Inaudible audio recordings were presented as evidence against the al-Jazeera journalists on trial in Egypt.
The families of 1/5 of the children in the US had trouble getting food in 2012.
400 environmental activists have been killed in Brazil, presumably by people involved in illegal deforestation.
White House Approves Coal Dust Rules Aimed At Dropping Rates Of Black Lung Disease.
No one can reliably estimate the costs of global heating, but it is likely to be a lot more expensive than preventing global heating.
Florida Is ’Ground Zero’ for Sea Level Rise. And there’s no use putting dikes around Miami, since the rock underneath the city is porous.
Arguments against Seymour Hersh’s claim that Syrian rebels launched a chemical weapons attack with Turkish backing. I linked to that article previously.
The US Border patrol is converting whole regions miles away from US borders into total surveillance and oppression zones. All the roads out of the Tohono O odham reservations have permanent checkpoints.
The UK’s right-wing government excuses cruelty to disabled people by claiming they are faking disability. Plutocratist governments know better than to claim “all” poor people are to blame for their own poverty or that “all” disabled people are fakes. Such a simplistic claim would be recognized as false. So they arrange complex systems of rules, […]
Protests against the TPP are following Obama through Asia.
In Eastern Ukraine, a chaotic scramble of militias that don’t really aim to be more than an excuse for a Russian takeover.
Republicans have blocked federal funding for research into patterns of gun violence, but Professor Wintemute continues it with private funding. Some of his conclusions are surprising. Republicans are frothing at the mouth at the idea that we might learn which forms of gun control are effective for reducing murders.
The US is attacking Yemeni Islamists very intensely. Killing members of a guerrilla group, even fairly many of them, does not defeat it if they can recruit more.
California is considering a bill to increase taxes on CEOs whose pay far exceeds that of the lowest paid workers in the company. It is a step in the right direction, but I have a feeling that a 5% increase in taxes won’t create much pressure for CEOs to reduce their incomes drastically. As for […]
The Afghan government has a 20% budget gap and will have trouble paying salaries if it doesn’t get aid. The amount at stake is tiny compared with what the US spent on the war. This seems to be penny wise and pound foolish.
In the US: tell Safeway to label GMOs in their products.
Iranian political prisoner Emad Bahavar says that he was forced to run past lines of thugs that hit him with sticks, organized torture rather than spontaneous venting of sadism.
A large strike has hit Chinese factories; workers are concerned their wages will be stolen.
US citizens: support universal single-payer health care in the US.
The inter-ethnic conflict in South Sudan is extending into genocidal killings.
Although life in North Korea is very hard, some defectors in South Korea want to return there. This one was apparently in a privileged position in North Korea. He has experienced poverty in South Korea despite the country’s overall wealth, but he may not have a clear picture of the poverty of most North Koreans.
After wasting most of our helium on party balloons, we don’t have enough for scientific experiments.
The UK’s National Health Service has been ordered to use subcontractors, and naturally it causes things to go wrong. The privatization ideology says that having a private company do something will automatically make it better than if the state does it. It’s only true in special cases.
To value natural systems in monetary figures adopts a framing designed to justify getting rid of them. It also opens the door for governments to use dishonest figures to justify getting rid of them.
Obama told Elizabeth Warren she shouldn’t head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because she made banksters “very nervous”. In other words, they feared she would lead the agency to do a vigorous job of protecting the public from them, and Obama was uncomfortable with that.
A US appeals court ordered Obama to release the supposed legal justifications for assassinating Anwar al-Awlaki.
Wildlife in the uninhabited area around Chernobyl shows serious harm from radiation. Ominously, some animals show more damage than their parents had; the effect seems to be cumulative.
The only crime for which US national security officials get prosecuted is leaking. Torture, assassination and perjury are considered ok. Cracking down even more, the perjurer Clapper has just banned all spy agency staff from talking to the press without advance permission.
10 years after Mordechai Vanunu’s release from prison, Israel still forbids him from emigrating to join his family.
A company meant to collect data on students in the US has shut down because states banned schools from sending student data to it. This demonstrates that we can stop corporate surveillance on the Internet if we are willing to go to the necessary lengths.
Australia’s immigration minister seems to have lied completely about a riot in the immigration prison on Manus island, to put the blame on the imprisoned boat people.
Everyone: tell Pepsico to stop buying palm oil made from deforestation.
The Meritocracy Myth: How the Super-Rich Really Make Their Money.
Austerity in Greece caused 500 extra suicides in 2009/10. Poverty has got deeper since then; I would expect that another 500 or 1000 have committed suicide since then.
Jerry Hartfield has spent 33 years in prison for a conviction that was overturned on appeal.
Kerry’s peace negotiations went “poof” all of a sudden when it was revealed that they were a balloon full of hot air all along.
The US and UK, by distorting the picture of their surveillance and claiming it is compatible with democracy and human rights, provide a precedent for governments even less democratic to make similar false claims.
The UK government said its cuts won’t starve the poor because “emergency funds” are available, but they are filtered through a system that makes it hard for poor people to get those funds, if they even think of asking. They seem to be part of the UK right-wing government’s policy of shafting the poor, pretending […]
The New York Times avoided coverage of a Palestinian journalist’s arrest, complying with an Israeli gag order.
Malta may hold a referendum to end the licensed hunting of birds migrating north to breed. When a bird species is being wiped out, typically many causes are at work. As in the case of global heating, if we want to preserve what is threatened, we must reject arguments of the form, “Let us keep […]
Charging UK patients for crutches is the wedge being used to abolish gratis medical care in the UK. The UK government has been striving for years to destroy the National Health service by underfunding it, denying all the while that that is its goal. The result would be a lousy US-style medical system in which the […]
Over 30 years, each decade has seen an increase in wildfires and drought in the US west. The extreme drought this past winter was made possible by human greenhouse gas emissions; it could not have happened in the climate of 50 years ago.
The callous rich of Palo Alto want to ban homeless people from sleeping in cars. Is there anyone reading this from Palo Alto who would like to launch a street campaign to shame those rich people? If there is a business that supports this law, it would be interesting to make signs condemning them and […]
The NSA is not the only threat to privacy in the US. Local thug departments are installing technology that can track all cars around the city.
The myth that rapists are monsters that could hardly pass for normal men paradoxically helps perpetuate the social toleration of various levels of harassment of women by men that don’t appear subhuman.
A worker in the UK was fired for stating religious disapproval of homosexuality. I think people should be free to state their disapproval of anything at all, and other people should be free to ignore those views.
Landlord companies that bought housing in New York City are going to vicious lengths, even sabotage, to make tenants move out so they can raise rents. Other tenants are shafted because the landlords are being foreclosed on.
Big sports events nowadays leave a permanent legacy of surveillance. Boston has installed cameras across the city that are monitored constantly by an AI system, set up to report anything “unusual” to human thugs. We can have fun with this. How many unusual things can you do on the street each day? Why not back up […]
Enric Duran cheated Spanish banks to fund anticapitalist activities. In the past I would have said that cheating a bank was wrong. Then I learned how much banks cheat everyone else.
The convenience and cheapness of streaming services and corporate remote storage may be impossible to resist, if you are spineless and don’t mind being antisocial. The spineless author made himself susceptible to bad judgment by adopting shallow economic values that show up in the concept of “consuming services”.
How patents stifled American aviation for a decade or more. There is no good reason to have a patent system; it exists due to pressure from the businesses that hold patents.
Everyone: call on the UK to suspend deportation of homosexuals so as to avoid sending people back to countries which threaten to imprison or execute them.
The FBI’s new database of face photos is not just a new way to keep track of photos of criminals. It is a plan to collect photos of millions of people, some who were arrested and not tried, and some who were not accused of anything. And to share them with state thugs, and try […]
Everyone: call on Bayer and Syngenta to drop their lawsuits against the coming ban on neonicotinoid pesticides in Europe.
US citizens: call on the US government to collect what Cliven Bundy owes.
The captain of the Korean ferry that sank faces several criminal charges. I don’t know enough about ferry operations to judge how serious his alleged wrongs were. But it would be unjust to punish him more for these actions than they would punish another captain who did the same things without causing any loss of life. […]
The Cowboy Indian Alliance opposes the Keystone XL pipeline on the ground.
Everyone: pressure AT&T to stop lobbying to ban community-owned network access points.
Supporters of Russia in Eastern Ukraine have reported a firefight with possibly imaginary Ukrainian right-wing fanatics. They stopped reporters from visiting the location of the supposed fight. It appears to be as phony as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
On Russian methods for surveillance of communications.
Palestinian Christians find that Israel blocks them from Jerusalem.
Malaysia’s government has driven the main opposition leader into exile through politically-motivated charges of homosexuality.
Advice: people in the advanced countries could reduce global heating substantially and be happier by working less. In terms of sheer production, we would still have plenty of the things we want if the decrease in production is taken out of the income of the rich. However, most people can’t simply decide to work less. They […]
The UK dumped a million cubic meters of low-level nuclear waste in a site near the shore which is going to be washed away due to global heating.
Armenia faces chilling censorship through a ban on online anonymity.
After the Big Spill, it was clear that the US needs stricter regulation of undersea oil drilling. Oil company lobbying blocked the necessary changes in laws. As a result, we must expect it to happen again.
General el-Sisi is running for president of Egypt, but TV stations are taking his critics off the air.
A bureaucrat’s slip reveals that the UK’s internet censorship agenda respects no limits. The article distinguishes between censorship of illegal material and censorship of material that is not illegal, but that is a mere legal technicality. Mere laws cannot justify censorship; if they try, laws that try to do this only invalidate themselves.
A new medicine that reportedly cures hepatitis C costs $84,000, which means most of the people who need it can’t afford it. If you can hold out 20 years or so, till the patent expires, the price may come down.
Haiti’s US-imposed government has made a vague threat to punish radio stations that make statements that the government does not like. The president was “elected” in a process which was rigged by the US and excluded the only party that has real popular support (Aristide’s party).
Obama’s economic advisors had previously advised and pressured Bill Clinton to deregulate banks. Look at the idiotic reasons that were given. “Other kind of companies are offering similar financial services.” Perhaps we had better extend banking regulations to them. “Other countries have deregulated their banks, and US banks won’t be able to compete unless deregulated too.” Perhaps we […]
Twitter is moving aggressively to extract personal information from its users, for profiling purposes. It may be necessary to develop rules for safe use of Twitter. I am no expert, but I suggest these rules. Use only tweets (no private messages). Conceal your geolocation. Don’t mention what you personally are doing. Tweet only your views and […]
Pakistan: Draft computer crimes law violates human rights.
Childhood stress seems to affect growth of the hippocampus and to make people more prone to depression when older.
Turkish Official Says Twitter Will Help Remove “Malicious Content”. This means recordings purporting to reveal corruption of officials.
It’s not just the NSA that’s doing massive surveillance; the FBI does it too. The NSA circumvents and neutralizes rules against spying on S citizens and people in the US, but the FBI has no such restrictions.
The Venetian region has its own separatist movement. It is the usual sad story: when a country hits an economic crisis, people in wealthier regions of the country start demanding independence so that they won’t have to help the poorer regions. What foolish selfishness, for the not-quite-so-poor to fight against the poor, rather than joining […]
Putin is planning to require registration and strict censorship on bloggers and discussion sites. Anonymity will be forbidden, naturally.
The massive capture of migrating birds in Egypt has reached a level where it endangers some species.
A British MP who was tried and acquitted now believes he was wrong to vote to cut the reimbursement of the legal fees of those who are tried and acquitted.
High pay for company executives has become a status symbol. I don’t want to abolish business as such, but I believe we must put an end to business as we know it (the plutocratic system). We must not be scared to say this.
US citizens: call on Congress to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Obama will scramble for excuses to keep prisoners in Guantanamo once the US ceases to be at war in Afghanistan.
Obama has put off the decision on the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline until after the elections in November. I think Obama intends to approve the pipeline and has intended this all along. He knows what harm it will do, and if he cared greatly about those problems, he would have cancelled it long ago. I […]
Assad’s forces have besieged 18,000 in a part of Damascus, and they are running out of food. If the US wants to do something in Syria, how about air-dropping food to them? Meanwhile, Assad’s planes are bombing Aleppo into rubble.
US citizens: demand transparency in the decision about the Keystone XL pipeline.
Tennessee is considering a bill to punish women that use some illegal drugs while pregnant. This law is not just nasty, it is also likely to lead pregnant addicts to avoid prenatal care, which will backfire against the babies. The law is therefore likely to harm rather than help those babies. It is wrong to […]
The UK is considering selling taxpayers’ tax return data, “anonymized” (though that may not do much good).
Armed right-wing tax rebels in Nevada stood off US forces to preserve the right to graze cattle in a wildlife preserve and not pay fees. Their readiness to resist the state power would be admirable if they were doing it in a good cause, but they are doing it for the sake of their own exploitation.
Orange, a mobile phone network in France, gives all its customers’ call data to France’s NSA.
A broad grass-roots campaign calls for keeping BP suspended from new US government contracts.
The US and UK overthrew the elected government of Azerbaijan in 1993 and installed a dictator, in order to help BP get a good deal over exporting oil from Azerbaijan. This enabled BP to drill oil wells in the Caspian sea, and one of them exploded. BP’s men lied to Congress, saying said their operations […]
Irish thugs appear to have made a habit of recording prisoners’ conversations in jail with their lawyers.
A Spanish judge defies the right-wing government’s attempts to shut down his investigation into Guantanamo torture.
The US government focuses on the threat of terrorism by Islamist fanatics, while mostly disregarding right-wing terrorists who in fact do more harm. I am not saying that the US should treat right-wing extremists as it has treated Muslims, denying them freedom of expression and association on strained pretexts and fishing for crimes to accuse them […]
Here’s an example of Pielke’s misrepresentation of science.
Thomas Piketty’s research demonstrates that the natural tendency in capitalism is to make the rich richer and increase inequality; the period from 1940 to 1975 was an unusual exception. Thus, we need laws and taxes to spread the wealth around. I don’t think we should argue about whether this should be done through higher taxes […]
Chris Christie is making a second try to drive a natural gas pipeline through a protected wildlife reserve.
A leaked recording purports to be a conversation between ministers in Turkey planning a false-flag attack as an excuse to attack Syria. I would not put this past the Turkish government, but at the same time I think that if it wanted to intervene in Syria it would just do so, with no need for […]
Organizing collectively in wealthy countries to demand better working conditions for the people that make our clothing. I support these efforts, but they are aiming at treating persistent symptoms of a known underlying problem: the “free trade” treaties. They destroyed unionization and labor rights around the world by enabling companies to shift their production anywhere. […]
In remote US national parks, fish have high levels of mercury. That’s because it spreads through the air. I wonder if some of the mercury in Alaskan parks came from Chinese coal-fired electric plants.
Officials begging for more ships to capture drug smugglers cite a list of reasons that demonstrate that legalization would do a better job.
Iran has offered to redesign its nuclear reactor in Arak so that it can’t produce much plutonium. Perhaps they will redesign it to make arak with heavy alcohol.
Iraq veterans in the US commit a substantial number of killings, most of the time not noticed by the press. This is the most extreme aspect of broader psychological damage caused by sending people to fight a war that only lies can justify.
A study finds that every stage of fracking spreads toxic substances.
The US systematically violates human rights to imprison Muslims thought to be leaning towards terrorism. We’re not talking, here, about people who have committed real acts of violence. These people have not done that, and most of them have not even planned to do that.
A crowdfunded genetic engineering project aims to produce a glow-in-the-dark variety of arabidopsis, just for hack value. I don’t see any danger in glowing arabidopsis. What scares me is the possibility of making viruses this way. However, that can’t be prevented by the sort of regulation that people are thinking of; a totally secret project could […]
The US plans to spend billions on new nuclear bombs.
Discussing the effects of marijuana can rot your brain, if you’re not careful.
It may be quite difficult to design AIs with desires such that we can be sure they won’t take horrible revenge on humans. However, the problem may not arise if we stick to AIs that don’t have desires.
Comparing the bombing in Boston and the bombings in Baghdad. Dubya is responsible, though indirectly, for all of these bombings even though the ones he directly ordered were back in 2003.
Illegal logging is rife in the Peruvian Amazon. Many logging concessions are being canceled.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that fossil fuel subsidies are ten times the subsidies for renewable energy. It is unconscionable to subsidize an industry as profitable as fossil fuels, even if it were not causing world-wide disaster.
Programmers: help the EFF develop free software to send emails to Congress.
Caroline Lucas: The fight against fracking continues — and I’m proud to rejoin it. Russia has started extracting oil from the Arctic and shipping it to Europe. Greenpeace’s efforts did not succeed in blocking this.
Tea Party, Taxes and Why the Original Patriots Would’ve Revolted Against the Surveillance State.
The media has an “anything but carbon” prejudice: any scientific paper claiming that global heating is caused by something other than carbon emissions gets tremendous media attention.
Snowden’s question to Putin about massive surveillance in Russia was designed to give him a chance to make claims that could subsequently be studied and challenged. Given Snowden’s precarious position, I think it took courage to do this and courage to talk about it after.
Thugs rampaged through Evin prison, where some of Iran’s political prisoners are held, breaking prisoners’ bones.
1/5 of the farmland in China is polluted with toxic metals.
Over 4 million US children go to school within a mile of a dangerous chemical facility.
Botswana has banned Bushmen from living in the desert and hunting, supposedly for the sake of wildlife protection, but perhaps really to enhance the income of the president’s family. Recruiting them as a society to fight poaching seems likely to be more effective.
Hillary Clinton would be another Obama, giving lip service to the progressive causes that most Americans support, but only until she gets their vote.
8 million Americans have signed up under Obama’s health care program. It is good, as far as it goes; it just doesn’t go far enough.
South Africa plans to farm rhinos to sell their horns. I don’t see anything wrong in principle with farming rhinos for their horns. If the farmed horn is cheap enough, no one will bother poaching. However, this article claims it will be expensive and the gangs will not slow down their poaching. The fact that […]
Companies that amass personal data, such as Facebook, wield power that compares with states. Since they are not democratically controlled by the people whose data they control, their power is illegitimate.
Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want? Their money has spread acceptance of their pro-exploitation ideas, which used to be considered shockingly extremist in the US.
Illinois is trying to get the microplastics out of its refuse, and thus out of its waterways, but it’s going slow about it.
Technology and data mining enable companies to indirectly bypass nondiscrimination laws.
UK anti-fracking protesters including a Green member of Parliament were cleared of criminal charges over an anti-fracking protest. Now who is going to make the thugs stop arresting anti-fracking protesters.
Big business in Seattle, trying to undermine implementation of a living wage law, have made a plan to disguise their lobbying as coming from mom-and-pop stores.
Ecuadorians have collected enough signatures for a referendum on whether to extract oil from Yasuní.
Everyone: sign this petition asking the governor of Tennessee to cancel contracts with privatized prison company CCA.
ALEC is pushing state laws to pressure the US government to give states control of federal land, the idea being that the states will be pushovers for mining companies. They refer to this with the romantic-sounding name of “sagebrush rebellion” to make it look like something other than exploitation. The Australian government is giving states […]
In the UK, in a private test, 40% of prepared “lamb” dishes tested proved to have other kinds of meat. To address this problem, the UK will cut the budget for testing food.
A genetically modified plant is being tested which produces oils that fish normally get from marine algae. Since they are not used with a special pesticide regime, and would either be fed to fish or used as a dietary additive, I don’t think these plants are likely to harm health of humans or wildlife. However, […]
Pennsylvania Teen Convicted Of A Crime For Recording Bullies At School. I think that schools should have a policy of authorizing students who are being bullied to make recordings of the bullies, so as to show the school what the bullies are doing, but these should not be distributed outside the school. (In particular, they […]
How US millionaires pay lower income tax rates than middle-class Americans.
US citizens: call on the US government to pursue the thug that followed an unarmed Black teenager home then killed him there.
Bombshell: Study Ties Epic California Drought, Frigid East To Manmade Climate Change.
US citizens: tell Congress, don’t prohibit states from requiring labeling of GMOs.
A leader in the Greek Golden Dawn party praised Hitler. Now there is no doubt that it is a neo-Nazi party. One of the “great” things that Hitler did was conquer Greece. I wonder how Greeks feel about that.
US citizens: call for a ban on fracking in US national parks.
The IPCC has laid out clearly what the world needs to do to avoid global heating disaster. Since most of the emissions come from ten countries (including China and the US), these countries above all must reduce emissions.
High-pressure education in the UK can keep children in school up to 10 hours a day, denying them any time for personal life.