The FBI turned a member of a Guantanamo prisoner’s defense team into an informant. The FBI did this trying to figure out how a prisoner’s writings reached the press. The US government is keeping the prisoners incommunicado so that they can’t tell us about how they were tortured. In effect, the whole system of “military […]
US citizens: call on Obama to withdraw the nomination of a bankster as an official of the Commerce Department. The bankster just got a 9-million-dollar bonus for moving to a position where he will be in a position to help his former employer.
The UK national health service pays a data broker to hand out forms — and ask new mothers (still recuperating in hospital) for personal data while they’re at it. These are the sorts of things that teach children that “everyone and everything is for sale, all the time, and there’s nothing that shouldn’t be for sale”. […]
ALEC is about to publish another “Rich States, Poor States” report which grades states on how friendly they are to the rich. It turns out this was funded by the Kochs.
Everyone: call on Kellogg’s to treat its employees and farm workers decently.
Egyptian dissidents, imprisoned without trial, say that thugs raped them in prison.
The US government tells the public its military plans in Africa are small, but it tells construction companies something rather different.
US citizens: ask your congresscritter to cosponsor the Sunshine in Litigation Act.
US banksters just about always bounce back from any disgrace, since they bounce on their piles of money. Poor Americans convicted of comparatively minor crimes are locked out from many careers and educational opportunities. Practically speaking, all they are allowed to be is criminals. The banksters’ crimes are far worse; the harshest consequences should be reserved […]
Chattel slavery in the US was officially abolished after the Civil War, but current US prison practices are quite similar to modern slavery.
Greenpeace: tell the fossil fuel industry its time is up. Fossil fuel interests corrupt our governments (including Canada, Australia, the UK and the US), and our media, to push the world into continued dependence on fossil fuels. This is a conspiracy to commit mass murder, and all those involved should be put behind bars.
A preliminary study of a small number of US mothers found high levels of glyphosate in the breast milk of several of them. A larger study is called for, but what’s clear already is that US safety standards have been corrupted by powerful businesses.
A public school teacher calls on other teachers to fight against the billionaires’ plan to privatize public schools and turn education into a standardized test. They plan a protest at the Gates Foundation on June 26.
A leaked copy of part of the Senate’s report on CIA torture says that the CIA tortured lots of people and went beyond what it had got approval for. That the CIA lied to the rest of the US government about its torture practices does not seem implausible to me. However, we must not let […]
CO2 makes many small fish behave dangerously, which endangers the entire marine ecosystem. This is not to mention how it can wipe out molluscs and coral.
British journalist Sarah Harrison explains why she must not return to the UK: her lawyers warn she could be interrogated about her sources, and imprisoned if she does not answer. The only excuse they need is for some thug to say he had a “hunch” she might be a “terrorist.” And if the thug does […]
The UK is arresting anti-fascist protesters en masse and forbidding them from protesting any further.
Being a black male in a US city is like being an American in East Berlin in 1980: continual harassment by thugs, due to who you are rather than what you do, creates a sense of constant oppression. The US government is considering new rules about racial profiling, that would not change much.
UK thugs made three tries to gag the whistleblower who exposed falsification of crime statistics.
The head officers of UK thug departments UK have imposed a system of lying about crime statistics, ordering other thugs to help lie. Crime statistics are not all that UK thugs lie about.
Four main phone companies in Sweden have ceased retaining customers’ call records, based on the court ruling against the EU data retention directive.
The IPCC has presented targets for renewable energy development to avoid the worst kind of global heating disaster. Since we don’t know how precisely how much greenhouse gas emissions it will take to cause disaster, we should try to exceed these targets by as much as possible.
The FDIC is suing big banks over a tricky form of derivative, interest rate swaps, which were rigged through the LIBOR lies. Aside from the falsification of LIBOR, banks should not be allowed to invent complex financial derivatives because that’s a recipe for suckering people. If the bank can make up a game with complicated […]
Another privacy threat: cell phones with always-on retina trackers. The cute “3D” feature they are used to implement is of no real importance, but I wonder what other information the proprietary software in those phones can extract using those sensors and give to companies.
Human rights observers were barred from the “open” trial of Gaddafi’s sons and supporters, and not all the defendants were present.
The US asks the public to report anything “suspicious”, and nearly anything someone feels strange about can be “suspicious”, which makes for a big data base with lots of info about lots of people.
It appears that Russian army units, pretending not to be such, are capturing cities in eastern Ukraine. They seem to have some support from the local civilians, but there is no way of telling how many civilians do not support them; those people are facing powerful intimidation now.
The FBI did not bother to question Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but now says his example shows it needs more snooping authority. The Boston Marathon bombers killed four people, not as many as a recent bus accident, but it has been sensationalized so much that people perceive it as signifying a far bigger danger. That makes it […]
Citizens of Massachusetts: support the bill to require labeling of GMOs.
War on Terror’s Trickle Down Effect: The FBI’s Military Evolution Exposed.
A subtle campaign of global heating sabotage uses distorted facts to criticize climate scientists for not promoting certain dangerous or ineffective “solutions”. I wonder where this group gets its funds.
Some teenagers in the US no longer understand the concept of “selling out”, because they know no other approach to life. The article relates that to the 30-year-long campaign to attack public education, which may be related to it. However, antisocial networks such as Facebook may be more responsible for it. Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle, […]
A million workers participated in a general strike in Argentina.
The fossil fuel industry is continuing its policy of shock capitalism to exploit every crisis, including Crimea.
A science teacher in LA was fired for supervising the construction of devices that could conceivably launch projectiles. Someone else thought they “looked like weapons”. One might be tempted to say that the school administrators are rash idiots, but it’s not that simple. The problem is that they think that their job is to act […]
The EFF is campaigning against commercial misuse of people’s medical records. I support this campaign but I think it does not go far enough. Both companies and governments can misuse our medical records, so a real solution must make it hard for either of them to get our records, hard enough that they will only […]
LA thugs have sabotaged their full-time recording devices by “losing” the antennas. I guess they want to be free to beat people up unmonitored. People in general should not be “followed all the time” by the state or by companies, but thugs are a special case because they have special power, and because the state […]
Campaigning to reduce the toxic pesticides used to make McDonalds’ french fries. If this succeeds, they will only be bad for the people that eat them ;-).
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to oppose the dishonest bill designed to block states from requiring labeling of GMOs.
US mainstream media ignored Israel’s breach of the interim deal with Palestine, and blamed Palestine’s response as the cause of the breakdown of the “peace negotiations”. Since Israel’s government does not want peace, these “peace negotiations” were never more than a sham, a way for Israel’s government to pretend it wants peace.
The US has deported thousands of “Mexicans” who came to the US as children and don’t know what it is like to live in Mexico. Many stay in Tijuana, trying to feel close to their families in the US.
Everyone: support efforts in Colorado to pass a law protecting access to reproductive health care.
Financial analyst Eric Garland says that Bain Capital (and similar leveraged-buyout companies) are converting the US economy into a system of financial parasitism, in which business decisions are no longer supposed to make sense for the company, and imposed company debt is put into complex schemes so it can be resold to a “bigger fool”. The […]
Andrew Auernheimer’s conviction was overturned on appeal on the grounds he was prosecuted in the wrong state. This is not the trivial issue it appears at first sight. The US prosecuted him in New Jersey, although his case had nothing to do with New Jersey, because that court tends to stretch the law to give […]
Snowden, speaking to the European Parliament, summarized the broad reach of NSA massive surveillance.
San Jose State University (and probably other universities too) requires some students to run nonfree test-supervising software used to impose a regime that must drive people nuts. I’d fail a test in algebra, if I had to spend an hour answering questions while never looking away from the camera. And if I were not allowed to […]
Japan has apologized for some atrocities in World War II. When will the US do likewise?
Citizens of Albuquerque protested the street executions carried out by thugs, to demand that corrective action be taken in a way that the thugs can’t undermine.
The Australian government has ordered government employees to report their colleagues for posting anything on the internet that criticizes the government. You’d expect as much from the mining industry’s government of occupation.
The ACLU is suing to get information about FBI and Massachusetts involvement in investigations relating to the Boston marathon bombing, and whether massive increases in surveillance that threaten our freedom really provided any security at all.
US citizens: call on Congress to try to restore what the Supreme Court weakened in the 5th Amendment.
UK school principals are denying raises to teachers unless they “volunteer” for unpaid extra work.
The SEC is blocking reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by demanding additional surveillance powers. Note that even if this reform goes through, you will still have less rights over your email when it is in a company than if it is in your home.
The UK has been caught helping the CIA run a secret prison on Diego Garcia.
Singapore rejected a “three strikes” law — and enacted SOPA instead.
The US government is seizing money from people today to cancel “overpayments” in disability benefits allegedly made to their parents. I don’t think the US should seize money without a hearing about it. And it should not be able to seize money from children because of overpayments to their parents. Debts are not inherited.
Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras visited the US, and were not harassed by government agents on arrival. Poitras used to be harassed regularly each time she returned to the US.
The US Trade Representative claims that the European Union can’t set its own data centers to protect privacy and block surveillance because that would violate a trade treaty.
The US Supreme Court has narrowed the right to remain silent and not have that used against you in court, by saying the right applies only if you have explicitly cited it.
In the US: tell Comcast what you think of its claim that there are no rational objections to its proposed merger with another large ISP.
Comcast called Time Warner Cable a competitor until they wanted to merge, at which point it started claiming that the two companies do not compete. We should not permit large companies in the same field of business to merge under any circumstances.
US citizen Sharif Mobley is accused of murder in Yemen, much like Obama. Unlike Obama, Mobley was supposed to be prosecuted there; but now that it is time for a hearing, the government now refuses to say where he is.
Desmond Tutu calls for a boycott on investing in fossil fuel companies. I agree, on this, and on the point that it is unconscionable that our governments continue to offer cooperation (such as the Keystone XL pipeline) and financial support to fossil fuels.
Airplane wifi systems spy on users even more than US law requires, as a “favor” to the US government.
A scientist says, let’s celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week by making the public aware of how absurd and ineffective homeopathy is.
The Albuquerque thug department has been condemned for frequently using “deadly force” with no justification.
Clarisa Christiansen describes how US border patrol agents threatened to attack her as she was driving her children to school, refusing to say why, and eventually slashed her tire just to be nasty. These thugs should be required to make video and audio recordings of their interactions with the public.
Burmese newspapers printed black front pages to protest the imprisonment of a journalist.
Illinois will continue passing along coal industry (Koch brothers?) “education“ in public schools.
A few scientists publish papers criticism some aspects of the accepted understanding of global heating. Their theories sometimes endure in the mainstream media long after they have been refuted by further data.
Guinea has cancelled mining licenses obtained, it seems, through corruption.
PBS is firmly and persistently supporting the billionaires’ movement for privatization of US public schools. PBS’s shows have been largely controlled by business since the 1990s, if not before. Often you can tell which companies exert the control over a show because their commercials appear in it. Compare this with the campaign to pry loose the […]
Two commonly used kinds of nanoparticles, zinc oxide and silver, can damage DNA if they get into human cells. This highlights the danger that a material which is safe when used in larger units may be dangerous in the form of small particles.
The company making the GMO salmon claims that the FDA has already decided not to require labeling of this salmon. This is not officially true, but the FDA is doing nothing to rebut the claim. My guess is that the FDA has in fact made that decision, just not officially.
US citizens: sign up in support of Harvard faculty calling for divestment from fossil fuel companies.
US Lacks Accurate Drone Civilian Casualty Data, says Military Analyst. Being more careful, with better data, would be a useful step. But really the US should cease using military force outside of war zones.
Climate Change Is Not a Debate: It Is a Struggle That Pits Survivors Against Fossil Fuel Profiteers.
Growth for Growth’s Sake Will Kill Us All. In addition to being unsustainable, growth has also become nearly useless for the non-rich, in countries under plutocratic rule. The benefits of growth are seized by the plutocrats so little benefit trickles down to the rest. You can’t expect a rising tide to lift your boat if the plutocrats […]
The US Army is leaving behind, in Afghanistan, lots of dangerous things such as unexploded munitions.
Citizens of Massachusetts: call for ending a big tax loophole for businesses.
Wisconsin is one of the best US states in running elections, but the Republicans now in power are doing their best to change that.
Seymour Hersh writes that Obama decided not to attack Assad in Syria because he found out that the gas attack was committed by the Islamists of al-Nusra. Before that, he was planning a massive attack. Hersh’s sources say that Turkey supported al-Nusra in making sarin. They also say that the CIA was sending US weapons […]
Around 1000 food additives are used in the US without need for regulatory approval (or proper investigation).
In issues of human rights, not solely in the software field, the concept of “open” is not strong enough.
Working people should not be condemned to being “hard-working“ in service of the rich. Especially not when there is no work available.
Everyone: tell Mozambique, don’t let rapists push their victims into marriage.
The Pharma company Roche swindled governments out of billions by suggesting that Tamiflu was effective against flu symptoms while concealing that experiments had shown the contrary. We should not allow these companies to have anything to do with such experiments. The government should tax them and spend the money on the experiments.
US citizens: phone your senators and congresscritter, and say to co-sponsor S.J.Res.18 & H.J.Res.21, for constitutional amendments to cancel the Corporations United (*) decision. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202–224‑3121, 888–818‑6641 and 888–355‑3588. * To call it what it really is.
SEC lawyer James Kidney, in his retirement speech, rebuked the agency for timidity against the executives of the companies it is supposed to regulate.
The UK is following the US in making college expensive; students will take 30 years to repay their loans.
US citizens: phone the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives to extend unemployment benefits.
The Big Spill is still poisoning dolphins, turtles, oysters and fish in parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
The US is in a “gilded age” again because concentration of income to a wealthy few has gone back up to what it was a century ago.
The Heatland* Institute can’t make up its mind whether to claim there is no global heating or claim global heating is beneficial. What they say doesn’t need to do any more than keep people too confused to interfere with what the Koch Brothers want. * Officially “Heartland”, but the name “Heatland” fits its activities better.
Egypt is prosecuting yet another al-Jazeera journalist.
The latest harmless prank in San Francisco is to turn a Smart car on its side or its front. This operation is basically harmless. It has some chance of causing scrapes or breaking a lamp, but minor property damage should not be a felony. Evidently California has made its laws too harsh.
Distinguishing the street protests of the middle classes wanting privilege from those of the poor demanding a decent life.
Stephanie Greene was convicted of manslaughter because she breastfed her daughter while taking morphine, which was prescribed for her horribly painful and disabling injuries. This article argues that there was a medical error in the prosecution’s reasoning as well: that normally only a tiny amount of morphine would get into the milk, not enough to […]
A senior Miami thug faces charges of working for drug gangs. The war on drugs corrupts many officials; that’s one of the reasons we need to put an end to it.
Australia’s policy towards Israel and Palestine under the previous (Labor) government was determined directly by campaign donors.
France has prohibited employers in the digital sector from making employees respond to work emails after 6pm. This means hackers in France now have more time to work on free software (logiciel libre).
A campaign against sexism appears to condemn all explicit sexual advances as “harassment”.
Sri Lanka has imprisoned several women accused simply of having some sort of relationship with a suspected Tamil nationalist leader. The Bush forces did similar things in Iraq.
Brandeis University cancelled its plan to give Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree because of her criticism of Islam’s cruelty to women. Anyone that this shoe fits deserves to feel unwelcome everywhere in the world.
Jeremy Leggett, oil geologist, claims that the world’s rate of oil extraction will fall short of demand, sometime before 2020, perhaps as soon as 2015. He also says that a transition to renewable energy is within our grasp. Unfortunately, the Koch Brothers and their pet politicians are working so hard to prevent the transition. A […]
A statistical study confirms that the views of non-rich people have negligible effects on US government policies. The rich, and special interest lobbying, have nearly total control. And that was before the Supreme Court gave companies and rich people even more power to control elections. Plutocracy has squeezed democracy almost completely out of the US […]
Some brave New York City teachers have declared they will refuse to help administer the Common Core tests.
The mayor of Chicago is pushing to replace public schools with charter schools, claiming that the charter schools are superior. A study confirms previous results that charter schools are no better, in educational terms at least. They must be better for someone. I wonder who, and how much that someone contributes to election campaigns.
Shaker Aamer suffers several forms of mental illness caused by the inhumane way he is treated in Guantanamo. The state covers this up with doublespeak. He is even punished by denying him a blanket when his arthritis hurts.
Slavishly subservient mining regulators in North Carolina have appealed a court victory that affirmed their power to regulate toxic coal ash.
Everyone: Tell McDonalds to stop stealing workers’ pay.
Greek workers held a general strike against austerity as a protest also against Merkel’s imperial visit.
The court ruling against the EU data retention directive also cited the further violation of privacy from allowing the data to be stored outside the reach of EU personal data protection law.
Rahinah Ibrahim won her case to get off the US no-fly list, where her name was entered by mistake; but then her student visa was cancelled because being on the no-fly list had put her on another list.
Margaret Thatcher was so open about trying to crush the non-rich that she inspired resistance. Her successors today pretend that they are doing everything but trying to crush the non-rich, which is why it is useful to keep pointing out that that’s what they stand for.
There is specific evidence that the Obama administration specifically aimed to bury intelligence that cast doubt on Assad’s responsibility for the chemical attack. It seems there was a high-level push for war, then Obama decided to abort the war. Was there anyone else but Obama who could have been behind the high-level push? That seems […]
US citizens: oppose permitting oil exports from the US. This would create an incentive to extract ever more oil using ever more dangerous and expensive methods.
A Russian destabilization campaign is under way in eastern Ukraine, threatening a military invasion as in the Crimea. Russia claims that a similar US-led destabilization campaign helped kick out President Yanukovich. That might well be true. There is a gray area between a destabilization campaign and aiding a real popular uprising: the subtler the campaign, the […]
The IMF’s “rescue” of Ukraine will impose crushing poverty. Ukrainians may eventually choose to make a deal with Putin instead. A deal with Russia does not necessary mean a corrupt autocratic ruler in Ukraine.
Large companies including BT and Shell have recognized that a lot of fossil fuel must not be extracted. Without more figures, I don’t know how “a trillion tons of carbon“ relates to the 80% of the known fossil fuel reserves that need to be left in the ground. If you can work that out, or […]
The European Court of Justice ruled that EU-imposed data retention (by ISPs and phone companies) is contrary to human rights and invalid. More information.
Citizens if Massachusetts: tell Governor Patrick not to allow tar sands oil into Massachusetts.
China is imprisoning anti-corruption protesters.
How Right-Wing Loons and Pro-Gun Nuts Blame Everything But Guns for Mass Shootings. (I think the word “mass” is a too strong for shooting 10 or even 20 people. “Mass murder” means a lot more victims than that.)
Proctor and Gamble has agreed to impose policies to reject palm oil made by deforestation, but they will take 6 years to become effective.
A blogger in the US has been subjected to prior censorship by a court, which jailed him until he agreed to take down blog posts accusing an official of having an affair. I don’t think it matters who officials have sex with, but this seems dangerous.
US citizens: call on the EPA to file a comment against building the Keystone XL planet-roaster pipeline.
Shaker Aamer’s lawyers argue the US is obliged to release him from Guantanamo due to serious physical and mental illnesses, some of them probably caused by torture and cruelty.
Under the cover of automobile races that distract public attention, Bahrain’s ruler is increasing the level of oppression.
The pro-Russians that captured a government building in Luhansk are armed and trained soldiers, and apparently continue to hold some hostages. These is not a protest, this is a rebellion — or perhaps an invasion. The occupiers may well be Russian soldiers.
The US “Common Core” is a dangerous educational experiment on US schools, an excuse for firing lots of teachers and privatizing schools.
US citizens: Tell Congress to support the Government by the People Act. Here’s more info about it.
A review of available experimental data for 60 diseases found that there is no evidence homeopathy has any more effect than a placebo, and in many cases clear evidence that it does not. “Treating the whole person” is one of medical quackery’s favorite claims.
EU citizens: the coming elections for MEPs are very important for freedom on the internet.
The TSA (Theater of Security Agency) fined John Brennan for taking off his clothes to show he had no bomb, after a non-trial which is not allowed to consider whether the regulations in use are unconstitutional. Brennan will be able to appeal the decision, but at no point will he be entitled to a proper […]
Debt collection companies in the US engage in illegal harassment, lie to debtors, and frequently demand payment of debts that were never owed.
Global heating caused by methane generated by a runaway organism might have caused the mass extinction at the end of the Permian period. Now another runaway organism is producing greenhouse gases and is on the way to causing another mass extinction.
Harvard University has adopted investment principles based on human rights and greenhouse gas reduction. Divest Harvard has this response: We’re glad that Harvard has recognized the need to align its investments with its values. However, there are still inconsistencies in Harvard’s investments. Harvard’s decision to invest in climate solutions is an important step forward, but […]
US citizens: call on Congress to require regular reports on US drone attacks.
Elizabeth Warren attacked Paul Ryan’s cruel lies head on, teaching what it means to be a Democrat instead of a Republican in Democrat’s clothing. If she runs for president, I will support her. I will not support Ms Clinton, who is a phony Democrat like her husband (and Obama). I voted Green in the last two […]
Everyone: tell Walmart’s CEO, if the Gap can raise wages, so can Walmart.
The Australian government expresses its contempt for the environment by cutting the operations of the environment department.
A union in Australia has been fined a million dollars for blockading construction sites for days. Meanwhile, companies that break laws get away with slaps on the wrist, or get the law changed to please them. When officials say, “We must enforce the law” to punish the workers, they pretend they are being even-handed. When the […]
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support the Better Off Budget. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202–224‑3121, 888–818‑6641 and 888–355‑3588.
Everyone: tell CNN to stop broadcasting global heating denialism.
The US ought to welcome Palestine’s application to join UN treaties concerned with human rights.
UN special rapporteur Richard Falk has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing.