110

2021: January – April Political Notes

waive Covid vaccine patents to put world on ‘war footing’.*

Here are his actual words:

More precisely, he calls for allowing any manufacturer to make vaccine. Anyone doing so would still be required to pay a royalty. That cost by itself could slow vaccination.

I am disappointed that he used the ill-conceived concept of “intellectual property”, since that overgeneralization spreads confusion and every use of it creates resistance to what he is trying to do.

  • 7 March 2021 (Assad will confiscate homes)

    Assad will confiscate the homes of Syrians who have fled his tyranny.

  • 7 March 2021 (Election misinformation)

    * A handful of rightwing “super-spreaders” on social media were responsible for the bulk of election misinformation in the run-up to the Capitol attack,*

    They were not independent — they were working together.

  • 7 March 2021 (Supporters of democracy)

    Nearly all the principal supporters of democracy in Hong Kong are now facing charges, or at least arrested.

    China’s rulers make up bullshit to justify each instance of injustice, but they don’t try to make the justification plausible to people outside their control. They consider it sufficient brainwashed supporters believe it, since almost everyone in China is a brainwashed supporter now, or pretends to be.

  • 7 March 2021 (Digital nautical charts)

    The NOAA is planning to convert to publishing nautical charts only in digital form. In principle, that may not bad. But will people be able to access charts from the Free World?

    If you are a mariner, please investigate the system of publication that NOAA used. Try accessing it with LibreJS active, and see what results you get.

    And if it does not work, complain to NOAA.

  • 7 March 2021 (Meat packing companies against Covid-19 protections)

    Meatpacking companies lobbied hard against rules to protect workers from Covid-19, and kept outbreaks secret.

  • 7 March 2021 (Bedouin’s crops)

    Israeli soldiers are destroying Bedouin’s crops.

  • 7 March 2021 (Palestinians protesting in Israel)

    Palestinians in Israel protested that the local thugs were doing nothing about organized crime. The thugs began attacking many of them with weapons. Some of the protesters required hospitalization.

    The violence was clearly directed by officers.

  • 6 March 2021 (Urgent: Investigate and prosecute Trump and his network)

    US citizens: call on Merrick Garland to investigate and prosecute Trump and his network.

  • 6 March 2021 (Urgent: Senator Warren’s wealth tax)

    US citizens: call on Congress to pass Senator Warren’s wealth tax.

  • 6 March 2021 (Urgent: Stop construction of Line 3 pipeline)

    US citizens: phone your congressional representative and ask per to pressure Biden to stop construction of the Line 3 pipeline.

  • 6 March 2021 (Israeli border thugs gratuitously shoot man dead)

    Israeli border thugs gratuitously shot Ahmad Erekat dead after he had an embarrassing car crash, then lied about the circumstances.

    Thugs in various countries have a practice of thinking, “What accusations can we make against the victim that no one can disprove.” But in this case they seem to have exceeded that limit.

    When my friends die, I miss them. It doesn’t matter whether I even see their corpses. But it occurs to me that there may be a sinister reason why Israel holds permanently the corpses of Palestinians that Israelis kill: to prevent autopsies that could provide objective evidence about how they were killed. Making this a blanket policy avoids the need to conjure up an individual excuse.

  • 6 March 2021 (Biden gives in to demand to reduce stimulus)

    Biden gave in to a demand from Manchin and Sinema to reduce the stimulus payments for people whose 2019 income was above $80k. Whether they were unemployed most of 2020 or not.

  • 6 March 2021 (UK Green Party proposals)

    A UK Green MEP explains the Green Party proposals for reversing the Tories’ dooH niboR cuts in business taxes, plus a steadily increasing carbon tax.

  • 6 March 2021 (New Covid variants and states reopening)

    *US experts warn new Covid variants and states reopening may lead to fourth wave.*

    *Fauci: US shouldn’t loosen coronavirus restrictions until daily new cases fall below 10,000.*

    That is assuming your goal is to make Covid-19 go away. Republicans, who boosted the infection last year and killed perhaps 300,000 Americans who otherwise would not have caught it, are still trying to spread it. Perhaps their motive is that they expect it to kill mainly blacks.

    I would add an additional proviso: we should not loosen coronavirus restrictions unless we can determine that R will remain substantially under 1 after they are loosened.

  • 6 March 2021 (Texas)

    (satire) *Covid Announces Plan To Move Operations To Texas Full-Time To Escape Burdensome Regulations.*

    (satire) *New Texas Law Requires All Masks Have Word ‘Pussy’ Written Across Front.*

  • 6 March 2021 (Letting biotech industry rewrite GMO safety laws)

    How the EU Commission Broke Its Own Rules to Let the Biotech Industry Help Rewrite GMO Safety Laws.

    By selecting the questions to ask, and who to ask them of, it is not hard to shape the answers.

  • 5 March 2021 (Campaign to discredit BBC)

    *China’s Communist party ran campaign to discredit BBC, thinktank finds.*

  • 5 March 2021 (Shrinking carbon footprint)

    Warning the UK that it can’t shrink its carbon footprint and expand an airport.

  • 5 March 2021 (Prosecuting volunteers rescuing migrants)

    Italy is prosecuting the volunteer crew members of boats that went to sea to rescue migrants traveling to Italy on smugger boats.

    The US has likewise prosecuted people who leave water in the desert for people trying to migrate from Mexico.

  • 5 March 2021 (Talks on nuclear deal)

    *Iran and IAEA clear potential roadblock to talks with US on nuclear deal.*

  • 5 March 2021 (George Floyd Act)

    *The George Floyd Act wouldn’t have saved George Floyd’s life.*

    I will look for more information about the Breathe Act. However, the George Floyd act does try to prevent other injustices committed by uniformed thugs.

  • 5 March 2021 (ICC prosecution)

    The ICC might prosecute Israeli officials, even a minister, who were involved in bombing Gaza in 2014. They might be unable to travel internationally.

    It is even possible that the court might investigate the crime of settling Israelis in the occupied West Bank.

  • 5 March 2021 (Investigating use of bombs)

    An Italian court is investigating the use of bombs made in Italy by Salafi Arabia in Yemen.

  • 5 March 2021 (Punishing making vaccine)

    The drug company lobby is lobbying heavily for the US to punish countries that propose to save lives by making their own Covid-19 vaccine.

    The article follows the misguided practice of using the term “intellectual property”. That term spreads both bias and confusion; I urge people to reject it entirely as I do.

  • 5 March 2021 (Oil companies net zero emissions)

    *Global oil companies have committed to ‘net zero’ emissions. It’s a sham.*

    They say they will make “offsets” so big, by 2050, that they will cancel out fossil fuel combustion and leaks.

    There’s no way to absolutely prove this won’t work, until 2050. Then they can say, “Too bad, we tried,” but everyone alive then will suffer the ecological damage.

  • 5 March 2021 (Death of transgender soldier)

    *South Korea’s first transgender soldier found dead.*

    Of suicide, it appears.

  • 5 March 2021 (Seagrass)

    Humans are rapidly destroying the world’s remaining seagrass meadows. That is a shame, because they shelter baby fish and sequester carbon in the sea bottom.

  • 5 March 2021 (Chairman resigns after destruction of historical site)

    The chairman of the board of Rio Tinto will step down, following several executives, due to the scandal resulting from the company’s destruction of 46000-year-old cave habitations in Juukan Gorge.

    Management had got legal approval to do this, and acted as if nothing else mattered.

  • 5 March 2021 (Misinformation on Facebook)

    Right-wing misinformation on Facebook attracts more attention than truthful information. Left-wing misinformation attracts less attention than truthful information.

    A good, quick heuristic for finding valid information is look at whatever left-wing information comes your way.

  • 5 March 2021 ((satire) Sharing vaccine supplies and technology)

    (satire) *Pros And Cons Of Sharing Vaccine Supplies And Technology.*

  • 5 March 2021 ((satire) Military diversity initiative)

    (satire) *New Military Diversity Initiative Aims To Make Leadership Look More Like Countries They Invade.*

  • 5 March 2021 (Competitive Disadvantage)

    *Blaring Quiet Part Out Loud, GOP Lawyer Admits to Supreme Court That Easier Voting Puts Republicans at ‘Competitive Disadvantage’.*

  • 5 March 2021 (The CLEAN Act)

    The CLEAN Act would take some steps forward towards decarbonizing, but has big shortcomings.

  • 5 March 2021 (Jailed for protesting repeatedly)

    A protester has been jailed for protesting repeatedly in the vicinity of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

    The article makes a big fuss about the protester’s ethnic background. I do not think that makes any difference. I would admire anyone equally for doing the same thing.

  • 4 March 2021 (Disregard Parliamentarian)

    Sanders called on the Senate Democrats to disregard the views of the Parliamentarian.

  • 4 March 2021 (Too little and too big)

    Varoufakis: *Both supporters and critics of US President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan assume that there is a dollar amount that is just right. In fact, no such figure exists: every possible stimulus size is simultaneously too little and too big.*

    In addition to a stimulus, Biden needs to *lift the spending power of those who have next to none.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Unconscious bias training)

    Unconscious bias training does not seem to be effective in reducing unconscious bias.

  • 4 March 2021 (Powerful current of racism)

    Chinese-Australians face a powerful current of racism. Almost 1/5 have suffered violence or threats of violence.

    People of Chinese origin or ancestry are not necessarily supporters of the Chinese government. Indeed, some of them hate it.

    I’ve seen articles recently about prejudice in the US against “Asian-Americans”. Racial prejudice is bad regardless of the details, but I do wonder what people “Asian-Americans” means. Asia is the biggest continent and includes a variety of peoples, and they do not look similar, so it is implausible that all Asian-Americans are involved.

    Are Americans of Turkish descent facing prejudice? Iranian? What about people from India and neighboring countries? Siberians? Do Balinese musicians face threats? Hawaiians?

    Are these articles really about people of Chinese descent, or who resemble Chinese? If so, please don’t mislead us with “Asian”.

  • 4 March 2021 (Factory farms emissions)

    Factory farms emit large amounts of greenhouse gases. We need to regulate farms to bring those emissions down.

  • 4 March 2021 (Workers lending pay)

    A restaurant chain, threatened with closure, asks workers to “lend” it 10% of their pay.

    Considering how little most restaurant employees make, they may have trouble doing without 10% even supposing they will get it back. But will they get it back?

    If the restaurant chain stays in business and becomes successful again, it will probably repay the loan, but we can’t be sure. Wage theft from restaurant staff is not unusual.

    However, if the restaurant chain goes broke, which apparently might happen, I expect the workers will probably lose the lent pay.

  • 4 March 2021 (Virtual visitor logs)

    *Biden Criticized for Lack of Transparency After Refusing to Publicize Virtual Visitor Logs.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Hybrid cars)

    Hybrid cars use more fuel and emit more pollution than they are advertised to emit.

    In other words, they are a green swindle.

  • 4 March 2021 (Greenwash)

    *Net zero increasingly involves highly questionable carbon accounting. As a result, the new politics swirling around net zero targets is rapidly becoming a confusing and dangerous mix of pragmatism, self-delusion and weapons-grade greenwash.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Utility bills and undocumented immigrants)

    *[The deportation thugs] reached a new low: using utility bills to hunt undocumented immigrants.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Admitting torture and murder)

    *Emmanuel Macron has admitted French soldiers tortured and killed a well-known Algerian lawyer and activist during [Algeria’s] independence war.*

    The fact was already known, but the government’s recognition of its involvement is a step forward toward justice.

  • 4 March 2021 (Incel killer)

    The Canadian “incel” killer has been convicted of murders, and will presumably be sentenced to spend a long time “in cell.”

  • 4 March 2021 (Protesters murdered)

    Burmese soldiers and thugs shot protesters in various cities. They must have received orders to do that. They killed at least 33 people.

  • 4 March 2021 (Eliminating rules to slow Covid-19)

    The Republican governor of Texas has eliminated nearly all rules designed to slow the spread of Covid-19. I think he wants as many Texans as possible to get infected before it is too late.

  • 4 March 2021 (Tax bills for unemployment assurance payments)

    Millions of Americans are receiving tax bills for their unemployment insurance payments over the past year.

    After decades of rule by dooH niboR, most Americans live close to the edge. Especially those who lost their jobs last year. An expense of $500 dollars will push them over the edge.

    Millions of Americans are falling over the edge, because they have not received unemployment benefits.

  • 4 March 2021 (Jamaica criminalizes homosexuality)

    Jamaica’s laws criminalize homosexuality. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that these laws violate human rights and inspire violence, especially by the uniformed thugs, which extends as far as murder.

    The challenge of changing those laws, and changing the hatred, remains.

  • 4 March 2021 (Bogus Johnson’s personal conveniences)

    Bogus Johnson openly manipulates the government to pay for personal conveniences for him.

    Tories have legitimized corruption to the point where they don’t need to disguise it.

    Meanwhile, Labour has become so “centrist” that there is a serious proposal for it to become the “party of business”, instead of the party of working people and those in need.

    A party of the rich and the bigots and a party of business — that’s what the US had under Clinton. Progressive Democrats are gradually changing that.

  • 4 March 2021 (Toxic fracking chemicals)

    A study found toxic fracking chemicals in the air, water and human bodies in the region of fracking in Pennsylvania, even in people who live five miles away.

    Fracking ought to be banned on account of its global heating contribution alone, but local pollution adds another good reason.

  • 4 March 2021 (Planet roasters distract with side issues)

    Planet roasters try to distract Americans with concerns about side issues such as “energy independence” so that they can keep pumping oil to export.

    They have obtained plenty of oil leases that they are not using yet, so Biden’s moratorium on approving additional leases won’t affect them for a long time.

    I do not wish to take a nationalistic viewpoint towards the global problem of planetary heating. If country C is going to buy oil and burn it, it is not worse if that oil comes from the US. And refusing to export it will mean some other country exports that oil, perhaps Salafi Arabia. That is not a step forward.

    On the other hand, if several countries compete to export oil, they will export more oil, which is the opposite of what we need. We need a treaty to limit and reduce oil exports.

    But it may be possible for one oil-exporting country to exert influence on its own.

    Here’s an idea: the US should agree to continue exporting oil to China for the next 10 years, provided China agrees to build no new coal power plants and shut down all its existing coal-fired plants on a pre-agreed schedule during that time. And replace them with renewable electric generation. And not to export any coal.

    The energy independence that Earth needs is independence from nonrenewable or unsustainable energy.

  • 4 March 2021 ((satire) As much as they can realistically back out of)

    (satire) *World Leaders Pledge To Cut Emissions By As Much As They Can Realistically Back Out Of.*

  • 4 March 2021 ((satire) Anger management counseling)

    (satire) *U.S. Allocates $500 Million For Mohammed Bin Salman To Use On Anger Management Counseling.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Government transfer of funds)

    The federal government transfers funds from more urban, Democratic states to rural Republican states. Perhaps that offers a lever to influence the Republican voters.

    To punish them would be pretty easy, but would not help enact progressive policies. How to use these programs to win over some Republicans is harder — and how to do it with changes Democrats can enact is even more challenging.

  • 4 March 2021 (Sanctions over Navalny poisoning)

    *US hits Russian officials with fresh sanctions over Navalny poisoning.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Guterres cancels planned coal projects)

    Secretary-General António Guterres called for cancellation of all planned coal projects.

    We have understood this for years, but that the head of the UN says so is a big step towards making it happen.

  • 4 March 2021 (Damage in Australia by global heating)

    The damage caused by global heating in Australia will get to be so costly that insurance will no longer be a feasible way for people to protect themselves from damage.

    I think the same thing will happen in California.

    The only effective remedy will be to curb global heating.

  • 4 March 2021 (McDonalds scared of workers’ rights)

    *McDonald’s spies on union activists — that’s how scared they are of workers’ rights.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Complaint against Prince Bone Saw)

    RSF has filed a complaint against Prince Bone Saw in Germany, over systematic persecution of journalists. This includes the murder of Khashoggi and lots more.

    This is possible because Germany asserts universal jurisdiction over crimes against humanity.

  • 4 March 2021 ((satire) No-nonsense negotiator)

    (satire) *No-Nonsense Negotiator Strong-Arms Landlord Into Fixing Toilet For Rent Increase.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Trump regulatory rollbacks)

    *Biden Can Freeze Potentially Dozens of Harmful, Last-Minute Trump Regulatory Rollbacks.*

  • 4 March 2021 (Zimbabwe’s tyrannical government)

    The leader of Zimbabwe’s principal opposition party calls on world powers to stop supporting its tyrannical government.

    It is harder for western powers to restrain the government of Zimbabwe now that China is shipping arms to it.

    In this regard, China is not uniquely evil. Western countries gave tyrannical governments similar support in the past, and still do with some. Nonetheless, the fact that China does it today has bad repercussions in many parts of the world. Western governments sometimes join together to push for freedom, but China won’t care at all.

  • 3 March 2021 (Urgent: Military weapons to thugs)

    US citizens: call on Congress and the president to stop all transfer of military weapons to US thug departments.

    To sign without running nonfree JavaScript code from the web site, use the Salsalabs workaround.

  • 3 March 2021 (Accusing opposition of terrorism)

    The US does little to restrain Erdoğan from accusing political opposition of “terrorism”.

  • 3 March 2021 (More efficient on every measure)

    Electric vehicles are more efficient than fossil fuel vehicles on every measure.

    Then use less energy, and less materials — even if you don’t count the fuel.

  • 3 March 2021 (Property tax)

    The US has a kind of wealth tax — the property tax — and rich people pay much less property tax (as a fraction of their wealth) than anyone else.

    Renters pay a high fraction, because their rent covers the real estate tax on the dwellings they live in (but do not own).

  • 3 March 2021 (Negotiating under sanctions)

    Explaining Iran’s refusal to negotiate while the US keeps all the sanctions going. The article shows the diplomatic harm this would do to Iran.

    For me, a much simpler explanation was sufficient.

  • 3 March 2021 (Fossil fuel emissions)

    *Fossil fuel emissions in danger of surpassing pre-Covid levels.*

    This is no surprise. What it shows was that people should not let the Covid-19 recession relax their demand for policies that cut emissions.

  • 3 March 2021 (Refusing to believe)

    Since people can refuse to believe the bullshitter when he says he won the last election, they can also refuse to believe Ex-pope Benedict when he sais he resigned.

  • 3 March 2021 (Fired for calling for safety measures)

    * Ben Bonnema says he was [fired by Trader Joe’s] after writing a letter to company’s CEO calling for a series of safety measures for workers.*

  • 3 March 2021 (Crime of insulting the king)

    Spain makes it a crime to insult the king. This system of censorship is an injustice.

    I strongly dislike Tarantino’s movies, those I have seen any of. I don’t intend to see any more. I would probably dislike those rappers’ performances, too — except that they probably speak too fast for me, and with Spanish colloquialisms I don’t know, so I would not understand them. But my tastes are irrelevant to the issue. Their works don’t need to appeal to my taste to be covered by freedom of expression.

  • 3 March 2021 (Minimum wage)

    Biden is awfully quick to admit defeat on legislating to raise the minimum wage to $15 (over a period of a few years). He ought to try his damnedest before giving up.

  • 3 March 2021 (Sarkozy guilty)

    *[Ex-president] Sarkozy found guilty of corruption and influence peddling but is unlikely to spend time in prison.*

  • 3 March 2021 (Qualified Immunity)

    *Ayanna Pressley and Ed Markey Push to Abolish Qualified Immunity.*

  • 3 March 2021 (Refugees and PTSD)

    *More than 75% of Syrian refugees may have PTSD, says charity.*

  • 3 March 2021 (Filibuster)

    *Senate Democrats Can and Must Abolish the Filibuster. Now.*

  • 3 March 2021 (Putting protest leaders on trial)

    Hong Kong is putting protest leaders on trial for political charges. 1000 people came to protest.

    China has crushed freedom in Hong Kong. What about freedom in the US and the UK? Both are threatened now.

  • 3 March 2021 (Necessary Changes in Society)

    Necessary Changes in Society

  • 3 March 2021 (Making Labour into a right-wing party)

    Starmer is so frightened people will accuse Labour of raising taxes and spending too much that he is making it into a right-wing party.

  • 3 March 2021 (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation)

    Global heating is reducing the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, which includes the Gulf Stream. This could eventually result in freezing Ireland and Britain.

  • 3 March 2021 (UK arbitrarily terminates citizenship)

    The UK government has arbitrarily terminated the citizenship of Shamima Begum. Attempts to block that decision failed.

    Exile of citizens is not an acceptable punishment.

    What makes this even worse is that the punishment was imposed without a trial. No punishment should be imposed without a trial.

    Adding insult (to the public) to that injury, the minister who decided on exile for her cited an absurd excuse. She has no other citizenship, but the minister did not wish to recognize the fact that this would leave her stateless. So the he claimed it was sufficient that she would be entitled to citizenship in Bangladesh — theoretically.

    No one knows what would happen if she tried to apply for citizenship in Bangladesh. Perhaps that country deny her citizenship, citing something like the UK’s grounds for terminating her citizenship.

    The US has unjustly terminated citizenship, too. US citizen Emma Goldman was deported as punishment for advocating resistance to the draft.

  • 2 March 2021 (No personal sanctions on Prince Bone Saw)

    Biden put official personal sanctions on many officials of Salafi Arabia, but not directly on Prince Bone Saw himself.

    This may be a clever indirect form of sanction against him. Cozying up to the king and shunning the prince has a chance of causing his demotion in the Salafi Arabian court, whereas direct hostility could inspire the rest of the power structure to close ranks behind him.

    Salafi Arabis is culpable for many different wrongs:

    1. Waging war on Yemen.
    2. Trying to start a war between the US and Iran.
    3. Supporting the wrecker (fortunately no longer possible).
    4. Killing dissidents, often by sentencing them to death, and occasionally by dirtier means.
    5. Sexist laws in Salafi Arabia.
    6. Denial of religious freedom towards everyone inside Salafi Arabia.
    7. Spreading a rigid and harsh cruel form if Islam, Salafism, around the Muslim world.
    8. Destroying many ancient sites from the early days of Islam.

    The US does not have the power to make Salafi Arabia desist from all these wrongs; as a result, it is not immediately obvious what stance would be best for the US to take so as to reduce some.

    Most of these have gone on since long before Mohammad bin Salman became crown prince. I think he started item 2; he certainly started item 3.

    As for the other wrongs, the US is already starting to try to end 1. The others will take time.

  • 2 March 2021 (Biden orders attack at Iran-linked militias)

    Biden ordered an attack at two Iran-linked militias in Syria.

    This raises two moral issues: was it harmful to nuclear negotiations with Iran, and did it violate the War Powers Act.

    This is a decrease in level of violence compared with when the wrecker was president, so I tend to think it won’t affect the negotiations. However, Biden has done other things that may put these negotiations at risk.

    *Lawmakers Say Biden Admin Must Present Congress Legal Justification for Bombing of Syria.*

  • 2 March 2021 (Murder of Khashoggi ordered by acting king)

    US agencies say that the acting king of Salafi Arabia ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

  • 2 March 2021 (The WATER Act)

    The WATER Act would ensure Americans can get clean water to drink even if they are poor.

  • 2 March 2021 (Ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation)

    The House of Representatives has passed a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Republicans will block this, along with every bill to fix the nation’s permanent problems, unless Democrats find a way to make Manchin and Sinema vote to abolish the filibuster.

  • 2 March 2021 (Arbitrary searches by UK thug departments)

    The UK Inspectorate of Constabulary says that thug departments are going overboard in their arbitrary searches of blacks on the street, and cannot justify them. I can’t escape the conclusion that this is bias at work.

    I suppose the thugs have had training about unconscious bias already, and it does not seem to have helped. Here’s an approach using feedback that might be good to try, with each cop separately.

    • For the coming weeks, don’t actually stop and search anyone. Instead we will have a consultation about about who you would have thought of stopping and searching.
    • You will be told, at the outset, the expected average number of people per day a cop on your beat ought to stop and search. This is not a minimum, or a maximum; it is a guideline. On any given day day a wise cop might search more, or less, than the guideline number.
    • When you see someone you would think of stopping and searching, make a video of per instead, and upload it. Speak into the video why you thought that person should be searched.
    • At the end of each day, review the day’s videos. In the review, label which of them you would choose first for searching. Label a quantity comparable to the guideline number, but not necessarily equal to it. For each one you label, explain your reasons.
    • Right after labeling the videos, send all of them to the coach. The coach is an expert on unconscious bias and knows what really typifies real street criminals.
    • Then you and the expert will discuss them. The expert will try to help you recognize your own patterns of unconscious bias, and learn to disregard them.

    The hope is that, over time, the cop learns to filter out spurious triggers of suspicion.

    Has anything like this been tried?

  • 2 March 2021 (Illinois eliminates bail for accused)

    Illinois has eliminated bail for those accused of crimes. Suspects will no longer be kept in jail until trial simply because they are poor.

  • 2 March 2021 (Policies in support of Israel’s occupation policy)

    *Jewish Groups Urge Biden to ‘Review and Revoke’ Trump-Era ‘Made in Israel’ Settlement Goods Policy.*

    The US should not allow any of the wrecker’s policy changes in support of Israel’s occupation policy to stand.

  • 2 March 2021 (Manchin on West Virginians)

    (satire) *Joe Manchin Claims West Virginians Too Deficient In Character, Grit To Deserve $15 Minimum Wage.*

  • 2 March 2021 (Mexico bans glyphosate-resistant corn)

    Mexico has banned both growing glyphosate-resistant corn and importing it.

  • 2 March 2021 (What US voters want)

    *Majority of US Voters Want Government to Invest More in Healthcare, Education, and Fighting Poverty.*

  • 2 March 2021 (US government definition of “national security”)

    Will the US government define “national security” in terms of power to fight future threats, or in terms of helping other countries be safe from disasters?

  • 2 March 2021 (Corporate-controlled Texas)

    Jim Hightower on Texas: *Not only must our corporate-controlled electric grid be replaced; so must our corporate-controlled ag policy—and our corporate-controlled elected officials.*

  • 2 March 2021 (Loss of jobs in 2020)

    US wages increased on the average in 2020, because many low-wage workers lost their jobs.

    I suspect that if we tabulate household income rather than wages, we will see a shift towards lower income.

  • 3 March 2021 (Iran non-nuclear deal)

    Iran refuses to discuss resuming the non-nuclear deal unless the US does more to lift the the sanctions that the wrecker imposed when be broke the deal.

    I think it would be wiser for the US and Iran to stop delaying negotiations by disputing how to start them. But since the US broke the deal, the US should go out of its way to resume the deal.

    Perhaps the US should suspend sanctions for a year, and extend that to a permanent cessation if the deal is remade.

  • 3 March 2021 (UN calls for global banking reform)

    * UN report claims up to 10% of the world’s wealth could be hidden “offshore” and calls for global banking reform.*

    “Offshore” means “in a tax haven”. Some important tax havens are in quasi-independent islands, but Switzerland, Belgium, the UK and the US also function as tax havens.

    All that money concealed from taxation leaves governments short on funds, which translates into poverty.

  • 3 March 2021 (Used electrical appliances and gadgets)

    * The UK government is considering nationwide curbside collection of used electrical appliances and gadgets, and requiring retailers, even online ones, to take them back.*

  • 3 March 2021 (IMF wants to do some good)

    For once, the IMF wants to do some good. It needs approval from the US.

  • 3 March 2021 (Emergency ban on evictions)

    A federal court ruled that the CDC’s emergency ban on evictions is unconstitutional.

    The ban is indeed an emergency measure, not a permanent solution. The US needs to set up a system that will give everyone in the US a place to live that meets our standards.

  • 3 March 2021 (Modernizing nuclear missiles)

    “Modernizing” the world’s nuclear missiles would only provide us with a fancier way to cause a fast mass extinction. We should cancel it.

  • 3 March 2021 (Independent journalism in Belarus)

    *Two-year jail terms signal bid to crush all independent journalism in Belarus.* Journalists were convicted on a *trumped-up charge of organizing a protest they simply filmed.*

  • 3 March 2021 (Uber drivers’ rights)

    Uber is trying to falsify an impression that drivers really want to have no rights.

  • 3 March 2021 (Clean Water)

    Many California towns inhabited by poor Hispanics don’t deliver clean water.

    In some places the threat of future water shortage is the obstacle to fixing it. The only fix for that is to use a lot less water — which means, less farming and fewer people.

  • 3 March 2021 (Facebook’s Australian news wipeout)

    *Facebook’s Australian news wipeout showed it can delete [zuckers’] history at any time.*

    It can’t delete any of my history, because I don’t put it there. You shouldn’t either.

  • 3 March 2021 (Criminalizing protests)

    The Tories are planning to criminalize protests that interfere with anything. Chain yourself to a door and you’ll be wearing chains for years.

  • 3 March 2021 (Right-wing UK “defenders”)

    Some right-wing UK “defenders” of freedom of speech criticized a no-platforming which did not actually happen. They, and the minister in charge, were careless with the facts.

    Nonetheless, another instance they cite did really occur, and so do others. If 53 speakers were vetoed in one year, that may be a small fraction of all speakers that year, but it is still a lot of censorship.

    I gather that the Equality Act is meant to prohibit discrimination and harassment. I support that goal, but campaigning for that goal should not go so far as to ban controversial speakers from giving talks. Even in a good cause, there must be limits on how far we can go. I would not try to ban people from praising proprietary software, even though I disagree with such praise. People have a right to disagree with me, or with you, or with anyone.

    I also agree that the government can easily be a worse threat to freedom of speech than any collection of students.

  • 3 March 2021 (Environmental defenders sue California)

    Environmental defenders have sued California and Governor Newsom for illegally issuing thousands of oil and gas drilling permits.

    I am not sure how much Governor Newsom was personally involved in granting those licenses, but he’s in charge of the state government, so it’s his responsibility to stop it — and, if possible, to cancel those leases.

  • 3 March 2021 (“Counterterrorism”)

    *From 2018 to 2020, the United States government undertook what it labeled “counterterrorism” activities in 85 countries.* This map shows what it did where.

  • 3 March 2021 (Vaccines to Palestine)

    Israel is going out of its way to deny vaccine to Palestine.

    We need to immunize almost everyone against Covid-19, and the rate of production means many will have to wait. Who has to wait more and who gets to wait less is a secondary matter that I usually don’t dwell on; instead I campaign for faster production so that the waiting is less.

    Palestine is an exceptional case because it is under military occupation. Israel as occupying power is responsible for public health in Palestine and thus has the obligation to secure vaccine for Palestinians, if it can. We see that it can. When Israel has extra vaccine in its hands, it should carry out its responsibility.

  • 2 March 2021 (Urgent: Voting Rights Advancement Act)

    US citizens: call on Congress to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

  • 2 March 2021 (Urgent: Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act)

    US citizens: Support the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.

    This bill would do many things to reduce death in childbirth in the US — which is shockingly frequent in the US. Contrary to its name, its benefits would expect to all poor women; they would not be limited to blacks.

  • 2 March 2021 (Laws to repress protests)

    The US must not increase the laws to repress protests. Instead it should start using its existing powers adequately against right-wing extremists and stop overusing them against nonviolent leftists.

    Many states are passing laws for repression of nonviolent protest action against dangerous business activities, and thugs tend to be extra harsh against all left-wing protests. Compare that with the friendliness of thugs with the Kenosha killer, Rittenhouse, and the Capitol Police leaders’ betrayal of their mission on Jan 6.

  • 2 March 2021 (Social Security and tax)

    The US should boost Social Security by eliminating the cap on how much income a person pays the tax on.

    The reason this cap exists is because there is an idea that each person is supposed to receive support based on per own earnings. Following that idea, if there is a limit on how much Social Security will pay a retire rich person, there has to be a limit on how much that person pays Social Security.

    I think it is perfectly fine to say that rich people will help support the rest, through Social Security as well as in other ways.

  • 2 March 2021 (Cool Teen Migrant Detainment Center)

    (satire) *Biden Unveils Cool Teen Migrant Detainment Center Where Youths Can Hang Out And Never Leave.*

  • 2 March 2021 (Social safety net)

    Americans believe that their country has a “social safety net” which will protect them from absolute penury when something goes wrong. In recent decades, many cords of the net have been removed or stretched, so now people tend to fall through it. Here are the details.

    A good government arranges to do better for its people than merely set up a net somewhere beneath them in case they fall. It provides good things for its people so that everyone can have a good life.

  • 2 March 2021 (Benefits of brexit)

    One benefit for the UK (and the world) of its departure from the EU is that Goober will have to stop paying British drivers peanuts.

    I made a mistake in a previous note of saying that the drivers were now “employees.” It seems that in the UK makes a distinction between “employees” and “workers”; the drivers are now “workers.” I am not sure what rights workers have, but it is more than “independent” contractors.

  • 2 March 2021 (Switching tactics)

    Planet roasters can no longer convince by denying that global heating is occurring, so they have switched to other methods to stop society from taking sufficient steps to curb the heating. Interview with Michael Mann.

    There is no evidence that Wikileaks was part of a scheme to elect the wrecker. It published evidence in 2016 that the Democratic Party had corruptly prevented Sanders from winning the nomination. That corruption was a bigger problem than the fact that it was leaked.

  • 2 March 2021 (Exaggerating support for democracy)

    Western countries, no longer as powerful as in the past, are exaggerating what they might do to support democracy in Burma.

    This is leading some Burmese to expect an armed rescue. They might start a rebellion which would be crushed.

  • 2 March 2021 (Trump inauguration)

    QAnincompoops now claim that Trump will be inaugurated as president on March 4.

    When this fails to occur, they may pretend that it did.

  • 2 March 2021 (Business supremacy treaty for energy infrastructure)

    A special business supremacy treaty specifically for energy infrastructure has a ISDS clause. Under this treaty, countries must pay for permission to adopt climate policies that make foreign-owned fossil fuel infrastructure less useful.

    All business-supremacy treaties are instruments to crush democracy. Countries should refuse to sign them, withdraw from them, ideally join together to cancel them out entirely.

    For this treaty, one possible last-resort solution would be for countries to declare war on each other and bomb each other’s fossil fuel infrastructure, disabling it from functioning. Then they could decline responsibility on the grounds that the damage was an act of war.

    I don’t suggest bombing the power plant into rubble — that would cause pollution — just destroying some key part of it, without which it does not operate.

    Is this idea shocking? There are better ways to stop burning fossil fuels, but it is good to have this fall-back method if the others prove too difficult. Don’t say it can’t be done!

  • 2 March 2021 (Definition of antisemitism)

    The faculty at University College London rejected the UHRA definition of antisemitism.

    It was not designed to be used as a basis to judge people for their actions.

  • 2 March 2021 (Killers of Maltese journalist charged)

    Malta says all those who masterminded killing of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia have now confessed or been charged.

    More info about her.

  • 2 March 2021 (Sanctions on ICC personnel)

    The wrecker put sanctions on personnel of the International Criminal Court; a month after inauguration, Biden has not lifted them.

    How the US should approach the ICC may be a complex question, but sanctions on its personnel cannot be a valid answer.

    It was Dubya that began attacking the ICC and trying to make it ineffective. The US should end that, too.

  • 2 March 2021 (Global heating disaster)

    *CO2 emissions: nations’ pledges ‘far away’ from Paris target, says UN.* The Paris agreement’s target is far from sufficient to avoid global heating disaster.

  • 2 March 2021 (Remote surveillance of workers)

    Remote work has led to a great jump in remote surveillance of workers. They can be monitored far more than they were in the office.

    Amazon is putting cameras in delivery vans to monitor drivers. I hope the drivers go on a camera strike, all covering the cameras on the same day.

    However, given all the other nasty things Amazon does, I urge you never to buy from Amazon — and to urge your friends not to buy any presents for you from Amazon.

  • 2 March 2021 (Biggest carbon polluter in history)

    *The United States Is the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History — Now Is the Time for Bold Action.*

    Or a cowardly drift into disaster.

  • 2 March 2021 (Hamas in Palestinian elections)

    *Is Israel trying to keep Hamas from running in Palestinian elections?*

  • 2 March 2021 (Law not to boycott Israel)

    Georgia passed a law requiring speakers at universities not to boycott Israel. One speaker threatened to sue; Georgia is changing that law.

  • 2 March 2021 ((satire) Ballotless Voting)

    (satire) *Florida GOP Introduces Ballotless Voting In Disenfranchised Communities.*

  • 2 March 2021 (Increasing minimum wage)

    The Senate parliamentarian ruled that increasing the minimum wage is not a budgetary measure, thus thwarting the plan to include that in the Covid-19 relief bill. Democrats now have plans to work around that decision.

    I advocate increasing the minimum wage, but I think the parliamentarian made the right decision. It is stretching things to say that any measure that could will have fiscal effects is a budget measure.

    There seem to be other ways to raise the minimum wage.

    Raising the minimum wage will give the US economy a boost that focuses on working people, rather that trickle down.

  • 2 March 2021 (Artificial sweeteners)

    An experiment found that various artificial sweeteners promoted gene transfer between bacteria.

    The gene transfer can speed the evolution of multi-drug-resistant strains. Since tons of these chemicals now appear in human wastes, they can easily affect

    It seems like an amazing coincidence that several chemicals whose only point of commonality is to taste sweet would also have this effect on bacteria. So I suppose there is an explanation to be found.

  • 2 March 2021 (US military personnel refuse Covid vaccine)

    *A third of US military personnel refuse Covid vaccine.*

    It shocks me that blacks often refuse the vaccine. It can’t be due to heeding white-supremacist right-wing extremists. Since the same vaccines are being offered to whites, it should be clear that this is not a case of offering blacks something dangerous. They are doing themselves harm by refusing.

    If a way can be found to win over the blacks in the military, a few months to observe will convince most people that the vaccine is safe enough. (Unless a problem appears.)

    The main remaining group of refusers will be white-supremacist right-wing extremists. Requiring vaccination of all service members — no choice about it — might convince some of them to leave the military, which is exactly what the country needs.

  • 2 March 2021 (Monarch butterflies are threatened)

    Monarch butterflies are threatened. The population this winter is only 1/3 of what is needed to keep the species safe.

  • 2 March 2021 (Burning of plastics)

    *New research links Delhi’s thick smogs to burning of plastics.*

  • 2 March 2021 (Boulders as obstructions)

    Since the UK government has failed to stop bottom-trawling in “protected” marine areas, Greenpeace is doing so — by setting up lines of boulders as obstructions.

