The governor of Louisiana is formally a Democrat, but he is so right-wing that he works with ALEC.
An opposition leader from Zimbabwe fled to Zambia for asylum. Zambia handed him back to Zimbabwe, defying an order from the Supreme Court.
The tyrant of Zimbabwe, after apparently stealing the election, is now sending soldiers to destroy the homes of opposition supporters.
Hamas and Israel are back to fighting again.
Israel demonstrated conclusively that it will respond to nonviolent protest by shooting thousands of people. I find it hard to blame Palestinians for responding to arms with arms.
Shortly before elections, Mauritania has jailed an anti-slavery campaigner.
Puerto Rico has acknowledged that Hurricane Maria killed 1427 people there -- not all immediately.
The Democrats Must Do More Than Simply Oppose Donald Trump.
Collecting your medical data (and other data about your life) and combining that into a "wellness score" would give companies an excuse to screw you.
Some exiled members of the Venezuelan opposition endorse the recent assassination attempt. Others reject the accusation that they were involved.
I hope higher courts sustain this attempt to rein in the lawless bullying carried out by US thugs. One can't count on the right-wing justices to defend the legal rights of people (as opposed to businesses).
Communications satellites could be used to do various kinds of harm, if crackers break their security.
Tax Havens Shielding Companies Responsible for Deforestation And Overfishing.
The Creeping Privatization of [US] Public Libraries.
The article calls the Koch brothers "libertarians", but their support for some kinds of human rights is a beard for their real cause: a laissez-faire, laissez-dévorer economy. They hate public libraries because they are public, and any public activity that helps people is what they call "socialism".
Please don't support their pretense: join me in calling them "antisocialists".
Younger MDs have won a victory for single-payer medical coverage by convincing the AMA to consider the idea.
The right-wing candidate for president of Brazil showed himself to be an enemy of democracy by choosing as running mate a general that spoke in favor of a military coup.
There is a real danger that this candidate will win.
Facebook bought a company apparently for the sake of learning its tricks to rope in high-school students as useds.
A Russian exporter of asbestos thanked the poisoner for keeping asbestos legal in the US.
We can ban asbestos some day, if we fight asbestos we can.
The UN is considering a measure to help poor countries make generic medicines to treat tuberculosis. The US is pressuring various countries so as to defeat the measure.
The fact that a former Obama advisor is helping that effort demonstrates what we could see at the time: Obama was more a supporter of plutocracy than an opponent of it.
Americans overall are increasingly in debt. This is likely to exacerbate the next recession.
The figures may not count all the the really large debts of rich(?) Americans, such as the cheater. We don't know whether his net assets are in the positive millions or the negative millions.
Why is debt increasing while "the US economy is prospering"? Because that claim is based on measuring by totals (or per-capita figures, which over periods of a few years are equivalent to totals). The rich are gaining more millions than the non-rich are losing, so the totals increase.
The ethical measure of an economy is based on how well the not-rich and especially the poor are doing.
World-wide, extreme poverty has been reduced, but inequality has risen.
The number of Americans that live in cars or RVs is rapidly increasing. Even people with jobs can't afford any other place to live.
Why do cities pass laws against this? Because the city government works is controlled by the haves, and they don't want their pretty lives inconvenienced by have-nots.
This is why I oppose local political movements to keep density down. Keeping density down means kicking out the have-nots.
If we end plutocracy, the non-rich will get a bigger share of the nation's income. However, in cities that are too expensive, that may not be sufficient. We need to weaken zoning laws so as to build a lot more housing that is near public transportation, and we must not let the local haves stop it.
The authors of the US Constitution made it clear that "emoluments" to officials included anything of value, and that the purpose of prohibiting officials including the president from receiving emoluments was to prevent them from being influenced or corrupted.
Everyone: Demand the release of journalist Manuel Duran Ortega.
If you sign, please spread the word!
Betsy DeVos is dodging taxes on her yachts by registering them outside the US.
That shows whose side she's on -- not her country's side. But she's adding injury to insult: trying to enable sleazy for-profit colleges keep the money that they took from Americans who thought they were paying for a real education.
Such things happen, but the deportation thugs didn't want to be embarrassed by it, so they lied to cover it up.
Several women were injured, but they decided not to go to the hospital for fear of not seeing their children again. There was no rational reason it would have had this effect, but you can't count on thugs to be rational.
Gina Haspel's personal reports to CIA headquarters show her commitment to torture.
