Many farms and food plants in California did little or nothing to protect workers from Covid-19, and kept them in the dark when Covid-19 started spreading among them.
*Behind the Beirut explosion lies the lawless world of international shipping.*
It seems that the authorities in Beirut did not know about, or didn't check for, the danger of that particular cargo.
Modi has a last-ditch plan to build 40 new unneeded coal mines just before the coal ceases to be worth much.
*Jeremy Corbyn accuses Labour officials of sabotaging election campaign.*
I can't follow the description of the events in this article, as it depends on too much else. But it is not inherently implausible. The "moderate" (plutocratist) wing of Labour certainly went to great lengths to defeat Corbyn.
*Calls for Woodside to pay $200m to clean up moribund Timor Sea oil site it ran until 2016.*
This is fair -- but fossil fuel companies usually go to great lengths not to pay to clean up their own messes.
Peter Beinart: Israelis dehumanize Palestinians by seeing them through the "Holocaust lens" and perceiving them as antisemites when they campaign for their rights.
Beinert advocates a combined state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians. Roger Cohen argues that two separate states are still necessary and still possible.
Hypersensitivity is spreading everywhere.
Ancient Americans (aka 1491), by Charles Mann, discusses the terms "Eskimo" and "Inuit" on page 341. It seems that neither term is welcomed by the entire group in question, which spans from Alaska to Greenland.
As for "Siamese twins", it is true that the phenomenon of conjoined twins is a general human trait and not specific to people from Siam. But why in the world would people from Siam feel offended by it?
While we are on the subject, the kingdom which used to call itself "Siam" (the name of the region) changed its name to "Thailand" in the 1930s as a declaration of ethnic prejudice. "Thaï" is the name of the majority ethnic group, so the name "Thailand" asserts that other ethnic groups there are subordinate. In other words, it stands for Thai supremacism.
A progressive candidate won the Democratic primary for senator in Tennessee.
For any Democrat to win there will be difficult, but I think a progressive has a better chance of inspiring support than a right-wing "centrist".
London thugs decided to search Ryan Colaço and his car for no obvious reason. They strip-searched him, found nothing, but still jailed him. They searched his car, too, and must have decided to search the inside of the glass of one window, because when he got it back that window had been smashed.
Oh, he faces charges of "resisting". Perhaps the thugs were getting fed up after searching him 20 times and never finding anything to make it worth while.
Germans have killed too many foxes; now field mice are destroying farms.
Arguing that requiring a voter to buy a stamp to mail in a ballot is a kind of poll tax, and thus unconstitutional.
Ironically, ballots that don't have stamps (because they are in states which prepay for mailing back ballots) run a risk of being rejected for not carrying a postmark.
This shows that the US hodgepodge of voting systems was not designed with the proper goal of helping every authorized voter to cast a ballot.
(satire) *Dow Skyrockets After Coronavirus Begins Trading On New York Stock Exchange.*
*"It is worth fighting for a system that puts public health ahead of profits: Medicare for All," said a doctor touting Canadian system.*
*Young people have blockaded a police station in north-west London, accusing [thugs] of assaulting and arresting youth workers who had gone to investigate the arrest of a 14-year-old.*
Arkansas's artificial abortion impediments will take effect at the end of this month unless another court decision blocks them again.
*Progressives are pointing to Susan Rice's past fossil fuel investments -- including stock in the company behind the Keystone XL Pipeline -- and her hawkish foreign policy as reasons to disqualify her from the running.*
It is unlikely anyone would be chosen as a national security adviser without being hawkish. If you seek someone who will end wars rather than start them, that is not a fruitful place to look.
Economic analysis shows that rapidly reopening business, as red states have done, failed to give them an economic boost. The resulting wave of Covid-19 prevented the hoped-for benefits, even as it put people at some risk of death, and a likelihood of long-term medical damage.
*Bolivia protesters bring country to standstill over election delays.*
The tyrant of Belarus is preparing to claim he has "won" reelection with an amazing 80% of the vote.
*Within the Boston Police Department, complaints against officers are rarely confirmed or result in punishment.*
Greece and Turkey are close to war over which one will extract oil from the sea bottom near both countries.
The right answer is clear: neither one. The existing fossil fuel facilities, if fully utilized, will destroy civilization. There is no room in the
carbon budget for any new facilities. In a sane world, the great powers would already have agreed to put a ceiling on the ultimate total extraction, and would clamp down firmly on any attempt to increase it.
Kiribati plans to raise its islands to protect them against sea-level rise.
This might work for 50 years, but not indefinitely. If we do not curb global heating, sea-level rise will accelerate. Eventually it will go too fast for raising the islands to compensate for.
It will also be expensive. If global heating causes the US and China to collapse, which could happen in 50 years, no one will be able to offer that sort of support.
Dredging the lagoon to get the materials could perhaps harm the wildlife in the lagoon, but that is just speculation. Perhaps the conditions in the lagoon make it safe.
*Why is India obsessed with English-medium education -- when it goes against scientific consensus?*
The article also describes Hindi as an artificially constructed compromise version of regional languages. Since I don't speak Hindi or any of those, I wonder how different they are.
*Leaked Documents Reveal What TikTok Shares with Authorities -- in the U.S.*
A kind of genetically engineering can make a plant grow much faster and use less water. It has been tested on tobacco, but the idea is to use it on food plants.
Each genetically engineered product ought to be judged on its individual characteristics, but that does not mean they should be accepted without scrutiny.
Can anyone find out what kind of "algae" the added protein comes from? In particular, which phylum is it in? In any case, it can't be "closely related" to a flowering plant.
Neonicotinoids used on crop seeds damage birds' reproduction. The poison accumulates in a bird, over the years, and interferes with its ability to reproduce successfully.
An oil tanker ran aground on a reef near Mauritius and is breaking up. So far it has spilled 1000 tons of oil, which has polluted coral reefs and mangroves.
The practice of shipping large quantity of oil is a recipe for occasional disaster. An island like Mauritius, which is not rich, cannot afford to be ready to deal with a problem like this in case it happens.
To make a policy of test, trace and isolate function, the state must supply the lost wages of those who are require to isolate.
Every worker needs to have paid sick leave to be able to afford to stay home to avoid infecting others at work.
The Lebanese are demanding the resignation of the government for allowing the deadly and destructive explosion in Beirut.
I have to wonder what people wish the ministers had done. 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate take up around 1.4 million cubic meters. It is not trivial to get rid of so much material.
After receiving on July 20 the report, "This dangerous chemical could explode at any time, but it has been stored here for six years with no trouble yet," I can understand why the ministers did not rush desperately to move it within two weeks. They would have had no plan ready, and figuring out what to do with it would take time.
I wonder why the danger of the chemical was noted only just now, and not earlier.
Lebanon was in economic distress already, and surely can't afford to rebuild its port facilities. But I can think of one country that will offer to pay for it: China.
In the US, when thugs rape people they say are suspects, it is rare to bring them to justice.
I object to describing any one crime as "sexual assault" because that is vague about the severity of the crime. This article often uses that term to refer to many crimes that differ in severity but raise the same issue. That may be a valid practice.
The mining company BHP already has permission to destroy 40 "Aboriginal cultural heritage sites".
Some of these sites have ancient art or material for archaeological investigation; those should be protected, and no one should be authorized to permit their destruction.
Since I don't know the definition of "cultural heritage site", I don't know whether all of these sites have any tangible relics of past. If some do not, I don't have an opinion about them.
Kentucky laws and Supreme Court decisions make it difficult to convict the thugs that killed Breonna Taylor of murder. But reckless manslaughter may be possible.
Cutting down the Amazon forest to clear land to grow corn is reducing the rainfall and increasing the temperature, thus reducing yields of corn.
I don't see any objective validity in thinking of the Amazon as "the vagina of the world". It is a personal mental association; you can think that if it pleases you. However, if it motivates people to campaign effectively against deforestation, I'm all for that.
England had the highest Covid-19 excess mortality rate in Europe. The reason is the unceasing Tory campaign for dooH niboR. The Tories made the poor poorer so they were more vulnerable, and it cut the NHS so it could not do enough.
Dutch meat-processing companies hire workers through contractors and then mistreat and intimidate them.
There is an obvious solution: change the laws about subcontracted workers so that the ultimate beneficial employer has full employer's responsibility for them. The main reason companies subcontract is to evade responsibility
*Street fridges of [gratis] food help Americans survive [Covid-19] pandemic.*
*America's PPE shortage could last years without strategic plan, experts warn.*
London thugs stop and search blacks at 10 times the frequency per capita of whites. They stopped Dawn Butler, MP, for the third time, this time as a passenger with another black driving, then gave excuses that appealed to bigotry.
She presents arguments that the only possible reason for stopping them was racial profiling.
Alex Morse, the progressive challenging Rep. Neal, has been attacked with a vague story about sex which is supposed to be somehow wrong.
The tyrant of Belarus has shut off mobile phone internet connection and app communication, to hamper protests.
Releasing a vaccine that hasn't been carefully tested can backfire in many ways -- depending on how well it actually works.
Florida's unemployment benefits system was designed by sadistic Republicans to make it difficult to get benefits.
The riches of US billionaires are protected by millions of "useful idiots", worshipers of the Cult of the Invisible Hand.
Up to 30 million Americans may be evicted by the end of September.
Since there won't be many would-be tenants with money to rent those apartments, some of the landlords may decide they have little to gain my evicting their current tenants. At least, I hope so. But what we need is for a decent government to protect them. And pay their rent, if the landlord is a real person who isn't rich. (Rich landlords should bear the loss of that rent.)
Sanders: *The pandemic is helping the rich get even richer. It's time to tax their obscene wealth.*
Global heating is extending the range of Lyme disease and other diseases spread by ticks.
*[Covid-19 is expected] to displace more than a million across the Sahel, new tool predicts.*
*'As the tundra burns, we cannot afford climate silence': a letter from the Arctic.*
The article treats withdrawing from the Paris treaty as if it were a real and enormous act of climate sabotage. To be sure, the wrecker is committing large real acts of sabotage also, but this is only symbolic sabotage. The Paris climate treaty specified an insufficient goal, its signatories did not pledge enough to reach that goal,and most of them are doing much less than what they pledged.
Pulling out of the Paris treaty is only a demonstration of bad faith.
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to support the MORE Act, which decriminalizes marijuana and does other related good things.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
If you call, please spread the word!
The cheater issued executive orders that pretend to help unemployed and poor Americans cope with the consequences of Covid-19. But they don't really do the jobs they pretend to do, they leave out lots of people, and they have intolerable side effects. They are also unconstitutional, since the president does not have the power to order such things.
More about the absurdity of his supposed "remedy".
I must disagree, however, with calling them a "failure". I think that his goals are such that they constitute a "success" according to them.
A California court ordered Uber and Lyft to treat drivers as employees following the California law which says they are. This is not a final decision, however, and I expect those companies will appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Treating their drivers as employees -- where they do so -- can greatly reduce the way those companies mistreat their drivers. It does nothing to correct the injustices they do to all customers: making them run nonfree software, making them identify themselves, and making a dossier about the movements of each one. These injustices are the essential reasons to reject those dis-services.
As long as they continue, I refuse to get into an Uber car even if someone else booked the ride.
British soldiers who had been prisoners of war in Burma were very unhappy with the film, Bridge on the River Kwai.
The Environmental Poisoning Agency plans to completely eliminate regulations on methane emissions from oil and methane wells.
The wrecker has been chipping steadily away at the US regulations that limit toxic pollution and global heating. It looks like he has decided to try eliminating them entirely while he still has a chance.
(satire) *Promising that those responsible for the widespread damage would soon be held accountable, Chicago Police Department officials condemned Black Lives Matter protesters Tuesday for creating a violent vortex of wind that destroyed property.*
The ACLU calls for breaking up the Department of Harshness and Sadism and cutting its overall funds.
Fight for the Future reports on several kinds of harm that face recognition in schools can do.
To the extent that "exacerbating racial biases" refers to the reported lesser accuracy of today's recognition algorithms for black faces, I consider that an advantage for blacks. (If the algorithms were greatly inaccurate for everyone, we would all be safe from them.)
However, this disparity is likely to be temporary. I am sure that companies are working hard on making recognition accurate for all human faces. Unless we assume that this is impossible, we should not base our campaign against face recognition on the current disparity in accuracy.
On the other hand, to the extent that correct recognition of all students would potentiate the effect of the racial bias in other aspects of the school, that harm will get worse if recognition becomes uniformly accurate. If we can demonstrate this, it will be a good argument to use, one that will tend to get stronger.
The Dutch equivalent of the BBC found it made more money by eliminating cookies and "behavioral advertising", and selling ads based on the specific articles they would accompany.
This seems like a step forward towards privacy, but I can't tell how close it actually gets. Cookies are one way of tracking users, but there are others. Does the broadcaster use IP addresses to determine the user's location?
Does the advertiser send ads directly to the user? If so, it might use various nefarious means to get information about the user without the direct help of the broadcaster -- including IP address location and browser profiling.
Novartis agreed to a penalty of almost 700 million dollars for a program of (in effect) bribing doctors.
Ralph Nader calls on Pelosi to resurrect the Office of Technology Assessment, which was eliminated by plutocratist Republicans in the 1990s.
Plutocratists find the rational evaluation of technology a nuisance. When it agrees with what plutocrats demand, they find it superfluous; when it disagrees, they call it an obstacle.
The Satanic Temple has published a "sanctified" ritual which includes carrying out an abortion. Based on this, it asserts that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act makes state laws to restrict abortion invalid against an abortion thus sanctified.
I am not an expert on that law, and I would love to see a lawyer's report on whether this argument is likely to prevail in federal court. I hope it does.
How capitalists make use of plutocratist politicians and parties to claim most of society's wealth for themselves.
Facebook has suspended one of the cheater's PACs for false advertising.
50 years ago, British companies' money corrupted a UK university. Now, China has the money to suck them into a system of corruption.
Something similar has happened in Australia, and I expect it is happening in the US as well.
Meanwhile, China exercises its tyranny over Chinese students studying abroad.
I would not want universities outside China to exclude Chinese from studying or cut off Chinese labs from research collaboration. But we must make sure they can't get sucked in to the point where they don't dare say no when they must.
Thousands of Poles protested for queer rights in Warsaw, and were attacked by thugs.
Biden chose a running mate who is female and black, and probably does not support Defund the Police.
An Israeli soldier shot Dalia Sammoudi through her window as she was trying to close it to keep tear gas out. An ambulance came, but soldiers fired shots to block it from reaching her house. Eventually the soldiers let the paramedics go and get her, but she died on reaching the hospital.
Israel's supreme court ruled against demolishing the home of a Palestinian family, recognizing that it is an injustice to punish innocent relatives of someone accused of crime.
If this policy holds, it would be a step forward for Israel, which has made a practice of punishing the innocent in this way.
"Structural reforms", in IMF jargon, means cutting taxes on the rich, telling the poor to sink or swim, charging money for public school, basically the plutocratist agenda. At least, that is what it meant in the past.
Some people in nursing homes feel life is not worth living under the isolation restrictions nursing homes must follow.
Global heating is accelerating, and the past decade (2010-2019) was the hottest ever recorded.
*Facebook and Instagram ban antisemitic conspiracy theories and blackface.*
Cops are taught unscientific methods of trying to determine who is lying, and a dangerous technique for extracting confessions.
When they believe that these methods are valid, they become overconfident and more likely to believe bad conclusions. Both of them are unjust to people who feel little confidence, even if they are telling the truth and not guilty.
Ilhan Omar defeated a well-funded plutocratist challenger in the Democratic primary.
A pumped hydro energy storage system proposed for a tributary that flows into the Grand Canyon is meeting lots of opposition.
I wonder how long a pumped hydro system could continue to function in a land which global heating is making ever more arid as time goes on. Of all the possible places, why there?
The UK suffers from a particular form of capitalism -- rentier capitalism -- where the main income is to those who have something others need to pay rent for.
This creates growing inequality.
Indigenous people in the distant Amazon region call on European banks to stop lending to oil extraction there.
The UK gave housing to every homeless person, to avoid transmission of Covid-19. Now it plans to push them out on the street again, along with thousands or millions of destitute people that will soon be evicted.
Thai students are protesting, criticizing the government (which is military in essence) and the monarchy.
Indian thugs shot at Muslims protesting an insult to Mohammed.
Those protesters had a right to protest; but if their demand is to censor negative statements about Mohammed, their cause is unjust. You have a right to criticize, condemn, or make fun of any religion, and any prophet, even the prophet that tells people that they are using evil, oppressive software which is an abomination.
Indian law includes many forms of censorship. The book Lajja, by Taslima Nasrin, which is about the oppression of Hindus in Bangladesh (where she was from) was banned in the adjoining state of India.
*With Warren Sidestepped, Wall Street Execs Cheer Biden's Pick of Harris for VP.*
She endorsed Medicare for All, then changed to a supposedly "centrist" position that Wall Street likes.
On the other hand, she does endorse the Green New Deal.
Now Comes the Difficult Work of Pushing the Biden-Harris Ticket Left.
However, I think the message Biden sent by appointing Harris is that he will pay little attention.
*Amid Pandemic and Economic Pain, UNICEF Unveils First-Ever Project to Combat Child Suffering in US.*
16% of adults in the UK (outside of Scotland) have suffered food insecurity since the start of Covid-19. I expect the fraction of children is larger.
Can anyone show me an article with comparable figures for the USA?
Coronavirus can spread in aerosols (small droplets that don't sink).
*Saudi Crown Prince's Hit Squads Reflect His Foreign Policy -- And Ours.*
Bolivians have set up road blocks to protest the repeated postponement of the coming election. The government is sending right-wing militias to attack the protesters.
Edtech provides a bad education, but it is drooling at the thought of swallowing public education and spitting out the teachers.
It is not a coincidence that they make students run proprietary software. That helps them make sure students offer up their personal information and control what students do.
The wrecker has tried hard to provoke Iran into war, but Iran's leaders are too clever to take the bait. The only big result so far is a permanent alliance between Iran and China.
The wrecker dearly wants an October surprise, so if he can't convince Iran to provide a war, maybe he will start the war himself.
US citizens: call on the Senate to extend the census deadline.
The Capitol Switchboard numbers are 202-224-3121, 888-818-6641 and 888-355-3588.
If you call, please spread the word!
The eLearning-industrial complex: online courses teach subject material without the rest of what people get from college.
It may succeed in training people for professions but it is not designed to create an educated people.
This is in addition to the injustice of nonfree software, which today's remote education forces onto students from grade 1.
Senate Republicans seem to be feeling pressure to compromise on a new relief bill, but they are yielding only a little.
This article does not mention the damaging provisions that Senate Republicans previously insisted on including in any relief bill. Those include giving businesses immunity for dangerous working conditions that let workers transmit Covid-19, and cutting Social Security in the future. They would do lasting harm, and we should not agree to them in exchange for temporary aid. In the long term, that would be a change for the worse.
Have the Republicans dropped those demands? Can anyone tell me?
The article mentions the need to provide funds to the CDC, the postal service, election protection, and Covid-19 testing, but it does mention them in regard to the negotiations. Have Senate Republicans agreed to funds for those? Can anyone tell me?
UK police are considering criminal charges against one thug who put his knee on a person's neck.
I have to acknowledge that the UK treats discipline for its cops very seriously. When the government decides that a practice is unjust or endangers the public, it can take firm action to teach cops not to do it. I wish the US could do likewise.
Ralph Nader: Economists should develop [an index] to rank the "greed-with-power" status of the 500 largest U.S. corporations.
I think his proposed term, "hedonistic index", does not do justice to the proposal: that word does not imply greed or power. There is nothing evil about hedonism as such -- imperfect, yes, but not evil.
*Emboldened by promises of annexation, Israeli settler attacks (against Palestinians and their property) soared in July.*
*[The hypocrite] wants to see 'untrusted' Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat removed from U.S. app stores, Pompeo says.*
*There are calls to ban TikTok in Australia -- but you [and Australia] should worry about Facebook too*
Let's ban those Chinese surveillance apps, then proceed to ban the other apps that users can't trust -- meaning, all the ones that are >not free/libre software.
*The Police Lie. All the Time. Can Anything Stop Them?* San Francisco DA Boudin: "Police are allowed to lie and get away with it over and over and over again in matters big and small… When you have a system of that kind of impunity, it snowballs. It teaches, encourages, and enforces bad behavior."
The problem of violence by thugs is a consequence of their ability to lie to excuse it, so cracking down on testifying is vital to ending their violence.
Google Nest is taking over the security company ADT. That means ADT alarm systems will start >feeding Google information about what happens in the customers' homes. For "smart", read "snooping."
The only home security device you should trust is one that runs all free software, and communicates encrypted with a service, sending it no data except what you want it to receive.
The new FSF video about nonfree software in education is great.
Mitre is developing for the US government *a prototype tool that can [crack] smartwatches, fitness trackers and home thermometers for the purposes of homeland security; software to collect human fingerprints from social media websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the FBI; support in building what the FBI calls the biggest database of human anatomy and criminal history in the world; and a study to determine whether someone's body odor can show they're lying.*
Anyone who can crack a device with a microphone can make it listen to you all the time.
Leaked documents from US thug departments show that they were applying a double standard, grasping at straws to accuse and prosecute Black Lives Matter protesters, while turning a blind eye to right-wing extremists, despite knowing that the latter were the real threat of violence.
New York State's recent primary election seems to be discarding 20% of postal ballots in certain areas. It depends on post offices to take special steps with ballots, and often they forget to do so.
That makes the system vulnerable.
Amazon's book store, like Facebook, heavily promotes medical quackery.
Even thoroughly assimilated Uighurs face repression in China for any action that raises suspicion.