    Bravo!

  • 2 March 2021 (Government-for-hire)

    Both Republicans and Democrats are papering over the ways Neera Tanden has boosted government-for-hire.

    I am disappointed that Sanders supports her. I wish I could ask him why he does.

    Meanwhile, some of the senators that are very hostile to Deb Haaland own fossil fuel stock.

  • 2 March 2021 (Ancient city of Axum)

    When the Ethiopian government captured the ancient city of Axum, its soldiers (and allied Eritreans) rampaged and massacred civilians — hundreds, at least.

  • 2 March 2021 (Radicalization camps)

    The prison camps for captured women and children of PISSI have become radicalization camps, ruled by the most fanatical prisoners.

    I can’t tell from the article whether there are prisoners in those camps that no longer support PISSI. If there are, I hope they get a chance to go somewhere they can live in peace.

    Fanatics should not be allowed to raise children. The children should be adopted by families that do not support PISSI.

    In general, what to do with prisoners that support violent extremist cults is a question with no evident good answer.

  • 2 March 2021 (Twitter’s old web interface)

    Twitter shut down its old web interface that permitted tweeting without running nonfree Javascript code.

  • 1 March 2021 (Urgent: Rochester thugs investigation)

    US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to investigate the Rochester thug department for civil rights violations and racist violence.

  • 1 March 2021 (Urgent: enact VOTERS act)

    Residents of Massachusetts: call on Massachusetts legislators to enact the VOTERS act and require public meetings to be accessible virtually

    I added the following text:

    I ask you push to amend HD2828 (Garlick/Lewis) in two ways:

    * To require virtual meetings to be accessible by phone as well as by internet.

    * To require the state to use its own servers for this purpose, rather than any company’s servers, starting no later than June 2023.

    The companies such as Zoom that offer the use of their servers for virtual meetings impose their own rules about what may be said and who may participate. It is intolerable for any governmental activity or state entity to be covered by commercial censorship, so the state must have a firm policy not to use commercial servers for its meetings except in an emergency. However, recognizing that the state will need time to set up its own facilities, I propose a transition period of two years before the requirement to use them becomes effective.

  • 1 March 2021 (Urgent: college loan debt)

    US citizens: call on Congress to cancel Americans’ college loan debt.

    I entered this text.

    I advocate cancelling student debt for undergraduate education, and for postgraduate education except when it is for a professional degree and the person has or will become employed in that profession. We don’t need to forgive doctors’ and lawyers’ expenses for medical school and law school.

    To sign without running nonfree JavaScript code from the web site, use the Salsalabs workaround.

  • 1 March 2021 (Rich nation and Covid)

    *Rich nations must either help developing countries fight Covid or live in a fortress.*

    The first thing advanced countries need to do is get themselves governments that will help those very countries fight Covid-19. With leaders like Trump and Bogus Johnson, they are charging off to defeat.

  • 1 March 2021 (White-supremacists in the military)

    The US military has done next to nothing to keep out white-supremacist radicalization. Nazis openly talked about their views. Aside from the Navy, the US armed forces treated this as acceptable.

  • 1 March 2021 (Overconsuming groundwater)

    India is overconsuming its ground water, and is approaching a deadly shortage. Food production would be insufficient. Some major cities are faced with the threat of having no drinking water.

    Solar-powered desalination of sea water can help provide drinking water, but it would take a long time for India to make enough capacity to serve the purpose. Shipping water to inland Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad (36 million people) would also be enormously expensive. I don’t know if that solution is feasible even with a desperate effort.

    Looking at what Modi has done with the desperate protests of farmers over a change in laws, I expect that Modi will try to hide the water shortage when it comes, rather than address it.

  • 1 March 2021 (Litter of mars rovers)

    (satire) *NASA Welcomes Litter Of Mars Rovers After Successful Breeding Of Perseverance, Curiosity.*

  • 1 March 2021 (Held government accountable)

    *If the UK government isn’t held to account for its Covid failures, democracy may never recover.*

    Even before this, democracy in the UK was rather decrepit. Corbyn, the only leader for decades who had any chance of redirecting the UK to serve most of its citizens, was shot down by character assassination. A democracy which gives such a leader no chance to succeed is not much of one.

    Nonetheless the article is valid as regards the threat to the little democracy that remains.

  • 1 March 2021 (Coronavirus death toll)

    *The Coronavirus Death Toll Reached 500,000 Because [the wrecker] Sabotaged the Covid Response.*

  • 1 March 2021 (Fracking banned)

    Fracking has been banned in the Delaware river basin.

    That still leaves large parts of the US where we need to ban fracking. Of course, no new fossil fuel development of any kind should be allowed. But fracking is particularly bad, since it tends to leak methane and can pollute local water supplies.

  • 1 March 2021 (Derailing climate targets)

    *UK’s gas power plans risk derailing climate targets.*

    If civilization survives, new fossil fuel power plants will not remain in use long enough to recoup their investment costs. And likewise if civilization collapses. So there has to be some dirty reason for proposing to build them.

  • 1 March 2021 (Solar power satellite)

    NASA is testing the main component for a future large solar power satellite.

    In the 1980s I helped the L5 Society campaign for this.

  • 1 March 2021 (Critical supply chains)

    Biden has ordered prioritizing protecting critical supply chains from risk of interruption due to dependence on foreign suppliers.

    The US should have started this in the 1990s if not before. Indeed, I wonder if the US used to pay attention to this, and whether it ceased as part of Republican deregulation. Can anyone find out and tell me?

  • 1 March 2021 (Deal on USPS)

    Biden and some Democrats in Congress think they can get a “bipartisan” deal to change some laws for the USPS by leaving Saboteur DeJoy in office as its head.

    It is not entirely lunacy to try to make a deal with Republicans, but you must check your pockets frequently during the meeting, a well as after. The leader of their cult made a practice of not paying his debts and not keeping his deals, so you must not give them anything on credit. Allowing a known saboteur to remain in place would be asking for trouble, even as part of a deal. To give him more opportunities for sabotage indefinitely in hope there might be a deal is idiotic.

    If there is a good deal to be had, the Democrats can get it without DeJoy. But they can’t possibly get a good deal by acting desperate for one.

  • 1 March 2021 (Thousands of fossil fuel wells approved)

    California has approved thousands of fossil fuel wells without the environmental approvals required by law.

    They have also omitted the required public hearings about the projects.

  • 26 February 2021 (China to require HK candidates to swear they are Xi-ple)

    China will require all candidates for office in Hong Kong to swear they are Xi-ple.

  • 26 February 2021 (Effect of arctic ice loss on polar bears)

    *Arctic ice loss forces polar bears [and some other predators] touse four times as much energy to survive.*

  • 26 February 2021 (Pakistani Christians face execution for “blasphemy”)

    Two Pakistani Christians, Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel, face execution for “blasphemy” on account of text messages they may not even have sent.

    The two are married but imprisoned separately in solitary confinement for 7 years so far.

    Any law against “blasphemy” expresses contempt for freedom of expression. I was invited once to Pakistan, but I decided it is not safe there — not for me, nor for anyone.

  • 26 February 2021 (North Korean prisoners forced to mine coal for export)

    Accusing North Korea of forcing prisoners to mine coal for export.

    Where does the exported coal go? China, I suppose. Few other countries would buy it.

    There is no way to stop North Korea from exporting coal to China, and no way to pressure China from ceasing to buy it. But this becomes part of a bigger issue: China must stop burning coal! We can, and already do, put pressure on China to cut down and eventually cease its use of coal.

    I don’t know from the article whether the exported coal is thermal coal (burned for the heat alone) or coking coal (used to mix carbon into iron). That makes a difference, since the world needs to eliminate use of thermal coal, but it will not cease the much smaller use of coking coal.

  • 26 February 2021 (Another man killed by thug keeping knee on neck)

    Another man killed because a thug kept a knee on his neck for 5 minutes.

    The thugs had come, supposedly, to help him because he was freaking out. If Antioch, California, had defunded the “police”, 9-1-1 would have sent paratherapists instead of thugs, and they would have talked him down with no loss of life.

  • 26 February 2021 (Prisoner of conscience)

    Is Alexei Navalny a prisoner of conscience?

    Plainly he is: he has been jailed for nonviolent defense of democracy. Therefore Amnesty demands his release. However, it has got itself in a pickle by stating criteria for designating someone as a “prisoner of conscience” which include other requirements besides being a prisoner of conscience.

    The other pertinent requirement is “who has not advocated violence”. Does comparing immigrants to “rotten teeth” constitute advocating violence against them? It could be interpreted that way. But it is not relevant to his imprisonment today; Russia has not accused him of “hostility towards immigrants.” (Not that an opinion could justify imprisoning someone.) So Amnesty should not consider his past or present views on immigrants relevant to determining whether he is a prisoner of conscience.

    If Amnesty wants a designation limited to people who have been exemplary in all aspects of their political lives, it would do better to call that something different — perhaps “exemplary prisoner of conscience.” Then it could recognize Navalny as a prisoner of conscience who has not been exemplary.

  • 26 February 2021 (Palm oil in Canadian milk and butter)

    Canadian milk and butter appear to contain increasing amounts of palm oil.

  • 26 February 2021 (Philadelphia’s new district attorney)

    Philadelphia elected a new district attorney, who supports criminal justice reform. Philadelphia thugs want to bring back the old district attorney, for whom a thug could do no wrong. So they blame all crime on the new district attorney.

  • 26 February 2021 (Giant gas power plant)

    Protests have put an end to the plan to build a giant gas power plant in England.

    The UK should build batteries or other energy storage units instead.

  • 26 February 2021 (Oil wells cleanup)

    *Who will clean up the ‘billion-dollar mess’ of abandoned US oil wells?*

    Collapse, by Jared Diamond, explains how the same thing happens with mines: when the mine becomes unprofitable to operate, there is no money left in the company that owns it to clean it up.

    Often the actual ownership of wells is left in small companies that can be allowed to go bankrupt, while the profits are in the megacorporations that buy from those small companies. Those will never go bankrupt.

    A carbon tax could solve the problem. Part of the tax money could pay for closing wells. Of course, the tax should be a lot bigger than that, because its purpose is also to encourage switching to renewable energy.

  • 26 February 2021 (New social contract)

    *Covid and the climate crisis show why we need a new social contract between old and young.*

    Let’s resist supposing that the question is whether to blame the baby boomers in general or generation z in general, because maybe it’s neither. Plutocrats often play divide and rule. Setting the old and the young against each other is just their sort of thing.

    The argument that we need to retire later, and thus keep working longer, makes perfect sense, but how can that be reconciled with the fact that lots of people in their 50s are already terminally out of work?

    Meanwhile, the lifestyles of Americans are terribly inefficient. Surely we can do something to move to greater efficiency in our consumption.

  • 26 February 2021 (More extreme weather)

    * Decline in system underpinning Gulf Stream could lead to more extreme weather in Europe and higher sea levels on US east coast.*

  • 26 February 2021 (Overlooking evidence)

    The Environmental Poisoning Agency engaged in the most blatant stupidity to overlook evidence that Telone is carcinogenic.

  • 26 February 2021 (Frequent forest fires)

    Frequent forest fires reduce the forest’s carbon capture.

    This is another positive feedback that will push us towards disaster.

  • 26 February 2021 (Collapsing ecosystems)

    *Australian scientists warn urgent action needed to save 19 ‘collapsing’ ecosystems.*

  • 26 February 2021 (Interfaces to Twitter)

    Now that all the official interfaces to Twitter require nonfree Javascript code, the Free Software Foundation uses unofficial free software to post on Twitter.

  • 26 February 2021 (Assad-related torture verdict)

    *Germany convicts former Assad regime agent in historic Syria torture verdict.*

  • 26 February 2021 (Bats dying)

    Due to global heating, bats in some places are dying from heat.

  • 26 February 2021 (China divorce)

    *Woman awarded $7,700 for five years of housework in China divorce ruling.*

    It is a long-standing feminist complaint about social practices that women tend to do the chores, and their work is undervalued because it is unpaid. It seems that China takes this argument seriously.

  • 26 February 2021 (Yazidi refugee camps)

    Many Yazidis cannot go home to Shinjar, and continue to live in dismal refugee camps. With Covid-19 on top of that, some young people are committing suicide.

    If the wrecker had continued the campaign to eradicate PISSI, perhaps more of the Yazidis could go home.

    I am surprised by the statement that some Yazidis remain prisoners of PISSI. PISSI no longer controls territory; where can it hold its prisoners. The statement is so brief and sketchy that it is hard to make sense of. The reference given does not seem to say anything about this.

  • 26 February 2021 (Israeli checkpoint)

    *Israeli checkpoint killing of Palestinian was an execution, report claims.*

  • 26 February 2021 (Justice Dept. Spots)

    *Corporate Lawyers Line Up for Justice Department Top Slots.*

  • 26 February 2021 (Phone vaccination)

    Greece is pushing to require people to use phones to present proof of vaccination, and the UK is looking at the idea too.

    Even if the government does not require digital surveillance for this, companies might do it too.

  • 26 February 2021 (Sri Lanka Risk)

    *Sri Lanka at ‘tipping point’ with risk of return to past atrocities, activists warn.*

  • 25 February 2021 (Jeep Cherokee Issues)

    The Cherokee tribe asked Jeep to stop using its name as the name of a line of products.

    I think businesses should have to get explicit permission to use the name of any person, ethnic group or community in commercial publicity.

  • 25 February 2021 (Neera Tanden’s confirmation in jeopardy)

    Neera Tanden’s confirmation by the Senate is in jeopardy, for the wrong reasons: for condemning Republicans, not for working with plutocratists.

    I wonder why progressive senators plan to vote for her. If they have a reason to think having her as head of the OMB would be good, I would like to know it.

  • 25 February 2021 (Giving everyone Covid-19 vaccine)

    For $25 billion, the US could easily give everyone Covid-19 vaccine.

    Given what Russia and China are doing, providing vaccine to everyone else would cost considerably less. Wouldn’t it be great to put an end to Covid-19 sooner? And the US would win gratitude for this generosity, just as Russia and China are winning it now

    But the US should not spend the money on windfall profits by paying high prices. First it should allow other manufacturers, to reduce what vaccines cost.

    The article refers to patents as “intellectual property”. That term causes confusion which benefits patent holders as they try to restrict others. It’s a shame that representatives of organizations that seek to serve the public good speak in ways that build up the obstructive power of patents.

  • 25 February 2021 (Arrested for walking)

    Texas thugs arrested a man for walking while black during a snowstorm. Fortunately, nothing worse resulted.

  • 25 February 2021 (Alliance between airlines)

    The Department of Transportation agreed to an alliance between American Airlines and Jet Blue. But now it will reconsider the decision, because such alliances are anticompetitive.

  • 25 February 2021 (Equity funds profitability)

    How private equity funds exaggerate the profitability of investing in them. Don’t trust what they claim they can do.

  • 25 February 2021 (Paying small publishers)

    Google is paying powerful News Corp (the Wall Street Journal, etc) for presenting its articles in Australia, but don’t forget about smaller publishers.

    I think it is good to make large, profitable online services pay to make use of publications, but we must be on guard against any attempt to turn that into a part of copyright power and impose the same requirement on nonprofit web sites.

    However, it might be good to direct some of this money to the authors. Why not?

  • 25 February 2021 (Control by a guardian)

    Nearly all US states make it too easy to subject a person to total, permanent control by a “guardian”. This is often done without properly notifying the target of the court hearing which will decide about per fate.

  • 25 February 2021 (Alex Jones on Facebook)

    Zuckerberg personally ordered Facebook not to ban Alex Jones when the company’s policy said to ban him.

  • 25 February 2021 (Plutocratist as Secretary of Agriculture)

    The Senate confirmed thoroughly plutocratist Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture.

    He is expected to favor the big middleman companies over people that eat food or grow food.

  • 25 February 2021 (Nuclear deal)

    Biden has brought the issue of Americans accused of crimes in Iran into the negotiations on resuming the non-nuclear deal.

    I think that is a mistake. Keeping Iran non-nuclear is far more important than freeing a few people who may be unjustly accused, and sanctions that interfere with medical treatment for millions can’t be justified by those few either.

  • 25 February 2021 (Oranges into electricity)

    *How Seville is turning leftover oranges into electricity.*

    I have occasionally wondered why the city does not replace the trees gradually with other orange trees that will produce fruit people will like to eat.

  • 25 February 2021 (Telephone support)

    Many companies are using Covid-19 as an excuse to terminate (for all practical purposes) telephone support.

    Inaccessible sites are a problem for more than just blind people. I am not blind, but many websites are inaccessible for me because they demand visitors run nonfree JavaScript code.

    I avoid many of these problems by not dealing with those companies. I never purchase anything over the internet. But there are sites that do really important jobs, such as scheduling Covid-19 vaccinations, which are inaccessible in the Free World. Fortunately I found a vaccination site that would make an appointment by phone.

  • 25 February 2021 (Renewable energy growth)

    Australia’s renewable energy generation is growing so fast that the market will compel shutting several fossil fuel plants by 2025.

    This does not mean Australia is on track towards doing its share of what civilization needs to survive.

  • 25 February 2021 (Sanctions)

    US senators have introduced a bill to put sanctions on the president of Honduras and on the Honduran military.

  • 25 February 2021 (NATO)

    NATO was set up to defend Western Europe from possible invasion by the Soviet Union. Now it makes plans for attacking Russia.

    I can’t see how attacking Russia could be justified in a world like this one, nor why we should maintain an alliance for that purpose.

    I disagree with some of the article’s other points. I think the almost bloodless displacement of the Taliban from Afghanistan might have lead to a better Afghanistan if we had not dropped it from our attention to prioritize the unjustified attack on Iraq. Of course, there is no way to make sure.

    China’s campaign for world hegemony calls for countries to unite in opposition, but that opposition will need to be economic and diplomatic, not military (except for a few countries that prepare to deter or repel China’s announced plan to attack Taiwan). It does not require NATO.

  • 25 February 2021 (Urgent: No sale of water sources to private equity)

    US citizens: call on Congress to resist Nestlé’s plan to sell some water sources to private equity.

  • 25 February 2021 (The thugs that killed Daniel Prude)

    The thugs that killed Daniel Prude in Rochester will not be prosecuted because the grand jury voted not to indict.

    I am sure that Letitia James tried her best to get an indictment. The refusal is therefore quite unusual. It might perhaps represent racism, or an insistence to “support your local police.”

    One way or another, we need to stop thugs from holding people down with their knees.

  • 25 February 2021 (Why Republicans ‘Fear’ Green New Deal)

    *Republicans ‘Fear’ Green New Deal, Argues Naomi Klein, Because It’s a Viable Alternative to Free-Market Failure.*

  • 25 February 2021 (When and how to reopen schools)

    Thinking nonpolitically about when and how to reopen schools.

    I agree that remote education is necessary while Covid-19 rages. But using nonfree software is not necessary, and morally not acceptable.

  • 25 February 2021 (Half of America In or Near Poverty)

    *Half of America In or Near Poverty.*

  • 25 February 2021 (Credit for Covid deaths)

    (satire) *Trump Worried Biden Will Take Credit For 500,000 Covid Deaths [Trump] Made Possible.*

  • 25 February 2021 (Filibuster disease)

    (satire) *Joe Manchin Reverses Stance On Abolishing Filibuster After Son Diagnosed With Filibuster Disease.*

  • 25 February 2021 (Corruptor’s outside income while president)

    The corrupter had over 1.6 billion dollars in outside income while he was president. This was due to various sorts of corruption.

  • 25 February 2021 (Release of wrecker’s tax returns to prosecutors)

    The Supreme Court’s decision to allow release of the wrecker’s tax returns was not about release to the public. It was about private release to prosecutors for use in a grand jury to try to indict him.

    I think that’s the most important thing to do with them.

  • 25 February 2021 (How Uber cheats drivers)

    Uber cheats drivers by underestimating the distance they must travel.

  • 25 February 2021 (Capitol Police leaders absent during riot)

    The Capitol Police faced extreme violence from the attackers on Jan 6, using all sorts of weapons short of guns. And their leaders seemed to have disappeared.

  • 25 February 2021 (Iran reaches deal with global nuclear watchdog)

    *Iran reaches deal with global nuclear watchdog for inspections over the next 3 months.*

    However, the deal is somewhat limited.

  • 25 February 2021 (Federal program for jobs that benefit the public)

    Ayanna Pressley proposes a federal program to provide work doing jobs that benefit the public.

    I support the plan, but in political terms I wonder how this resolution, which is not a bill and thus can’t actually create the program, will help establish it.

  • 25 February 2021 (AI program uses video to recognize emotions)

    A new AI program uses video to recognize people’s emotions. Reportedly it helps teachers figure out what a student needs. But who gets that information? Since the program is, apparently, nonfree, nobody should trust it.

    It is even less trustworthy given that it is developed in Hong Kong. China will surely find a way to make it serve to catch potential or actual dissidents, and not only among students and teachers.

  • 25 February 2021 (Australia reaches compromise with Facebook)

    Australia reached a compromise with Facebook about the requirement to pay news publishers.

    The situation is too complex for me to have any idea what the results will be. I can’t tell whether this deal will permit Facebook to get away with paying news publishers little or nothing. I wish someone would tell me which side won in the confrontation.

    What I am sure of is that it isn’t enough to make Facebook safe for society, whether in Australia, the US, or anywhere else.

  • 25 February 2021 (Migratory freshwater fish at risk of extinction)

    *Populations of migratory freshwater fish have plummeted by 76% since 1970, and large fish — those weighing more than 30kg — have been all but wiped out in most rivers.*

  • 25 February 2021 (Deaths of young, healthy migrant workers in Qatar)

    Too many young and healthy migrant workers die in Qatar, and the government has ignored calls to investigate why.

  • 24 February 2021 (Cronyism)

    *Cronyism in Britain is rampant and goes unpunished.* This is because Bogus Johnson is its biggest sponsor.

  • 24 February 2021 (Ending Covid-19 precautions)

    Some Tories want to end UK’s Covid-19 precautions by the end of April. Scientific modeling predicts this would lead to another wave of Covid-19, and tens of thousands more deaths.

    Part of the problem is that children are not being vaccinated. They could spread the disease to those adults who remain vulnerable (including the fraction for whom the vaccine is not effective). Eradicating the disease without strong social precautions requires vaccination of children.

  • 24 February 2021 (Seizing of records and communications)

    The FBI, to investigate the attack on the Capitol, has seized call records and “actual communications” from portable phones of everyone there.

    I think that is legitimate in response to a crime, especially a heinous crime like that one. The majority of the people there were engaged in insurrection.

    What we must fight against is the establishment of systems that collect data about people in general when there is no reason to think they are engaged in a serious crime. That is fuel for tyranny.

  • 24 February 2021 (Renaming schools)

    San Francisco plans to rename many schools, including the ones named after George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

    I think that would be a mistake.

    We designate people as heroes because we admire their actions. However, as our moral standards change, over time we come to perceive some of their actions as wrongs, flaws. When we talk about them, we should criticize their flaws.

    In some cases, the flaws we discover may be so large that we conclude they were not heroes at all, merely evildoers. I think Columbus is a candidate for that.

    However, it is a mistake to demand that past heroes be flawless. If we designate them as evildoers at the sight of the first serious flaw-by-our-standards, by and by we will have no heroes left. Therefore I think we should continue to admire a hero if per great deeds greatly outweigh per flaws.

  • 24 February 2021 (Prison phone calls)

    *Connecticut Lawmakers Want to Try Again to Make Prison Phone Calls [gratis].*

  • 24 February 2021 (History of violent racism)

    The US has a history of white supremacists staging violent overthrow of properly elected state governments, then imposing racist rule with rigged elections. Jan 6 was not the first time. The article describes an instance in 1876.

    That article is pervaded by symbolic bigotry, expressed by capitalizing “black” but not “white”. (To avoid such bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.)

    I object to bigotry, and normally I refuse to link to articles which instantiate it. I made an exception for this article because it teaches something very important about the history of racist violence, and I didn’t see much chance of finding another article on the topic without the bigotry.

    Nonetheless, I rebuke the article’s bigotry. Spitting at all whites is wrong, and far from helping to eliminate racism, it is more likely to do the opposite.

  • 24 February 2021 (Planet roasters tactics)

    Claiming falsely that a blackout was caused by renewable generation is a standard tactic of planet roasters.

  • 24 February 2021 (Beach pollution)

    Israel’s entire coastline has been polluted by an oil spill.

    By luck, Gaza escaped the pollution. Could Israelis, yearning to bathe in the sea, make peace with Gaza so that this will be possible? Probably not, but it is a nice idea to think about.

  • 24 February 2021 (Death penalty abolished)

    Virginia has abolished the death penalty.

    Almost half the states in the US have done this. I hope Biden will encourage progress.

  • 24 February 2021 (The Guardian)

    Nathan J. Robinson, former columnist for The Guardian, explains how the paper’s US editor terminated dealings with him after he was absurdly accused of antisemitism.

    In the article, he explains both the paper’s good aspects which are why I refer principally to its stories, and its bad aspects, such as helping to give Corbyn the shaft.

  • 24 February 2021 (Pandemic of human rights abuses)

    Secretary General Guterres: *The world faces a pandemic of human rights abuses in the wake of Covid-19.*

  • 24 February 2021 (Helping continue war)

    Oxfam says that the UK’s arms sales to Salafi Arabia are helping it continue fighting in Yemen.

  • 24 February 2021 (Continuing fighting Covid)

    The US must continue using masks, keeping distance, and avoiding/prohibiting activities that tend to spread Covid-19.

    Otherwise the newer, more infectious strains are likely to spread and cause another surge in cases.

  • 24 February 2021 (Paying the electricity bill)

    The Republican governor of Texas says Republicans will somehow spare Texans from paying the thousands of dollars that they have been charged for electricity during the storm.

    That’s a step in the right direction, but it would have been better for Texans to have voted for Democrats and avoided both the gouging and the unreliability of the power grid.

  • 24 February 2021 (Travel vetoed by husband)

    Iran’s women’s skiing team has gone to the world championship without its coach — her husband vetoed her travel.

  • 24 February 2021 (Urgent: Bar Trump from running for office)

    US citizens: call on Congress to vote to bar Trump from running for office, using the 14th amendment, on the grounds that he participated in insurrection.

  • 24 February 2021 (Urgent: Massachusetts bills)

    Citizens of Massachusetts: call on the Massachusetts legislature to pass a bill to regulate face recognition, and a bill to end the practice of suspending drivers’ licenses because of debts.

    Many people are too poor to pay their debts, and losing their drivers’ licenses means they lose their jobs and get even further in debt. The fact that now half of all Americans are in poverty or close to it means that this harmful feedback loop does even more harm.

  • 24 February 2021 (“Working with business”)

    Starmer says that *Labour must work with business to create fairer society.*

    “Working with business” sounds good to people who dislike conflict, like “working with Republicans”, but both are programmed to fail. Working for more fairness together with the main source of unfairness is not likely to get very far.

    Even worse, announcing that that’s your intended approach gives the source of unfairness veto power. “Working with” thus turns into “begging the indulgence of.”

    Frederick Douglass reminds us that “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” Starmer would like Britons to forget to make the demand.

  • 24 February 2021 (Columbia University students on strike)

    A thousand students at Columbia University are on strike, refusing to pay their tuition fees, demanding a reduction in those fees but also other changes in the name of justice, such as fossil fuel divestment.

  • 24 February 2021 (The misguided concept of “Cultural appropriation”)

    Rihanna wore a pendant with an image of Ganesha, and is being criticized for it using the misguided concept of “cultural appropriation.”

    Setting aside that confusion, is there something to criticize about Rihanna’s pendant? I am not sure. Was it disrespectful to the worshipers of Ganesha? Perhaps a little — in that it acts to disconnect the appearance of Ganesha from its context and meaning.

    I disagree with every religion, more or less, and I might use one’s symbolic images as well as its words to make a point about it, perhaps to criticize it, much as Nina Paley did (better than I ever could) in Sita Sings the Blues.

    But I would not disconnect them from their context. I may criticize a religion but I do not want to undermine knowledge or awareness about it.

  • 24 February 2021 (Filtering or breaking down microplastics)

    Progress in filtering or breaking down microplastics, though not yet at commercial scale.

  • 24 February 2021 (Republicans’ spreading of Covid-19)

    Republicans’ spreading of Covid-19 was the culmination of a decades-long trend: plutocratist policies of deregulation and marketization have made the US more unequal in life expectancy as well as in income.

  • 24 February 2021 (When businesses run their own inspection)

    The “new idea” of letting pork processing plants do their own inspections was tried experimentally under Obama. In 2014-2017, the plants which did this had twice as many violations as other plants.

    Does this surprise you? It does not surprise me. In general, the reason businesses lobby to run their own inspection is so that they can do a quick and sloppy job of it, and sell things they should have discarded. The result can spread disease.

    In general, the reason why government agencies accept these proposals from business is that they are trying to serve business rather than serve the public. A good government would teach its officials to laugh those lobbyists out of the office.

    The US should simply cancel this bad policy.

  • 24 February 2021 (Conflicting proposal to enforce freedom of speech)

    A UK minister’s proposal to legally enforce freedom of speech in universities conflicts with his plan to label criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestine as “antisemitism”.

  • 24 February 2021 (Condemnation for parents doing the best possible)

    The US must stop condemning parents for “neglecting” their children when they are doing the best possible given their poverty.

  • 24 February 2021 (Serious symptoms after Covid-19 “recovery”)

    A study found that 30% of patients with mild cases of Covid-19 had serious symptoms for months after their “recovery”.

    The wrecker decided to expose tens of millions of Americans to Covid-19 when he could have chosen not to. That will mean millions of people partially or wholly disabled months from now.

  • 24 February 2021 (Republicans propose ban on municipal broadband)

    Republicans propose to give Americans better internet bandwidth by prohibiting cities from helping out with municipal broadband.

    Plutocratist politicians will propose dooH niboR as the solution to any problem whatsoever.

  • 24 February 2021 (US production of N95 masks)

    The US has increased production of N95 masks, but has not yet ordered hospitals to buy N95 masks for their staff.

  • 24 February 2021 (Allowing companies to set up local governments)

    Nevada is considering a bill to allow companies to set up their own local governments.

    They will surely find ways to harass whistleblowers in those companies.

  • 23 February 2021 (Urgent: no military weapons for thugs)

    US citizens: call on Congress to stop providing military weapons to US thug departments.

    To sign without running nonfree JavaScript code from the web site, use the Salsalabs workaround.

  • 23 February 2021 (The next worst thing)

    Bogus Johnson gave the UK the next worst thing to a no-deal exit from the EU.

    I warned that the only way to get good results from leaving the EU was to put Corbyn in charge.

  • 23 February 2021 (Phthalates)

    Studies have linked phthalates in the mother’s blood with the frequencies of various subsequent brain disorders in children.

  • 23 February 2021 (Biometric collect through exams)

    Students are suing Northwestern University for collecting students’ biometric information through exam software.

    Bravo! The law in use is limited to that one state, but if one university shows it can do without these vicious pieces of proprietary malware, other universities will obviously also be able to do so.

  • 23 February 2021 (Urgent: Migratory Bird Protection Act)

    US citizens: call on the Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the protections of the Migratory Bird Protection Act.

  • 23 February 2021 (Domestic violence)

    A lesson on how domestic violence and controlling relationships really unfold.

  • 23 February 2021 (Air pollutants from refineries shut down)

    *Texas freeze led to release of tons of air pollutants as refineries shut.* These emissions can be equivalent to many years of normal operation.

  • 23 February 2021 (Deregulation is the cause for power failure)

    Ideologically imposed Republican deregulation is the cause of Texas’s power failure and the cause of the bankruptcies caused by gouging on natural gas.

    Some Texans have been bankrupted by the thousands of dollars that the gas companies charged while their electricity was out. Republicans now aim to use them as hostages to protect the windfall profits for the future. They want the federal government to ransom the hostages by paying what pay the utility gouging.

    It is good to rescue the hostages, but what will happen next time there is a global heating disaster or a natural disaster in Texas? Should the utilities be able to gouge again, and the federal government ransom their hostages again? We must not throw our money down the toilet from which utilities feed.

    The deal to ransom the hostages this time must include regulating utility prices in Texas so that,next time, the utilities can’t gouge again.

    Paying ransom for hostages to the enemies of the American people was Reagan’s policy. It must not be ours today.

  • 23 February 2021 (Malcolm X murder)

    *Malcolm X family says letter shows NYPD and FBI conspired in his murder.*

    I would not be very surprised if they did.

  • 23 February 2021 (Using freezing cold for torture)

    Privatized deportation prison thugs use the current freezing cold to torture prisoners. When they complain of the cold in their unheated cells, the thugs turn on fans to make it worse.

    That is but the most shocking of many forms of cruelty and neglect, just as one must expect from any privatized government function.

  • 23 February 2021 (War with nature)

    Secretary General Guterres warned that humanity needs to end its “war with nature.”

    I am concerned, however, that use of the term “natural capital” will backfire, leading people to accept the practice of selling off natural systems as long as the price is high enough. The capitalist will sell the ladder he is standing on, and won’t even climb down before it is taken away.

  • 23 February 2021 (Uighurs getting weaker and sicker)

    A non-Uighur teacher in Xinjiang was ordered to teach shackled Uighurs and saw them get weaker and sicker as time went by.

  • 23 February 2021 (Medicare and important drugs)

    What Medicare pays for some important drugs is much higher than other US government programs.

    If they were unified into a single buying bloc, they would get even lower prices. And with most of the country’s population as members, they could push it down even more. This is what most advanced countries do, and it works for them.

  • 23 February 2021 (Records of thugs misconduct)

    A court ruled that New York City can publish the records of misconduct of its official thugs. Thug unions sued to block publication, and lost.

  • 23 February 2021 (Special vaccination for wealthy residents)

    Florida’s governor, DeSantis, took the initiative to offer special “pop-up” vaccination for two zipcodes whose residents happen to be particularly wealthy.

    DeSantis was previously known for covering up statistics about deaths from Covid-19, and prosecuting the whistleblower who arranged to leak the true numbers.

  • 22 February 2021 (DeSantis vaccines for wealthy)

    Florida’s governor, DeSantis, took the initiative to offer special “pop-up” vaccination for two zip-codes whose residents happen to be particularly wealthy.

    DeSantis was previously known for covering up statistics about deaths from Covid-19, and prosecuting the whistleblower who arranged to leak the true numbers.

  • 22 February 2021 (UK welfare fraud investigations)

    The UK government goes to great lengths to investigate welfare fraud, even demanding information from the NHS.

    Investigating benefits fraud would be legitimate if the support one could get by being honest were adequate to live on. As in the US, what motivates the overemphasis on poor people’s frauds rather than rich people’s frauds as well as the push to reduce welfare for the poor in order to increase welfare for the rich is the cruel attitude of despising poor people and blaming them for their poverty.

  • 22 February 2021 (Tax returns)

    The Supreme Court is blocking a grand jury request to see the corrupter’s tax returns.

  • 22 February 2021 (Maryland digital ad tax)

    Maryland has enacted a tax on digital advertising. Proxies for Big Tech are suing to overturn it.

    Facebook is being sued based on claims that it cheated advertisers by exaggerating the effectiveness of ads.

  • 22 February 2021 (US Military Muslim apps)

    *House Dems Demand Probe Into US Military Purchases of Location Data From Muslim-Focused Apps.*

    I see the motive for this, but they’re trying to cure a symptom rather than the real problem. Why protect only Muslims and not other Americans?

    Congress ought to investigate what allows those apps, and thousands of other apps, to collect location data about their users. Then they should legislate to put a stop to this.

  • 22 February 2021 (Fictional Australia)

    (satire) *Facebook Takes Down All Posts Spreading Misinformation About Fictional Nation Of “Australia.”*

  • 22 February 2021 (Maine lobster advisory)

    (satire) *Maine Residents Placed Under Boil Lobster Advisory.*

  • 22 February 2021 (Ending US Tax evasion)

    The Stop CHEATERS Act would invest $100 billion in IRS systems and audits, which is expected to increase tax revenue by a trillion dollars.

  • 22 February 2021 (Forest sprites)

    (satire) *Studio Ghibli Theme Park Opening Delayed After Construction Site Overrun With Curious Forest Sprites.*

  • 22 February 2021 (Everything we need as a commons)

    Vandana Shiva argues for treating “everything we need” as a commons.

    I think that goes too far — it is, in effect, Communism, and we have not seen that come out well.

    In societies where each family can do its own gathering, or its own gardening, there is no need to make food part of an economy. But we are far away from that now. It is not feasible for everyone to grow food, not in India and even less so in the US. No one farm will grow all the foodstuffs that people eat nowadays, not even in India. There must be a system to handle growing food, processing food (do you want bread, flour, or just whole grains of wheat) and providing it to those who don’t grow it. If it doesn’t work by rationing, it needs to be a market.

    A market is based on rules, and there are many choices for society to make in those rules. The big economic issues, the causes of hunger and penury, have to do with the rules of the market for food. Through the 1970s the US used to have many family farms, and governments made sure its policies enabled them to stay in business. Reagan suckered farmers into accepting loans they could not pay back, and this caused a big leap in consolidation. His deregulation and his weakening of anti-monopoly laws allowed mega-businesses to dominate and eventually buy most of the remaining family farms, while mistreating the eating public too.

    Likewise for water. In a city, you can’t get water from your own well. There needs to be a system to handle it. What should the system’s rules be? How should it charge for water — and how do we make sure poor people water to drink and to wash? Those are crucial political questions today, with poor families’ water being disconnected just as they are told they need to wash their hands frequently. But “dig your own well” is not a solution.

    An aquifer should be a common — but successful commons need rules about who gets to take how much.

  • 22 February 2021 (Oracle complicit in Chinese repression)

    Oracle provided the software for the Chinese state to make effective repressive use of the massive data it collects about everyone in China.

    The crucial evil is in the collection of the data, but that is no excuse for helping in any other stage of repression.

  • 22 February 2021 (Insanely long US prison sentences)

    Around 15% of prisoners in the US are sentenced to 50 or more years in prison.

    There is rarely a rational basis for such a long sentence.

  • 22 February 2021 (Indian political prisoner)

    Calling on India to release political prisoner Professor G N Saibaba.

  • 22 February 2021 (Nursing home industry)

    *Nursing Home Industry Avoids Scrutiny for Covid-19 Deaths as Powerful Lobby Goes to Work.*

  • 22 February 2021 (Government workers strike Burma)

    Civilian government workers in Burma are striking against the military takeover.

  • 22 February 2021 (UK summer beaches)

    Large numbers of people in the UK going to the beach last summer seems to have had no Covid-spreading effect.

  • 22 February 2021 (Uber drivers UK)

    The UK Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers are employees.

    This should result in giving them many forms of employment rights.

    Meanwhile, in California, the initiative that decided drivers are not employees has enabled Uber to cut the drivers’ pay.

  • 22 February 2021 (Colombian army killed noncombatants)

    The Colombian army killed at least 6400 noncombatants and disguised them as FARC guerrillas killed in combat.

    The soldiers were rewarded based on body count.

  • 22 February 2021 (Dubai princesses)

    The imprisonment of two Dubai princesses illustrates how Dubai legally makes women second-class citizens.

    European countries did this in the 1800s, and even into the 1900s; it went much further than just denying women the vote.

  • 22 February 2021 (Tories undoing damage to NHS)

    The Tories are more or less undoing their previous harmful reorganization which introduced competition and privatization into the workings of the NHS, which they did based on plutocratist ideology.

  • 22 February 2021 (Tax international flights)

    *Call to tax international flights to raise climate funds for poor countries.*

    I am in favor.

  • 22 February 2021 (Elsevier paywalls)

    Elsevier is corrupting “open science” in Europe by worming its way into operating the systems to monitor scientific publication.

    That is in addition to publishing pay-walled journals, which should not exist at all.

  • 22 February 2021 (Facebook avoids fact-checking)

    *To Avoid Backlash, Facebook Reportedly Relaxed Fact-Checking Standards on Conservative Pages.*

  • 22 February 2021 (Librarian burns books)

    A librarian has been fired for taking books by Ann Counter and Donald Trump off the shelves and burning them.

    Although I think those books are contemptible, destroying books in the library’s collection is not acceptable. Burning books is especially bad.

  • 22 February 2021 (SpaceX donations)

    SpaceX donated over $100k to members of Congress that tried to overturn the election.

  • 22 February 2021 (Magnetic field Neanderthals)

    The Earth’s magnetic field flipped direction 42,000 years ago. It now appears this may have caused problems including an increase in UV radiation hitting the Earth, and might have caused extinctions including the full-blooded Neanderthals.

    The Neanderthals did have descendants of course — us.

  • 22 February 2021 (UK Ministers bypass parliament)

    UK ministers are becoming habituated to deciding laws without letting Parliament vote.

    This is not a democracy.

  • 22 February 2021 (Belarus jails journalists)

    *Belarus jails two journalists who covered Lukashenko protest.*

  • 22 February 2021 (Britons going hungry)

    When Britons claim welfare payments after losing their jobs, 1/6 of them can’t afford food.

  • 22 February 2021 (Iran nuclear deal and Biden)

    *Iran [non-]nuclear deal: US agrees to join talks brokered by EU.*

    It looks like Biden decided he wants to make progress towards a deal, rather than put Iran in the wrong.

  • 22 February 2021 (Facebook News Australia)

    Facebook’s rejection of Australian news sources makes visible the injustice of internet connections that privilege Facebook over other sites.

    Such schemes ought to be prohibited in the name of market competition, among other reasons.

  • 22 February 2021 (Australia Facebook)

    *Facebook is gambling Australia can’t live without it.* More precisely, without finding news articles in it. *Imagine if we prove them wrong.*

  • 22 February 2021 (Biden against defunding police)

    Biden opposes defunding local police, apparently even partially.

    Fortunately, localities can do this without federal approval.

  • 22 February 2021 (Climate pretenders)

    Britain, Canada and Norway pretend to be leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while exporting lots of fossil fuel.

  • 22 February 2021 (Siberian cavities)

    Cavities in Siberia, filled with methane, are producing large craters when they explosively release the methane into the atmosphere.

  • 22 February 2021 (Texas disaster)

    Texas’s gas-fired power plants failed due to cold.

    Republican deregulation enabled and encourage Texas’s electric utilities to save money by not preparing for winter storms.

    The power grid should be run by the state so it will be accountable.

    Texas cities kept the electricity on in downtown areas because of the critical facilities there. This had the side effect of keeping power on for business that wasted power on lights for publicity.

    Maybe there needs to be a law that the city can order a building to turn off all external lights and all light in rooms that no one is in. This will make more power available to keep the current on in other neighborhoods.

  • 22 February 2021 (Limbaugh Ranting)

    (satire) *Doctor Assures Limbaugh Family It [is] Normal For Body To Continue Ranting About Welfare Queens Hours After Death.*

  • 22 February 2021 (Georgia voter suppression)

    The Georgia state senate is secretly considering bills for voter suppression.

  • 22 February 2021 (Remove the termites’ nest)

    To disprove the impunity the wrecker still claims to have, we must prosecute him for inciting the attack on the Capitol.

    Failure to prosecute him would encourage him and others to sabotage our system of government.

    Are we so desperate to rebuild our house that we can’t afford to remove the termites’ nest?

  • 22 February 2021 (US Missiles to Egypt)

    Biden proposes to give/sell $200 million in ship-to-air missiles for the Egyptian military government.

    At least they can’t be used to repress dissidents.

  • 22 February 2021 (Prosecutor sacked)

    *Senior UK fraud prosecutor unfairly sacked after US sabotage, tribunal finds.*

    The article is concerned with how UK officials acted, but I’m most concerned with the possible dishonesty of the US officials.

  • 19 February 2021 (Funding sites)

    Reasons not to use funding sites.

  • 19 February 2021 (Imprisonment of climate activist)

    The imprisonment of climate activist Disha Ravi epitomizes the Indian government’s readiness to outrage the world in order to crush dissent.

  • 19 February 2021 (Spreading fast among school children)

    Now that England has reopened many schools, Covid-19 is spreading fast among school children there.

  • 19 February 2021 (Tar sands oil)

    Planet-roasters keep trying desperately to ship abrasive tar sands oil from Alberta to some coastline. Biden should cancel the Line 3 pipeline to protect the world from that oil.

  • 19 February 2021 (Dangerous cult)

    *The GOP Is a Dangerous Cult That Democrats Should Not Negotiate With.*

    The question is, how to twist the arms of senators Manchin and Sinema, Democratic in affiliation but with politics like pre-tea-party Republicans.

  • 19 February 2021 (Go back where you come from)

    (satire) *”You Go Back Where You Came From,” Says Texan Pointing Gun At Snowman Trespassing On Property.*

  • 19 February 2021 (Perfectionist sculptor)

    (satire) *Historians Reveal Terra-Cotta Army Result Of Perfectionist Sculptor Screwing Up Soldier Statue Thousands Of Times.*

  • 19 February 2021 (Better Burma)

    *Reversing Myanmar’s Coup Isn’t Enough. Here’s How to Build a Better Burma.*

  • 19 February 2021 (Blocking all news)

    Facebook responded by the requirement to pay for carrying news articles by blocking all news sites and lots of other sites as well.

    With luck, people will adapt by finding other ways to see news articles and stop letting Facebook use them.

  • 19 February 2021 (Decriminalizing psychedelics)

    *California bill would decriminalize psychedelics, paving the way for medical treatment.*

  • 19 February 2021 (Black and Hispanic cops)

    In Chicago, black and Hispanic cops are substantially less thuggish than white cops, on the average.

    The article linked to just above displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing “black” but not “white”. (To avoid that bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) I object to bigotry, and normally I decline to link to articles which promote it. But I make an exception for articles which give important information about racism or the fight to eliminate racism. That article is one of the exceptions.

  • 19 February 2021 (War on drugs)

    The War on Drugs is so drugged-out that its damage shows up in many aspects of life.

    I would say to bring the drug war’s soldiers home, but the problem is that that’s where they are; their war is against Americans. Let’s demobilize them.

  • 19 February 2021 (Human right not to live in poverty)

    When considering issues about aid to the poor, we should keep in mind the human right not to live in poverty.

  • 19 February 2021 (Permission to leave)

    Nepal is considering a law to make females under 40 years old get permission to leave the country.

    This is supposed to be a measure to prevent them from being trafficked and enslaved. However, the result is patriarchal. Meanwhile, trafficking and enslavement is not limited to females, and the forced labor they do is not limited to sex. Perhaps a law should strongly encourage every Nepali who plans to leave to take a course of study about how enslavers actually work and the lures they use.

  • 19 February 2021 (NAACP suing the wrecker)

    The NAACP is suing the wrecker for organizing the attack on the Capitol. That is good, but is it adequate as a response to his deeds? Normally, civil lawsuits cannot result in a judgment that puts someone in prison. Is this lawsuit an exception? If not, I think it is not enough.

  • 19 February 2021 (Poor Peoples Campaign)

    The Poor Peoples Campaign in West Virginia is pressuring the plutocratist senator Manchin to support increasing the minimum wage.

  • 19 February 2021 (Two-party politics)

    *The Guardian view on two-party politics: a binary choice is bad for democracy.*

    The article focuses on the UK — where proportional representation, as in most European parliaments, would give Corbyn’s supporters a chance to succeed with another party — but the US has the same problem.

  • 19 February 2021 (Pressure on Salafi Arabia)

    Biden is using a clever method to pressure Salafi Arabia to reduce the power of the acting king, Prince Bone Saw, and deal instead with King Salman.

    This rebukes the prince, but not the country.

  • 19 February 2021 (California bill to ban fracking)

    *California bill would ban fracking in state by 2027.*

    Hooray!

  • 19 February 2021 (Covid vaccine doses on hold)

    *Taiwan suggests China to blame after deal for 5m Covid vaccine doses is put on hold.*

    Geographical allocation of distribution of a product should never group Taiwan with China. Instead, group Taiwan with countries that are rivals with China.

    Taiwan’s humorous response to disinformation is effective.

  • 19 February 2021 (Baby sea turtles)

    Light pollution and delectable floating plastic are killing baby sea turtles in Australia.

  • 19 February 2021 (People’s Tribunal)

    BLM UK will contribute to a “people’s tribunal” to investigate the death of people in jail, prison, and locked wards.

  • 19 February 2021 (Princess Latifa’s prison)

    Princess Latifa’s description of her prison, which is effectively long-term solitary confinement.

  • 19 February 2021 (Oromo protest leaders)

    Abiy, ruler of Ethiopia, has arrested some Oromo protest leaders, making accusations that are fishy, and they have been on hunger strike to the point of organ damage.

  • 19 February 2021 (Jamaica’s laws prohibiting homosexual sex)

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that Jamaica must repeal its laws prohibiting homosexual sex.

  • 19 February 2021 (New York State sued Amazon)

    New York State has sued Amazon for failing to protect its warehouse workers from Covid-19, and for firing a worker who tried to organize to demand protection.

  • 19 February 2021 (Colorado City)

    The Republican mayor of a town called Colorado City told the residents to “Sink or swim” on their own — that they should not expect any help from the city or anyone else.

    That’s what passes for morality among Republicans today.

    If you would like governments to organize efforts to help and take care of people that need help, vote for progressive Democrats and Greens.

  • 19 February 2021 (Low-carbon public housing)

    Progress in designing public housing to be low-carbon and good to live in.

  • 19 February 2021 (Crew of beached oil tanker)

    *Crew of oil tanker beached off UAE to go home after four years stranded at sea.*

    They could have left before, but they would have forfeited their back pay for years on the ship.

    Their ordeal is over, but what we really need is a treaty to assure that stranded crew do not face that unjust choice in the future. Perhaps the nearest country should be allowed to seize the ship, pay off the crew, sell it for auction, take enough to cover what was paid to the crew plus something for its trouble, and send the rest to the previous owner.

  • 19 February 2021 (Snowstorms in Texas)

    *Heating Arctic may be to blame for snowstorms in Texas, scientists argue.*

    Global heating is not uniform — it does not mean that every part of the Earth gets steadily hotter. It is possible for a region to get quite cold for a few weeks a year, while its average temperature rises.

    It is even possible for a region to get colder on the average even as the Earth’s surface overall gets hotter on the average.

    Right-wing anti-truthers blame renewable generators for power outages in Texas, which in fact are the result of problems in fossil-fuel generators.

  • 19 February 2021 (UK bill to oppose de-platforming)

    The UK government is considering a bill to oppose de-platforming in universities, giving the universities and student unions a responsibility not to censor staff, students, and visiting speakers.

    The University and College Union replies that the UK government itself is a big threat to freedom of speech on campus. That accusation seems plausible to me, and I would like to see examples. Does criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestine faces repression there through labeling it “antisemitism”?

    However, if freedom of speech is in danger from two sides, the two dangers to not balance each other out. Rather, they add.

  • 18 February 2021 (Secret recordings by Princess Latifa)

    Secret recordings made by Princess Latifa as a prisoner in Dubai say that she was captured in 2018 by Indian soldiers who handed her over to Dubai’s forces.

    They also give reason to think that her friends released the videos because she is either dead or being imprisoned in a worse situation.

  • 18 February 2021 (Murdering of prisoners)

    The PKK, and underground Kurdish guerrilla group, killed 13 Turkish soldiers and cops that they had captured.

    Killing prisoners is wrong no matter who they are, but remember that Erdoğan is guilty of far worse. He ordered atrocities which dwarf this one. He started a civil war a few years ago so he could rerun an election and get a better outcome.

  • 18 February 2021 (Use of glyphosate)

    US officials helped convince Mexico to continue the use of glyphosate.

  • 18 February 2021 ((satire) Injured carrying out capitol attack)

    (satire) *Police Union Honors Law Enforcement Officers Injured Carrying Out Capitol Attack.*

  • 18 February 2021 (Diplomatic triumph)

    Biden could have started his term with a diplomatic triumph by immediately resuming the non-nuclear deal with Iran. Instead he risks failure by demanding Iran comply first.

  • 18 February 2021 (Global food crisis)

    *UN Envoy Warns Global Food Crisis Getting Worse.*

  • 18 February 2021 (Subsubsubcontracted gig workers)

    Many well-known US companies use subsubsubcontracted gig workers to do customer service. Each worker has to pay for training and services to be able to do the job at all, which leaves very little income for the worker.

    The companies that use Arise to exploit customer service agents include Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Comcast, Disney, eBay, Instacart, Intuit, Home Depot, Staples, Princess Cruises, Peloton, Signet Jewelers, Virgin Atlantic and Walgreens.

    This is what plutocracy looks like — laws written to let companies shit on people.

  • 18 February 2021 (Abortion in Tennessee)

    Right-wing extremist legislators in Tennessee propose to allow the father of a fetus to prohibit aborting it.

    A woman is not an incubator; no one should have the power to force her to give birth to the fetus.

  • 18 February 2021 (True the Vote)

    “True the Vote” raised 250 million dollars, supposedly to sue to overturn the fictitious fraudulent election, but all those lawsuits went nowhere and the money will actually go to serve the wrecker in other ways. One donor is suing to demand 2 million dollars back.

  • 18 February 2021 (Risk of food shortage)

    *Risk of global food shortages due to Covid has increased, says UN envoy.*

  • 18 February 2021 (Cancelling people’s citizenship)

    One secondary injustice of cancelling people’s citizenship for crimes is to dump them on other countries they are citizens of.

  • 18 February 2021 (Ring home security video)

    *LAPD Sought Ring Home Security Video Related to Black Lives Matter Protests.*

  • 18 February 2021 (Construction of single-family homes in cities)

    A German MP from the Green Party proposes to ban construction of new single-family homes in cities.

    I support this plan, which Hamburg has already carried out.

  • 18 February 2021 (Plants wiped out in Australian fires)

    116 species of plants in Australia may have been wiped out by the fires a year ago, because all known populations of them were burned. Some of these species may regrow from seeds or roots.

    Hundreds more species have been pushed a long way towards extinction.

  • 18 February 2021 (Any effective vaccine better than none)

    Vaccination with any effective Covid-19 vaccine is much better than none.

  • 18 February 2021 (Understaffed NHS)

    The Tories have understaffed the NHS to the point where doctors in their first years of work have trouble finding time to go to the toilet, let alone get vaccinated for Covid-19.

    Perhaps bringing vaccination to their workplaces so they can be vaccinated while on duty would help.

  • 18 February 2021 (Strikes on Tuesday)

    Various groups of workers in the US will strike on Tuesday demanding a $15/hour minimum wage.

  • 18 February 2021 (Cease-fires to allow for vaccination)

    Proposing cease-fires in wars around the world to allow for vaccination.

  • 18 February 2021 (Overnight military raids and criminals)

    *Since the coup, people in Yangon have been patrolling the streets to protect neighbors from overnight military raids and criminals.*

  • 18 February 2021 (How the Covid pandemic could end)

    *How the Covid pandemic could end — and what will make it happen faster.*

  • 18 February 2021 (Urgent: Declare climate emergency)

    US citizens: call on Congress to urge Biden to declare a climate emergency.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 17 February 2021 (Still supporting him)

    Most Republicans still support the corrupter, and want to run him for president in 2024.

  • 17 February 2021 (Blocking vaccines)

    *Israel blocked Covid vaccines from entering Gaza, say Palestinians.*

  • 17 February 2021 (Urgent: USPS governing board)

    US citizens: call on Biden to fill the USPS governing board so they can fire DeJoy.

  • 17 February 2021 (Spying)

    Russia jailed Ivan Safronov on charges of spying. Perhaps a journalist he wrote a report for is a spy, but unless there were secrets in it, so what?

  • 17 February 2021 (Animal trading)

    *Animals traded for pet industry, bushmeat, traditional medicine, ivory and lab use declined locally by up to 99.9%.*

  • 17 February 2021 (Easier to Buy guns)

    Bolsonaro has made it easier to buy guns in Brazil. I can’t help worrying whether he is setting up a civil war between his supporters and his opponents.

  • 17 February 2021 (Trial for advocating democracy)

    Leaders of the Hong Kong democracy movement are now being tried for advocating democracy.

    Of course, the repressive government has other names for it, which are designed to disguise repression.

  • 17 February 2021 (Conclusions on Lincoln)

    Historians state their conclusions about President Lincoln.

  • 17 February 2021 (Spy chip)

    A massive Chinese espionage system used chips inserted secretly in computers made in China for US companies.

  • 17 February 2021 (Investigation on terrorist attack)

    A commission should investigate the terrorist attack on the Capitol, much as a commission investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    Impeachment was a failure politically; the commission could convert it into the beginning of a victory.

    Congress is considering it now.

  • 17 February 2021 (Thugs with drones)

    UK thugs now frequently watch protests with drones. This includes Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, animal rights protests, and lockdown protests.

    I suggest that one crucial issue to regulate is whether drones are allowed to take footage that can be used to recognize individuals. Perhaps it should be illegal to use drones capable of doing that in any place unless violence is occurring there or a warrant has been issued for there.

  • 17 February 2021 (Future-proof)

    *Future-Proofing Our Kids.*

  • 17 February 2021 (Urgent: domestic terrorism)

    US citizens: call on Congress not to expand the power to arbitrarily repress activities called “domestic terrorism”.

    Punishment of groups, and their members, must operate by way of a trial. Surveillance must be controlled via warrants.

    Extremist groups are potentially dangerous. So are states. So we need to walk a fine line, making the state strong enough to suppress the danger of extremist groups while keeping it from being itself a danger.

    Whatever additional power we give the state, a violent extremist group known as “Republicans” may someday wield.

  • 16 February 2021 (Vaccine passports)

    The “pros and cons of Covid vaccine passports” does not mention the two issues about them that most concern me.

    I have no objection to requiring a traveler to present a certificate of vaccination along with per passport when crossing a border. But if the system requires the traveler to have a portable phone, that makes it unjust. Portable phones are tracking and listening devices, which is why I refuse to carry one.

    If restaurants and other businesses check these certificates, that could require people to have portable phones to enter them. But even if they accept paper certificates, the system could still result in identifying every vaccinated person who visits them. Tracking people’s movements creates a database for repression, whenever a government chooses to use it.

  • 16 February 2021 (Power over legislators)

    The bully‘s power over Republican legislators, even after he sent people to kill them, reflects their dependence on donations from billionaires.

  • 16 February 2021 (Ending ICE abuses)

    *This Is Biden’s Chance to End ICE’s Abuses—For Good.*

  • 16 February 2021 (Calling activists conspirators)

    Greta Thunberg published advice on how to support the Indian farmers’ nonviolent (most of the time) protests with nonviolent action. India’s freedom-trashing government calls this an “attack on India” and has arrested an activist, Disha Ravi, calling her a “conspirator” in writing the advice.

    According to the Indian state, to “spread disaffection” against it is a criminal act. In other words, criticizing the state’s actions is repressed.

  • 16 February 2021 (Taxes on the wealthiest)

    US taxes on the wealthiest, measured against their total wealth, are 1/6 the fraction that they were in 1953.

  • 16 February 2021 (Punishing boycotting Israel)

    *Federal Court Strikes Down Arkansas Attempt to Punish Proponents of Boycotting Israel Over Its Treatment of Palestinians.*

  • 16 February 2021 (Need to organize pressure)

    It’s true that we will need to organize pressure on Biden to make larger positive changes — but false that Biden wants us to do this.

  • 16 February 2021 (Proud boys and cops)

    The Proud Boys is fragmenting, and cops have stopped treating the group as an ally.

    I hope that will help defeat the plans to restrict basic freedoms so as to defeat right-wing violence. That would be a disaster, exchanging a possible defeat for actual defeat.

  • 16 February 2021 (Deforestation beef)

    Walmart, Costco and Kroger are selling beef from JBS, known as a seller of deforestation production.

  • 16 February 2021 (Corrupting plan for managing water)

    The saboteur-in-chief’s officials corrupted the federal plan for managing California’s water.

  • 16 February 2021 (Undermining accountability)

    Bogus Johnson is undermining accountability in the British government with a pervasive system of secrecy about information that might embarrass present or past officials.

  • 16 February 2021 (Fighting for freedom of press and human rights)

    Larry Flynt fought in court over and over for freedom of the press and other human rights.

  • 16 February 2021 (Challenge of scaling up)

    The head of a vaccine manufacturer in India says that the limitation on quantity of vaccine available is the challenge of scaling up production.

    Maybe that is so, but nonetheless it seems like we are producing vaccine too slowly. To stretch it out over 18 months is more efficient, for sure, but producing twice as fast could save millions from dying from Covid-19 during the extra 9 months.

  • 16 February 2021 (Evidence)

    Reviewing the evidence that the wrecker encouraged the attack on the Capitol even as it was happening.

    He wanted the attackers to seize and harm Pence, Pelosi and other officials that were not doing his will.

  • 16 February 2021 (Avalanche in Himalayas)

    A deadly avalanche of ice and rock, in the foothills of the Himalayas, was made possible by global heating.

    Like most disasters, this one had several underlying causes, including deforestation, as well as its precipitating cause.

  • 15 February 2021 (Accountability for future political leaders)

    * The January 6 assault on our democracy should lead to greater accountability for future political leaders—and their wealthy financial backers.*

  • 15 February 2021 (Burning wood to get energy)

    Burning wood to get energy sounds like a renewable system, but in practice it isn’t.

  • 15 February 2021 (Payment on U.S. funds to Sisi’s Egypt)

    *Biden Should Stop Payment on U.S. Funds To Sisi’s Egypt.*

  • 15 February 2021 (Interesting moral issues)

    Interesting moral issues raised by the question of strategy for dealing with Covid-19.

    Covid-19 is far more deadly than flu.

  • 15 February 2021 (The “For the People Act”)

    *The “For the People Act” of 2021 Would Make the U.S. a Democracy*, or at least closer to it.

    We to have a real democracy we would also need to restrict the political power of the rich, both power over elections and power of corruption.

  • 15 February 2021 (Fight the system)

    *We Must Fight the System, Not Each Other.*

    I agree with Ms Farmand’s criticism of capitalism as it is practiced by powerful companies in the US today — plutocracy, extractivism and dooH niboR — but I don’t believe in eliminating all capitalism (all private business). Rather, I advocate eliminating the political power of business, and restoring democracy.

  • 15 February 2021 (China denied data to the WHO team)

    China denied some raw data to the WHO team investigating the origin of Covid-19, and did not allow them to arrange meetings freely.

  • 15 February 2021 (When would Republican lawmakers say, “No more”?)

    *Having first indulged and then endorsed Trump’s trampling of constitutional norms and abuse of the presidency, when would Republican lawmakers say, “No more”?*

    *Never.*

    *Republicans have betrayed American democracy — and boosted the world’s dictators.*

  • 15 February 2021 (The wrecker’s flunkies)

    Most Republican senators have demonstrated they are the wrecker’s flunkies. No crime is so bad they would condemn him for it.

  • 15 February 2021 (The wrecker said there would be no rally Jan 6)

    The wrecker told the organizers of the Jan 6 rally there would be no march — then he surprised them by calling for a march on the Capitol.

    And why did the Capitol Police let the criminals leave without noting down who they were?

    He also provided at least 3.5 million to those organizers through hidden channels.

  • 15 February 2021 (Brazil’s indigenous refuse to be vaccinated)

    Christian extremists have taught some of Brazil’s indigenous people’s to refuse to be vaccinated for Covid-19.

    I wonder if they will refuse vaccination for measles too. If that gets loose among them, large numbers could die.

  • 14 February 2021 (Thugs who knocked down Martin Gugino)

    The thugs who knocked down protester Martin Gugino will face no charges because the grand jury voted not to indict them.

    It is always a surprise when a grand jury votes not to indict, because that hardly ever happens. Prosecutors dominate grand juries so effectively that they almost always get the results they want. Thus, I have to wonder whether the prosecutor intended to fail. Prosecutors want good cooperation with thugs and often have right-wing views, so it is plausible that a prosecutor might choose to fail to prosecute thugs for attacking a protester.

    Whether that happened in this case is only speculation, but we know it does happen. Members of a grand jury accused the attorney general of Kentucky of concealing options so as to prevent indictment of thugs, then lying to the public about what he had done.

  • 14 February 2021 (Arresting organizers of protests)

    The Burmese army is arresting organizers of protests.

  • 14 February 2021 (Slowing first class mail)

    DeJoy has another plan to slow down some first class mail.

  • 14 February 2021 (Blocking Hong Kongers from leaving Hong Kong)

    China plans to arbitrarily block Hong Kongers from leaving Hong Kong. Presumably it would do this to stop people from emigrating.

    The Soviet Union used to require citizens to get exit visas to be allowed to leave that country. The assumption was that most people, if they could ever get out, would not return. Does China do this nowadays?

    Another tactic used by the Soviet Union was to use relatives of hostages: you would not be allowed to leave unless some of your family stayed home. I expect to see this in Hong Kong too.

  • 14 February 2021 (Facebook’s dangerous censorship)

    *Facebook might censor criticism of Zionists. That’s dangerous.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Proctorio)

    Proctorio is such a proktos that, when students analyze its nastyware, it forbids them to run its software. Which software is nominally required to pass courses at many benighted schools.

    I urge students to organize to demand a way to take the exam without using their own computers.

  • 14 February 2021 (Asylum seekers allowed to wait in the US)

    Biden has allowed asylum seekers to wait in the US, those that the bully forced to wait for a decision in Mexico instead.

  • 14 February 2021 (Facial recognition for police use)

    *Minneapolis poised to ban facial recognition for police use.*

    That’s just the first step! Systematic face recognition should be banned for all use aside from a few limited exceptions.

  • 14 February 2021 (Override Moderna’s patent)

    Calling on Biden to override Moderna’s patent and thus allow low-cost production of vaccine.

    Forget squabbling over which country gets how many doses: this is what we really need.

  • 14 February 2021 (If the Senate does not convict the wrecker)

    If the Senate does not convict the wrecker, Republicans will have declared that they endorse overturning elections by force.

  • 14 February 2021 (New York Sate rest home Covid-19 deaths)

    Governor Cuomo of New York State is responsible for covering up the number of deaths from Covid-19 in nursing homes.

    His aide said that the reason for covering it up was to stop the wrecker from launching a politically motivated investigation. I sympathize, but I don’t think that justifies the course of action.

  • 14 February 2021 (Child slavery lawsuit)

    *Mars, Nestlé and Hershey [and other large companies that sell chocolate] to face child slavery lawsuit in US.*

    This is because the farms they buy from use forced labor of children, and the companies can’t help knowing it.

  • 14 February 2021 (Looting of ancient artifacts)

    Reporting progress in stopping the looting of ancient artifacts from Cambodia.

    In the case of the statue that was stolen from Koh Kher, it sounds like people know exactly where it came from. Therefore scholars can learn from the fact of its prese at that spot. That is unusual — looters do not normally record where exactly they found each object, nor the non-valuable things that they disturbed. and the result is the loss of precious information about the past, information that could eventually help us understand ancient peoples’ way of life.

  • 14 February 2021 (Facebook blocked the Burmese military government)

    Facebook has blocked the Burmese military government for spreading misinformation.

  • 14 February 2021 (Make the US a society of healthy people)

    A panel chartered by The Lancet concluded that Medicare for All is the only way to make the US a society of healthy people.

  • 14 February 2021 (Israeli high school seniors)

    60 Israeli high school seniors this year refused to be drafted into the army, for political reasons.

  • 14 February 2021 (Economic Warfare)

    The US policy of inflicting extreme sanctions, effectively economic warfare, should be rethought. They inflict great suffering, and now even perpetuating Covid-19. Meanwhile, they do not convince governments to do as the US demands.

  • 14 February 2021 (Sanders calls out Neera Tanden)

    *At Confirmation Hearing, Bernie Sanders Calls Out Neera Tanden’s History of ‘Vicious Attacks’ on Progressives.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Polluters support GOP)

    *Fossil Fuel and Other Polluters Gave Tens of Millions in Campaign Cash to GOP Lawmakers Opposing Biden’s Leasing Freeze.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Second National Anthem)

    Rep. Clyburn proposed to designate Lift Every Voice and Sing as something like a second national anthem for the US.

    The song is a beautiful and moving expression of striving for freedom, aside from a few annoying hints at excessive religious sentiment, until the disaster at the end: it becomes an explicit prayer! I will never sing that! I am sure many other Atheists will likewise refuse.

    They could correct this problem by deleting the last stanza.

  • 14 February 2021 (Emission cuts not nearly enough)

    *Study Warns Emissions Cuts Must Be 80% More Ambitious to Meet Even the Dangerously Inadequate 2°C Target.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Israel arms exports)

    *Israel has been exporting arms to the world’s most repressive governments. A new project aims to hold it accountable by tracking these confidential sales.*

  • 14 February 2021 (FAIR Act)

    The FAIR Act is a bill that would eliminate forcing arbitration on workers and customers.

  • 14 February 2021 (iWombs)

    (satire) *Tim Cook Unveils Rows Of Artificial Wombs After Announcing Apple Will Begin Manufacturing Own Employees In House.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Yemen drone strikes continue)

    The US continues secretive sporadic drone attacks in Yemen.

  • 14 February 2021 (White House Press Secretary truth)

    The new White House Press Secretary doesn’t show contempt for the idea of truth, but that doesn’t mean she always tells the truth.

    We are back to the pre-2017 approach of crafting a consistent picture which may have falsehoods embedded in a matrix of mostly truth.

  • 14 February 2021 (Party of lawlessness)

    *Republicans Are Now the Party of Lawlessness and Disorder.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Evidence planted with malware to imprison activists)

    The computer forensics firm Arsenal Consulting says that someone used malware to plant incriminating phony letters on prisoners’ rights activist Rona Wilson’s laptop. Thugs seized his laptop, “discovered” these letters, and used them to imprison Wilson and other activists.

  • 14 February 2021 (Global green recovery failures)

    *Global green recovery plans fail to match 2008 stimulus, report shows.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Useless UK pollution laws)

    The UK has set limits on pollution from farms, but never bothers to enforce them.

  • 14 February 2021 (Honduras jail murder)

    In Honduras, Keyla Martínez was murdered in jail, strangled inside her cell.

  • 14 February 2021 (Burma’s military follows GOP’s example)

    Burma’s military is imitating the Republican Party, making bogus accusations of election fraud.

    Except that it can arrest the officials in charge and brutalize them into confessing.

  • 14 February 2021 (Black history month strikes for 15$)

    *US fast food workers hold Black History Month strikes to demand $15 an hour.*

  • 14 February 2021 (College savings to prevent eviction)

    *America ‘Should Be Ashamed’: Texas Teen Forced to Use College Savings to Prevent Mom’s Eviction.*

  • 14 February 2021 (Reverse autopsy)

    (satire) *Botched Autopsy Brings Murder Victim Back To Life.*

  • 14 February 2021 (We can push Biden for fundamental change)

    *We Can Push Biden for Fundamental Change at the USDA and Beyond.* We need to push together, with organization.

  • 14 February 2021 (Meaty meals for cats)

    *Meaty meals and play stop cats killing wildlife, study finds.*

    Brightly colored collars seem to protect birds but not mice. Putting a bell on the cat was observed to have no effect. I think the cats learned to avoid jingling the bells. There goes the fable of Belling the Cat.

  • 14 February 2021 (Restrictive probation for released Saudi political prisoner)

    Salafi Arabia has released political prisoner Loujain al-Hathloul from prison but has imposed restrictive probation conditions.

  • 13 February 2021 (Food delivery apps not worth the cost)

    *I quit food delivery apps – the absurd convenience was not worth the cost.*

    The author considers the cost to society and the cost to her tranquility, as well as the price of food ordered that way.

  • 13 February 2021 (New Zealand Neckties)

    New Zealand’s parliament has dropped the requirement for neckties after one rebellious MP of Maori origin refused to wear one.

    Hooray! I have compared ties to nooses since I was a teenager.

    Nowadays, they do more than hurt your feelings (if they do that).

  • 13 February 2021 (US Covid-19 failures)

    If the US had handled Covid-19 as well as other developed countries, it would have had 40% fewer deaths from the disease.

    The US could have averted even more of those deaths if it had set up a true national medical system earlier, rather than leaving Americans to be the prey of greedy drain-em-dry pharma and clinic companies, plus a proper safety net so they would have places to self-isolate and could afford to stay home from work when sick.

  • 13 February 2021 (Salmon farming damage)

    The scale of salmon farming is causing global environmental problems.

    If the human population were just one billion, we could help wild salmon recover and sustainably catch enough of them to satisfy our wish for salmon.

  • 13 February 2021 (Extractivist Australia)

    Despite the latest information and recommendations, Australia’s extractivist government proposes a weak way to prevent further environmental damage.

  • 13 February 2021 (Environmental racism)

    Environmental racism makes people of disprivileged groups life in sickness and die earlier.

    The right way to correct this is not by spreading the polluting facilities through the areas where more privileged people live. The right way is to fix them not to pollute.

  • 13 February 2021 (Arab spring dreams crushed)

    *President Sisi has destroyed Egyptians’ hopes after they ended Mubarak’s hellish reign* (10 years ago).

  • 13 February 2021 (California drought is worse this year )

    California’s long-term drought is getting worse this year. With little rain in winter, the fires of summer, fall and next winter could be very bad again.

  • 13 February 2021 (Urgent: Support Deb Haaland)

    US citizens: support Deb Haaland for secretary of the interior.

  • 13 February 2021 (Urgent: pull the US out of the war in Afghanistan)

    US citizens: call on Congress to pull the US out of the war in Afghanistan.

    To sign without running nonfree JavaScript code from the web site, use the Salsalabs workaround.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 12 February 2021 (Tendency to whitewash imperialism)

    President Higgins of Ireland criticizes the tendency to whitewash imperialism (and specifically the British rule over Ireland). At the same time, he warns against narrowminded nationalism, including condemning all British over the current policies of the UK.

  • 12 February 2021 (Underground resistance to military rule)

    On Burma’s tradition of underground resistance to military rule.

    The EU trained Burmese thugs in “crowd control”, which in this case means repressing protests to restore democracy.

  • 12 February 2021 (Renewable energy)

    Scientists say it is possible to move to 100% renewable energy system by 2035, with coordinated global action.

    This would go a long way preventing global heating disaster, and eliminate much of the pollution that kills millions of people every year.

    But not all of it. For instance, vehicle tires produce an important part of particulate pollution; changing the source of the energy that moves the vehicle will not affect that pollution.

  • 12 February 2021 (Work on a Tuesday)

    (satire) *GOP Senators Argue It’s Unconstitutional To Be Forced To Work On A Tuesday.*

  • 12 February 2021 (Corporate concentration in food system)

    *Corporate Concentration in the US Food System Makes Food More Expensive and Less Accessible*.

    At the other end of the food system are the farmers. The same powerful middlemen squeeze them too.

  • 12 February 2021 (Bill to prohibit super-PACs)

    Massachusetts is considering bills to prohibit super-PACs in elections in Massachusetts.

  • 12 February 2021 (Weapons in outer space)

    It’s time to negotiate a treaty banning weapons in outer space.

  • 12 February 2021 (Federal electric company)

    The Tennessee Valley Authority is a large federally-owned electric company. It must plan to decarbonize.

  • 12 February 2021 (Profits out of misery)

    * Hedge funds and private equity firms make profits off our misery and threaten any future health care reform.*

  • 12 February 2021 (Forced into marriage)

    In Pakistan, 1000 Hindu and Christian women a year are forced into marriage by Muslim men, who in many cases kidnap them first.

  • 12 February 2021 (Given contractors same rights as employees)

    The Labor Party of Australia has proposed to give contractors many of the same rights that employees have, including minimum wage, sick leave, pension, and right to unionize.

    It’s not the “Alternative Liberal Party” anymore.

  • 12 February 2021 (Subway station pollution)

    US subway stations suffer from extremely high levels of particulate pollution.

    What amazes me most is that it varies greatly from one station to another. This implies that much of the problem is due to very local causes, that could be corrected quickly and easily.

  • 12 February 2021 (Book about army incompetence)

    The British Army fought hard to suppress publication of a book that revealed its incompetence, both personal and structural.

    We should not, however, blame the British Army in 2003 for having few in its ranks who had fought in combat. It was a good thing that the UK went 20 years without fighting a war.

  • 12 February 2021 (NDAs about discrimination in the companies)

    California is considering a bill to prevent companies from using NDAs to gag workers about any sort of discrimination in the company.

    I support this. And why not include other things that businesses should not be allowed to conceal, such as practices that endanger the public? Consider the examples of tobacco companies and oil companies.

  • 12 February 2021 (Birth rate)

    China’s birth rate fell 15% in 2020. This is being considered a problem.

    China is overusing its natural systems, like many other countries. Now that most Chinese are not horribly poor — a very good thing, in itself — they have pushed agriculture to the point of causing problems for the land. China imports large number of pigs, too. If China’s population drops to half a billion, it will reach a better balance.

    Perhaps the decreased birth rate can enable China to cancel some of then new coal-fired power plants it is planning to build in coming years.

    As for the predicted economic problems of an aging population, adjustment in policies can handle them, for the few decades that they last.

  • 12 February 2021 (Urgent: end fossil fuel subsidies)

    US citizens: call on Congress to end fossil fuel subsidies.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 12 February 2021 (Climate action could save millions of lives)

    *Climate action could save ‘millions of lives’ through clean air, diet and exercise.*

  • 12 February 2021 (Flammable cladding)

    The UK government has agreed to pay some part of the costs of replacing flammable cladding on the outside of apartment buildings.

    This is a classic instance of a job that the government ought to handle. The Tories’ years of refusal reflect the ideology of privatization, of business over people.

  • 12 February 2021 (Financial Transaction Tax)

    *GameStop Fiasco Proves We Need a Financial Transaction Tax.*

    The original reason for proposing that tax was to reduce volatility of stocks and commodities. Collecting revenue from rich people is a secondary benefit.

  • 12 February 2021 (Putting everyone in danger)

    Governments that fail to support working people so that they can stay away from work are putting everyone in danger. Firstly, this spreads Covid-19, making more people sick. Secondly, it makes more chance for the virus to mutate and perhaps become more dangerous.

  • 12 February 2021 (Sobering facts about global heating)

    Some sobering facts about global heating.

    178 million hectares (of lost forests) are about 700,000 square miles.

  • 12 February 2021 (Banned the bullshitter for life)

    Twitter says it has banned the bullshitter for life.

    That is important. There are other Republicans who can invent a new lie every day, but they probably can’t do it with same effect as he.

  • 12 February 2021 (Georgia prosecutors investigating the wrecker)

    Georgia prosecutors are investigating the wrecker over his phone call to the Georgia secretary of state, in which the wrecker demanded that he “find more votes” so that the wrecker would win that state.

    I wonder whether they can do something to prevent the wrecker from leaving the US. I expect that at some point he will try fleeing to some country from which the US cannot extradite him.

  • 12 February 2021 (Giuliani pressured Ukraine)

    *Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden family.*

    I am curious whether this leads to legal jeopardy for Giuliani or the wrecker. I don’t see immediately that it does.

  • 12 February 2021 (Humans degrading natural systems)

    Humans are degrading the natural systems that our lives and civilization depend on. We wiped out 40% (estimated) from 1992 to 2014, and unless we slow down, by 2040 we may have trouble staying alive.

    The problem is broader than greenhouse gas emissions and global heating. Waters, soils, forests, we are damaging them all.

    We need to mobilize society and business to work together to protect our future.

  • 12 February 2021 (Amazon hired anti-union consultant)

    *Amazon Hired Koch-Backed Anti-Union Consultant to Fight Alabama Warehouse Organizing.*

  • 12 February 2021 (Ralph Nader criticizes the Democrats)

    Ralph Nader criticizes the Democrats in Congress for not bringing up all the arguments for impeaching the wrecker.

    I am not sure he is right. There are other urgent things for the Senate to do, which could change people’s lives for the better.

    There was a moment when it looked like Republicans might vote to convict him, but now it is clear they won’t dare do that. Democrats may figure that showing them extra reasons to convict would be wasting their breath.

  • 12 February 2021 (Covid-19 infection rates are going down)

    At long last, Covid-19 infection rates are going down. We must not stop the precautions against transmitting it.

  • 12 February 2021 (Apps in iMonsters)

    Apple’s total control over installing apps in iMonsters gives Apple dangerous power over computing and other companies.

    Even though Apple occasionally uses this power to stop other companies from exploiting users, it is not a trustworthy defender of the public’s safety or rights. The right way to do that is through democracy and freedom.

    The article is written based on premises that accept nonfree software as legitimate, so I disagree with a lot of what it says.

  • 12 February 2021 (Lukashenko defeated the protest movement)

    Dictator Lukashenko has defeated the protest movement in Belarus, using force and repression.

  • 12 February 2021 (China imprisoned a publisher)

    China has imprisoned a publisher for publishing censored books. She pled guilty, but the article leaves it clear whether she really published them.

  • 12 February 2021 (Burmese protesters)

    Burmese protesters are continuing their nonviolence. The thugs are using the usual forms of violence.

  • 11 February 2021 (Global heating and great white sharks)

    Global heating is pushing great white sharks northwards, and now they are eating sea otters and salmon.

  • 11 February 2021 (Protected lands for coal mining)

    Alberta panicked about loss of exports of tar sands, so it decided to open up protected lands for coal mining.

    How crazy can you get?

  • 11 February 2021 (Hedge funds coming for health care system)

    *Hedge Funds Tried to Kill Gamestop. Now They’re Coming for Our Health Care System Too.*

  • 11 February 2021 (Blocking iron mine expansion)

    *Inuit hunters blockade iron mine in freezing temperatures [to block its] expansion.*

  • 10 February 2021 (Fossil fuel pollution and life expectancy)

    Fossil fuel pollution shortens human life expectancy by one year or more. This is aside from the harm that global heating will do.

    The article says that this pollution caused 8.7 million deaths in 2018, and also that this is 1/5 of all deaths, but something is wrong since there were around 63 million deaths that year and 1/5 of that is 12.6 million. However, that error hardly alters any conclusions.

  • 10 February 2021 (State-owned fossil fuel investments)

    *State-owned fossil fuel firms planning $1.9tn investments.* This is enough to sink civilization.

  • 10 February 2021 (Old bombs killing whales)

    Exploding old bombs from World War II underwater (because they were found on the sea bottom) is damaging the hearing of whales. The whales then die.

  • 10 February 2021 (Urgent: stop snooping)

    US citizens: call on Amazon not to make its delivery vehicles snoop on everyone they pass by.

  • 10 February 2021 (Thug beating helpless person)

    A Canadian thug beat up a helpless person, including cruelly giving per orders while holding per down so that perse could not carry them out, and beating per for not complying.

  • 10 February 2021 (Sending medical professionals)

    Denver set up a pilot program to send medical professionals instead of cops for some emergency calls. It has been a great success.

  • 10 February 2021 (Rotten food for prisoners)

    Jails in the US often serve rotten food to the prisoners.

  • 10 February 2021 (Targeting Wall Street)

    *New Campaign Targets Wall Street Funding to Stop Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline.*

  • 10 February 2021 (Drop charges against Assange)

    Human rights organizations have called on Biden to drop charges against Assange.

  • 10 February 2021 (Deny government support)

    Congress can, and should, vote to deny the wrecker the government support normally provided to former presidents.

  • 10 February 2021 (Limited freedom of speech)

    Freedom of speech is limited in shocking ways in countries other than the US. This example shocked me.

    I hardly know anything about Captain Moore, and I have no wish to criticize him. The criticism cited seems crude and harsh. But criminalizing it seems wrong.

    I wonder whether what I said about Steve Jobs — that his death put a stop to his attacks on our freedom — would be a crime if I were in the UK.

  • 10 February 2021 (Minimum wage)

    Economists dispute whether raising the minimum wage to $15/hr would increase the national debt or decrease it, but either way it qualifies to be included in budget reconciliation.

    Even a rather unfriendly analysis found lots of benefit.

    In terms of the public good, increasing the deficit by $5 billion/yr is hardly significant when compared with the benefits of increasing the minimum wage. However, if the minimum wage does not apply to gig workers, it is not doing its job.

  • 10 February 2021 (Covid PTSD)

    20% of patients in UK who were hospitalized for Covid-19 have PTSD afterward.

    A few percent of he hospitalized patients have continuing “long Covid” disabilities.

    Thus, even if you don’t die, Covid-19 can do you substantial harm.

  • 10 February 2021 (Protesting despite ban on gatherings)

    *Myanmar protesters vow to continue despite ban on gatherings.*

  • 10 February 2021 (Scaring migrants off vaccination)

    The UK’s official policy of hostility towards unauthorized immigrants is likely to scare many of them off Covid-19 vaccination, despite the decision to make an exception for vaccination.

    This undermines the effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 and thus harms everyone.

  • 10 February 2021 (Terminating support of offensive)

    Biden’s termination of support for Salafi Arabia‘s offensive in Yemen now includes selling arms for that use.

    That is an important step. At least one of the US’s forever wars may be brought to an end. Of course, the UK ought to do likewise.

  • 10 February 2021 (True antisemites)

    Finally it emerges that the Tory party has antisemites — real antisemites, in this case, not critics of Israel’s occupation policy smeared as “antisemites.”

    During the campaign to force out Corbyn, Tory antisemites were downplayed so as to focus the unjust condemnation on Corbyn.

  • 10 February 2021 (Planing response to economic warfare)

    Supporters of Taiwan must plan how they will respond if China launches economic warfare against Taiwan.

  • 9 February 2021 (Trades tax or wealth tax)

    Either a financial trades tax or a wealth tax could be used to reduce inequality in the US.

    Why not use both?

  • 9 February 2021 (Pollen season)

    *Pollen season grows 20 days in 30 years as climate crisis hits hay fever sufferers.*

  • 9 February 2021 (Cracker trying to poison people)

    A cracker got into the computer that controls the water treatment system of Oldsmar, Florida, and started pouring large amounts of lye into the water supply.

    This is one of the things that should not be connected to any networks.

  • 9 February 2021 (Imposing elected governments)

    The US has been imposing “elected” governments on Haiti for more than a decade.

  • 9 February 2021 (Voting machines in 2020)

    Although we have no evidence that voting machines were used for election fraud in 2020, we know some are vulnerable to such use.

    People should vote on paper, marking ballots with a pen. Then a computerized machine can be used to count them. That machine should not be able to alter them.

  • 9 February 2021 (Amazon shifts)

    Amazon is requiring warehouse workers to work a shift that starts after 1am and lasts 10.5 hours.

    Aside from being exhausting and physically dangerous, the workers, who often do not have cars, have no easy way to get to work at that hour.

    It is ironic that they ask for Lyft rides, since Lyft is an exploitative gig company which keeps track of people, like Amazon.

  • 9 February 2021 (Antitrust law)

    Here are specifics of Senator Klobuchar’s plan to strengthen US antitrust law long several dimensions.

    I think these changes would be very good, but my proposed tax scheme to pressure companies to split themselves up, or not merge in the first place, would be complementary to it.

  • 9 February 2021 (Punjabi farmers)

    In parts of California there are many farmers of Punjabi origin. They have been protesting in support of India’s farmers against Modi’s dooH niboR farm law.

  • 9 February 2021 (Urgent: fire thug)

    US citizens: call on the Osceola sheriff to fire the thug that knocked a teenager unconscious in school

    I support not having thugs normally present in schools. It is too dangerous.

  • 9 February 2021 (Urgent: tax Wall Street trades)

    US citizens: call on Congress to tax Wall Street trades.

    To sign without running nonfree JavaScript code from the web site, use the Salsalabs workaround.

  • 9 February 2021 (Precarious work)

    As increasing numbers of Americans are forced into precarious work, such as an Amazon warehouse, unionization becomes increasingly important for them.

    They also need many changes in US law, which won’t be possible unless Manchin supports them.

  • 9 February 2021 (Regulation of digital sites)

    On the best way to impose regulation to prevent digital sites from boosting the internet of political delusion.

    I don’t see any way that changing CDA section 230 could help achieve this goal.

    As for the issue that 80 countries could regulate internet discussions in 80 different ways, I suggest that the solution is to make it easy for a web site not to do business in any given country, and then it would not have to follow that country’s regulations. This should not involve refusing to let people in that country post comments, but they could not purchase any services from the site.

  • 9 February 2021 (Amazon vans surveillance)

    Amazon is installing cameras in the vans that deliver for it. The stated purpose is to monitor the driver all the time, but they also look at and recognize the people and cars nearby.

  • 8 February 2021 (Voter fraud campaign fraud)

    Republican donors are suing to get their money back, claiming to have been cheated by use of false claims of voter fraud to raise “campaign” money.

  • 8 February 2021 (Sedition charges for journalism)

    *If India can charge journalists with ‘sedition’ for doing their jobs, it has no free press.*

  • 8 February 2021 (Life expectancy decreasing)

    The harsh foot of dooH niboR is driving many poor Americans to despair and opioids. Life expectancy started decreasing after 2015.

    Covid-19 is causing a poverty hit, and that is likely to mean more opioid deaths. A country with functioning democracy would do something about the cause of the poverty.

  • 8 February 2021 (FBI and Cory Doctorow)

    An FBI agent asked for and got a meeting with Cory Doctorow. Then the FBI officially said it had no records about him, which has to be a lie.

  • 8 February 2021 (Prosecution of the wrecker)

    Republican Representative Cheney proposed prosecuting the wrecker for inciting violence on Jan 6.

  • 8 February 2021 (Authoritarian governments)

    Around the world, authoritarian government is gaining and democracy is losing.

  • 8 February 2021 (Serving until asked to betray)

    Vice President Pence served the corrupter with total loyalty until the day he was asked to flagrantly betray the republic. Now the corrupter’s followers loathe Pence for that refusal.

  • 8 February 2021 (Back to the truth)

    How can we bring millions of Americans back to respecting truth.

    People can disagree about what the facts are while still agreeing that facts count. That latter is what’s at stake here.

  • 8 February 2021 (Protests against coup)

    There are large protests against the military coup in Burma.

  • 8 February 2021 (Fairness doctrine)

    Looking at the broadcasting “fairness doctrine” of the US from the 1930s to the 1980s.

  • 8 February 2021 (Scrambling for vaccine)

    (satire) *Americans Scrambling For Covid Vaccine After CDC Director Announces Thousands Of Doses Buried Somewhere In California.*

  • 8 February 2021 (Corn Dog)

    (satire) *Biologists Discover Modern-Day Corn Dog Descended From Ancient Aquatic Sausage.*

  • 8 February 2021 (Compelled choice)

    New York State lets companies offer workers the “choice” of a 24-hour shift; then they effectively compel workers to “choose” them.

  • 8 February 2021 (Section 230)

    A proposal to reform section 230 of the CDA would have sweeping disastrous consequences.

  • 7 February 2021 (NJ prison thugs face criminal charges)

    New Jersey prison thugs face criminal charges for punching prisoners. One of the prisoners was handcuffed when they punched him.

  • 7 February 2021 (Facebook and Apple)

    *Forget Zuckerberg and Cook’s hypocrisy — it’s their companies that are the real problem.*

    I agree with that point, but the writer is partially mistaken when projecting Milton Friedman’s ideas beyond the past few decades. In the 1970s it was generally accepted that a corporation had obligations to the community in which it operated — not solely to stockholders.

    Reagan’s surrender-to-business revolution established Friedman’s ideal of greed as the norm of society, but we don’t have to leave it that way.

  • 7 February 2021 (Navalny lets Putin absurdly put him in prison)

    By letting Putin absurdly put him in prison, Navalny has made Putin look petty and absurd.

  • 7 February 2021 (Misogynists in London)

    *London’s first commissioner for victims has revealed how misogynists are attempting to silence her attempts to tackle domestic violence.*

  • 7 February 2021 (FBI investigating people who attacked the Capitol )

    The FBI is investigating hundreds of people who participated in attacking the Capitol. Some are already facing charges of preparing to overthrow the government (sedition). Others will face such charges if the FBI finds evidence to charge them.

  • 7 February 2021 (Florida’s unemployment compensation system)

    Florida’s stingy and reluctant unemployment compensation system reflects the spirit of the Republican Party.

  • 7 February 2021 (Burma’s army shuts down internet connectivity)

    Burma’s army has shut down some internet connectivity, aiming to crush protests.

  • 7 February 2021 (Thugs threaten to expose asylum-seekers to Covid-19)

    *[Deportation thugs] Threatened to Expose Asylum-Seekers to Covid-19 if They Did Not Accept Deportation.*

  • 7 February 2021 (Extradition to US for alleged crimes on UK soil)

    *Britons should not face extradition to the US for alleged crimes on UK soil.*

  • 7 February 2021 (Five utility companies’ executives prosecuted)

    Five US regulated utility companies’ executives were prosecuted in the US in 2020.

    I speculate that the spirit of cheating which pervades the US has spread from banks, cable companies, prison companies, pharma companies, hospital companies and airplane manufacturers to utilities.

  • 7 February 2021 (UK quietly expels Chinese spies)

    *UK quietly expelled Chinese spies who posed as journalists.*

  • 7 February 2021 (Amazon warehouse workers to vote on unionizing)

    Amazon warehouse workers will soon vote on unionizing.

    (satire) They are called werehouse workers because for each shift Amazon transforms them from human workers into building components comparable to robots. Reportedly the experience is unpleasant. Perhaps by forming a union they will be able to put a stop to it.

  • 7 February 2021 (Some Texas Republican politicians advocate secession)

    Some Texas Republican politicians now advocate secession.

    After so much waving of Confederate flags, it does not surprise me that the white-supremacist lunatic wing of the Republican party now advocates imitating it.

    Part of me hopes that Texas declares secession, because that would be grounds to prosecute those officials and imprison them for many years.

    Part of me hopes we allow them to separate a part of Texas, containing the non-urban mainly-white areas of Texas, and secede with it. Perhaps some of the small, rural US states will follow them. Good riddance to their electoral college votes and their seats in the US Senate!

  • 7 February 2021 (Interim government for Libya)

    *UN-sponsored talks produce interim government for Libya.*

  • 7 February 2021 (Investigate alleged war crimes)

    *ICC rules it can investigate alleged war crimes in Palestine despite Israeli objections.*

    The ICC might prosecute Israeli officials and/or HAMAS officials.

  • 7 February 2021 ((satire) Free Time)

    (satire) *Pundits Warn Removing Marjorie Taylor Greene From Committee Assignments Could Leave Her With Free Time.*

  • 7 February 2021 ((satire) Capitol Mob)

    (satire) *Republicans Accuse Ocasio-Cortez Of Not Being Anywhere Near Place They Told Capitol Mob She Would Be.*

  • 7 February 2021 (Baby food with high levels of metals)

    Major US baby-food companies knowingly used ingredients with possibly dangerous high levels of several metals that can cause brain damage.

    I can’t tell from the article whether it is clear that the resulting food was harmful. If it was, the argument that they no longer use these ingredients does not wipe away the culpability, since they used the ingredients knowingly in the past.

  • 7 February 2021 (Houthis “terrorist” designation)

    Biden will remove the “terrorist” designation from the Houthis.

    It looks like he is serious about trying to take the US out of Yemen’s civil war.

  • 7 February 2021 (UK social mixing restrictions)

    The UK plans to continue social mixing restrictions until new cases fall to a level which contact tracing can drive down.

    That is valid in theory, but the government needs to get contact tracing working properly and establish what rate of spread the contact tracing system can cope with.

  • 7 February 2021 (Noise hurting marine life)

    *Cacophony of human noise is hurting all marine life, scientists warn.*

  • 7 February 2021 (Ex-governor arrested in Mexico)

    *Mexico: ex-governor arrested for allegedly ordering torture of journalist.*

  • 7 February 2021 (Deportation flight cancelled)

    The deportation thugs have cancelled a deportation flight so that the people to be deported can testify in court hearings.

    In other words, their legal rights are significant once again.

  • 7 February 2021 (American support for “offensive operations” in Yemen)

    Biden said he would end American support for “offensive operations” in Yemen by Salafi Arabia.

    The US will continue selling arms for this.

  • 7 February 2021 (Rejection of Australian coal mine)

    Australia has rejected expansion of a coal mine, to avoid local toxicity.

    This coal is a special kind, for making steel — not just to get heat. It will still be needed after civilization decarbonizes. It will have to be part of the emissions that nature absorbs.

    Nonetheless, it looks like Big Coal is losing its power over Australia. If so, that is good for civilization’s survival.

  • 7 February 2021 (Ban of mining on sea bottom)

    Australia’s Northern Territory will ban mining on the sea bottom.

    What makes the practice harmful is the way it is done. I think there will be a safe way to mind the sea bottom in the future when robots can identify valuable nodules and pick them up individually without touching anything else.

  • 7 February 2021 (Australia investment in batteries)

    Australia is making a big investment in large batteries that will facilitate using solar-generated electricity at night.

  • 7 February 2021 ((satire) Ugly history of sarcasm)

    (satire) *Activists Call On Sitcom Producers To Reckon With Genre’s Ugly History Of Sarcasm*.

    It’s called a “sit-com” because some people can’t stand it.

  • 7 February 2021 (Urgent: Call for censure of Congress members supporting the Capitol attack)

    US citizens: call on Congress to censure the four main leaders in Congress of support for the attack on the Capitol.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 7 February 2021 (Urgent: Improve access to abortion pills)

    US citizens: call on Biden to take two steps to improve access to abortion pills.

  • 7 February 2021 (Urgent: Cut the military budget 10%)

    US citizens: call on Congress to cut the military budget 10%.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 6 February 2021 (Suggestion for Biden)

    Ten suggestions for how Biden can become a peace-time president.

    I agree with these points, except for a few parts.

    It is useful to distinguish between terrorism and war; the fact that movements which are not fighting wars can commit terrorism is part of the difference.

    A long-term confrontation between the US and China is almost inevitable if China stays on its current course. We could hope to make agreements to keep that non-nuclear, perhaps even non-military, if China is willing — but I don’t expect China to commit not to conquer Taiwan.

    However, military affairs will be only a small part of that confrontation. Ultimately, the military strength of a nation comes from its economic strength.

    The US will wear itself out if it continues spending so much on its military and not healing its people and its broken economy. So most of the measures proposed in the article are needed either way.

  • 6 February 2021 (The need to put pressure on Senator Manchin)

    Every important law that Democrats seek to pass will require firm pressure on Senator Manchin, the plutocratist who supports dooH niboR.

    Most of them will also require eliminating the filibuster, which will also require Manchin’s support.

    One way to put pressure on Manchin is to threaten not to fund programs that are important for West Virginia.

  • 6 February 2021 (“Moderates” say helping the poor costs too much)

    *So-Called “Moderates” Always Say Helping the Poor Costs Too Much.*

    The thing that “costs too much” is the thing that’s not your priority.

  • 6 February 2021 (Child Tax Credit)

    Biden wants to expand the Child Tax Credit so that it helps children in poor families as much as those in wealthy families.

  • 6 February 2021 (Protected ocean habitats)

    Success stories for protected ocean habitats that enabled populations of sea life to recover from damage.

  • 6 February 2021 (Pandering to GOP)

    *More Partisanship, Not Less: Democrats Shouldn’t Compromise Their Solutions to Pander to a GOP That Is Part of the Problem.*

  • 6 February 2021 (The corrupt president of Haiti)

    Canada should stop supporting the US-imposed corrupt president of Haiti.

    Background information about him.

  • 6 February 2021 (Work hours increase with work-from-home)

    Staff now working at home, in the US and several other countries, are working two more hours per day on the average.

    Strangely, even I am spending more hours per day working than I was before — and I’m my own boss!

  • 6 February 2021 (Iranian diplomat convicted of providing bomb)

    An active Iranian diplomat has been convicted of providing a bomb to set off at a rally in France.

    That was undeniably state sponsorship of terrorism. The government of Iran must commit to preventing any repetition.

    The world must keep this matter separate from the non-nuclear deal, because that is a more important issue. Sanctions that block medicine, such as the US is applying, must not be used to punish Iranian terrorism, because the sanctions are worse than a bomb.

    What other way is there to apply pressure? Perhaps seizing an Iranian oil tanker?

  • 6 February 2021 (US government ‘deeply disturbed’ by prison violence)

    *US ‘deeply disturbed’ by reports of systematic rape in China’s Xinjiang camps.*

    I agree fully, but it would be nice if the US government were equally disturbed by what thugs do to women in US deportation prisons. The US government can’t directly stop China from its massive injustice to Uighurs, but it ought to be able to put a stop to injustices in US government activities.

    The first step could be to make sure all guards are US government employees by eliminating privatized deportation prisons.

  • 6 February 2021 (Democrats learned from failures of 2009)

    *Democrats Actually Learned From the Failures of 2009.*

  • 5 February 2021 (Private immigration prisons)

    Prohibiting privatized federal prisons should include immigration prisons.

  • 5 February 2021 (Protesting Erdoğan)

    Turkish students are protesting against Erdoğan.

  • 5 February 2021 (Keeping troops)

    A congressional panel recommended keeping all the US troops in Afghanistan to pressure the Taliban to make concessions in negotiations.

    If you suppose that this is a real negotiation, and that concessions would lead to a preferable outcome, that conclusion would make sense. But I don’t think this is a real negotiation about a real outcome. Either it is a process for the US to convince itself to stop keeping the war going, and let the Taliban win, or it is a sham.

  • 5 February 2021 (Too scared to testify)

    Some Chinese expats in Australia were too scared to testify about Chinese threats and intimidation of Chinese expats in Australia.

  • 5 February 2021 (If Google Search shuts down)

    If Google Search shuts down in Australia, it would be little loss as far as news is concerned, a study finds.

  • 5 February 2021 (Sea-level rise)

    Now a yet higher estimate of sea-level rise by 2100. Now around 4 feet.

    I expect these estimates to keep increasing.

  • 5 February 2021 (Class warfare)

    *The Oligarchy Knows Class Warfare Is the Real Fight—Why Don’t Liberals?*

    The article linked to just above displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing “black” but not “white”. (To avoid that bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) I object to bigotry, and normally I decline to link to articles which promote it. But I make an exception occasionally for an article which makes an important point. That article is one of the exceptions.

  • 5 February 2021 (Noise from traffic)

    Noise from traffic interferes with behavior of some animals.

  • 5 February 2021 (Alexey Navalny protests)

    Russians protested the sentencing of Alexey Navalny.

  • 5 February 2021 (Fintech-tied regulators)

    *Robinhood Highlights Dangers of Biden Administration Appointing Fintech-Tied Regulators.*

    The article shows questions that anyone considered for an important government position ought to be asked.

  • 5 February 2021 (Murder of people on the border)

    Mexican thugs have been charged with murdering a group of 19 people near the US border.

  • 5 February 2021 (Progress on extreme poverty reversed)

    *Decades of progress on extreme poverty now in reverse due to Covid.*

  • 5 February 2021 (New Pun)

    Gorgonzola with marijuana.

  • 5 February 2021 (Funny photo)

    Humor: Hammer into Anvil

  • 5 February 2021 (US warehouse union)

    *Amazon intensifies ‘severe’ effort to discourage first-ever US warehouse union.*

  • 5 February 2021 (Poles’ involvement in the murder of Jews)

    The Polish government is funding a libel case that is meant to prevent the study of Poles’ involvement in the murder of Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

    The Holocaust was carried out by Germany, not by Poland, but there was plenty of antisemitism in Poland and Poles showed it frequently.

  • 5 February 2021 (French environmental groups)

    French environmental groups won a lawsuit against the French state for failing to carry out its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 5 February 2021 (The party of “patriotism”)

    Starmer is making Labour the party of “patriotism” rather than the party of giving everyone a decent life.

    I feel patriotism, and my patriotism manifests itself as wanting the US to give American a decent life, and treat the rest of the world with respect. But I would not support a party that stands for patriotism. I will support a party that stands for what I stand for.

  • 5 February 2021 (Anti-vax attack)

    *Lawmaker who faced anti-vax attack: ‘The movement is growing more violent‘.*

    Those fanatics have gone far beyond opposing vaccination. They want to cause death. Some say, outright, that they want to make everyone catch Covid-19; they say the people that die, die because they were weak-willed, so they deserve it.

    As for the apparently healthy people that die from Covid-19, and the people who suffer lasting disability from it, I don’t know if they even recognize that this happens.

  • 5 February 2021 (Isle of Man)

    The Isle of Man held a fairly short complete lockdown, eliminated transmission of the disease, and has opened up again.

    The US was supposedly doing something vaguely like this, starting in March, but did not implement it completely nor continue long enough. Republicans imposed “reopening” while the disease was still present and spreading, with the deadly results that we have seen.

  • 5 February 2021 (Wrecker’s attempt to undermine inspection of poultry)

    The Biden administration has cancelled the wrecker’s last attempt to undermine inspection of poultry, and is listening to the workers in regard to safety.

  • 5 February 2021 (Compromise with Republicans)

    Biden must not compromise with Republicans — their general goal is to sabotage him (and the US).

    Compromise is for working with people who disagree with you but are not your enemies. There may occasionally be a special issues on which some Republicans are not enemies. It will be useful to find those opportunities to take action with their support, and that can involve a compromise.

    But there is no real compromise with those who are dedicated to falsehood and destruction.

    Here’s my advice on >rejecting ruinous compromises.

  • 5 February 2021 ((satire) Entire U.S. money supply)

    (satire) *Paranoid Janet Yellen Hides Entire U.S. Money Supply In Treasury Department Drop Ceiling.* https://politics.theonion.com/paranoid-janet-yellen-hides-entire-u-s-money-supply-in-1846146074

  • 5 February 2021 (Standards set by the wrecker)

    *Judging Biden by Standards Set by [the wrecker] Would Be an Unforgivable Catastrophe.*

    Especially since it seems the wrecker may have been the the conscious enemy of the US all along.

  • 5 February 2021 (Apartments constructed with unsafe materials)

    Millions in the UK have purchased apartments that they now cannot sell because the buildings were constructed with unsafe materials. Some of them have been bankrupted by bills to deal with the problem.

    Taking care of such problems is the job of the state. A state with effective democracy would do the job.

  • 4 February 2021 (EU-UK vaccine dispute)

    *EU-UK Vaccine Dispute Will Be ‘First of Many’ Unless Patents Suspended, Say Campaigners.*

  • 4 February 2021 (UK prosecuted nonviolent protesters)

    The UK prosecuted nonviolent protesters, who blocked the departure of a deportation flight, as “terrorists”, and convicted them.

    An appeal has annulled the convictions.

  • 4 February 2021 (Reduction in tendency towards thuggery)

    St Petersburg, Florida, has effectively reformed its thug department to reduce its tendency towards thuggery.

  • 4 February 2021 (No “good guys” among fintech businesses)

    Don’t expect to find any “good guys” among fintech businesses. They all participate in the plutocratic system. Even “Robinhood” is part of dooH niboR.

  • 4 February 2021 (Legal repression of Palestinian dissent)

    Israel has extended its legal repression of Palestinian dissent to cover the Israeli organization B’tselem.

  • 4 February 2021 (Australia’s gas pipelines)

    *Australia’s proposed gas pipelines would generate emissions equivalent to 33 coal-fired power plants.*

    The article says that the US is even worse. Will Biden cancel the Line 3 pipeline? Domestic pipelines must be cancelled too.

  • 4 February 2021 (New York Times condemned China)

    The New York Times condemned China for (1) covering up the Covid-19 situation in January 2020 and (2) donating vaccines to countries such as Brazil.

    Overall, China has done an effective job of controlling Covid-19, and the US has not. To criticize its coverup in January 2020 is nonetheless valid, because China’s tendency is to cover up problems.

    We should not, however, fail to condemn the US government for covering up the problems of Covid-19 through the end of 2020, nor the way Florida has covered it up starting in September.

    I agree it is unfortunate that China gains world influence by donating vaccines. The US should counter that by donating more vaccines. Why doesn’t the US do so? Because the plutocrats that control the US won’t allow it.

  • 4 February 2021 (AI-controlled weapons)

    A committee of tech insiders say AI-controlled weapons will avoid harming civilians.

    I can imagine that an AI-controlled weapon would do a better job of following its rules of engagement. Thus, whether it would harm civilians less, or harm civilians more, depends on what those rules of engagement say.

    Would an AI-controlled weapon be better at saying, “We shouldn’t be fighting a war here”? Would it be even occasionally capable of asking that? Would it be capable of asking, “Sergeant, do you think we’re the redcoats?”

    I seem to recall reading that the helicopter crew that stars in the collateral murder video killed in accord with the letter of the rules of engagement; that they took advantage of loopholes in it to justify some of their killings.

    Some AI programs are capable of such reasoning. Would these weapons do that?

  • 4 February 2021 (Department of Agriculture suppressed research)

    The Department of Agriculture, when run by Vilsack before, suppressed research that could (or did) cast a negative light on businesses.

  • 4 February 2021 ((satire) Problems facing rail infrastructure)

    (satire) *Pete Buttigieg Learning About Problems Facing Rail Infrastructure By Spending Week Living As Train.*

  • 3 February 2021 (Eliminate addictive features)

    The UK has ordered slot machine operators to eliminate some features that make them addictive.

    The same is needed for many nonfree programs and digital dis-services, but there is no way to require this change. However, if they were free programs, the user community could fix such things in them.

  • 3 February 2021 (Urgent: ban on weapons sale)

    US citizens: call on the Secretary of State to ban weapons sales to Salafi Arabia and the UAE.

  • 3 February 2021 (Artificial antibodies)

    Each of the various artificial antibodies designed based on the original Covid-19 virus fails against some of the mutant strains now spreading.

    If doctors can determine which strain a patient is infected with, they could choose one of the antibodies that does work against it. Or they could give a combination of all of them.

  • 3 February 2021 (Planting hedges)

    Planting hedges can be as good as planting trees.

  • 3 February 2021 (Fleeing for her life)

    AOC described how she hid and fled from rioters inside the Capitol, fearing for her life.

    She also pointed out a resemblance between the way trumpets evade recognizing the wrong of their actions and the way domestic abusers do so.

    All this was in service of demanding due punishment for those who participated in or supported the attack on the Capitol, including some Republicans in Congress.

    AOC referred to a past experience by saying that she was a “survivor of sexual assault.”

    AOC would not exaggerate. The attack that she refers to must have been a grave and traumatizing one, one that justifies the term “survivor.”

    I suggest therefore that “sexual assault” is not a good term to describe it, because that term covers a spectrum of actions that stretch from the most grave, such as rape, to minor things like a stolen kiss on the forehead, along with all the territory in between. Between the ends of that spectrum there is a great gulf: it would be ridiculous to call someone a “survivor of a stolen kiss.” We should not equate a kisser to a rapist.

    Therefore, when we talk about grave and traumatizing attacks, let’s use a term which is limited to grave and traumatizing attacks.

  • 3 February 2021 (Ban from Twitter of dissidents)

    The Indian government told Twitter to turn off the accounts of dissidents and news sites, and Twitter did it, for a while.

  • 3 February 2021 (Pepper-spraying kid)

    Thugs in Rochester, New York, handcuffed a nine-year-old girl, then pepper-sprayed her.

    I am sure that one full-grown adult cop can restrain a nine-year-old. What did they do before pepper spray was invented?

    It was incidents like this that inspired the campaign to “defund the police”, which concretely means to train mental health responders and send them instead. They would have known a better way to respond to that call.

  • 3 February 2021 (Animals patterns of movement)

    A investigation found that human activities (even recreation and hunting) tend globally to disturb animals’ patterns of movement, which can harm them in various ways.

  • 3 February 2021 (North Sea oil rigs)

    *UK North Sea oil rigs release as much CO2 as coal-fired power station.*

  • 3 February 2021 (Coal)

    India and China must reduce their use of coal, instead of increasing it.

    Other countries are not doing enough either, such as Australia, but China and India are the big emitters. The combustion of coal releases toxins and radioactive fallout, and both harm people’s health.

  • 3 February 2021 (Protecting democratic values)

    *To protect [Burma’s] democratic values, the international community will have to work with [Aung San Suu Kyi]’s elected party.*

    The military never really gave up the substance of power.

  • 3 February 2021 (Election fraud)

    *Uganda opposition leader Bobi Wine calls on court to nullify election result.* Unlike the bullshitter, whose accusations of election fraud were bullshit, Bobi Wine has real facts to cite.

    We achieve justice by judging cases by form alone; we need a grounding in facts to do that, as well as values.

  • 3 February 2021 (Collection of personal data)

    Shoshana Zuboff endorses laws to stop collection of personal data!

    This is a big step away from the fundamentally inadequate “data protection” approach. From there to what I have advocated for many years — requiring systems to be designed such that they can’t collect personal data — is a much smaller step than the one she has taken.

    I get a feeling that she is still thinking about prohibiting collection of some personal data rather than requiring complete nonsurveillance in many activities.

    From thinking about prohibiting data collection (at either level) to enacting laws to do so is a much bigger step, but I am glad to see the idea enter public discourse.

    Surveillance companies will do their utmost to lead the public away from that idea.

  • 3 February 2021 (Abortion)

    Honduras has imposed an almost impossible barrier in its constitution against legalizing abortion, and it explicitly forbids ever altering that barrier.

    Under a democratic government, a valid response to a call for revolution is, “If most citizens agree with you, you will be able to enact the changes you want peacefully — otherwise, you should not be able to impose them.”

    Measures in a country’s constitution to make peaceful democratic change impossible have the effect of invalidating that response, because they eliminate democracy. In my view, the government of Honduras no longer has a moral argument to make against using revolution to undo this change in the constitution.

    This is not the only reason to consider the government of Honduras illegitimate. It was set up by a coup and has not been very democratic since.

    Practically speaking, if some neighboring country legalizes abortion it will be feasible for Honduran women to go there for an abortion.

  • 2 February 2021 (Toxic chemicals killing sea lions)

    Toxic chemicals made by humans are killing sea lions. Sea lions are pretty high on the food chain, so they accumulate many toxins that animals don’t have ways to metabolize or excrete.

  • 2 February 2021 (Artificial blowhole)

    An artificial blowhole will soon generate electricity from ocean waves.

  • 2 February 2021 (Republican minority rule)

    A dismal forecast that the US will fall into permanent Republican minority rule, cemented with undemocratic means that will be impossible to overcome.

  • 2 February 2021 (Military personnel facing charges for attacking the Capitol)

    Current and former US military personnel are disproportionally represented in the people facing charges for attacking the Capitol.

    This reflects the fact that the US military is a dangerous hotbed for right-wing fanaticism.

  • 2 February 2021 (Limits on National Guard defending the Capitol)

    On Jan 4, the acting secretary of defense placed very narrow limits on what the National Guard could do to help defend the Capitol from the expected rioters.

    One must suspect that the wrecker told him to do something like this.

  • 2 February 2021 ((satire) Law degree from Trump University)

    (satire) *Trump to Defend Self After Receiving Law Degree from Trump University.*

    One unjust advantage that the bullshitter would enjoy is that he is sure in advance not to be convicted, no matter how bad a job he does.

  • 2 February 2021 (Urgent: save USPS)

    US citizens: call on Biden to save the USPS.

  • 2 February 2021 (Homelessness and Covid-19)

    In Rome (and in many non-tropical places), Covid-19 has increased homelessness and homeless people can’t find safe shelter. That can be fatal.

    The underlying cause of this problem is a society that prioritizes riches for the rich and allows destitution to threaten the rest.

  • 2 February 2021 (Covid-19 and obedience)

    Countries whose culture promotes obedience to rules have been more effective in dealing with Covid-19 than countries whose culture encourages ignoring rules.

    It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Australians and New Zealanders are no more obedient by culture than Americans or British. But they had leaders who faced up to the danger and led the country to make Covid-19 precautions effective — including, when necessary, by enforcing the rules. The tightening was temporary because it was tight enough to beat the disease down.

    Britain and the US have had leaders that chose not to lead their countries in the right direction. With a good leader, or at least a sincere leader, they could have come through much better.

    The practice of adjusting rules based on variations in the infection rate, which is common in the US and the UK, is fundamentally harmful. People will support the effort to stamp out the disease if they understand that the goal is to eliminate it and we must all work hard for that. (They also need support so that they are not rendered destitute in the process.) A lackadaisical national reaction will inspire people to game it.

  • 2 February 2021 (Urgent: make Washington DC a state)

    US citizens: call on Congress to make Washington DC a state.

  • 2 February 2021 (Arrest of government)

    Burma’s army has arrested the civilian government officials and is apparently doing away with civilian government.

    The coup has been condemned by the US and the UN, while China sees nothing particularly bad in military rule.

  • 2 February 2021 (Blocking mobile internet at protest)

    *India blocks mobile internet at sites of farmers’ protest.*

    Modi is a repressive plutocratist ruler. What is amazing is that he has launched repression against half of India.

  • 2 February 2021 (Bold climate action to create jobs)

    Biden calls for bold climate defense action as a way to create jobs.

    Philosophically, I disagree with the idea that creating jobs should be the reason we protect our future. Reducing the coming disaster is absolutely necessary if we want civilization to survive. That the process create jobs is not absolutely necessary — after all, the state has many ways to make jobs, it just has to hire people.

    However, politically I think it is an intelligent strategy. It is hard for plutocratists to attack the plan in the name of economic growth.

    Meanwhile, he is not downplaying the vital reason: the “existential threat” to civilization”, as he put it.

    Overall, I am pleased. The nutcases will have to work mighty hard to defeat this.

  • 2 February 2021 (Trying to get refund)

    When the bullshitter announced that Hydroxychloroquine was a treatment for Covid-19, the Republicans that rule Oklahoma bought 100,000 doses for 2 million dollars. Now they are trying to get their money back.

  • 2 February 2021 (Fanatics shut down vaccination center)

    Fanatics opposed to rational understanding of Covid-19 shut down a vaccination center in Los Angeles by massing outside.

    They will point to that as a victory. It is important to make sure their next action does not stop any aspect of medical care from functioning.

    Nazis in Europe are holding similar protests.

    Even Nazis have the right to protest, but not while going without masks or coming dangerously close to anyone.

  • 2 February 2021 (Biden’s big plans)

    Robert Reich: *Why Republicans won’t agree to Biden’s big plans and why he should ignore them.*

    The only problem is that two Democrats in the Senate are, in their political views, more or less 2015 Republicans.

  • 2 February 2021 (Oumuamua)

    Avi Loeb calls on scientists to seriously investigate the possibility that ‘Oumuamua is an alien artifact.

  • 2 February 2021 (Press photographer arrested)

    The UK arrested a press photographer for having earlier taken photos at a protest. The thugs held him for seven hours and filed charges against him.

    The protest was at a sort of immigration prison where there is a Covid-19 outbreak. The protesters condemned the government for operating the prison.

    The next day, there was a fire at that prison, apparently set by someone. It was a very bad thing to set a fire, and could conceivably have injured or even killed people.

    I would not assume that the people who set the fire shared the views of the people who protested.

  • 2 February 2021 (Maintaining monopoly)

    *Forget the furore over Trump — Facebook is interested only in maintaining its monopoly.*

  • 2 February 2021 (Photos of thugs)

    There were large protests in France against plans to repress publication of photos of thugs, including when the thugs are committing crimes.

    I am disappointed that they also condemned the public health precautions against Covid-19. We can live with that, temporarily. What is crucial is to make sure they all go away once Covid-19 is not much of a threat.

  • 2 February 2021 (TPP)

    The Tories want to put Britain into the TPP (Treacherous Plutocratic Poison), a business-supremacy treaty with an ISDS clause.

    An ISDS clause makes it almost impossible to impose any new regulation on an activity that foreign companies (from signatory countries) have invested in. The effect is to subordinates the state to foreign companies.

  • 1 February 2021 (Gamestop manipulation)

    The mass manipulation of Gamestop mainly shows how absurd Wall Street is.

    The manipulation caused big losses to a private equity fund, but has given big gains to shareholders in Gamestop. I wonder if some of them had something to do with manipulating the people who did the mass manipulation.

  • 1 February 2021 (Sanders responds)

    Sanders responds to the poor little rich investor who was outraged about possible tax increases on rich people.

  • 1 February 2021 (Funding of United Nations Population Fund)

    Biden has resumed US funding for the United Nations Population Fund. However, far more funds are needed.

    The organization goes by the acronym “UNFPA” which came from its original name.

  • 1 February 2021 (FBI lawyer convicted)

    An FBI lawyer was convicted of falsifying information in a request for a surveillance warrant on Carter Page.

    False justifications are a substantial part of the US system of surveillance, and if they do it to associates of the president, there is nobody they wouldn’t do it to.

  • 1 February 2021 (Turning away from calling out terrorism)

    Biden seems to be turning away from calling out right-wing terrorism, perhaps to focus on only certain sectors of it and not the main body.

  • 1 February 2021 (Empire)

    Books that refute a pleasing picture of the British Empire.

  • 1 February 2021 (Large spreading weddings)

    Haredi Jews in London are holding large weddings where they spread Covid-19 to each other.

    One response would be to permanently shut and seal the venues where they hold these weddings. Another would be to say that if they are all determined to get Covid-19 there’s no need to try to stop them. They mostly keep to themselves, so they may not be a big danger to anyone else.

  • 1 February 2021 (Insulting a soldier)

    Israel has convicted Issa Amro for peaceful political campaigning against Israel’s colonization of Palestine, and in particular against seizing land and settling Israelis on it.

    His “crimes” include “insulting a soldier”, which in a free country is not a crime.

  • 1 February 2021 (Leftwing ban)

    *Facebook is banning leftwing users like me — and it’s going largely unnoticed.*

    It seems to be yet another case of false balance. When right-wing fanatics are attacking the Capitol, false balance takes the worst thing progressives are doing, and arbitrarily treat that as equivalent to attacking the Capitol.

  • 1 February 2021 (Oil damage)

    *Court rules Shell Nigeria must pay for oil damage.*

    Extraction companies are in many cases profitable only because they dodge paying the cost of cleaning up their mines or wells.

  • 1 February 2021 (Forcing protesters out)

    Indian thugs attempted to force tens of thousands of protesting farmers to leave their protest camp near Delhi. In a second camp, Hinduist fascists allied with the ruling party led the attack and were supported by thugs.

  • 1 February 2021 (Renewal of nuclear treaty)

    The US and Russia have agreed to renew their principal nuclear weapons limitation treaty. The wrecker was going to let it expire.

  • 1 February 2021 (Ban on abortion)

    Poland banned abortion of abnormal fetuses. Women have protested across the country for three nights.

  • 1 February 2021 (Filibuster)

    Senator McConnell dropped his demand for a commitment to preserve the filibuster when center-right Democrats Manchin and Sinema promised to vote to preserve it.

    Either way, it will be hard to pass any laws to reduce the harm that Republicans have done, unless in 2022 we elect more Democrats to the Senate (unless Sanders can achieve this with the reconciliation tactic).

    In 2022, Republicans will claim, absurdly, that the Democrats “failed to achieve anything”. They do this every time.

  • 1 February 2021 (Advocacy of murdering)

    Marjorie Greene’s advocacy of murdering members of Congress disqualifies her for being in Congress. Most Republicans toleration for that advocacy disqualifies them.

    *German neo-Nazi jailed for murder of pro-immigration politician.*

    Present-day Nazis from around the world are in touch with each other; that murderer and Rep. Greene run in the same circles.

  • 1 February 2021 (Billionaire wealth gain during pandemic)

    *$1.1 Trillion Billionaire Wealth Gain During Pandemic Could Fully Fund Biden Relief Plan for Working Class.*

  • 1 February 2021 (Politicians who voted to overturn the election)

    *The Real Money Behind the Politicians Who Voted to Overturn the Election.*

  • 1 February 2021 (Alpine plants face extinction)

    *Alpine plants face extinction as melting glaciers force them higher, warns study.*

  • 1 February 2021 (Warnings against overbroad changes to Section 230)

    *70+ Civil Rights and Progressive Organizations Warn Against Repealing or Making Overbroad Changes to Section 230 in Wake of Capitol Attack.*

  • 1 February 2021 ((satire) Israel building settlements in Albuquerque)

    (satire) *Increasingly Bold Israel Begins Building Settlements In Downtown Albuquerque.*

  • 1 February 2021 (Creature of the lie)

    Marjorie Greene is a creature of the lie; she claims that various school massacres did not occur. And the Republican Party in Congress endorses this disrespect for truth.

    Greene personally harassed David Hogg, a survivor of one of the massacres she denies. Hogg said that if Greene or someone else like her murders him, people should politicize his death.

  • 1 February 2021 (Former staffers of the corrupter)

    *Corporate America is ready to put the past behind them and hire former staffers [of the corrupter].*

    Here is a list of where specific fairly high officials have gone.

    The list starts with 10 people whose current employment is unknown, but after that, plenty of people are listed with new employers.

  • 1 February 2021 (How the wrecker failed Covid-19 response)

    *New government report details how [the wrecker] failed Covid-19 response ‘across the board’.*

  • 1 February 2021 (National Security State)

    *How the National Security State Has Come to Dominate a “Civilian” Government.*

  • 1 February 2021 (“Settlers” destroyed Palestinians’ crops)

    Israeli “settlers” destroyed Palestinians’ crops, so Israeli soldiers join in and destroyed more.

  • 1 February 2021 (Sanctions against the International Criminal Court)

    Calling on the US to cancel sanctions against the International Criminal Court.

  • 1 February 2021 (B’tselem’s accusation of Israel)

    B’tselem’s accusation that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid puts pressure on the US to cease to approve of it.

    B’tselem reports that “settlers” increased their harassing violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, and gets the state’s support (as has been the case for decades).

    Six US policies that favor Israel against Palestine, which the US should not have, and which Biden could reverse.

  • 1 February 2021 (Campaigns of Republican coup-supporters)

    Fossil fuel companies paid a lot of money to the campaigns of Republican coup-supporters.

    Fossil fuel companies are in the business of destroying civilization slowly. To keep that business going, why not spend money on keeping us helpless to shut them down?

  • 1 February 2021 (Right-wing disinformationist)

    A right-wing disinformationist faces federal charges for organizing a campaign to tell voters that they could vote by sending texts.

    I am very glad that such sabotage can be counteracted.

  • 1 February 2021 (Moving away from political violence)

    An expert says that for a country to move away from political violence it needs to do three things — and in the first two, it seems the US is stymied by Republicans’ power.

  • 1 February 2021 (Covid-19 elimination strategy)

    *All countries should pursue a Covid-19 elimination strategy.* The article gives powerful reasons.

    Elimination requires short periods of strict discipline, but it tremendously reduces the number that get sick, and adds up to much less pain even for those who would not have got sick.

  • 1 February 2021 (Danger of right-wing fanatics)

    The US government warns of continuing danger of terrorism by right-wing fanatics.

  • 1 February 2021 (Non-nuclear deal with Iran)

    Biden is moving slowly on restoring the non-nuclear deal with Iran.

    Since it was the US that cancelled the deal, the US ought in fairness to take the lead in restoring the deal. Dropping part of the sanctions now would show Iran that it can expect full restoration of the deal and should aim for that outcome. That might even encourage Iranians to elect officials who will do so.

    Meanwhile, Israel is threatening to attack Iran in an attempt to sabotage restoring the deal.

  • 1 February 2021 (Biden shut down the Keystone XL pipeline)

    Biden shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, but that and reversing the wrecker’s acts of sabotage does not add up to fast enough action to avoid global heating disaster.

  • 1 February 2021 (Former Facebook lawyer)

    *Merrick Garland Wants Former Facebook Lawyer to Top Antitrust Division.*

    This would put her in charge of the antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.

  • 31 January 2021 (Republicans’ bills to restrict voting rights)

    *Republicans considering more than 100 (state) bills to restrict voting rights.*

  • 31 January 2021 (Covid-19 cases decreasing in India)

    Covid-19 cases in India are decreasing; the country may have come close to herd immunity.

    The large fraction of young people, due to a dangerously high birth rate, may have reduced the fraction of people that died from Covid-19. But it is surely a large number in absolute terms, and I would guess that the official count of deaths is vastly under-counted.

  • 31 January 2021 (FDA job appointment)

    *Biden urged not to give top FDA job to official over her role in opioid crisis.*

  • 31 January 2021 (Hawks intimidate Biden)

    Hawks, supporters of hostilities and perhaps war with Iran, are trying to intimidate Biden out of choosing an envoy who is inclined to establish peace.

  • 31 January 2021 (Chagos Islands)

    The UN ruled that the Chagos Islands belong to Mauritius, not to the UK.

    This will be uncomfortable for the UK, and for the US, which has made the largest of those islands into naval and air base.

    It might eventually allow the Chagos Islanders to return home.

  • 31 January 2021 ((satire) Under-performing Covid misinformation videos)

    (satire) *YouTube Removes Thousands Of Under-performing Covid Misinformation Videos.*

  • 31 January 2021 ((satire) Shoot down greenhouse gases)

    (satire) *Biden Authorizes U.S. Military To Shoot Down Any Harmful Greenhouse Gases That Enter Nation’s Airspace.*

  • 31 January 2021 (Do not equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism)

    Jewish Voice for Peace is pressuring Facebook not to equate anti-Zionism with antisemitism.

    Curiously, some sects of orthodox Jews profess that the existence of Israel goes against their religion. Many of their adherents live in Israel and hold that Israel, as a state, should not exist.

    Whatever one might think about them, they are not antisemitic, but they are anti-Zionist.

  • 31 January 2021 (Very powerful censorship)

    Non-government organizations can impose very powerful censorship.

  • 31 January 2021 (Moratoriums on evictions)

    Examining statistics shows that a moratorium on evictions, and a moratorium on disconnection of utilities, substantially reduce death from Covid-19.

  • 31 January 2021 ((satire) Endless sleep under Mount Rushmore)

    (satire) *National Guard Returns To Endless Sleep Under Mount Rushmore Until Nation Calls Upon Them Again.*

  • 31 January 2021 (The US system is rigged)

    Jesse Jackson: *The US System Is Rigged So the Minority Can Rule Over the Majority.*

  • 31 January 2021 (Privatized automated education)

    “Innovative” businesses are selling privatized automated education to US public schools.

    Implemented with unjust nonfree software, of course. I expect that the system collects data which sooner or later helps profile the subjects.

  • 31 January 2021 ((satire) Protester has no idea what he’s chanting)

    (satire) *Late-Arriving Protester Has No Idea What He’s Chanting.*

    I think the chant that he could not make out was, “The gostak distims the doshes!” See the story, “The Gostak and the Doshes,” by Miles Breuer.

  • 31 January 2021 (California relaxing Covid control measures)

    California is relaxing Covid control measures in response to a fractional decrease in the Covid-19 case rate.

    The hospitals are no longer full, so everyone that gets badly sick can at least get treated. But allowing the case rate to remain so high will mean that many do get sick and die — and more infectious strains will take over. I share the view of the experts quoted that this is foolish.

  • 31 January 2021 (Urgent: Vote against Tom Vilsack)

    US citizens: call on senators to vote against Tom Vilsack.

    To sign without running nonfree Javascript code, use this workaround.

  • 31 January 2021 (Urgent: Expel members of Congress that incited the storming of the Capitol)

    US citizens: call on Congress to expel members of Congress that incited or planned the storming of the Capitol.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 31 January 2021 (Urgent: End family separations at the border)

    US citizens: call on Biden to fully end family separations at the border.

  • 31 January 2021 (Urgent: Stop construction of Line 3 pipeline)

    US citizens: call on Biden to stop construction of Line 3 pipeline.

  • 31 January 2021 (Urgent: Reject Samantha Power)

    US citizens: call on your Senators to reject Samantha Power.

    To sign without running nonfree JS code, use the Salsalabs workaround.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 31 January 2021 (Urgent: Full investigation of the arrest of Christopher Lynch)

    US citizens: call on North Carolina Attorney General to do a full investigation of the violent arrest of Christopher Lynch

  • 31 January 2021 (Urgent: Eliminate the filibuster)

    US citizens: call on the Senate to eliminate the filibuster.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!

  • 29 January 2021 (Urgent: no increase in surveillance)

    US citizens: call on Congress not to increase surveillance.

  • 29 January 2021 (Political ads data)

    Facebook said it will make some kinds of data about its political ads from Aug 3 to Nov 3 available to researchers.

    It is a step in the direction of permitting society to find out what Facebook actually does and how that affects public thought, but there is a long way to go.

  • 29 January 2021 (Climate emergency)

    *Schumer Says Biden Should Declare a Climate Emergency.*

  • 29 January 2021 (Privatized prisons)

    Biden ordered the Department of Justice not to sign contracts for privatized prisons. That means that privatized prisons will gradually disappear from the Department of Justice’s activity.

    However, this order did not apply to immigration prisons.

  • 29 January 2021 (Republicans logic)

    Republican senators delayed the wrecker’s second impeachment trial. Then almost all of them voted that it is too late to hold the trial.

    Today’s Republicans don’t notice that there is a conflict in principle between the two actions, so Republican senators don’t need to recognize it.

  • 29 January 2021 (Livestock antibiotic overuse)

    *Coalition Calls for Urgent Action On Livestock Antibiotic Overuse.*

    We’ve known for decades that this will kill people. Now it is killing people. But keeping herds producing without indiscriminate use of antibiotics would apparently cost more.

    How many thousands of deaths will it take to overcome the lobbying power of Big Ag?

  • 29 January 2021 (Survivor of Nazism seeing American Nazis)

    Dr Irene Butter, survivor of Nazi persecution and now a US citizen, speaks about seeing American Nazis try to seize the US Capitol.

    *Democrats stunned by briefing on Capitol’s security before insurrection: ‘It was only by pure dumb luck’ more weren’t killed.* The officials in charge of security for the Capitol saw every hint of an attack coming and thought it would look bad if they reinforced security to stop it.

  • 29 January 2021 (Goya’s fanatical support)

    The CEO of Goya has gone down the rabbit hole into fanatical support of the wrecker. The board of directors told him to shut up.

    I never made an explicit decision to boycott Goya, but ever since he praised the wrecker last July, and received a corrupt commercial endorsement from the White House in return, I have not felt like buying any Goya products.

  • 29 January 2021 (Deficit)

    The corporate media forgot about “deficit” during the corrupter’s handouts to big business, but now that Democrats are ready to help non-rich Americans, those media have remembered their old friend.

  • 29 January 2021 (Renewable electric generation)

    Europe is moving rapidly to renewable electric generation, which this year exceeded fossil fuel electric generation there. The US must do the same.

  • 29 January 2021 (Hospitals without staff)

    The UK government spent 700 million dollars to rapidly build hospital buildings, but they are not operating because the UK does not have staff to run them. Why not? Because the government has bad policies towards staff.

    The Tories think of working people’s pay as a diversion of money that was meant for a plutocrat. They want to pay them less, impose harsh rules, and employ fewer of them. They have found it difficult to approach workers who treat sick people in a different spirit.

  • 29 January 2021 (Secret tunnel)

    Opponents of the HS2 high-speed train line secretly built a tunnel next to Euston Station to block construction, using techniques from prison escape tunnels.

    What astounds me even more is that they consider blocking an electric train line to be part of climate defense. The usual reason for high-speed trains is to substitute for air travel and thus reduce global heating.

    It does seem like bad design to run that line out of Euston rather than from St Pancras, where the high-speed trains arrive from France. It is only 10 minutes’ walk from St Pancras to Euston, but the need to change trains will make a much bigger delay.

  • 29 January 2021 (Hottest world for 12,000 years)

    *Climate crisis: world now at its hottest for 12,000 years.*

  • 29 January 2021 (Shark and ray population crash)

    *Global shark and ray population crashed more than 70% in past 50 years.*

  • 29 January 2021 (Fanatical barging into hospitals)

    Fanatical lunatics are barging into hospitals in the UK and claiming that patients badly ill from Covid-19 are not really sick — and that the hospitals are killing them.

    Despite the danger of that lunatic movement, I see danger also in censoring them. Consider another movement which is much more rational, the animal rights movement. One of its methods was to enter farms and make videos of how they treated animals. Some US states have repressed this with special laws, the “Ag Gag” laws. Although I do not support animal rights, I condemn those laws for their offense against the activists’ human rights. It will be difficult to oppose the Ag Gag laws while endorsing laws against doing the same thing in a hospital.

    However, if the intruders don’t wear masks, it is legitimate to prosecute them for that.

  • 28 January 2021 (Insurrection and Big Lie)

    *ALEC’s Numerous Ties to the Capitol Insurrection and “Big Lie”.*

  • 28 January 2021 (PFAS and vaccination)

    Prior exposure to PFAS can make vaccination less effective.

    It is one of various harmful effects they have.

  • 28 January 2021 (Stop minority rule)

    *The Democrats’ priority in power must be to stop minority rule.*

  • 28 January 2021 (Global heating and whales)

    Global heating is wiping out the humpback whales’ food.

  • 28 January 2021 (Emissions cut)

    *Australia needs to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2030 to meet Paris goals, experts say.*

    It would have been easy to achieve this, if the planet-roasters had not taken control of Australia and prevented it from starting these reductions years ago.

  • 28 January 2021 (Too much influence)

    Google’s news-blocking search “experiment” in Australia kept some stories entirely out of search results, for the users targeted.

    What this tells me is that Google has too much influence.

  • 28 January 2021 (Accepting lower pay)

    Lyft makes drivers compete for rides by accepting lower pay.

  • 28 January 2021 (Big lie and little lies)

    The bullshitter’s big lie depended on all the little lies.

  • 28 January 2021 (Deportation moratorium blocked)

    A judge blocked Biden’s order to suspend deportations for 100 days.

    More information.

  • 28 January 2021 (Racial equity)

    *Biden signs more executive orders in effort to advance US racial equity.*

  • 28 January 2021 (Tearful Trudeau)

    (satire) *Tearful Justin Trudeau Chains Self To Keystone Pipeline To Stop Biden Administration From Destroying Oil Industry Heritage Site.*

  • 28 January 2021 (Loss of taste)

    *’Pleasure ripped out’: the people suffering long-term loss of taste after Covid.*

    The fraction of patients that suffer from lasting loss of smell would seem to be roughly 20%. This worries me more than the danger of death.

  • 28 January 2021 (Pepper spraying spreader)

    The mayor of Portland, Oregon, used pepper spray against a hostile stranger who masklessly started breathing in his face.

    It was kind of him to give the assailant a bottle of water afterward.

    I suggest giving pulling out the pepper spray before the spreader arrives at six feet away. With luck the spreader will back off then.

  • 28 January 2021 (No drug projects)

    Of the 16 most potentially dangerous infectious diseases, there are no drug projects for 10 of them.

    Where there are treatments, the wealthy countries do little to get these drugs to people in poor countries. As we have seen, allowing a disease to run rampant through any part of the world encourages mutations that can make it worse. We need to recognize that public health is a global issue and protect public health globally, and proactively.

  • 28 January 2021 (Enforcing laws)

    It’s not enough for China to strengthen its laws to keep animal diseases away from humans. It needs to start enforcing those laws.

  • 28 January 2021 (Lawsuits against the corrupter)

    The Supreme Court dismissed lawsuits against the corrupter for violating the “emoluments” prohibition in the US Constitution, simply because he is no longer president.

    In order for that to be honest, the courts should speed up these cases to hear them before it is too late.

  • 28 January 2021 (Indonesian hospitals)

    In some parts of Indonesia, hospitals are full and some people sick with Covid-19 cannot be properly treated.

  • 28 January 2021 (Pandemic to break unions)

    *US companies using pandemic as a tool to break unions, workers claim.*

  • 28 January 2021 (Ireland’s asylum system)

    *Ireland is repeating its mother and baby home scandal with its asylum system.*

  • 28 January 2021 (Ads for combat gear)

    *Facebook is bombarding rightwing users with ads for combat gear.*

  • 28 January 2021 (Indian farmers protesting)

    Masses of Indian farmers protesting a devastating new law entered Delhi and captured … the Red Fort???

    The Red Fort was a real fortress in 1700, but now it is a historical relic.

    I support the farmers’ cause, but I think it would be better to hold protests elsewhere to keep historical relics safe.

  • 27 January 2021 (Climate crisis help)

    *Helping poorest tackle climate crisis will boost global growth, says IMF head.*

  • 27 January 2021 (Battling Covid-19 bullshitters)

    A few doughty defenders of rationality are battling Covid-19-disinforming bullshitters.

  • 27 January 2021 (Doctors forbidden to wear masks)

    A Wuhan doctor says that in January 2020 he and his colleagues were forbidden to warn the public that Covid-19 was being transmitted from person to person. They were forbidden to wear masks because people would figure out what that meant.

  • 27 January 2021 (Capitol police testing positive)

    38 of the Capitol Police tested positive for Covid-19 after the riot in which many rioters ostentatiously refused to wear masks.

    I have to wonder whether in some of those cases the person was infected due to refusing to wear as mask.

  • 27 January 2021 (Raising kids in captivity)

    *Are You Raising Kids in Captivity, then Expecting Them to Survive in the Wild?*

  • 27 January 2021 (Protecting good people)

    (satire) *Sarah Huckabee Sanders Vows To Protect Good People Of Arkansas From Any Questions.*

  • 27 January 2021 (Ending investments in fossil fuel projects)

    The EU’s ministers agreed to a commitment to end European investment in fossil fuel projects outside the EU.

    It is not clear from the article how close this is to a binding decision, nor whether it would cover private funds.

  • 27 January 2021 (Blocking transport of tanks)

    Canadians blocked the transport of Canada-made tanks to the port where they would be shipped to Salafi Arabia.

  • 27 January 2021 (Infiltrated drone)

    (satire) *a disguised Amazon drone reportedly snuck into a worker meeting Monday to disrupt union talks.*

  • 27 January 2021 (Digital exploitation)

    Proposals for how the Biden administration can protect workers from digital exploitation.

    Proposal 4 includes a small step in the direction of free software, though it doesn’t get all the way there.

  • 27 January 2021 (USPS commissioners)

    Urging Biden to fire the current USPS commissioners for cause, because they praised DeJoy or stayed silent while he was sabotaging the USPS.

  • 27 January 2021 (Selling fossil fuel investments)

    New York City’s pension funds have begun gradually selling their fossil fuel investments.

  • 27 January 2021 (Water, Utility shutoffs)

    *New Research Shows Stopping Water, Utility Shutoffs Would Have Prevented Thousands of COVID Deaths* in the US.

    The basic principle, that you can’t wash your hands if you have bad access to water, will apply anywhere, but the specifics will vary.

  • 27 January 2021 (Buy-from-our-country)

    Biden promised to renegotiate trade treaties to make “buy American” rules more powerful.

    We are told to think about “buy-American” rules (and “buy-European” rules in the EU, “buy-Chinese” rules in China, etc.) in terms of competition with other countries. If it were only that, I would be against those rules. The one good aspect of trade agreements is that they reject this sort of economic hostility.

    The reason I support “buy-from-our-country” rules is that in each country that will help workers organize and demand higher wages. In other words, it will work against the business-supremacy-treaty aspect of them.

  • 27 January 2021 (Stripped in front of male prisoners)

    An indigenous woman in jail in Australia accuses the guards of stripping her in front of male prisoners.

    The racism in Australia is directed mainly at ine indigenous people and manifests very strongly, even more than US racism against blacks. Americans are prejudiced to some extent against indigenous, but not like this.

  • 26 January 2021 (Downplaying Covid, then catching it)

    President AMLO told Mexico that the end of Covid-19 was at hand, then caught it himself.

    I have an impression that AMLO is like the square root of Trump. Nowhere near as bad, but with some of the same bad tendencies.

  • 26 January 2021 (Ice melting faster)

    The world’s big ice sheets are melting faster and faster. The melting is following the IPCC worst-case scenario. Will humanity ignore this fire alarm?

  • 26 January 2021 (Opponent arrest ruled illegal)

    *Ugandan court rules Bobi Wine house arrest illegal.*

  • 26 January 2021 (Covid-19 used as excuse to ban protests)

    The UK government using Covid-19 as an excuse to ban demonstrations outside the trial of people accused of toppling the statue of slave-trafficker Edward Colston.

    Of course, people must take precautions against transmitting Covid-19 whenever they come near strangers, and that includes when protesting. They must wear masks all the time while there, and stay two meters apart. As long as they do so, they must be allowed to protest.

    Protesting is more than a human right, it is a crucial aspect of democracy.

  • 26 January 2021 (Managing forests)

    Although forest fires in Oregon are increasing due to global heating, managing forests for the long term can help the forests keep growing notwithstanding the occasional fire.

  • 26 January 2021 (Illegal nightclub)

    Police shut down an illegal nightclub in Lawrence, Mass, for spreading Covid-19.

    A nightclub is not a horrible thing in ordinary times, but nowadays that sort of thing keeps Covid-19 spreading and evolving.

  • 26 January 2021 (Tracing app)

    Singapore’s contact tracing app, supposedly intended to detect possible transmission of dangerous virus, will also be used to detect possible transmission of dangerous dissident ideas.

    I would be glad to let a contact-tracing device track when I come close to another contact-tracing device, provided they don’t record my whereabouts the rest of the time and it releases information about me only when I tell it to.

  • 26 January 2021 (Petition to impeach attorney general of Kentucky)

    Three of the members of the grand jury that was manipulated into placing no charges for shooting Breonna Taylor are among the signatories of a petition to impeach the attorney general of Kentucky, who did the manipulating.

    He falsely told them that there was no legal basis for any charges against that thug.

  • 26 January 2021 (Planes that fly on biofuel)

    Boeing plans to make planes that can fly exclusively on biofuel. That won’t do the ecosphere much good if the biofuel is made by growing crops using the same resources, and causing the same pollution, used for growing food.

    Perhaps boeing should look at using hydrogen that will be made using solar-generated electricity, and will produce only water.

  • 26 January 2021 (Leftwing protesters in Portland)

    *Portland: leftwing protesters damage Oregon Democrats’ headquarters.*

    I share their disapproval of Biden for failing to support crucial programs such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. However, this vandalism is self-defeating: it will turn the public away.

    Given the composition of the Senate, with a few center-ring Democrats and 50 Republicans, it won’t be easy to get it to vote even for Biden’s reforms.

  • 26 January 2021 (Talking can spread Covid)

    *Talking can spread Covid as much as coughing, says research.*

  • 26 January 2021 (Holocaust day to decry persecution of Uighurs)

    *Jewish leaders use Holocaust Day to decry persecution of Uighurs.*

  • 26 January 2021 (Toxic Chemicals threaten human reproduction)

    *Toxic Chemicals Threaten Humanity’s Ability to Reproduce.* And other animals too.

    Humanity is reproducing to dangerous excess; a certain amount of decrease in humans’ reproductive capacity would reduce the coming disaster and could increase the number of humans who reach the end of this century. (I expect that each additional human birth in coming decades will result in more than one additional human death in the disaster.)

    But too much decrease in human reproductive capacity could wipe out our species.

  • 26 January 2021 (Pushback against Facebook)

    Facebook has experienced powerful pushback in response to its announced coming change in use of the personal data it collects.

    Although this change would have increased the use of the collected data for profiling, the underlying wrong — the collection of the data is happening already. Collecting personal data is the primary wrong in WhatsApp. Even if Facebook decides to cancel the change, this reason to reject WhatsApp will still exist, as it has existed for years.

    There are other reasons to reject WhatsApp, starting with the fact that it requires users to run nonfree client software on their own computers.

  • 26 January 2021 (Indian comedian held)

    *Indian comedian held over ‘indecent’ jokes at show where he did not perform.* He did not perform because a gang of bigots prevented him. (They are bigots in the name of Hinduism.) Then the gang had him arrested and jailed for a “crime” of criticizing Hindu gods and a government official. Criminalizing criticism is oppression in its own right.

    For some hilarious criticism of some Hindu gods, watch Sita Sings the Blues, by Nina Paley, available on archive.org.

  • 26 January 2021 (Big business and democracy)

    For big business to defend democracy requires more than silencing one of democracy’s enemies, namely Trump. Big business corrupted our democracy in the 1990s and is fighting to keep control.

  • 26 January 2021 (Employees classified as contractors)

    Will the Department of Labor please become less of a pushover when dealing with companies that classify their employees as contractors?

  • 26 January 2021 (NYC thugs killing people with chokeholds)

    New York City thugs keep on regularly killing people with chokeholds and not being punished, even though the thug department formally prohibited choke holds 28 years ago. The system that judges accusations against thugs is structured so as not to punish them.

  • 26 January 2021 (Alarm buttons removed from US Representative’s office)

    While sheltering in her office on Jan 6, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and her staff discovered that all the alarm buttons in her office had been removed at some earlier time.

    This looks suspiciously like insider participation in a plan for violence against her.

    I’ve voted for Pressley twice, and I want to do so many more times.

  • 26 January 2021 (Privatizing the fight against fascism)

    *Beware Corporate ‘Democracy Washing’: Twitter, Trump, and the Danger of Privatizing the Fight Against Fascism.*

    If a publicly owned system operated with Facebook’s incentives, it would act like Facebook and tend to do the same harm that Facebook does. I’ve proposed a system which would serve Facebook’s original purpose — giving people a way to enable others to find them by name — and do nothing else.

    As an experiment, there is one: plumebio.com.

  • 26 January 2021 (Power of China’s government)

    China’s government is so powerful that even the biggest businesses and the richest billionaires can’t push the country around. Alas, China has the opposite problem: the government can crush anyone.

    We are left with the challenge of making a government that is powerful enough to stand up to businesses day after day, but that respects human rights.

  • 26 January 2021 (Reinvigorating the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

    Ralph Nader calls for reinvigorating the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so it can once again protect Americans from injury in traffic collisions, and other problems that vehicles cause.

    I wish he recognized that cars with computers remotely controlled by the manufacturer pose threats that are not limited to being taken over by some third party.

  • 26 January 2021 (Wholesale fruit and vegetable market workers)

    The “essential workers” at New York City’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market demonstrated how essential they are by going on strike demanding one additional dollar per hour.

  • 26 January 2021 (Insurrectionist Senators)

    John Dean: *Insurrectionist Senators are Co-Conspirators and Should Not Sit in Judgment of Trump.*

    One of them threatens that Republicans will impeach past Democratic presidents even if they didn’t launch a mob to attack the Capitol, if and when Republicans ever take control of Congress.

    This is a silly distraction. If Republicans have a majority in the house and 2/3 of the Senate, retroactive impeachment of past presidents (supposing the Constitution permits it — recall that the wrecker’s second impeachment occurred while he was still president) would be the least of our worries.

    However, it is not just any old distraction. The purpose of maneuvers like these is to suck all ideas of right and wrong, of rights and duties, out of life. With them gone, evil and good look the same, and the only distinction that can be seen is that between the powerful and the weak. They want this because they serve the powerful and they want nothing to impede them from trampling the weak.

  • 26 January 2021 (Investigate Bolsonaro)

    Asking the International Criminal Court to investigate Bolsonaro for damaging the Amazon forest.

  • 26 January 2021 (Guns in the house chamber)

    Republican congresscritters who threatened the lives of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives now defy the Capitol Police and the rules of the House by bringing guns into the chamber.

    In 2020, right-wing extremists adopted the tactic of breaking safety rules to menace people, and made themselves look powerful by showing no one could stop them. In effect, their message is, “Join our mob and intimidate people with us!” Backing off to avoid an immediate conflict is a bad option when they point to this as proof of their power. Congress needs to impose on them rules they can’t get away with breaking.

  • 26 January 2021 (Protests against Putin)

    The jailing of Navalny inspired massive protests against Putin.

    It looks like Navalny’ judgment was correct: returning to Russia and facing jail struck a blow against Putin.

  • 26 January 2021 (Showing links to news articles)

    Australia is considering requiring Google and Facebook to pay for showing links to news articles.

    To restrict linking in general would destroy the Web, but making big surveillance capitalism companies pay would do no harm. If it pushes one of those companies out of Australia, good for Australia!

    However, the plan should not be discriminatory. It should apply to any large company which does a suitable sort of business, regardless of what country it comes from.

    Please stop referring to works of journalism as “content”, because that term disparages whatever works you apply it to. Their importance to society comes from not being a commodity.

  • 26 January 2021 (Refuting Covid-19 disinformation)

    Refuting Covid-19 disinformation — and some bad news about mutants.

  • 26 January 2021 (North Korea nuclear disarmament)

    The US should realize that North Korea will not agree to nuclear disarmament no matter what the US might offer.

  • 25 January 2021 (Oil and white supremacy)

    * The oil, gas, and coal industries support and fund white supremacy and far-right politics.*

  • 25 January 2021 (Executive orders)

    Government by executive order is not the way things ought to work. It happens in the US because Congress is unable to function.

    This does not mean that Biden’s executive orders are bad. I have not read about each and every one of them, but the ones I have read about are vitally necessary.

    To get a functioning Congress we need to have fair elections, not rigged by voter suppression and gerrymandering. Then Congress would pass the crucial legislation that most Americans want, such as a national medical system (aka Medicare for All), the Green New Deal, increased rights for workers, and abortion rights.

  • 25 January 2021 (Pressure)

    The corrupter pressured the high officials of the Department of Justice to attack Georgia’s election results, but they refused.

    The corrupter also bullied the US attorney in Atlanta into resigning, hoping his temporary replacement would help bully Georgia officials.

    The corrupter reveled in showing contempt for ethics rules. These rules were meant to impose accountability on officials who would be embarrassed to have found to have violated them. When the president spits on them, there is no way to enforce them short of impeachment. We need a way.

  • 25 January 2021 (Peace deals)

    If the US resumes the non-nuclear deal with Iran, it ought to be able to reach a peace deal with the Houthis in Yemen.

    I see no reason why the US should insist on a unified Yemen. A few decades ago, North Yemen and South Yemen were separate countries (though West and East Yemen would have described them more accurately.) If the Yemenis disagree too much to accept one single government, the rest of the world need not make them fight until they do.

  • 25 January 2021 (Recurring direct payments)

    *Ilhan Omar Calls on Biden to Back Recurring Direct Payments.*

    This would amount to a basic income for all American households except those earning over a certain comfortable level.

  • 25 January 2021 (Planet roasters PR machine)

    A distributed campaign to defeat the planet roasters’ PR machine.

  • 25 January 2021 (Feast)

    *As Economic Suffering Grips Regular Americans, Wall Street Behemoths Ready Feast of Stock Buybacks.*

  • 25 January 2021 (Neonicotinoid and sleep cycles)

    Neonicotinoid insecticides in small quantities interfere with the sleep cycles of bees and fruit flies.

    The reason they tested this on fruit flies is that those are the principal insect species for scientific study, studied more and understood better than any other species of insect. Easy to raise, too. Then they tested a species of bee as well because we are very concerned about bees.

  • 25 January 2021 (Firing of civil service employees)

    Biden has reverted the wrecker’s order to give the president the power to fire civil service employees and replace them with his own loyal flunkies.

    That’s good as far as it goes, but we need a law to prevent future presidents from trying the same trick again. Meanwhile, what about the flunkies that the wrecker opt in? Has Biden pushed them out? Can he push them out?

  • 25 January 2021 (Election-stealer senators)

    It looks like the election-stealer senators will not be expelled. So there is a campaign to deny them committee assignments.

    Would that punishment achieve anything but to give them a chance to demonstrate defiance?

    I do not know the rules that govern Senate committee assignments or how easily they can be set aside by 50 senators plus the vice president. Would denying those senators committee assignments imply giving extra committee assignments to other Republicans? Or would it mean Republicans get less than half the committee assignments? How can the senate move forward without an organizing resolution?

  • 25 January 2021 (New Guantanamo trial)

    The US Army is planning to start another bogus Guantanamo trial. The suspects are accused of specific crimes of terrorism, and they may actually be guilty. It would be good to try them, provided the trials are fair. However, Guantanamo does not hold real trials; its kangaroo courts are inherently unfair.

    Have the suspects been tortured? A trial based on so-called evidence obtained by torture cannot be valid, since torture extracts false confessions.

    They have been in prison for 17 years. To make people wait that long for trial is an injustice in itself. A terrorists who was convicted and sentenced years ago in Indonesia for one of these bombings is now being released. I suggest giving these suspects clemency, saying that 17 years is enough.

    Another solution might be to extradite them to Indonesia. If there is no extradition treaty, they might choose to go to Indonesia for trial, so they can serve their sentences and be released, rather than stay in Guantanamo forever.

  • 25 January 2021 (Doctors for delusion)

    One of the perpetrators of the attack on the Capitol was also the head of an organization that could be called Doctors for Delusion.

  • 25 January 2021 (Color of rivers)

    1/3 of the rivers in the US have visibly changed color in the past 40 years.

    The direct causes may vary, but the underlying causes is almost certainly human activity in nearly every case.

  • 25 January 2021 (New Yorker staff on strike)

    The staff of The New Yorker went on strike for 24 hours to demand higher pay.

    I applaud this, but the union should also defend employees such as Toobin who have been fired for vaguely stated grounds.

  • 25 January 2021 (Increased attacks on properties)

    Israeli terrorism keeps increasing in Palestine, as the ideological Israeli “settlers” who build and occupy housing in Palestine increase their attacks on Palestinian property.

    Israel just announced plans to build 2,500 more units of housing in Palestinian land.

    Housing any Israelis in occupied Palestine violates the laws of occupation.

  • 24 January 2021 (Number of species of bees)

    The number of species of bees reported from 2006 to 2015 is 3/4 the number reported before 1990.

    The other 25% have become too scarce to be observed very often.

  • 24 January 2021 (Removing tax haven status)

    The EU is removing tax haven status from various British territories.

  • 23 January 2021 (California civil rights inquiry)

    *California opens civil rights inquiry into LA county sheriff’s department.*

  • 23 January 2021 (Putin arrested some of Navalny’s supporters)

    Putin has arrested some of Navalny’s supporters and accused them of planning protests.

  • 23 January 2021 (Democracy for All Amendment)

    The Democracy for All Amendment would reverse the “Citizens” United decision in a narrow way; it would authorize laws to limit campaign spending by non-human entities.

    This would be a change for the better. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling that human rights in general apply to corporations has caused harm in other ways — for example, through the idea that a corporation is entitled to religious freedom including refusing to pay for abortion coverage for employees.

    Therefore, I think we should pass the We The People Amendment, which would reject in general the idea that human rights apply to corporations.

  • 23 January 2021 (Laptops given to students contained malware)

    Reports say that Windows laptops provided to UK students contained malware. Alas, they did not recognize that Windows is itself malware.

  • 23 January 2021 (Gas is over)

    The President of the European Investment Bank said that “gas is over”.

    I hope that the EIB translates this into a policy that will stop all investment in facilities for extracting or using natural gas. It would naturally follow, but you can’t count on such organizations to make their actions conform to their stated goals.

  • 23 January 2021 (A way to unite the country)

    *A Good Way to Unite the Country Would Be to Convict and Prosecute Donald Trump.*

    This is a counter intuitive claim. How could that unite the country when his supporters will surely not like it? The answer is that it will make some of his supporters reconsider their support for him, and that will take a step towards unifying the United States.

    One might fantasize about some simple, magical way to unify America all at once, but this way is the only way I see.

  • 23 January 2021 (Option to eliminate the filibuster)

    Senate Democrats are keeping open the option of eliminating the filibuster.

    Since even “moderate” Republican Senators oppose more Covid-19 relief any time soon, the only way Democrats can pass it is to eliminate the filibuster.

    What will happen in the Senate if there is no organizing resolution?

  • 23 January 2021 (Financial Disclosures)

    *Biden Administration Must Go Further in Financial Disclosures to Reveal Possible Conflicts of Interest in Foreign Policy Making.*

  • 23 January 2021 ((satire) Greatest issues facing the nation)

    (satire) *Inaugural Address Spills Over Into Second Day As Biden Continues To List Greatest Issues Facing Nation.*

  • 23 January 2021 (Temporary halt to drilling on public lands)

    The temporary halt to fossil fuel drilling on public lands is a good first step, but it should be permanent.

    If it is limited to public lands, will it be sufficient to prevent increase in fossil fuel capacity? Wells on private property increase emissions just as much.

  • 23 January 2021 (Amazon’s right to evict Parler)

    A court ruled that Section 230 of the CDA gives Amazon the right to evict Parler from its hosting service.

    What enabled right-wing lunatic extremism to become so powerful, and thus so dangerous, was that Facebook promoted its posts because they generated “engagement”. This gave lunacy access to recruit millions of zuckers. I hold Facebook’s promotion algorithm responsible and I believe it should be regulated.

    While I understand the wish to eliminate Parler, because I wish there were no right-wing lunatic extremism, I think it is dangerous to shut discussion sites for hosting discussions of that or any other political tendency. Which one will be shut next?

  • 23 January 2021 (Always wear a mask)

    Why you should always wear a mask when you go near others outside your household.

    Adequate ventilation is very important for avoiding Covid-19 transmission when you’re inside a building or a car.

    (hack) If an anti-masker approaches you to try to infect you with Covid-19, fire your mask gun at per face.

  • 23 January 2021 ((satire) Constitutional Crisis)

    (satire) *U.S. Enters Constitutional Crisis After Forgetting Whether Transfer Of Presidential Power Happens At 12 A.M. Or 12 P.M.*

    On Jan 20 after noon I told people that Trump claimed he was still president in California until 3pm Eastern time. They believed it, so I acknowledged I was only kidding.

  • 23 January 2021 (Bypassing Republicans’ filibuster)

    Bernie Sanders describes what he aims to achieve by using the budget reconciliation process to bypass the Republicans’ use of the filibuster.

  • 23 January 2021 (False balance)

    *Even After an Insurrection, Corporate Media Can’t Let Go of False Balance.* The article points out some exceptions.

    Reporting with false balance gives an advantage to whichever side does the more extreme things.

  • 23 January 2021 (Things Biden can fix)

    More things Biden can fix without passing laws. If he does them all he will make the US considerably better than it was in 2016.

    *To achieve a real legacy, Biden will have to be more radical — and ready to fight.*

  • 23 January 2021 ((satire) Paw on Inaugural Bible)

    (satire) *Stray Doberman Accidentally Sworn In As President After Putting Paw On Inaugural Bible.*

  • 23 January 2021 (Danger of new “domestic terrorism” laws)

    Rashida tlaib campaigns against the danger of new “domestic terrorism” laws.

  • 23 January 2021 (First organized slave revolt in the Americas)

    The history of the first organized slave revolt in the Americas.

  • 23 January 2021 (Reversal of climate-related sabotage)

    Biden has or will reverse many acts of climate-related sabotage carried out by the wrecker. This will resume the climate defense policies that were already in force in 2016 — but they were woefully insufficient to succeed in avoiding disaster.

    World leaders must change the plans to boost the economy by subsidizing fossil fuels.

    I disagree vehemently with the demand to prioritize adaptation to the current painful foretaste of coming disaster. That is foolish short-term thinking.

    We must respond to global heating in the way that does the most to reduce the ultimate global disaster and ensure the survival of civilization. That is to put priority on cutting emissions (treating the disease).

    To invest in coping with extreme weather is treating the symptoms. If our funds for doing that do not come from the funds we could use to reduce the ultimate disaster, then let’s do it. But it is not equal in priority; it is clearly secondary.

    Today it looks easy to get more money for both long-term prevention and short-term gecko. That is because what we are spending on long-term prevention is far too little.

    The harm caused today by the foretaste seems like a lot, because we judge it against the recent past. When we judge it against the likely future we will see it is secondary.

  • 23 January 2021 (Hitting protesters with felony gang charges)

    *Arizona Prosecutors Pretend “ACAB” Is Gang Lingo To Hit Protesters With Felony Gang Charges.*

    “ACAB” is an acronym that stands for “All Cops Are Bastards”. It has nothing to do with gangs. The prosecutors can’t help knowing this, but — like the thugs they are trying to support — they don’t object to lying to help thugs.

    I do not agree with that slogan. Some cops are honest and will not lie to repress protests. They are a small minority, but maybe in the future there will be more of them.

    Aside for that, I do not use the word “bastard” as a derogatory term because being the child of two people who were not married to each other is not a moral flaw. Indeed, the child has no choice about it.

  • 22 January 2021 (Serving rich donors)

    When Senator Manchin opposed stimulus payments to Americans, it wasn’t because his constituents in West Virginia would disapprove if he supported them. Progressives played an ad on the radio in West Virginia criticizing his stance, and he changed it on the double.

    I think this shows that his motive for opposing them was not a matter of appealing to voters, but rather one of satisfying rich donors.

  • 22 January 2021 (Torture of civilians)

    The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russian forces tortured and murdered Georgian civilians and burned their houses, in the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.

    Bizarrely, it was Georgia which started that war by attacking Russia, perhaps hoping to get NATO support when Russia counterattacked. But NATO declined to be drawn in.

    I can’t criticize Russia for counterattacking when attacked, but that doesn’t excuse war crimes.

  • 22 January 2021 (Embezzlement in Vatican)

    *Former head of Vatican bank sentenced to jail for embezzlement.*

  • 22 January 2021 (Slavery today)

    Slavery today is a personal injustice with a macroeconomic cause.

  • 22 January 2021 (Sounds and smells of the countryside)

    France has legally protected the sounds and smells of the countryside against lawsuits from annoyed neighbors.

  • 22 January 2021 (Need for much faster action)

    John Kerry, the US “climate envoy”, publicly recognizes the need for much faster action to curb fossil fuels.

    The article does not say whether he mentioned reduction of emissions from agriculture as crucial.

  • 22 January 2021 (Disappeared students)

    A document from years ago reports that a witness testified that Mexican soldiers took the 43 disappeared students to an army base and questioned them, then handed them over to a drug gang which presumably killed them.

  • 22 January 2021 (Espionage Act)

    *Biden Should End Espionage Act Prosecutions of Whistleblowers and Journalists.*

  • 22 January 2021 (Poverty)

    Don’t be distracted by “food” poverty, “fuel” poverty, “period” poverty, “digital” poverty, or even “child” poverty. The problem is that people, even families, live in poverty, and that it casts a pervasive pall over their lives.

    The solution to the problem of poverty is simple in principle: give poor people an income that is sufficient for the necessities of life. There are many ways to do that, but a government headed by dooH niboR will fail to see any of them.

    There is a specific problem with the term “digital poverty”, because it calls for helping poor people to be mistreated by nonfree software and on-line dis-services in the same foolish way that most wealthier people are.

  • 22 January 2021 (Support for coup-instigator)

    Biden is continuing US sanctions against Venezuela and support for coup-instigator Guaidó.

    President Maduro is responsible for political injustice and economic problems, but Guaidó seeks only to convert his country into an unofficial colony of the US.

  • 22 January 2021 (QAnonsense in an uproar)

    The believers in QAnonsense are in an uproar after their central prophecy failed to occur.

    Some are piling lunacy on lunacy by professing that the bullshitter is the real president and is pulling Biden’s strings.

  • 22 January 2021 (Economic proposals)

    Biden’s economic proposals would make improvements in many areas. They would, for instance, substantially increase taxes on rich people and companies.

  • 22 January 2021 (Censoring writers for their views)

    Substack may be targeted by campaigns to demand that it censor writers for their views.

    If I understand rightly, Substack is a publishing site, not a social media site — it doesn’t provide a forum for readers in general to post their views. That means readers cannot have much influence via Substack.

    I think that the main danger of antisocial media is that they allow disinformation snowballs to grow. In these snowballs, people invent and circulate new wrinkles of disinformation which others can then pick up in repeat. I think that can only happen on a special media site; thus, not on Substack.

    That may help convince people to stop bullying Substack to censor.

  • 22 January 2021 (PCBs leaking into the sea)

    PCBs leaking out of landfills and into the sea are damaging the fertility of male harbor porpoises. And probably other species of dolphins, such as killer whales.

    This is in addition to other threats they face.

  • 22 January 2021 (Disinformation)

    Arguing that we can’t expect communication systems to filter out disinformation while important officials and candidates are promoting it.

  • 22 January 2021 (Reindeer having a hard time finding food)

    Global heating is making it hard for reindeer to find food. Sweden will build bridges so they can cross highways and train tracks.

    Those bridges will postpone disaster, but to prevent it requires stabilizing global temperatures.

  • 22 January 2021 (Inauguration went as planned)

    The inauguration went as planned, with no violence.

    This should not have required comment, but I expected fanatics to try again. That they did not is somewhat reassuring.

  • 22 January 2021 (Gorgonzola with marijuana)

    A new product consists of gorgonzola cheese with marijuana mixed in. One look and you’re stoned.

  • 22 January 2021 (First 100 days for Biden)

    *Incoming Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders Lays Out Visionary First 100 Days for Biden.*

  • 22 January 2021 (Arizona GOP chair)

    *Arizona GOP Chair Urged Violence at the Capitol. The Mercers Spent $1.5 Million Supporting Her.*

  • 22 January 2021 (US back into Paris climate agreement)

    Biden has brought the US back into the Paris climate agreement, but let’s not forget that that is inadequate.

  • 22 January 2021 (New domestic war on terror)

    Glenn Greenwald: *The New Domestic War on Terror is Coming.*

    Domestic terrorism is real; if we did not know this already, Jan 6 proved it. But a “war on terror” is an absurd response; it would crush dissent of all stripes.

    We can’t solve the problem of 70 million voters that have lost touch with reality by trying to imprison them.

  • 22 January 2021 (Alabama coast forest)

    A forest on the Alabama coast was inundated 60,000 years ago. Now it is a unique wonder of the world, and needs to be protected.

  • 22 January 2021 (Biden must put an end to business as usual)

    Sanders: *Joe Biden must put an end to business as usual. Here’s where to start.*

    If we want Biden to address the big problems, we will have to pressure him. That’s what Sanders is trying to lead us to do.

  • 22 January 2021 (Kleptocrats)

    *‘Kleptocrats’ will try to block Libya elections, says UN envoy.*

    Meanwhile, foreign powers that support the various sides may refuse to remove the mercenaries that both sides agreed should leave.

  • 22 January 2021 (A substitute for progressive policies)

    Biden will try to offer us a feeling of hope as a substitute for progressive policies.

  • 22 January 2021 (Biden will achieve nothing in the center)

    If Biden tries to move to the fictitious “center” — the average of plutocratist Democrats and lunatic Republicans — he will achieve nothing there. He must at least try to do what the country needs.

  • 22 January 2021 ((satire) Trump’s fingerprints all over the White House)

    (satire) *Trump was reportedly panicking Tuesday after realizing his fingerprints were all over the White House.*

  • 22 January 2021 (Even in prison Navalny is seen as a threat)

    This article says that Navalny has caused significant trouble for Putin and has got under his skin. So that, even in prison, Navalny is seen by Putin as a threat.

    If that is true, I think Navalny will not live long. There are lots of ways to kill someone in prison.

  • 21 January 2021 (Urgent: military spending reduction)

    US citizens: call on your congresscritter and senators to join the Military Spending Reduction Caucus.

    To sign this without running nonfree Javascript code, use the Salsalabs workaround.

  • 21 January 2021 (Stop making life unbearable)

    Changes Biden needs to bring about so as to stop making life in Central America unbearable.

  • 21 January 2021 (Up-And-Coming White Supremacist)

    (satire) *Up-And-Coming White Supremacist Added To FBI’s Terrorists To Watch List.*

  • 21 January 2021 (Kicking out tenants with public money)

    *Report Shows Corporate Landlords Received Public Funding Yet Still Kicked Out Tenants.*

    Since large companies as landlords are nastier to tenants, we should take steps to discourage being a large company landlord. Higher taxes for them, for instance. Or, increase taxes for landlords that frequently make a tenant leave.

  • 21 January 2021 (Deported with valid visa)

    Vladimir Fardin, a 9-year-old Haitian, arrived in the US with a valid visa, in the company of his older brother who also had a valid visa. The immigration thugs jailed them for two days incommunicado, then separated them and deported the older brother to Mexico for no reason.

    However, the deportation of Paul Pierrilus was cancelled.

  • 21 January 2021 (Filibuster)

    Several center-right Democratic senators seem to want to maintain the filibuster rule, thus enable Republicans to block progressive laws. Can Biden “carry them along” to eliminate it? If not, what can he do?

  • 21 January 2021 (Betting all wealth)

    When society pressures people to bet all their wealth on a path to future success, it’s inevitable that many of them will lose that bet. It is unfair to blame the individuals who lose for that loss.

    Society could do more to help people make a new start after such a bet goes wrong.

  • 21 January 2021 (Hyper-responsibility)

    Contending that the quality a good citizen needs today is being hyper-responsible about adoption of beliefs.

  • 21 January 2021 (New pun)

    The king the people did not like.

  • 21 January 2021 (Disregarding the rest of Luther King’s message)

    US government agencies are trying to co-opt the antiracist part of Martin Luther King jr’s message, while disregarding the rest.

  • 21 January 2021 (Depending on cash)

    Ten million people in the UK still depend on paying cash.

    The way to defend the right to pay cash is to insist on depending on it. So join me in doing so! Tell stores, “No cash, no sale!”

  • 21 January 2021 (Doing too good a job)

    Pelosi removed progressive Democrat Katie Porter from the Financial Services Committee because banks and big businesses thought she was doing too good a job.

  • 21 January 2021 (Eliminating competitors)

    Facebook proposes to eliminate online radicalism by establishing regulations that would eliminate its competitors and allow only Facebook.

    Lobbyists will repeat absurd arguments like this with a straight face, while bought members of Congress accept them as valid.

    Remember what happened when one of the Yes Men went to a meeting of a campaign for privatization and advocated slavery? Nobody denounced the idea. If you think of everything as property for what businesses own, you will try to treat workers that way.

  • 21 January 2021 (Last-minute pardons)

    The wrecker’s last-minute pardons reportedly do not include people accused of storming the Capitol, his family, or himself.

    I worried that he would pardon them.

  • 21 January 2021 (Grant to make PPE)

    *Syria’s White Helmets awarded £1.17m to make PPE.*

  • 20 January 2021 (Water bills)

    *California households owe $1bn in water bills as affordability crisis worsens.*

    A moratorium on shutoffs, evictions and foreclosures is not enough, because it only defers the day of disaster. The government must rescue people whom Covid-19 has pushed into debt.

  • 20 January 2021 (43 years in prison for criticism)

    A Thai has been sentenced to 43 years in prison for forwarding audio clips that criticized the monarchy.

  • 20 January 2021 (Crime of criticizing the army)

    In Pakistan it is now a crime to criticize the army, which is very politically powerful.

    The world is full of threats to freedom of sane speech.

  • 20 January 2021 (Census)

    The cheater‘s effort to get the 2020 Census to omit unauthorized immigrants has failed.

    He also tried intimidate them (by threatening to deport them) so that they would not respond to the census. I don’t know to what extent that may have succeeded.

  • 20 January 2021 (Vaccine and credit history)

    *Vaccine Site Uses Credit History to Verify Patients’ Identities.*

    This gives information about the vaccination to the credit reporter. It is wrong to spread people’s personal data that way.

  • 20 January 2021 (Economic growth in 2020)

    China’s economy grew in 2020, while most other countries’ declined. It’s clear this is because China took the necessary actions to quash Covid-19.

    I wonder what happened economically to Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan, which also quashed Covid-19 effectively. It is possible that they had economic declines because of loss of tourism or trade with other countries that did not respond effectively.

  • 20 January 2021 (Shutting down the internet while stealing election)

    As Museveni was stealing the presidential election in Uganda, he was shutting down the internet so that the citizens could not report what they were seeing.

  • 20 January 2021 (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau choice)

    Senator Warren highly approves Biden’s choice to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  • 20 January 2021 (Luther King on Palestine)

    What would Martin Luther King jr say about Israel’s occupation of Palestine? In 1967, shortly after Israel conquered Palestine, he had a feeling it was going to become oppressive.

  • 20 January 2021 (Blindsided)

    (satire) *God Blindsided After Illegitimate Son From Andromeda Galaxy Tracks Him Down In Heaven.*

  • 20 January 2021 (Rushing to deport)

    The sadist has rushed to deport Paul Pierrilus, who came to the US with his parents at age 5. They became US citizens, but seem not to have that for their son.

  • 20 January 2021 (Nonviolence)

    Bernice King: *We still have a choice today — nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.*

    She advocates sticking to nonviolence in protests, which I endorse. When the thugs start the violence, we can win by making it clear that violence comes from them and is their fault.

  • 20 January 2021 (Sabotage of candidacy)

    An investigation shows that the Massachusetts Democratic Party was more deeply involved in sabotaging Alex Morse’s candidacy than we previously knew.

  • 20 January 2021 (Army against refugees)

    Guatemala has sent its army to attack a group of thousands of Hondurans trying to cross Guatemala (and then Mexico) to reach the US.

    The US is surely behind Guatemala’s military response to these refugees.

    The US is also behind their flight from Honduras. It sponsored a coup in Honduras in 2009. If the US allowed Hondurans to have a better government they might not need to search for a place to move to.

  • 20 January 2021 (Bernie Sanders in Senate Budget Committee)

    Bernie Sanders as head of the Senate Budget Committee will have substantial power to help poor Americans instead of rich Americans.

    He will face the challenge of preventing only-nominally-Democratic Senator Manchin from blocking these efforts.

  • 20 January 2021 (Urgent: Prohibit naming federal property after the wrecker)

    US citizens: call on Congress to prohibit naming any federal property after the wrecker.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

  • 20 January 2021 (Biden antitrust personnel)

    *Big Tech Critics Alarmed at Direction of Biden Antitrust Personnel.*

  • 20 January 2021 (Failing to protect seas from being over-fished)

    The EU is failing to effectively protect seas from being over-fished and destroyed.

  • 20 January 2021 (Uighur campaigners)

    *Uighur campaigners to target 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics sponsors.*

  • 20 January 2021 (Fear of insider attack on Biden inauguration)

    *US defense officials fear insider attack on Biden inauguration.*

    This fear is justified by the participation of military personnel in the coup attempt.

    *The Capitol riot wasn’t a fringe ‘uprising’. It was enabled by very deep pockets.*

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/18/the-capitol-riot-wasnt-a-fringe-uprising-it-was-enabled-by-very-deep-pockets

    I can’t rule out that billionaires would welcome the chaos of the assassination of the new president and vice president. But even if they don’t, what they started may be beyond their control.

  • 20 January 2021 (Russia’s supply of natural gas)

    The US and its allies confront Russia and its tantalizing supply of natural gas.

    I think I see what ought to be done: instead of building the new pipeline, start a Marshall Carbon Plan to decarbonize Germany on the double, and help it get past the period of shortage before that is finished.

    The outcome will be a loss for Russia, but a victory for civilization.

  • 20 January 2021 (Toxic music svengali)

    *Phil Spector defined the toxic music svengali — a figure that persists today.*

    I have to believe the accounts women give of how the men they loved imprison them. They sound like horrible pain. But I see nothing like this in my life experience. Are many of the women I meet being treated secretly like that, and forced to hide it?

  • 20 January 2021 (Cash for big business, nothing for the poorest)

    *Britain has plenty of cash to bail out big business, yet nothing for the poorest.*

    Tories work for the rich; naturally they do this.

  • 20 January 2021 (N95 masks in Germany)

    Germany is moving to the use of N95 masks for everyone. There may be transient problems in this, but it might do some good.

    I’ve read that the main cause of spreading is indoor gatherings where people may take off their masks.

  • 20 January 2021 (After hospitalization for Covid-19)

    People in England who went home after hospitalization for Covid-19 were not out of the woods. 1/3 of them were back in the hospital within 5 months. 1/8 of them died within that time.

  • 20 January 2021 (Psychiatrists warned what the wrecker would do)

    Psychiatrists tried to warn about what the wrecker would do, even that he would try a coup before giving up. However, the American Psychiatric Association made a rule that they were forbidden to publish such predictions.

  • 20 January 2021 (Denial of American Fascism)

    *Denial of American Fascism Has Cost Us Dearly.* Includes interesting proposals for how to help today’s fascists start to see reality and how to check their armed threat.

  • 20 January 2021 (Military training by the UK)

    *UK trained military of 15 countries with poor human rights records.*

  • 20 January 2021 (Israel’s treaty obligation)

    Israel as occupying power has a treaty obligation to provide medical care to the occupied population as to its own. Instead, Israel is denying Covid-19 vaccine to Palestinians.

  • 20 January 2021 (Palestinian legislative elections in May)

    Palestine will hold legislative elections in May, or try to. It will not be easy to do, under occupation and with Gaza held by HAMAS and under siege.

  • 20 January 2021 (Letter condemning the first political party started by Menachem Begin)

    28 prominent US Jews, including Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt, signed this letter condemning as fascist and murderous the first political party started by Menachem Begin. He later founded the Likud Party, which now heads the government of Israel.

  • 20 January 2021 (Modern method of character assassination)

    Assange, Corbyn and leftist filmmaker Ken Loach have been targeted for the modern method of character assassination, which works by accusing them of things their supporters would consider very bad.

    Yannis Varoufakis also has been. He describes it 48 minutes into this video.

  • 20 January 2021 (Plastic particles)

    Dead seagrass leaves collect and sequester plastic particles.

  • 20 January 2021 (Illinois to eliminate bail)

    Illinois is about to eliminate bail, and establish more freedom of movement for accused people subject to location tracking.

    There is a need, however, for a way to keep someone in jail who is accused of trying to overthrow the government for the wrecker.

  • 20 January 2021 (Trump’s Twitter ban)

    *Should we celebrate Trump’s Twitter ban? Five free speech experts weigh in.*

  • 19 January 2021 (Urgent: expel coup denialists)

    US citizens: call on Congress to expel the members of Congress that deny there was a coup attempt.

  • 19 January 2021 (Navalny arrested)

    Alexei Navalny returned to Russia, where he was immediately arrested and faces years in prison for absurdly unfair charges.

    *Poison squad stalked Alexei Navalny on 40 flights, says Bellingcat investigator.*

  • 19 January 2021 (Economic understanding of politics)

    An interesting abstract economic understanding of the politics of the US these days.

    However, as for continuing that 50-year cycle, there are many things which are getting worse and will keep getting worse for more than 50 years, due to underlying physical and biological factors: global heating, resource exhaustion, and pollution of various kinds.

  • 19 January 2021 (Carbon capture)

    There is a debate between those who argue that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a necessary system for reducing emissions and those who argue that it is ineffective and an expensive distraction.

    I readily agree that CCS is an acceptable method in principle. If you can make it work, please go ahead. But when it comes to public investment, it has to compete with the other methods for reducing emissions. If we spend X on reducing emissions, which way of spending it would achieve the biggest reduction?

    The article mentions that debate, and gives me the impression that the opponents of CCS are right, at least while while other cheaper methods are waiting to be used.

    Or maybe we should treble our spending on emissions reduction and try all the methods at once.

  • 19 January 2021 (Killer venerated)

    *Mahatma Gandhi’s killer venerated as Hindu nationalism resurges in India.*

    “Hindu nationalism” despises non-Hindus (especially Muslims, but Christians too, and maybe Buddhists) and seeks to oppress them within India or expel them. That’s why Modi’s supporters adopted two citizenship laws which, together, make an excuse to deny the citizenship of non-Hindus and expel them.

    Paradoxically they also want India to control areas inhabited mainly by Muslims, such as Kashmir, whether they want to be part of India or not. (India promised Kashmiris a referendum about independence, but never carried it out.)

    Those who condemn Gandhi for supporting partition between India and Pakistan apparently wish that Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of India today, so that they could oppress or expel Muslims there too.

    This looks like the return of the sort of territorial expansionism that mostly disappeared after World War II, together with religious hatred.

  • 19 January 2021 (Rigged election)

    President Museveni of Uganda says he won reelection, but his opponent, Bobi Wine, says the election was rigged.

    Some forms of rigging are undeniable — for instance, shutting down the internet, and repeatedly arresting Wine. That makes it plausible Museveni has done other things to rig this election.

  • 19 January 2021 (Taser is a lethal weapon)

    Prosecutors have recognized that the taser is a lethal weapon.

    The taser is meant to be a nonlethal weapon, though “less lethal” is a more accurate term for it. Yet these weapons can kill; and many of them can maim.

    It is a good thing that cops carry these weapons; it stands to reason that the availability of that alternative to shooting a gun has avoided many killings. At the same time, the wild use of less-lethal weapons by thugs has caused many avoidable injuries. We need to consider their misuse as a serious matter even when they cause damage less than fatal.

    And even when they don’t cause any lasting damage that time, it is a serious matter because it is crucial that cops don’t have bad habits of using them.

  • 19 January 2021 (Identity politics)

    US politics today is a battle between evil yoked to identity politics and some kinds of justice yoked to identity politics — and the identity politics will make the two camps fight on and on.

    I have to point out, however, that Republicans stole the 2016 presidential election, with voter-suppression. They try this every time. Sometimes the Democrats win by a sufficient amount to overcome the Republican election-rigging, and sometimes they don’t.

  • 19 January 2021 (Excuse to ban protests)

    Wales is using Covid-19 as an excuse to completely ban protests, for instance about the death of a black prisoner in jail.

    People must always have the right to protest, as long as they follow safety rules such as masks and distancing.

  • 19 January 2021 (No surprise from thugs)

    It is no surprise that thugs with badges participated in a crime intended to overthrow the US government.

    Thugs have had a tendency towards violent right-wing views for a long time. What has changed is that the wrecker convinced many of them to believe in a fantasy world in which the US government was guilty of imaginary wrongs.

    The thugs who actually participated will be prosecuted. However, thugs who support white supremacism or Nazism are, and were, unfit to work as police, and would be unfit even if they did not support a coup attempt. How can we expel them?

    The US has almost 18,000 thug departments, some very large and many quite small. Any thug who is dismissed from one department because of basic hostility to some aspect of justice can almost certainly get hired by another.

    To clean any one form of that hostility — such as, right-wing extremism — out of these departments requires some sort of system to block that tendency. I can think of two ideas. There could be a system of blacklisting (thought that would call for safeguards against wrongful blacklisting). There could be a system of rebooting thug departments as was done Camden, New Jersey.

    I wonder if it is possible to deny those ex-thugs the right to carry guns.

  • 19 January 2021 (Presidential Science Advisor)

    *By elevating the role of the Presidential Science Advisor to the Cabinet level, scientists will be at the table and in the room when key issues are discussed and decisions are made.*

  • 19 January 2021 (Fascist)

    *If Trump looks like a fascist and acts like a fascist, then maybe he is one.*

    One difference between the Republican death cult and 20th century fascism is that the former is a lot more lunatic. It discards grounding in reality as well sa grounding in morality.

  • 19 January 2021 (Population stabilization)

    *21 Reasons We Need Population Stabilization in 2021.*

  • 19 January 2021 (Purge of disloyal soldiers)

    The Pentagon is working on purging soldiers that are so disloyal that they might support a right-wing overthrow of the government.

    The problem of right-wing extremism and racism among military personnel has been known for decades. The Air Force Academy was more or less taken over by Christian extremists who bullied cadets to join their cult.

    The wrecker encouraged them to increase their extremism to the point of lunacy and disloyalty, and that made the problem much more grave.

  • 19 January 2021 (Unity)

    *If Lawmakers Really Care About “Unity” They Should Support Policies Voters Actually Want.*

  • 18 January 2021 (Capitol Police)

    Racism and explicit racist bullying are rife in the Capitol Police.

    The article linked to just above displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing “black” but not “white”. (To avoid that bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) I object to bigotry, and normally I decline to link to articles which promote it. But I make an exception for articles which give important information about racism or the fight to eliminate racism. That article is one of the exceptions.

  • 18 January 2021 (Climate change and structural racism)

    *How the Biden-Harris Administration Can Fight Climate Change and Structural Racism.*

  • 18 January 2021 (Giant copper mine)

    The corrupter’s officials hastily approved a giant copper mine, rushing the environmental impact statement.

    I hope that this haste offers opportunity to challenge the decision and that Biden will be able to quash it.

  • 18 January 2021 (Seven cent)

    (satire) *officials from the U.S. Mint announced Friday a new seven-cent coin to bolster citizens’ math skills.*

  • 18 January 2021 (Cancel culture)

    (satire) Cancel culture in the Middle Ages.

    The link will bring you to a page listing links to the same video on many invidious proxies. Follow any one of those links to see the video.

  • 18 January 2021 (Terrorist organization)

    The wrecker designated the Houthis in Yemen as a “terrorist organization”, which will impede humanitarian aid to that starving region.

    The article does not explain why Biden could not cancel this on Jan 21. I would like to know.

  • 18 January 2021 (Food monopolies)

    Calling for federal action against food monopolies.

    I support this, of course, but we need not look at the issue of monopolies on an industry-by-industry basis. Concentration is harmful in any industry, so we should take general steps to reduce it drastically across the board.

    And how about an import tariff that is based on the size of the company doing the exporting?

  • 18 January 2021 (Social Destructive Business Model)

    *To Protect Democracy, Lawmakers Must Fix [antisocial media’s] Socially Destructive Business Model.*

    Not all the big tech companies use that business model. Apple does other evils, not that one. Likewise Microsoft, Amazon, and Uber.

  • 18 January 2021 (Usage of force)

    US thugs are three times as likely to use force against peaceful leftwing protests than against peaceful rightwing protests.

    When violent protests are included, the ratio is almost as large.

  • 18 January 2021 (Painfully difficult to terminate membership)

    Amazon has made it painfully difficult to terminate membership in Amazon Prime.

  • 18 January 2021 (Policy of separating families)

    The inspector general of the Department of Justice said that Sessions imposed the policy of separating families because he wanted to punish unauthorized immigrants more.

  • 18 January 2021 (History of promoting war)

    Victoria Nuland, whom Biden proposed as an official in the State Department, has a history of promoting war.

  • 18 January 2021 (Vulnerable voting machines)

    Some voting machines used in some US states, specifically the Dominion Voting Systems ICE and the ESS ExpressVote machines, are vulnerable to cracking. Crackers could install software that would alter the vote printed it on the ballot before the machine deposits it in the ballot box.

    Voters must vote directly on paper.

  • 18 January 2021 (Censorship)

    There is little practical difference between censorship by an oligopoly of businesses and censorship by the state. And even less differences when the state defines the framework for censorship by these businesses.

    I object to those businesses for other reasons, so I don’t use any of them; I never did use them to communicate with people. I think we should bring the internet back to the stage when it let users connect with each other.

  • 18 January 2021 (Little power for workers)

    *It’s now clear this government wants UK workers to have as little power as possible.*

    Not just workers — campaigners’ freedom is threatened too.

    For instance, “Don’t you dare embarrass us by talking about past profits from slavery! And make a contract not to criticize government policy!”

  • 18 January 2021 (Qatar imprisoned and tortured professor Lukman Thalib)

    Qatar imprisoned and tortured professor Lukman Thalib for 5 months and never tried to give any reason for it.

  • 18 January 2021 (Whale beachings in Pacific)

    *US military sonar linked to whale beachings in Pacific, say scientists.*

  • 18 January 2021 (Capitol rioters planned to capture and kill politicians)

    *Capitol rioters planned to capture and kill politicians, say prosecutors.*

  • 18 January 2021 (Sci-Hub is under attack)

    Sci-Hub is under attack.

    The loss of Sci-Hub would be a disaster for science around the world. The loss of Elsevier, Wilie and the American Chemical Society would be a plus. There are already libre scientific journals, and once the non-libre journals are gone, the libre ones would enjoy complete success.

  • 18 January 2021 (Air pollution will make refugees)

    Air pollution will make millions of people refugees.

    There will not be places for millions (or billions) of people to migrate to. The only practical solution is to reduce the pollution, in all countries.

    Not just this sort of pollution, of course. We have to make it safe for people to live in their own countries.

  • 18 January 2021 (India’s unrestrained repression)

    2020 was the year that India imposed unrestrained repression.

    *By June 2020, the Modi regime began its gradual “unlocking” process. Yet, as restrictions were slowly eased, the damage was already done. The anti- CAA/NRC protests had been squashed, internal migrants were impoverished or lay dead, the general populace had endured the unhinged brutality of the police as they enforced the lockdown, the jailing of dissidents had expanded, and the already ascendant RSS had entrenched itself far deeper into society than ever before.*

  • 18 January 2021 (Ghastly future of global heating)

    Global heating, degradation of ecosystems, increasing general human hunger and sickness, increasing general extinction for other species — looking at the ghastly future facing us if we don’t pull humanity away from it.

  • 18 January 2021 (Price fixing on e-books)

    A lawsuit accuses Amazon plus the four giant book publishers of fixing prices on e-books distributed anywhere but on Amazon.

    I doubt that whatever damages they have to pay for this will make them really stop doing this. I expect instead that they will find a different way to dress it up. But this use of their market power is only a symptom: the disease is that they control so much of the market.

    We need laws that effectively prevent so much concentration of any industry, regardless of how that concentration was or is achieved. Antimonopoly law, or better said antioligopoly and antioligopsony law, should discard the question of whether excess concentration was achieved by “unfair” means or not, and focus on protecting society from the unjust power that concentration generally tends to create.

    Achieving a fair, competitive price for the not-really-sale of e-books would not make them cease to be unjust. The principal injustices of commercial e-books today are in the other aspects of their distribution: imposing DRM and its concomitant nonfree reader software, carrying an antisocializing contract instead of actual purchase, and requiring the not-really-buyers to identify themselves.

    I would rather do without the e-book than submit to those wrongs.

  • 18 January 2021 (Nigeria to fund work for young workers)

    Nigeria is starting a New Deal that will fund work for 750,000 young workers to reduce the economic damage of Covid-19.

  • 18 January 2021 (Urgent: End participation in the war in Yemen)

    US citizens: call on Biden to end US participation in the war in Yemen.

  • 18 January 2021 (Urgent: Convict the wrecker)

    US citizens: call on the Senate to convict the wrecker and disqualify him from all offices.

  • 18 January 2021 (Urgent: pass HR 1 )

    US citizens: call on Congress to pass HR 1 to make US elections more democratic.

  • 18 January 2021 (Urgent: Stop donations to legislators that tried to overturn the election)

    US citizens: call on big tech and media companies to stop donating to legislators that tried to overturn the election and/or encouraged the coup.

  • 15 January 2021 (Experiment)

    *Google’s ‘experiment’ hiding Australian news just shows its inordinate power.*

  • 15 January 2021 (Suing NYPD)

    *New York attorney general sues NYPD over response to BLM protests.*

    *We found a pattern of deeply concerning and unlawful practices that the NYPD utilized in response to these largely peaceful protests.*

    Suing the department may be a good way to take action, but I am convinced that changing the behavior of thugs requires some sort of sanction on individual thugs.

  • 15 January 2021 (Quiet nuclear test)

    (satire) *North Korea Holds Quiet, Low-Key Nuclear Test Just For Self.*

  • 15 January 2021 (Overshadow)

    (satire) Senator Hawley: *Yesterday, I was shocked and disappointed to see a destructive mob break through the Capitol building’s security and overshadow my own planned grandstanding.*

  • 15 January 2021 (Anti-truthers bullying)

    As Rep. Bustos flew home from Washington after the fright of the insurrection in the Capitol, other passengers who were anti-truthers not up and began bullying other passengers.

    They took off their masks to intimidate people. That’s reckless endangerment again.

  • 15 January 2021 (Mobile tracking)

    Venice identifies all tourists by their mobile phones and tracks their movements.

    The article is propaganda in favor of massive surveillance, presenting it as an exciting advance in technology. Since the city tracks boats and tides, it implies, of course it should track you and me also.

    But they won’t track me, not that way, because I don’t carry a personal tracking and listening device. This tracking is one of the two reasons I don’t.

  • 15 January 2021 (Fridays for Future)

    Fridays for Future will resume global climate strike actions on March 19.

    If I can, I will report on no-Javascript ways to participate.

  • 15 January 2021 (Global instability)

    *The US is now the focus of global instability.* And it is likely to remain such until such time as right-wing terrorism diminishes.

  • 15 January 2021 (Aid in insurrection)

    There are indications that some Republicans in Congress aided the insurrection, including helping participants plan in advance how to attack the Capitol.

  • 15 January 2021 (Funding Senator)

    (satire) *Citigroup Begrudgingly Keeps Funding Marco Rubio After Learning Senator Voted For Election Certification.*

  • 15 January 2021 (Shut down of Parler)

    Glenn Greenwald notes that when three Big Tech quasimonopolies shut down Parler, they demonstrated that they have considerable censorship power over society.

    He also says that, counter to widespread impressions, Parler did not intentionally promote any particular political current, did not permit advocacy of violence, and was not the main way insurrectionists communicated to prepare for insurrection.

    *If these firms are so powerful that they can be the primary gatekeepers between a president and the public, then they have outgrown democratic control.*

  • 15 January 2021 (DNA engineering)

    Is DNA engineering anything like programming? Can we reach any ethical conclusions about its “source code”?

    Look at the workings of a Covid-19 RNA vaccine.

    That RNA is not compiled from “source code”; there is no such technology. I don’t think it is much like programming, either; this looks to me like a field of physical engineering. So I don’t think we should try to understand it based on software. We should think about it independently, based on our general principles; some of the principles we apply to software may be pertinent here, but they won’t lead to the same conclusions.

  • 15 January 2021 (Big tech crack down)

    Big Tech companies decided to crack down on right-wing mobs set on overthrowing the US government (or worse) just after they learned that Democrats would control the Senate. It could be a scheme to convince them not to break up those Big Tech companies.

    I would guess that Big Tech is also working on acquiring a few Democratic senators to block anything that might reduce their power.

  • 15 January 2021 (Working with insurrection)

    ALEC, the right-wing state law lobbying group is working on a campaign with a group that promotes voter fraud lies and helped organize the preparations for the insurrection.

    Some state legislators that are members of ALEC participated in the rally that was the staging ground for the insurrection.

  • 15 January 2021 (Journalists will be threatened)

    Reporters Without Borders warns that anti-truth right-wing extremists will threaten journalists, in the days leading up to the inauguration.

    I see no reason to assume they will stop then.

  • 15 January 2021 (Urgent: Support the COUP Act)

    US citizens: support the COUP Act, which will establish a commission to investigate the weaknesses (and perhaps worse) of the Capitol Police.

  • 15 January 2021 (Urgent: Remove congress members that won’t denounce the insurrection)

    US citizens: call on Congress remove members that won’t denounce the insurrection.

    The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

    If you call, please spread the word!!!

  • 14 January 2021 (Alleged insurrectionists on the TSA’s no-fly list)

    Senator Schumer wants to put alleged insurrectionists on the TSA’s no-fly list.

    The no-fly list is punishment without trial. It should never have been set up, and we should get rid of it in the name of freedom.

  • 14 January 2021 (Republican representatives that voted to impeach Trump)

    10 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump. The rest of them continued to defend him even after he had launched an attack on the House of Representatives.

  • 14 January 2021 (Hong Kong protests vs US insurrection against democracy)

    Hong Kong’s puppet leader equates protests in Hong Kong for democracy and against repression with insurrection against democracy in the US. She condemns them both alike.

    The wrecker equates them too. He supports them both alike.

  • 14 January 2021 (BlackRock’s “divestment” from coal)

    BlackRock pledged to divest from coal, but all it did was move its coal investments into companies which do other things as well.

  • 14 January 2021 (Ghastly future of mass extinction)

    *Top scientists warn of ‘ghastly future of mass extinction’ and climate disruption.*

    They warn we will face *climate-induced mass migrations, more pandemics and conflicts over resources* unless we hasten to curb global heating, and take power away from businesses that demand perpetual economic growth.

  • 14 January 2021 (Diverting attention)

    Wole Soyinka: *Global outrage at the storming of the US Capitol risks diverting attention from repression by Uganda’s president.*

  • 14 January 2021 (Record ocean heat)

    *Climate crisis: record ocean heat in 2020 supercharged extreme weather.*

  • 14 January 2021 (45 days of water)

    Istanbul is 45 days away from running out of water. Turkey’s other major cities, and farmers, are in trouble too.

    Population increase and the concomitant development is part of the problem, but the other jaw is global heating.

  • 14 January 2021 (Unemployment compensation)

    US states are failing to provide unemployment compensation to all the unemployed workers that are trying to apply for it.

  • 14 January 2021 (Focus on future generations)

    *A Post-Election Strategy for (long term) National Unity: Focus on Future Generations.*

  • 14 January 2021 (No need for new laws)

    *America doesn’t need new security laws to prosecute insurrection.*

    And those laws are likely to be used to crush even nonviolent dissent.

    The article recommends that we instead reorganize all “security” agencies with personnel that are not right-wing extremists.

    I hope we can find enough such personnel to staff them.

  • 14 January 2021 (Section 230)

    Many important US politicians grossly misrepresent section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That section is crucial to protect freedom of speech, and most of the “problems” it is criticized for are fictitious.

  • 14 January 2021 (Grave underestimate of greenhouse gas emissions)

    Colorado’s reports of its contribution to world greenhouse gas emissions are bogus; they gravely underestimate its own operations and don’t even try to count the emissions from burning the fossil fuels extracted there.

    This sort of underestimation must be very common around the world.

  • 14 January 2021 (Those who gave money)

    Here are some of the corporations that gave lots of money to some senators that tried to overturn the election.

  • 14 January 2021 (Dancing on the pipeline construction site)

    Hundreds of pipeline protesters interrupted construction of the Line 3 planet-roaster pipeline by dancing in the construction site.

  • 14 January 2021 (Exceptionalism)

    (satire) *Nation Settles On Being Home To Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame As New Foundation For American Exceptionalism.*

  • 14 January 2021 (Outside laptop)

    (satire) *Child Weirded Out After Bumping Into Teacher Outside Laptop.*

  • 14 January 2021 (Between two threats)

    The US is caught between two threats: the lunatic anti-truth movement, and the plutocratist elites who would be glad to “protect” us by exacerbating the social deprivation that led millions to join the lunatic anti-truth movement.

  • 14 January 2021 (Sabotaging relations)

    The wrecker has tried to sabotage US relations with Cuba by falsely claiming it promotes terrorism.

    The Cuban government does not recognize freedom of speech, and does not obey its own constitution. It has even killed dissidents. However, injustices like that in a country do not compel the US to engage in economic warfare with it.

    Salafi Arabia is far, far worse, and has started wars in its region, as well as killing dissidents. Despite that, the US is quite friendly with Salafi Arabia.

  • 14 January 2021 (Criminal complaint against the wrecker)

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a criminal complaint against the wrecker for sedition on Jan 6.

    This means that officials need to decide whether to charge him, and if they don’t, the public can call on them to justify their decision.

  • 14 January 2021 (If Wall Street believed in defending our Democracy)

    *’If Wall Street Really Believed in Defending Our Democracy,’ Says Sanders, It Would End Political Donations… Forever*

  • 14 January 2021 (63 Billionaires who bankrolled Trump)

    *These 63 Billionaires Who Bankrolled Trump All the Way to Insurrection Have ‘No Right to Feel Shocked’.*

  • 14 January 2021 (Extinction Rebellion activists face prosecution)

    1000 Extinction Rebellion activists in the UK face prosecution for blocking roads in protests against Shell.

    Compared to what Shell is doing to all of us, blocking roads is nothing.

  • 14 January 2021 (Loss of political stability)

    The Capitol insurrection makes visible the loss of political stability that plutocracy in the US has brought about.

  • 14 January 2021 (Solution to the Coronavirus recession)

    *The Solution to the Coronavirus Recession Is a Global Green New Deal.*

    An economist argues for something similar.

  • 14 January 2021 (UK supermarkets enforce mask requirements)

    UK supermarkets are now enforcing mask requirements.

    We should do the same in the US. People’s lives are at stake, and a preference to go without a mask must yield to the duty to protect other people’s lives.

  • 14 January 2021 (Indian agriculture laws)

    *Indian court suspends new agriculture laws after mass protests.*

  • 14 January 2021 (Artificial obstacles to producing Covid-19 vaccine)

    Artificial obstacles to producing Covid-19 vaccine will make billions of people wait years to be vaccinated.

    The article focuses on a side issue: given that production is insufficient, who will get it first?

    That is a distraction. There is no need for production to be so slow. It is slow because of the artificial scarcity created by giving businesses the power to limit production. To squabble over which country gets vaccine this year, since there isn’t enough, is to legitimize the artificial scarcity.

    Let’s resist being distracted. As James Love says, let’s make them produce enough vaccine so that we can all get it first!

  • 14 January 2021 (NYC thug posting bigoted hate messages)

    The NYC thug in charge of investigating harassment was secretly posting bigoted hate messages on a bulletin board for thugs.

    It is hard for me to understand the thoughts of a person who becomes obsessed with hate.

  • 14 January 2021 (Washing polyester clothing)

    Washing polyester clothing is filling the Arctic Ocean with microfibers that endanger sea life.

  • 14 January 2021 (Deportation thugs didn’t give soap to prisoners)

    The US deportation thugs didn’t even give prisoners soap to wash their hands with. No wonder many caught Covid-19.

  • 14 January 2021 (Republican congresscritters infected two Democrats)

    Republican congresscritters infected two Democrats while they were sheltering together during the insurrection, by refusing to protect them with masks.

    Fining Republicans for doing that won’t dissuade them — Republican billionaires would gladly pay their fines. They should be charged with reckless endangerment.

  • 14 January 2021 (Limited use of license plate cameras)

    California is considering a law to limit the use of license plate cameras by thug departments.

    It is a step forward but not strict enough. And it should apply to all parties, not just certain government agencies.

  • 14 January 2021 (Idea to extradite the wrecker to Iraq)

    One way to get the wrecker off our backs would be to extradite him to Iraq, where he faces murder charges.

    I don’t think it is an ethical option, though. I doubt that Iraqi courts follow proper legal standards.

  • 14 January 2021 (Urgent: Stop the president from starting a nuclear war)

    US citizens: call on Congress to pass legislation to stop the president from unilaterally starting a nuclear war.

  • 14 January 2021 (Urgent: Prosecute insurrectionists)

    US citizens: call on the DoJ to prosecute insurrectionists to the fullest extent of the law.

  • 13 January 2021 (Pawns will probably be prosecuted)

    Dozens or hundreds of the pawns who stormed the Capitol will probably be prosecuted. What will we do to preserve democracy from the competing threats?

  • 13 January 2021 (Unmarried mothers)

    Ireland’s unmarried mothers, and their babies, were in many cases compelled to live in “mother and baby homes” which vented on them the Catholic Church’s hatred of women who had sex outside marriage.

    They didn’t even give the children adequate food.

  • 13 January 2021 (Charges for poisoning)

    Governor Snyder faces charges for poisoning the people of Flint, Michigan.

    It always seemed implausible to me that he did not know what his lieutenants were doing.

  • 13 January 2021 (Ron Paul blocked from Facebook)

    Ron Paul, former congresscritter, has been blocked from his Facebook page and given no explanation.

    Ron Paul is an Antisocialist (he says, “Libertarian”): he advocates civil liberties for individuals and deregulation for business. I support the former and oppose the latter, but that’s not the point here.

    The crucial point is that he has not supported the anti-truth right-wing disinformation, let alone the insurrection, and yet he is being silenced in its wake.

    Evidently we can’t count on Facebook to silence only coup plotting. We can’t in general expect Facebook to do the right thing, since it has done so much wrong.

    “Have the tech companies silence the disinformationists” sounds like a solution, but it gives those companies unchecked power. Their obvious next step would be to censor people who

  • 13 January 2021 (Suspended for sympathy towards insurrectionists)

    Two officers of the Capitol Police have been suspended for showing sympathy towards the insurrectionists during the insurrection.

    People in general have the right to express that opinion, but anyone who feels that way is not fit to hold a job protecting against insurrections.

  • 13 January 2021 (Clamping down on QAnonsense)

    Twitter is clamping down on QAnonsense, blaming it for stirring up the insurrection.

    Facebook is putting a limit (easy to work around) on one PR phrase used in election disinformation.

    If anything deserves to be censored, it the fascist movement, because that is dangerous to Americans and our freedom. But it was the power of these giant companies that enabled the wrecker to build the fascist movement, and that power is dangerous in itself, aside from the danger of the fascist movement.

    We need to reduce their power, not reassure ourselves that “They are protecting us now.”

    The right wing’s Orwellian shift: from praising media dominated by big business as “freedom” to condemning this as tyrannical censorship.

  • 13 January 2021 (WHO team permitted entry)

    China has permitted the WHO team studying the origin of Covid-19 to enter China.

    The topic under investigation is scientific, not an attempt to blame China or establish conspiracy theories.

  • 13 January 2021 (Collusion with the wrecker)

    A vast network of Republicans colluded with the wrecker to organize the Republican autogolpe effort on Jan 6.

    The preparations included orders to prevent the National Guard from protecting the Capitol. I am not sure that obeying orders is properly called “collusion” — I think the word implies actions taken by choice. However, the giving of those orders was culpable.

    The Spanish word “autogolpe” is used to describe seizure of power by the current head of the government — not an attempt to install a new government, but rather to keep it in power in defiance of the country’s constitution. That is what the wrecker was trying to do.

  • 13 January 2021 (Urgent: military greenhouse emissions)

    Everyone: call on John Kerry and the US Congress to include military greenhouse gas emissions in agreements to reduce emissions.

  • 13 January 2021 (Lobbyists disappointed)

    (satire) Lobbyists are disappointed that congresscritters are so easy to influence. It hardly even takes a bribe any more.

  • 13 January 2021 (Domestic terrorism)

    New “domestic terrorism” legislation would be very effective for crushing Black Lives Matter and other progressive causes.

    Some Republican-controlled state legislatures have started planning new laws to repress protest, supposedly to be used against domestic terrorists but actually to be used against protesters against pollution and abusive businesses.

    There is a push to increase the PAT RIOT Act surveillance powers.

    No special surveillance facility was needed to see that fanatics were talking about attacking the Capitol. What was missing was the willingness to take their threat seriously.

    Does anyone know what ultimately happened to the felony charges, mentioned in one of those articles, against the “J20” activists for being near where property damage was committed?

  • 13 January 2021 (Lured into camp)

    China lured Gulbahar Haitiwaji to return from France to sign some retirement papers in Xinjiang. This was pretext to imprison her in a ‘re-education’ camp for Uighurs. She describes the torture and brainwashing carried out there.

  • 13 January 2021 (Apartheid)

    The leader of B’tselem denounces Israel’s system of slightly veiled apartheid.

  • 13 January 2021 (Plan to deal with Covid-19 in 2022)

    British scientists: Britain needs to plan to deal with Covid-19 into 2022, or even later.

    The virus could reappear after every human has been vaccinated if it can survive in nonhuman hosts. We might be able to eradicate it from those hosts — we could at least try.

  • 13 January 2021 (Offshore prisons)

    The Taliban, in peace negotiations demand the release of two prisoners in Guantanamo.

    The US should release all the prisoners in Guantanamo, because they have been imprisoned without trial and many have been tortured as well.

    *As ‘Dark Stain’ of Guantánamo Begins 20th Year, Groups Demand Biden Close Offshore Prison.*

    The main practical obstacle is finding a place each one can go — but these two Afghans do have a place to go.

  • 13 January 2021 (Housing values appreciation)

    In New Zealand, and many other countries, most people who own houses want them to appreciate in price. So they insist on limiting construction, and that makes it hard for everyone to have a place to live.

  • 13 January 2021 (Impeaching the wrecker again)

    The House of Representatives is impeaching the wrecker again, but there is not enough support in the Senate to convict him.

    I don’t see the point of this exercise.

    This article argues that the impeachment will have more bad influence than good on the wrecker’s followers. “The wiser move would be to let Trump drift into exile, not stoke the sense of grievance among his base,” it says. I don’t know whether that is true. But I think it is crucial to take measures that will deal them real setbacks. Expressing hostility to them is something they eat up.

    I wonder if there is be a way to enforce the 14th amendment in court to block the wrecker from running for office in the US in the future. That would not require a vote in the Senate.

    I think it would be wise to move the inauguration to a secure location, perhaps indoors. I would not be surprised if Republicans in the army stole a drone to try to assassinate Biden and everyone else there.

  • 13 January 2021 (The debate on market-dominating tech companies banning the wrecker)

    On the debate about whether market-dominating tech companies should ban the wrecker, or should have banned him long ago.

    Merkel said that laws should set the criteria for banning someone from communicating on internet sites, but in the US that would directly violate the first amendment.

  • 13 January 2021 (Insect populations damaged by human activity)

    Human activity is damaging insect populations in many parts of the world. Perhaps everywhere, but there is no data from many places.

    Fewer insects means many other animals will die for lack of food.

  • 13 January 2021 (How far the US Senate is from democratic)

    Measuring how far the US Senate is from democratic.

    According to the figures in the spreadsheet in that article:

    Population the 50 Republican senators represent: 142,991,983 (44%)
    Population the 50 Democratic senators represent: 184,541,791 (56%)

  • 13 January 2021 (Gorilla war)

    A gorilla war is taking place in Virunga national park in the Congo.

  • 13 January 2021 (A mob attacked the Capitol for Trump)

    *A Mob Attacked the Capitol for Trump. Now What?*

    Over and over they take one more step along the path towards rebellion and mass murder. Some of them envision massive terrorism as the outcome.

  • 13 January 2021 (Antitruth right-wing extremism)

    One of the roots in antitruth right-wing extremism was the violent defiance of environmental limits on grazing cattle.

    Indeed, people should be free to do as they wish, unless they are doing harm. Those people’s actions do harm.

    The problem with their actions is like that of the anti-maskers: their individual activities add up to predictable and big harm to the world. One rancher who insists on grazing cattle in an area with wildlife can safely do so; the cattle and the wildlife can coexist. But there are thousands of ranchers in the US and they aim to increase their herds. Without something to limit the herds they put on protected lands, they will predictably wipe out wildlife.

    If only one man refused to wear a mask, he might at some point catch Covid-19 and then infect some others. But they, with their masks. would not re-transmit the infection very far. Indeed, if others take the proper precautions, our one man will probably never catch Covid-19 and his lack of mask won’t hurt anyone.

    However, to extend this to millions of people is covidiotic. It was entirely predictable that they would overload the hospitals and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths.

  • 12 January 2021 (Urgent: stop funding extremist candidates)

    Everyone: call on companies to stop funding extremist US candidates.

  • 12 January 2021 (Violent insurrection)

    The insurrection was more violent than appeared in the immediate coverage.

  • 12 January 2021 (Forcing out attorneys)

    The wrecker forced out the US attorney for Georgia and put in a replacement loyal to him. This was evidently meant as part of his efforts to steal the election there.

    To defend against a future fascist president, we need to make it more difficult for the president to arbitrarily fire US attorneys, and the attorney general. But whose approval should be required for firings? A majority of the senate? The courts? I don’t see an obvious good answer.

  • 12 January 2021 (Voter suppression)

    After a US court ordered Georgia to reverse a fraudulent voter purge, Raffensperger used a series of tricks and maneuvers to avoid letting those almost 200,000 voters vote in the Jan 5 runoffs.

  • 12 January 2021 (Rehabilitation)

    Beware when rich people and corporations seek to rehabilitate the reputations of those who tried to seize power on Jan 6.

    They did that to the survivors of the slave-owners, and gave us a century of Jim Crow.

  • 12 January 2021 (Neonicotinoids)

    A factory that “recycles” neonicotinoid-treated seeds into ethanol emits pollution that harms the health of people that live nearby.

    Since neonicotinoids do not naturally degrade, they will accumulate dangerously in the environment near that factory, just as they do near the farms where those seeds are used.

  • 12 January 2021 (Deer population)

    The deer population in Britain is exploding because restaurants are no longer buying venison. This threatens other wildlife.

    If this were a permanent change, the long-term solution might be to have more wolves. However, it is likely to be short-term, so the government will have to pay hunters to keep the deer down until restaurants start paying them again.

  • 12 January 2021 (Secretive investment company)

    Two of Biden’s cabinet nominees are associated with a secretive investment company. This is not proof of a crime, or even evidence to suspect a crime, but it exemplifies their participation in plutocract which we should not have in cabinet secretaries.

  • 12 January 2021 (Gratis pot)

    Proposing to offer pot gratis to prisoners that are addicted to other drugs.

  • 12 January 2021 (Level of happiness)

    Focusing on your level of happiness (present, or future) interferes paradoxically with feeling happy.

  • 12 January 2021 (Arrest of insurrectionists)

    Each day more of the Jan 6 insurrectionists are being arrested and charged.

    I hope that the Capitol cop who did a fist bump with one of the insurrectionists has been fired.

    More information on some of the charges insurrectionists could face.

    I think that the “felony murder” law as it sometimes interpreted is too broad. A should only be guilty of B’s killing if the killing is a natural possible outgrowth of what they joined in doing.

    If A and B decide to do an armed robbery with a gun and B kills someone, A should be liable because killing is a natural possible outgrowth of pointing a gun at someone. It isn’t the usual consequence in a robbery, but it is hardly surprising. However, if A and B decide to steal something without using weapons, and B pulls a gun and shoots someone dead, that isn’t a natural outgrowth of an unarmed robbery, so A should not be guilty of the killing.

  • 12 January 2021 (False accusations)

    *Woman charged after falsely accusing Black teenager of stealing her phone* and then grabbing him.

  • 12 January 2021 (Homeless housing)

    In 2017, Manchester (England) set out to get homeless people into housing. Almost 300 of them still have housing.

    We could do this anywhere, with some priority and some money. The billionaires don’t need quite so much.

    In 2020, as a precaution against spread of Covid-19, the UK moved to get all homeless people off the street. But didn’t continue paying for this.

    If we gave more priority to the well-being of poor people, fewer of them would develop the sort of problems that make it hard for them to rent housing. Building more housing (public, and private) would also help.

    Reducing population growth, which we need to do anyway, would help with this also. Rents would come down and thus so would the cost of living.

  • 12 January 2021 (Domestic terrorism)

    The debate about a proposed law to define some crimes as “domestic terrorism”.

    The article linked to just above displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing “black” but not “white”. (To avoid that bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) I object to bigotry, and normally I decline to link to articles which promote it. But I make an exception for articles which give important information about racism or the fight to eliminate racism.

    The proposed law would not directly attack freedom of speech, but there’s a danger it would be applied with a racist bias, thus exacerbating the bias that we see in comparing DC thugs‘ harshness towards Black Lives Matter protests with their laxity towards insurrectionists.

    In addition, it is an injustice to designate an organization as “terrorist” except by convicting it as a crime.

  • 12 January 2021 (Inhumane prisons)

    *A British judge said US prisons are dangerously inhumane. Sadly, she’s right.*

    US prisons were, most of them, much more humane before the ideological increase in imprisonment started by Reagan for ideological reasons. Back then, US prisons tried to rehabilitate prisoners. It is hard to treat prisoners decently or try to help them rehabilitate when too many people are in prison.

    If we end the war on drugs, we could could improve this. But it would still be wrong to prosecute Assange.

  • 12 January 2021 (Internet random error amplification)

    Internet random error amplification is convincing teenagers of the misinformation that Helen Keller was not deaf and blind.

    When I was young, children read about her story, but left out the part where she became a Socialist and joined the IWW.

  • 12 January 2021 (Republican voters’ views)

    *Among Republican voters, 45% approve of the storming of Capitol, 30% think the perpetrators are ‘patriots’, 52% think Biden is at least partly to blame for it, and 85% think it would be inappropriate to remove Trump from office after this.*

  • 12 January 2021 (Repeal of law authorizing endless wars)

    *Biden and Congress Must Repeal Law Authorizing Endless Wars.*

  • 12 January 2021 (Bad choice for Secretary of Commerce)

    Governor Raimondo would be a bad choice for Secretary of Commerce, for much of the same reasons she would have been a bad choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    I wonder why Biden is trying so hard to give her an important post.

  • 12 January 2021 (GOP senator’s bullshit apology)

    (satire) *”This Apology Is Bullshit And I Am Lying To You,” Says GOP Senator To Widespread Media Praise.*

  • 12 January 2021 (Capitol Police)

    A retired official accuses the Capitol Police of not even trying to be ready to keep rioters out.

    He accuses the officials in charge of Capitol security of being either incompetent or disloyal. Indeed, three are resigning.

    As for why the National Guard were not available to help, I read somewhere that the wrecker blocked the attempt to activate them.

  • 12 January 2021 (Venezuela offers sympathy for US)

    *After Right-Wing Coup Effort in DC, Venezuela Offers Sympathy for US Suffering What ‘It Has Generated’ Elsewhere.*

  • 11 January 2021 (Impeachment)

    Impeaching the wrecker provides a way to disqualify him from ever holding any sort of government office, and this requires only a majority of the Senate.

    However, it is not clear to me whether the Senate can do that without first convicting him, and that requires 2/3 of the Senate, which is probably out of reach.

  • 11 January 2021 (Removal of the wrecker)

    Some politicians say we need to remove the wrecker from office right away to stop him from wreaking more havoc as president.

    That danger may be real. On the other hand, it would still be a shame if this allows Pence to pardon him.

  • 11 January 2021 (The insurrectionist who was killed)

    One of the insurrectionists was killed trying to break down a door in the Capitol.

    Normally, cops should not shoot someone just for breaking down a door. They should first try to restrain per, and will normally succeed. But in that situation there may have been no easy option. She was part of an armed mob bent on violence, and allowing her to break down a door might have enabled the mob to attack people.

    Some of the insurrectionists had guns, and bombs were found too.

  • 11 January 2021 (Legislators culpable for coup)

    The legislators that supported the inside arm of the wrecker’s coup are culpable for the coup, even if they did not commit a crime. They are a threat to the republic.

    Those helped the wrecker create the movement that was the base for his coup attempt are morally culpable for that, even if they turned aside before Wednesday’s last step. They could see, just as we all could, where the wrecker was aiming that movement. But their culpability is less than that of the first group.

    I support the plan for the House to expel the first group.

    The districts will hold new elections to replace them.

  • 11 January 2021 (Conniptions)

    Some of the wrecker’s supporters are having conniptions watching the talk where he condemned them for the violence he urged them to commit.

    I can understand that they feel whipsawed by the contradiction between the two things he said. What is interesting is that they cling to his earlier persistent incitement to violence and reject his later denunciation of it.

    Long ago I read a book, When Propechy Fails by Festinger et al, which described the events in a small prophetic cult in the US (1950s) whose central prophecy specified a date. Naturally it failed to occur. Some of the participants rejected the cult after that, but others redefined the prophecy so it could happen later, so that they could cling to the cult.

    I expect that some of Trump’s cultists will redefine the cult to shift it away from him, rather than reject it.

  • 11 January 2021 (Laptops stolen)

    Two laptops were stolen from the Capitol during the insurrection.

  • 11 January 2021 (Operation to not have children)

    Women who don’t want children and ask for operations to prevent it face persistent resistance from doctors that presume everyone will ultimately regret not having children.

    In 1983, after I had made the announcement of the plan to develop GNU, the announcement which started the free software movement, a woman I loved asked me to support her and the children we would have in a middle-class lifestyle. I said no, because I did not want that life, and because it would have meant abandoning GNU. That no implied great loneliness, but now I am proud of what I have achieved with my child-free life.

    If I had said yes, I doubt I’d have achieved anything important, and I would have regretted every day the decision to give up trying.

    I am sure some fraction of women who get sterilized later regret it, just as some women have children later regret it. That is true for every choice people make: always, some fraction regret their choice. But it’s impossible to postpone all choices forever.

  • 11 January 2021 (Actively aiding insurrectionists)

    The Capitol Police went way beyond being gentle with Wednesday’s rioters. Some of them actively aided the insurrectionists to enter.

  • 11 January 2021 (Rioters attacking reporters)

    The rioters at the Capitol menaced and sometimes attacked reporters. They said they hated all reporters.

    Sometimes they stole reporters’ equipment and destroyed it.

  • 11 January 2021 (Opening door for extremists)

    Right-wing extremists stormed Oregon’s state Capitol on December 21 after a Republican state legislator opened a locked door and let them in.

    The legislature is investigating him; I hope that the experience in Washington convinces them that this is grave enough to expel him.

  • 11 January 2021 (Criminal charges against the wrecker)

    Laying out the criminal charges that could be brought against the wrecker for promoting insurrection — supposing he does not get a valid pardon.

  • 11 January 2021 (Amazon dry plain)

    A study predicts that due to global heating and deforestation the Amazon rain forest will pass a tipping point before 2064 that will convert it into a dry plain with shrubs. The forest would become too little to cause enough rain for it to survive.

    That would be a global disaster, since it would release a lot of greenhouse gases and the transformed land would no longer store carbon.

  • 11 January 2021 (Anti-Protest Legislation)

    *Civil Society Groups Warn Against Anti-Protest Legislation Following Siege of US Capital.*

    I agree. The right to protest is nothing if we don’t respect it for those we oppose.

    But when protest gives way to intimidation, we need to keep it in check so that it doesn’t grow into domination.

  • 11 January 2021 (Manorial computing)

    Nonfree software establishes “manorial computing” — a local aristocrat (nowadays a corporation, not a person) offers to take care of you and protect you in your computing, and you in return submit helplessly to its dominion.

    Doctorow’s “Ulysses Pact” refers to a point I’ve made in many speeches condemning Apple’s eagerness to spy for China. It is applicable to you as well. If you erase Windows, MacOS, or Android, and get rid of an iMonster, people will understand it is futile to ask you to use it.

    Making people serfs on a manor is as evil now as it was a thousand years ago. Medieval Europe experienced many revolts of the people against aristocrats; one of them created a free country that still exists: Switzerland. The Swiss revolt spread from valley by valley over a period of hundreds of years. I’ve cited this inspiring example in my speeches in Switzerland.

    So pick up your digital pitchforks and chase those aristos out of your computer!

    Alas, the story of William Tell appears to be a myth, though the context it is set in is real.

  • 11 January 2021 (Bullying Facebook)

    Right-wing manipulators have bullied Facebook by accusing it of bias against them, even as its real bias was in favor of them.

    Making Facebook adjust its bias would be an improvement, but would continue to be an arbitrary choice by a business. I have proposed imposing public control over Facebook’s algorithm for showing things to its useds. However, I think we need to make Facebook less powerful by making it smaller.

  • 11 January 2021 (Attempts to storm parliaments)

    * Far-right attempts to storm parliaments and government offices have happened in Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands in recent years.*

    The mainstream right-wing politicians think they can use the fanatics to boost their strength, but once that happens, they find that the fanatics have become their masters.

  • 11 January 2021 (Indigenous leader murder)

    *Guatemala mine’s ex-security chief convicted of Indigenous leader’s murder.*

    It is gratifying to see one extractionist tool get punished. However, the world does nickel. What should we do to get it?

    If mines operate with the best safety precautions, and handsomely compensate all harm that the mines do, local inhabitants will probably not object to them. Of course, nickel will cost more — but that’s fair.

  • 11 January 2021 (Incitement of violence)

    A timeline of the final stages of the wrecker’s incitement of the storming of the Capitol.

    His arousal of violence started years ago.

  • 11 January 2021 (Safe to eat with other people)

    I have an idea for a device that would make it safe for people to eat while in a room with other people.

    The idea is to make a sanitizable negative-pressure hood which seals around the head and torso and hands, with a flat torso-mounted table inside in the front. Elastic could hold the seal closed around the body; I think that would be good enough. It could pump air in through a filter and out through a filter.

    If you know of something like this, or have a suggestion, or see a flaw, please email me.

  • 10 January 2021 (Anti-reality extremists’ call for violence)

    Anti-reality extremists were calling for violence in DC on Jan 6 for weeks before that date.

    *Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day.*

  • 10 January 2021 (Maskless anti-truth extremists attacked a black woman)

    A mob of maskless anti-truth extremists in LA ganged up on a black woman, hitting her and pulling her hair.

    A mob attack like that can easily develop into dangerous violence.

  • 10 January 2021 (Sanders supports impeaching the wrecker)

    Sanders supports impeaching the wrecker.

  • 10 January 2021 (Senator Manchin will try to block more immediate aid)

    Senator Manchin, a Democrat whose views are similar to Republicans of 2015, will try to block giving Americans in general more immediate aid.

    He’s not alone. *Billionaire-Owned Media Look Out for Neediest by Demanding They Get No More Money.*

    Manchin is probably right that some of that money will go to Americnas who did not lose income during 2020. But that is quibbling. Nearly all will go to Americans who are poor and need aid — wealthy people will not get any of this.

    For most of Americans who receive the whole $2000, it won’t be enough.

    Manchin puts more weight on small chance of giving some low-income Americans a little more than was supposedly intended for them right now, than on the certainty of giving millions too little. These are cruel priorities.

  • 10 January 2021 (Indigenous water protectors charged for peaceful protests)

    *As Pro-Trump Mob Boasts About Roles in Deadly Capitol Invasion, Indigenous Water Protectors Charged for Peaceful Keystone XL Protests.*

    This double standard has been shown over and over.

    I continue to feel that the term “water protectors” understates in a distracting way the importance of the fight against building new fossil fuel infrastructure. They are protecting global civilization, not merely the water supply in a region of the US.

  • 10 January 2021 ((satire) Betsy DeVos apologizes for public education)

    (satire) *Betsy DeVos Apologizes For Ever Being Complicit With Something As Toxic As Public Education.*

  • 10 January 2021 (Massive-Scale Mobilization on climate emergency)

    *One Year After Declaring Climate Emergency, Scientists Say ‘Massive-Scale Mobilization’ Necessary.*

  • 10 January 2021 (Surplus military gear for police departments)

    The US military have been pouring surplus gear into thug departments and many of them don’t even say they have a use for it.

    This is not to mention the equipment they use in SWAT teams that they may claim to need, but which we may consider harmful.

  • 10 January 2021 (Rowan Atkinson denounces the cancel culture)

    Rowan Atkinson denounces the cancel culture.

  • 10 January 2021 (End to limits to contacts with Taiwanese officials)

    Pompeo has ended limits that the US has put on contacts with Taiwanese officials to placate China.

    I don’t have an easy way of checking, but I expect that these limits were put in place decades ago, when China was not a world power and the US wanted China’s support. Back then, it was arguably a wise concession to make. It isn’t now.

  • 10 January 2021 (2020 tied for hottest year)

    2020 was tied for the hottest year ever since records began.

  • 10 January 2021 (Tories allowed Covid-19 to get out of control in the UK)

    The Tories foolishly allowed Covid-19 to get out of control in the UK, by “reopening the economy” and running incompetent privatized contact tracing. Now the NHS is overwhelmed by far more patients than it can handle, and the numbers keep increasing.

    It takes mental firmness to hate a buffoon who laughs off all his deadly wrong decisions, but Britons must summon that firmness.

  • 10 January 2021 (A challenge getting Democrats to agree)

    With a margin of 51 to 50 in the Senate, it will be a challenge to get all the Democrats to agree.

    The first law they pass should be statehood for Washington, DC. That would mean two more senators, certainly Democrats.

    I used to feel that making basic decisions like that for partisan reasons went counter to civic spirit. However, this year, seeing how Republicans have done counter to civic spirit to an enormous degree, I concluded that this small amount against them is excusable.

  • 10 January 2021 (WhatsApp users compelled to hand over their data)

    Facebook will compel all WhatsApp users to “agree” to hand over their personal data to Facebook (or else be kicked off).

    One lesson from this is, always be prepared to stop using any digital “service” at very short notice.

    This announcement reveals what data WhatsApp collects about each user. To collect all that data is the first level of injustice.

    Pooling the data between the company’s dis-services is a significant issue because Facebook is so powerful already and this would give it more power. For a smaller company, I think we should focus entirely on the wrong of collecting the information at all.

  • 10 January 2021 (The Fascist movement in the US)

    The Fascist movement in the US is too strong for mere civility to make it wither away. That will require defeats, such as the one it experienced on Wednesday.

    We can’t expect overconfidence and naive exuberance to give it more defeats. The government must take steps to ensure they happen.

    Passing and enforcing laws requiring everyone to wear a mask (or show a doctor’s excuse) in most public places could help. Arrogantly threatening people’s lives by refusing to wear masks is one of their ways of looking strong and attracting support from people who want to follow someone strong; when they have to back down, they won’t attract as much support.

    Many of the wrecker’s rich and powerful backers have abandoned him. That does not imply they have abandoned Fascism. They will surely be waiting for a more skillful enemy of our Constitution to come along. To preserve our democratic structures, we need to restore the substance of democracy by taking away the political power of the rich and powerful (plutocracy).

  • 10 January 2021 (The wrecker may be planning a war with Iran)

    Daniel Ellsberg believes the wrecker is planning to start a war against Iran in the 11 days remaining to him as president.

    I would not put it past him. If he tries, I hope that the US military will consider it an illegal order.

    Ellsberg asks people in the Pentagon to leak the plans for provoking a war with Iran.

  • 10 January 2021 (Urgent: Drop charges against Julian Assange)

    Everyone: call on the US to drop charges against Julian Assange.

  • 8 January 2021 (Report on the insurrection)

    Reporting on the insurrectionist mob at the Capitol.

    Some of the insurrectionists attacked journalists.

  • 8 January 2021 (Domestic terrorists)

    Biden called the Capitol insurrectionists “domestic terrorists” and condemned the wrecker as the enemy of the Constitution.

    This suggests he has dropped the idea of letting the wrecker off the hook. I am very glad.

    Democratic politicians and progressive groups are calling for Pence and the cabinet to declare the wrecker unfit and remove him from office, which they have the power to do. I would support this call, except for one thing: Pence would become president and might pardon the wrecker straightaway.

    If Pence were committed not to pardon him, then I would support it.

    Impeaching the wrecker now would run into similar problems. Appropriate though it would be in principle, prosecuting him later is more important than whatever we do to him for the next 12 days.

  • 8 January 2021 (Resigning)

    (satire) *Why I Am Resigning After Stabbing 97 People for Donald Trump.*

  • 8 January 2021 (Net zero emissions)

    *Global heating could stabilize if net zero emissions achieved, scientists say.*

  • 8 January 2021 (Mobs with guns)

    Mobs of Republicans assembled around various state Capitols, often with guns, and threatened the state officials.

  • 8 January 2021 (Mental health initiative)

    (satire) *New Mental Health Initiative To Add 10,000 Beds To Nation’s Prisons.*

  • 8 January 2021 (Commerce secretary)

    *Why Progressives Should Care About Biden’s Pick for Commerce Secretary.*

  • 8 January 2021 (No excuse)

    *If Democrats Control the Senate They Have No Excuse: Restore Net Neutrality, Ban Facial Recognition, Protect Section 230, End Big Tech Data Harvesting, and Defend Online Human Rights.*

  • 8 January 2021 (Last effort)

    (satire) *Ted Cruz Makes Last Effort To Block Election Result By Unleashing Wave Of Locusts From Mouth To Black Out Sun.*

  • 8 January 2021 (Science demands)

    * The press must measure the Biden administration’s actions [on climate defense] against what the science demands.*

    “Not getting worse quite as fast as before” is not sufficient.

  • 8 January 2021 (Summary of events)

    A detailed summary of events in the Jan 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

  • 8 January 2021 (Far-right German provocateur)

    *The far-right German provocateur who faked being a Syrian refugee.* He has been charged with planning false-flag assassinations to give real refugees a bad name.

  • 8 January 2021 (Christian fanatics in Ohio)

    Christian fanatics in Ohio have found a new way to harass women who get abortions: to make them pay for the burial or cremation of the aborted fetus.

  • 8 January 2021 (Oil and gas companies planning to increase their extraction)

    The world’s oil and gas companies are still making a profit and still planning to increase their extraction to make more profit.

    When they talk about “going green”, it is part distraction (look at the wind farms we are building and ignore all the CO2 our oil generates, look at our reduction in emissions from our own operations and ignore the emissions when customers burn our product), and part co-optation (when Shell buys a solar energy company that doesn’t necessarily increase solar energy investment). All designed to let them keep increasing the problem.

    They want us to give them subsidies for green energy systems even bigger than the the subsidies they get for extracting oil and gas. Then they would make the transition, but slowly.

    They would be quite capable of putting earnest efforts into a transition to green energy, if we eliminate the subsidies for gas and oil and replace them with a carbon tax.

  • 8 January 2021 (Pennsylvania state senate)

    Republicans dominate the Pennsylvania state senate, but they decided to increase their majority by arbitrarily refusing to seat one Democratic state senator.

    Democrats criticized this action, but I wonder, can they do anything to stop it?

    Pennsylvania has a Democratic majority, but Republicans have imposed minority rule in the state senate via gerrymandering.

  • 8 January 2021 (Police treatment of insurrectionists)

    People have noticed that the Capitol police were very gentle with the insurrectionists, and contrasted this with the violence of thugs in many cities towards peaceful protesters for Black Lives Matter and other progressive causes.

    That the Capitol police restrained their violence was a good thing, and I think that helped some Republican leaders to withdraw their support from the wrecker. What was not good is that thugs did not extend the same respect and decency towards progressive protesters.

    Why this difference? I think the Capitol police have been trained in how to deal with protesters with restraint and respecting their rights. They expect protests and expect journalists to be watching.

    By contrast, the thug departments of cities vary. Some of them have a culture of violence toward progressives and especially blacks.

    As has been pointed out, most thugs are right-wing and have cheered on right-wing counterprotesters even when those are killing Black Lives Matter protesters. I saw a rumor that some even took selfies with the insurrectionists at the Capitol.

  • 8 January 2021 (Punishments for violations Covid-19 emergency regulations)

    Records show that nonwhites in the US tend to get worse punishments than whites for violations of Covid-19 emergency regulations. This demonstrates racist injustice at work.

    The article linked to just above displays symbolic bigotry by capitalizing “black” but not “white”. (To avoid that bigotry, capitalize both words or neither one.) I object to bigotry, and normally I decline to link to articles which promote it. But I make an exception for articles which give important information about racism or the fight to eliminate racism. That article is one of the exceptions.

  • 8 January 2021 (Trying to organize unions in tech companies)

    The Communications Workers of America is trying to organize unions in tech companies.

    I support this, even though many of those companies distribute unjust nonfree software or operate online dis-services.

    Those companies should not exist in their current form — but as long as the company does exist, it’s good to make it workers better.

  • 8 January 2021 (Auctions of oil leases in Arctic refuge)

    *[Sabotage] auction of oil leases in Arctic refuge attracts barely any bidders.*

    In the end, the State of Alaska ended up leasing most of the tracts. This makes sense as sabotage — to prevent protection of ANWR. But the federal government should have legitimate ways of convincing Alaska to accept cancellation of those leases.

  • 8 January 2021 (Republican support for the wrecker)

    Since the violent insurrection at the Capitol was overcome, a number of Republican officials have denounced the wrecker and his coup attempt. Some have, it seems, dropped their support for their part in it.

    Ilhan Omar is preparing to impeach the wrecker again. I share her disgust for him, but would this do any good?

    The first impeachment was ineffective because the Republicans in the Senate protected him. Is it worth trying again? Perhaps now enough Republican senators are ready to remove him from office. If not, some Republican support for impeachment — if there is any — might educate Republicans.

    However, bad results are also possible. Firstly, it would not affect any of the sabotage that Republicans will continue doing until Jan 20. Pence would continue those efforts.

    Secondly, if Pence becomes president he might pardon the wrecker.

    Indeed, I’ve seen speculation that the wrecker might resign so that Pence can pardon him. But I don’t know if he could bear the humiliation of leaving office early.

  • 8 January 2021 (Supporters of the wrecker broke into the capital by force)

    The wrecker spoke to crowd of his supporters in DC and sent them to attack the Capitol. They broke in by force and interrupted Congress, and tried to take over the building.

    Violence against the US under a Confederate flags declares treason as well as racism.

    Rebecca Solnit: * I call it a coup attempt because, though I assume that it will not prevent the Biden presidency, it certainly intended to.*

    I agree.

    Using rioters in the streets alongside action by insiders is common practice in coup attempts. That worked, temporarily, in Bolivia in 2018. I think it was employed in Czechoslovakia in 1948. I am sure there are other examples that don’t come to my mind now.

    I criticize Solnit on one point. She repeatedly describes the actions of the coup supporters as “white male rage.” That is an unjust racist/sexist generalization: it falsely imputes that attitude to all white males. Bernie Sanders is a white male; so are various other progressive leaders. So is Biden. They do not participate in that “white male rage”. I am not of Sanders’s stature, but I too have rejected that attitude all my life.

    This stereotype is just as wrong as the hostile stereotypes about blacks and about women, which I am sure Solnit would call out.

  • 8 January 2021 (Molluscs of the eastern Mediterranean)

    The heat of the eastern Mediterranean is quickly wiping out the molluscs that live there.

    As global heating proceeds, the extinction of molluscs will spread to more areas of the sea.

  • 7 January 2021 (No chance of conviction)

    The state of Wisconsin said there is no chance of convicting the cop that shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake. The events as he reported them would justify his plea to have fired in self defense. whether or not he was actually in immediate danger.

    We can’t take for granted that the state reached the correct conclusion. The officials may not have tried hard enough.

  • 7 January 2021 (Pro-democracy politicians arrested)

    * More than 50 pro-democracy politicians and campaigners have been arrested in Hong Kong under the [so-called] national security law.*

  • 7 January 2021 (Crushing of Press Freedom)

    *Assange Wins. The Cost: The Crushing of Press Freedom.* Instead of the freedom Assange deserves, he may get a form of clemency on the grounds that cruelty has left him mentally ill.

  • 7 January 2021 (Will to overthrow democracy)

    (satire) *Rueful Trump Wishes He Knew Republicans This Willing To Overthrow Democracy Earlier In Term.*

  • 7 January 2021 (Patients on the edge of death)

    California hospitals are full, so ambulance crews have been directed not to bring in patients who are on the edge of death.

    This is what happens when you choose to let a communicable disease run rampant.

  • 7 January 2021 (Feral cats)

    Feral cats are pushing many Australian species to extinction.

  • 7 January 2021 (Remain in Mexico Policy)

    The bully‘s “remain in Mexico” policy “needlessly and foreseeably exposed [asylum seekers] to considerable risk of serious harm”, ranging from armed robbery to rape to kidnapping, according to Human Rights Watch. Some of these crimes were committed by Mexican government thugs.

  • 7 January 2021 (Unionized delivery employees)

    Uber propagandized Californians to pass Proposition 22, which allowed companies to treat drivers as precarious contractors. Now Albertsons, which owns several chains of supermarkets (Vons and Safeway, as well as Albertsons) is firing unionized delivery employees and switching to contractors.

    I won’t have a supermarket deliver, not even with union workers, because I can’t do that anonymously.

  • 7 January 2021 (Concept of death)

    (satire) *Scientists Attempt To Convince Public To Take Covid More Seriously By Explaining Concept Of Death.*

  • 7 January 2021 (Unemployment check)

    *More than a million Americans are reportedly still waiting on their first unemployment check thanks in large part to a fragmented U.S. benefit system that has been marred by years of inadequate funding, outdated technology, and right-wing attacks.*

  • 7 January 2021 (Arrest of the bully)

    Iran has asked Interpol to arrest the bully on charges of assassination.

    They have a good reason to do this, but the bully should be tried in the US for trying to overthrow the government and installing a nondemocratic regime.

  • 7 January 2021 (Prohibition of nuclear weapons)

    *Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: The Road There and the Road Ahead.*

  • 7 January 2021 (Carbon tax)

    Advocating a carbon tax, combined with and giving the tax revenue to poor people so that it is revenue-neutral.

  • 7 January 2021 (Covid cognitive problems)

    A study of thousands of people who had Covid-19 for over a month found that 85% of them suffered from cognitive and memory problems six months later. Almost one quarter of them are now unable to work.

    There is, as yet, no way of knowing whether they will ever recover.

    The study did not use a rigorous sample, so it could be subject to various biases. But if it turns out that even 50% have a mental disability, it is still a tremendous risk. The flu might kill you (though the chances are much less than with Covid-19), but it won’t mentally handicap you.

    It is very important to help other people avoid Covid-19.

  • 7 January 2021 (Punishing lawyers)

    China is punishing lawyers who worked for some recently persecuted dissidents.

    It’s one of the ways that the Chinese state ensures that people it wishes to crush do not really have any legal rights, notwithstanding laws which say that they do.

  • 6 January 2021 (Government-run online store)

    Argentina has launched a government-run online store, CorreoCompras, to compete with the near-monopoly private store, MercadoLibre, which is the local equivalent of Amazon.

    Although it may avoid many of the evils of Amazon, this is not guaranteed. It is run by a state-owned company, but a company nonetheless. It will be subject to the pressure to increase sales and that will translate into pressure to do the things Amazon does to increase sales — except whichever things the state orders it not to do.

    However, the fundamental direct evils of Amazon are identifying people when they pay, and making them run non-free JavaScript code. On these issues, CorreoCompras is no better.

  • 6 January 2021 (Federal crime and state crime)

    The corrupter’s call to pressure Raffensperger to carry out election fraud was, it appears, a federal crime and a state crime under the laws of Georgie. Democrats in Congress are rightly demanding to prosecute him. This may convince Biden not to let him off the hook. I hope so.

    It is likely that the corrupter tried pressuring officials in other states, because corrupting Georgia alone would not have brought him victory.

    Some call for Congress to impeach him again, but if there are not enough Republicans in the Senate willing to convict him, that would be futile. Anyway, what’s the use of removing him from office a few days earlier?

    Then we will face the challenge of keeping him in the US to face trial — stopping him from fleeing the previous day to a country which will not extradite him. The flight he has arranged goes to Scotland, but I suspect that would only be a temporary stop on the way to his ultimate destination.

  • 6 January 2021 (Just cause)

    New York City has prohibited fast-food chain restaurants from firing workers, or cutting their work hours, without just cause.

    This should enable workers to be less intimidated by the manager. Criminal abuses such as theft of wages are rife in those restaurants, and this

    protection may enable workers to exercise their legal rights by reporting the abuses.

    I won’t presume that the two bills just passed go far enough — I don’t know enough to have an opinion on that.

  • 6 January 2021 (Contractors union)

    200 Google workers have formed a union. They are determined to include contractors, so they have decided not to apply for formal recognition. We need to change US law so that contract workers, even subcontracted workers, can unionize.

  • 6 January 2021 (Hospital prices)

    A clock running backwards is right four times a day, and occasionally the conman does something good. One of them was to require hospitals to publish their prices for a long list of medical procedures.

    In addition to giving patients the opportunity to say, “I will go elsewhere” — those who are well enough to do so — it is also likely to result in pressure to lower the prices. That will help all patients without insurance. However, it is likely to pressure on insurance companies to pay hospitals more, and thus charge more. Overall it will be an improvement, but the US medical system will still be lousy overall.

    The US needs a national medical system, also known as Medicare for All.

  • 6 January 2021 (Asylum)

    *Mexico’s Lopez Obrador Wants to Give Asylum to Julian Assange.*

  • 6 January 2021 (Fossil-fuel non-proliferation)

    A privately designed treaty uses the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a model to end the spread of fossil fuel extraction.

  • 6 January 2021 (Teledildo)

    A question to ponder: if you are using one of those teledildos with bad security, and a cracker takes control of it, what could the cracker do to you with it?

    If it were Durand Durand’s sex machine, which he uses to try to kill Barbarella, that crack could be deadly (unless you’re as innocent in your sexuality as Barbarella). But if it’s only a vibrator, you could resist its effects until you take it off.

    The one thing the toy could really do for the cracker is snoop on you for per. That would be in addition to snooping on you for the manufacturer — which is exactly what the manufacturer designed it to do.

    So if you don’t want to be snooped on, don’t use that thing at all. Nearly all products in the Internet of Things are designed to snoop on the “owner”, and worse.

    Demand a teledildo run by free software so that you can control who, if anyone, can communicate with it.

  • 6 January 2021 (Fighting neofascist Republicans)

    *In 2021, the Best Way to Fight Neofascist Republicans Is to Fight Neoliberal Democrats.*

    “Neoliberal” is a valid name for the right-wing ideology that “moderate” Democrats support, but I’d rather call it by a name that says what is wrong with it: “plutocratism” or “dooH niboR“.

  • 6 January 2021 (Assange extradition case)

    More about the extradition case against Assange.

  • 6 January 2021 (Milan reducing greenhouse emissions)

    Milan is taking advantage of the hiatus in office work and tourism to move decisively to reduce greenhouse emissions.

    The one bad thing about the electric cars is that they have done nothing to reduce the tracking they implement.

  • 6 January 2021 (WHO team studying Covid’s origins)

    *China blocks entry to WHO team studying Covid’s origins.*

    Their plan was to visit Wuhan to investigate how Covid-19 transferred to human hosts. I’m curious about what they would do to investigate this.

  • 6 January 2021 (Privatized deportation prisons)

    The US deportation thugs cover up the cruelty of the privatized deportation prisons by sending a privatized inspection team to visit and report that everything is entirely according to specs.

  • 6 January 2021 (Urgent: Urge your senators to vote no on Neera Tanden)

    US citizens: call on your senators to vote no on Neera Tanden.

    This petition has trouble when Javascript is disabled, but here is a workaround for the trouble.

    When you sign the petition with Javascript disabled, it will display a page containing a URL. That URL will start with the text “[URL]” — literally “[“, “U”, “R”, “L” and “]”. That text needs to be replaced with the proper hostname.

    The address bar of the browser will contain the proper hostname. Thus, what you should do is to erase all the text in the address bar except the host name. Then copy the text from the page contents, except for “[URL]”, into the address bar after the host name.

    If you made the mistake of including two slashes, or no slashes, after the host name, fix that manually.

    Then visit that page, fill in the form, and finish signing.

  • 6 January 2021 (Urgent: Support for the Green New Deal)

    US citizens: state your support for the Green New Deal.

  • 5 January 2021 (Denial of reality)

    Reagan was a forerunner for the wrecker’s denial of reality, practicing some of the same forms of denial of reality and cruelty.

  • 5 January 2021 (Proud Boys leader arrested)

    The head of the right-wing intimidation group, the Proud Boys, has been arrested for threatening actions in a rally.

  • 5 January 2021 (Flight risk)

    There are signs the conman may be planning to flee the US before Jan 20.

    If his first stop is Scotland, that doesn’t mean he will stay there. It would be natural for him to flee to a country that would protect him, such as Russia.

  • 5 January 2021 (Pay for prison visit)

    Assad’s regime makes prisoners’ families pay heavily to get the prisoners released, or even to visit them.

    US prisons make the relatives pay heavily even for phone calls with the prisoners — and since those relatives are often very poor, this may be as hard for them as thousand-dollar bribes are for Syrians.

  • 5 January 2021 (No extradition)

    The judge in Assange’s extradition case, who had appeared persistently prejudiced against him, ruled against extradition.

    This would be an occasion to celebrate, but the decision is not final. The UK government will appeal it.

    Additionally, the judge cited as reasons only the cruelty of the US prison system. This means there will be no protection in the UK from US efforts to criminalize journalism.

    Background.

  • 5 January 2021 (Oil tanker seized)

    Iranian forces seized a South Korean oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.

    Both Biden and Iran’s leaders have said they want to reestablish the non-nuclear deal as soon as possible. So why seize a tanker? That won’t help Iran get what it wants.

    When the wrecker engages in violent acts toward Iran, we understand this as trying to thwart renewal of the agreement.

    When someone in Iran engages in violent acts toward the US, we must speculate that it is someone who has some power and is trying to thwart renewal of the agreement.

  • 5 January 2021 (Chopsticks art)

    Converting used bamboo chopsticks by the million into furniture and art.

  • 5 January 2021 (Lies for disenfranchisement)

    Georgia’s lawyers lied to a Federal court to justify their arbitrary and unjustified disenfranchisement of almost 200,000 black voters.

    Palast’s team may win in the end, but it will be too late for them to vote in the crucial Jan 5 senate runoff.

    In charge of this is same Brad Raffensperger who continues to resist the conman’s pressure to declare the Georgia presidential election (which he was in charge of) to be fraudulent and overturn it.

    Doing the right thing once when it is difficult does not make up for doing wrong on several other occasions. However, it makes me wonder why Raffensperger stubbornly defends democracy on one occasion while trashing it eagerly on others.

  • 5 January 2021 (Manipulation techniques)

    The most important of the techniques used by Facebook (and other antisocial media) to addict and manipulate victims.

  • 5 January 2021 (Maybe not a good thing)

    Even Facebook staff are starting to doubt whether Facebook’s existence is a good thing.

  • 3 January 2021 (Urgent: Oppose Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture)

    US citizens: call on your senators to vote against Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture.

    This petition has trouble when Javascript is disabled, but here is a workaround for the trouble.

    When you sign the petition with Javascript disabled, it will display a page containing a URL. That URL will start with the text “[URL]” — literally “[“, “U”, “R”, “L” and “]”. That text needs to be replaced with the proper hostname.

    The address bar of the browser will contain the proper hostname. Thus, what you should do is to erase all the text in the address bar except the host name. Then copy the text from the page contents, except for “[URL]”, into the address bar after the host name.

    If you made the mistake of including two slashes, or no slashes, after the host name, fix that manually.

    Then visit that page, fill in the form, and finish signing.

    If you sign, please spread the word!

  • 3 January 2021 (Money for War but Not Public Services?)

    *Jeremy Corbyn: Why Is There Always Money for War but Not Public Services?*

  • 3 January 2021 (Terrorist pages on Facebook)

    Facebook says it works very hard to catch terrorist pages, but it’s amazing how much it does not find.

  • 3 January 2021 (Governments using Facebook for disinformation)

    Many governments and political factions, in many countries, are making massive use of Facebook for disinformation.

    The employee in charge of dealing this was fired, and posted internally a report on the magnitude of the problem. It seems that in most of these cases the staff mean well but they have no idea how to cope.

  • 4 January 2021 (Britain willing to trade away everything)

    *‘Global Britain’ is willing to trade away everything. Including scruples.*

    I told you so, Britons.

    For leaving the EU to be an opportunity to do anything good, you needed Labour and Corbyn to be in charge.

  • 3 January 2021 (Geofencing and GPS on farms)

    Geofencing and GPS can replace fences on farms. They can also direct cows to visit certain spots to eat wild plants there while protecting other spots.

  • 3 January 2021 (South African game reserves culled)

    *South African game reserves forced to cull animals as Covid halts tourism.*

    This shows how precarious laborious protection of endangered species becomes when human society hits a bump.

  • 3 January 2021 (Vicious looters threaten Peruvian archaeologist)

    *Squatters issue death threats to archaeologist who discovered oldest city in the Americas.*

    Vicious looters of our past deserve severe punishment.

  • 3 January 2021 (Parody news report of God impregnating Mary)

    Ireland’s public broadcasting group broadcast a parody news report which said that God had been convicted of forcibly impregnating Mary but was given a suspended sentence.

    Speaking fictionally, do we know for a fact that Mary was unwilling?

    I wish I could have downloaded this, but the satire site seems to have deleted it. Can anyone find a copy?

  • 3 January 2021 (UK in Covid-19 crisis)

    In the UK, during the summer and fall, an influential right-wing pressure group pushed for “open up and ignore the virus”, much as happened in the US. They cited Sweden as an example of success to imitate. They got funding associated with the Koch brothers.

    They got what they wanted, and now the UK has a Covid-19 crisis and hospitals are overwhelmed.

    The details were different in the US, but it is the same right-wing death march. I wonder if it is funded by the same killers in both countries.

    I do wonder why Sweden avoided having a major first wave when other countries had one. Even though it wasn’t a lasting solution, it is an interesting phenomenon that might be useful.

  • 3 January 2021 (Crucial lessons of 2020)

    Seven crucial lessons 2020 taught to reality-oriented Americans.

  • 3 January 2021 (Poverty ratchet rule exceptions)

    House Democrats “demoted” the poverty ratchet rule, “Paygo”, by adopting exceptions for laws that address the consequences of the climate crisis or Covid-19.

    I call it the “poverty ratchet rule” because it said that change would give the poor more support had to be counteracted by a change to cut other support for the poor. The result was that any change that cut support for the poor without any accompanying increment, that reduction was effectively permanent.

    Adopting a rule like Paygo represents prioritizing the interests of the rich over the interests of giving he poor a decent life. In other words, the rule is a triumph of neoliberalism and dooH niboR.

  • 3 January 2021 (Israeli soldier shoots Palestinian in back of neck)

    Israeli soldiers were trying to take a generator away from a Palestinian house; some Palestinians were holding on to the generator, so the soldier shot Haroun Abu Aram in the back of the neck and paralyzed him permanently.

    Israel was demolishing the house, having declared it “illegal”, surely based on one of the usual unjust pretexts.

  • 3 January 2021 (Facebook’s power over the world)

    Comparing Facebook to a doomsday machine: its power over the world is too great, so we must get rid of it before it wrecks things.

    I am proud that I never had a Facebook account. But if you did have one, it is not too late to delete it.

  • 3 January 2021 (Iran intensifies persecution of Baha’is)

    Iran has intensified its continuing persecution of Baha’is, raiding the homes of 50 of them and seizing their computers.

  • 3 January 2021 (Civilian Conservation Corps)

    Biden should start a new Civilian Conservation Corps, to repeat its achievements while correcting some mistakes.

  • 3 January 2021 (HSBC closed bank accounts of pro-democracy exile)

    HSBC bank closed the bank accounts of exiled Hong Kong legislator Ted Hui and his family. It relented later after public outrage, but merely trying this is unacceptable. Maybe that company should have to choose between doing business in Hong Kong and doing business in Europe.

  • 3 January 2021 (People’s capacity for cooperation)

    *For psychologists, the pandemic has shown people’s capacity for cooperation.*

    When people don’t cooperate with Covid-19 protection rules, look for an explanation in terms of practical needs.

    The US is a special case: the wrecker has trained millions of ideological covidiots. But that’s not normal behavior for humans.

  • 3 January 2021 (When people with privilege ignore Covid rules)

    *People started breaking Covid rules when they saw those with privilege ignore them.*

  • 3 January 2021 (India holding vaccination drills)

    India is holding vaccination drills to prepare to vaccinate 300 million people within six months.

    I hope that it will continue by vaccinating everyone else in the country and that no one will be denied vaccination.

  • 3 January 2021 (Business-supremacy treaties)

    Foreign corporations are using I-Sue-Democratic-States clauses in business-supremacy treaties to sue the US and other countries for losses they suffered due to measures to suppress Covid-19.

    Maybe now we can get rid of those business-supremacy treaties, or at least those clauses. The business-supremacy treaties are harmful as a whole because they are instruments of dooH niboR. They may cause an increase in overall economic growth, but poor people don’t share in the benefit.

  • 3 January 2021 (Iraq unable to address calamities)

    The US occupation of Iraq destroyed the structure of the country, and brought on a series of calamities which Iraq has never been able to address.

    The US occupation did not cause Covid-19, but its consequences hamper dealing with it.

    A million Iraqis live in refugee camps, including children whom the state treats as unpersons. Meanwhile, most of Mosul was wrecked by PISSI and the war to kick out PISSI, and most of the wrecked buildings just sit there with the bones of the people who died in them. Nobody dares clean up the wreckage because of the booby traps.

  • 3 January 2021 (Heat island effect)

    The urban heat island effect is more accurately described as a minority and poor people’s neighborhoods heat island effect. As heat waves cause a fair number of deaths, this contributes to the gap in life expectancy between poor and non-poor and between disprivileged demographics and others.

    Low-tech changes in building and street designs can reduce the heat island; some of them also reduce global heating by reflecting light back at the sky.

  • 2 January 2021 (Big Pharma to raise prices of medications)

    *Big Pharma to Raise Prices of 300 Medications on Jan. 1.*

    To prevent this requires at least a national medical system. More radical changes in the system for developing and selling drugs could be an improvement too.

  • 2 January 2021 (Women in Pakistan charged with “criminal defamation”)

    Pakistan is charging women with “criminal defamation” for accusing a famous star of groping them.

    It is an injustice to make defamation a crime. Doing so invites repression. Also, we should refuse to pay heed to vague criticisms such as “inappropriate” whatever. If an action is wrong, you should describe it in a concrete way which shows what sort of wrong it is.

  • 2 January 2021 (Free range parenting laws)

    *Let’s Pass Some More Free-Range Parenting Laws in 2021!*

  • 2 January 2021 (Professor of delusion)

    Stop giving a media platform to the professor of delusion who keeps predicting that Covid-19 will fade away to almost nothing, any month now.

  • 2 January 2021 (Betting against the ideas of QAnonsense)

    It is possible to get rich by systematically betting against the latest ideas of QAnonsense.

  • 2 January 2021 (Jet engine pollution)

    Very small particles of pollution, produced by jet engines, reduce people’s heart and lung function when they are downwind of an airport.

  • 2 January 2021 (Arrest and torture of Rohinga man)

    Bangladeshi thugs arrested and tortured a Rohinga man, Abul Karam, for taking photographs of the forced transfer of other Rohinga to a dangerous island which is likely to be flooded.

  • 2 January 2021 (The rapid-spreading variant of Covid-19)

    The rapid-spreading variant of Covid-19 may have been in the US since October.

    I wonder whether the recent increase is due to that variant.

  • 2 January 2021 (Repeal of Section 230)

    *Critics Warn Repeal of Section 230 ‘Would Be Devastating for Human Rights, Social Movements, and Marginalized People’.*

    In other words, don’t sell our freedom permanently for a fixed sum of money, even if it is money for millions of poor hostages.’

  • 2 January 2021 (The remaining US local newspapers)

    A private equity fund is buying up the remaining US local newspapers.

  • 2 January 2021 (“Settler” hate crimes)

    *”Settler” hate crimes escalating beyond already high “routine”, army helps erect settler outposts, destroys Palestinian homes and farm buildings.*

  • 2 January 2021 (Construction of colonies in Palestine)

    Israel is reported to be planning to approve a lot of new construction of colonies in Palestine before Biden takes office.

    The assumption is that he won’t have the gumption to denounce anything that was previously approved by the wrecker. Maybe he will do that, but he shouldn’t.

  • 2 January 2021 (EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions)

    The EPA has regulated greenhouse gas emissions, but grandfathered all existing models of planes, so that the regulation is a no-op.

  • 2 January 2021 (British author gets 8 years in prison)

    Iran has sentenced a British author to 8 years in prison, apparently for writing about the state of things in Iran.

  • 2 January 2021 (Pakistan’s repression forces)

    Pakistan’s repression forces have disappeared thousands of people and tortured them. In most cases the victim is never seen again, so the thugs have probably killed them. A fraction are released alive. A fraction are dumped on the street, dead.

    Human rights defenders that oppose disappearances and torture are a specially preferred target.

  • 2 January 2021 (Surveillance of workers)

    *The pandemic has taken surveillance of workers to the next level.*

    The extreme of this is represented by the Amazon warehouse, where a worker’s every move is controlled by the computer system. This is one of many reasons to refuse to buy from Amazon.

    Unfortunately, surveillance of workers is not limited to Amazon. I think states should pass laws to limit surveillance of workers. It should cover independent contractors as well as employees.

    The law should completely forbid demanding that workers run any specific software on their own computers (keep in mind that portable phones are computers); the employer who wants that must furnish the computer at no charge.

  • 1 January 2021 (Rapid spread of Covid-19 by covidiots)

    Covidiots in the UK are rapidly spreading Covid-19 by disregarding even the most basic precautions to avoid it.

    Stores should be padlocked if the staff fail to call the cops when anyone enters without a mask.

  • 1 January 2021 (Land subsidence)

    *Land subsidence ‘will affect almost fifth of global population’.*

  • 1 January 2020 (McConnell’s trolling)

    Don’t fall for McConnell’s trolling. There is no significant difference between attaching outrageous riders to an aid bill and simply refusing to pass it.

    If you let him get your goat, he gets to look good to his backers.

  • 1 January 2020 (Drone submarine captured)

    Indonesia captured a Chinese drone submarine in Indonesian waters.

  • 1 January 2020 (Hopeful about the climate)

    Greenpeace UK: *Amid 2020’s gloom, there are reasons to be hopeful about the climate in 2021.*

  • 1 January 2020 (Danger of Covid-19 for immigrants)

    The danger of Covid-19 to unauthorized immigrants in California is so great that many feel safer in Mexico.

    This partly because they are scared that if they get tested for Covid-19 the deportation thugs will grab them at the clinic.

  • 1 January 2020 (Whales are threatened)

    Decades after the more-or-less ban on whaling, whales are again threatened — by the noise of ships, and other things people do.

  • 1 January 2020 (Secret nuclear weapons)

    Desmond Tutu: *Joe Biden should end the US pretense over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons.*

  • 1 January 2020 (Secret service loyalty)

    The Secret Service will shift some agents out of the detail that protects the president, because their loyalty may be to the conman rather than to their job.

  • 1 January 2020 (Locking up children)

    *[Michigan] Judges Are Locking Up Children for Noncriminal Offenses Like Repeatedly Disobeying Their Parents and Skipping School.*

  • 1 January 2020 (Fired for denouncing missing money)

    The directors of the California Public Utilities Commission fired its executive director, accusing her of various offenses including a false accusation that 200 million dollars had gone missing. But she was not lying. It really had gone missing. And many other CPUC affairs were in a disorderly or improper state.

  • 1 January 2020 (Fanatical hate)

    Fanatical Muslims in Pakistan demolished a Hindu temple as an act of hatred.

    This is comparable to what fanatical Hindus in India did to a historic mosque, the Babri Masjid.

    These two acts of hatred are reflections of each other, but that doesn’t mean they cancel each other out. They do cancel on one dimension, the Hindu-Muslim dimension. However, on the dimension of kindness-hate, they both contribute to hate, and they are both wrong.

  • 1 January 2020 (Political backing of abortion rights)

    With 2/3 of Americans supporting abortion rights, it is possible to use that political backing to defend those rights.

  • 1 January 2020 (Cleaning up Fukushima reactors)

    Cleaning up Fukushima reactors 2 and 3 may be impossible to begin, since the radiation level at the shield plugs is so high that workers cannot survive removing them.

    If it is possible to find terminally ill workers who are physically fit enough to do the work but would like to die soon, maybe they could do this.

  • 1 January 2020 (Strengthening efforts against plutocrats)

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus has adopted a more disciplined structure which should strengthen its efforts against plutocratist representatives, both the Democrats and the Republicans.

  • 1 January 2020 (Investigation into ammonium nitrate)

    Lebanon’s prime minister says he started an investigation into the ammonium nitrate that was stored in Beirut — and it exploded just afterward.

    He says that the timing raises suspicion that the chemical was detonated intentionally, and I agree. I also wonder why he did not tell us this point right after the explosion.

  • 1 January 2020 (Congresscritter dying of Covid-19)

    A newly elected Republican congresscritter died of Covid-19 a few days before taking office.

    He probably brought it on himself by refusing to take precautions. And he probably joined in causing hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths.

    That doesn’t mean he deserved to die. No one ever deserves to die. Any person’s death is an inexcusable harm, whatever wrong perse may have done.

    However, his absence from the world is no loss to the world.

    Will this help wake Republicans from their cult-induced stupor?


  • 2021: January – April Political Notes

    More Story on Source:

    * Source→ *

    0

    Publication author

    offline 1 day

    SFi Official

    0
    Comments: 0Publics: 1667Registration: 11-03-2021