ISIS released another provocative video, this one threatening to attack the White House. The ISIS propaganda team is clever, and surely expects this to make a lot of US politicians demand war so that they can look tough. I continue to claim that ISIS wants the US to fight so that it can convince Iraqi […]
A New Mexico sheriff faces charges for two cases of attacking passing drivers.
Some US states provide fewer resources to voting places with more minority groups, causing long waiting lines. One must suspect this is another method of Republican voter suppression.
Many experts warn that ISIS propaganda videos are intended to suck the US into a war that would legitimize ISIS among Sunnis and thus strengthen it. US hawks that call for immediate war are motivated by domestic politics. If as a byproduct of political gain they strengthen ISIS, that’s not important to them.
Ghoncheh Ghavami has been imprisoned in Iran for 3 months for asking to be allowed to watch a sporting event alongside men.
Agents of the Theater of Security Agency demanded to grope a passenger after he got off a flight, claiming it was because they had forgotten to do this before the flight.
Chevron is trying to buy the city council election in Richmond, California using smears and confusion.
New Chinese pollution controls on coal will cut into Australian coal exports. This is a great opportunity for Australia to cancel all the planned expansions in coal mining.
Lots of iThing users are complaining that they did not want the U2 album “gift” that Apple stuck them with — and that it was hard to delete. These complaints focus on a superficial problem, which reflects the shallow thinking that Apple instills in its users. Ironically, though, this superficial problem reflects a much deeper […]
The battle over cutting Tasmania’s old-growth forests will resume, with a government ban on protests condemned by the UN.
Belgium has granted a prisoner’s petition for euthanasia. I understand and sympathize with a prisoner’s wish to die rather than spend life in prison. It worries me that there’s a danger this will encourage prison conditions designed to encourage suicide, a de-facto death penalty. However, such conditions exist in many countries, including the US, where […]
Ukraine’s government has adopted partial autonomy for the Eastern region where the rebellion is occurring. This limited autonomy seems natural to me, given that every part of the United States has it. Did Ukraine offer this limited autonomy at the beginning?
A Pakistani professor who promoted a liberal interpretation of Islam’s social rules was assassinated.
The president of Botswana is persecuting journalists that reported on his car accident.
Texas is trying to rewrite textbooks to deny global heating.
Russian writer Mikhail Shishkin says that Putin has taken Russia back to “Soviet times of total lies”, and that Putin’s violence is preparing Russians to support a series of wars. Putin’s nationalist propaganda resembles the US propaganda used to convince Americans to have faith that the US is the “good guy” in every war, in disregard […]
Attorney General Holder launched a study of racism among US thugs. It is a good idea. If only he went after the banksters and the torturers, he’d be doing a good job.
Professor Ilham Tohti, who wrote in favor of Uighurs’ rights, is being tortured as preparation for his show trial.
A group of thugs (not necessarily official state thugs) attacked a BBC team in Moscow; while the team was reporting the attack to the official thugs, someone erased their computers’ memories. Apparently some of Putin’s men wanted to stop them from reporting on a Russian soldier apparently killed in Ukraine.
Thugs said they shot Darrien Hunt because he lunged at them with a sword. However, an autopsy found he was shot in the back. Surveillance camera recordings have been provided to the thugs but not to Hunt’s family.
August 2014 was the hottest August ever recorded, just like May and June.
Qatar has made a deal to reduce its support for Islamist parties. The deal also includes ordering al-Jazeera to stop criticizing Egypt for its bloody suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood. I shed no tears for those religious extremists, but al-Jazeera has been hurt by this. We have seen evidence of bias in al-Jazeera imposed from […]
US citizens: call on the EPA to make powerplant carbon limits strong enough to do the job.
Sea level rise could cause over 200 billion dollars in damages to buildings and infrastructure in Australia in this century. For the US, I would guess it is ten times that. Has anyone seen a recent estimate?
The German government allowed the intrusion software FinFisher to be sold to governments that trample human rights. The article errs in talking about “Linux computers”; the context shows that this refers to the GNU/Linux system.
44 economically powerful countries are drawing up a plan to make multinational companies pay taxes.
US citizens: Tell House Energy Chair Upton to give the polluters’ campaign money to the cleanup of the pipeline spill in his district.
The US government continues trying to smear Snowden with falsified claims that his disclosures aided terrorists. Even if they had been of some use to underground enemies of Americans, that harm would be small compared with the positive contribution of giving us a chance to recover democracy.
