
I don't think the US should seize money without a hearing about it. And it should not be able to seize money from children because of overpayments to their parents. Debts are not inherited.
The US Army is leaving behind, in Afghanistan, lots of dangerous things such as unexploded munitions.
Climate Change Is Not a Debate: It Is a Struggle That Pits Survivors Against Fossil Fuel Profiteers.
US citizens: sign up in support of Harvard faculty calling for divestment from fossil fuel companies.
Two commonly used kinds of nanoparticles, zinc oxide and silver, can damage DNA if they get into human cells.
This highlights the danger that a material which is safe when used in larger units may be dangerous in the form of small particles.
Guinea has cancelled mining licenses obtained, it seems, through corruption.
Illinois will continue passing along coal industry (Koch brothers?) "education" in public schools.
Clarisa Christiansen describes how US border patrol agents threatened to attack her as she was driving her children to school, refusing to say why, and eventually slashed her tire just to be nasty.
These thugs should be required to make video and audio recordings of their interactions with the public.
Airplane wifi systems spy on users even more than US law requires, as a "favor" to the US government.
Comcast called Time Warner Cable a competitor until they wanted to merge, at which point it started claiming that the two companies do not compete.
We should not permit large companies in the same field of business to merge under any circumstances.
The US Trade Representative claims that the European Union can't set its own data centers to protect privacy and block surveillance because that would violate a trade treaty.
Singapore rejected a "three strikes" law — and enacted SOPA instead.
3 new puns in French
The US is in a "gilded age" again because concentration of income to a wealthy few has gone back up to what it was a century ago.
US citizens: phone the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to extend unemployment benefits.
SEC lawyer James Kidney, in his retirement speech, rebuked the agency for timidity against the executives of the companies it is supposed to regulate.
US citizens: phone your senators and congresscritter, and say to co-sponsor S.J.Res.18 & H.J.Res.21, for constitutional amendments to cancel the Corporations United (*) decision.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
* To call it what it really is.
Everyone: tell Mozambique, don't let rapists push their victims into marriage.
In issues of human rights, not solely in the software field, the concept of "open" is not strong enough.
Around 1000 food additives are used in the US without need for regulatory approval (or proper investigation).
Seymour Hersh writes that Obama decided not to attack Assad in Syria because he found out that the gas attack was committed by the Islamists of al-Nusra. Before that, he was planning a massive attack.
Hersh's sources say that Turkey supported al-Nusra in making sarin. They also say that the CIA was sending US weapons to jihadists in Syria through Turkey, but in 2013 Obama decided to stop it, and that Erdogan ordered the attack so as to bring the US into the war against Assad.
I still think it is important to find out who started the rebellion in Syria. Was that set up by Turkey and Saudi Arabia and the US?
Wisconsin is one of the best US states in running elections, but the Republicans now in power are doing their best to change that.
The Heatland* Institute can't make up its mind whether to claim there is no global heating or claim global heating is beneficial.
What they say doesn't need to do any more than keep people too confused to interfere with what the Koch Brothers want.
* Officially "Heartland", but the name "Heatland" fits its activities better.
The Big Spill is still poisoning dolphins, turtles, oysters and fish in parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
The UK is following the US in making college expensive; students will take 30 years to repay their loans.
Without unions, workers won't be paid what their work is worth.
The Pharma company Roche swindled governments out of billions by suggesting that Tamiflu was effective against flu symptoms while concealing that experiments had shown the contrary.
We should not allow these companies to have anything to do with such experiments. The government should tax them and spend the money on the experiments.
Working people should not be condemned to being "hard-working" in service of the rich. Especially not when there is no work available.
Sri Lanka has imprisoned several women accused simply of having some sort of relationship with a suspected Tamil nationalist leader.
This means hackers in France now have more time to work on free software (logiciel libre).
The war on drugs corrupts many officials; that's one of the reasons we need to put an end to it.
Distinguishing the street protests of the middle classes wanting privilege from those of the poor demanding a decent life.
Greek workers held a general strike against austerity as a protest also against Merkel's imperial visit.
