FBI fiddling in Guantanamo trials

April 14, 2014

The FBI turned a mem­ber of a Guan­tanamo prisoner’s defense team into an infor­mant. The FBI did this try­ing to fig­ure out how a prisoner’s writ­ings reached the press. The US gov­ern­ment is keep­ing the pris­on­ers incom­mu­ni­cado so that they can’t tell us about how they were tor­tured. In effect, the whole sys­tem of “military […]

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Urgent: Oppose nomination of bankster



US cit­i­zens: call on Obama to with­draw the nom­i­na­tion of a bankster as an offi­cial of the Com­merce Depart­ment. The bankster just got a 9-million-dollar bonus for mov­ing to a posi­tion where he will be in a posi­tion to help his for­mer employer.

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New moms, new customers



The UK national health ser­vice pays a data bro­ker to hand out forms — and ask new moth­ers (still recu­per­at­ing in hos­pi­tal) for per­sonal data while they’re at it. These are the sorts of things that teach chil­dren that “every­one and every­thing is for sale, all the time, and there’s noth­ing that shouldn’t be for sale”. […]

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Smart ALEC



ALEC is about to pub­lish another “Rich States, Poor States” report which grades states on how friendly they are to the rich. It turns out this was funded by the Kochs.

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Urgent: Decent treatment of employees



Every­one: call on Kellogg’s to treat its employ­ees and farm work­ers decently.

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Sadistic treatment



Egypt­ian dis­si­dents, impris­oned with­out trial, say that thugs raped them in prison.

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AFRICOM thinking big



The US gov­ern­ment tells the pub­lic its mil­i­tary plans in Africa are small, but it tells con­struc­tion com­pa­nies some­thing rather different.

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Urgent: Sunshine in Litigation Act



US cit­i­zens: ask your con­gress­crit­ter to cospon­sor the Sun­shine in Litigation Act.

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Scales of justice



US banksters just about always bounce back from any dis­grace, since they bounce on their piles of money. Poor Amer­i­cans con­victed of com­par­a­tively minor crimes are locked out from many careers and edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties. Prac­ti­cally speak­ing, all they are allowed to be is crim­i­nals. The banksters’ crimes are far worse; the harsh­est con­se­quences should be reserved […]

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Modern slavery



Chat­tel slav­ery in the US was offi­cially abol­ished after the Civil War, but cur­rent US prison prac­tices are quite sim­i­lar to mod­ern slavery.

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Time’s up for fossil fuel



Green­peace: tell the fos­sil fuel indus­try its time is up. Fos­sil fuel inter­ests cor­rupt our gov­ern­ments (includ­ing Canada, Aus­tralia, the UK and the US), and our media, to push the world into con­tin­ued depen­dence on fos­sil fuels. This is a con­spir­acy to com­mit mass mur­der, and all those involved should be put behind bars.

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Roundup in our food chain



A pre­lim­i­nary study of a small num­ber of US moth­ers found high lev­els of glyphosate in the breast milk of sev­eral of them. A larger study is called for, but what’s clear already is that US safety stan­dards have been cor­rupted by pow­er­ful businesses.

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Teachers protest privatization



A pub­lic school teacher calls on other teach­ers to fight against the bil­lion­aires’ plan to pri­va­tize pub­lic schools and turn edu­ca­tion into a stan­dard­ized test. They plan a protest at the Gates Foun­da­tion on June 26.

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CIA torture cover-up exposed



A leaked copy of part of the Senate’s report on CIA tor­ture says that the CIA tor­tured lots of peo­ple and went beyond what it had got approval for. That the CIA lied to the rest of the US gov­ern­ment about its tor­ture prac­tices does not seem implau­si­ble to me. How­ever, we must not let […]

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Emboldened by chemistry



CO2 makes many small fish behave dan­ger­ously, which endan­gers the entire marine ecosys­tem. This is not to men­tion how it can wipe out mol­luscs and coral.

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Journalist Sarah Harrison



British jour­nal­ist Sarah Har­ri­son explains why she must not return to the UK: her lawyers warn she could be inter­ro­gated about her sources, and impris­oned if she does not answer. The only excuse they need is for some thug to say he had a “hunch” she might be a “ter­ror­ist.” And if the thug does […]

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Please don’t bother the fascists



The UK is arrest­ing anti-fascist pro­test­ers en masse and for­bid­ding them from protest­ing any further.

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Being a black male in a US city



Being a black male in a US city is like being an Amer­i­can in East Berlin in 1980: con­tin­ual harass­ment by thugs, due to who you are rather than what you do, cre­ates a sense of con­stant oppres­sion. The US gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing new rules about racial pro­fil­ing, that would not change much.

