*Venezuela uses judicial system to suppress dissent, U.N. investigators say.*Fighting crime by committing murders
The International Criminal Court has decided to investigate Do-Dirty's campaign of "fighting crime" by murder on the streets of the Philippines.Illegal fundraising
Brazil's Federal Electoral Court will investigate Bolsonaro's campaign for possible illegal fundraising and for campaigning outside the allowed campaign period.Universities competition
New algorithms enable universities to compete successfully for students by offering more loans and less in scholarship grants. This increases what students will typically have to pay — a burden already unbearable for most Americans.Getting phone call
(satire) *Police Officer's Wife Still Dreads Getting Phone Call That Her Husband Has Been Vaccinated.*Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
*2,180+ Scientists Worldwide Demand 'Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty'.*
This includes no new expansion of fossil fuel extraction.PR think tanks
Federal "intelligence" funds are going to militarist think tanks that in effect do PR for more military spending.Falling short of climate pledgesOutlawing torture
*Thailand's parliament on Wednesday started debating draft legislation outlawing torture and enforced disappearance.*Big spike despite high vaccination rate
*Singapore reports biggest spike in Covid cases in a year despite 81% vaccination rate.*
This is disappointing news, because it indicates that current vaccines alone are not enough to make Covid-19 disappear, even vaccinating 90% of adults, without taking some additional measures.
However, New Zealand seems to be on the home stretch of eradicating an outbreak.Giant sequoia trees
A California wildfire is running straight towards the remaining giant sequoia trees.Bogus Johnson plan
For the first time, Bogus Johnson presents a serious plan for dealing with a problem. Specifically, for Covid-19 in the UK this winter.
Whether he will set another first, by keeping a promise, remains to be seen.Fraud before losing
The leading Republican in the California governor recall election started complaining about "fraud" even before he lost.Trap for the US
Robert Fisk on 16 Sep 2001 wrote that the invasion of Afghanistan was a trap for the US.
It turned out more or less that way, though if it is correct that the Taliban tried to surrender in December 2001 it implies that the US chose to be trapped.Ray DeMonia
Ray DeMonia of Alabama had heart trouble and needed intensive care. None was available nearby, because covidiots had filled the hospitals in his region. Doctors sent him to a hospital 200 miles away, but he died.
The article doesn't assert that he died specifically because he couldn't get an ICU bed quickly, but we know that some cardiac patients will die from such delay.Climate mayhem
I expect additional millions will be compelled to flee to other countries — if they get permission to enter those countries.Patent and secrecy rules
WTO patent and secrecy rules are a matter of death for poor countries.
The WTO treaty allows a country to issue "compulsory licenses" permitting production of life-saving medicines for use within the country. But many countries are not capable of supporting the sophisticated production needed to make RNA vaccines, so they need a more advanced country to make vaccines for them. (Often this would be India.) The treaty offers no escape hatch to allow that.
That is one of many changes called for in the TRIPES agreement (Trade-Restricting Impediments to Prodiction, Education and Science).
There is hope that the next German government will change position on this.
Meanwhile, some of Pfizer's secrets have leaked, which could be a step in teaching the rest of the world how to make equivalent vaccines.
Such information should never be secret.(satire) Power wasted mining Bitcoin
(satire) *Study Finds Processing Power Wasted Mining Bitcoin Only Thing Preventing Sentient Computers From Wiping Out Humanity.*Discourage Chinese learning English
China is reportedly trying to discourage Chinese from learning and using English.
This might reduce the influence of foreign philosophical and political views in China, though with a practical cost.Roadblocks to social progress
*So-Called Democratic "Moderates" Are Actually Right-Wingers Who Have Always Thrown Up Roadblocks to Social Progress.*
That may be the underlying reason why Covid-19 caused more financial difficulties for old people in the US than in other wealthy nations.
(satire) *Democrats Sick Of Being Blamed For Cowardice On Issues They Actually Just Don’t Care About.*
I think this is unfair to Senator Schumer. He has little leverage to pressure the plutocratist Democrates in the Senate, including Coal Magnate Manchin and Semi-Republican Sinema.Drone Attack
*Investigations of US Drone Attack That Killed 10 Afghans Find No Evidence of Explosives in Vehicle.*New punAbortion providers ruined
Abortion providers in Texas, and their lawyers, are afraid of being ruined by lawsuits even if they win.Money laundering
Afghanistan's central bank is no longer trying to prevent money-laundering there, according to people that work or worked there.
It is not clear to me whether the Taliban wanted this to stop this activity, or the staff fled pre-emptively and brought it to a halt.Wearing cameras
Facebook is trying to manipulate us to treat it as acceptable to wear cameras (and microphones) on one's face when spending time around other people.
I suggest insist people put them away in an opaque container that insulates sound pretty well, before we agree to talk with them.Vaccine requirement mandate
Biden's vaccine requirement mandate shouldn't be controversial, with Covid-19 killing a thousand people per day in the US.
Encountering other people without vaccination is like driving a car without learning how to drive safely: it endangers oneself and others. Everyone who can get vaccinated has a duty to do so.5 cents raise
CVS is offering workers a raise of 5 cents per hour.
I think the workers deserve more.Urgent: Bill that fund military spending
US citizens: call on your congresscritter to commit to voting No on any bills that fund military spending at over 90% of the current level
The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.
If you call, please spread the word!Urgent: New progressive social contract
US citizens: call for a new, progressive, social contract in the U.S.EU anti-deforestation law
*Leaked EU anti-deforestation law omits fragile grasslands and wetlands.*Fear of having children
*Four in 10 young people fear having children due to climate crisis, The poll covered Australia, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Portugal, the UK and the US.*Most pivotal bill in years
Rebecca Solnit: *Congress is on the cusp of passing the most pivotal bill in years — if we make them.*Not safe for refugees
The UN's commission for Syria says that Syria is not safe for returning refugees to.World vaccination target
*Biden to propose target of vaccinating 70% of world in a year.*
This is somewhat of a speedup over current targets. Any speedup in vaccinating the world is an improvement for all of humanity, but what we really need is to vaccinate nearly everyone so that the virus will more or less disappear.Global farm subsidies
*90% of global farm subsidies damage people and planet, says UN.*
The harmful subsidies are generally for producing meat and dairy products. The harm includes damage to health, global heating, destruction of wildlife habitats, and ruin of small farms.Prime Minister Ariel Henry
*Haiti chief prosecutor calls for [Prime Minister Ariel Henry] to be charged in [President Moise]'s killing.* The reason is that Henry had phone calls with a suspect who is on the lam.
Strangely, President Moise appointed Ariel Henry as prime minister a few days before he was shot.Research on Instagram
Facebook concealed its own research which found that Instagram makes teenage girls feel more anxious about their body image.Questions from the senate
*Philippines' Duterte accused of stifling scrutiny in senate probes.* Specifically, he prevents the Senate from questioning executive branch officials.
The bullshitter did this too.Criminalisation of good Samaritan
Church of England bishops condemned the proposed law that would constitute "criminalisation of Good Samaritan."
The US has prosecuted people for giving food and water to unauthorized immigrants and to homeless people.Moratorium on deep sea mining
*Moratorium on Deep Sea Mining [endorsed] at Global Biodiversity Summit.*
This was not a binding decision, but may help lead to a real decision.Anti-vaxxers dying
*Vaccine-hesitant people are dying -– and their loved ones want the world to listen.*UK's CND Infiltration
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demands an investigation of the UK's use of undercover thugs to infiltrate it in the 1980.Preserving endangered languages
Preserving endangered languages calls for encouraging everyone to use them. This means rejecting the idea of "cultural appropriation" or that these languages are off-limits to some people.Egypt human rights
*U.S. [reportedly] to hold $130m of Egypt's military aid over human rights.*
It is good that the US is making an effort. Getting a government to stop torturing and killing dissidents and journalists is not easy, though.Urgent: Build Back Better act
US citizens: phone your congresscritter and say to fully fund the Build Back Better act, at 3.5 trillion, and increase taxes on rich people and corporations.
It wouldn't hurt to add that there should be no increased funds for the military and no subsidy for climate destruction.
The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.Head in the sand
*Australia burying ‘head in the sand’ on security risks of climate change, former defence official says.*Environmental threats
Michelle Bachelet of the UN says that environmental threats are the biggest challenge to human rights.Environmental defenders murdered
65 environmental defenders were murdered in Colombia in 2020, setting a new record. World-wide there were 227 murders, also a record.
I think that increased awareness that environmental destruction is tantamount to delayed murder the reason for this.British Labour Party
A large British union has started to give up on the Labour Party. Its members no longer believe that the party would do much for workers if it won.
I suspect that is a consequence of how it treated Corbyn.(satire) Fraternity cookout
(satire) *Fraternity Cookout Raises Over $10,000 To Pay Medical Bills Of Pledge They Put In Coma.*Universal camera surveillance
Not surprisingly, universal camera surveillance has been useful for catching various sorts of criminals. That is true in New York City, as it is (I'm sure) true in China. The danger of this surveillance is not so immediately visible, but every time we read about the damage done by US wars based on lies, the cameras played a role in stopping people from blowing the whistle on those lies.Long Covid
It's possible that as much as 1/4 of the people who have had Covid-19 still have some amount of long Covid. In the US, that could be millions of people.
And the medical system, with its hands full with serious acute cases, cannot yet focus on them. And it doesn't know a lot to do for them, either.
Millions of Americans are being gratuitously infected by right-wing extremist Republicans as a political gesture of "drop dead" arrogance. All those who have a disability afterward should know that the extremists did it to them.New excuses for killing women
*Men are inventing new excuses for killing women and judges are falling for them.*Insisting that EPA does its job
Scientist Ruth Etzel was director of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection. She was out of the EPA for insisting that it do its job and apply its standards.Republican Party
The Republican Party is now the party of intrusive, repressive government.Subcontractors at Facebook
Facebook told a subcontractor to pull the union representative (of subcontracted janitors) off work on Facebook's building. That was because he organized a protest against Facebook's demand to work so fast that it made people work overtime unpaid. This is likely to be tantamount to firing him, though perhaps with a legal loophole.
This is one more reason why subcontracting should be limited by law to small numbers of workers doing small total amounts of work.
Not every business is nasty to workers like this, but no business deserves rights the way humans do. Subcontracting generally gives workers less power over their work (pay, schedules, working conditions), even as it reduces the accountability over the business in regard to the work they do for customers. It benefits the business but harms everyone else. So let's forbid it, except for small cases where a full-time employee would simply not make sense.Resuming monitoring nuclear sites
Iran has agreed to let the IAEA resume monitoring its nuclear sites.
Maybe it was bluffing to show the US it has to take the non-nuclear deal seriously. I hope the US does so.