[Meme] Guilty!

Posted in Deception at 6:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: In the post-truth era of social control media [sic] and politically-motivated (and usually bribed) mobs with a longstanding agenda [1, 2] we need to take a stand for facts, not sentiments

False accusation: You supported Epstein! No, I didn't

Gates and Epstein

Serial rapist


Open Letter in Support of the FSF (with RMS in the Board) Exceeding 6,500 Signatures, Board Grew Since the Attacks on It Began

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 6:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“What does not kill me makes me stronger”

Pro-RMS at 6500

FSF board

FSF board - all

Summary: The size of the FSF’s Board grew from 5 to 6 over the past month. In the meantime, the hate letter is losing signatures (as shown below).

$ git log --format=%B -n 10 $(git log -1 --pretty=format:"%h") | cat -
Merge pull request #2562 from rms-open-letter/mollydb-patch-2

Update index.md
Update index.md

removed name
Add Igalia statement

Add OpenSUSE statement

Merge pull request #2559 from combacsa/update_kor

Remove how-to-sign from translations.
Merge pull request #2561 from rms-open-letter/revert-2477-patch-1

Revert "Add signature"
Revert "Add signature"

Merge pull request #2558 from rms-open-letter/ehashman-patch-2

Remove @rany2 signature
Update index.md
Merge pull request #2557 from saschanaz/full-url

Use page.url in share-links.html

Explaining the Events that Led to Richard Stallman’s Resignation in 2019

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 5:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…if there’s a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused, uh a reasonable doubt, then you must bring me a verdict of “Not Guilty.” If, however, there’s no reasonable doubt, then you must, in good conscience, find the accused “Guilty.”

Rudy Bond in his role as the Judge addressing the jury in the movie 12 Angry Men (1957).[1]

Summary: Reprinted with permission. Original here. Published on April 5, 2021. Last updated April 23, 2021.

Jeffrey Epstein: Convicted and Exempted

Billionaire sex-trafficking criminal Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in New Jersey on July 7, 2019. In 2008 he had faced similar charges in Florida that could have put him in prison for life, but thanks to a shameful non-prosecution agreement (NPA) facilitated by US attorney Alexander Acosta (subsequently US secretary of labor under Trump), Epstein managed to avoid full prosecution and ended up serving just 13 months in prison under extraordinary privileged conditions [2] #NPA

Excerpts of emails and letters disclosed in 2015 revealed a covert negotiation between Epstein’s lawyers and the Government to keep the non-prosecution agreement secret from the victims and the general public. This secrecy was a violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act that prevented the victims from discussing theterms of the agreement or taking action to prevent it. The agreement was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in February 2019, but was not invalidated by the Department of Justice.[3]

Victims were abused not only by Jeffrey Epstein, but also by the Government.

Epstein’s Connections

Epstein’s high-profile social circle included American and foreignpoliticians, business magnates, scientists, academics, celebrities, and even a member of the royalty. Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Bill Gates, Professor Lawrence Krauss, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, Woody Allen, Britain’s Prince Andrew, to name a few.[4]

It would not be an exaggeration to say that among the elite, scores of people either knew Epstein or were connected to him to some extent.

He built ties with academic circles by hosting science conferences—typically in his property in the US Virgin Islands—that were attended by some of the most prominent scientists in the country, and by donating large amounts of money for scientific research to elite schools like Harvard University and MIT. Both MIT and Harvard accepted gifts even after Epstein’s 2008 conviction.[5]

MIT Media Lab, Marvin Minsky, Virginia Giuffre

Two events in August 2019 exploded into a scandal at MIT:

  • The acknowledgement by MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito that the laboratory had surreptitiously accepted Epstein’s post-conviction donations.[6] #mit-scandal

    MIT commissioned an investigation, the results of which were published on January 10, 2020. The report shows that Epstein had sponsored, through his charitable foundations, the projects of several professors at the Media Lab, starting with a donation to Marvin Minsky’s artificial intelligence project in September 12, 2002—four years before Epstein was first charged with sex crimes. Earlier that same year, on April 14-16, Minsky and some of his colleagues had held an AI symposium in the US Virgin Islands, and a second one took place in December 2011, both sponsored by Epstein.[7]

    The investigation found no evidence of further donations from Epstein to support Minsky’s work.[8] Professor Minsky died in 2016.

  • The unsealing of a deposition by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre née Roberts (born August 9th, 1983), in which she testified, among many other things, that Epstein’s partner Ghislaine Maxwell had “directed” her to have sex with MIT Media Lab professor Marvin Minsky and other men.

    The other men (including Prince Andrew and Alan Dershowitz) are mentioned in all of the suits in the case and by multiple testimonies, with clear statements that they committed sexual abuse, complete with specific details of the circumstances.[9] Marvin Minsky’s name, on the other hand, appears only once in the claims, in terms that raise doubts about whether Minsky actually had any sexual contact with the victim. The only certain statement is that the victim was “directed” to have sex with Minsky. #giuffre-deposition

    Screenshot of Virginia Giuffre's deposition.
    From Virginia Giuffre’s deposition on May 3rd, 2016. Unsealed on August 9, 2019.

    According to the flight logs and a deposition by pilot David Rodgers, Marvin Minsky appears to have flown for the first time on one of Epstein’s planes on March 29, 2001, from Teterboro (NJ) to Santa Fe (N. Mex.), flight 1479. Virginia Roberts—aged 17 years, 7 months and 20 days old—was on that flight.

    Screenshot of flight logs.
    Flight logs in the case Epstein vs Edwards, et al. Unsealed on August 9, 2019.

    Screenshot of David Rodgers' deposition.
    From David Rogers’ deposition on June 3rd, 2016. Unsealed on August 9, 2019.

According to the documents and the various affidavits, it is clear that Virginia Roberts and other victims were being forced into a scheme of sexual exploitation. However, it’s unclear whether any sexual encounters actually took place with Minsky.

  • Physicist and science fiction author Greg Benford reported that he was present when Virginia Roberts approached Minsky: If Marvin had done it, she would say so. I know. I was there. Minsky turned her down. Told me about it. She saw us talking and didn’t approach me.[10]

    Benford is probably referring to the conference held in the US Virgin Islands in April 2002, when Virginia was 18. #eighteen

  • Minsky’s widow, Gloria Rudisch, has said: We were always together. We didn’t stay at his house or anything.[11]

A Reasonable Doubt #doubt

Did Marvin Minksy have sex with Virginia Roberts? As of the date of publication of this article, there is no confirmation of whether Minsky actually had sex with Virginia or any of Epstein’s victims. There are no further affidavits to shed light on the matter, and the fact that the various suits were privately settled out of court does not enable the general public to definitively know what happened.

It is therefore sensible to presume there is reasonable doubt, to refrain from passing judgement based on passion rather than reason.

For those interested in more details, the Internet Archive keeps a complete set of documents, including Epstein’s audio recordings.

Age of Consent – The Law Does Not Dictate Morality #age-morality

Virginia Roberts’ 18th birthday was in August 2001. Any sexual activity she might have had with older people before that date would be called “rape” according to law. There are suggestions that age of consent in the US Virgin Islands was 16 at that time, to be later raised to 18, but we have found no evidence. However, whether or not that’s true is hardly relevant. We agree with Stallman that it’s not the law to determine what is moral and what is not. She and the other victims were being trafficked and coerced, that is what makes it immoral, whatever the age and whatever the jurisdiction.

We cannot trust the law to tell us what is moral or immoral. Slavery has been perfectly legal for centuries in the United States and other parts of the world. The United States of America has made racial segregation legal for decades.

For more information, see Age of Consent in the United States; Marriage Age in the United States (we strongly disagree with laws allowing the marriage of children); age of consent in the US is 16 in 34 States at the time of writing, April 6, 2021.

Richard Stallman Calls Epstein a “Serial Rapist” #serial-rapist

Stallman never met Epstein and never received any gifts from him.

Richard Stallman was never part of the MIT Media Lab involved in the scandal, but was instead part of CSAIL, a different entity. How, then, did Stallman know Minsky? When Stallman began working at the Artificial Intelligence Lab in 1971, Minsky was there as its co-founder and head. Stallman quit his job in 1984. When Stallman was assigned an office at the AI Lab as a visiting scientist around 1991, Minsky was no longer there, he had joined the Media Lab in 1989. There was little if any interaction between Stallman and Minsky. In 2003, the AI Lab was merged with the Laboratory of Computer Science, giving birth to the current Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). #not-medialab

In April 2019, when Stallman learned about Epstein in the news, his crimes, and the Non-Prosecution Agreement, he stated that the plea deal was illegal and saw it as grounds for a longer prison term.

True to his fixation on the correct choice of words, Stallman observes that post-pubertal people aren’t children, and he points out that the expression “sex offender” minimizes Epstein’s crimes, suggesting the term “serial rapist” instead.

Richard Stallman on Epstein (Archived) (emphasis added):

25 April 2019 (Plea deal for Epstein)

(Now) Labor Secretary Acosta’s plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein was not only extremely lenient, it was so lenient that it was illegal. [Archived]

I wonder whether this makes it possible to resentence him to a longer prison term.

I disagree with some of what the article says about Epstein. Epstein is not, apparently, a pedophile, since the people he raped seem to have all been postpuberal.

By contrast, calling him a “sex offender” tends to minimize his crimes, since it groups him with people who committed a spectrum of acts of varying levels of gravity. Some of them were not crimes. Some of these people didn’t actually do anything to anyone.

I think the right term for a person such as Epstein is “serial rapist”.

Words Are Important #offender

Indeed, Stallman’s objection to framing Epstein as a mere “sex offender” is correct, so much so that Epstein himself used the flawed terminology to downplay the seriousness of his crimes:

I’m not a sexual predator, I’m an “offender.” It’s the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.

—Jeffrey Epstein.[12]

Reaction to the Injustices #reaction

A powerful man subjecting minors to sexual exploitation, government officials aiding the perpetrator to escape prosecution while hiding this outcome from the victims, prestigious institutions accepting money from the criminal, are all injustices that added up to utter frustration, anger and pain among survivors, advocates of the #MeToo campaign, and every community that fights for women’s rights and against sexism.

A protest was organized at MIT against the institution’s involvement with Epstein. On September 10, 2019, an email announcing the protest was sent to the CSAIL mailing list.

It was in this atmosphere of shock and anger that Richard Stallman responded to that email. For more details, continue onward.

CSAIL Emails

“Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.”

Author Unknown.

A protest[13] was organized at MIT against the institution’s involvement with sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein. The announcement of the protest, sent to the CSAIL mailing list on September 10, 2019, triggered a contentious discussion over the description of Marvin Minsky as accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims.

We have compiled a PDF containing the conversation chain in a way that is clear and easy to read, following the chronological order as they were sent. We also replaced the redacted names of people with alphabetic letters, to distinguish different speakers and make direct exchanges more clear. Re-compiling was necessary because the PDF published by Vice[14] back in 2019 has three problems: 1) it’s missing some important emails; 2) the emails are listed in reverse chronological order, which makes it difficult to follow;3) they include irrelevant text that only adds noise and distracts, such as footers and re-quotes. However, we also provide a copy of the PDF published by Vice for those interested.

We’re presenting the email trail here very carefully so that people can see for themselves. We believe the email trail answers some pertinent questions:

  • Did Stallman defend Epstein? No.
  • Did Stallman excuse sexual assault? No.
  • Did Stallman advocate for or excuse predatory sex with minors? No.
  • Did Stallman credit and believe the victims? Yes.
  • Did Stallman clarify terms? Yes.
  • Did Stallman respectfully disagree? Yes.
  • Did Stallman highlight where we have facts and where we do not? Yes.

The email numbers and letters used below in place of names (i.e., “Poster A”) come from the PDF compiled by us.

Here’s the relevant snippet from the announcement (extracted from Email #1 by Poster A in the chain):

[...] deceased AI “pioneer” Marvin Minsky (who is accused of assaulting
one of Epstein’s victims [2]), [...]

[2] https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/9/20798900/marvin-minsky-jeffrey-epstein-sex-trafficking-island-court-records-unsealed.

The use of inverted commas around the word “pioneer” suggests it was written under a strong emotional state, otherwise it’s unreasonable to think that whatever wrong Minsky might have done is grounds to refute the undeniable fact that he was actually a pioneer in his field. It was probably this emotional strain that also led to describing his alleged misconduct as an “assault.” In fact, the cited newspaper article never uses that word.

Richard Stallman is known for his obsession with correct terminology. Even though it was out of place in that context, he couldn’t suppress his nature and did as he always does whenever he sees a word is being misused: he pointed it out. As someone who is committed to justice, he also spoke up against what he saw as the unfair treatment of a dead man he had known in his early days at the AI Lab. A dear professor, a mentor. A familiar feeling to many is the pain of seeing a dear person being attacked.

It was in this atmosphere filled with pain and affliction that he replied (emphasis added):

Email #2 by Richard Stallman#email2

The announcement of the Friday event does an injustice to Marvin Minsky:

> deceased AI “pioneer” Marvin Minsky (who is accused of
> assaulting one of Epstein’s victims [2])

The injustice is in the word "assaulting". The term "sexual assault" is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation: taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as Y, which is much worse than X.

The accusation quoted is a clear example of inflation. The reference reports the claim that Minsky had sex with one of Epstein’s harem. (See https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/9/20798900/marvin-minsky-jeffrey-epstein-sex-trafficking-island-court-records-unsealed.) Let’s presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it).

The word "assaulting" presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex.

We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates.

I’ve concluded from various examples of accusation inflation that it is absolutely wrong to use the term "sexual assault" in an accusation.

Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism.

  • Clearly, what Stallman is saying here is that the expression “sexual assault” is innacurate in this context.

    Stallman is known for chiming in whenever he sees a term is being used incorrectly, in his view. This case was no exception, with the added motive of seeing his friend being accused exaggeratedly. He also did it when he saw Epstein had been labeled as a “sex offender” according to law, and proposed to describe him as a “serial rapist” instead.

    Stallman’s observation was completely on target. Epstein himself used the inaccurate term “sex offender” to diminish the gravity of his crimes.

    Nadine Strossen—feminist advocate of human rights, children’s rights, former ACLU president and lawyeragrees that the overuse of the term “sexual assault” minimizes the serious crimes: It [sexual assault] trivializes the serious infractions that are committed by people like Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein. So that is one point that he [Stallman] made that I think is very important that I strongly agree with. #not-sexual-assault

  • Stallman gives credit to Giuffre’s declaration and takes it to mean she actually did have sex with Minsky, just it was not “sexual assault”:
    • Epstein was forcing Giuffre to offer sex to his friends, so it’s reasonable to think that he was also forcing her to hide she was being coerced. Stallman argues that based on available testimony, we don’t actually know what Minsky understood about the situation, facts that should be crucial to judging his behavior and holding him accountable.

      Stallman’s words, “presented herself to him as entirely willing” were widely misquoted all over the web as if he had said “she was entirely willing.” The difference in meaning is obvious. Stallman in fact says the opposite, that he believes she was coerced by Epstein.

    • The announcement of the protest at MIT is in part based on an article by The Verge, but that article never mentions “sexual assault.”

Email #3 by Poster B

For the record, a witness denies this, saying that Minsky turned her down:

That’s a reference to Gregory Benford’s report.

Email #4 by Poster C

Giuffre was 17 at the time; this makes it _rape_ in the Virgin Islands.

The witness (who was not named as someone present by Giuffre) claims that the deposition never directly accuses Minsky of participating, based off a convoluted sentence by the New York Times. The Verge article includes a depostition snippet, which is not ambiguous at all: Giuffre directly says she was forced to have sex with Minsky.

Let’s stop grasping at straws to defend our friends, and instead listen to the women who were harmed.

  • Actually, we still don’t know if, when or where Giuffre had sex with Minsky. The suits were settled out of court, and nobody has sued Minsky’s estate so far. As for the age, Giuffre was 18 in April 2002, although things could have happened before that. Again, we are missing key information, thus we should refrain from passing judgement based on passion rather than evidence.

  • It seems that Stallman did listen to the women. Referring to Giuffre’s deposition, he assumes Giuffre had sex with Minsky; in Email #2 above he writes, Let’s presume that was true (I see no reason to disbelieve it).

References and Notes

  1. 12 Angry Men (1957) – Quotes
  2. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein arrested on sex trafficking charges (Archived)
  3. Prosecutors Broke Law in Agreement Not to Prosecute Jeffrey Epstein, Judge Rules (Archived)
  4. Trump called Epstein a ‘terrific guy’ who enjoyed ‘younger’ women (Archived)
    Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein: How Are They Connected? (Archived)
    Prince Andrew’s links to Jeffrey Epstein (Archived)
    Bill Gates Met With Jeffrey Epstein Many Times, Despite His Past (Archived)
  5. Epstein’s donations to universities reveal a painful truth about philanthropy (Archived)
  6. Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Taking Money From Jeffrey Epstein. (Archived)
  7. The St. Thomas Common Sense Symposium: Designing Architectures for Human-Level Intelligence. (Archived)
    Coping with Future Catastrophes. (Archived)
  8. MIT review of Epstein donations. (Archived)
  9. Sex with Prince Andrew was quick and ‘disgusting’. (Archived)
  10. Minsky Turned Her Down. (Archived)
  11. Minsky’s widow denies her husband had sex with Roberts. (Archived)
  12. Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein: I’m a sex offender, not a predator. (Archived)
  13. They Knew: Speak-out against MIT-Epstein Scandal. (Archived)
  14. Email chain as published by Vice. (Archived)

Richard Stallman: Censorship Threatens Democracy… Making It a Crime to Insult Someone — That’s Always Wrong

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman speaks about laws that affect freedom of speech and censorship

Direct download as Ogg (00:03:07, 10.3 MB)


(intro music)

Roy: The issue of censorship is very kind of heated right now in the UK and different people will talk about protecting the children, or terrorism, or libel, issues to do with leaked passwords, things to do with violence and threats and so on and so forth. Where do you set the line if anywhere, when it comes to censorship?


RMS: Censorship is more disgusting than anything anyone proposes to censor. Because censorship threatens democracy. There is no political freedom if people are not free to express their views. But in the UK you can be imprisoned for merely having copies of a book. You can be imprisoned for offending somebody.


Now, this is not freedom of speech. The crucial point about other issues, such as, for instance, libel, is that in the UK and the US, libel is not a crime. It’s grounds for a lawsuit. But there are many countries where people can be imprisoned for offending, insulting something or other. A


man said, “Sarkozy, I see you”. Meaning you’re behind what is happening here and he was arrested and charged. So, and in Italy,

Roy: In the United States there was a guy who jotted with a chalk on the sidewalk against Bank of America and almost got 13 years in jail.

RMS: He was, well he was charged and acquitted but if he had not


been acquitted, I expect the conviction would have been reversed on appeal because the First Amendment counts for something. The point is though that, that wasn’t because of what he wrote. At least not ostensibly, maybe they chose to prosecute him because he was criticizing banks. But he wasn’t accused of insulting banks. But there are


many where people can be accused of insulting various, depends on which country who it’s a crime to insult, but that’s different from allowing the possibility of a lawsuit for libel. So making it a crime to insult someone, that’s always wrong.

Links 24/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7.2, InfiniTime 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Best Qubes Laptop is the Secure Librem 14

        Qubes is a high-security operating system that makes it easy to isolate workflows into different virtual machines (VMs) or “Qubes” that you can label, colorize, and firewall off based on trust level. One of the challenges finding the best Qubes laptop has always been hardware compatibility–Qubes uses advanced Xen features and relies on hardware virtualization extensions like IOMMU to power all of its virtual machine features and the Linux kernel in Qubes often doesn’t support all of these features on all hardware.

        While Qubes maintains a community-built hardware compatibility list, it’s not always up to date and typically reflects Qubes support on a particular piece of hardware in a point in time. Since few vendors apart from Purism test Qubes on their hardware, much less support it, if you want to run Qubes on your own laptop, you are often on your own.

        Qubes’s heavy reliance on virtualization also means that machines running Qubes typically need more resources–in particular RAM and fast storage–than a regular operating system. It’s not uncommon to have five to ten virtual machines running at a single time with many of them running their own independent web browsers. While Qubes lists 4GB of RAM as the minimum, to get the most use out of Qubes you really need a minimum of 8GB of RAM, with 16 or 32GB RAM recommended if you intend to create and run many VMs simultaneously.

      • Making computers more accessible and sustainable with Linux

        There are many reasons to choose Linux for your desktop operating system. In Why everyone should choose Linux, Opensource.com’s Seth Kenlon highlighted many of the best reasons to select Linux and provided lots of ways for people to get started with the operating system.

        This also got me thinking about how I usually introduce folks to Linux. The pandemic has increased the need for people to go online for shopping, doing remote education, and connecting with family and friends over video conferencing.