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Police suppress criticism



UK thugs made three tries to gag the whistle­blower who exposed fal­si­fi­ca­tion of crime statistics.

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UK thug system of lying



The head offi­cers of UK thug depart­ments UK have imposed a sys­tem of lying about crime sta­tis­tics, order­ing other thugs to help lie. Crime sta­tis­tics are not all that UK thugs lie about.

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Data Retention Directive ruled invalid



Four main phone com­pa­nies in Swe­den have ceased retain­ing cus­tomers’ call records, based on the court rul­ing against the EU data reten­tion directive.

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IPCC’s renewable energy targets



The IPCC has pre­sented tar­gets for renew­able energy devel­op­ment to avoid the worst kind of global heat­ing dis­as­ter. Since we don’t know how pre­cisely how much green­house gas emis­sions it will take to cause dis­as­ter, we should try to exceed these tar­gets by as much as possible.

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Fallout from LIBOR scandal



The FDIC is suing big banks over a tricky form of deriv­a­tive, inter­est rate swaps, which were rigged through the LIBOR lies. Aside from the fal­si­fi­ca­tion of LIBOR, banks should not be allowed to invent com­plex finan­cial deriv­a­tives because that’s a recipe for suck­er­ing peo­ple. If the bank can make up a game with complicated […]

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Phones with retina trackers



Another pri­vacy threat: cell phones with always-on retina track­ers. The cute “3D” fea­ture they are used to imple­ment is of no real impor­tance, but I won­der what other infor­ma­tion the pro­pri­etary soft­ware in those phones can extract using those sen­sors and give to companies.

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Some defendants missing from Gaddafi trial



Human rights observers were barred from the “open” trial of Gaddafi’s sons and sup­port­ers, and not all the defen­dants were present.

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Reporting anything “suspicious”



The US asks the pub­lic to report any­thing “sus­pi­cious”, and nearly any­thing some­one feels strange about can be “sus­pi­cious”, which makes for a big data base with lots of info about lots of people.

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More Russian shenanigans in Ukraine



It appears that Russ­ian army units, pre­tend­ing not to be such, are cap­tur­ing cities in east­ern Ukraine. They seem to have some sup­port from the local civil­ians, but there is no way of telling how many civil­ians do not sup­port them; those peo­ple are fac­ing pow­er­ful intimidation now.

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FBI snooping

April 13, 2014

The FBI did not bother to ques­tion Tamer­lan Tsar­naev, but now says his exam­ple shows it needs more snoop­ing author­ity. The Boston Marathon bombers killed four peo­ple, not as many as a recent bus acci­dent, but it has been sen­sa­tion­al­ized so much that peo­ple per­ceive it as sig­ni­fy­ing a far big­ger dan­ger. That makes it […]

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Urgent: Support bill to require labeling of GMOs



Cit­i­zens of Mass­a­chu­setts: sup­port the bill to require label­ing of GMOs.

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War on Terror



War on Terror’s Trickle Down Effect: The FBI’s Mil­i­tary Evo­lu­tion Exposed.

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Subtle campaign of global heating sabotage



A sub­tle cam­paign of global heat­ing sab­o­tage uses dis­torted facts to crit­i­cize cli­mate sci­en­tists for not pro­mot­ing cer­tain dan­ger­ous or inef­fec­tive “solu­tions”. I won­der where this group gets its funds.

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The concept of “selling out”



Some teenagers in the US no longer under­stand the con­cept of “sell­ing out”, because they know no other approach to life. The arti­cle relates that to the 30-year-long cam­paign to attack pub­lic edu­ca­tion, which may be related to it. How­ever, anti­so­cial net­works such as Face­book may be more respon­si­ble for it. Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle, […]

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General strike in Argentina



A mil­lion work­ers par­tic­i­pated in a gen­eral strike in Argentina.

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Fossil fuel shock capitalism



The fos­sil fuel indus­try is con­tin­u­ing its pol­icy of shock cap­i­tal­ism to exploit every cri­sis, includ­ing Crimea.