US citizens: call on the Democratic National Committee to reinstate in full the policy of rejecting fossil fuel contributions, which it just weakened.
If you sign, please spread the word!
Governments can set policies that prevent non-rich people from being priced out of a place to live.
Over the long term, this requires arranging to build housing for the non-rich. Governments can do that, too, as long as they don't give priority to the wishes of the rich. In the US, we have been propagandized to forget that we used to do this.
Bangladesh is arresting students who participated in protests.
Norway will prescribe heroin for addicts.
The wall of the "war on drugs" is cracking. May we soon get rid of it entirely, and treat drug addicts simply as patients.
The enforcement of the Endangered Species Act has been on slowdown for decades, with the result that many species that need protection don't get any.
Indian prostitutes denounce a law that will punish them if they work in brothels. The law would presume they were trafficked (even if they were not), and sentence them to prison-like "rehabilitation".
"The federal government pays millions of contractors less than $15 an hour, and the Trump administration has further cut wages."
A Danish woman accepted a complimentary glass of wine on an Emirates flight to Dubai. On account of this, she has been jailed there for a year awaiting trial.
As workers of digital companies start to impose ethical demands, they are discovering their power. But how far will they demand ethical behavior?
They recognize the injustice of some unusual activities that serve tyranny, but can they recognize the injustice of their businesses' normal practice, such as proprietary software and collecting personal data?
Captive Audience: How Florida's Prisons and DRM Made $11.3M Worth of Prisoners' Music Disappear.
This is a bigger crime than most of the prisoners are accused of.
But the new Jpay system is far worse than that. It is total greed. The Florida Department of Corrections and Jpay plan to squeeze money out of the prisoners, and divide it up.
Kris Kobach refused to recuse himself from the counting of an election in which he was one of the candidates.
There is no kind of corruption of which today's Republicans have any shame.
Rep. Nunes, a total lackey of the cheater, told his sponsors the plan to protect the cheater from prosecution: put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, then impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to replace him with someone else that will fire Mueller.
Senator Nelson of Florida says that Russian crackers have got into the election systems of some Florida counties.
When Temperatures Rise, So Do Crime Rates: evidence from South Africa.
Researchers Suggest We Could Tip into a Hothouse Earth.
The US government is at last making a real effort to find the refugees whose children it took away. It has not succeeded with all of them, but only 26 of these children remain whose parents or relatives the US has no contact with.
This figure appears to pertain to the children alone, not including the teenagers.
An Asian tick is now established in the US, which reproduces so vigorously that a mass of ticks can kill a sheep by draining all its blood.
Freezing weather kills most of them, but we are busy shredding that protection by heating up the Earth's atmosphere.
Plutocratist "centrist" Democrats are crying victory because some of the strong progressive candidates lost primaries this week. But even when they lost, their victorious opponents were usually somewhat progressive.
In a sign of how strong the campaign for single-payer medical care has become, some giant companies are organizing to defeat the campaign.
They have moved from "then they laugh at you" to "then they fight you", which is an unavoidable step on the path to victory.
Several Republican congresscritters are inculpated in apparently corrupt stock transactions in one Australian corporation.
A French park has trained crows to collect litter. They are rewarded with food.
Crows are fairly clever. I wonder how soon one of them will find that the most convenient and reliable source of litter is a trash can.
A Year After Charlottesville, White Nationalist Views Creep into Politics.
When activists on the left exult about electing members of discriminated-against groups (typically women, Muslims, Latins, blacks, indigenous Americans), or call on the public to support a candidate for that reason, I am concerned lest this encourage whites to campaign to elect people because they are white. The more we legitimize that sort of reason, the more we clear the pathway of white nationalism. To defeat that, we must reject the idea of choosing candidates based on race.
I choose candidates to support because of what they stand for, not their origins.
As for the candidate's religion, I consider that as such unimportant except to the extent it is reflected in the candidate's position.
The more a candidate makes a fuss about religion, the more I worry that per views come from a church. Most churches hold some right-wing views that I would not want in a public official.
U.S. Is Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen.
Business interests argue against a regulation requiring restaurants to list the allergens in each food product.
Usually the problems they cite are real, but exaggerated.
Every regulation that is implemented locally carries a risk of inducing businesses to move elsewhere. However, this is often much smaller than businesses claim. In some cases, we can and should avoid that problem by adopting the regulation for a broader region. But if the only possibility is to apply it locally, that may still be better than nothing.
Small exceptions can make a regulation much easier to obey. It would make sense to exempt specials that are offered for less than a week. I hope the regulation permits a restaurant to address the cross-contamination issue by saying, "this dish contains shrimp and may have traces of fish".
Many US cities punish people for being frequent victims of crime. In general, this potentiates other forms of inequality, so the punishment typically affects poor people and members of suffering ethnic groups.
Regulating Bots on Social Media Is Easier Said Than Done. For One Thing, Defining "Bot" Is Tricky.
Apple's CEO Tim Cook -- Serf Labor, Overpriced iPhones, and Wasted Burning Profits.
He doesn't mention subjugating the users with nonfree software, which is even worse.
Dubai dropped charges against Ellie Holman, and allowed her to leave.
Aside from great stress, the experience cost her tens of thousands of dollars. Why take a crazy risk? Stay away!
Some Canadians demand stricter gun regulations following an increase in shootings. The rate is small compared with the US.
There is no biological obstacle to women's equality.
There have been clear empirical demonstrations that women face considerable direct gender bias, as well as considerable unequal obstacles to their careers. Given these known explanations, we have no reason to presume they are any less capable than men.
We wish that the hate-monger's use on tape of the word "nigger" would make his supporters ashamed. However, his strategy is to lead his supporters into gradually increasing levels of hatred. He might use the proof of his explicit racism against blacks as an opportunity to lead his supporters into equally explicit racism.
Is it possible that the he and Manigault planned it that way?
No other country is supporting Canada's rebuke to Salafi Arabia. They have all been corrupted by its money.
Organized international condemnation of tyranny has been broken.
Israeli Arabs and Jews rallied against Israel's apartheid law.
Socialist Bookshop Welcomes 'Uplifting' Response After Attack by Far Right.
Some engineers are refusing work for certain employers because of unethical activities of those employers.
Developing nonfree software is mistreating the users, too. That's something to boycott.
The ACM has a new ethics code, which on some issues seems good.
I note that the issue of developing weapons or military systems is not raised. Neither is the injustice of nonfree software.
What it says about privacy is comparable in its philosophy to the EU's GDPR. That is a step forward but won't prevent oppressive mass surveillance.
What it says about patents is absurd -- to "respect" patents in general would mean screwing yourself; your lawyers would tell you it is foolish.
What it says about copyrights is vicious -- sharing is part of being a good member of society, so if a legal requirement forbids sharing of copies of published works, that requirement is devoid of moral authority.
Dewayne Johnson has won his lawsuit against Bayer (formerly Monsanto), holding the company and specifically Roundup responsible for his cancer.
The evidence presented included Monsanto's secret attempts to corrupt science. That is an attack on truth, narrower in scope than what the bullshitter does, but no less evil.
If our government were not corrupted by large companies (of which Bayer is one), then Americans wouldn't need to sue anyone to get funds for their medical care because everyone would be covered. We wouldn't depend on lawsuits for harm to individuals to get pesticides properly regulated.
In Australia as in the US, semiprivate campaign messages targeted at specific groups have eliminated the "national conversation" about what is best for the country.
Perhaps we should tamp down the semiprivate campaign messages.
The Christian Taliban in the US impose biased restrictions on women wherever they get enough power to try it.
A campaign to privatize public schools named itself "Democrats for Education Reform", apparently to misrepresent the Democratic Party and turn people against it.
A deranged man who is susceptible to any conspiracy theories has been charged with starting a large wildfire in California.
Qanon is not so much a conspiracy theory as an infection. It mutates faster than HIV, which makes the question of the validity of any of these almost irrelevant for susceptible hosts. Disprove one strain and they will fall prey to another, and another.
The Department of Education, lead by DeVos, is systematically finding ways to increase discrimination and impoverish the poor.
A Tory proposal would try to end homelessness in England by spending roughly 13 million dollars a year over 10 years.
This is good in principle (though I wonder why the rest of the UK is not included), but it can't possibly do the job as long as the Tories continue pushing most people into poverty. That will generate new homeless people faster than they can get anyone out of homelessness.
Unless perhaps the "accommodation" intended for these people is a small cell.
Note that I am using the word "homeless" in the American sense. In UK terminology means something else.
Nonviolent activists kayaking to protest oil pipeline construction in Louisiana were kidnaped by private security guards, then charged with felonies under a recently adopted law designed to give the planet-roasters total power.
The concentration of many industries goes hand in hand with the concentration of wealth and the loss of democracy.
New York City has required "gig" platforms to pay workers a decent wage for the time they are on call.
Kosovo now offers a pension to women who were raped as an act of war by Serb soldiers.
What made rape such an effective weapon in that war is the patriarchal attitude of Kosovan society, which regards women as (in effect) property and considers them worthless if they are not "chaste". Serbs raped them so that their own families would betray them.
If these women want to make themselves so strong that such betrayal can no longer weigh down their spirits, they could consider going to Rojava (in Syria) and joining the Kurdish Women's Protection Units. Their help may be needed there.
Community schools are run by the local school board, but get an extra subsidy and make broad efforts to help students overcome their handicaps.
Community schools may be a real improvement over ordinary public schools even when the latter are well funded, but only time will tell. Any experimental change in education -- supposing the students don't hate it -- has a tendency to work better, for a while, simply because it is an experiment.
GEO Group, a private prison company, sent a lawsuit threat to try to intimidate a child that explained, on video, what the company is doing.
Aside from the specific injustices that the company carries out, the basic idea of privatizing prisons is systematic injustice.
As for whether these injustices are also illegal, that is a minor side issue. If they are not illegal, that's proof of the lobbying power of these companies.
Conversations with residents of the ghettos of Denmark, who face systematic official discrimination for living in areas where most people are poor.
This is a slightly indirect way of punishing people for being poor, and a little more indirectly, punishing them for being immigrants.
The UK finally offered Palestinian author Nayrouz Qarmout a visa, at the last minute. But it is already too late: since she lives in Gaza, she cannot possibly get to Edinburgh in time for her speech.
The Bizarre Spat with Canada Shows Mohammed bin Salman's True Colours.
Puerto Rico's imposed nondemocratic government has imposed charter schools.
Chicago's murder rate rose from 2013 to 2016, but since then it has fallen substantially. Surely more could be done in ethical ways to reduce it, but Chicagoans should not do anything rash or dangerous for that sake.
The peace talks between the US and the Taliban offer some hope.
Calling on President Moreno to protect the lives of indigenous people that oppose oil extraction in their land.
A US court ordered the EPA to proceed with banning the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which it had determined to cause birth defects in children's brains.
Fight for the Future has collected funds to post critical billboards in the districts of any California state legislators that try to undermine the state's planned network neutrality law.
The crony-in-chief is still trying to keep money-losing coal power plants. He has another avenue to do it.
Plutocratists condemn government help to people in general, citing the "free market" as justifying suffering for the weak. But that's only because the victims are weak.
Ryanair is trying to bust unions in Europe, punishing workers in various ways.
I urge people to refuse to do business with that airline, which I like to call Cryin'air.
Be careful not to set up a self-fulfilling prophecy of militarizing space in the short term.
Perhaps it is impossible to rule out that, in a future with space settlements, they would sometimes fight wars, with weapons we cannot anticipate. That does not imply space combat is inevitable in this century.
Russian banks offered special deals to the main donor to the UK's election campaign to leave the EU.
Whether this legally counts as corruption on his part may depend on legal questions I don't understand. However, what he did qualifies in spirit as selling out his country.
However, it is not too late to avert the worst of the disaster. If we put more effort into it, we can overcome the murderous billionaires. In the mean time, having no children will incrementally reduce the extent of the disaster. If we avoid enough births, the resulting smaller future population might have survivable troubles instead of a disaster.
The actions of the planet roasters amount to mass murder that is already starting. As a last resort, the victims-to-be could use bombs to destroy the murderous billionaires' prepared refuges. If those realize that they cannot expect to survive dooming the bulk of humanity to death, some might change sides and direct their power to averting global disaster.
Extreme weather has damaged the potato harvest in Belgium, making frites (known in the US as "French fried" potatoes) scarce.
Cutting off Infowars without presenting a clear reason may fuel all its conspiracy theories.
US citizens: Support AT&T workers if they strike.
If you sign, please spread the word!
US citizens: call on Congress to block attempts to authorize discrimination against queer people.
If you sign, please spread the word!
Solar power with storage batteries is becoming cheap enough to replace natural gas -- but planet roasters won't let that happen without a fight.
Let's fight! Let's destroy the planet-roaster companies -- before they destroy us!
The US-backed intervention in Yemen by Salafi Arabia bombed a bus in Yemen whose passengers were children, killing over 40 of them.
The UK is driving local governments into bankruptcy, the result being disastrous cuts in all their services, down to the legal minimum. On top of that comes privatization, which has the result of introducing uncontrollable corruption, so that real services don't reach the legal minimum.