As surrender to plutocracy spreads poverty across Europe, nationalism offers the prospect of a magical escape without confronting the real root of the injustice. Often nationalism puts the blame for poverty on “parasitic” immigrants rather the principal parasites — the rich.
Jihadi groups in north Mali run on funds obtained by smuggling drugs north. I seem to recall that Islam disapproves of these drugs. It would be hard to reconcile the smuggling with being an “Islamist”.
US citizens: sign a statement of support for Greenpeace protesters in Cincinnati, who face ten years’ imprisonment under Putinesque charges.
New Zealand Prime Minister Key is changing and contradicting his statements to try to deny revelations about the massive surveillance he started.
California passed a bill banning businesses from making customers agree not to post negative reviews. One is proposed at the US level. I wonder whether these measures also cover the attempt to require customers to assign copyright on their reviews to the business.
Israeli “settlers” invaded Hebron and pepper-sprayed two Palestinian children, who had to be taken to a hospital.
US citizens: call on Obama to put a stop to blanket use of antibiotics on farm animals.
To comply with the principles of human rights, the US must stop claiming that the law is secret. Secret “law” is really arbitrary rule. The “13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles” that the EFF advocates may be necessary and proportionate, but they are not sufficient to achieve their goal: to protect society from massive total surveillance. They […]
Obama will send 3000 US military personnel to Africa to fight Ebola. I can’t judge the details but it seems to be a necessary job.
An insider accuses Giganews of logging all accesses to newsgroups for the FBI.
Human Rights Watch identified several Israeli actions in Gaza that appear to be war crimes and must be investigated.
Indonesia has agreed to do more to stop the forest fires that people set for the purpose of deforestation. Indonesia should make it illegal to farm land that was forest less than 10 years ago, use satellite photos to identify such farms, and destroy them so that the forest can come back.
For the First Time, U.S. Agencies Consider a Diet for a Healthy Planet.
An Australian state is moving to legalize medical marijuana but only for people who are dying. The people who need this most are the ones that might be saved by chemotherapy if they can stand the suffering it causes.
Obama Has Indeed Learned Some Foreign Policy Lessons, Just Not the Ones the Establishment Likes
Web sites for that make desperate people bid to do jobs for the lowest pay move society another step towards near-universal poverty.
US citizens: phone your congresscritter to support H.Con.Res.114, which says that any sustained US combat in Iraq or Syria requires congressional authorization. The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202–224‑3121, 888–818‑6641 and 888–355‑3588.
The US Chamber of Commerce is backing some “Democrats”, the sort who are almost like today’s Republicans.
Senator Machin says he will oppose Obama’s misguided Syria intervention plans.
The New Climate Economy report claims it is possible to curb global heating without harming economic growth.
California has banned stores from handing out gratis one-use plastic bags. We need to make bags, and other food packaging, out of plastics that will truly biodegrade in a few years. I taught myself a couple of years ago to reuse larger, tougher plastic bags. I carry 3 of them in my computer bag and mostly […]
Teenagers in many countries are drinking less, using drugs less, even getting pregnant less. Perhaps that’s because they expect to be punished all their lives if they do those things, and expect the adult world to be one that condemns all but a small fraction winners to hopeless poverty. It’s good that teenagers do less […]
Users of Comcast are reporting that Comcast says they are not allowed to use Tor and threatening to terminate their service.
Look at the companies donating money to oppose the Oregon referendum to require labeling GMOs.
US citizens: call on Kerry to block another Enbridge pipeline plan for exporting Canadian tar sands oil.
Large protests for democracy continue in Hong Kong after China rejected free elections there.
“Defense” secretary Hagel proposes sending US troops into combat in Iraq to fight an unending war with no concept of victory. Chelsea Manning — who was an Iraq intelligence analyst before becoming a heroic whistleblower — explains why this won’t work. If the goal is to win Iraqi Sunnis away from supporting ISIS, sending US […]
An autopsy suggests that a Palestinian prisoner was tortured to death in an Israeli prison.
A former guard at Auschwitz has been charged as an accessory to 300,000 murders. It turns out that this guard has campaigned against holocaust deniers.
Shark meat is popular in Indonesia, and tuna fishers catch and sell lots of endangered sharks as “by catch”.
A Republican congresscritter champions the right to fire people for being gay.
The Modi government expressed doubts about mandatory ID cards, before the election. Now in power it strongly supports the imposition of ID cards. Requiring a national ID card is an injustice in itself; taking everyone’s fingerprints or iris scans is an even worse injustice.