        I work with a lot of retirees who have fixed incomes and are not particularly tech-savvy. For most of these folks, buying a computer is a major investment fraught with concern. Some of my friends and clients are uncomfortable going to a retail store during a pandemic, and they’re completely unfamiliar with what to look for in a computer, whether it’s a desktop or laptop, even in non-pandemic times. They come to me with questions about where to buy one and what to look for.

    • Server

      • What is KFServing?

        KFServing was born as part of the Kubeflow project, a joint effort between AI/ML industry leaders to standardize machine learning operations on top of Kubernetes. It aims at solving the difficulties of model deployment to production through the “model as data” approach, i.e. providing an API for inference requests.

      • Minified Linux Offerings Boost Containers and Edge Processing | IT Pro

        Because edge deployment locations are often unstaffed or staffed by technicians, edge processing needs low maintenance solutions like RHEL for Edge and others.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Maybe Beginner Linux Distro’s Actually Matter

        In the past I’ve said that distros don’t really matter and I fully stand behind that however, I’m talking from the perspective of someone who likes to mess around with Linux and understands somewhat how my system works but not everyone is like that somepeole are new to linux or just want to g to get some real work done.

      • Keep Politics Out Of Free And Open Source Software

        I have said so many times that I think politics has no place within the free and open source software community. And some people have taken an issue with me saying such a thing, possibly because I haven’t taken the time to properly state what I mean in this regard. So let’s talk about it.

      • Full Circle Weekly News #206
      • Hackaday Podcast 115: AI Is Bad At Linux Terminal, Puppeting Pico In Python, 3D Scanning Comes Up Short | Hackaday

        Hackaday editors Mike Szczys and Elliot Williams pull back the curtain on a week of excellent hacks. We saw an awesome use of RGB LEDs as a data channel on a drone, and the secrets of an IP camera’s OS laid bare with some neat reverse engineering tools. There’s an AI project for the Linux terminal that guesses at the commands you actually want to run. And after considering how far autopilot has come in the aerospace industry, we jump into a look at the gotchas you’ll find when working with models of 3D scanned objects.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds Responds to Linux Banning University of Minnesota

        Saying the University of Minnesota’s ban from contributing to the Linux kernel has been a popular topic of conversation among the open source community would be an understatement. Now, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has weighed in on the issue, and his response was milder than one might expect.

        Whatever he did seems to have worked. Torvalds reportedly told iTWire that “I don’t really know what to say” about the University of Minnesota ban. “I think the email thread is likely the most relevant information. [...] I don’t think it has been a huge deal _technically_, but people are pissed off, and it’s obviously a breach of trust.”

        Interestingly enough, Torvalds, according to The New Yorker, stepped aside from Linux in 2018 because he was seeking help “after years of verbally abusing programmers” who contributed to the Linux kernel.

        Linux developers are still looking through code submitted as part of the college’s research project, as well as other contributions associated with the University of Minnesota. Right now it seems like this was a one-off issue, as Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board member Kees Cook said in an email to the Linux kernel mailing list.

      • Sony Proposes A New Soft Watchdog For Linux – Phoronix

        Sony Linux engineer Peter Enderborg has proposed a soft watchdog for the Linux kernel to carry out pre-defined tasks in certain situations but not being like hardware watchdogs that would reboot the system if a problem crops up.

        This proposed “softwatchdog” would carry out tasks besides a hard reboot. such as taking pre-defined action if the system is running slow or on low memory situations.

      • Linux 5.13 To Add Perf Support For Intel Alder Lake – Phoronix

        Queued this week into perf/core ahead of the imminent Linux 5.13 merge window is perf subsystem bring-up for Intel’s next-gen Alder Lake processors.

        Supporting the performance counters/events for Intel Alder Lake processors was more tricky than their usual new CPU enablement due to the new hybrid architecture. With Alder Lake featuring a mix of Golden Cove high performance cores and the low-power Gracemont cores, special handling is necessary within the perf subsystem and other select areas of the kernel due to the different capabilities between the high performance and power-saving CPU cores.

      • Paul E. Mc Kenney: Stupid RCU Tricks: The design of rcutorture

        This installment of the rcutorture series takes a high-level look at its design. At the highest level, rcutorture is a stress test with a few unit-test components thrown in for good measure. It also includes scripts to handle both single-system and distributed testing. All of this code is of course paying homage to the many moods of Mr. Murphy.

      • AMD Sends In ASPM Support, FreeSync Fixes For Linux 5.13 Cycle – Phoronix

        On top of the prior AMDGPU feature pulls for Linux 5.13 that brought Aldebaran support, FreeSync HDMI, and other improvements, another round of updates were sent in on Friday.

        Given that the Linux 5.13 merge window is kicking off next week and the time for new “feature” updates to DRM-Next has already passed, this latest AMDGPU pull request is primarily about bug fixes. There are fixes for the new Aldebaran accelerator support, addressing eDP issues, some VanGogh APU problems have also been taken care of, Renoir SMU problems addressed, and also some FreeSync fixes too.

    • Applications

      • 21 Best Open-source 2D/ 3D Design Applications for Kids and Teens

        Computer drawing and design are some basic and easy skills that can be taught to children through many free programs and applications. Many of these programs are easy and can be used to teach children to draw and design.

        Drawing is an important skill for children because of its ability to express their needs and desires that cannot be expressed through speech, it also helps to develop the child’s imagination, encourage him to develop his skills, occupy his spare time with a useful work of the child’s creativity and stimulate his brain and empty the child’s negative and positive energy.

        The most obvious benefit of open-source is the possibility of obtaining it for free, and some people prefer this type of open-source software for their ability to control this type of program and the possibility of training in modifying open-source programs and developing them at a later time.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux File System Types Explained, Which One Should You Use

        Linux supports a variety of file systems such as ext4, ZFS, XFS, Btrfs, Reiser4, and so on. Different types of file systems solve different kinds of problems and their usage is application specific.

        Choosing Linux file system that is appropriate for your application is an important decision. This tutorial describes some of the major Linux file systems and provides recommendations on the right file system to suit your application.

      • Manage network security with Firewalld using command lines | FOSS Linux

        Maintaining network security is key for system admins and configuring the firewall through the command-line is an essential skill to learn. The article will highlight how to manage the firewall with firewall-cmd in the Linux command-line.

        A firewall is essentially software that you can configure to control incoming and outgoing network traffic. Firewalls can prevent other users from using network services on a system you are running. Most Linux systems ship with a default firewall. Earlier versions of Linux systems have been using iptables as the daemon for packet filtering. Newer versions of Fedora, RHEL/CentOS, openSUSE ship with Firewalld as the default firewall daemon. You can also install Firewalld in Debian and Ubuntu distros.

      • How To Change Hostname on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to change the hostname on AlmaLinux. For those of you who didn’t know, Hostname is a label that is assigned to a device connected to a computer network and that is used to identify the device in various forms of electronic communication. During the installation of Almalinux 8, either the admin defines a hostname or one is automatically created. The assigned system name is not always easy to remember. Later, if you add more machines to the network, you may want to organize hostnames.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. If you are ready open up your terminal and follow through with this tutorial, and in less than 10 minutes you will have changed your hostname on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • [Beginner’s Guide] How to Install deb file in Ubuntu in 4 Different Ways | UbuntuHandbook

        Got a deb file download from the web? This is a beginner’s guide shows you how to install the file in Ubuntu.

        DEB is the software package format for Debian / Ubuntu based systems. Besides Ubuntu main / universe repositories and Ubuntu PPAs, some applications offer .deb files for downloading in their project pages or websites.

      • How To Install Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo with UEFI, Dualboot, and External Disk Instructions

        This is our tutorial on installing Ubuntu Desktop 21.04 on a computer with UEFI/GPT, dualboot, and external disk instructions with pictures included. Finally, by following this tutorial you can have Ubuntu Hirsute on your PC, laptop, or virtual machine or even an external hard disk drive. Let’s go!

      • Install And Configure KVM In OpenSUSE Tumbleweed – OSTechNix

        Before installing KVM, first make sure your system supports hardware virtualization. We have documented a few different ways to find if a Linux system supports Virtualization in the following guide.
        How To Find If A CPU Supports Virtualization Technology (VT)
        If your system supports hardware virtualization, go ahead and setup KVM virtualization server on your openSUSE system as described in the subsequent steps.


        A new window will pop up. Choose both KVM server and KVM tools under the KVM Hypervisor section. The KVM server provides only the minimal system to get a running system. In order to configure, manage and monitor KVM virtual machines, you must choose KVM tools option as well. After choosing both options, Click Accept to continue:

      • How to set up aliases on Ubuntu

        Are you tired of writing in long commands in your Ubuntu terminal? Want to find a better way? If so, you may want to set up terminal aliases in the Ubuntu terminal. In this guide, we’ll show you how.

      • How to install and use KDE Apper on Linux

        Apper is a tool for the KDE Plasma 5 desktop. With it, users can manage their packages on Linux. Apper is distribution agnostic, as it uses PackageKit. Meaning no matter what Linux OS you use, you’ll be able to install and uninstall your favorite programs easily.

      • How to Upgrade to Fedora 34 from Fedora 33 Workstation (GUI and CLI Method)

        If you are planning to upgrade to taste the top new features of Fedora 34, then you are at the right place. Presenting the steps to upgrade to Fedora 34 from Fedora 33 workstation with GUI and CLI methods.

      • Digitally Sign Documents in Linux Using ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors

        One of the most reliable ways to protect your documents and their content from any alterations is using a digital signature. It is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a document. In other words, a digital signature creates a virtual fingerprint that is unique to a person and is used to identify users and protect information.

        If you want to make the exchange of documents more secure with a digital signature, we recommend you to use ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors. This is a free office app designed for creating and editing text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. The desktop application is fully compatible with the Microsoft Office formats and can be easily installed on any Linux distribution.

      • How To Install LEMP Stack on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install LEMP Stack on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, LEMP is a combination of free, open-source software. The acronym LEMP refers to the first letters of Linux (Operating system), Nginx Server, MySQL (database software), and PHP principal components to build a viable general-purpose webserver.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the LEMP Stack on an AlmaLinux 8.

      • WireGuard Mesh VPN Encryption for MariaDB Galera Cluster – LinuxBabe

        This tutorial is going to show you how to build a WireGuard mesh VPN and use it to encrypt replication traffic in MariaDB Galera cluster.

      • How to update Ubuntu using APT in the terminal – PragmaticLinux

        Interested in running Ubuntu server? In contrast to Ubuntu desktop, you now administer your system completely from the terminal. Most likely through a remote SSH connection. Consequently, you need to perform software updates on your Ubuntu system directly in the terminal. In this article you learn how to update your Ubuntu system, using the apt program in the terminal.

      • Update Terminal Window Title with tmux

        I have been using tmux more often than usual over the past few months, and realised that my basic tmux configuration was lacking a rather important functionality: automatic update of the iTerm2 terminal window tile based on the tmux context I was in.

      • Moving to TrueNAS and Democratic CSI for Kubernetes Persistent Storage

        I read an article about TrueNAS enabling container storage for Kubernetes by using the Democratic CSI driver to provide direct access to the storage system, and jumped right in.

        Up until now I was using my own DIY NAS server to provide various services to the homelab environment, including NFS, which worked great to be honest with you, but it did not have a CSI.

      • Time to solve: 10800 seconds

        I was asked to assist in debugging a strange issue involving a BIND resolver: seemingly correlating with an upgrade to Debian 10 a while ago, the chaps were reporting that their 9.11.5 BIND resolvers where responding with impossible TTLs on NOERROR/NODATA responses. My answer: nope – can’t happen.

        Spoiler: it can.

      • A Step by Step Guide to Installing Apache Tomcat 9 Linux

        If you want to host or develop Java web apps, you need Apache Tomcat. Here’s how to install Apache Tomcat 9 on Linux.

        Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server and servlet container for running Java applications. It is the most popular application server used with Java web applications. There are 100s of companies including eBay, Alibaba, and MIT using it.

        This tutorial is a step-by-step guide to download Tomcat 9.0.45. The code here was tested on Debian 10. That means that if you’re using any Debian-based distro like Ubuntu or Kali Linux (or Debian itself), you can follow through.

      • How to Save Downloaded Files Automatically in Brave Browser

        I always use two browsers on my system. Firefox is the primary browser and these days Brave is what I rely for my second browser.

        Brave browser is an excellent choice for someone who wants a Chrome/Chromium feel without the Google touch. It blocks ads and trackers by default and warns you against websites, downloads and extensions that are known to be dangerous. It also has an optional cryptocurrency ecosystem to reward its users and web publishers.

        I like Brave for a fast, smooth browsing experience. It works on smartphones as well. As I said, quite a good choice for a mainstream browser.

      • 3 Rather Unknown Docker Commands That Will Help You in a Variety of Scenarios

        If you’re using Docker for a while you probably already have a simple and effective workflow tailored to you, which includes some of your favorite docker commands (subcommands to be technically correct).

        For example, I used to remove the containers that are not running using a long command which looks like this docker container rm $(docker container ps -qf status=exited), it worked, obviously throwing an error whenever there were no dangling containers. This stopped one day when I found out that we also have a prune subcommand for containers! So now that long command has come down to a simple docker container prune.

        The point is even though many of us have been using Docker for a while, there is the chance that some things might’ve gotten overlooked, or maybe even forgotten through time.

        In this article, I’m going to give you three docker subcommands, that might be new to you, or you’re not using them much but I think you should.

        These sub-commands might also include their own sub-commands.

      • How to run command in background on Linux

        Running commands or processes in the background on a Linux system becomes a common task if you need to free up your terminal or disconnect from an SSH session. This is especially true of commands that run for a long time, either to listen for events or complete their lengthy task.

        We have a few options on Linux for running commands in the background. In this guide, we’ll cover a few different methods and show you how to use them through examples.

      • How to install CLion on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install CLion on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to download and set up an Ubuntu Desktop VMware image

        Do you need to get an Ubuntu Desktop VM set up in VMware Workstation on your Windows, Mac, or Linux PC? Can’t figure out how to do it? We can help! Follow along as we go over how to set up an Ubuntu Desktop VM in VMware Workstation.

      • Linux: How to use Systemd to list services

        Mainstream Linux distributions all use Systemd, an init system that works based on enabling and disabling “service” files. If you’re trying to list these service files but don’t know how to do it, you’ll need to make use of the systemctl command.

        In this guide, we’ll go over the various way you can list Systemd service files on Linux. To get started, ensure you’re using a Linux OS with Systemd. Then, open up a terminal window and follow along.

      • 2 Ways to Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04/20.10 To 21.04 (GUI & Terminal)

        Ubuntu 21.04, codenamed Hirsute Hippo, is released on April 22, 2021. This tutorial is going to you 2 ways to upgrade Ubuntu 20.04/Ubuntu 20.10 to 21.04. The first method uses the graphical update manager and the second method uses command line. Usually, you use the graphical update manager to upgrade Ubuntu desktop and use the command line to upgrade Ubuntu server, but the command-line method works for desktops too.

        Ubuntu 20.04 is a long-term support (LTS) release, which will be supported for 5 years. Ubuntu 21.04 is a non-LTS release, which means it will be supported for 9 months only, until January 2022. If you prefer stability over bleeding edge, then stick with Ubuntu 20.04. But if you are the other way around, you can follow this tutorial to upgrade from Ubuntu 20.04 to 21.04.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.7 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - NetApi32, WLDAP32, and Kerberos libraries converted to PE.
          - More Media Foundation work.
          - ES6 JavaScript mode.
          - Improved WOW64 file system redirection.
          - More Plug & Play driver support.
          - Keyboard raw input device.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • It’s your time to Wine with the 6.7 release out now

        It’s Friday and it’s been two weeks so that can only mean one thing! We get to have a little Wine, as a treat.

        We are of course as always talking about the open source compatibility layer Wine, with the Wine 6.7 development release out now. For newer readers and Linux users here’s a refresher – Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It’s also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made.

      • Wine 6.7 Continues Work On Driver Plug & Play, Adds ES6 JavaScript Mode – Phoronix

        Wine 6.7 is out as the newest bi-weekly development release for running Windows games and applications on Linux.

        Wine 6.7 continues the recent theme of working on Wine’s plug-and-play driver support. Also noteworthy is the keyboard raw input device support and ES6 JavaScript mode within MSHTML.

    • Games

      • Antoine Beaupré: A dead game clock

        Time flies. Back in 2008, I wrote a game clock. Since then, what was first called “chess clock” was renamed to pychessclock and then Gameclock (2008). It shipped with Debian 6 squeeze (2011), 7 wheezy (4.0, 2013, with a new UI), 8 jessie (5.0, 2015, with a code cleanup, translation, go timers), 9 stretch (2017), and 10 buster (2019), phew! Eight years in Debian over 4 releases, not bad!

        But alas, Debian 11 bullseye (2021) won’t ship with Gameclock because both Python 2 and GTK 2 were removed from Debian. I lack the time, interest, and energy to port this program. Even if I could find the time, everyone is on their phone nowadays.

      • Absolutely beautiful 2D platformer rogue-lite Astral Ascent confirmed for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Hibernian Workshop are currently developing Astral Ascent, a 2D platformer rogue-lite set in a modern fantasy world and it looks simply marvellous.


        MP2 Games are quite successful too, they’ve ported a number of games to other platforms including Cyber Shadow, Baba is You, Iconoclasts, Petal Crash, Not a Hero and plenty more.

      • PULSAR: Lost Colony gets a brand new campaign in the latest update | GamingOnLinux

        PULSAR: Lost Colony is a co-op spaceship simulator where each player assumes the role of a crew member and a whole new campaign just dropped in.

        Beta 31 brings in the new campaign which is smaller than the main story that explores a new Polytechnic Federation faction. They’re a “group of sentient robots that have risen from the scrapped and discarded remnants on a waste planet” and they appear to have some advanced tech. Since it doesn’t follow the main story you can expect some twists and turns including a special threat timer (which can be disabled).


        It’s been quite some time since last trying PULSAR: Lost Colony and they’ve added so much, it looks like a much bigger game overall now. Even going back a few years (it’s been in EA since 2015) it was already a lot of fun, and it worked well on Linux.

      • LudoNarraCon is live showing narrative games with a unique event pack developed on Linux

        Cyrano is the name of the game included in the special LudoNarraCon Supporter Pack, which as a fun fact – was developed on Linux!

      • Forza Horizon 4 Now Playable With Proton Experimental – Boiling Steam

        Being able to play Forza Horizon 4 comes with an asterisk, however. According to the Proton Experimental changelog, as well as the various reports on GitHub, the game only fully works on AMD GPUs with the latest mesa-git drivers. Some NVIDIA users have reported being able to launch the game successfully, but experience a crash at the first race. AMD owners, rejoice that you’ve got yet another advantage at your disposal. Though, it probably won’t take long for NVIDIA to catch up.

      • Cross platform Jagged Alliance 2 reimplementation ‘Stracciatella’ has a new release out | GamingOnLinux

        Jagged Alliance 2, the classic tactical RPG continues living in modern times thanks to Jagged Alliance 2 Stracciatella, a cross-platform game engine reimplementation.

        Like a lot of such projects, the aim is to stick close to the original game to preserve it while making it work better on modern platforms with quality of life updates. JA2 Stracciatella has a GUI launcher, high resolution support, Wildfire support, an integrated editor, a new Dead is Dead game mode, optional bundled mini-mods and much more.

      • Humble Bundle replacing purchase sliders with less generous options | GamingOnLinux

        Humble Bundle is currently facing something of a backlash after announcing they will be replacing the sliders on bundle purchases, with two options that are far less generous.

        The what: usually when you go to purchase a Humble Bundle, there’s sliders allowing you full choice on where you money goes. You could choose all to developers, all to Humble, all to Charity – or whatever. However, recently they vanished for a lot of customers.

        Humble has now actually announced their planned changes which include an overhaul to bundle pages. They’re replacing the sliders with only two options. The option to give more to charity will be capped at 15% up from the normal option being 5% (which will make it match Humble Choice).

      • Can We Recommend Linux for Gaming in 2021?

        Every day, Linux is getting upgrades to support modern games with proper graphics support. But, can we recommend Linux for gaming in 2021?

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Overflowing with UI and accessibility improvements

          This week we have the usual assortments of bugfixes and little new features here and there that you’ve come to expect, but the real focus was on user interface and accessibility improvements–and there is a truly massive amount of them! You would be forgiven for skipping straight to the “UI Improvements” section.

        • KDE Sees Another Wayland Session Crash Fix, SDDM To No Longer Require Root

          KDE developers continue polishing up their Wayland support and making other improvements to their desktop stack.

          Among the KDE work that has landed in recent days include:

          - KDE Plasma Wayland session will no longer crash when dragging a file over the panel.

          - Various “annoying bugs” have been fixed around volume percentage and separately around the applet configuration.

        • Plasma Calendar Redesign

          Over the last few weeks, I redesigned the default Plasma Calendar bringing it more in line with the design we want for Breeze Evolution. The new design removes the lines between the days, uses the default Plasma highlighting element and uses the Plasma Header component to provide a consistent look for the headers.