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Science teacher in LA was fired



A sci­ence teacher in LA was fired for super­vis­ing the con­struc­tion of devices that could con­ceiv­ably launch pro­jec­tiles. Some­one else thought they “looked like weapons”. One might be tempted to say that the school admin­is­tra­tors are rash idiots, but it’s not that sim­ple. The prob­lem is that they think that their job is to act […]

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Commercial use of medical records



The EFF is cam­paign­ing against com­mer­cial mis­use of people’s med­ical records. I sup­port this cam­paign but I think it does not go far enough. Both com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments can mis­use our med­ical records, so a real solu­tion must make it hard for either of them to get our records, hard enough that they will only […]

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LA thugs sabotaged their full-time recording devices



LA thugs have sab­o­taged their full-time record­ing devices by “los­ing” the anten­nas. I guess they want to be free to beat peo­ple up unmon­i­tored. Peo­ple in gen­eral should not be “fol­lowed all the time” by the state or by com­pa­nies, but thugs are a spe­cial case because they have spe­cial power, and because the state […]

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McDonalds’ toxic pesticides



Cam­paign­ing to reduce the toxic pes­ti­cides used to make McDon­alds’ french fries. If this suc­ceeds, they will only be bad for the peo­ple that eat them ;-).

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Urgent: GMO labeling



US cit­i­zens: call on your con­gress­crit­ter to oppose the dis­hon­est bill designed to block states from requir­ing label­ing of GMOs.

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US mainstream media and breakdown of the “peace negotiations”



US main­stream media ignored Israel’s breach of the interim deal with Pales­tine, and blamed Palestine’s response as the cause of the break­down of the “peace nego­ti­a­tions”. Since Israel’s gov­ern­ment does not want peace, these “peace nego­ti­a­tions” were never more than a sham, a way for Israel’s gov­ern­ment to pre­tend it wants peace.

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US deportation of “Mexicans”



The US has deported thou­sands of “Mex­i­cans” who came to the US as chil­dren and don’t know what it is like to live in Mex­ico. Many stay in Tijuana, try­ing to feel close to their fam­i­lies in the US.

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Urgent: Reproductive health care access



Every­one: sup­port efforts in Col­orado to pass a law pro­tect­ing access to repro­duc­tive health care.

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Converting US economy into a system of financial parasitism



Finan­cial ana­lyst Eric Gar­land says that Bain Cap­i­tal (and sim­i­lar leveraged-buyout com­pa­nies) are con­vert­ing the US econ­omy into a sys­tem of finan­cial par­a­sitism, in which busi­ness deci­sions are no longer sup­posed to make sense for the com­pany, and imposed com­pany debt is put into com­plex schemes so it can be resold to a “big­ger fool”. The […]

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Andrew Auernheimer’s conviction



Andrew Auernheimer’s con­vic­tion was over­turned on appeal on the grounds he was pros­e­cuted in the wrong state. This is not the triv­ial issue it appears at first sight. The US pros­e­cuted him in New Jer­sey, although his case had noth­ing to do with New Jer­sey, because that court tends to stretch the law to give […]

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Snowden summarized the broad reach of NSA



Snow­den, speak­ing to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, sum­ma­rized the broad reach of NSA mas­sive surveillance.

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Nonfree test-supervising software



San Jose State Uni­ver­sity (and prob­a­bly other uni­ver­si­ties too) requires some stu­dents to run non­free test-supervising soft­ware used to impose a regime that must drive peo­ple nuts. I’d fail a test in alge­bra, if I had to spend an hour answer­ing ques­tions while never look­ing away from the cam­era. And if I were not allowed to […]

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Japan apologizes



Japan has apol­o­gized for some atroc­i­ties in World War II. When will the US do likewise?

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Citizens of Albuquerque protested the street executions



Cit­i­zens of Albu­querque protested the street exe­cu­tions car­ried out by thugs, to demand that cor­rec­tive action be taken in a way that the thugs can’t undermine.

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Australian gov’t ordered employees to report on their colleagues



The Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment has ordered gov­ern­ment employ­ees to report their col­leagues for post­ing any­thing on the inter­net that crit­i­cizes the gov­ern­ment. You’d expect as much from the min­ing industry’s gov­ern­ment of occupation.

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The FBI and Massachusetts



The ACLU is suing to get infor­ma­tion about FBI and Mass­a­chu­setts involve­ment in inves­ti­ga­tions relat­ing to the Boston marathon bomb­ing, and whether mas­sive increases in sur­veil­lance that threaten our free­dom really pro­vided any secu­rity at all.

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Urgent: Restore what Supreme Court weakened in the 5th Amendment



US cit­i­zens: call on Con­gress to try to restore what the Supreme Court weak­ened in the 5th Amendment.

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Denying raises to teachers unless they “volunteer”



UK school prin­ci­pals are deny­ing raises to teach­ers unless they “vol­un­teer” for unpaid extra work.

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SEC surveillance powers



The SEC is block­ing reform of the Elec­tronic Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Pri­vacy Act by demand­ing addi­tional sur­veil­lance pow­ers. Note that even if this reform goes through, you will still have less rights over your email when it is in a com­pany than if it is in your home.

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UK caught helping CIA run secret prison



The UK has been caught help­ing the CIA run a secret prison on Diego Garcia.

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Singapore enacts SOPA

April 12, 2014

Sin­ga­pore rejected a “three strikes” law — and enacted SOPA instead.

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US gov’t seizing money



The US gov­ern­ment is seiz­ing money from peo­ple today to can­cel “over­pay­ments” in dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits allegedly made to their par­ents. I don’t think the US should seize money with­out a hear­ing about it. And it should not be able to seize money from chil­dren because of over­pay­ments to their par­ents. Debts are not inherited.

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Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras visited the US



Glenn Green­wald and Laura Poitras vis­ited the US, and were not harassed by gov­ern­ment agents on arrival. Poitras used to be harassed reg­u­larly each time she returned to the US.

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Privacy violates trade treaty



The US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive claims that the Euro­pean Union can’t set its own data cen­ters to pro­tect pri­vacy and block sur­veil­lance because that would vio­late a trade treaty.

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US Supreme Court narrowed right to remain silent



The US Supreme Court has nar­rowed the right to remain silent and not have that used against you in court, by say­ing the right applies only if you have explic­itly cited it.

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Urgent: Tell Comcast what you think



In the US: tell Com­cast what you think of its claim that there are no ratio­nal objec­tions to its pro­posed merger with another large ISP.

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Comcast and Time Warner Cable



Com­cast called Time Warner Cable a com­peti­tor until they wanted to merge, at which point it started claim­ing that the two com­pa­nies do not com­pete. We should not per­mit large com­pa­nies in the same field of busi­ness to merge under any circumstances.

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Gov’t refuses to say where Sharif Mobley is



US cit­i­zen Sharif Mob­ley is accused of mur­der in Yemen, much like Obama. Unlike Obama, Mob­ley was sup­posed to be pros­e­cuted there; but now that it is time for a hear­ing, the gov­ern­ment now refuses to say where he is.

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Boycott on investing in fossil fuel companies



Desmond Tutu calls for a boy­cott on invest­ing in fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies. I agree, on this, and on the point that it is uncon­scionable that our gov­ern­ments con­tinue to offer coop­er­a­tion (such as the Key­stone XL pipeline) and finan­cial sup­port to fossil fuels.

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Airplane wifi systems



Air­plane wifi sys­tems spy on users even more than US law requires, as a “favor” to the US government.

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Celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week



A sci­en­tist says, let’s cel­e­brate Home­opa­thy Aware­ness Week by mak­ing the pub­lic aware of how absurd and inef­fec­tive homeopathy is.

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Thug department condemned for frequently using “deadly force”



The Albu­querque thug depart­ment has been con­demned for fre­quently using “deadly force” with no justification.

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US border patrol thugs



Clar­isa Chris­tiansen describes how US bor­der patrol agents threat­ened to attack her as she was dri­ving her chil­dren to school, refus­ing to say why, and even­tu­ally slashed her tire just to be nasty. These thugs should be required to make video and audio record­ings of their inter­ac­tions with the public.

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Newspapers printed black front pages



Burmese news­pa­pers printed black front pages to protest the impris­on­ment of a journalist.

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Coal industry “education”



Illi­nois will con­tinue pass­ing along coal indus­try (Koch broth­ers?) “edu­ca­tion“ in pub­lic schools.

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Theories endure in the media long after they have been refuted



A few sci­en­tists pub­lish papers crit­i­cism some aspects of the accepted under­stand­ing of global heat­ing. Their the­o­ries some­times endure in the main­stream media long after they have been refuted by further data.

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Guinea mining licenses cancelled



Guinea has can­celled min­ing licenses obtained, it seems, through corruption.

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PBS supporting privatization of US public schools



PBS is firmly and per­sis­tently sup­port­ing the bil­lion­aires’ move­ment for pri­va­ti­za­tion of US pub­lic schools. PBS’s shows have been largely con­trolled by busi­ness since the 1990s, if not before. Often you can tell which com­pa­nies exert the con­trol over a show because their com­mer­cials appear in it. Com­pare this with the cam­paign to pry loose the […]

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Mutagenic nanoparticles



Two com­monly used kinds of nanopar­ti­cles, zinc oxide and sil­ver, can dam­age DNA if they get into human cells. This high­lights the dan­ger that a mate­r­ial which is safe when used in larger units may be dan­ger­ous in the form of small particles.

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Labeling GMO salmon



The com­pany mak­ing the GMO salmon claims that the FDA has already decided not to require label­ing of this salmon. This is not offi­cially true, but the FDA is doing noth­ing to rebut the claim. My guess is that the FDA has in fact made that deci­sion, just not officially.

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Urgent: Divestment from fossil fuel



US cit­i­zens: sign up in sup­port of Har­vard fac­ulty call­ing for divest­ment from fos­sil fuel companies.

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US Lacks Accurate Drone Civilian Casualty Data



US Lacks Accu­rate Drone Civil­ian Casu­alty Data, says Mil­i­tary Ana­lyst. Being more care­ful, with bet­ter data, would be a use­ful step. But really the US should cease using mil­i­tary force out­side of war zones.

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Climate Change Is Not a Debate



Cli­mate Change Is Not a Debate: It Is a Strug­gle That Pits Sur­vivors Against Fos­sil Fuel Profiteers.

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Growth for Growth’s Sake Will Kill Us All



Growth for Growth’s Sake Will Kill Us All. In addi­tion to being unsus­tain­able, growth has also become nearly use­less for the non-rich, in coun­tries under plu­to­cratic rule. The ben­e­fits of growth are seized by the plu­to­crats so lit­tle ben­e­fit trick­les down to the rest. You can’t expect a ris­ing tide to lift your boat if the plutocrats […]

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New French Puns



3 new puns in French

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US Army leaving behind lots of dangerous things



The US Army is leav­ing behind, in Afghanistan, lots of dan­ger­ous things such as unex­ploded munitions.

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Urgent: Call for ending a big tax loophole for businesses



Cit­i­zens of Mass­a­chu­setts: call for end­ing a big tax loop­hole for businesses.

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Wisconsin election practices

April 11, 2014

Wis­con­sin is one of the best US states in run­ning elec­tions, but the Repub­li­cans now in power are doing their best to change that.

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Why Obama did not attack Assad



Sey­mour Hersh writes that Obama decided not to attack Assad in Syria because he found out that the gas attack was com­mit­ted by the Islamists of al-Nusra. Before that, he was plan­ning a mas­sive attack. Hersh’s sources say that Turkey sup­ported al-Nusra in mak­ing sarin. They also say that the CIA was send­ing US weapons […]

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Food additives used in the US



Around 1000 food addi­tives are used in the US with­out need for reg­u­la­tory approval (or proper investigation).

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Open” is not strong enough



In issues of human rights, not solely in the soft­ware field, the con­cept of “open” is not strong enough.

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Working people



Work­ing peo­ple should not be con­demned to being “hard-working“ in ser­vice of the rich. Espe­cially not when there is no work available.

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Urgent: Protect rape victims



Every­one: tell Mozam­bique, don’t let rapists push their vic­tims into marriage.

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Swindled by Roche



The Pharma com­pany Roche swin­dled gov­ern­ments out of bil­lions by sug­gest­ing that Tam­i­flu was effec­tive against flu symp­toms while con­ceal­ing that exper­i­ments had shown the con­trary. We should not allow these com­pa­nies to have any­thing to do with such exper­i­ments. The gov­ern­ment should tax them and spend the money on the experiments.

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Urgent: Cancel Corporations United



US cit­i­zens: phone your sen­a­tors and con­gress­crit­ter, and say to co-sponsor S.J.Res.18 & H.J.Res.21, for con­sti­tu­tional amend­ments to can­cel the Cor­po­ra­tions United (*) deci­sion. The Capi­tol Switch­board num­bers are 202–224‑3121, 888–818‑6641 and 888–355‑3588. * To call it what it really is.

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Unions



With­out unions, work­ers won’t be paid what their work is worth.

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The timidity of the SEC



SEC lawyer James Kid­ney, in his retire­ment speech, rebuked the agency for timid­ity against the exec­u­tives of the com­pa­nies it is sup­posed to regulate.

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UK making college expensive



The UK is fol­low­ing the US in mak­ing col­lege expen­sive; stu­dents will take 30 years to repay their loans.

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Urgent: Extend unemployment benefits



US cit­i­zens: phone the Repub­li­can lead­ers in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to extend unem­ploy­ment benefits.

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BP still poisoning wildlife



The Big Spill is still poi­son­ing dol­phins, tur­tles, oys­ters and fish in parts of the Gulf of Mexico.

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US in a “gilded age” again



The US is in a “gilded age” again because con­cen­tra­tion of income to a wealthy few has gone back up to what it was a century ago.

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Heatland Institute on global heating



The Heat­land* Insti­tute can’t make up its mind whether to claim there is no global heat­ing or claim global heat­ing is ben­e­fi­cial. What they say doesn’t need to do any more than keep peo­ple too con­fused to inter­fere with what the Koch Broth­ers want. * Offi­cially “Heart­land”, but the name “Heat­land” fits its activ­i­ties better.

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Egypt prosecuting journalist



Egypt is pros­e­cut­ing yet another al-Jazeera journalist.

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Harmless prank in San Francisco

April 10, 2014

The lat­est harm­less prank in San Fran­cisco is to turn a Smart car on its side or its front. This oper­a­tion is basi­cally harm­less. It has some chance of caus­ing scrapes or break­ing a lamp, but minor prop­erty dam­age should not be a felony. Evi­dently Cal­i­for­nia has made its laws too harsh.

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Protests for privilege



Dis­tin­guish­ing the street protests of the mid­dle classes want­ing priv­i­lege from those of the poor demand­ing a decent life.

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Unlawful” breastfeeding



Stephanie Greene was con­victed of manslaugh­ter because she breast­fed her daugh­ter while tak­ing mor­phine, which was pre­scribed for her hor­ri­bly painful and dis­abling injuries. This arti­cle argues that there was a med­ical error in the prosecution’s rea­son­ing as well: that nor­mally only a tiny amount of mor­phine would get into the milk, not enough to […]

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Miami thug faces charges



A senior Miami thug faces charges of work­ing for drug gangs. The war on drugs cor­rupts many offi­cials; that’s one of the rea­sons we need to put an end to it.

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Australian campaign donors



Australia’s pol­icy towards Israel and Pales­tine under the pre­vi­ous (Labor) gov­ern­ment was deter­mined directly by cam­paign donors.

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Work hours in France



France has pro­hib­ited employ­ers in the dig­i­tal sec­tor from mak­ing employ­ees respond to work emails after 6pm. This means hack­ers in France now have more time to work on free soft­ware (logiciel libre).

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Sexual advances



A cam­paign against sex­ism appears to con­demn all explicit sex­ual advances as “harassment”.

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Women imprisoned in Sri Lanka



Sri Lanka has impris­oned sev­eral women accused sim­ply of hav­ing some sort of rela­tion­ship with a sus­pected Tamil nation­al­ist leader. The Bush forces did sim­i­lar things in Iraq.

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s honorary degree



Bran­deis Uni­ver­sity can­celled its plan to give Ayaan Hirsi Ali an hon­orary degree because of her crit­i­cism of Islam’s cru­elty to women. Any­one that this shoe fits deserves to feel unwel­come every­where in the world.

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World’s rate of oil extraction



Jeremy Leggett, oil geol­o­gist, claims that the world’s rate of oil extrac­tion will fall short of demand, some­time before 2020, per­haps as soon as 2015. He also says that a tran­si­tion to renew­able energy is within our grasp. Unfor­tu­nately, the Koch Broth­ers and their pet politi­cians are work­ing so hard to pre­vent the tran­si­tion. A […]

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The views of non-rich people



A sta­tis­ti­cal study con­firms that the views of non-rich peo­ple have neg­li­gi­ble effects on US gov­ern­ment poli­cies. The rich, and spe­cial inter­est lob­by­ing, have nearly total con­trol. And that was before the Supreme Court gave com­pa­nies and rich peo­ple even more power to con­trol elec­tions. Plu­toc­racy has squeezed democ­racy almost com­pletely out of the US […]

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Brave NYC teachers



Some brave New York City teach­ers have declared they will refuse to help admin­is­ter the Com­mon Core tests.

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Charter schools



The mayor of Chicago is push­ing to replace pub­lic schools with char­ter schools, claim­ing that the char­ter schools are supe­rior. A study con­firms pre­vi­ous results that char­ter schools are no bet­ter, in edu­ca­tional terms at least. They must be bet­ter for some­one. I won­der who, and how much that some­one con­tributes to elec­tion campaigns.

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Inhumane treatment in Guantanamo



Shaker Aamer suf­fers sev­eral forms of men­tal ill­ness caused by the inhu­mane way he is treated in Guan­tanamo. The state cov­ers this up with dou­ble­s­peak. He is even pun­ished by deny­ing him a blan­ket when his arthritis hurts.

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Toxic coal ash regulation in NC



Slav­ishly sub­servient min­ing reg­u­la­tors in North Car­olina have appealed a court vic­tory that affirmed their power to reg­u­late toxic coal ash.

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Urgent: Tell McDonalds to stop stealing



Every­one: Tell McDon­alds to stop steal­ing workers’ pay.

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Greek workers strike



Greek work­ers held a gen­eral strike against aus­ter­ity as a protest also against Merkel’s imperial visit.

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EU data retention directive

April 9, 2014

The court rul­ing against the EU data reten­tion direc­tive also cited the fur­ther vio­la­tion of pri­vacy from allow­ing the data to be stored out­side the reach of EU per­sonal data protection law.

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Rahinah Ibrahim off no-fly list



Rahi­nah Ibrahim won her case to get off the US no-fly list, where her name was entered by mis­take; but then her stu­dent visa was can­celled because being on the no-fly list had put her on another list.

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Margaret Thatcher inspired resistance



Mar­garet Thatcher was so open about try­ing to crush the non-rich that she inspired resis­tance. Her suc­ces­sors today pre­tend that they are doing every­thing but try­ing to crush the non-rich, which is why it is use­ful to keep point­ing out that that’s what they stand for.

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Evidence of Obama cover-up



There is spe­cific evi­dence that the Obama admin­is­tra­tion specif­i­cally aimed to bury intel­li­gence that cast doubt on Assad’s respon­si­bil­ity for the chem­i­cal attack. It seems there was a high-level push for war, then Obama decided to abort the war. Was there any­one else but Obama who could have been behind the high-level push? That seems […]

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Urgent: Oppose oil exports from US



US cit­i­zens: oppose per­mit­ting oil exports from the US. This would cre­ate an incen­tive to extract ever more oil using ever more dan­ger­ous and expen­sive methods.

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Russian destabilization campaign



A Russ­ian desta­bi­liza­tion cam­paign is under way in east­ern Ukraine, threat­en­ing a mil­i­tary inva­sion as in the Crimea. Rus­sia claims that a sim­i­lar US-led desta­bi­liza­tion cam­paign helped kick out Pres­i­dent Yanukovich. That might well be true. There is a gray area between a desta­bi­liza­tion cam­paign and aid­ing a real pop­u­lar upris­ing: the sub­tler the cam­paign, the […]

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IMF’s “rescue” of Ukraine



The IMF’s “res­cue” of Ukraine will impose crush­ing poverty. Ukraini­ans may even­tu­ally choose to make a deal with Putin instead. A deal with Rus­sia does not nec­es­sary mean a cor­rupt auto­cratic ruler in Ukraine.

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A lot of fossil fuel must not be extracted



Large com­pa­nies includ­ing BT and Shell have rec­og­nized that a lot of fos­sil fuel must not be extracted. With­out more fig­ures, I don’t know how “a tril­lion tons of car­bon“ relates to the 80% of the known fos­sil fuel reserves that need to be left in the ground. If you can work that out, or […]

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EU-imposed data retention



The Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice ruled that EU-imposed data reten­tion (by ISPs and phone com­pa­nies) is con­trary to human rights and invalid. More information.

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Urgent: No tar sands oil in Massachusetts



Cit­i­zens if Mass­a­chu­setts: tell Gov­er­nor Patrick not to allow tar sands oil into Massachusetts.

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China is imprisoning anti-corruption protesters



China is impris­on­ing anti-corruption protesters.

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Blaming everything but guns



How Right-Wing Loons and Pro-Gun Nuts Blame Every­thing But Guns for Mass Shoot­ings. (I think the word “mass” is a too strong for shoot­ing 10 or even 20 peo­ple. “Mass mur­der” means a lot more vic­tims than that.)

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Palm oil made by deforestation



Proc­tor and Gam­ble has agreed to impose poli­cies to reject palm oil made by defor­esta­tion, but they will take 6 years to become effective.

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US blogger censored



A blog­ger in the US has been sub­jected to prior cen­sor­ship by a court, which jailed him until he agreed to take down blog posts accus­ing an offi­cial of hav­ing an affair. I don’t think it mat­ters who offi­cials have sex with, but this seems dangerous.

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Urgent: EPA comment against Keystone XL



US cit­i­zens: call on the EPA to file a com­ment against build­ing the Key­stone XL planet-roaster pipeline.

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US is obliged to release Shaker Aamer



Shaker Aamer’s lawyers argue the US is obliged to release him from Guan­tanamo due to seri­ous phys­i­cal and men­tal ill­nesses, some of them prob­a­bly caused by tor­ture and cruelty.

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Oppression in Bahrain



Under the cover of auto­mo­bile races that dis­tract pub­lic atten­tion, Bahrain’s ruler is increas­ing the level of oppression.

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Hostages held in Luhansk



The pro-Russians that cap­tured a gov­ern­ment build­ing in Luhansk are armed and trained sol­diers, and appar­ently con­tinue to hold some hostages. These is not a protest, this is a rebel­lion — or per­haps an inva­sion. The occu­piers may well be Russ­ian soldiers.

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US “Common Core”



The US “Com­mon Core” is a dan­ger­ous edu­ca­tional exper­i­ment on US schools, an excuse for fir­ing lots of teach­ers and pri­va­tiz­ing schools.

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Urgent: Government by the People Act



US cit­i­zens: Tell Con­gress to sup­port the Gov­ern­ment by the Peo­ple Act. Here’s more info about it.

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No evidence homeopathy has any more effect than placebo



A review of avail­able exper­i­men­tal data for 60 dis­eases found that there is no evi­dence home­opa­thy has any more effect than a placebo, and in many cases clear evi­dence that it does not. “Treat­ing the whole per­son” is one of med­ical quackery’s favorite claims.

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Elections for MEPs



EU cit­i­zens: the com­ing elec­tions for MEPs are very impor­tant for free­dom on the internet.

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TSA fines John Brennan



The TSA (The­ater of Secu­rity Agency) fined John Bren­nan for tak­ing off his clothes to show he had no bomb, after a non-trial which is not allowed to con­sider whether the reg­u­la­tions in use are uncon­sti­tu­tional. Bren­nan will be able to appeal the deci­sion, but at no point will he be enti­tled to a proper […]

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US debt collection companies



Debt col­lec­tion com­pa­nies in the US engage in ille­gal harass­ment, lie to debtors, and fre­quently demand pay­ment of debts that were never owed.

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Global heating violence



Caus­ing global heat­ing is a form of violence.

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Permian period global heating



Global heat­ing caused by methane gen­er­ated by a run­away organ­ism might have caused the mass extinc­tion at the end of the Per­mian period. Now another run­away organ­ism is pro­duc­ing green­house gases and is on the way to caus­ing another mass extinction.

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Harvard University investment principles



Har­vard Uni­ver­sity has adopted invest­ment prin­ci­ples based on human rights and green­house gas reduc­tion. Divest Har­vard has this response: We’re glad that Har­vard has rec­og­nized the need to align its invest­ments with its val­ues. How­ever, there are still incon­sis­ten­cies in Harvard’s invest­ments. Harvard’s deci­sion to invest in cli­mate solu­tions is an impor­tant step for­ward, but […]

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Urgent: Reports on US drone attacks



US cit­i­zens: call on Con­gress to require reg­u­lar reports on US drone attacks.

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Elizabeth Warren



Eliz­a­beth War­ren attacked Paul Ryan’s cruel lies head on, teach­ing what it means to be a Demo­c­rat instead of a Repub­li­can in Democrat’s cloth­ing. If she runs for pres­i­dent, I will sup­port her. I will not sup­port Ms Clin­ton, who is a phony Demo­c­rat like her hus­band (and Obama). I voted Green in the last two […]

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Urgent: Raise Walmart wages



Every­one: tell Walmart’s CEO, if the Gap can raise wages, so can Walmart.

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Australian environment dept.



The Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment expresses its con­tempt for the envi­ron­ment by cut­ting the oper­a­tions of the envi­ron­ment department.

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Union in Australia fined



A union in Aus­tralia has been fined a mil­lion dol­lars for blockad­ing con­struc­tion sites for days. Mean­while, com­pa­nies that break laws get away with slaps on the wrist, or get the law changed to please them. When offi­cials say, “We must enforce the law” to pun­ish the work­ers, they pre­tend they are being even-handed. When the […]

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Urgent: Support the Better Off Budget



US cit­i­zens: phone your con­gress­crit­ter to sup­port the Bet­ter Off Bud­get. The Capi­tol Switch­board num­bers are 202–224‑3121, 888–818‑6641 and 888–355‑3588.

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Urgent: Stop CNN global heating denial



Every­one: tell CNN to stop broad­cast­ing global heat­ing denialism.

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Human rights in Palestine



The US ought to wel­come Palestine’s appli­ca­tion to join UN treaties con­cerned with human rights.

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Israel ethnic cleansing



UN spe­cial rap­por­teur Richard Falk has accused Israel of eth­nic cleansing.

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