Distinguishing the street protests of the middle classes wanting privilege from those of the poor demanding a decent life.
Slavishly subservient mining regulators in North Carolina have appealed a court victory that affirmed their power to regulate toxic coal ash.
The mayor of Chicago is pushing to replace public schools with charter schools, claiming that the charter schools are superior. A study confirms previous results that charter schools are no better, in educational terms at least.
They must be better for someone. I wonder who, and how much that someone contributes to election campaigns.
Some brave New York City teachers have declared they will refuse to help administer the Common Core tests.
A statistical study confirms that the views of non-rich people have negligible effects on US government policies. The rich, and special interest lobbying, have nearly total control.
And that was before the Supreme Court gave companies and rich people even more power to control elections.
Plutocracy has squeezed democracy almost completely out of the US political system. It follows that the US government is not a legitimate government; it is a government of occupation for a colonial system.
Jeremy Leggett, oil geologist, claims that the world's rate of oil extraction will fall short of demand, sometime before 2020, perhaps as soon as 2015. He also says that a transition to renewable energy is within our grasp.
Unfortunately, the Koch Brothers and their pet politicians are working so hard to prevent the transition. A carbon tax is the way to speed it up, so we can migrate as fast as possible, rather than as slow as possible.
Brandeis University cancelled its plan to give Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree because of her criticism of Islam's cruelty to women.
Anyone that this shoe fits deserves to feel unwelcome everywhere in the world.
A campaign against sexism appears to condemn all explicit sexual advances as "harassment".
Australia's policy towards Israel and Palestine under the previous (Labor) government was determined directly by campaign donors.
Stephanie Greene was convicted of manslaughter because she breastfed her daughter while taking morphine, which was prescribed for her horribly painful and disabling injuries.
This article argues that there was a medical error in the prosecution's reasoning as well: that normally only a tiny amount of morphine would get into the milk, not enough to have an effect on the baby.
But even if that were not so, you can't blame someone for taking a prescribed painkiller because of harmful effects she was not warned of.
The latest harmless prank in San Francisco is to turn a Smart car on its side or its front.
This operation is basically harmless. It has some chance of causing scrapes or breaking a lamp, but minor property damage should not be a felony. Evidently California has made its laws too harsh.
Everyone: Tell McDonalds to stop stealing workers' pay.
Shaker Aamer suffers several forms of mental illness caused by the inhumane way he is treated in Guantanamo. The state covers this up with doublespeak.
He is even punished by denying him a blanket when his arthritis hurts.
Released from UK Jail, 79-year-old Peace Activist Vows to Keep Protesting.
Hungary's ruling party got a 2/3 majority in parliament with 44% of the vote.
I'd say that electoral system is unfair, even granted that no single opposition party got more votes.
The Australian government expresses its contempt for the environment by cutting the operations of the environment department.
US citizens: Tell Congress to support the Government by the People Act.
Here's more info about it.
US citizens: call on the EPA to file a comment against building the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
Citizens if Massachusetts: tell Governor Patrick not to allow tar sands oil into Massachusetts.
US citizens: oppose permitting oil exports from the US.
This would create an incentive to extract ever more oil using ever more dangerous and expensive methods.
If would-be killers can't get guns, and have to resort to using knives, they do a lot less harm.
The US is cutting corners on stewardship of many potentially dangerous facilities, including bridges, chemical plants, and nuclear plants and weapons.
How the World Bank's idea of "development" systematically promotes inequality and poverty.
Looking at all the studies, there is no evidence that butter is less healthful than margarine. But it is also not clear that butter isn't worse.
The US ought to welcome Palestine's application to join UN treaties concerned with human rights.
Elizabeth Warren attacked Paul Ryan's cruel lies head on, teaching what it means to be a Democrat instead of a Republican in Democrat's clothing. If she runs for president, I will support her.
I will not support Ms Clinton, who is a phony Democrat like her husband (and Obama). I voted Green in the last two presidential elections, and when people warned me that this might lead to a Republican victory, I told them Obama was not that different, overall, from a Republican. There are some exceptions, to be sure; mainly his medical care law, which is a big step forward even after the medical insurance companies half-ruined it. Nonetheless, he's more right-wing than Nixon in terms of human rights, war, and the economy.
The TSA (Theater of Security Agency) fined John Brennan for taking off his clothes to show he had no bomb, after a non-trial which is not allowed to consider whether the regulations in use are unconstitutional.
Brennan will be able to appeal the decision, but at no point will he be entitled to a proper trial.
The pro-Russians that captured a government building in Luhansk are armed and trained soldiers, and apparently continue to hold some hostages.
These is not a protest, this is a rebellion — or perhaps an invasion. The occupiers may well be Russian soldiers.
Proctor and Gamble has agreed to impose policies to reject palm oil made by deforestation, but they will take 6 years to become effective.
Large companies including BT and Shell have recognized that a lot of fossil fuel must not be extracted.
Without more figures, I don't know how "a trillion tons of carbon" relates to the 80% of the known fossil fuel reserves that need to be left in the ground. If you can work that out, or come across an article that does, please tell me.
Margaret Thatcher was so open about trying to crush the non-rich that she inspired resistance.
Her successors today pretend that they are doing everything but trying to crush the non-rich, which is why it is useful to keep pointing out that that's what they stand for.
US citizens: call on the SEC to make public companies disclose their political spending.
US citizens: call for refinancing student loans.
US citizens: tell your state legislators to stand up to ALEC.
US citizens: tell Obama, don't pretend to aid Ukraine by increasing extraction of natural gas (which usually means fracking).
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the Better Off Budget.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
Harvard University has adopted investment principles based on human rights and greenhouse gas reduction.
Divest Harvard has this response:
We're glad that Harvard has recognized the need to align its investments with its values. However, there are still inconsistencies in Harvard's investments. Harvard's decision to invest in climate solutions is an important step forward, but the truth is that we still have $32.6 million directly invested - and millions more indirectly invested - in the fossil fuel industry's climate destruction, science denialism, and political obstruction. We need to divest from the problem as we invest in new solutions.
A review of available experimental data for 60 diseases found that there is no evidence homeopathy has any more effect than a placebo, and in many cases clear evidence that it does not.
"Treating the whole person" is one of medical quackery's favorite claims.
Shaker Aamer's lawyers argue the US is obliged to release him from Guantanamo due to serious physical and mental illnesses, some of them probably caused by torture and cruelty.
A Russian destabilization campaign is under way in eastern Ukraine, threatening a military invasion as in the Crimea.
Russia claims that a similar US-led destabilization campaign helped kick out President Yanukovich. That might well be true.
There is a gray area between a destabilization campaign and aiding a real popular uprising: the subtler the campaign, the more it shades into rallying the public, and the more it is the public that really has control, which means the campaign is not so bad. The "protests" in Eastern Ukraine smell very fishy to me.
The occupiers of a building in Kharkiv were removed by Ukrainian thugs. I won't criticize that if it was not done in a brutal way. However, calling them "terrorists" is an example of a very dangerous practice. Occupying a building is not terrorism.
Protesters in the US have been accused of "terrorism" too. And don't forget the Greenpeace protesters accused of "piracy" in Russia.
On the other hand, taking hostages, as pro-Russian protesters did in one city, may qualify as terrorism.
The court ruling against the EU data retention directive also cited the further violation of privacy from allowing the data to be stored outside the reach of EU personal data protection law.
In the US: tell Safeway to label GMOs in its store brands.
A new DA in Brooklyn is helping to exonerate prisoners that were wrongly convicted in the teeth of the evidence.
This case illustrates prosecutors' power to threaten and bribe witnesses who are themselves facing charges.
Pakistan has carried the school-to-prison pipeline down to the preschool level, charging a baby with attempted murder.
UN special rapporteur Richard Falk has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing.
Everyone: tell Walmart's CEO, if the Gap can raise wages, so can Walmart.
Debt collection companies in the US engage in illegal harassment, lie to debtors, and frequently demand payment of debts that were never owed.
The US "Common Core" is a dangerous educational experiment on US schools, an excuse for firing lots of teachers and privatizing schools.
A blogger in the US has been subjected to prior censorship by a court, which jailed him until he agreed to take down blog posts accusing an official of having an affair.
I don't think it matters who officials have sex with, but this seems dangerous.
The European Court of Justice ruled that EU-imposed data retention (by ISPs and phone companies) is contrary to human rights and invalid.
There is specific evidence that the Obama administration specifically aimed to bury intelligence that cast doubt on Assad's responsibility for the chemical attack.
It seems there was a high-level push for war, then Obama decided to abort the war. Was there anyone else but Obama who could have been behind the high-level push? That seems unlikely. If the high-level push originated from Obama, did he really change his mind? That too seems unlikely.
The US increasingly keeps mentally ill people in jail rather than treating them in hospital.
I suppose this results from politicians' trying to look tough.
Snowden told the Council of Europe that the NSA intentionally spied on leaders of human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
The European Union has given meat companies more power to divert infected animals back into the food chain.
With Putin, Russia has fallen victim to the "resource curse".
Unfortunately, the US is also subject to the resource curse. (Look at those who think it is a good thing that US extraction of fossil fuels has risen.) "Autocratic government, systemic corruption and developmental stagnation affecting the general population, combined with extravagant wealth on the part of controlling elites" describes US politics today.
You could say that the world as a whole has fallen victim to the "resource curse".
Everyone: tell CNN to stop broadcasting global heating denialism.
US citizens: call on Congress to require regular reports on US drone attacks.
EU citizens: the coming elections for MEPs are very important for freedom on the internet.
Under the cover of automobile races that distract public attention, Bahrain's ruler is increasing the level of oppression.
(I think the word "mass" is a too strong for shooting 10 or even 20 people. "Mass murder" means a lot more victims than that.)
The IMF's "rescue" of Ukraine will impose crushing poverty.
Ukrainians may eventually choose to make a deal with Putin instead. A deal with Russia does not necessary mean a corrupt autocratic ruler in Ukraine.
Rahinah Ibrahim won her case to get off the US no-fly list, where her name was entered by mistake; but then her student visa was cancelled because being on the no-fly list had put her on another list.
The US has spent millions on organizations that aim at destabilization of governments the US does not like.
Bolivia has a free press, and even in Venezuela newspapers continue to criticize the government regularly; they don't need a Twitter imitation to state their views, since those countries don't interfere with doing so on Twitter.
The interview demonstrates that the answer is yes. To protect democracy, we need to dismantle the surveillance system.
The head of the World Bank talks about the need to help renewable energy.
However, when he talks of a "price for carbon" that presumes emissions trading, which is not a reliable system as a carbon tax would be.
Meanwhile, the World Bank is funding giant fossil fuel projects. The first thing it should do is stop that.
A union in Australia has been fined a million dollars for blockading construction sites for days.
Meanwhile, companies that break laws get away with slaps on the wrist, or get the law changed to please them. When officials say, "We must enforce the law" to punish the workers, they pretend they are being even-handed.
When the law degrades into a scheme to help the rich crush the non-rich, that justifies the non-rich to break the law to fight back.
Now another runaway organism is producing greenhouse gases and is on the way to causing another mass extinction.
The "peace talks" between Israel and Palestine "failed" because the US was unwilling to do anything that displeased the most anti-peace camp in Israel: the fanatical "settlers".
Peace can be made whenever the world puts enough pressure on Israel to convince the Israeli government to accept a fair deal.
Perhaps Palestine has been encouraged to defy the US pressure to go along with useless negotiations because of support from Russia.
A public-private partnership building a hospital in Lesotho, with the backing of the World Bank, is sucking up more than half that country's health care budget, starving rural clinics for funds.
When you hear "public-private partnership", think "public expense, private profits".
Eight Headlines the Mainstream Media Doesn't Have the Courage to Print.
I'd say it's honesty that they lack, not merely courage.
US citizens: Tell your congresscritter and senators, support effective regulation of toxic chemicals, not the phony alternative bill.
In Lebanon, political censorship is carried out through libel suits.
Using a driver's license as proof of age gives dishonest bars and bartenders an opportunity to extract personal information they should not get.
A woman in Mississippi no longer faces murder charges for using cocaine while pregnant — only 20 years in prison for manslaughter.
When a fetus does not develop into a human being, no existent human being has been hurt, except perhaps the parents who may be disappointed. It is absurd to punish this woman for possibly disappointing herself.
When, however, the fetus does become a human being, anything that was done to the fetus that results in a damaged human being is a real wrong to a real person. Pregnant women should not take drugs that might have this effect. (I don't know whether that woman's cocaine use was really likely to cause any harm — it might depend on when in pregnancy she used it.)
However, imprisoning women for this, even if it is for less than 20 years, is not a good way to discourage such practices.
The case for prosecuting Donald Rumsfeld.
USAID subversion has targeted Venezuela and Bolivia, as well as Cuba.
Shell and Rio Tinto asked the UK government to help them defeat accusations of human rights violations.
Inequality pervades the US "justice" system — compare the rich man who avoided prison for molesting his children with the homeless woman who was jailed for leaving her kids in a car during a job interview.
Venezuelan opposition leader Lopez has been formally charged with inciting violence.
"Inciting violence" must be interpreted in a narrow and strict sense or else human rights are in danger.
The opposition gets its strength from the shortages of certain goods. The US can't be responsible for that. Buying goods from subsidized stores and reselling them could cause the state to lose money, but would not cause a general shortage of those goods in the country. It is Maduro's economic policies that cause the shortages.
US citizens: tell the Gates Foundation to stop investing in private prisons.
US citizens: tell your senators to support the Paycheck Fairness Act.
US citizens: call for a reduction in student loan interest rates so the US stops making money from struggling graduates.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call on the legislature to ban new pipelines for fracked gas in Massachusetts.
A US court threw out the lawsuit by relatives of US citizens killed by Obama's drone attacks, saying that officials are immune from prosecution for whatever they do in war.
Since the US is not officially at war in Yemen, this appears to give the president the legal authority to kill anyone, anywhere outside the US.
Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah, who helped the movement that brought down Mubarak, gives an interview while out on bail. He is being prosecuted for organizing a protest; also, absurdly, for armed robbery.
He expects to be imprisoned, along with many other human rights defenders in Egypt. His trial is likely to be a sick joke.
It was sad how many Egyptians that wanted freedom supported the coup and got themselves Mubarak Heavy.
The US-backed Twitter imitation for Cuba will undermine all other efforts aimed at offering uncensored internet access to Cubans.
Just as the US's use of a vaccination program as cover for finding Osama bin Laden has undermined the eradication of polio.
The election in Afghanistan had troubles with unexpectedly high voter turnout. But it is too soon to tell whether it was honest.
Those who do this will have a vested interest in pushing global heating to ensure those resources do become scarce, just as fossil fuel companies do.
For Israel's ruling Likud party, the danger of peace has receded.
US citizens: Desoto County School Board, end oppressive zero-tolerance and un-punish the child who held up three fingers.
US citizens: Tell the Federal Reserve to make banks get out of the commodity business.
The Senate plans to release only parts of its report on the CIA. We need the rest to be leaked.
The imitation Twitter for Cuba is just a tiny bit of governments' propaganda efforts.
Two reporters for the Toledo Blade were arrested for taking photos from public places of the outside of a tank factory.
A lawsuit by the ACLU got the US government to let some hunger striking immigration prisoners out of solitary confinement.
Desmond Tutu condemns US laws that aim to punish support for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel or its occupation of Palestine.
We should have a "stand your ground" law saying that if someone starts groping you from behind, you have a right to respond with hands, feet and elbows before you know who it is.
Uncertainty about how far we are from the edge of the climate cliff tends to mean more risk that things are worse than we expect.
Ebola virus is spreading around West Africa.
If fruit-eating bats are responsible, it may not spread beyond that region, but it could be disastrous there.
Arguing we have better chances of reforming the financial-political complex all at once than piece by piece.
Eight Headlines the Mainstream Media Doesn't Have the Courage to Print.
I'd say it's honesty that they lack, not merely courage.
US citizens: Tell your congresscritter and senators, support effective regulation of toxic chemicals, not the phony alternative bill.
Using a driver's license as proof of age gives dishonest bars and bartenders an opportunity to extract personal information they should not get.
A woman in Mississippi no longer faces murder charges for using cocaine while pregnant — only 20 years in prison for manslaughter.
When a fetus does not develop into a human being, no existent human being has been hurt, except perhaps the parents who may be disappointed. It is absurd to punish this woman for possibly disappointing herself.
When, however, the fetus does become a human being, anything that was done to the fetus that results in a damaged human being is a real wrong to a real person. Pregnant women should not take drugs that might have this effect. (I don't know whether that woman's cocaine use was really likely to cause any harm — it might depend on when in pregnancy she used it.)
However, imprisoning women for this, even if it is for less than 20 years, is not a good way to discourage such practices.
The case for prosecuting Donald Rumsfeld.
USAID subversion has targeted Venezuela and Bolivia, as well as Cuba.
Shell and Rio Tinto asked the UK government to help them defeat accusations of human rights violations.
My friend Hong Feng is looking for people who can give advice about the market conditions for solar energy in various countries around the world. If you want to help him, please send email to hf at hongfeng dot c and then h.
US citizens: support the movement against US government hypocrisy.
US citizens: ask your congresscritter to cosponsor bills to relax the Federal interference with state-legalized marijuana.
How third-party cookies combine for substantial tracking, even if each one contains only a meaningless number.
The European Parliament voted for network neutrality.
Ukraine's leaders call the coming IMF-imposed austerity "the price of independence".
They have it backwards: the price of independence will be whatever it costs Ukraine to throw off the IMF's yoke.
One of the IMF's requirements is truly necessary: making fossil fuels more expensive. That must be done in every country so that less of them will be used.
There were mass protests against austerity in Brussels also.
Kerry's sham "peace process" has visibly fallen apart.
The idea of a "fatal blow" to the "peace process" presumes it was serious and intended to succeed. However, Israel never had any intention of making nontrivial concessions, so the process was nothing but an attempt to pressure Palestine to legitimize what Israel has taken.
Its "demise" creates a small opening for peace, but only if more pressure is placed on Israel.
Most of the American public rejects the idea of a war on drugs.
Why did the missing airplane get so much media coverage?
The US indirectly set up a pseudo-Twitter to give Cuban users a way to communicate with each other…intended secretly to start riots for a destabilization campaign.
Offering Cubans a way to communicate and evade state censorship is good. Using this for destabilization is not. Fortunately, that part of the plan failed.
The new CEO of reorganized General Motors informed the public that the company chose to pay off relatives of people killed by faults rather than fix them.
More information on the faults.
The idea that corporations must serve primarily their shareholders' interests above those of workers, customers and the public is a recent development. It started after 1980. Since that was a change for the worse, let's not legitimize it or give up on fighting it.
US citizens: call for amending the Constitution to reverse the Corporations United and McCutcheon decisions.
Turkey's constitutional court has lifted the ban on Twitter.
More about the protests in China that seem to have blocked construction of a chemical plant.
Christian fanatics from the US are spreading bigotry in many African countries.
The IMF is making the conditions on its "assistance" tougher in terms of crushing the poor in the countries that are "assisted".
Kerry condemned Palestine for the temerity of proposing to adhere to international human rights conventions.
I suppose this is because joining them means acting like a state. The US wants Palestine to accept an Israeli veto on being a state, along with Israeli colonization, land grabbing, and water grabbing, etc.
Palestine's human rights record is not very good but if it signs some human rights treaties, they might provide a lever to demand improvement.