          There were also improvements in term of usability. Most notably, it is now easier to switch between the month, year and decade overview. Before, you needed to discover that the month name was clickable but now just clicking on the day, month or year button works. Additionally, on a touch screen, you can also swipe the calendar left or right.

        • Optimizing Android release packages

          In the first part of this post I described a way to build release packages of KDE apps for Android using Craft on KDE’s Binary Factory infrastructure. In this part we are now going to look at how to review and optimize the package content, and where to get the metadata for the app stores from.

          Inspecting APKs

          Before starting this work KDE Itinerary’s nightly build APK for 32bit ARM was about 36MB, without translation catalogs. The first working and complete release APK built with Craft came in at over 140MB, obviously not the direction I was going for. Fortunately there’s a number of ways to optimize this, currently we are approaching about 22MB, without loss of functionality and full translations.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Sébastien Wilmet: C dialects versus C++ dialects

          Some developers say that since the C++ programming language is so large, containing lots of features, each C++ programmer ends up writing code in a different subset of C++, a different dialect.

          This essay looks at whether the C language – which contains a much smaller set of core features than C++ – is any better with regards to the “dialects problem”.

        • Thoughts about gedit and Rust

          Nothing concrete yet, I’ve not started to work on it. But after a break of several months, I’m now considering learning Rust, and incrementally rewriting gedit in Rust.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • Initial Support for the riscv64 Architecture

          With the following commit, Dale Rahn (drahn@) imported initial support for the 64-bit RISC-V architecture: [...]

        • Nine practical ideas to keep an old or obsolete computer useful

          Convert it into a web server / NAS. A NAS server is a storage-oriented device, and with which you can create your own cloud at home. In addition, some NAS also allow you to do other things such as mounting web servers, VPNs or even your own streaming service with the content you have on their hard drives. If you want to turn your old PC into a NAS you can, for example, download the FreeBSD-based operating system, FreeNAS, which is free and can run on low-performance hardware. Another alternative for this purpose is the OpenFiler software. It is an ideal solution to not depend on Google in the goodbye of Google Photos.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Elektrobit and SUSE collaborate to provide automotive-grade Linux in China

          Elektrobit (EB), a visionary global supplier of embedded and connected software products for the automotive industry, today announced an expansion of its collaboration with SUSE, the multinational, open source software company, to provide car makers and Tier 1 suppliers in China with automotive-grade Linux. EB corbos Linux is an operating system for high-performance CPUs providing a basis for the latest AUTOSAR standard and will enable car makers to accelerate the development of cutting-edge software for next-gen E/E architecture.

        • New horizons for SUSE and Elektrobit partnership in automotive

          The automotive industry, one of the fastest-changing industries in the world, gathers a lot of attention these days – cars have come a long way from being just a means of transportation. Today we talk not only about a high-speed, comfortable ride, precise navigation system, infotainment and roadside assistance, but we expect our cars to be smart and truly connected vehicles. We have come to expect a range of on-demand services (tailored to our preferences), advanced infotainment and computer-guided driving assistance to be available in our cars. Such evolution is possible only with rapid adoption and integration of advanced software that turns cars into extensions of our work or living space.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/16

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          Tumbleweed is in full swing – with a staggering 6 snapshots published since the last weekly review. And this, despite me having to discard 2 snapshots (one for being totally broken, and one was discarded because it took too long to test). The six snapshots published were 0415, 0416, 0417, 0418, 0420, and 0422.


          This was quite a list of things happening, and the python 3.9 module introduction definitively took a while to enusre we don’t just trip over our own feet.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Top 10 Features of Fedora 34 Workstation

          Fedora 34 releases soon. If you are wondering about the new features and details, you would be surprised to find out that this release going to be a massive one. here we give you a sneak peek at the top 10 features of the Fedora 34 workstation.

        • A New Contract with the Middle Class [Ed: IBM's IWB on the vanishing middle class; IBM doesn't like to think about class because IBM plays class warfare]

          “The U.S. is a middle-class nation,” says the opening sentence of A New Contract with the Middle Class, an essay by Richard Reeves and Isabel Sawhill that was recently published by the Brookings Institution. “Since our nation’s founding, the American Dream has always been based on an implicit understanding – a contract if you will – between individuals willing to work and contribute, and a society willing to support those in need and to break down the barriers in front of them.” The essay is part of the Future of the Middle Class initiative launched by Brookings in November, 2018.

          Why focus on the middle class? The reason, notes the essay, is that this is how the majority of Americans define themselves. “An aristocratic leisure class and a welfare-dependent underclass are equally unappealing to most Americans.” It’s why paid work is seen as so important. Americans want a society where everybody has the chance to “make something of themselves.” Joining the middle class is the very core of the American Dream, – the promise that anyone can get ahead and achieve success and prosperity through talent and hard work.

          Who is in the middle class? While there are multiple definitions, most are based on income, partly because data on income are widely available, and it’s easier to come up with concrete, quantifiable definitions. But also because income tends be highly correlated with other attributes of social class, such as educational level, job status, consumer preferences, behaviors, aspirations, and cultural tastes.

          The essay defines middle class as those in the middle 60% of household income distribution. “To be middle class, a household of three would have an income between $40,000 and $154,000,” – neither poor nor prosperous. “The middle class, by our definition, is diverse: 59 percent white, 12 percent Black, 18 percent Hispanic, and 6 percent Asian. Within a few decades, whites will make up the minority of middle-class families.”

        • Surprising reasons why CentOS users feeling stranded by IBM turn to Oracle Linux

          When it comes to running an operating system, a good day is when nothing remarkable happens. It takes engineering savvy to make that come true, however. For the last 15 years, there’s been an enterprise Linux distro that is regarded for its performance, stability, and security. Now it’s back in the spotlight thanks to IBM/Red Hat’s recent change of plans for CentOS 8.

          Cutting CentOS’s presumed lifespan short by years stranded users, many of whom who are now wondering where to turn for a quality Linux distribution that is compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). “Last December, IBM announced that they were going to end-of-life CentOS as we know it, and they created a new upstream distro called CentOS Stream, which provides a rolling preview of features for RHEL,” says Robert Shimp, Group Vice President for Infrastructure Software Product Strategy. “That’s not quite the same as the traditional role of CentOS as a downstream, free distribution. That switch has created a lot of uncertainty about where CentOS users are going to move.”

          But there are options, and one of them is the backbone of Oracle’s own cloud: Oracle Linux, a RHEL-compatible distribution used by businesses (like Alior Bank) and institutions (like the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory). So, what are the differences? “If you write an application you can run it on RHEL, CentOS, or Oracle Linux just fine — but Oracle Linux goes considerably further than CentOS. We provide a lot of engineered features, most especially around enterprise availability and security,” says Shimp.

        • Fedora 34 To Release Next Week As A Very Exciting Update – Phoronix

          After it was pushed back last week due to blocker bugs, on Friday it was determined that Fedora 34 is now in proper shape to officially ship next week.

          Fedora 34 has been declared a “GO” for releasing next week Tuesday, 27 April.

          Thanks to the prior blocker bugs being addressed in recent days, Friday’s Go/No-Go meeting determined it’s fit for release.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-16

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)! Fedora Linux 34 is GO and will release on Tuesday 27 April. Fedora Linux 32 will reach end of life on Tuesday 25 May.

          Join us at the Fedora Linux 34 Release Party next Friday and Saturday.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

      • Debian Family

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.7.2

          EasyOS was created in 2017, derived from Quirky Linux, which in turn was derived from Puppy Linux in 2013. Easy is built in woofQ, which takes as input binary packages from any distribution, and uses them on top of the unique EasyOS infrastructure.

          Throughout 2020, the official release for x86_64 PCs was the Buster-series, built with Debian 10.x Buster DEBs.

          EasyOS has also been built with packages compiled from source, using a fork of OpenEmbedded (OE). Currently, the Dunfell release of OE has been used, to compile two sets of binary packages, for x86_64 and aarch64.

          The latter have been used to build EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, and first official release, 2.6.1, was in January 2021.

          The page that you are reading now has the release notes for EasyOS Dunfell-series on x86_64 PCs, also debuting in 2021.

          To try and keep things simple, all three, the Dunfell-series on Pi4 and the Dunfell-series and Buster-series on the PC, all are (approximately) sync’ed at the same version number.

          However, there are differences in the maturity of each. In the case of the Pi4, the hardware still has some issues. For Dunfell-series on the PC, as the packages are all compiled from source, they are not as tested as those in the Buster-series.

          The “2.7.2″ is for EasyOS itself, the infrastructure, support-glue, system scripts and system management and configuration applications.

          Version 2.7.2 is becoming mature, though is an experimental distribution and some parts are under development and are still considered as beta-quality. However, you will find this distro to be a very pleasant surprise, or so we hope.

        • EasyOS Dunfell version 2.7.2 released

          Another one! Version 2.7.1 was released only 4 days ago, see announcement…

        • Fixed support for Samsung printers

          After discussion on the forum, it seems that ‘libscmssc.so’ is not needed, and ‘rastertospl’ was in the wrong place — moved it from /usr/bin to /usr/lib/cups/filter.

        • Word-wrapped text blocks in coloured rectangles

          In the initrd, at first bootup there is a text-mode string asking to choose a console keyboard layout. This text block displays nicely in a coloured background rectangle. Ditto, at first bootup and subsequent bootups, there is another text-block with background coloured rectangle, asking for the password.

          That’s fine in English, but when the ‘init’ script (in the initrd) is translated, lines of text become different, and the background is no longer displayed in a neat rectangle.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” Released, Download Now

          In 2021, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is still struggling to become an official flavor, just like Ubuntu Unity, and I think the Ubuntu community needs both of them for diversity. The latest release, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04, codenamed “Hirsute Hippo,” is here to prove that the project is alive and kicking.

          As you can imagine, Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 21.04 is based on the Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release, which means that it inherits all of its updated core components, starting with the Linux 5.11 kernel and continuing with the refreshed toolchain consisting of GNU C Library 2.33, GNU Binutils 2.36.1, Python 3.9.4, and GCC 10.3.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo Released

          It’s April, meaning next Ubuntu release is here! Earlier this week Ubuntu 21.04 codenamed Hirsute Hippo was released.

          I’m not using Ubuntu as my desktop OS for quite some time, but will probably reinstall my XPS laptop with Ubuntu 21.10 in October.

          I’m pleased to see lots of popular productivity packages available and suggested right after the install – this makes setup really easy…

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • [Old] Better than Zoom and Google Meet: Try these Free Software powered video conferencing apps and services

        Video conferencing systems like Zoom and Google Meet require users to use proprietary client programs. This is a fundamental injustice to the user because any nonfree software does not give users freedom and users do not control that program.

        Further, video communications on the nonfree software Zoom are done via Zoom’s central server. The combination of nonfree software client and the central server gives Zoom power over the users which it uses to snoop on its users, censoring the dissidents and preventing certain groups from connecting to its service.

        Surveillance and censorship are the consequences of the power Zoom has over its users because of its nonfree software and centralized server. It is Zoom’s unjust power over their users that we oppose. This power bring users at the mercy of the entity (Zoom in this case) providing the service. The same is true for other nonfree conferencing systems like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc.

        Nonfree programs should never be trusted for privacy even if they say that the communications are end-to-end encrypted. It could send the unencrypted version to the owner of the software when asked, bypassing the encryption. A company that sold encryption systems to 100 countries was controlled by US and German intelligence, and the equipment spied on the governments that used it which means that you should never trust a proprietary encryption program to protect your privacy. Therefore, we suggest you to reject any nonfree/proprietary software.

      • Cycles X

        Today it’s been exactly 10 years since Cycles was announced. In the past decade Cycles has developed into a full-fledged production renderer, used by many artists and studios. We learned a lot in those 10 years, things that worked well, but also things that didn’t work well, or became outdated as rendering algorithms and hardware evolved.

        We’re keen to make bigger improvements to core Cycles rendering. However some decisions made in the past are holding back performance and making it difficult to maintain the code. To address that, Sergey and I started a research project named Cycles X, with the aim is to refresh the architecture and prepare it for the next 10 years. Rather than finding quick fixes or optimizations that solve only part of the problem, we’re rethinking the architecture as a whole.

      • Blender’s “Cycles X” Showing Nice Performance But Dropping OpenCL Support

        Blender’s Cycles engine is celebrating its tenth birthday today and in marking the occasion, the Blender project has announced the ongoing work on “Cycles X” as what started as a research project in preparing this engine for the next ten years. It’s a big step forward for Cycles but with Cycles X the OpenCL rendering kernels are being removed.

        Cycles X is moderning the rendering engine’s architecture, improves the usability of viewport and batch rendering, aims to provide better performance on today’s CPUs and GPUs, and allow for more advanced rendering options.

      • Domain Shadowing: Leveraging CDNs for Robust Blocking-Resistant Communications

        We invited guest blog author, Mingkui Wei, to submit a summary of their research to the blog this week. This blog post is based on the upcoming Usenix Security paper ( full version here). Note that the domain shadowing ideas presented herein are intended to be a building block for a future system that doesn’t exist for end-users yet. We hope this post will help system designers to think in new ways, and use those ideas to build new censorship circumvention tools.

        What is Domain Shadowing? Domain shadowing is a new censorship circumvention technique that uses Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) as its leverage to achieve its goal, which is similar to domain fronting. However, domain shadowing works completely differently from domain fronting and is stronger in terms of blocking-resistance. Compared to domain fronting, one big difference among many is that the user in domain shadowing is in charge of the whole procedure. In other words, the complete system can be solely configured by the user without necessary assistance from neither the censored website nor an anti-censorship organization.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • [Reposted] When online suites go down, businesses need options not on the cloud

          Office suites are a whole different matter. If you’re doing work in a front of a computer, odds are you’re using an office suite at least some of the day. Therefore, might I suggest that before you invest everything in Office 365, Google Workspace, or Zoho Office Suite, you consider keeping a company-standard traditional office suite around.

          You could use Office 2019, or the forthcoming Office 2021. But let me offer up a better, more universal suggestion: LibreOffice.


          But if you ever read Microsoft’s Office Open XML File Format “Standard” closely, you’ll find even Microsoft doesn’t fully support its own standard. Practically speaking, if you’re doing very elaborate work in Word or Excel, you would be better off sticking with Office.

          On the other hand, LibreOffice won’t cost you a single cent. It’s also available on all major desktop operating systems. And, when I say all, I mean all. This includes Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and even ChromeOS. The last comes from LibreOffice’s commercial partner Collabora via the Google Play Store.

      • CMS

        • Companies Running Competitive Ads Against WordPress May Soon be Banned from Sponsoring WordCamps

          The WordPress Community Team is discussing banning companies from sponsoring WordCamps if they advertise competitively against WordPress. A WordCamp organizing team recently brought the concern to community deputies regarding a potential sponsor that is advertising its product in such a way that it puts WordPress in “an unflattering light.”

          This particular instance is prompting community leadership to clarify expectations for how sponsors advertise WordPress derivative products – products built on top of WordPress, such as themes, plugins, or distributions.

      • Education

        • [Old] Educational Institutes should use exclusively freedom-respecting software

          We urge educational institutes to use free (as in freedom)/swatantra software that respects students’ freedom and privacy. For example, the Department of Scientific Computing, Modeling, and Simulation, Savitribai Phule Pune University has been using free/swatantra software tools for more than 20 years and it’s currently helping other departments at Savitribai Phule Pune University adopt free software. Free software is readily available for all activities in the digital classroom and should be preferred over their proprietary counterparts.

        • [Old] Teachers: Help Your Students Resist Zoom

          It is unfortunate that you are using Zoom, a nonfree program that spies on users and takes away your students’ computer freedom, along with your own. Using Zoom, students are dependent on a program that a company can unilaterally pervert. Their freedom to learn about technology and how it works is destroyed.

          If you direct your students to use Zoom, they may form a bad habit and continue using it beyond your classes, effectively surrendering their privacy over communication. They will not learn how to keep control of their data and computing.

      • Programming/Development

        • GNU Guix: Building derivations, how complicated can it be?

          Derivations are key to Guix, they’re the low-level build instructions used for things like packages, disk images, and most things than end up in the store.

          Around a year ago, the established approach to build derivations across multiple machines was daemon offloading. This offloading approach is mostly static in terms of the machines involved and uses SSH to communicate and move things between machines.

          The Guix Build Coordinator project set out to provide an alternative approach, both to explore what’s possible, but also to provide a usable tool to address two specific use cases.

          The first use case was building things (mostly packages) for the purpose of providing substitutes. At the time, the daemon offloading approach used on ci.guix.gnu.org which is the default source of substitutes. This approach was not scaling particularly well, so there was room for improvement.

          The second use case was more aspirational, support various quality assurance tasks, like building packages changed by patches, regularly testing fixed output derivations, or building the same derivations across different machines to test for hardware specific differences.

          While both these tasks have quite a lot in common, there’s still quite a lot of differences, this in part led to a lot of flexibility in the design of the Guix Build Coordinator.


          When used as a standalone GNU/Linux distribution, Guix offers a declarative, stateless approach to operating system configuration management. Guix is highly customizable and hackable through Guile programming interfaces and extensions to the Scheme language.

  • Leftovers

    • The Envelope Please: Darnella Frazier Deserves an Academy Award

      But as far as this cinema historian/critic is concerned, 2020’s most impactful filmmaker of world-historical importance isn’t Aaron Sorkin, but Darnella Frazier. This spunky teenager ensured that a bogus press release by the Minneapolis Police Department’s director of public information purporting “man dies after a medical incident during police interaction” wouldn’t consign George Floyd’s death to obscurity but instead became an international cause célèbre.

      Not since Abraham Zapruder’s home movie camera captured President Kennedy’s assassination on film has a bystander’s footage packed such a wallop. Darnella’s steely-eyed eyewitness reportage of MPD Officer Derek Chauvin’s snuffing out of George Floyd’s life with his knee on the helpless, handcuffed man’s neck went viral, seen internationally by countless millions of viewers on social media, television and, perhaps most importantly, in that Minneapolis courthouse where Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd. If Sergei Eisenstein’s 1927 classic movie Ten Days That Shook the World celebrated the Russian Revolution, Darnella’s document, which ignited the Black Lives Matter movement and America’s ongoing racial reckoning, could be entitled 10 Minutes That Shook the World.

    • The Power of Words

      The novelist, however, finds the house alluring for a very different reason. She is moved by its dark inscrutability, its mystery – as these are the factors which spark her creative imagination. She wonders what spectral shapes might be lurking its murky shadows, what ghosts rattle around in its sinister cellars or dusty attics. For the novelist, it is privation – it is the lack of a coherent content which focusses her creative power and forces it to intercede. The imagination is driven to fill the void with its own forms and vapours.

      And this is the most wonderful thing about being a story teller. Providing you know how to write the letters, all you require is the weird and wonderful nature of your own imagination. For this reason, it is one of the most democratic of all activities. You don’t have to rely on lab equipment or any other set of pricey paraphernalia beyond the cost of pen and paper.   You don’t have to have had an expensive college education. You can write like Robinson Crusoe in rags on his desert island, or you can write like Anne Frank in a small squat hidden room, cossetted away from persecution.

    • The Green Man (a Parable)

      The Petitioner was pale and lean from years of worry about the welfare of his family. Lately, he was anxious about an additional responsibility: presenting to the Green Man a list of community needs. He was honored that the elders had given him this job, but after almost six months of fruitless visits to the palace, he despaired that his petition would ever be accepted. Each morning, he presented it to His Eminence’s secretary, and each afternoon it was returned to him. “Too much,” was the Green Man’s single, oracular utterance, transmitted by the secretary. What did it mean, wondered the Petitioner? Was the cost too high or the scope too ambitious? Or had the villagers by now submitted so many petitions that the patience of the Green Man was exhausted? There was no way to know unless the Petitioner was granted a royal audience, and so far, that was forbidden.

      Six more months passed and still he waited. In the meantime, conditions in the village grew more dire. The fires that in past years intermittently plagued the town now arrived punctually every October, followed by floods in January. Few homes were spared, and no one felt safe. Even the cats and dogs were afraid; they ran off to live in packs down in the moist valleys or up in the cooler highlands. Most villagers couldn’t afford to live where their former animal companions did!

    • Susan Sontag, Seriously

      Decades ago, Susan Sontag meant the world to me. My pals and I were, to use the 1970s label, “lesbian feminists.” We were also insecure, angry, unformed, and uninformed. Then, like a Genius-IQ Wonder Woman, Sontag landed, wielding game-changing books like Notes on Camp,   Against Interpretation , Trip to Hanoi, AIDS and Its Metaphors, The Volcano Lover… Some were great; some not; all demanded rethinking lots of your life. The fact that this drop-dead brilliant woman was also beautiful and famous seemed to us 20-somethings like simple moral Justice; we couldn’t have asked for more. Looking back, though, we probably should have.

