Building new homes for the non-rich

January 29, 2015

The Obama admin­is­tra­tion took a small step that will fund build­ing around 8000 new homes a year for the non-rich. Make that 50 times as big and it would solve the US hous­ing prob­lem in a reasonable time.

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Previous modelling of global eating effects



Pre­vi­ous mod­el­ling that pre­dicted poor coun­tries would cope with global heat­ing using their eco­nomic growth over­looked a cru­cial fac­tor: due to global heat­ing, they won’t have eco­nomic growth. Their inabil­ity to invest in coun­ter­ing effects of global heat­ing means that heat­ing will cause even more eco­nomic losses. So the way to max­i­mize eco­nomic growth is […]

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Genetically modified mosquitoes



Genet­i­cally mod­i­fied mos­qui­toes (which can’t repro­duce) offer a way to rid Florida of the mosquito’s that spread Dengue and Chikun­gunya. I think it is plau­si­ble that these mosquito’s are a safe way to pre­vent those dis­eases from spread­ing, but there are many ways things could go wrong. Even though they are unlikely, they might conceivably […]

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Mass surveillance threatens human rights



The Coun­cil of Europe deter­mined that the US and UK’s mas­sive sur­veil­lance is a fun­da­men­tal threat to human rights. That is true, but keep in mind that many other coun­tries do mas­sive sur­veil­lance with­out even the fee­ble legal lim­its that the NSA and GCHQ brush aside.

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US stops insisting on driving Assad out



The US has dropped the insis­tence on dri­ving Assad out of power in Syria. It has been clear for two years that this made no sense.

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Kurds drive PISSI fighters out of Kobani



The Kurds have dri­ven PISSI fight­ers out of Kobani. Kobani has no spe­cial strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance, but it is good to pre­vent civil­ians from being mas­sa­cred, and the attempt to take Kobani has bled PISSI badly.

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Censorship pressure in the EU



There is pres­sure to ban a broad col­lec­tion of unsa­vory polit­i­cal posi­tions and his­tor­i­cal views in the EU. I don’t like those posi­tions, and I don’t agree with those views, but this cen­sor­ship vio­lates basic human rights. The UK Green Party leader con­demned crim­i­nal­iza­tion of mem­ber­ship in ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. Cer­tainly hav­ing sym­pa­thy with the aims of […]

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UK adopts standard US right-wing lie



The UK gov­ern­ment has adopted a stan­dard US right-wing lie: that rich peo­ple got their money by earn­ing it and deserve to pos­sess it. Rich peo­ple mostly get their money by invest­ing piles of money, and by work­ing other peo­ple to the bone. In the past few decade they have redis­trib­uted lots of wealth and lots […]

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Everyday harassment provokes mental illness



Every­day harass­ment and dan­ger of vio­lence pro­voke men­tal ill­ness, among blacks and among women.

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Arrested for carrying flash cards



A court ruled that air­port thugs did wrong to arrest Nick George for car­ry­ing flash cards to learn Arabic.

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Reporter flees Argentina



A reporter has fled Argentina due to death threats. He was writ­ing about the recently mur­dered prosecutor.

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Obama’s proposal for reforming mass surveillance



Obama has dropped his inad­e­quate pro­posal for reform­ing mas­sive sur­veil­lance of the tele­phone records of every­one in the US (and elsewhere).

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Severance pay for Target CEO



Tar­get in Canada fired 17000 work­ers and its CEO. The sev­er­ance pay for the CEO equals the sev­er­ance pay for 17000 workers.

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Wikipedia sides with Gamergate



Wikipedia has taken the side of Gamer­gate, rul­ing that the Gamergate-supporting edi­tors can write the pages about the women that Gamer­gate attacked, and ban­ning the edi­tors who opposed them. Many years ago, a clique of peo­ple that don’t want the GNU sys­tem to be men­tioned took effec­tive con­trol of pages that con­cern the GNU/Linux system, […]

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Belfast Project interview tapes



Pros­e­cu­tors in the UK are try­ing to get the inter­view tapes which the Belfast Project made, promis­ing con­fi­den­tial­ity until the sub­jects are dead. I think the his­to­ri­ans of the Belfast Project are honor-bound to destroy these inter­views so as to carry out their promise, for the sake of future his­tor­i­cal projects — even though they would […]

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Counter-terrorism” spreads fear



Ter­ror­ism is designed to spread fear. “Counter-terrorism“ con­tributes to spread­ing fear. It is not clear that catch­ing incom­pe­tents who can be led into acts of ter­ror­ism does any good for society.

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Preventing natural gas terminals



Activists in New York and New Jer­sey are try­ing to pre­vent nat­ural gas export ter­mi­nals that would encour­age frack­ing. The low price of oil may make it eas­ier to pre­vent frack­ing in the US as some frack­ing com­pa­nies are already folding.

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Syriza



Syriza won the Greek elec­tion and formed an anti-austerity gov­ern­ment. Syriza Vic­tory in Greece Could Be a “His­toric Turn­ing Point” for Euro­zone Eco­nomic Pol­icy, CEPR Co-Director Says. Syriza Has Allowed Greeks to Dream Again. But the Real Strug­gle Is Just Beginning.

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Corporations United and Big Oil’s bribes



How Cit­i­zens United (sic) Paved the Way for Big Oil’s Bribes.

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UK considers censorship of book



The UK is con­sid­er­ing an attack on human rights: cen­sor­ship of a particular book.

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Kindness and cooperation

January 28, 2015

Sci­ence has found lots of evi­dence that kind­ness and coop­er­a­tion are part of bio­log­i­cal human nature. I would not say, how­ever, that “humans are nat­u­rally nice”. Bio­log­i­cal human nature is com­plex and includes other kinds of attitudes too.

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BBC news slant



The BBC and its Cana­dian coun­ter­part slant the news towards the power of business.

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Prudish campaign against lousy newspaper



There is now prin­ci­pled oppo­si­tion to the prud­ish cam­paign to bully a lousy UK news­pa­per to stop print­ing bare breasts on page 3. I agree with Fleet Street Fox on this. What’s really wrong with that paper is every­thing else in it.

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Freedom-respecting devices



Peo­ple will pay a pre­mium for devices they can change the soft­ware in. I sup­pose the fact that com­pa­nies still design com­put­ers to pre­vent users from chang­ing the soft­ware indi­cates that there are very strong com­mer­cial or legal pres­sures on them. We have to change that with new laws. Note that an iThing is an injus­tice even […]

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FBI computer cracking



The FBI wants to be allowed to crack com­put­ers under very broad and vague search orders.

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Urgent: Domestic Corrupt Practices Act



US cit­i­zens: call for a Domes­tic Cor­rupt Prac­tices Act to match the For­eign Cor­rupt Prac­tices Act.

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State of the Union global heating proposals



Com­par­ing what we need to do about global heat­ing with Obama’s State of the Union proposals.

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Fukushima reactors in the US



The US refuses to shut down the reac­tors that are iden­ti­cal to those that failed dis­as­trously at Fukushima.

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Digital Voting



Dig­i­tal Voting.

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How PISSI justifies atrocities



PISSI jus­ti­fies a wide range of atroc­i­ties with exam­ples from the Quran.

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Paying workers by check



Pay­ing work­ers by check forces low-income house­holds to lose $3000 a year to pay­check lenders and such like. If you were a low-wage worker 70 years ago, you didn’t have to pay a sub­stan­tial part of your wages just to receive the pay owed to you. You got it in cash. This is one way our economy […]

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Progressive policies



Pro­gres­sive Poli­cies Are Pop­u­lar So Why Should Democ­rats Be Afraid of Them?

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Decreasing wages and spreading poverty



The growth of inequal­ity (the rich­est 1% will soon own more than the rest of the world) is linked with decreas­ing wages and spread­ing poverty. All eco­nomic activ­ity needs a moral compass.

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US gun laws for whites



US gun laws per­mit­ting peo­ple to carry guns are only for whites. If you’re black and you carry a gun, you are likely to get attacked even if you don’t threaten anyone.

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Violent no-knock SWAT raids



What sort of law should be used to pro­tect peo­ple from vio­lent no-knock SWAT raids?

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Sites blocked by UK internet filters



UK inter­net fil­ters to “pro­tect chil­dren” block a wide range of web sites, includ­ing char­i­ties that help young people.

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Maine kicks 6000 people off food stamps



The Repub­li­can rul­ing Maine kicked 6000 peo­ple off food stamps because they are sup­posed to be work­ing, though there are no jobs.

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Reason for Britain to leave the EU



One rea­son for the Britain to leave the EU: it is what Gold­man Sachs does not want. This is not a mat­ter of petty revenge: the power of Gold­man Sachs is a tremen­dously harm­ful effect. Britons suf­fer greatly from the poli­cies the UK adopts to be a good plat­form for that and other big banks, […]

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Google secret subpoena



Google received a secret sub­poena 3 years ago for essen­tially all its data about some Wik­ileaks employees.

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Ungrateful Senator



Sen­a­tor Joni Ernst grew up poor and her fam­ily depended on gov­ern­ment aid. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars worth of it. Now she ungrate­fully cam­paigns to deny the aid to poor fam­i­lies today.

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Netanyahu sends drones against Hezbollah



Why did Netanyahu send drones against Hezbol­lah, which did not threaten Israel? Uri Avn­ery believes it was to pro­voke a war so he could win the elec­tion. But it failed, because Hezbol­lah declined to help him out.

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Journalism criminalized in the US



Quinn Nor­ton says that proper jour­nal­ism about alleged secu­rity breaches is now effec­tively crim­i­nal­ized in the US, and he does not dare continue it.

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False charges against police officer



Police offi­cer John But­tress opposed racist searches of peo­ple on the street, so the thugs he works with have repeat­edly made false crim­i­nal charges against him.

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PR campaign for GMOs



The Big Ag $100-million PR cam­paign for GMOs.

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European Commission trade treaties



The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is sneak­ily try­ing to make trade treaties give cor­po­ra­tions spe­cial pow­ers even if the treaties are not rat­i­fied. If Syriza wins the Greek elec­tion tomor­row, Syriza could block rat­i­fi­ca­tion of these treaties, and it should do so for the sake of all of Europe. Has Syriza said any­thing about this?

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Republicans to return Panetta report



Repub­li­cans in the Sen­ate plan to give back to the CIA the leaked Panetta report which showed the sen­ate CIA crimes.

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Suppression of Senate torture report



Repub­li­cans in the sen­ate want to coop­er­ate with Obama in sup­press­ing the Sen­ate tor­ture report. Repub­li­cans usu­ally hate every­thing Democ­rats do, and obstruct it just for the sake of obstruc­tion. But they make an bipar­ti­san excep­tion for the truly evil.

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Two countries reject human rights for children

January 27, 2015

The only two coun­tries that have rejected the UN Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child are South Sudan and the US. It is funny how leg­is­la­tors that want to approve the TPP would object to human rights for chil­dren as a “vio­la­tion of sovereignty”.

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Russian proxy forces in Ukraine



Russ­ian proxy forces in Ukraine are fir­ing long-range mis­siles at Mar­i­upol. Mar­i­upol is far away from the area that rebelled. If the rebels were really just rebels, they would not be inter­ested in Mar­i­upol. Putin, how­ever, has a motive to con­quer Mar­i­upol: to link the con­quered Crimea with Rus­sia. Thus we have two more proofs […]

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Rhino poaching



Can Any­thing Stop the Rhino Poach­ing Cri­sis? I recall read­ing about a scheme that involved inject­ing live rhi­nos’ horns with some­thing that made them unsal­able but did not hurt the rhino. Why isn’t that being used?

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Tracking tags on Obamacare web site



Activists reproach the Oba­macare web site for host­ing the track­ing tags that enable com­pa­nies to mon­i­tor vis­i­tors to the site. It should be ille­gal for the web site of any gov­ern­ment agency, or any com­mer­cial ser­vice act­ing for such an agency, to give out any vis­i­tors’ per­sonal data to any other entity unless this is […]

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Homeless people removed from streets of Manila



The Philip­pines put home­less peo­ple from the streets of Manila to a hotel so the city would look nice for the Pope’s visit. It’s funny when they say that they aimed to make Manila look like a first-world city. US cities haven’t looked like that since the 1970s. In the US, they make the city prettier […]

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Leaks of students’ personal data



US schools are start­ing to become con­cerned about leaks of stu­dents’ per­sonal data.

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Lake Urmia



Lake Urmia in Iran has shrunk to just 10% of its size in the 70s. No one is sure why, but I sus­pect it is human diver­sion of water that used to flow into the lake.

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Methane leaks



Methane leaks in cities mean that nat­ural gas con­tributes more to global heat­ing than was believed. The idea that nat­ural gas is a good “bridge” to reduce green­house gas emis­sions is based on a series of under­es­ti­mates of its green­house gas impact.

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Drone assassinations



Drones and the New Ethics of War. Drone assas­si­na­tions are so impre­cise that they kill on the aver­age 28 unknown peo­ple for each tar­get killed. Anti-drone pro­tester Kathy Kelly’s state­ment about going to prison.

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Hollywood glamorization of the CIA



’Home­land’: Legit­imiz­ing Tor­ture, Lies and Killer Drones.

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UK tax and policy changes



UK tax and pol­icy changes have hit the poor worst.

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Classifying Media and Encryption as a Threat



Com­mit­tee to Pro­tect Jour­nal­ists: Clas­si­fy­ing Media And Encryp­tion as a Threat Is Dan­ger to Press Freedom.

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Brazil imposes water rationing



Brazil has imposed water rationing and elec­tric power cuts due to an unprece­dented drought. In effect, the ille­gal log­gers in the west of Brazil are now threat­en­ing the lives of peo­ple in the east, as well as the abo­rig­ines that live in the forests they destroy. Brazil­ians from cities must declare war on ille­gal logging, […]

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Fears of terrorism



A film fes­ti­val in Bel­gium was can­celled because of fears of ter­ror­ism. Ter­ror­ists don’t even need a real bomb to can­cel an event.

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Relocation” of rare animals



Many con­struc­tion projects “relo­cate” rare ani­mals with the idea that this will pre­vent their extinc­tion; but it is done care­lessly and often they end up dying.

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Toxic chemicals from California oil wells



Oil wells in Cal­i­for­nia were found to emit var­i­ous toxic chem­i­cals into the air.

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Viciousness of King Abdullah



You can’t find a more vicious ruler than King Abdul­lah, but he was loyal to the plu­toc­racy, so many plu­to­cratist politi­cians and news­pa­pers white­wash him. Com­pare what Obama said about Abdul­lah with what Obama said when Hugo Chavez died.

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China’s repression



As China’s repres­sion inten­si­fies, lawyer Pu Zhiquiang who defended many human rights activists is him­self a polit­i­cal pris­oner. China is block­ing access to some VPNs.

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The genocide of the Armenians



Who remem­bers the geno­cide of the Arme­ni­ans? And why is it impor­tant? Turkey com­mits a crime against free­dom by pro­hibit­ing recog­ni­tion of the geno­cide car­ried out by the Ottoman lead­ers, and France com­mits a sim­i­lar crime by ban­ning denial of the geno­cide. Hrant Dink, who defied the first pro­hi­bi­tion and said he would defy the […]

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Disappeared Mexican student protesters



Sur­viv­ing com­pan­ions of the 43 dis­ap­peared Mex­i­can stu­dent pro­test­ers insist that the army was involved in the deed, and present proof.

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Ethiopia’s Media Crackdown



Ethiopia’s Media Crack­down Is Bad News for Africa.

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UK public housing



The UK gov­ern­ment said it would encour­age peo­ple to buy the pub­lic hous­ing they live in, and build replace­ments. It did the first but qui­etly neglected the second.

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Punished for protesting against killer drones

January 26, 2015

An inter­view with Kathy Kelly, going to prison for a protest against killer drones.

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India’s film censors hit by scandals



India’s film cen­sors are hit by scandals.

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Unaccountable, unelected billionaires



Unac­count­able, unelected bil­lion­aires should not decide world poli­cies. Why the “rev­er­ence” for state­ments from the Gates Foun­da­tion? It gives grants to many orga­ni­za­tions; many more apply for hope for grants. These orga­ni­za­tions don’t dare crit­i­cize what­ever Gates decides to say.

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Wisconsin state elections board



Repub­li­cans in Wis­con­sin want to politi­cize the state elec­tions board. That would help them use their cur­rent posi­tion of dom­i­nance to get away with sub­tle vio­la­tions of election law.

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Abortion rights in the US



Abor­tion rights should be for all women, but the US has been chok­ing them off more and more for the poor.

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Australia’s immigration policy



Aus­tralia is inves­ti­gat­ing reporters who cover immi­gra­tion issues. There should be noth­ing secret about a country’s immi­gra­tion pol­icy, but Australia’s gov­ern­ment knows its secret cru­elty is extreme and would arouse dis­gust if revealed. What reporters have found is already arous­ing plenty.

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Urgent: Protect deep-sea corals



US cit­i­zens: sub­mit a com­ment for pro­tec­tion of deep-sea corals off the US Atlantic coast.

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Boston city employees gagged



Boston signed a con­tract that for­bids city employ­ees from crit­i­ciz­ing Boston’s Olympic bid. It is not clear the city has the right to impose this on its employ­ees, but they might be scared to go against it. Maybe we can help them get the courage.

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Greek debt



The euro zone needs to for­give Greek debt for its own sake as well as for Greeks’ sake.

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200 arrests at Seneca Lake



200 peo­ple have been arrested block­ing con­struc­tion of a giant nat­ural gas stor­age facil­ity that could pol­lute Seneca Lake for decades. This has not stopped the campaign.

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Training” the Iraqi army to fight PISSI



A west­ern offi­cial admits it might take two years to “train” the Iraqi army to be able to fight PISSI. Since he would always put a favor­able spin, if he says “two years”, he must really think “four years”. But I am skep­ti­cal the Iraqi army will ever have a strong enough will to fight PISSI. […]

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Car snooping device



A snoop­ing device that insur­ance com­pa­nies put in people’s cars turns out to let any­one else snoop on or sab­o­tage the car.

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Tax loopholes



Google, Apple and oth­ers are lob­by­ing to pre­vent gov­ern­ments from clos­ing the tax loop­holes that enable them to pay almost no taxes.

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Life as an Activist in Sudan



We Are the Vic­tims of Our Own Cor­rupt Gov­ern­ment” — Life as an Activist in Sudan.

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Army too corrupt to fight Boko Haram



Nigeria’s army is too cor­rupt to fight Boko Haram, and its gov­ern­ment seems to regard it as a small local problem.

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New rule disrupts UK schools



The UK has mul­ishly applied a rule meant for peo­ple who do day care in their homes to peo­ple who work in schools — fir­ing them if any­one they live with has been con­victed of cer­tain crimes.

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Urgent: Accountability of Monsanto



Every­one: Tell Mon­santo share­hold­ers to vote for accountability.

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Murder of prosecutor in Argentina



Argentina’s pres­i­dent says pros­e­cu­tor Nis­man was mur­dered, but that his accu­sa­tions were based on oth­ers’ false testimony.

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Contraceptive pills



Mis­lead­ing sta­tis­tics falsely make con­tra­cep­tive pills seem dan­ger­ous. Dou­bling a minus­cule risk results in a minus­cule risk — and it is not clear the risk really increases at all.

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Antarctic toothfish poaching



Antarc­tic Tooth­fish Poach­ing Ships Shrug Off New Zealand Navy.

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DEA mass surveillance of phone calls



The Drug Enforce­ment Agency has car­ried out mas­sive indis­crim­i­nate sur­veil­lance of phone call records for 15 years.

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Wind and solar power lobbying organizations



Fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies and big fossil-fuel-using util­i­ties have taken con­trol of the wind power and solar power lob­by­ing orga­ni­za­tions in Europe, and redi­rected them to under­mine renew­able energy policies.

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Killer thug gets off with impunity



The US gov­ern­ment could not find a basis to charge the thug that killed Michael Brown. It can’t charge him with mur­der, which is cov­ered by state law. It can only accuse him if it found direct evi­dence of racism. So another cop-killer (i.e., killer cop) gets off with impunity.

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Myth of defensive gun ownership



A badly designed sur­vey over­es­ti­mated the rate of defen­sive use of guns by per­haps a hun­dred times. Gun nuts cite it to bury the fact that guns are used far more to attack peo­ple than to defend people.

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Trial of CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling



The US government’s evi­dence against Jef­frey Ster­ling is that he had non-secret doc­u­ments about using rotary dial phones — which were retroac­tively labeled as secret.

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Republican global heating denialism



US Repub­li­cans shift to a mod­i­fied form of global heat­ing denial­ism: their sec­ond line of defense to pro­tect their cam­paign to cause dis­as­ter. The US Capi­tol is on a hill, so they can keep on pro­mot­ing global heat­ing even after parts of Wash­ing­ton DC are inundated.

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Oppression of PISSI’s rule



Mosul is almost sur­rounded by Pesh­merga, and seems to be suf­fer­ing already from siege con­di­tions which exac­er­bate the oppres­sion of PISSI’s rule. If you’re drafted by PISSI, it is bet­ter to frag your com­man­der and die than to give PISSI any pos­i­tive service.

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Urgent: Oppose TPP “fast track”



US cit­i­zens: phone your con­gress­crit­ter to oppose “fast track” for the TPP. And your sen­a­tors too! The Capi­tol Switch­board num­bers are 202–224‑3121, 888–818‑6641 and 888–355‑3588.

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Cooperation between UK and Gaddafi



The UK gov­ern­ment assisted Gaddafi’s spies, tor­tur­ers and thugs, even more than we knew.

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Antisemitism in Argentina



Anti­semitism is turn­ing vio­lent in parts of Argentina.

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Measles at Disneyland



Dis­ney­land tells chil­dren not vac­ci­nated for measles to stay away, after some work­ers were infected.

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The “Koch primary”



US Repub­li­can elec­tion can­di­dates have to pass through the “Koch primary.”

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Conviction of Barrett Brown



The con­vic­tion of Bar­rett Brown, based partly on deny­ing that he is a jour­nal­ist, puts all US jour­nal­ists in dan­ger. His full statement.

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Women sentenced to prison for abortions



Women in El Sal­vador are sen­tenced to many years in prison for hav­ing abor­tions, or even mis­car­riages. And this is seep­ing into the US.

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Guatemalan couple unable to rejoin children



A Guatemalan cou­ple try­ing to get back to the US to rejoin their chil­dren were swin­dled by peo­ple smug­glers and are now broke and stuck in Mex­ico. If you don’t dare raise chil­dren because “gangs rule the streets”, you should not have chil­dren. Who­ever is respon­si­ble for Ms Cruz’s recent preg­nancy did some­thing wrong — […]

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Sentence cut out of State of the Union



The Repub­li­can Party cut out one of Obama’s sen­tences when stream­ing the State of the Union address.

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Algorithmic analysis of people’s internet activities



When employ­ers select who to hire based on how algo­rithms ana­lyze people’s inter­net activ­i­ties, you will never know what action might make you unem­ploy­able. This pre­sumes that there will be a short­age of jobs, so that every employer will be able to make can­di­dates jump through what­ever hoops. But the same com­puter sys­tems will ensure […]

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Dirty tricks against Palestinians



Pales­tini­ans in an area that Israel has annexed have gone 10 months with no water sup­ply. Israel does all sorts of dirty tricks to make Pales­tini­ans leave the West Bank, and espe­cially cer­tain parts of it. They hold on because they don’t want to sur­ren­der to this pressure.

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Plan to restrict abortion rights blocked



Female Repub­li­can con­gress­crit­ters blocked a plan to restrict abor­tion rights.

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Breakthrough in genetically engineered bacteria



A break­through makes it pos­si­ble to cre­ate genet­i­cally engi­neered bac­te­ria that will die when­ever sup­plies of cer­tain arti­fi­cial chem­i­cals run out.

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Video proof of thug shooting



Video proves thugs shot a black man who had got out of his car with his hands up. If you watch that video, don’t watch it on the youtube site because that requires run­ning non­free soft­ware. Use youtube-dl to down­load it and watch it with­out non­free software.

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Heating of the oceans



Improved mea­sure­ments of the heat­ing of the oceans shows there was no “pause” in global heat­ing. The oceans received more heat in 2014 than ever recorded before.

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Urgent: Statistics on violence by thugs



US cit­i­zens: call on the Depart­ment of Jus­tice to take sta­tis­tics on vio­lence by thugs, then act to restrain it.

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Houthi rebels overthrow gov’t of Yemen



The Houthi rebels have over­thrown the gov­ern­ment of Yemen, though they said this was not their aim. They hate al Qa’ida and the US.

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Obama to reshape the internet



Obama Will Fun­da­men­tally Reshape the Inter­net — per­haps for the worse.

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UK thug kicks battered mother



A UK thug kicked and bat­tered a mother (to make her leave her child’s hos­pi­tal bed) so badly that she needed surgery and remains injured a year later. He got impunity, as usual.

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The low paid jobs of most women

January 25, 2015

Fem­i­nists should focus on the low paid jobs of most women, rather than obsess­ing about the frac­tion of females among the few exec­u­tive posi­tions and cor­po­rate board positions.

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Natural gas burned by US oil wells



US oil wells burn large amounts of nat­ural gas that are “not worth cap­tur­ing”. Why is it worth get­ting other gas by frack­ing instead?

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Greenpeace funds arbitrarily blocked



A court ruled India must allow Green­peace to receive funds from abroad. The gov­ern­ment arbi­trar­ily blocked the funds to stop Green­peace from pro­tect­ing the envi­ron­ment from businesses.

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A deregulated “free” market



Air­lines in the US are a clear exam­ple of how a dereg­u­lated “free“ mar­ket can serve cus­tomers badly. There is no such thing as “the” free mar­ket. Every mar­ket has rules, and a free mar­ket sim­ply means one in which every­one is allowed to play by the same rules. Chang­ing the rules can make a […]

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FBI wants to do away with showing probable cause



The FBI wants to be able to search com­put­ers with­out show­ing prob­a­ble cause, if the com­puter uses Tor or a VPN.

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Israeli soldiers shooting teenagers dead



Israeli sol­diers, safe in tow­ers, shoot stone-throwing Pales­tin­ian teenagers dead.

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Bus passengers attacked by Palestinian



A Pales­tin­ian man in Tel Aviv attacked pas­sen­gers on a bus with a knife. Stab­bing civil­ians ran­domly is not brave, or heroic, or right; but it is indeed a nat­ural response to the occu­pa­tion, which is a far big­ger wrong.

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Freedom to offend



Char­lie Hebdo (and you) must be free to offend any­one and everyone.

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California remains in drought



Rains in Decem­ber have stopped, and Cal­i­for­nia remains in drought.

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Israeli patriotism



Moriel Rothman-Zecher refused to become a sol­dier in the occu­pa­tion of Pales­tine. Most Israelis call him a “trai­tor”, but he believes that Israeli patri­o­tism means work­ing to end the occupation.

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Bottom-trawling



Put an end to bottom-trawling, which causes tremen­dous eco­log­i­cal dam­age to get a fairly small quan­tity of fish.

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5000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel



Israel holds 5000 Pales­tini­ans pris­oner in Israel. Pales­tin­ian pris­on­ers are often tor­tured; since 1967, 72 have been tor­tured to death. This is the worst abuse, but there are many more.

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Anti-immigrant party leader poses as Hitler



A founder of the anti-immigrant Ger­man party Pegida posed as Hitler. He says it was meant to accom­pany a satirical novel.

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US thugs can look through walls with radar



US thugs have radars that look through walls and can detect a per­son breath­ing. I won­der what it takes to block that radar.

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Turkish thugs sentenced to prison



Two Turk­ish thugs have been sen­tenced to prison for beat­ing a pro­tester to death.

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Teacher sent to prison for affair with student



A UK teacher that had a many-year affair with a stu­dent has been sent to prison, wrongly in my view. Teach­ers have a respon­si­bil­ity not to become inti­mate with stu­dents, but there is no rea­son to make this a crime. Teach­ers who don’t carry out that respon­si­bil­ity should be fired.

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Thai workers in Israel



Thai migrant work­ers in Israel are being worked like slaves.

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UK subsidies for nuclear power plant



Other EU coun­tries claim that tremen­dous UK sub­si­dies for a new nuclear power plant vio­late EU rules, and will sue.

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Climate myths



Matt Ridley’s cli­mate myths have been refuted over and over, so why won’t he drop them?

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UK government support for fossil fuel



The UK gov­ern­ment rejects almost 60% of appli­ca­tions for to build wind power on land. By con­trast, it has elim­i­nated local power to reject frack­ing. Both poli­cies reflect the government’s gen­eral pol­icy of sup­port­ing fos­sil fuel companies.

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Boat people on hunger strike

January 24, 2015

Boat peo­ple sent by Aus­tralia to Manus Island are on hunger strike; their prison guards are con­fis­cat­ing phones so they can­not doc­u­ment the violence.

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Fracking causes earthquakes



Frack­ing causes medium-size earth­quakes in sev­eral US states. This is an addi­tional rea­son to ban them, beyond pol­lu­tion of water sup­plies, methane leaks, and the con­tri­bu­tion to global heating.

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Using drones to find illegal fishing operations



Mex­ico will use drones to find the ille­gal fish­ing oper­a­tions that kill rare porpoises.

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Obamacare web site visitor data



The Oba­macare web site gives data to many com­pa­nies about its vis­i­tors; these com­pa­nies can inte­grate that data with other per­sonal data to increase their knowl­edge of the per­son. They say that the com­pa­nies are pro­hib­ited from using the data for “busi­ness pur­poses”, but I expect they have already found other ways to use the […]

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Pope’s rejection of contraception



The Pope is reach­ing for straws to rec­on­cile the rejec­tion of con­tra­cep­tion with his humane gen­eral out­look, but that can’t be done. The for­mer must go.

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Urgent: Boycott Koch Industries products



Every­one: boy­cott Koch Indus­tries products.

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Prison sentence for “offensive tweet”



Nabil Rajab was sen­tenced to prison in Bahrain for an “offen­sive tweet”. France and Britain, do you want to be in a class with Bahrain, or will you respect free­dom of expression?

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Journalists on GCHQ targets list



GCHQ included inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists in a list of high pri­or­ity sur­veil­lance targets.

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Secret US military missions



The US has run secret mil­i­tary mis­sions in 105 coun­tries since Octo­ber 1. Why the US is the Biggest Threat to World Peace.

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What copyright industry lawyers believe



The copy­right indus­try is so dis­con­nected from real­ity that its lawyers believe the inter­net exists due to copyright.

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Opt-out in location-tracking technology



A call for a pri­vacy opt-out in future US location-tracking tech­nol­ogy. This might actu­ally do some good, because it goes beyond the inad­e­quate approach of lim­it­ing use of data that has been collected.

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Time for a New Enlightenment



After Paris: It’s Time for a New Enlightenment.

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Fanatical Muslims riot in Niger



Fanat­i­cal Mus­lims in Niger rioted and attacked Chris­t­ian churches as pun­ish­ment for Char­lie Hebdo’s cover.

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Personal monitoring devices



Per­sonal mon­i­tor­ing devices for com­put­ers open the door to employ­ers and gov­ern­ments’ forc­ing peo­ple to be monitored.

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No shortage of food



Agribusi­ness claims only it can fill the world’s food short­age. But there isn’t one — and we don’t need to let agribusi­ness dom­i­nate farm­ing. World food pro­duc­tion would become a lot eas­ier, and a lot bet­ter for the envi­ron­ment, if we ate less meat and espe­cially less beef. It would be bet­ter for the people […]

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