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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Everyday harassment and danger of violence provoke mental illness, among blacks and among women.
A court ruled that airport thugs did wrong to arrest Nick George for carrying flash cards to learn Arabic.
A reporter has fled Argentina due to death threats. He was writing about the recently murdered prosecutor.
Obama has dropped his inadequate proposal for reforming massive surveillance of the telephone records of everyone in the US (and elsewhere).
Target in Canada fired 17000 workers and its CEO. The severance pay for the CEO equals the severance pay for 17000 workers.
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, […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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.
How Citizens United (sic) Paved the Way for Big Oil’s Bribes.
The UK is considering an attack on human rights: censorship of a particular book.
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.
The BBC and its Canadian counterpart slant the news towards the power of business.
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.
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 […]
The FBI wants to be allowed to crack computers under very broad and vague search orders.
US citizens: call for a Domestic Corrupt Practices Act to match the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Comparing what we need to do about global heating with Obama’s State of the Union proposals.
The US refuses to shut down the reactors that are identical to those that failed disastrously at Fukushima.
PISSI justifies a wide range of atrocities with examples from the Quran.
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 […]
Progressive Policies Are Popular So Why Should Democrats Be Afraid of Them?
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.
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.
What sort of law should be used to protect people from violent no-knock SWAT raids?
UK internet filters to “protect children” block a wide range of web sites, including charities that help young people.
The Republican ruling Maine kicked 6000 people off food stamps because they are supposed to be working, though there are no jobs.
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, […]
Google received a secret subpoena 3 years ago for essentially all its data about some Wikileaks employees.
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.
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.
Quinn Norton says that proper journalism about alleged security breaches is now effectively criminalized in the US, and he does not dare continue it.
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.
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?
Republicans in the Senate plan to give back to the CIA the leaked Panetta report which showed the senate CIA crimes.
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.
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”.
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 […]
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?
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 […]
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 […]
US schools are starting to become concerned about leaks of students’ personal data.
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.
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.
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.
’Homeland’: Legitimizing Torture, Lies and Killer Drones.
Committee to Protect Journalists: Classifying Media And Encryption as a Threat Is Danger to Press Freedom.
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, […]
A film festival in Belgium was cancelled because of fears of terrorism. Terrorists don’t even need a real bomb to cancel an event.
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.
Oil wells in California were found to emit various toxic chemicals into the air.
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.
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.
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 […]
Surviving companions of the 43 disappeared Mexican student protesters insist that the army was involved in the deed, and present proof.
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.
An interview with Kathy Kelly, going to prison for a protest against killer drones.
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.
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.
Abortion rights should be for all women, but the US has been choking them off more and more for the poor.
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.
US citizens: submit a comment for protection of deep-sea corals off the US Atlantic coast.
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.
The euro zone needs to forgive Greek debt for its own sake as well as for Greeks’ sake.
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.
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. […]
A snooping device that insurance companies put in people’s cars turns out to let anyone else snoop on or sabotage the car.
Google, Apple and others are lobbying to prevent governments from closing the tax loopholes that enable them to pay almost no taxes.
“We Are the Victims of Our Own Corrupt Government” — Life as an Activist in Sudan.
Nigeria’s army is too corrupt to fight Boko Haram, and its government seems to regard it as a small local problem.
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.
Everyone: Tell Monsanto shareholders to vote for accountability.
Argentina’s president says prosecutor Nisman was murdered, but that his accusations were based on others’ false testimony.
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.
Antarctic Toothfish Poaching Ships Shrug Off New Zealand Navy.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has carried out massive indiscriminate surveillance of phone call records for 15 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The UK government assisted Gaddafi’s spies, torturers and thugs, even more than we knew.
Disneyland tells children not vaccinated for measles to stay away, after some workers were infected.
US Republican election candidates have to pass through the “Koch primary.”
The conviction of Barrett Brown, based partly on denying that he is a journalist, puts all US journalists in danger. His full statement.
Women in El Salvador are sentenced to many years in prison for having abortions, or even miscarriages. And this is seeping into the US.
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 — […]
The Republican Party cut out one of Obama’s sentences when streaming the State of the Union address.
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 […]
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.
Female Republican congresscritters blocked a plan to restrict abortion rights.
A breakthrough makes it possible to create genetically engineered bacteria that will die whenever supplies of certain artificial chemicals run out.
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.
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.
US citizens: call on the Department of Justice to take statistics on violence by thugs, then act to restrain it.
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.
Obama Will Fundamentally Reshape the Internet — perhaps for the worse.
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.
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.
US oil wells burn large amounts of natural gas that are “not worth capturing”. Why is it worth getting other gas by fracking instead?
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.
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 […]
The FBI wants to be able to search computers without showing probable cause, if the computer uses Tor or a VPN.
Israeli soldiers, safe in towers, shoot stone-throwing Palestinian teenagers dead.
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.
Charlie Hebdo (and you) must be free to offend anyone and everyone.
Rains in December have stopped, and California remains in drought.
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.
Put an end to bottom-trawling, which causes tremendous ecological damage to get a fairly small quantity of fish.
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.
A founder of the anti-immigrant German party Pegida posed as Hitler. He says it was meant to accompany a satirical novel.
US thugs have radars that look through walls and can detect a person breathing. I wonder what it takes to block that radar.
Two Turkish thugs have been sentenced to prison for beating a protester to death.
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.
Other EU countries claim that tremendous UK subsidies for a new nuclear power plant violate EU rules, and will sue.
Matt Ridley’s climate myths have been refuted over and over, so why won’t he drop them?
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.
Boat people sent by Australia to Manus Island are on hunger strike; their prison guards are confiscating phones so they cannot document the violence.
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.
Mexico will use drones to find the illegal fishing operations that kill rare porpoises.
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 […]
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.
Everyone: boycott Koch Industries products.
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?
GCHQ included investigative journalists in a list of high priority surveillance targets.
The US has run secret military missions in 105 countries since October 1. Why the US is the Biggest Threat to World Peace.
The copyright industry is so disconnected from reality that its lawyers believe the internet exists due to copyright.
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.
Fanatical Muslims in Niger rioted and attacked Christian churches as punishment for Charlie Hebdo’s cover.
Personal monitoring devices for computers open the door to employers and governments’ forcing people to be monitored.
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 […]