The FCC received 3 million comments about network neutrality.
Naomi Klein connects global heating to the plutocratic system that has subjugated democracy. Klein is right that reducing your personal energy consumption is not an effective action. Under a market system, the fossil fuel you don’t use will be sold to someone else. The way to reduce the total use of fossil fuel is by […]
An Uruguayan marine who snuck out to Italy when investigated for participation in government torture now faces charges in Italy.
The concentration of agribusiness has resulted in record production while hunger continues to grow.
US citizens: call on Congress to debate the war against ISIS. Call on Obama to seek authorization for this war.
Information provided by Edward Snowden proves that the NSA has penetrated national and international networks operated by German companies in ways that they cannot figure out.
The UK’s right-wing parties talk about recovering sovereignty from the EU, but they are eager to surrender sovereignty to businesses through TTIP (This Treaty Is Plutocratic).
The relatives of James Foley report that US officials told them that paying a ransom for him would be a crime. This policy is just and necessary to avoid encouraging the taking of more hostages. Foley’s relatives, mad with grief, would have saved Foley by endangering others; the officials prevented this. It’s not that they […]
US citizens: sign this petition not to arm the Syrian rebels.
Everyone: call on the Pennsylvania legislature to stop impeding abortion.
British politicians distract attention from the need to reduce CO2 emissions by debating where to expand airports in the London area. At least the estuary airport would be self-limiting, since global heating will eventually make it unserviceable.
A teenager in Pennsylvania faces two years in prison for faking oral sex with a statue of Jesus. This law should certainly be unconstitutional. The right to offend people is part of freedom of speech.
US citizens: sign this petition to require disclosure of fracking chemicals.
Nigeria is imposing biometric ID cards that include fingerprints and iris scans. And share all the data with Mastercard. National ID cards such as this are inherently oppressive. Nigeria faces a big terrorist threat, but these cards will do no good whatsoever against it.
China is systematically harassing and excluding foreign journalists, and pressuring their Chinese assistants to spy on them. The US is not blemish-free in this area: it requires foreign journalists to get a special visa. The US should repeal this law so that it can effectively criticize other countries.
US citizens: sign this petition to put a price on carbon emissions.
LA thugs saw a black woman kiss a white man in a car, and handcuffed her, making the assumption based on that alone that she was a prostitute. They do this every day, but this time they were embarrassed because she was a film star. Real prostitutes don’t deserve to be treated that way either, so […]
A study of unschoolers — people who were allowed as children to learn on their own for some years — shows that they turned out quite well as adults. They had no trouble getting into college or being successful there. I suspect that one of the conditions for this to be successful was that the children […]
Militarization of thug forces implies that they are occupying enemy territory, but who in the US is the enemy? Blacks, principally. This article makes the connection between militarization and racism. The article also explains that the occupation of Ferguson puts on display the weapons and armor that most often are used to attack private homes, […]
Thousands of rich French people are dodging taxes by moving their money to Belgium. France needs to tax these people no matter where they go.
The almond farms of California are rapidly exhausting the state’s ground water. Global heating will make droughts in California more frequent. For the short term, the state needs to manage its water rather than allow farmers to pump it at will. For the long term…there won’t be much farming in California, by and by, unless we […]
The Israeli military intelligence reservists who revealed that their work included blackmailing innocent Palestinians have been condemned for puncturing the claim that Israel’s army is “the most moral in the world”. Those reservists believe their army is really supposed to be the world’s most moral. That’s why they are disgusted with what it really is.
A newspaper requested an interview with a Canadian scientist about algae. Government officials had a discussion of 100 pages before they refused permission for him to talk to the press. This is because the facts about the algae demonstrate effects of global heating, while the Canadian government wants to promote use of fossil fuel.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand says that there is no massive surveillance there. Edward Snowden proves he is lying. This was implemented in 2012/2013, under a law that was misrepresented as having a much smaller effect.
Sea animals near Australia are eating plastic, 3/4 of which comes from waste from cities.
Some librarians are campaigning to protect library users from massive digital surveillance.
In the UK, prisoners regularly die or commit suicide as a result of prison budget cuts. They see no point in reporting when they are raped. There are no funds for rehabilitation, which puts a burden on the rest of society when they get out.
Deforestation and global heating have put an end to rain in part of Brazil.
The Yangtze river sturgeon is following the Yangtze river dolphin into extinction.
Everyone: sign this petition for the UN to take control of the removal of fuel rods from the fuel pool at Fukushima #4.
Not one Republican voted for the amendment to reverse the “Citizens United” decision.
Fracking’s contamination of drinking water in Texas and Pennsylvania was due to leaky cement in frack wells, a study finds.
Obama’s plans for war with ISIS depend on allies that have not shown an ability to do what is required. I think the article underestimates the peshmerga. They had to retreat when ISIS attacked with its captured US heavy weapons and armored vehicles, but were able to advance with US air support. So were the […]
US citizens: call on Obama to get authorization for expanding war in Iraq or Syria. For background.
“Just-in-time” scheduling of hourly workers means that their part-time job rules them every hour of the week, although they only get paid for a fraction of those hours. I think that businesses should be required to pay half wages for every hour that an hourly worker is on call to work with less than a […]
China rents pandas to zoos for a lot of money as part of a general system of pressuring countries for trade advantage. Meanwhile, the habitat for wild pandas is being wiped out.
Witnesses recorded immediately after Michael Brown was shot dead said that he had his hands up.
The Koch brothers are trying to buy control over universities’ choice of professors, for political purposes.
The mainstream US media describe cutting workers’ pensions as “responsible”. If the government is forced to break promises, break promises to the rich before promises to the non-rich.
A Republican filibuster killed the constitutional amendment to stop companies from buying elections for Republicans.
Canada’s government has, in effect, subjugated Canada to Chinese investors (including the Chinese state) by allowing them to sue secretly to demand changes in Canadian government policies. This includes extremely dangerous pipeline plans. To subject one’s country to such a treaty constitutes treason, in my view. A new Canadian government should abrogate the treaty.
US citizens: call on Congress to remove the requirement for NIST to consult the NSA specially about encryption standards.
The Taliban are advancing in parts of Afghanistan. It’s sad, but predictable. The Afghan government’s army doesn’t have the motivation needed to resist the Taliban. Afghans who oppose the Taliban aren’t motivated to fight as much as the Taliban are motivated to fight. We could continue to keep the Taliban out with permanent US intervention. We […]
The new CEO of National Public Radio intends to get more money from advertising by advertising more attractive products. I used to give money to a local NPR station, but I stopped when I noticed that the shows had started to include commercials.
The US suffers from a lack of feelings and activities of general solidarity.
New Jersey prosecutor McClain went easy on a football player that knocked his fiancée unconscious, but threw the book at a women for carrying a gun with a permit from Pennsylvania. To carry a gun for protection against future robberies is not necessarily a wise idea; it may cause more danger than it avoids. That’s […]
NGOs call on Congress to adopt a new model of “trade” negotiations, with goals to be stated in advance. Given a Congress not subservient to business, this new system could give good results — but our current Congress is too submissive to adopt it.
Boko Haram suffered a big defeat in a pitched battle in Nigeria. One such defeat won’t destroy the group, but could inspire the Nigerian army to fight harder from now on, if the government gives this priority.
Obama Is Picking Targets in Iraq and Syria While Missing the Point. US officials have big disagreements about how dangerous ISIS is, and whether bombing will hurt it or help it. The question is confused because the term “bombing” fails to distinguish between air strikes on troops engaged in battle and drone assassinations, but this distinction […]
Australia’s ancient rock art is threatened by miners, tourists and animals.
Zoe Quinn is the victim of a campaign of false criticism that was organized dishonestly from the beginning by people that wanted to do her harm. You can see something similar though smaller in the attacks against me that are posted in some forums. They not only make strained criticism, they also misrepresent the free […]
The leader of a gun control protest in Chicago is receiving death threats from US gun nuts, who call him a “terrorist”. He isn’t one, but they and their threats are coming pretty close.
A relationship where the woman says she is scared of the man should not be considered “normal”.
The UK government is trying to set up privatizations so that they are too expensive to cancel. They act like raiders who have taken control of the state and intend to destroy as much as they can before they are chased out. The just response would be to impose a 200% tax on those businesses, […]
Scientist Who Identified Ebola Virus Calls for “Quasi-Military Intervention”.
Stopping Climate Meltdown Needs the Courage That Saved the Ozone Layer. That means daring to tell powerful businesses to drop dead rather than let them kill us.
The UN General Assembly voted to start negotiations on a treaty to allow states to get rid of oppressive debt. The US was among 10 countries that voted against. Shame on you, Obama.
US citizens: call on your senators to preserve the US law requiring food to be labeled by the country of origin.
Most deforestation on Earth is done commercially, and half of it is done to get products to sell to the wealthy countries. Deforestation in the Amazon jumped by almost 1/3 last year.
This Is the Third World War — And This Time We Are on the Fringes. I think there is some truth in this, but it’s not entirely true. Conflict between Shi’ites and Sunnis, like conflict between Catholics and Orthodox and Muslims in the former Yugoslavia, is not inevitable. It is stimulated or provoked by political […]
A Russian military vehicle was spotted in Ukraine. The soldiers running it said they were Russian mercenaries. Then they repainted it to disguise its origin.
Seven Key Points from Obama’s Isis Speech And What They Actually Mean. I disagree with the article on the conclusion of the first point. If it’s a question of fighting threats to the US, it does not follow that the US should only fight the worst one. But this is a side issue, since it’s […]
Russia sent another convoy of “humanitarian aid” into Ukraine without Red Cross inspection. I am sure they are carrying ammunition. If not, Putin would have had the Red Cross inspect them so he could refute such accusations.
Citing BP for “gross negligence” hardly did justice to the company’s persistent pattern of safety violations around the world.
Presenting a feasible program of investment to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. It’s doable, but the fossil fuel companies don’t want it to be done. They intend to to force us to stay on track to global catastrophe.
San Diego’s “school police” has acquired a mine-resistant armored vehicle. They must think students will riot against whatever follows the Common Core and might turn to improvised explosive devices.
Israeli Military Orders Criminal Investigations into Gaza Attacks. This is a promising development if they do an honest job, but I fear its purpose is only to deflect criticism.
Australia’s supreme court placed constitutional limits on imprisonment of asylum seekers.
In Boston: rally at 3pm on Oct 1, at WGBH headquarters (1 Guest St), to remove a Koch brother from the WGBH board.
Apple is redesigning iThings to help companies communicate users’ personal data from one to another, and enable them to manipulate users better. This page shows the perverse viewpoint of someone who is on the companies’ side and presents this malice as an advance. They are also now designed to make it harder for victims to […]
Almost 250 teachers at Boston University have called on the university to divest from fossil fuel companies. It is clear that conservation measures in Boston University itself will have only a tiny influence on world fossil fuel consumption. In a market system, if A decides not to buy some commodity, the price goes down and […]
It appears that the NSA intercepted the Thinkpad keyboard that Andrea Shepard, a Tor developer in Seattle, had ordered from Amazon. Presumably this was to sabotage it. I wonder if people have studied this keyboard to see what the NSA changed. If you are any sort of activist, don’t order a computer by mail yourself. […]
Turkey has increased internet censorship. Internet censorship was one of the early signs that Erdogan was going to attack human rights in Turkey.
People have called Belarus “Europe’s last dictatorship”, but Russia has more or less become equal to it. Regardless of what organizations it may join, Azerbaijan is not in Europe. It is in the Middle East.
Global heating effects threaten agriculture, and the more diverse agriculture is, the better it can withstand those effects. Big agribusiness monoculture is driving agriculture in the wrong direction.
The University of Sydney disinvited two Sri Lankan NGOs from an international human rights event, caving to pressure from Sri Lanka’s brutal government.
How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World.
Everyone: call on Google, Microsoft and others to stop supporting global heating denialists.
Jabhat al-Nusra released the 45 Fijian peacekeepers that it took prisoner two weeks ago. The job of these peacekeepers was to separate Syrian and Israeli forces. I think that no forces currently separate al-Nusra from the Israeli border.
In Pennsylvania, fracking causes illness in 40% of the households within 1km of a frackwell. Fracking probably contributes even more to global heating than coal. Fracking should be banned, so that as we cut down coal mining, it is not replaced by another fossil fuel.
The UN has allowed corporations’ interests to pervade the climate summits.
A Florida teacher is risking dismissal by refusing to spend a week administering a standardized computerized test.
The US has declined to show whatever evidence it has about who shot down flight MA-17. I find it implausible anyone intentionally fired at an airliner. Thus I believe that rebels fired at what they thought was a Ukrainian government plane.
Fear of Ebola is making Sierra Leone life crazy. In Liberia, MSF’s treatment center is full.
43 veterans of Israel’s military intelligence (equivalent to the NSA in the US) denounced their work as a system of oppression and political manipulation rather than a matter of national security. The full text of their letter. Quotes from their personal testimonies: The fact people were innocent was not at all relevant.