      Recently, Benjamin Moser published Sontag: Her Life and Work , his 800-page biography of Sontag, which is brilliantly comprehensive and, in terms of Sontag’s personal life, possibly the most engaging outlay of Too-Much-Information I’ve ever read. Moser frames Sontag’s conflicted, sexually ambivalent life by studying it through her preoccupation with metaphor: a thing itself in play with its image. “Sontag’s real importance increasingly lay in what she represented,” summarizes Moser. “The metaphor of ‘Susan Sontag’ was a great original creation.”

    • Titian’s Prelude to Love

      Images of the organist on the organ bench are even rarer. Nineteenth-century prints of Bach at the organ are among the kitschiest representations of musicians in the way they play up the menace of a demonic virtuoso at the controls of his monstrous contraption. Charming and illuminating as all those angels playing portatives (miniature organs that can be carried in one arm) in stain-glassed windows or Books of Hours may be, they don’t capture the King of Instruments in all his glory. In these images, the organ is more a tiny treasure than an object of wonder or ecstasy.

      One of the reason that there are so few rich and respectful treatments of organists is that as musicians they are generally relegated to the organ loft, often hidden from view by a section of the instrument sitting on the gallery rail. In the damp organ balconies of Europe, the pious and disgruntled (none more capable of disgruntlement than the just-mentioned Bach) remained literally in the shadows.

    • Notes on Cant—and Other Ways of Saying What We Don’t Mean

      “ The truth is,” wrote Lord Byron to his publisher in 1821, “that in these days the grand ‘primum mobile’ of England is cant; cant political, cant poetical, cant religious, cant moral; but always cant, multiplied through all the varieties of life.” In the United States in 2021, we have a great deal of cant, but the word itself isn’t well-known. Cant is the false coin of sincerity.

      In a country where few literate persons can name three living poets, “cant poetical” will hardly be thought a major annoyance. On the other hand, we have plenty of “cant religious.” From the rafters of 1,500 megachurches and across the AM dial in the Bible Belt, it drawls out everlasting prayers for your soul (“Jesus is your personal friend”), but religious cant has never been the comfort food of the respectable persons who guide the culture of CNN and NPR, The New York Times and The New Yorker. It is chiefly with them that we are concerned.

    • Canada’s Attempt to Regulate Sexual Content Online Ignores Technical and Historical Realities

      First, S-203 would make any person or company criminally liable for any time an underage user engages with sexual content through its service. The law applies even if the person or company believed the user to be an adult, unless the person or company “implemented a prescribed age-verification method.”

      Second, the bill seemingly imposes this burden on a broad swath of the internet stack. S-203 would criminalize the acts of independent performers, artists, blogs, social media, message boards, email providers, and any other intermediary or service in the stack that is in some way “for commercial purposes” and “makes available sexually explicit material on the Internet to a young person.” The only meaningful defense against the financial penalties that a person or company could assert would be to verify the legal adult age of every user and then store that data.

      The bill would likely force many companies to simply eliminate sexual content

    • Our Own Wisdom is Telling Us to Evolve

      If politics involved speaking the truth, those words could well be the core slogan of mainstream politicians and their media cohorts, with the purpose of the election process (you know, democracy) being, simply, to choose the specific ways in which we continue exploiting the planet and ignoring the consequences.

      Should we destroy the rainforests quickly or slowly? How much should be invested in the next generation of nuclear weapons and — come on! — when do we get to use them to protect our freedoms? We can’t afford to save the planet but we can definitely afford to kill it. But let’s do it carefully and responsibly.

    • A Proposal
    • Letters From Minsk: Coming in From the Cold War at Brest-Litovsk

      My afternoon train to Terespol, on the Polish border with Belarus, left Warsaw central station around 2:30 in the afternoon. Although I had my visa for Belarus, I didn’t quite know how I would get across the border.

      Several times a day there’s a shuttle train from Poland into Belarus, but I also figured that I could ride my bike the short distance (as the crow flies less than five miles) from Terespol to Brest, although from long experience I know that nothing is ever easy when it comes to crossing East European borders. (In December 2019 I had to walk from Albania into North Macedonia, and then do the same between Greece and Turkey.)

    • Mind Your Planet!
    • We’ll Let You In On A Little Secret… There’s Easier Ways To Make The News.

      And then there’s independent media… which is obviously delicious, all the time, and much from quality ingredients by dirt poor but ethically rich people… which begs a series of very important questions.

    • From Bach to Mao: Orville Schell’s Cultural Revolution

      China hand Orville Schell brings to life the Chinese cultural revolution in his new 601-page novel,  My Old Home: a Novel of Exile  (Pantheon; $29.95) which, he insists, doesn’t have “a snowball’s chance in hell” of publication in China, where the Communist Party runs a capitalist economy and tries citizens what to think, see, read and feel in the age of Instagram, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

      This year, 2011, marks the 55th anniversary of the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which lasted for a decade, but that seemed to go on longer than ten-years. It didn’t end until the Chairman died at the age of 82 and the Gang of Four, including Mao’s fourth wife, Jiang Qing, aka Madame Mao—the ringleaders of the cultural revolution—were charged with treason and sentenced to prison. Jiang apparently hung herself in her cell, not a proper death for a genuine revolutionary. She had also been a movie star and perhaps cast herself in the role of a heroine in a pseudo Hollywood melodrama.

    • Science

      • [Old] Knuth-Morris-Pratt string-searching algorithm (part I) + my homebrew algorithms formally verified using CBMC

        Code like that is very hard to test (can you execute these functions with all 15-characters input strings?), but thanks to CBMC, we can be sure it’s correct, or at least, equivalent to the simple ‘bruteforce’ version. I couldn’t devise a correct version without it. In fact first versions were written in Python. I rewritten it to pure C so that I can verify them using CBMC.

      • [Old] Knuth-Morris-Pratt string-searching algorithm (part II): DFA version

        I reworked the Java code by Robert Sedgewick from his excellent book, and rewritten it to Python: [...]

      • [Old] Knuth-Morris-Pratt string-searching algorithm (part III): DFA-less version

        DFAs generated by the KMP algorithms are sparse and have regularities we can observe easily. One popular optimization is not using DFA, but rather a small “partial match” table: [...]

      • Boyer-Moore string search algorithm explanation and formal verification using CBMC

        Previously I did this with Knuth-Morris-Pratt algorithm: part I, part II, part III.

        So again, let’s try to reinvent string-search algorithm.

      • Christopher Allan Webber: Beyond the shouting match: what is a blockchain, really?

        If there’s one thing that’s true about the word “blockchain”, it’s that these days people have strong opinions about it. Open your social media feed and you’ll see people either heaping praises on blockchains, calling them the saviors of humanity, or condemning them as destroying and burning down the planet and making the rich richer and the poor poorer and generally all the other kinds of fights that people like to have about capitalism (also a quasi-vague word occupying some hotly contested mental real estate).

        There are good reasons to hold opinions about various aspects of what are called “blockchains”, and I too have some pretty strong opinions I’ll be getting into in a followup article. The followup article will be about “cryptocurrencies”, which many people also seem to think of as synonymous with “blockchains”, but this isn’t particularly true either, but we’ll deal with that one then.

        In the meanwhile, some of the fighting on the internet is kind of confusing, but even more importantly, kind of confused. Some of it might be what I call “sportsballing”: for whatever reason, for or against blockchains has become part of your local sportsball team, and we’ve all got to be team players or we’re gonna let the local team down already, right? And the thing about sportsballing is that it’s kind of arbitrary and it kind of isn’t, because you might pick a sportsball team because you did all your research or you might have picked it because that just happens to be the team in your area or the team your friends like, but god almighty once you’ve picked your sportsball team let’s actually not talk against it because that might be giving in to the other side. But sportsballing kind of isn’t arbitrary either because it tends to be initially connected to real communities of real human beings and there’s usually a deeper cultural web than appears at surface level, so when you’re poking at it, it appears surface-level shallow but there are some real intricacies beneath the surface. (But anyway, go sportsball team.)

    • Education

      • Police Officers in Schools Fail to Increase Safety, Report Finds – Validated Independent News

        The study followed 33 public middle and high schools in California that increased their number of school resource officers (SROs) and compared them with 72 similar schools that did not. The study found that, “increasing the number of SROs led to both immediate and persistent increases in the number of drug and weapon offenses and the number of exclusionary disciplinary actions against students.” The researchers concluded that rather than deter crime in schools, increasing the number of officers leads to higher rates of criminal and exclusionary responses to issues that could be more effectively resolved.

    • Hardware

      • Intel to Start European Fab Negotiations Next Week

        Gelsinger is expected to meet with European Union officials to discuss building a new semiconductor production facility as well as Europe-based customers, says a Reuters report that cites a statement by Intel. Intel did not say where it plans to locate its new fab. It is also unclear whether the head of Intel will meet with the company’s existing customers, or potential clients that may outsource production of chips to Intel Foundry Services.

        Intel already has a fab in the European Union near Leixlip, Ireland. The site is currently being upgraded and will produce chips using the company’s 7nm technology after the works are complete.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Michigan Outbreak Bolsters Fear That Conservative Outposts Will Prolong Pandemic

        When Kathryn Watkins goes shopping these days, she doesn’t bring her three young children. There are just too many people not wearing masks in her southern Michigan town of Hillsdale.

      • A Wandering Gringa in the Time of Plague

        After eight years of self-exile, the contributing editor for Jacobin still feels the same way.

        Now moving toward the 20th anniversary of the near-freefall tumbling of Twin Towers and the nanny state well-and-truly keeping us “safe” with algorithms and keywords typed, Fernández (born in the USA) still feels the same way. From 2003 to the present her travels have included Lebanon, Turkey, Italy, Southeast Asia, and Central America. She’s a blogger, an editor and a journalist; and she has a finely tuned ironic sensitivity that picks up on the many quirks and foibles of humans at work or play wherever she goes. In Beirut, she’s acerbically noted government incompetence and the simultaneous rise of the nouveau riche; in Turkey, she and Amelia, a friend from Poland, are chased around near the Black Sea by a drunken, frisky Turk looking for some ‘tang; from a seaside cafe in Italy, she’s seen refugees “allowed to drown” in the sea over her cafe au lait.

      • Shedding: An antivax trope resurrected for COVID-19 vaccines

        I make no bones about the fact that I harbor an intense contempt for antivaccine physicians. The reason is simple. Physicians should know better than to fall for the bad science, pseudoscience, distortions of science, and conspiracy theories at the heart of antivaccine beliefs. Unfortunately, a disturbing number of physicians do not. I reserve my most intense contempt, however, for antivaccine pediatricians, because, of all medical specialties, pediatricians should know even better than most physicians when it comes to vaccines. More importantly, pediatricians (particularly primary care pediatricians), along with other pediatric health care specialists, such as nurses, are the “tip of the spear,” so to speak, when it comes to defeating vaccine-preventable diseases and keeping children safe because they vaccinate children every day. As a result, antivaccine pediatricians can do a lot more damage than the odd antivaccine physician, most of whom are either from specialties that don’t routinely vaccinate patients, such as surgical specialties, or are retired. True, Andrew Wakefield was not a pediatric primary care physician, and he did a whole lot of damage to confidence in the MMR vaccine and vaccines in general, but these days, pediatricians, such as Drs. Bob Sears and Paul Thomas, are doing their best to leverage their status as primary care pediatricians to increase vaccine hesitancy and antivaccine views among parents. And then there’s Dr. Larry Palevsky, who, after having earlier jumped on the COVID-19 denial grift train, has come to my attention for the most recently resurrected antivaccine trope in the era of COVID-19, one that is so ridiculous that you wouldn’t think that it would take off, even among antivaxxers. I’m referring to the phenomenon of “shedding.”

      • Why We Forget Epidemics and Why This One Must Be Remembered

        To distract myself from the fever as I tried to sleep, I visualized strands of synthetic messenger RNA floating into my cells to produce the alien spike protein that attracted my warrior T-cells. I drifted off envisioning an epic micro-battle underway in my blood and had a series of weird nightmares. At about two a.m., I woke up sweating, disoriented, and fixated on a grim image from one of the studies I had consulted while writing my own upcoming book, Virus: Vaccinations, the CDC, and the Hijacking of America’s Response to the Pandemic , on the Covid-19 chaos of our moment. In his Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver , Arthur Allen described how, in the days of ignorance — not so very long ago — doctors prescribed “hot air baths” for the feverish victims of deadly epidemics of smallpox or yellow fever, clamping them under woolen covers in closed rooms with the windows shut.

        Mildly claustrophobic in the best of times, my mind then scrabbled to other forms of medical persecution I’d recently learned about. In the American colonies of the early eighteenth century, for example, whether or not to take the Jenner cowpox vaccine was a matter of religious concern. Puritans were taught that they would interfere with God’s will if they altered disease outcomes. To expiate that sin, or more likely out of sheer ignorance, medical doctors of the day decreed that the vaccine would only work after weeks of purging, including ingesting mercury, which besides making people drool and have diarrhea, also loosened their teeth. “Inoculation meant three weeks of daily vomiting, purges, sweats, fevers,” Allen wrote.

      • The West is Practicing Vaccine Apartheid at a Global Level

        And if we do not count the vaccine doses that have been administered in Morocco—truly an outlier in Africa—as of April 8, the United States has received almost 35 times the vaccine doses that Africa has. No wonder Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general, called the distribution of vaccines “ grotesque” and “ a catastrophic moral failure.” Let us not call reserving the bulk of vaccines for a handful of rich ex-colonial or settler-colonial states “ vaccine nationalism.” Let us call it what it is: vaccine apartheid at a global level.

        How much of the vaccines manufactured in the rich countries have gone to the rest of the world? The brutal answer is that the rich countries have kept their supplies almost entirely to themselves. Moderna’s vaccine production has mostly been used to inoculate the population in the United States besides supplying it to some countries in Europe and to Canada. Pfizer has supplied its vaccines to the United States from its U.S. facilities, and to Europe and the UK from its European plants. It has also supplied vaccines to Israel and the Gulf monarchies and (begrudgingly) parts of Latin America, but that makes up a small fraction of its total production.

      • Is Dr Phil About To Get A Taste Of His Own Bad Medicine?

        Bettina Arndt was getting herself passed off as a psychologist long before Phil McGraw, America’s favourite fake doctor ever thought to do it. But after a blessed television career that’s spanned more than two decades, one of Hollywood’s most powerful bullies might finally have to answer to a ‘monster’ of his own creation. Chris Graham explains.

      • Opinion | The Pandemic Has Shown Pfizer Is Obsessed With Profits—Not Saving Lives

        Big Pharma’s obsession with maximizing profits—even during a deadly pandemic—is in keeping with a troubling industry record.

        Pfizer is the corporation that has profited most from Covid-19 vaccines to date. Pfizer uses its power to aggressively defend and extend its patents.

      • California’s New Fossil Fuel Pledge ‘Significant’ But Still a ‘Half-Measure,’ Say Climate Advocates

        “The challenge now is to speed up the timeline so that it meets the urgency that science and justice demand.”

        Climate campaigners on Friday cautiously applauded California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s moves to cut off new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024 and evaluate phasing out oil production by 2045, while also stressing that the timeline still needs to be accelerated.

      • With California Single-Payer Bill Shelved, Advocates Call on Newsom to Take Lead on Medicare for All

        “The fastest, most direct path to Medicare for All has always gone through the governor,” said one single-payer campaigner. 

        As California’s latest attempt to enact single-payer universal healthcare was placed on hold this week, progressive campaigners vowed to carry on the fight, while pressing embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom to fulfill his campaign promise to implement a Medicare for All-style system in the nation’s most populous state.  

      • Bernie Sanders Says Backing Waiver for Covid Vaccine Patents Is ‘Common Human Morality’

        “We must do everything humanly possible to crush this global pandemic and save millions of people who are in danger of needlessly dying.”

        Calling the issue a matter of “common sense and morality,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday—backed by millions of Americans demanding the same—urged U.S. President Joe Biden to support an international effort to suspend coronavirus-related patent protections that are artificially limiting vaccine supply and depriving poor nations of access to life-saving shots.

      • In Fiery Remarks at WTO, South Africa Slams Rich Nations Blocking Vaccine Patent Waiver

        “Is the concern of opponents really that Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, etc. have not made sufficient billions?” asked a trade representative for the African nation.

        In statements at an informal World Trade Organization meeting on Thursday, South Africa took rich countries to task for publicly stressing the need for international cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 while simultaneously blocking a patent waiver that would help manufacturers ramp up vaccine production across the globe.

      • An Invisible Essential Labor Force: Migrant Women Farmworkers
      • Ending the Big Lockup: Addiction and Drug Policy

        This mass incarceration problem is the predictable result of our punitive approach to certain drugs.

        Our addiction to this approach has been emotional; as the media highlights racially stereotyped villains, ruthless drug fiends, and endless “epidemics.” It has been material; as police departments balance budgets on forfeiture and overtime, private prisons lobby for mandatory minimums, and prosecutors parade splashy drug busts. But we have all been hooked on fear and vilification, high on the chase. And we have hit rock bottom.

      • Rebuilding Black-Owned Businesses After COVID-19

        Black-owned businesses have been especially hard-hit. That’s because even after three pandemic relief packages, there’s an elephant in the room that every resource, policy, and program is failing to address: the preexisting conditions of Black entrepreneurs.

        Despite strong entrepreneurial traditions in Black America, the pre-COVID state of Black business — and indeed of Black economics generally — was itself in need of redress. In economic crises throughout our history, African Americans are impacted first and worst, yet they’re the last to recover. COVID-19 has been no exception.

      • NIH Scientist Who Developed Key Vaccine Technology Says Patent Gives US Leverage Over Big Pharma

        Dr. Barney Graham says he joined the National Institutes of Health in order to leverage “public funding to solve public health issues.”

        A leading National Institutes of Health scientist who helped develop a key technology used in Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines said this week that the U.S. government’s ownership of the patent for the invention gives the Biden administration significant leverage to compel pharmaceutical companies to help boost global production.

      • Coalition Calls for Bold Pricing Reforms to Save $450 Billion on Drug Costs

        The U.S., said one advocate, could “pump those savings back into Medicare” to expand and strengthen the program.

        In a letter Friday to U.S. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders, four dozen advocacy groups called for including bold drug pricing reforms in the American Families Plan and using the estimated $450 billion in savings over a decade to invest in popular expansions to Medicare.

      • Opinion | The Failing Safety Net Is Harming Reproductive Health

        The women with the hardest time getting birth control were the same ones who have seen decreased income, food insecurity and inability to access food, transportation, and housing during the pandemic.

        The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies around the world and altered people’s lives, with women bearing the brunt. Between February and April 2020 approximately 12 million women lost their employment—more than half of job losses in the United States. As with previous economic shocks, women of color and low-income women are hit the hardest. The blow to their economic stability can have cascading effects on women’s reproductive desires and access to health care. 

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Malvertisers [cracked] 120 ad servers to load malicious ads

          A malvertising operation known under the codename of Tag Barnakle has breached more than 120 ad servers over the past year and inserted malicious code into legitimate ads that redirected website visitors to sites promoting scams and malware.

          Security firm Confiant first reported on this campaign last year, in April 2020, when it said it found 60 ad servers that were left unpatched and compromised by the Tag Barnakle gang.

          One year later, Confiant said that despite exposing the group’s tactics and raising an alarm in the online advertising industry, the Tag Barnakle group has continued to operate unchecked and has doubled the number of servers it breached.

        • Ransomware gang tries to extort Apple hours ahead of Spring Loaded event

          The REvil gang posted 21 screenshots depicting Macbook schematics and threatened to publish new data every day until Apple or Quanta paid the ransom demand.

        • Illinois Attorney General’s Office hit by ransomware? State investigating [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Threat actors known as DoppelPaymer claim to have attacked the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. And on April 13, the AG’s office acknowledged that they were investigating a network compromise: [...]

        • Senators introduce legislation to protect critical infrastructure against attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The National Risk Management Act would require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to conduct a five-year national risk management cycle. This would involve CISA identifying and compiling the major risks to critical infrastructure in a report sent to the president and Congress, with the president then detailing to Congress how the administration was tackling these threats.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • 10 facts about Linux that you should know [Ed: This rather foolishly conflates GNU with Linux and Linux with the so-called 'Linux' Foundation. Common misconception amplified.]

                Linux is by far the biggest open-source project ever made possible and it is going in an excellent direction. Linux foundation with many other companies around the world is working together to make it more usable, stable, and secure. In this article, I’m listing the top 10 facts about Linux that you should know about.

              • Can Physical Safety Applications be Addressed by Open Source Software Systems? The Linux Foundation’s ELISA Project Says Yes

                One of the best examples of a community of interest coming together to create safety-critical applications and systems is the Linux Foundation’s ELISA (Enabling Linux in Safety Applications) Project.

                This unique, two-year-old open-source initiative aims to create a shared set of tools and processes to help companies build and certify Linux-based solutions, this week announced that Codethink, Horizon Robotics, Huawei Technologies, NVIDIA, and Red Hat has joined its global ecosystem.


                “Huawei is one of the most important Linux kernel contributors and recently joined the automotive industry as a strategic partner in Asia and Europe,” said Alessandro Biasci, Technical Expert at Huawei. “We are pleased to further advance our mission and participate in ELISA, which will allow us to combine our experience in the Linux kernel development and knowledge in safety and security to bring Linux to safety-critical applications.”

                “Edge computing extends enterprise software from the datacenter and cloud to a myriad of operational and embedded technology footprints that interact with the physical world, such as connected vehicles and manufacturing equipment,” said Chris Wright, Chief Technical Officer at Red Hat. “A common open-source software platform across these locations simplifies and accelerates solution development while supporting functional safety’s end goal of reducing the risk of physical injury. Red Hat recognizes the importance of establishing functional safety evidence and certifications for Linux, backed by a rich platform and vibrant ecosystem for safety-related applications. We are excited to bring our twenty-seven years of Linux expertise to the ELISA community’s work.”

        • Security

          • Prometei Botnet Exploiting Unpatched Microsoft Exchange Servers

            Attackers are exploiting the ProxyLogon Microsoft Exchange Server flaws to co-opt vulnerable machines to a cryptocurrency botnet named Prometei, according to new research.

            “Prometei exploits the recently disclosed Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities associated with the HAFNIUM attacks to penetrate the network for malware deployment, credential harvesting and more,” Boston-based cybersecurity firm Cybereason said in an analysis summarizing its findings.

            First documented by Cisco Talos in July 2020, Prometei is a multi-modular botnet, with the actor behind the operation employing a wide range of specially-crafted tools and known exploits such as EternalBlue and BlueKeep to harvest credentials, laterally propagate across the network and “increase the amount of systems participating in its Monero-mining pool.”

          • Hackers Use Prometei Botnet to Attack Microsoft Exchange Users [Ed: More Microsoft blame-shifting?]

            Cybercriminals are using the Prometei botnet to exploit Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities CVE-2021-27065 and CVE-2021-26858, according to Cybereason. Both vulnerabilities have been linked to Hafnium, a state-sponsored threat actor used in Exchange Server attacks reported in March 2021.

          • “NAME:WRECK” Cybersecurity Vulnerability Highlights Importance of Newly Issued IoT Act

            A recently discovered security vulnerability potentially affecting at least 100 million Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices[1] highlights the importance of the newly enacted IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 (the “IoT Act”). Researchers at the security firms Forescout Research Labs and JSOF Research Labs have jointly published a report detailing a security vulnerability known as “NAME:WRECK.” This is exactly the type of issue that the new IoT Act was and is designed to address at the governmental level, because the vulnerability can detrimentally affect the security of millions of interconnected IoT devices. As our recent blog “New Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Law’s Far Reaching Impacts” discussed, this is the type of cybersecurity risk that all organizations should consider and factor in to their supply chain risk assessments and mitigation measures. If your organization directly uses IoT devices, or contracts with vendors who supply IoT devices or software/systems using IoT devices, whether in the healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, hospitality or employment context, you should be evaluating your cybersecurity programs for protecting IoT devices.

          • Chrome HTTPS Update: Chrome 90 to Use HTTPS for Incomplete URLs

            Google Chrome version 90 will default to HTTPS for incomplete URLS. For example, Chrome will load “https://domain.com” when a user types “domain.com.” (And if the HTTPS fails because a site lacks SSL/TLS, it’ll revert to using HTTP.)

            It’s no secret that using HTTPS to serve up your website is faster and more secure than using the default HTTP protocol. And Google, recognizing that many browser users don’t type in complete URLs when accessing websites, decided to bridge the gap between user experience and security this year. Their latest browser update, version 90, is expected to use HTTPS by default when a user types in a website address without specifying the protocol.

            In reality, this is a logical move considering that the latest data from Google’s Transparency Report shows that 95% of sites across Google already use encryption to protect their traffic. But when and why are they implementing this update? Is Chrome forcing HTTPS? And what does this change mean for your website?

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Oakland, California Extends Protections against Predictive Policing and Biometric Surveillance – Validated Independent News

              Although other cities have passed ordinances regulating the use of surveillance and facial recognition technology, as Nathan Sheard of the Electronic Frontier Society points out, Oakland is “the first city to incorporate these prohibitions into a more comprehensive Community Control of Police Surveillance ( CCOPS) framework.” The types of technology banned include those that can “identify a person based on ‘physiological, biological, or behavioral characteristics ascertained from a distance.’” Additionally, Sheard quoted the San Francisco Council on American-Islamic Relations to the effect that “[n]ot only are these methods intrusive and don’t work, they also have a disproportionate impact on Black and brown communities—leading to over-policing.”

            • Irony Alert: US Could Block Personal Data Transfers To Ireland, European Home Of Digital Giants, Because GDPR Is Not Being Enforced Properly

              Last year, the EU’s top court threw out the Privacy Shield framework for transferring personal data between the EU and US. The court decided that the NSA’s surveillance practices meant that the personal data of EU citizens was not protected to the degree required by the GDPR when it was sent to the US. This was the second time that such an agreement had been struck down: before, there was Safe Harbor, which failed for similar reasons. The absence of a simple procedure for sending EU personal data to the US is bad news for companies that need to do this on a regular basis. No wonder, then, that the US and EU are trying to come up with a new legal framework to allow it, as this CNBC story notes:

            • France’s police bill: surveillance for the long haul

              This artice was originally published by Félix Tréguer on about:intel

            • Finnish police denied, then admitted using controversial facial recognition app

              Buzzfeed approached the NBI in March this year to enquire if Finnish authorities had used the controversial app. The NBI replied a day later to, incorrectly, inform the media outlet that Clearview AI had not been used in Finland.

              About a week later, Buzzfeed told the NBI that, according to their information, the Finnish police had used the software about 120 times. The Police Board and the NBI immediately launched an investigation and found that Buzzfeed’s information turned out to be correct.

            • Baidu’s auto venture to invest $7.7 bln into smart cars over next five years: CEO

              Chinese search engine company Baidu in January announced it would set up the company with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to leverage its intelligent driving expertise and Geely’s car manufacturing capabilities. Baidu owns 55% of Jidu and Geely has a 45% stake in the company.

            • ‘What Is Going On Here?’ Alarm as Document Reveals USPS Is Monitoring Social Media Posts

              “What possible justification could there be for USPS running this kind of social-media surveillance program?”

              An internal government bulletin obtained by  Yahoo News this week revealed that the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service is monitoring social media posts as part of a surveillance operation known as iCOP, a secretive program that sparked alarm among rights groups and civil liberties advocates.

            • Louis DeJoy Must Be Fired to Save the USPS, Says Watchdog

              Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on Thursday reiterated its call for the ouster of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the Republican megadonor accused of attempting to sabotage the U.S. Postal Service last year as millions of Americans relied on the agency to participate in the presidential election.

            • Is the post office spying on you? USPS “covert operations” may monitor social media posts

              The Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), part of the USPS law enforcement arm, is one of seven groups that deal with cybercrime, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which says it targets the use of the mail to facilitate black market trade and other illegal activities related to drugs, fraud and violent crime. But that description neglects to mention that the group also tracks social media sites for “inflammatory” posts, including messages about planned protests.

            • [Old] Starting a new digital identity

              I would look to install and use as much free and open source software as I possibly could.

            • Pirates: Commission’s Proposal For Regulation On AI Opens Door For Biometric Mass Surveillance In Public Spaces

              Today, the European Commission published its proposal for a regulation on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). While the Pirate Delegation in the Greens/EFA group welcomes rules and restrictions for new technologies, the text creates a legal basis for Member States to implement biometric mass surveillance in public spaces on a broad scale. Error-prone surveillance systems threaten civil liberties of EU citizens, indiscriminately target minorities and must be fully banned.

            • TikTok accused of illegally collecting kids data; sued by former British commissioner

              Despite a minimum age requirement of 13, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom found last year that 42 per cent of eight to 12-year-olds in the UK used TikTok the report said.

              As with other social media companies such as Facebook, there have long been concerns about data collection and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating TikTok’s handling of children’s personal information, it added.

            • AI Weekly: MIT aims to reconcile data sharing with EU AI regulations

              This week, the European Union (EU) unveiled regulations to govern the use of AI across the bloc’s 27 member states. The first-of-its-kind proposal spans more than 100 pages and will take years to implement, but the ramifications are far-reaching. It imposes a ban — with some exceptions — on the use of biometric identification systems in public, including facial recognition. Other prohibited applications of AI include social credit scoring, the infliction of harm, and subliminal behavior manipulation.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The ZIP Codes of the Trump Loyalists Who Attacked the Capitol May Surprise You

        “This is history! We took the Capitol,” yelled Greg Rubenacker, a 25-year-old from New York who Snapchatted photos of smoking weed in the rotunda. On January 6, he joined hundreds of mostly white men, who ransacked the Capitol, defecated on floors, and searched for politicians to try to kidnap or even kill. After the melee, he returned to Long Island and a month later, in February, was arrested by the FBI.

      • The Other George Floyd Story: How Media Freedom Led To Conviction In His Killer’s Trial

        When 17-year-old Darnella Frazier started recording video of Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd, she initiated a series of historic events that led to Chauvin’s conviction.

      • Roaming Charges: The Eyes of Derek Chauvin

        I’ve watched all of the footage of George Floyd’s murder. I’ve seen the crime from every angle. From body cameras and cellphones. I’ve looked at hundreds of still photos. I’ve listened to the audio dozens of times. Still, I cringe, horrified by the scene taking place before my eyes, even though I know how it will end, know every twitch of Floyd’s body, hear every desperate plea, each gasp for air.

        Rarely have we been confronted with such intimate scenes of our mortality. Of just how long it takes to kill a living being, the pressure needed to crush the life out of someone, the moral indifference required to kneel on a person’s throat and feel the life drain out of them, breath by breath, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, as the lungs stop working, the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing. We are used to unexpected death coming suddenly: in a gunshot, a car crash, a drone strike. Even in the most blood-soaked films, we’ve never watched a strangulation that goes on for more than a couple of minutes. For example, the garroting of Luca Brasi in The Godfather, a scene which seems interminable, lasts only 28 seconds. And often, in the movies at least, the strangler will look at their hands in a kind of despair, as if they’d lost control of their body, thinking what have I done?

      • Ditch the Draft, Once and For All

        Here’s a better idea: let’s abolish the Selective Service and end draft registration for everyone.

        A new bill in congress calls for the repeal of the Selective Service Act. Introduced by a bipartisan group, it eliminates this outdated, immoral, and unpopular system. The Selective Service Repeal Act would repeal the Military Selective Service Act in its entirety; repeal presidential authority to order registration for a military draft; abolish the Selective Service System, including the data center, national and regional offices, and local draft boards that have been appointed and trained for every county in the US; and end all federal sanctions for nonregistration with the Selective Service System.

      • Oklahoma Governor Signs Law Granting Immunity for Drivers Who Kill Protesters

        Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed a new law that would grant protections for drivers who hit and kill protesters while attempting to drive away from a protest and implements harsher penalties on people who block roads or highways during a protest. Democrats and activists decried the law as stifling protest and citizens’ First Amendment rights.

      • Reflections on Genocide as the Ultimate Crime

        We thought that Biden’s election would spare us from menacing corruptions of language of the sort disseminated by Donald Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. We thought that we would no longer be subjected to evidence-free allegations, post-truth and cynical concoctions of fact. It now seems we were wrong.

        We recall Pompeo’s bragging about the usefulness of lying, we listened to his incendiary allegations against Cuba, Nicaragua, his outlandish claims that Hezbollah was in Venezuela, his antics on behalf of Trump — all in the name of MAGA.

      • “He’s Going to Be So Missed”: Funeral Held for Police Shooting Victim Daunte Wright in Minneapolis

        Mourners gathered in Minnesota Thursday for the funeral of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was shot dead by a white police officer during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, fought back tears as she remembered her son. “When he walked in the room, he lit up the room. He was a brother, a jokester, and he was loved by so many. He’s going to be so missed.” We air excerpts of Wright’s funeral service.

      • The American Addiction to Violence

        On Wednesday night, I walked two blocks from my midtown Sacramento house to a favorite watering hole, to have a post-vaccination celebration drink with a friend visiting from out of town. We sat till late, and then, shortly after 11, a fight erupted at a bar a couple doors down from the one we were sitting outside of. As we got up to leave, one group of the combatants, two young men and a young woman, walked away from the confrontation. Behind them, at the bar, the other side in the fight continued to taunt them, shouting insults as they left.

        Early on Thursday morning, I walked past the street on which the bars were located. It was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape; there were police everywhere, and television camera crews craned in to get a view in through the confusion. It turns out that, barely an hour after we left, two people were shot in the bar near the one we were at. One of the two died.

      • The Token Verdict

        Former police officer Derek Chauvin’s eyes are darting.

        The judge reads the verdict. Second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter: Guilty on all counts.

      • Chauvin’s Conviction is Far From Justice

        It took 250 years of unrelenting systemic racism and white supremacy that enslaved and terrorized Black people, through the era of Jim Crow, and the rise of the KKK, who attacked Black people with impunity. The “freedom” they had been granted turned out to be a hollow promise and a cruel betrayal. Black people were forced to work as sharecroppers for their former slave owners, their cities were burned, and hundreds of them were lynched at “picnics” where white folks took photos, laughing in front of the “strange fruit” hanging from trees, as described by Billie Holliday in her haunting song.

        It took the crushed lives of millions of Black, brown and people of color forced to live in chronic poverty and social despair, while they were “racially profiled,” arrested, brutalized, jailed and killed by racist cops with impunity for hundreds of years. When Black people organized and fought back, their leaders and organizers were spied on, infiltrated and hounded by the FBI. Law enforcement set out to destroy the Black Panthers; many were jailed, others like Fred Hampton were murdered.

      • Afghanistan Under the Taliban: It Won’t Be Like Last Time

        Madiha Afzal and Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution articulate the opposition to Biden’s decision to call it quits. Remove the U.S. occupation forces that have maintained stability, they worry, and civil war will soon follow, culminating in the overthrow of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul and the return of the Taliban. They think it will be the late 1990s all over again: women back under burqas, stonings, 14th century Islam providing a safe haven for anti-Western terrorist groups like Al Qaeda.

        “The most likely outcome of any quick troop exit this year is very ugly, including ethnic cleansing, mass slaughter, and the ultimate dismemberment of the country,” Ms. Afzal and Mr. O’Hanlon write in USA Today. “No one can see the future, of course, but this type of outcome seems much more likely than any smooth transition to a new government run by a kinder, gentler, more moderate Taliban.” They urge a slower long-term drawdown.

      • Afghanistan’s Green Future?

        The Taliban will take over and reimpose their repressive social agenda. Al-Qaeda will multiply rapidly and again become a global threat. Rival warlords will split apart the country. Another wave of Afghan refugees will overwhelm Europe.

        And then there’s the scenario in which China basically takes over the country, or at least the most sought-after parts of the country: the resources that lie beneath Afghan soil.

      • Mixed Sight: New Zealand, the Five Eyes and China

        In recent years, the club has become a font of other intentions, nudging beyond the group’s original remit.  Since 2013, the intelligence alliance has seen more ministerial consultations between the countries.  In 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott openly mentioned the partnership’s existence on national radio.  “It’s been around for some six decades and under this arrangement there is already very, very full and complete sharing.”  Two years later, it appeared in the Australian Defence White Paper with explicit enthusiasm. The authors noted that Australia’s membership of the group supplied it “with information superiority and intelligence cooperation that is a vital input to our defence planning.”

        In 2020, meetings taking place between the five countries, notably at the Defence, Foreign Affairs and Treasury level, were officially identified as “Five Eyes”.  In May that year, the defence ministers from all five countries accepted a broader role for all in not only dealing with shared security challenges but “advance their shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights.”

      • Can a Formula 1 Star Send a Message to the Saudi Government?

        Hamilton describes his concern for human rights as being global, and has expressed concern about human rights violations taking place in countries that Formula 1 travels to. During the tail end of the 2020 season when an F1 race was scheduled to take place in Bahrain, Hamilton received a letter from the young son of a man facing the death penalty in Bahrain. Moved by the plea by 11-year-old Ahmed Ramadhan to “please save my father,” Hamilton replied that he “definitely won’t let it go unnoticed.”

        Hamilton had plans to address the Bahraini Crown Prince about Ahmed Ramadhan’s father, as well as Bahrain’s use of torture, but unfortunatly he contracted COVID-19 and was unable to travel to and race in the country. Still, Hamilton promised “When I get some time now, I will definitely try and speak to those [people] and see how I can positively impact that [race] weekend [in future].”

      • Imagine a Culture of Peace: the U.S. is a War Culture, But that Can Change


        Often when we attend public events in our communities, there is an effort to recognize and thank those who currently work in the military, as well as military veterans. This is a crucial element to reinforcing a culture of war. When young people attend such events, it sends a clear message that military “service” is one of the most valuable and respected occupations a person can choose. Just by joining the armed forces, one is automatically bestowed with a position of respect and honor no matter who they are or what they have—or have not—done.

      • Interventionist Hypocrisy Over U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan


        I’m always fascinated by the sacrificial mindset that interventionists have toward the lives of U.S. soldiers who they want to do the intervening. A recent example is Brett Stephens, a columnist for the New York Times. In an op-ed entitled “ Abandoning Afghanistan Is a Historic Mistake ,” Stephens writes:

      • Groups Urge Blinken to Keep Human Rights Conditions on US Military Aid to Egypt

        The NGOs said in a letter that refusing to waive conditions “will send a clear message” that the Biden administration “is serious about its commitment to supporting human rights abroad.”

        Citing the U.S. State Department’s own highly critical assessment of Egypt’s rights record, a coalition of 14 leading NGOs on Thursday implored Secretary of State Antony Blinken not to waive human rights conditions on aid to the North African country’s military regime.

      • Unlearned lessons Dmitry Medvedev’s op-ed on the ‘return to the Cold War era’ — in a nutshell

        On Friday, April 23, the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti published a column by former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Titled “The Unlearned Lessons of History,” Medvedev’s op-ed warns that U.S.–Russia relations have “returned to the Cold War era.” The way he sees it, Washington has fallen into old patterns of aggressive policies and rhetoric, which, according to the former Russian prime minister, lead to a dead end in terms of relations with Moscow. Here’s Medvedev’s argument, in a nutshell. 

      • Czech Republic to limit Russian Embassy staff in Prague to 32 people

        Going forward, the Russian Embassy in Prague will be staffed by 32 people — just like the Czech Republic’s Embassy in Moscow, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek said in an interview with news site Blesk.cz. 

      • Why Donbass Matters

        And NATO membership is what this growing disaster is all about. According to NATO bylaws, a nation cannot be absorbed into the NATO blob until it first purges itself of all territorial disputes and foreign military presence. That means the Russian annexed region of Crimea and the independent republics of Luhansk and Donetsk need to be obliterated. Russia naturally can’t stand for such foreign villainy on its borders and thus we find ourselves in Doctor Strangelove country with 40,000 NATO troops knocking at the door and two Russian armies and three airborne units ready to greet them.

        This colossal shitstorm has been a long time coming. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the US has been dumping billions of dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy into influencing Ukraine to join the NATO fold in ganging up on their Russian neighbors. We lost patience with simply perverting democracy in 2014 when the democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovych chose closer ties with Russia over Euro servitude. The US called in its allies in the nation’s fledgling neo-Nazi movement and they launched a coup that chased that nations democracy to Moscow and ended with an openly racist junta in power in Kiev.

      • ‘I screamed bloody murder’: Following violent arrests on the streets of St. Petersburg, protesters report continued abuse in police custody

        Protesters took to the streets in cities across Russia on April 21, in solidarity with jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. Law enforcement officers detained more than 1,900 demonstrators nationwide, and more than 800 of these arrests took place in St. Petersburg. The city also saw some of the most violent detentions, as police officers used truncheons and stun guns to subdue demonstrators. For many of the detainees, the violence continued in police custody. Meduza recounts what happened on St. Petersburg’s streets and inside the city’s police stations on the night of April 21. 

      • Team Navalny’s Rostov-on-Don coordinator reports being abducted and tortured

        The coordinator of Alexey Navalny’s Rostov-on-Don office, Ksenia Seryodkina, has reported being abducted and tortured on the night of Thursday, April 23. 

      • Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny ends prison hunger strike

        Jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny has announced that he’s ending his hunger strike.

      • French Police Administrator Killed in Knife attack

        Authorities say the victim was a 49-year-old female police administrator, who was returning to work after her lunch break, when she was attacked and stabbed in the throat. Witnesses say the attacker shouted “Allah Akbar” — “God is great” — as he stabbed her.

      • French prosecutors open terror probe in officer’s killing

        French prosecutors opened a terrorism investigation into the fatal stabbing Friday of a French police official inside her police station near the historic Rambouillet chateau outside Paris. Police shot and killed the attacker at the scene, authorities said.

        Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told reporters that his office took over the probe because the attacker had staked out the station, because of statements he made during the attack, and because he targeted a police official.

      • A brave French imam with a bulletproof vest and a bounty on his head

        His protection is classified “Uclat 2″. The heads of state are “Uclat 1”. The imam travels with six policemen and moves in an armored vehicle. On November 13, 2015, the day of the massacres in Paris (130 dead), the SPLP (protection service personality) identified three armed men in front of his house. In 2020 a new fatwa transmitted by the Islamic State read: “Your goal is this old man, execute him! He is more disgusting than the French unbelievers”.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • A Textbook Case of Environmental Injustice

        The controversy offers a textbook case for those looking to understand environmental justice and environmental racism.

        The environmental justice movement began in the 1980s in majority-Black communities in the South exposed to toxic industrial waste. Often, government negligence failed to keep communities safe. In other cases, the government itself caused the pollution.

      • We Should Shame Frequent Fliers

        Americans are itching to pack up and set off. Enduring Covid-19 lockdowns and quarantines has been arduous for many would-be globetrotters. After all, it has starved their Facebook pages of content and denied them opportunities to boast about where they’ve just been and where they’re heading next.

        Sure, Covid-19 may have killed some people’s loved ones, but spare a thought for the Instagram influencers without a means to convey their worldliness.

      • Study Reveals Rapid Melting of Glaciers Has Shifted Earth’s Axis

        “Faster ice melting under global warming was the most likely cause of the directional change of the polar drift in the 1990s.”

        Since 1980, the planet’s north and south poles have moved roughly four meters in distance, and new research shows that shifts in the Earth’s rotational axis have accelerated since the 1990s as a result of the widespread melting of glaciers—a clear manifestation, scientists say, of the climate emergency.

      • African Activists: The Earth Is in Peril If Wealthy Nations Don’t Slash Emissions & Pay Climate Debt

        As President Biden convenes a major climate summit, we speak with two leading climate activists from Africa about the “climate debt” rich countries owe the Global South and the major emissions cuts still needed in order to avert the worst effects of the planetary emergency. “Given the scale of the crisis right now, the only thing that is going to get us out of it is not going to be baby steps in the right direction,” says Kumi Naidoo, special adviser for the Green Economy Coalition’s Social Contract Initiative, as well as the former head of Greenpeace International. “It’s going to be big, bold, courageous, structural and systemic change to every aspect of society.” We also speak with Dipti Bhatnagar, international program coordinator for Climate Justice and Energy at Friends of the Earth International, who says that while new pledges by the U.S. to cut emissions are “going in the right direction,” it’s still not enough. “We’re calling on the U.S. to do its fair share of emissions reductions, and what that means is four times of what the U.S. has put on the table.”

      • “Shelter from the Storm”: Climate Change Is a Driving Force in Central American Migration

        We look at the link between migration and the climate emergency, which studies have estimated could displace over 200 million people by 2050, including many in Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Last year, two hurricanes, Iota and Eta, devastated the region and forced thousands to flee north. A new report finds that the climate crisis is already a driver in migration from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, which reiterates the necessity of planning “ahead for the major migration flows,” says Camila Bustos, human rights associate at the University Network for Human Rights. “What we’re really telling the Biden administration is to take this data, look into it, think critically and creatively about solutions, and revise immigration policy.”

      • Opinion | Cultivating an Alternative Awareness That Doesn’t Involve Destroying the Planet

        Our own wisdom is telling us to evolve.

        Let’s use up the planet and bless the future with its corpse.

      • Opinion | Not Wasting Food to Save the World

        Cutting food waste in our own homes can have a positive impact on both climate change and world hunger.

        Cold and mushy Brussels sprouts—previously frozen, then heated, then cold again—were the worst, but they weren’t the only bits of food I pushed around my plate in my youth that I had to finally gag down before I could leave the table.

      • UN declares 2021 is ‘year for action’ on climate

        The year of plague and fire, record heat, melting ice and rising seas: who’s surprised 2021 is UN’s “year for action”?

      • Achieving Net-Zero Climate Targets Will Depend on Public Lands
      • Why Brazil’s President Is a Dangerous Steward for the Amazon

        On April 22, Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro spoke at the U.S. Climate Summit affirming his nation’s commitment “to eliminate illegal deforestation by 2030,” and he “ anticipates Brazil’s goal of zero emissions to 2050.” He was one of 40 world leaders present. During his remarks, he also said Brazil is “on the forefront in combating climate change,” and that his administration is “complying with the measures to combat deforestation and preserve the Amazon.”

        Not everyone is buying into the far-right leader’s sudden change of heart, and some suspect it is a distraction from the political fallout over his pandemic-related missteps and nascent charges of disassembling Brazil’s environmental infrastructure.

      • Opinion | Why Brazil’s President Is a Dangerous Steward for the Amazon

        It is imperative for world leaders to understand the depth, cost and extent of Bolsonaro’s ‘ecocide’ during these last two years and not fall for his lies. 

        Carved out of the rainforest, the Trans-Amazonia Highway, is a 2.500 mile-road that connects seven northern states in Brazil. The audacious project was started in 1972 during the country’s Military Dictatorship (1964-1985) with two objectives: development and security of the “unoccupied” region. In order to bring companies and large-scale farmers there, the government offered large portions of land, tax exemption incentives and attractive financing. The move culminated with the expulsion of thousands of small farmers and entire tribes of indigenous peoples, solidifying a long history of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

      • Opinion | Climate Cages: What the US Should Remember From Slavery and Colonialism in Devising Climate Strategy

        We cannot race ahead with renewable energy and green finance and ignore those left behind in the carceral state.

        In sixteenth century England, gibbeting was a technique used for punishing convicted murders by hanging them in cages. Once a gibbet was hung, it attracted jubilant crowds since the display was engineered to maximize horror. By 1834 the practice was altogether banned, but objections arose to the practice of hanging people in cages, a form of punishment considered barbaric.

      • Opinion | Corporate Media Continues to Hit Snooze on Climate Emergency

        If we have any hope of addressing the climate crisis, journalists have to move beyond debating its existence or importance, and start looking at both its causes—very concretely, looking at culprits—and its solutions.

        In a year dominated by coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, one might expect other topics to fall lower on the media’s priority list. But the climate crisis has not lessened in intensity; on the contrary, the urgency of addressing it increases each year. (Not to mention that climate change is an important driver of increased disease outbreaks like the current pandemic.) News media must be capable of covering two emergencies at the same time.

      • Opinion | How Earth Day Is Being Co-Opted by Corporate Interests

        We must resist the corporate takeover of the UN’s food, biodiversity, and climate agenda.

        The United States is back. Back in the Paris Agreement, and back to faithfully promoting the interests of destructive industries and their allies at the global level under the guise of environmentalism. On Earth Day—a day that has been increasingly co-opted by corporations—President Biden is hosting a “Leaders’ Summit on the Climate.” But who are these “leaders?” 

      • If Biden Serious About Green Jobs, Sunrise Movement Urges Embrace of AOC-Markey Civilian Climate Corps

        With a “historic” bill introduced just this week in Congress, campaigners say the president has a chance to pass “the very opportunity he is hopeful for.”

        After President Joe Biden  said during the White House’s climate summit this week that the climate crisis is “one of the largest job creation opportunities in history,” campaigners on Friday urged the president to prove his commitment by pushing for the passage of a newly introduced bill that would put over a million people to work in green jobs nationwide.

      • On Earth Day, US Power Brokers Acknowledge the Scale and Urgency of the Climate Crisis

        This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        The vice president of the United States is predicting that the climate crisis will soon spark wars over water, the essential element of life on earth.

      • If Fukushima’s Water is Safe, Then Drink it!

        In response to Deputy PM Aso, Chinese Foreign Minster Lijian Zhao replied “the ocean is not Japan’s trashcan” and furthermore, since Japan claims it’s safe to drink, “then drink it!”

        Mr. Zhao may have stumbled upon the best solution to international concerns about TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) dumping tritium-laced radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. Instead, TEPCO should remove it from the storage tanks at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and deliver it to Japan’s water reservoirs where, similar to the ocean, it will be further diluted but not quite as much. After all, the International Atomic Energy Agency/Vienna (IAEA) and the Japanese government are full of praise and confidence about how “harmless” the radioactive water will be. Let Japan drink it and/or use it for crop irrigation!

      • Energy

        • Biden Vows to Cut Emissions, But U.S. Continues to Subsidize Fossil Fuels Amid Climate Crisis

          The White House convened a virtual summit on the climate crisis this week, with 40 leaders representing the world’s major economies pledging cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. President Joe Biden said the U.S. would cut its emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade — nearly double the target set by the Obama administration six years ago. Biden’s pledge fulfills “a basic requirement of the U.S. being in the Paris Climate Agreement,” says New Republic staff writer Kate Aronoff, but still does not go far enough. “This is well, well below what the United States really owes the rest of the world, based on its historical responsibility for causing the climate crisis and the massive, massive resources this country has to transition very quickly off of fossil fuels.”

        • Biden Vows to Cut Emissions While US Continues to Subsidize Fossil Fuels

          The White House convened a virtual summit on the climate crisis this week, with 40 leaders representing the world’s major economies pledging cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. President Joe Biden said the U.S. would cut its emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade — nearly double the target set by the Obama administration six years ago. Biden’s pledge fulfills “a basic requirement of the U.S. being in the Paris Climate Agreement,” says New Republic staff writer Kate Aronoff, but still does not go far enough. “This is well, well below what the United States really owes the rest of the world, based on its historical responsibility for causing the climate crisis and the massive, massive resources this country has to transition very quickly off of fossil fuels.”

        • Labour and Conservative Councils Criticised Over £7.5 Billion Investments In Fossil Fuel Pensions

          Local council pension funds in England controlled by the Labour and Conservative parties together hold £7.5 billion in fossil fuel shares, a new analysis has found.

          Environmental campaigners Platform and climate consultancy Transition Economics ranked political parties according to their local council pension fossil fuel investments, finding that Labour-controlled councils hold £3.9 billion in investments in oil, gas and coal, followed closely by Conservative-run authorities, with £3.6 billion.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Centennial Range Safe from Domestic Sheep…For Now

          For decades, the U.S. Department of Agriculture operated an experimental sheep research station on the southern slopes of the range. Due to the presence of domestic sheep, predators, particularly coyotes, were regularly killed. However, in recent years, grizzly bears have expanded into the range and several grizzly deaths are suspected of having occurred as well. Sheep grazing also impacts sage grouse populations in the area and the potential for restoration of native bighorn sheep.

          Because of these conflicts, conservationists have for years tried to get the Sheep Station closed, starting with the first lawsuit in 2007. In the past week, a federal court agreed to halt the reauthorization and expansion of the sheep grazing in and adjacent to the U.S. Sheep Experimental Station. This decision adds to another recent victory designed to protect the range where the Targhee National Forest decided against a proposal for heli-skiing operation in the range.

    • Finance

      • What If 401(k)s Could Fund the Green New Deal Instead of Wall Street?

        This week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey re-introduced the Green New Deal. One crucial arm of it is the Green New Deal for Public Housing, a bill to rebuild and revitalize the nation’s public housing infrastructure. Momentum by lawmakers to reinvest in our existing public housing infrastructure has been building for years. Combined with President Biden’s push for a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, there is a real opportunity to rebuild our economy with the public at the forefront.

      • Capitalism as a Suicide Cult

        This will no doubt read as a surprise, implausible even, to the managerial class, the PMC, who have benefitted from government policies that have favored them, and the financial economy in general. But consider: excess deaths as measured here (explained below) are relative to rich European nations that saw the same drop in economic growth as the U.S. in the Great Recession, but who also saw a secondary downturn in 2013 – 2014 that didn’t occur in the U.S. Assigning blame on the Great Recession requires looking past both different experiences in other rich nations, and that the problem both preceded, and followed, the Great Recession. It is peculiar to American-style neoliberalism and the much, much poorer nations.

        This point— that the problems causing such widespread social misery are systemic, means that the solutions need to be so as well. To understand why, the difference between socialism and social welfare liberalism is that socialism requires a redistribution of power— from corporate executives and capitalist owners, to workers. A transfer of power, if not ownership, is what the New Deal accomplished. Conversely, welfare state liberalism subsidizes capitalism. One third of the recipients of food stamps (SNAP) who work, work at Walmart. Seventy percent work. SNAP is a subsidy of low wage employers, not its recipients.

      • Increasing Desperation as the U.S. Capitalist System Declines

        Signs of decline accumulate. The last 40 years of slow economic growth have seen the top 10 percent take nearly all of it. The other 90 percent suffered constricted real wage growth that drove them to borrow massively (for homes, cars, credit cards, and college expenses). Their creditors were, of course, mostly that same 10 percent. College costs rose as graduates’ prospects for good jobs and incomes fell. Those without college degrees faced worse prospects. Inequalities of wealth and income soared. To protect their positions atop those inequalities, the 10 percent increased their donation-fueled sway over politics and culture. Compliant politicians then reinforced the deepening inequalities of wealth and income in that typical spiral of systems in decline.

        The relentlessly deepening inequality is especially painful and difficult for the United States because it had been temporarily reversed in the 1930s and 1940s. The sharply reduced inequality then—celebrated as the rise of a vast “middle class”—led to renewed affirmations of American exceptionalism and capitalism’s virtues. We lived, it was said, in a post-1930s “people’s capitalism.” The claim had its grain of truth, if no more than that. It made expectations of “middle class” jobs and incomes seem to be birthrights of most (white) Americans. The ever-deepening inequality since the 1970s first frustrated and then collapsed those expectations. A kind of bitterness at a fading American dream has settled in and agitated popular consciousness. Capitalism became increasingly a disappointment, a sign of system decline. Another sign is the increasing interest in socialism and elections of socialists despite the relentless anti-socialist drumbeats of the Cold War and since.

      • Of Percentages and Neoliberal Predatation

        Necrotrophically – to but a boot as stomps on the face of life purposive?

        As Orwell conceived , it takes but 16 percent such the ‘in and out’ of a population rendered ideologically raped to point of the political facilitation the totalitarian horror he so presciently as perspicaciously delineated in his final work ‘1984’ -as can be interpreted a ‘fascist mindfuck of life portrayed’; such the predation cognised?

      • The Trump-Hyped Foxconn Wisconsin Deal Finally Falls Completely Apart

        You might recall how the Wisconsin GOP, with Donald Trump and Paul Ryan at the head of the parade, struck what they claimed was an incredible deal with Foxconn to bring thousands of high paying jobs to the state. Initially, the state promised Foxconn a $3 billion subsidy if the company invested $10 billion in a Wisconsin LCD panel plant that created 13,000 jobs. The amount of political hype the deal generated was utterly legendary, helping market Trump as a savvy dealmaker who’d be restoring technological greatness to the American Midwest.

      • Capitalist Morbidity and The Global Crisis

        The social upheaval of 2020-21 may well mark a major turning point in world history. The global Covid-19 public health emergency and the associated economic slump have produced hugely disruptive and far-reaching social and political effects. Even before the onset of the pandemic, the world economy had been on the brink of severe recession after a prolonged yet remarkably tepid recovery from the Great Recession of 2008–09 — as well as several decades of slow growth, austerity and persistent profitability problems for productive capital. That said, the anticipated recession was greatly amplified by (full or partial) state-mandated lockdowns of many industries, government services and small businesses. The result was a level of global unemployment and economic contraction rivalling that of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

        How should we view this “combined” global crisis of 2020-21? With few exceptions, the answer of the corporate mass media, professional-managerial strata, political elites and most economists is remarkably uniform. Consistent with most conventional accounts of humanity’s problems, it highlights what is understood to be a natural phenomenon (the sudden and “mysterious” emergence of an unusually infectious and stealthy virus) along with the conscious decisions and actions of individuals (health professionals, politicians, business leaders and mass media journalists) in reaction to it, while minimizing the decisive role played by powerful social forces in instigating, exploiting and determining both the shape and the magnitude of the crisis.

      • Walter Mondale’s Decades-Long Crusade for Fair Housing and the Full Promise of Civil Rights

        On April 5, 1968, the day after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the youngest members of the United States Senate took the floor of the chamber and declared, “The foremost proponent of a nonviolent confrontation between the races is dead. His generosity to the white man, his belief in the basic good will of all men, and his dramatic, nonviolent action enabled him to speak to both races,” declared Walter Mondale, a 40-year-old Democrat who had emerged as one of chamber’s most ardent advocates for civil right.

        “In the days ahead, we must act to fulfill King’s dream,” said Mondale, who died Monday at age 93.

      • Journalists Investigating Financial Crimes Threatened by Global Elites – Validated Independent News

        Survey responses from 63 investigative journalists working in 43 countries indicated that a vast majority had faced threats and harassment during their investigations into financial crimes. Susan Coughtrie, project director at the Foreign Policy Centre, discussed these large-scale transnational investigations with Woodman, including those conducted by the ICIJ that revealed, “explosive insights into how political and business elites, as well as organized crime groups, all over the world get away with financial crime and corruption.”

      • Unions and Pro-Worker Groups Pressure Manchin to Back Infrastructure Bill

        Unions and other pro-worker organizations are engaging in a public pressure campaign on Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, in order to secure his support for a large infrastructure bill being promoted by the Biden White House.

      • ‘The System for Building Wealth Is Designed for White Wealth’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Emory University’s Dorothy A. Brown about racist tax policy for the April 16, 2021, episode of CounterSpin . This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Warren and Cleaver Lead Introduction of ‘Historic’ Bill to Address US Housing Crisis

        “It’s time to stop nibbling around the edges and, instead, pass this big, bold proposal,” said the Massachusetts Democrat.

        Led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Democrats on Friday reintroduced what they describe as “historic” legislation to tackle a national housing crisis in the U.S. exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Biden Eyes Tax Hikes on the Wealthy to Pay for Free Community College

        President Joe Biden is expected to propose nearly doubling the capital gains tax rate for people making over $1 million a year in order to fund aspects of the second half of his two-part infrastructure package.

      • State-Supported “Clean Energy” Loans Are Putting Borrowers At Risk of Losing Their Homes

        Diana Thomas needed a new furnace and four small basement windows for her two-story home on the east side of Kansas City. But she had little cash and bad credit.

        In late 2016, a contractor told her about a loan program that required no money down and would let her pay off the balance over time as part of her annual property tax bill. Her first payment wouldn’t be due until the end of the following year.

      • The Best Intentions of Sir Ronald Cohen: Building the Crypto-Corrals of Social Investment

        Who is Sir Ronald Cohen and why should you care? To answer the first part of that question it might be useful to start with someone else – the person he is most often compared to and the original “Father of Venture Capital.” Answering the second part involves asking more difficult questions, such as what is the monetary value of a human life?

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden’s Appeasement of Hawks and Neocons Is Crippling His Diplomacy

        Biden’s failure to quickly recommit to the Iran nuclear deal, or JCPOA, as Senator Sanders promised to do on his first day as president, provided a critical delay that has been used by opponents to undermine the difficult shuttle diplomacy taking place in Vienna to restore the agreement.

        The attempts to derail talks range from the introduction of the Maximum Pressure Act on April 21 to codify the Trump administration’s sanctions against Iran to Israel’s cyberattack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Biden’s procrastination has only strengthened the influence of the hawkish Washington foreign policy “blob,” Republicans and Democratic hawks in Congress and foreign allies like Netanyahu in Israel.

      • Dianne Morales Looks for Space—and Support—on New York’s Left

        When Dianne Morales launched her campaign for mayor of New York City last November, she was trapped behind a computer screen. “We’ve had 109 mayors in New York. One was Black. None were women. None were Latino. None were indigenous. None were Asian,” she said then. “I know I’m not a traditional candidate. I’m not a traditional candidate because I’ve not spent a lifetime jockeying for the job.”

        At the time, Covid-19 cases were ticking upward again in New York, which had lost more lives to the pandemic than any other city in America. Morales, 53, was entering the crowded Democratic primary with little money and only a bit more hope. Mostly unknown across the five boroughs, she would have the daunting task of introducing herself to hundreds of thousands of voters.

      • Will the Swiss and the EU Get to Yes?

        The art of negotiation, and it is an art, has become a regularly studied academic and diplomatic subject since Roger Fisher and William Ury’s set off a cottage industry with their 1981 best seller Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. (It became a perennial best-seller and is now in its third edition) Individuals, companies and nations have all signed on to the Harvard Negotiation Project and its spinoffs to try to learn how to get to yes.

        But the negotiation between two sides assumes that the negotiators have already been chosen. The actors negotiating have to have the authority to make decisions that will be binding after any agreement is reached. After all, what is the point of negotiating if the agreement reached cannot be implemented by one or both sides? Each negotiator must have the necessary legitimacy for his/her side for an agreement to hold.

      • A Politics of Life Must Have Poetic Passion
      • After Republican Caitlyn Jenner Says “I’m In” for Governor, Equality California Says: “We’re Out”

        “Make no mistake: we can’t wait to elect a trans governor of California,” said the advocacy group. “But Jenner spent years telling the LGBTQ+ community to trust Donald Trump. We saw how that turned out.”

        California’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group shared its immediate reaction to the news that Republican reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner announced her bid for governor on Friday. 

      • How “Representative” is US Democracy?

        Among the world’s states, the United States ranks third in population, but 25th in the number of members comprising its national legislative bodies.

        The US has more than a thousand times the population of Iceland,  but our House and Senate combined have fewer than ten times as many members as its single-house legislature, the Althing. Icelanders get one representative for every 5,037 inhabitants. Americans get one US Representative or US Senator for every 596,060 inhabitants.

      • Bypassing the Road Block
      • Facebook, Twitter, YouTube execs to testify at Senate hearing on algorithms

        It comes as lawmakers have increasingly pressed the platforms over their algorithms and content moderation practices, especially Democrats who have raised concerns that the platforms have helped facilitate the spread of extremist content.

      • Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “It is too late for the integration of Muslim immigrants in Germany”

        At that time, Mayor Reker recommended women to keep their distance from strange men as a precaution. In doing so, she reversed the perpetrator-victim role. The women did nothing wrong, they just wanted to celebrate New Year’s Eve! But the attackers behaved towards the women as is far too often the case in their countries of origin. The signal sent by German politics to the assaulting male immigrants was fatal. Instead, it should have been made clear in all clarity: You immigrants must abide by German rules, full stop!

      • What is controversial about Joe Biden saying “Armenian genocide”?

        When the Ottoman Empire (out of which modern-day Turkey emerged) entered the first world war in 1914, there were approximately 2m Armenians, a traditionally Christian ethnic group, living within its borders. Many fought for the Muslim empire, but some also enrolled in the Russian army, which bloodied the Ottomans in the east. High-ranking members of the ruling party blamed Armenians for the loss of an important battle the following year against Russia at Sarikamis, now in north-eastern Turkey. Armenian intellectuals, artists and politicians, including deputies in the Ottoman parliament, were arrested and many were later killed. The Ottoman authorities ordered the forced relocation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians to Syria, claiming that Armenian revolutionaries had been helping the Russians. The conditions of their forced march were so harsh that few could have survived, and raids by Kurdish and Turkish armed bands further lessened their chances. Many historians believe that secret orders were given to ensure that they perished. Of the few who made it across Syria’s desert, many were put in concentration camps along the Euphrates or simply massacred.

      • Jack Ma shows why China’s tycoons keep quiet

        U.S. and European officials have been looking to rein in [Internet] behemoths for years. But it is hard to imagine Western regulators bringing about a change in fortunes as significant as the one that has befallen Ma. Xi has asserted broad control over China’s private sector, demanding commitment to the party and to social stability above profits.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Internet: Medium For Communication, Medium For Narrative Control — Adapting: Free Market, Let It Solve Itself

        Additionally, one thing that can foster good competition is to have open standards describing what can be done with ad tech, the format of the data traveling on the pipeline. This includes implementing a common transaction and user ID for consumer and making them portable and interoperable across ad providers. It would then be easier to port the data between rivals and might even allow consumers to regain control over their data, selecting with whom they’d like to share it. We’ll see more of that when discussing digital identity. Apple uses something called IDFA, Google uses an analytics and advertising tracking ID, Facebook uses a Pixel ID and others.

        Standardization also goes along openness such as the right to repair, to allow products to be repairable to last longer, and decentralization.

      • Misinformation Is Destroying Our Country. Can Anything Rein It In?

        The Capitol insurrection threw into relief the real-world consequences of America’s increasingly siloed media ecosystem, which is characterized on the right by an expanding web of outlets and platforms willing to entertain an alternative version of reality. Social media companies, confronted with their role in spreading misinformation, scrambled to implement reforms. But right-wing misinformation is not just a technological problem, and it is far from being fixed. Any hope that the events of January 6 might provoke a reckoning within conservative media and the Republican Party has by now evaporated. The GOP remains eager to weaponize misinformation, not only to win elections but also to advance its policy agenda.

      • Thinktanks ‘have stolen universities’ clothes’

        Thinktanks have “stolen our clothes”, the president of the European University Association (EUA) has warned, urging institutions to “compete” with influential policy bodies by setting up their own alternatives and better communicating with politicians and the media.

        Speaking at the EUA’s annual conference, Michael Murphy, former chair of the Irish Universities Association, said that universities and academics must be more active in “public discourse” and be the ones “writing the op-ed pieces”.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Google Refuses To Honor Questionable Requests For Removal Of ‘Defamatory’ Content (2019)

        Summary: Google has long been responsive to court orders demanding the removal of content, if they’re justified. Google has fought back against dubious orders originating from “right to be forgotten” demands from outside the US, and has met no small amount of DMCA abuse head on. But, generally speaking, Google will do what’s asked if there’s a legal basis for the asking.

      • Freedom of Expression Under Attack: The Liberal Government Moves to Have the CRTC Regulate All User Generated Content

        Last week I wrote that the Liberal government had become the most anti-Internet government in Canadian history. But today’s vote is even worse. By removing the user generated content exclusion, Bill C-10 represents an unconscionable attack on the free expression rights of Canadians. It must be defeated.

      • Don’t Make Consumer Freedom a Victim of Cancel Culture

        And while Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the All Star Game out of Georgia over opposition to the state’s voting law has been generally derided on the right as an example of “woke” corporations trying to cancel voices they disagree with, the truth is it’s the league’s prerogative. If the MLB wants to risk losing fans over a political statement, we should let it. If history is any indicator, the free market is more than capable of holding corporations accountable, especially sports leagues.

        Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell labelled corporate condemnation of the bill from several major companies an example of  “woke alternative government.” He and other Republicans in the Senate have threatened consequences, introducing a bill that would remove the MLB’s antitrust exemption, encouraging consumer boycotts, and advocating GOP-controlled state legislatures raise taxes on businesses that have supported the law.

      • ICTA says only public posts on Social Media will be archived — Wrong!

        ICTA will filter all incoming/outgoing Internet traffic in Mauritius in order to segregate social media traffic. Then, ICTA says that they will not regulate (ie. decrypt, archive & decide whether to block or not) private social media content but only public postings.

        This is wrong, misleading and false.

      • AMSAT adds “Don’t Rock the Boat” rule

        AMSAT, with the enactment of this rule, could no longer claim to represent United States Radio Amateurs in matters regarding Amateur Satellites, because it would no longer represent all of them, only those members that the board likes.

        AMSAT claims to have copied this rule from ARRL. However, they completely ignored Article 11 of ARRL’s articles of association, which limits termination or reduction of privileges of a member to existing prerequisites (like dues) and permits them to expel a member for good cause and after notice and an opportunity to be heard. In contrast, the AMSAT rule would not require notice before denial of renewal, would allow dismissal arbitrarily at the decision of the board rather than for a small set of prerequisites, and would not allow the member a chance to be heard. I don’t know of ARRL actually ever expelling any member in its century-long history, or of anyone leaving ARRL involuntarily for anything but failure to pay dues.

      • Section 230: The Tiny Clause that Rules the Internet | Tech.co

        The interminable battle between “free speech” and liability for illegal online activities often winds up with lawmakers, journalists, academics, and everyone in between talking about Section 230.

        It’s rare that a single subsection of legislation receives so much attention and is debated with so much vigor and, often, venom. But this single section of the Communications Decency Act 1996 determines how every single one of us interacts with the internet on a day-to-day basis.

        However, Republicans and Democrats alike are looking to repeal Section 230 — the former in the name of “free speech” and the latter to enforce stronger rules on social media giants.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Russia designates ‘Meduza’ as a ‘foreign agent’

        Russia’s Justice Ministry has added Meduza (the news organization you’re reading right now) to its list of “foreign agents.” On Friday, officials in Moscow applied this designation to the Latvian-registered entity SIA “Medusa Project,” explaining that the decision is based on “enforcing the requirements of existing laws in the Russian Federation.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Love and Revolution

        A common denominator in these and other colonial situations was (and remains) racism on the part of the colonizers. That racism, which was so deep it infected the colonized and convinced many of them that they truly were less human than the Europeans who had invaded and occupied their lands, made the independence struggles anti-racist struggles, as well. This seems to have been especially true in Algeria, where hundreds of thousands of its residents who had been born of French parents and raised in that nation defined themselves as better than those Algerians who had little or no French blood. Indeed, this set of residents even had a classification of their own—les pieds-noirs. Similar yet different from those of European blood whose ancestors had invaded and occupied the Americas, the pieds-noirs identified with the French tricolor, but had made their lives in Algeria. In other words, they considered themselves both Algerian and French. The Algerians, however, saw them differently. When the national liberation struggle became an armed struggle, most of the revolutionaries considered the pieds-noirs as French and therefore the enemy. Likewise, most of the pieds-noirs considered themselves French and aligned themselves emotionally and politically with their mother country.

        This is one reason why the recent novel by Joseph Andras is so intriguing. Titled Tomorrow They Won’t Dare to Murder Us , it is a wonderfully contrived fictionalization of the life, torture and execution of the communist fighter for Algerian independence Fernand Iveton. Iveton was a pied-noir supporter of the Algerian struggle and a communist. He was convicted of planting a bomb in the factory where he worked in Algiers. Even though the bomb was discovered before it was set to explode and was intentionally placed so it would kill no one, Iveton was tried and executed. This was despite the fact that the French authorities had not executed anyone involved in a non-fatal attack to that point in the war. Before he was sentenced, Iveton was brutally tortured and, in a scenario all to familiar in 2021, the fact of his torture was ruled inadmissible and irrelevant in the courtroom. Meanwhile, the French media (except for a few leftist papers) expressed outrage at the torture, yet accepted the execution as a fait accompli.

      • Slaves to the Constitution

        The racist police state that has produced the cop murders of Milton Hall, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Brionna Taylor, Tamir Rice, George Floyd, Daunte Wright (killed not far from the site of Floyd’s murder during the trial of Floyd’s murderer Derek Chauvin) and so many more Black victims has a dark historical connection back to the Slave Patrols of British colonial North America and the pre-Civil War US republic.

        People who fly the Confederate Flag (as did many of the fascist January 6 Capital Rioters) are waving the banner of slavery. The Confederacy was formed southern slaveholders who calculated that the newly elected U.S. president Abraham Lincoln’s opposition to slavery in the nation’s western territories spelled doom for their racist forced labor and torture system. Anyone who says that the Confederate symbol is about “states’ rights” and not slavery is either a liar or a fool.

      • Temping: Legislating Better Labor Standards

        The law will prevent hundreds of injuries on the job, according to Dave DeSario, who heads Temp Worker Justice in Washington, DC, a nonprofit that supports temporary workers and workers’ organizations seeking justice and fairness in the workplace. Washington state’s new law will also make it more difficult for staffing firms, e.g. temporary agencies, to create dangers for such employees via restoring accountability and increasing costs on employers that choose to ignore worksite safety.

        Employers reduce necessary worksite safety for reasons of profits and market share generally. It is a systemic trend.

      • EFF and ACLU Ask Supreme Court to Review Case Against Warrantless Searches of International Travelers’ Phones and Laptops

        The lawsuit, Merchant v. Mayorkas , was filed in September 2017 on behalf of several travelers whose cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices were searched without warrants at the U.S. border. In November 2019, a federal district court in Boston ruled that border agencies’ policies on electronic device searches violate the Fourth Amendment, and required border officers to have reasonable suspicion of digital contraband before they can search a traveler’s device. A three-judge panel at the First Circuit reversed this decision in February 2021.

        “Border officers every day make an end-run around the Constitution by searching travelers’ electronic devices without a warrant or any suspicion of wrongdoing,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Sophia Cope. “The U.S. government has granted itself unfettered authority to rummage through our digital lives just because we travel internationally. This egregious violation of privacy happens with no justification under constitutional law and no demonstrable benefit. The Supreme Court must put a stop to it.”

        “This case raises pressing questions about the Fourth Amendment’s protections in the digital age,” said Esha Bhandari, deputy director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “When border officers search our phones and laptops, they can access massive amounts of sensitive personal information, such as private photographs, health information, and communications with partners, family, and friends—including discussions between lawyers and their clients, and between journalists and their sources. We are asking the Supreme Court to ensure that we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel.”

      • How Border Fascism Explains the Trump Movement

        Since Donald Trump’s election, pundits and reporters have been debating how to describe the movement that propelled him to the White House. Did his supporters’ attacks against immigrants, street brawls with antifa, and cheeky embrace of authoritarianism really constitute 1930s-style fascism? Or was it rather the “Southern strategy” on steroids, strongman populism, or savage capitalism? 1

        When journalist Brendan O’Connor considered the question, he saw echoes of the 1930s, but realized that Trump’s movement deserved an entirely new category: border fascism. 2

      • Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court and Breyer’s Tenure

        Regardless, the GOP will scream about Dems packing the court, when in reality, for those with functioning memories, Mitch McConnell blocked Merrick Garland from even being considered for the Supreme Court, claiming that eight months was too close to an election. But then he flipped around and “confirmed Amy Coney Barrett eight days before an election, when 65 million people had already voted,” as Congressman Adriano Espaillat tweeted. “Court packing is the Republican playbook.” Clearly, it’s time the Dems got with the program.

        Originally, back in the eighteenth century when SCOTUS was founded, it had six justices. After the civil war, nine. (There were nine circuit courts then.) We’re long overdue for an expansion. Thirteen would be a good number, since we have 13 circuit courts and besides, if we got four more justices who weren’t absolutely rip-roaring reactionaries like the six in the current majority, we might actually be able to keep laws that congress passed, like the Voting Rights Act and sundry campaign finance laws. Because currently SCOTUS legislates from the bench, and the world it is legislating is a right-wing dystopia.

      • Guilty, Guilty, Guilty
      • At Least 120 Asylum-Seekers Feared Dead in Shipwreck Off Libyan Coast, After Authorities’ Inaction

        “These are the human consequences of policies which fail to uphold international law and the most basic of humanitarian imperatives.”

        International rescue organizations on Friday condemned the inaction of European and Libyan authorities after at least 120 asylum-seekers were believed to have drowned off the coast of Libya.

      • Thinking Globally About Racial Justice

        Evoked by the worldwide visibility of the brutal killing on video, this solidarity also reflected visceral anger against police violence in a host of other countries — including African countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria.

        Millions across the world, not just the U.S., watched the trial of Floyd’s killer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. The celebration and relief at Chauvin’s conviction won’t just be felt here.

      • ‘Some of Our Most Profitable Companies Are Not Contributing to Our Basic Needs’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s Amy Hanauer about corporate tax avoidance for the April 16, 2021, episode of CounterSpin . This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • For Some, Reparations are Just Common Sense

        The issue can be divisive. But as a supporter of reparations, a recent Jeopardy clue (of all things) left me feeling strangely optimistic.

        A few weeks ago, guest host Aaron Rodgers read the clue to three white players: “In 2015, Congress authorized $4.4 million to each of these people, $10,000 for each day of their captivity.”

      • Bad software sent postal workers to jail, because no one wanted to admit it could be wrong

        For the past 20 years UK Post Office employees have been dealing with a piece of software called Horizon, which had a fatal flaw: bugs that made it look like employees stole tens of thousands of British pounds. This led to some local postmasters being convicted of crimes, even being sent to prison, because the Post Office doggedly insisted the software could be trusted. After fighting for decades, 39 people are finally having their convictions overturned, after what is reportedly the largest miscarriage of justice that the UK has ever seen.

      • Critics Blast Oklahoma GOP for Passing ‘Absolutely Insane’ Law Shielding Drivers Who Run Over Protesters

        “Our government’s escalating attacks on protests against racism and police brutality should concern everyone,” said the ACLU.

        The Oklahoma chapter of the ACLU is vowing to fight the state’s Republican leadership following Gov. Kevin Stitt’s signing of a law that will grant immunity to drivers who unintentionally hurt or kill protesters—while holding demonstrators accountable for threatening public safety instead. 

      • Oklahoma Law Grants Immunity To Drivers Who Unintentionally Harm Protesters

        Under the new law, obstructing the use of a public street or highway during a protest is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and/or a fine ranging from $100 to $5,000.

        Another provision grants civil and criminal liability protection to motorists who unintentionally cause injury or death while “fleeing from a riot.”

      • Gov. Kevin Stitt signs bill to protect drivers who hit protesters while fleeing from riots

        The bill is just one of a handful of Republican-backed proposals introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature this year aimed at cracking down on protests.

        HB 1674 protects drivers who fear for their safety while “fleeing from a riot” and also updates state law to classify as a misdemeanor the unlawful obstruction of a road or highway.

      • Germany: Syrian father acquitted of murdering his daughter (†16) because the investigating authorities did a sloppy job

        Almost four years after the disappearance of the Syrian refugee girl Mezgin (†16), Judge Sebastian Geis acquitted her father Hashem N. (46) of murder suspicion on Thursday (22 April) at 3 pm. (46) from suspicion of murder: “In case of doubt for the accused! Yet after the six-week trial at the Aschaffenburg Regional Court, it was clear to all observers that no one had denied the fun-loving schoolgirl’s right to live more than her own father.

      • Video shows unarmed Marine veteran tased by police in his daughter’s hospital room

        “We had told them earlier: Let us make sure that Charlotte is OK and then come back and we’ll answer your questions,” Andersen said. “When they came back, it was with force. They did not come back with intent to say: ‘Hey, you guys settled in yet? Can you answer some questions now?’ Nope. They came back looking for a fight.”

        Lane provided Task & Purpose with body camera footage from two of the officers involved: Vito DelCore and Todd Eckert of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

        The videos show how DelCore first attempted to take Andersen’s phone, but Andersen angrily backed away and said DelCore did not have the right to grab anything from his pocket. “You’re going to hit the ground hard,” DelCore responded.

      • Lawsuit claims excessive force after CSPD uses stun gun on USMC vet in hospital

        The lawsuit claims that officers didn’t tell Andersen he was under arrest or indicate they would use force to take the cell phone before the scuffle in the hospital room, just feet from where his fiancee and daughter were in the bed.

        According to the lawsuit, Andersen was taken out of the room and interrogated without a Miranda advisement, and they wrote reports which “were misleading and falsely described Mr. Andersen’s actions and demeanor.” Two cell phones were seized as well.

        The lawsuit says that officers filed “obstructing and resisting arrest charges against Mr. Andersen,” but that the charges were dismissed by the District Attorney’s Office in El Paso County two days before the trial in late 2019. We looked through CoCourt records and couldn’t find any documentation of the case.

      • On the 7th Anniversary of their Abduction, 112 Chibok Girls Still Missing

        Since their abduction, at least 20 of the children’s parents have died, reportedly due to the repercussions of stress and depression faced while awaiting their daughters return.

        On the seventh anniversary of their kidnapping, a campaign event was held via zoom promoting the slogan: “Bring Back our Girls- now and alive! Disclosure and closure”. During the event, speakers called out the governments lackluster approach to rescuing the missing children: [...]

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Judge Lets False Advertising Case Against Apple Over ‘Buying’ Music You Didn’t Buy Move Forward

        A decade ago we wrote a post about what we called Schrodinger’s Download, which was that the big companies in the music space would refer to digital downloads as a sale or a license in varying ways depending on which benefited them the most. This was most evident in lawsuits between artists and labels, especially with contracts signed in the pre-digital era, where the royalties for “licensing” were much higher than the royalties for “sales.” In those cases, the labels tried to claim that MP3 downloads were “sales” in order to pay lower licensing fees — but, on the flip side, when there were cases about reselling those files, suddenly the labels would insist that wasn’t allowed, since it wasn’t actually a sale, but a license.

      • Reed Hastings’ Netflix Pay Tops $43M, Ted Sarandos Earns $39M in 2020

        Netflix disclosed the pay packages for other top executives as well. CFO Spencer Neumann made $12.9 million during the year, and COO and chief product officer Greg Peters made $20.8 million.

    • Monopolies

      • Amid its growing power, big tech confronts calls for regulation and accountability

        In baseball, when a player rises from the minor leagues and earns a spot with a major club, it’s called “going to The Show” and it’s cause for great celebration. Tech’s turn in the batter’s box for “The Show” has not so fun.

        A number of tech companies that began as startups with innovative ideas have emerged to become global powerhouses — and many are now learning that life in the major leagues of business can be rough.

        Such was the case with Twitter Inc., for example, which found itself confronted with a decision in January to impose a permanent ban on the most powerful leader in the free world from its microblogging site. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who left the company for a period of time and then returned in 2017, found himself wrestling with the decision earlier this year after supporters of President Donald J. Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.

      • Patents

        • Samsung files patent for “Under Panel Camera” for future TVs and smartphones

          The trend of having an under-panel camera got started with the ZTE Axon 20 5G, launched in September 2020. This phone features a huge 6.92-inches full HD+ (1,080×2,460 pixels) display with an aspect ratio of 20:5:9. The display has a 90Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate.

        • Samsung sub-screen camera will be used in smartphones, laptops and TVs

          Last week, Samsung posted a video showing a Galaxy smartphone with a sub-screen camera. Perhaps this is the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra, which is expected later this year.

          Now it became known that Samsung Display has applied for trademark registration in South Korea. The UPC trademark was registered on January 15, 2021. This abbreviation is used to mean “Under Panel Camera” or sub-screen camera.

        • Software Patents

          • ETRI patent challenged

            On April 22, 2021, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,781,448, owned by the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), as part of Unified’s ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone. The ‘448 patent is part of the HEVC Advance Patent Pool, as well as SISVEL’s AV1 patent pool.

          • Sound View ’860 reexamination request granted

            On April 21, 2021, the USPTO granted Unified’s request for ex parte reexamination, finding substantial questions of patentability for the challenged claim of U.S. Patent 8,135,860, owned by Sound View Innovations, LLC. The ‘860 patent relates to data processing that transforms web content into a format suitable for display by a client device, and has been asserted against Facebook.

      • Trademarks

        • Not This Again: Facebook Threatens To Sue Guy Who Registered ‘DontUseInstagram.com’

          Ah, this one takes me back to the early days of Techdirt, when the biggest nonsense we were writing about was giant corporate bullies threatening (or in some cases suing!) over so called “Sucks Sites” (that’s an article from almost 20 years ago!). The issue was that people who were upset with a particular company would register the domain of CompanySucks.com to (usually) put up a protest site. The company (and its lawyers) would then threaten to sue the individual for trademark infringement. There were some mixed rulings over those sites, but in general most have decided that sucks sites are not trademark infringement, and are protected under a variety of theories — including a lack of any possible confusion and because they’re nominative fair use.

      • Copyrights

        • Student Sues Remote Proctoring Company Proctorio

          The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleges that Proctorio falsely accused Johnson of copyright infringement and impeded his First Amendment rights. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to protect digital rights and free speech, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Arizona on behalf of Johnson.

        • Our Top 5 Copyright Misconceptions DEBUNKED! [Ed: “Copyright is a form of intellectual property rights” is wrong. Copyright is copyright. Stop calling it something that it’s not, merely a propaganda term designed to mislead people.

          Copyright is a form of intellectual property rights providing owners of creative content with the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, publicly perform, publicly display, and publicly transmit their work. These rights vest automatically at creation; however, generally, registration is required in order to enforce a copyright in court. Copyright protects “…original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression…” but the threshold for both creativity and originality has been interpreted as being very low – requiring only a minimal degree of creativity.

        • Does Andy Warhol Get Same Copyright Treatment as Google Code?

          In a bid for a rehearing at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Andy Warhol Foundation says that if “line-for-line” copying of software code can be deemed transformative by the Supreme Court, so too can Warhol’s silkscreens of a Prince photo.
          In what could become the first test of how courts apply a recent Supreme Court opinion concerning computer code, the Andy Warhol Foundation is citing Google v. Oracle and asking the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for another shot in its copyright feud with Lynn Goldsmith.

          Goldsmith is a photographer who licensed her images of Prince to Vanity Fair in the 1980s. Warhol then used the images to create a series of silkscreens of the musician. After Prince died, Goldsmith learned about the series and complained. So the Andy Warhol Foundation went to court seeking a declaration of fair use.

        • Warhol Foundation Asks 2nd Circ. To Nix Fair Use Ruling

          The Andy Warhol Foundation is pressing the Second Circuit to overturn the group’s high-profile copyright loss last month, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s blockbuster ruling in Google v. Oracle.

          In a petition Friday, the foundation urged the full appeals court to reconsider a ruling last month that Warhol had infringed an image of the singer Prince when he used it to create a series of stylized artworks. In that ruling, the court said Warhol had not made a legal fair use of the original photos.

        • Hulu Plus Attracted Many of its First 2 Million Subscribers From Pirate Sites

          Pirate sites are considered a threat by the majority of today’s legal streaming platforms but at least one can say it directly benefited from them. According to a former key member of Hulu’s marketing team, the launch of Hulu Plus saw pirate sites given an option – either find themselves sued or plaster their sites with links to the fledgling platform. The strategy paid off.

        • Popcorn Time Plans to Make a Comeback, Despite Legal Trouble

          A few weeks ago, several movie companies sued a widely used Popcorn Time fork, as well as VPN.ht. When the app’s official website disappeared a few days later most people assumed that the developers had decided to throw in the towel. However, this early conclusion is unwarranted. While there are internal struggles, Popcorn Time plans to make a comeback.

        • Not Just User Generated Content: Liberal Government Also Want the CRTC to Regulate Apps Under Bill C-10

          At this stage, it is impossible to trust the government on almost any claim related to Bill C-10, which has been the subject of a barrage of misleading claims and now expansive regulatory plans to have the CRTC regulate all things digital. I repeat: Bill C-10 must be defeated.

        • EFF, College Student Sue Proctorio Over DMCAs On Fair Use Critique Tweets Of Software

          Late last year, while the COVID-19 pandemic was gearing up to hit its peak here in the States, we wrote about one college student and security researcher taking on Proctorio, a software platform designed to keep remote students from cheating on exams. Erik Johnson of Miami University made a name for himself on Twitter not only for giving voice to a ton of criticism Proctorio’s software has faced over its privacy implications and inability to operate correctly for students of varying ethnicities, but also for digging into Proctorio’s available source code, visible to anyone that downloads the software. But because he posted that code on PasteBin to demonstrate his critique of Proctorio, the company cried copyright infringement and got Twitter to take his tweets down initially as a result, before they were later restored.

Debunking False Accusations Against Richard Stallman

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”

W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge.

Summary: Reprinted with permission. Original here. Published on April 5, 2021. Last updated April 23, 2021.

Richard Stallman has been accused of things he did not do. Events from decades ago were dug up, misrepresented and exaggerated ad nauseam. Things he wrote were misquoted and spread far and wide by the press through headlines that people believed without checking the facts. It’s called defamation. Stallman was accused of being a misogynist, a transphobic, a defender of pedophilia and sexual assault. These accusations are wrong.

Communities have to do better when complex situations involve multiple and very serious harms, and when attacks are opportunistic. What makes the attacks on Richard Stallman opportunistic?

Richard Stallman has for decades expressed views on topics which many people consider controversial (sexism, prostitution, racism.) Stallman’s comprehensive personal philosophy on social matters can make people uncomfortable. For example, his logical framing on issues of sexuality sometimes challenges conventional “right answers” or offends people whose framing is more emotional or personal.

We can both assert and demonstrate that Stallman has never condoned the evils he has been accused of.

Examining the Claims

It is said that Richard Stallman…

  1. defended Epstein
  2. said that Epstein’s victims were “entirely willing”
  3. condones sexual assault
  4. defends pedophiles and pedophilia
  5. is a misogynist:
  6. is an ableist
  7. is transphobic

Claim #1 – Stallman Defended Epstein #defended-epstein

No. That lie was repeated by dozens of headlines and in social media. It was plain defamation. In fact, the opposite is true. Stallman wished for a longer sentence for Epstein, called the non prosecution agreement illegal. And again, true to his fixation with language, he criticized the law that called Epstein a “sex offender” as too weak to describe the magnitude of his crimes, proposing “serial rapist” as a more accurate term.

Here’s an excerpt from Stallman’s article on the subject:

(Now) Labor Secretary Acosta’s plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein was not only extremely lenient, it was so lenient that it was illegal. [Archived]

I wonder whether this makes it possible to resentence him to a longer prison term.

By contrast, calling him a “sex offender” tends to minimize his crimes, [...] I think the right term for a person such as Epstein is “serial rapist”.

Claim #2 – Stallman said that Epstein’s victims were “entirely willing” #willing

No. Again, this lie was spread all over the Internet by headlines and social media. Stallman never said that. On the contrary, he said that Epstein’s victims were being coerced. Here’s the relevant snippet from Email #2 that he sent to the CSAIL mailing list (emphasis added):

We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates.

Another snippet from Email #7 in the PDF (emphasis added):

“Giuffre says she was directed to have sex with Minsky.” Given the circumstances, that implies she was coerced by Epstein into doing so.

We know that Giuffre was being coerced into sex—by Epstein. She was being harmed.

Claim #3 – Richard Stallman defended sexual assault #sexual-assault

No. He argued that “sexual assault” was the wrong term. Interestingly, feminist lawyer Nadine Strossen agrees.

Here’s the relevant snippet from Email #2 that he sent to the CSAIL mailing list (emphasis added):

The injustice is in the word "assaulting". The term "sexual assault" is so vague and slippery that it facilitates accusation inflation: taking claims that someone did X and leading people to think of it as Y, which is much worse than X.

Stalllman’s fixation with words can be irritating and out of place sometimes, but that doesn’t equate with being wrong. For example, when he proposed to call Epstein a “serial rapist” instead of “sex offender,” he surely had a point: Epstein himself used the flawed term to minimize the seriousness of his crimes.

Claim #4 – Richard Stallman defends pedophiles and pedophilia #pedophilia

No. He published a highly controversial comment in 2006 about the intention of pedophiles in The Netherlands to form a political party[2]. Stallman wrote, I am skeptical of the claim that voluntary pedophilia harms children. People today don’t think that a prepubertal human being—a child—is capable of understanding all the implications of sexual activity, and in some cases this is so even after puberty. So, in widespread social opinion, “voluntary” does not apply.

In the same article, Stallman writes, [...] stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing. This is not totally improper, especially because it encompasses the immense variation across cultures in beliefs about morality.

Stallman later changed his mind. We don’t know when he arrived at the conclusion that sex with children can harm them, all we know is that he made it public on September 14th, 2019:#change-mind

Update April 6, 2021: We just received input from a reader showing evidence that in June 2016 Stallman said he had changed his mind on this subject. That was a reply to a question asked on that date, not the date when Stallman changed his mind, which must have been before he answered the question. We still don’t know exactly when, but at least we know it wasn’t September 2019. I’ve just written to Stallman and he explained that his views have changed significantly since the time he wrote these things.[3]

Sex Between An Adult And A Child Is Wrong (Archived)

14 September 2019 (Sex between an adult and a child is wrong)

Many years ago I posted that I could not see anything wrong about sex between an adult and a child, if the child accepted it.

Through personal conversations in recent years, I’ve learned to understand how sex with a child can harm per psychologically. This changed my mind about the matter: I think adults should not do that. I am grateful for the conversations that enabled me to understand why.

A text attributed to Carl Sagan says:

In science it often happens that scientists say, “You know, that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,” and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

Indeed, Stallman changed his mind after thoughtful debate with people whose views he trusted. He was probably shown empirical evidence.

When we make an unprejudiced analysis of Stallman’s thought, we can see a connection to skepticism which is typical of scientific thinking and inquisitive minds. Skepticism has a role to play in challenging social norms as in “I’m skeptical that human binary genders constitute an immutable truth.” Ancient Greeks, who had their own notions about proper sexuality, forced Socrates to drink poison for not believing in the gods of the state.

As for laws, in the United States the criteria for determining age of consent and related issues differ across jurisdictions, some of them have raised the age of consent as recently as 2017 and 2019. Furthermore, the United States seems to have a double standard when it comes to these laws, since marriage of a child with an adult—even much older—is allowed under certain circumstances; we believe that this seriously disregards children’s wellbeing in favor of some other “convenience.” Lastly, it may be surprising to some that age of consent in the US is 16 in 34 States.

Excluding individuals from social life, for skepticism and exploratory thinking, is an impoverished approach to achieving progress. Better results are obtained through dialogue and reasoning, as Stallman himself demonstrates.

Claim #5 – Richard Stallman is a misogynist #misogynist

No. Actually, the opposite is true. Stallman has defended women’s rights for decades. We are now in the process of compiling evidence of this in a page that already contains some of the many articles he has written over the years showing his support for women; we hope to complete that page soon, with articles going back in the years; (check for updates often.)

Apart from that, a number of women have given testimony of how respectful of women Richard Stallman has always been, by writing either full articles or short comments in various websites. See, for example, comments by Nina Paley, bdalzell, Emma Pam, Carla Schroder.

We had a look at the section on his website about love (Archived). We tried to find signs of aggression or disrespect for the women related to him and couldn’t find any. What we saw is a tenderhearted, caring man.

There is also evidence that Richard Stallman supported the Equal Rights Amendment:

21 April 2018 (Equal Rights Amendment)

The Equal Rights [for women] Amendment has languished since the 1980s, but is just two states short of approval. The Illinois senate has just approved it. [Archived] If the Illinois lower house does likewise, it will be one state away from approval.

If Democrats take back several states in November, the ERA could actually pass.

In a recent conversation with Stallman, he told us that during the 1980s he went to two mass rallies for women’s rights in Washington DC. He took buses overnight along with a bunch of other people departing from Boston.

So no, there is no room here for this kind of… let’s call it “inaccuracies.” We can only suspect that this misogyny claim arises mostly from Ms. Selam Jie Gano’s post[4] in which she presents “witnesses” who told her “horrifying stories” about how RMS’ behavior made the environment for women uncomfortable “in a very real and visceral way.” Let’s listen to the witnesses in this non-judicial trial:

  1. I recall being told early in my freshman year “If RMS hits on you, just say ‘I’m a vi user’” even if it’s not true.

    That sounds much as part of a series of running jokes at MIT to mock Stallman for his unpopularity among women. Similar jocular remarks included things like, “put plants around you to keep him away,” and probably others that we don’t know. Stallman was unpopular not because he was some sort of a monster harassing women, but because he was seen as unattractive, clueless, and bizarre.

    Update April 11, 2021: A reader who wishes to remain anonymous tells us that he saw back in the days at MIT how people—both women and men—would avoid Stallman because they were annoyed by his constant preaching about free software. #vi-user

  2. He literally used to have a mattress on the floor of his office. He kept the door to his office open, to proudly showcase that mattress and all the implications that went with it. Many female students avoided the corridor with his office for that reason… I was one of the course 6 undergrads who avoided that part of NE43 precisely for that reason. (the mattress was also known to have shirtless people lounging on it…)

    After some research, we found out that the man seen with the mattress was not Stallman but someone else. Prof. Gerald Jay Sussman, who at the time had an office next to it, told us:

    That mattress was in an office between Stallman’s office and my office. I remember that a common occupant of that mattress was a person called “Tom”, who was tolerated by, but unrelated to Richard or his group.
    —Gerald Jay Sussman

    It seems it was not unusual for people to keep a mattress in their offices—to take a nap. #mattress

  3. When I was a teen freshman, I went to a buffet lunch at an Indian restaurant in Central Square with a graduate student friend and others from the AI lab. I don’t know if he and I were the last two left, but at a table with only the two of us, Richard Stallman told me of his misery and that he’d kill himself if I didn’t go out with him.I felt bad for him and also uncomfortable and manipulated. I did not like being put in that position – suddenly responsible for an “important” man. What had I done to get into this situation? I decided I could not be responsible for his living or dying, and would have to accept him killing himself. I declined further contact. He was not a man of his word or he’d be long dead.

    Betsy S.

    RMS’ Response to Betsy S. (Archived)

    19 July 2020 (A note to Betsy S.)

    Betsy S met me at a lunch around 40 years ago. I am sure her recounting of her recollections is sincere, but she must have misunderstood the last thing I said to her. She said she didn’t want an acquaintance with me. That no, on top of so many noes from others, impelled me to express despair; she seems to have misconstrued that as a demand.

    Betsy S, I regret that this misunderstanding caused you distress. I never intended to demand anything of you. I only ever wished you well.

    We have nothing to add, except perhaps that we perceive some lack of sensitiveness in making an accusatory statement about something that happened 40 (forty) years ago, without the slightest attempt to elucidate things through dialogue first. #suicide

  4. Sign On The Door

    A certain sign on the door is another pretext people found to accuse Stallman of misogynism. No. Stallman never put that sign on his door. Someone else did, either as a joke or vandalism. Stallman took it down. #door

  5. Pleasure Card

    An ironic meme of the card.

    The dichotomy of “business vs. pleasure” is well known. Given Stallman’s inclination to play with words and even change the name of things to either oppose or mock established concepts, it’s highly probable that’s why he chose to called it a “pleasure card ” instead of the conventional “business card.”

    However, what some people complain about is not how he calls the card, it’s the “tender embraces” in it. Even though Stallman hands out these cards to men and women alike, some women find it highly offensive, to the point of calling it “sexual harassment.” For the sake of advancing sensible thinking and intellectual honesty, let’s stop hyperbolizing and recognize that it’s not.

    Fortunately though, not all women see it that way.

    The card is the result of Stallman’s inclination to playfulness in life. It’s
    recursive humor, something that hackers like. It’s recursive in that it is an example of what the card itself says: “unusual sense of humour.” It’s also a smart solution in case a woman would take it as an invitation to further conversations. In cases like that, the woman can either reject the card, take it and throw it away, or chose to never phone or email him.

    Admittedly, hugs and embraces are not exactly the same thing, but with the level of exaggeration we are witnessing these days, one cannot avoid wondering: if Stallman had started the Free Hugs Campaign, would he be accused of sexual harassment for that as well? #card

Claim #6 – Richard Stallman is an ableist #ableist

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “ableist” is an adjective that means treating people unfairly because they have a disability (= an illness, injury, or condition that makes it difficult for them to do things that most other people can do).[5]

For completeness, it is important to also look at what the same dictionary tells us about the meaning of the noun “people.” In this context, the definition that applies is the first: men, women and children. [6]

With those concepts in mind, there is no evidence that Richard Stallman ever discriminated against or mistreated people with disabilities.

The claim that he is an ableist is based on something he wrote in his website about a new noninvasive test for pregnant women that would detect fetuses with Down syndrome. However, the way he worded it came across as if he was referring to people already born, and it hurt some readers, specially those who had a family member with that condition.

That post was first published on October 31, 2016, captured by the Wayback Machine a few days later on November 7, 2016.

Various modifications to that initial post show that Stallman kept thinking about the subject and elaborated his writing accordingly. The next capture available at the wayback machine is from February 21, 2017, which shows some changes in the text. In a capture from June 12, 2017, we can see further elaboration of the text and a change in the structure of the article to divide lines of thought into different paragraphs, in an effort to present his position in the most clear possible way. That seems to be the last version as available on March 25, 2021:

31 October 2016 (Down’s syndrome)

A noninvasive test for Down’s syndrome eliminates the small risk of the old test. This might lead more women to get tested, and abort fetuses that have Down’s syndrome. [Archived]

According to Wikipedia, Down’s syndrome is a combination of many kinds of medical misfortune. Thus, when carrying a fetus that is likely to have Down’s syndrome, I think the right course of action for the woman is to terminate the pregnancy.

That choice does right by the potential children that would otherwise likely be born with grave medical problems and disabilities. As humans, they are entitled to the capacity that is normal for human beings. I don’t advocate making rules about the matter, but I think that doing right by your children includes not intentionally starting them out with less than that.

When children with Down’s syndrome are born, that’s a different situation. They are human beings and I think they deserve the best possible care.

It is important to consider that not everyone agrees that the best course of action is to abort a fetus with Down Syndrome or other disabilities. Furthermore, not everyone agrees with the dictionary definition of “people.” Many sustain that fetuses are complete human beings from the moment of conception; these positions condemn abortion under all circumstances.

To be sure, there are members of the free software community who hold different opinions on this and other matters. Should we engage in condemnation, punishment and name-calling when in disagreement? We don’t think so. In healthy communities, we must respect people’s right to state their views, even when we disagree.

On the other hand, studies show that abortion rates are high in Europe and the United States for cases of pregnancies diagnosed with Down syndrome. #ableist

Claim #7 – Richard Stallman is transphobic #transphobic

This accusation is so far-fetched that it almost elicits a piteous smile. It’s based on an essay (Archived) by Stallman in which he presents the results of his research on how to best refer to a person without specifying gender. In it, he argues that the use of the singular “they” is not the best choice for that purpose since it breaks the rules of grammar, and he demonstrates with examples how in some constructions it results in ambiguity. He comes out with a solution by coining the new pronouns perse, per and pers.

Contrary to the accusations, the fact that Stallman spent time and effort to find a solution that respects the wishes of people who do not identify as binary is evidence that he cares and is not transphobic. #transphobic

There are more of these sort of claims. We will be adding them as we progress with work in the website. Look for announcements in the updates page.

References and Notes

  1. Dutch paedophiles form political party. (Archived)
  2. Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard. (Archived)
  3. https://selamjie.medium.com/remove-richard-stallman-appendix-a-a7e41e784f88
  4. Definition of “ableist”. (Archived)
  5. Definition of “people”. (Archived)

[Meme] My Pleasure!

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They say there's 'business & pleasure'; I'm no businessman, so I gave 'pleasure cards'

RMS defamation

RMS libel

Summary: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols doesn’t seem to be bothered that he’s lying, using ZDNet to extend the reach of the defamation

[Meme] EPO Comp-LIE-A**

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GDPR compliance my ar**


Summary: The EPO breaks privacy rules and then lies about it to the government; European authorities are fine with it

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts