Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

  • Leftovers

    • A Smiling Sayonara from Private Equity’s Pioneers
    • Leaps of Faith

      To state that Jonathan Franzen ranks among America’s best novelists reliably provokes ire—especially on the Internet, where such ire is never in short supply. Nevertheless, his work has long been discussed in these terms, at least since his third novel, 2001’s The Corrections, the rare work of literary fiction that was both a critical and a commercial hit. Whether or not he is any good, let alone one the best novelists in the country, Franzen’s tidiest trick has been to force us to litigate his own excellence every few years.

      Franzen began his career in 1988, with The Twenty-Seventh City, and followed that experimental novel about St. Louis a few years later with Strong Motion, which established the themes that have concerned so much of his work: the environment, capitalism, faith. These novels share a self-conscious, postmodern sensibility and an ambition to probe deeply into the world—to use fiction to talk about reality. But it was The Corrections that saw this ambition most fully realized; abandoning the earlier works’ hyper-exuberance for a more realistic mode. His follow-up, 2010’s Freedom, trod the same territory as its predecessor—an exploration of sexuality, morality, money, and power through the lens of family bonds; easy to read, indeed, difficult to put down.

    • FAA Suggests Steps to Improve Aviation Safety in Alaska. Some Experts Say They’re Not Enough.

      Recommendations released last week by the Federal Aviation Administration to improve aviation safety in Alaska represent a significant step forward but fall short of what’s needed to reduce the state’s fatal crash rate, aviation experts say.

      The FAA Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative, or FAASI, released its final report Thursday, encouraging the agency to focus its efforts on bolstering the availability of weather information for pilots flying in the state, increasing use of safety technology and improving FAA policies for flying with cockpit instruments.

    • Education

      • 5 Reasons Going To Grad School Isn't Worth It Anymore

        Speaking of minimum wage jobs: this academic upselling has gotten so bad that statistics show that 45% of recent MA graduates working in their chosen field can't even manage to pay off the interest on their student loans, let alone the loans themselves. As a result, graduate programs now destroy as many careers as they make. The crippling debt eventually forces countless alums to sacrifice their dreams for a steady paycheck of corporate or teaching positions barely related to their fields of expertise.

      • So You Want to Write a Technical Book

        If you’re knowledgeable in a technical field, writing a book to teach others a few things can be a rewarding experience on many different levels. With the many avenues available for self-publishing these days, an important question to ask yourself is “Do I need a publisher?”. The answer depends on your particular situation and your particular set of skills. In the twenty years that I have been writing books, I have taken both routes, and this post is a collection of the many things I have learned along the way.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • DOJ Will Ask Supreme Court to Place Stay on Texas's 6-Week Abortion Ban
      • Opinion | Activists Should Continue to Fight for National Single Payer Rather Than Taking Cues From the Democratic Party

        It is a mistake for activists to once again allow Democratic politicians corrupted by big money to determine the nature of the struggle for single-payer Healthcare. We must have a strong fight on the national level in order to win this. Otherwise, we are abandoning a struggle that has strong public support and giving Congress a free pass to do nothing.

      • Corporate Democrats' Toothless Drug Pricing Alternative Is a Coup for Big Pharma
      • Pediatrician Welcomes Imminent Approval of COVID Vaccine for Kids 5-11 Amid Opposition to Mask Mandates

        The Biden administration is launching a national vaccination campaign for about 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11. The vaccine will be two doses and one-third as potent as the one being given to people over the age of 12. An independent panel is set to offer a recommendation to the FDA that evaluates the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in late October. We’re joined by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, pediatrician and co-chair of the Protect Michigan Commission, to speak more about the rollout of the vaccine for kids. “It’s really important, if we want to go back to normal, for our kids to get this vaccine,” says Dr. Hanna-Attisha. “We need all hands on deck to improve our vaccination rates.”

      • “Racism Plays a Major Part”: Like in Flint, Lead Pipes Leave Benton Harbor, Michigan, with Toxic Water

        Residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, are calling for immediate action on replacing the city’s lead pipes, which have endangered their drinking water. Since 2018, tap water in the predominantly Black city has contained lead levels up to 60 times the federal limit. Yet government officials have only addressed the toxic contamination as an urgent crisis in recent days. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who exposed a similar water crisis in the neighboring city of Flint, sees parallels between the two emergencies. “Every day that goes by when there is lead in the water is one day too long for the children of Benton Harbor,” she says. Reverend Edward Pinkney, president of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, emphasizes that racism plays a major role in the government’s slow response. He says, “Since it’s Benton Harbor, a Black city, they figure this can continue.”

      • Lead Pipes Leave Benton Harbor, Michigan, With Toxic Water
      • Funeral Rites for COVID Zero

        Then came mutations and variants. Delta became the word mentioned like a terrorist saboteur, placing bombs under the edifice of the health system. The pro-market factions within governments receptive to using lockdown formulas could claim that harsh stay-at-home rules were not working. It was time to open up the economy; time to live with the virus, and, consequently, a good number of deaths. It was time for the epidemiologists to do more modelling.

        A crucial factor to this was the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines and the acceleration of vaccination programs.€  Studies showing how increased vaccination coverage would reduce cases of COVID-19 and precipitate a fall in hospitalisation began to catch the attention of policy makers.€  One, a preprint and yet to be peer-reviewed paper from August, looked at the effects of vaccination coverage among the 112 most populous counties in the United States.€  It found that a 10 percent increase in vaccination coverage could be associated with a 28.3 percent decrease in the rate of hospitalisation and a 16.6 percent decrease in COVID-19 hospitalisations per 100 cases.

      • Despite Outcry, Japanese Prime Minister Urges Swift Release of Fukushima Wastewater Into Sea

        "Japan's decision was made without enough consultation with the neighboring nations."

      • Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 7: Are there positive studies that aren’t fraudulent?

        I’ve long been saying that ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, so much so that I have to say now that ivermectin is no longer new, even as I speculate what new “miracle cure” for COVID-19 will become the “new ivermectin”. Readers might remember that, very early in the pandemic, hydroxychloroquine, a widely used antimalarial drug with mild immunosuppressive properties that make it also useful to treat some autoimmune diseases, was€ seized upon€ as the (then) only effective treatment for COVID-19 based on reported observations in Wuhan, China during the first major outbreak. There, a group of Chinese researchers reported that none of a group of their 80 patients with lupus erythematosus who were taking hydroxychloroquine went on to become infected with SARS-CoV-2. Based on that very thin gruel, hydroxychloroquine for a time became part of the de facto standard of care around the world, including in one of the hospitals that I practice at. The devotion to hydroxychloroquine spread, thanks to promotion by Dr. Oz, then-President Donald Trump, and a veritable rogues’ gallery of quacks, and it took a long time for the evidence to catch up and kill it. There was a reason why I called hydroxychloroquine the€ Black Knight of COVID-19 treatments, because no amount of evidence appeared able to kill it, until it did. Even so, a year later there remains a€ contingent of quacks who still promote it€ not just as a treatment but as a preventative.

      • Anti-Vaxxers and Climate Change Deniers: Living in a Post-Fact World

        Do facts matter? We are in the midst of a credibility revolution. Donald Trump’s presidency and his questions about the results of the 2020 election are an example of what can be confirmed factually and what we should all agree upon.

        Our era has been labelled “Post-Fact, Post-Truth.” Who really killed John F. Kennedy? Did a hijacked plane really hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001? There is plenty of evidence on both sides of the two questions to raise skepticism about definitive answers.

      • Opiates and Social Media Are Symptoms, Not Causes

        I don’t think they are. Are they good for you? They can be, when used appropriately. Are they being abused? Yes, clearly. But I think the problem is ultimately what Hari talks about in his book. It’s the lack of something bigger than the drug or social media in peoples’ lives.

      • Toxic 'forever chemicals' are everywhere. The EPA has a new plan to crack down.

        On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a three-year initiative to regulate PFAS and restrict their use. U.S. manufacturers still use the chemicals, and public water systems are not required to monitor for any PFAS.

        PFAS are known as "forever chemicals" because they never break down and remain present in the human body. The chemicals seeped into the groundwater around the Warminster naval base for decades, according to the EPA.

      • Most resistance-causing mutations in TB have now been identified

        More than a dozen antibiotics and other drugs are used to treat TB. But strains of M. tuberculosis that are not susceptible to one or more of these have emerged and are spreading at an alarming rate. Nearly 500,000 of the 10m cases of tuberculosis in 2019, for example, were drug-resistant. Good news, however, emerged on October 19th, when the Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis International Consortium (CRyPTIC, for short), an international collaboration that has been searching for quick ways to diagnose resistant strains, published the fruits of its labours. The result of the consortium’s analysis of more than 15,000 samples from patients in 27 countries is a way of detecting any and every resistance-inducing mutation in a particular bacterium’s genome.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Cyberattackers strike payday as ransomware attacks increase tenfold [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Ransomware has emerged as one of the defining cybersecurity threats of 2021, witth attacks increasing tenfold over the past year and the trend set to continue as cyberattackers see lucrative paydays from ransomware operations.

          That’s the view of security solutioms provider Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs ahead of Australian Cyber Week (25-29 October 2021) and CERT New Zealand’s Cyber Smart Week (18-24 October 2021).

        • Want a fully specced-out MacBook Pro? You’ll have to pay more than $6,000

          And if you want to buy the absolute highest-end model, with 64GB of unified memory, 8TB of SSD storage, a 140W USB-C power adapter, and the M1 Max chip, that will cost you a cool $6,099, according to Apple’s online store.

        • Apple Drops Intel in Biggest MacBook Pro Overhaul in Years

          The company showcased the chips at an event Monday called “Unleashed” that also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70% faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution.

        • Apple drops Intel in biggest MacBook Pro overhaul in years

          The chips include 10 total CPU cores — the components that handle processing — up from the eight in the M1 chip. The 10 cores are split into eight high-performance cores and two cores for tasks that require less energy. That compares with four high-performance and four low-performance cores in the M1.

        • Apple Ditches Intel Chips for MacBook Pro With Lineup Featuring M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max

          Apple has nixed all of the Intel MacBook Pro models from its MacBook Pro lineup, with the prior-generation Intel i7 and i9 machines now discontinued.

          All of Apple's MacBook Pro models now feature M-series chips as the company continues to phase out Intel chips. That means Apple's entire portable notebook lineup (the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) is Intel-free and running Apple-designed chips.

        • Security

          • Microsoft's very bad year for security: A timeline

            So far, 2021 has proved to be somewhat of a security annus horribilis for tech giant Microsoft, with numerous vulnerabilities impacting several of its leading services, including Active Directory, Exchange, and Azure. Microsoft is no stranger to being targeted by attackers seeking to exploit known and zero-day vulnerabilities, but the rate and scale of the incidents it has faced since early March has put the tech giant on its back foot for at least a moment or two.

            What follows is a timeline of the significant security events that have afflicted Microsoft in 2021, why it remains susceptible to serious vulnerabilities and attacks, and an assessment of its response according to experts from across the cybersecurity sector.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Hacking the World – Part 3: The Hackers and the Hacked
            • Many Digital Divide 'Solutions' Make Privacy And Trust A Luxury Option

              We've noted a few times how privacy is slowly but surely becoming a luxury good. Take low-cost cellular phones, for example. They may now be available for dirt cheap, but the devices are among the very first to treat consumer privacy and security as effectively unworthy of consideration at that price point. So at the same time we're patting ourselves on the back for "bridging the digital divide," we're creating a new paradigm whereby privacy and security are something placed out of reach for those who can't afford it.

            • Study Shows How Android Phones Still Track Users, Even When 'Opted Out'

              We've frequently noted that what's often presented as "improved privacy" is usually privacy theater. For example researchers just got done showing how Apple's heavily hyped "do not track" button doesn't actually do what it claims to do, and numerous apps can still collect an parade of different data points on users who believe they've opted out of such collection. And Apple's considered among the better companies when it comes to privacy promises.

            • Facebook introduces controls for kids. Is it enough?

              Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, a watchdog for the children and media marketing industry, said that he doesn’t think introducing controls to help parents supervise teens would be effective since many teens set up secret accounts any way. He was also dubious about how effective nudging teens to take a break or move away from harmful content would be. He noted Facebook needs to show exactly how they would implement it and offer research that shows these tools are effective.

            • Bugs in our Pockets: The Risks of Client-Side Scanning [warning for PDF]

              Our increasing reliance on digital technology for personal, economic, and government affairs has made it essential to secure the communications and devices of private citizens, businesses, and governments. This has led to pervasive use of cryptography across society. Despite its evident advantages, law enforcement and national security agencies have argued that the spread of cryptography has hindered access to evidence and intelligence. Some in industry and government now advocate a new technology to access targeted data: client-side scanning (CSS). Instead of weakening encryption or providing law enforcement with backdoor keys to decrypt communications, CSS would enable on-device analysis of data in the clear. If targeted information were detected, its existence and, potentially, its source, would be revealed to the agencies; otherwise, little or no information would leave the client device. Its proponents claim that CSS is a solution to the encryption versus public safety debate: it offers privacy—in the sense of unimpeded end-to-end encryption—and the ability to successfully investigate serious crime.

              In this report, we argue that CSS neither guarantees efficacious crime prevention nor prevents surveillance. Indeed, the effect is the opposite. CSS by its nature creates serious security and privacy risks for all society while the assistance it can provide for law enforcement is at best problematic. There are multiple ways in which client-side scanning can fail, can be evaded, and can be abused.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | The Pundits Who Want to Give James Bond a License to Kill... the Chinese

        On Sunday morning I woke up to, not one, but two editorials lamenting the fact that Hollywood hasn't yet granted James Bond the license to kill Chinese people.€ € Foreign Policy, the prestigious publication catering to global power influencers, published an essay by James Crabtree headlined "New Bond Can't Take On Beijing's Supervillains." Crabtree, a Foreign Policy columnist and the executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies-Asia, thought Daniel Craig's final outing as 007 suffered from "melodrama and incoherent action." He has a solution:

      • As CIA Ramps Up Anti-China Actions, Why Doesn’t Congress Oppose Biden’s “New Cold War”?

        We speak with Ethan Paul, a former reporter with the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong who is now with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. China’s military revealed last week that it had conducted beach landing and assault drills in the province across from Taiwan. This comes as the CIA has set up a new mission center focused solely on China. CIA Director William Burns has described China as “the most important geopolitical threat facing the United States.” Paul says there has been almost no “meaningful dissent among Democrats” in Congress about “the need to make sure that we don’t let this beast run out of control.”

      • Top Trump Fundraiser Boasted of Raising $3 Million to Support Jan. 6 “Save America” Rally

        As much as $3 million may have been raised to support the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., that preceded the attack on the Capitol, according to interviews and documents reviewed by ProPublica, with some money flowing to Republican dark-money groups that helped bring crowds to the event.

        Caroline Wren, a former top fundraiser for the Trump campaign, managed distribution of some of the money raised to support the rally. She told one associate that she sent funds to a number of political organizations backing the event.

      • Colin Powell, Who Helped George W. Bush Lie Nation Into Iraq War, Dead at 84

        Colin Powell, the former U.S. Secretary of State who helped President George W. Bush under whom he served to sell the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the United Nations and the American people, has died at the age of 84.

        According to the New York Times, "He died of complications from Covid-19, his family said in a statement. He was fully vaccinated and was treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his family said."

      • Colin Powell's Own Staff Had Warned Him Against His War Lies

        In the wake of WMD-liar Curveball’s videotaped confession, Colin Powell was demanding to know why nobody warned him about Curveball’s unreliability. The trouble is, they did.

      • Colin Powell, Who Helped George W. Bush Lie Nation Into Iraq War, Dies
      • Nicaragua is the Exception: Letter to a Cynic

        “I know, right?” I replied.

        “No, I mean it’s actually unbelievable,” he wrote back. “For cynical people like me, our faith in humanity has been undermined. The story of a government really looking after ordinary people is too good to be true.”

      • Is Trump’s Violent Dishonesty Inexorable?

        Reflecting on it now, I remember that many people acted with surprise when Trump’s supporters staged a violent insurrection on January 6th, and others asked me, “how did you see this coming, you’ve been writing about it for months?” Before the election I wrote “Be Prepared to Defend Democracy” and punctuated the warnings: “It is up to us to protect our rights and freedoms. We know that nonviolence can bring down dictators. A people united are stronger than Donald Trump and his terrorist thugs. We have a democracy if we can keep it, let’s all do our parts.” In many ways we have failed to make the defense.

        Matthew Shepard’s murder was slow and agonizing; on October 7, 1998, he was tied to a fence after being severely beaten. The image of the horror that I can never forget is that he was initially discovered by a passing cyclist who had mistaken his body for a scarecrow, and the officer who responded noted that only interruption to his blood-caked-face was two streaks that had been washed clean by his hours of crying. This is now the pathway of the slow painful death our democracy is on if we continue ignoring the emergency.

      • 'Needlessly Provocative': Austin Rebuked for Again Opening NATO Door to Ukraine and Georgia

        Anti-war advocates on Monday warned that U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin would be making a dangerous strategic blunder if he suggests that Ukraine and Georgia have a welcome mat toward full integration into the NATO military alliance—a move critics say would dramatically increase the risk of war between Washington, D.C. and Moscow.

        "Keeping the 'door' open to NATO expansion antagonizes Russia, and it strings Ukraine and Georgia along for no good reason."

      • Biden admin to build intelligence-gathering cell to track groups of migrants headed north

        The new cell, to be operational by the end of the month, would supply the agency with “indications and warnings” of possible migrant surges by collecting intelligence from DHS personnel in Central and South America, seek to establish aerial surveillance of trucks and migrant camps massing on borders and increase communication with the U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement agencies in other countries, according to the planning document.

      • Nigeria jihadist infighting kills scores in Lake Chad

        Infighting between Nigeria's two major jihadist factions has left scores dead, raising the possibility of a prolonged internecine conflict between the two forces, civilian and security sources told AFP Tuesday.

        Islamic State West Africa Province or ISWAP has emerged as the dominant faction in Nigeria's conflict, especially after the death of rival Boko Haram commander Abubakar Shekau in May during infighting between the groups.

      • Taliban Committed War Crimes, Report Says

        Reports from Amnesty International claim that they had found evidence of the Taliban murdering thirteen people from the ethnic Hazara community including a teenage girl. The event took place in August in the province of Daykundi. The Taliban called the report “one sided” and denied the allegations. The Hazara make up the third largest ethnic community in Afghanistan and have long faced discrimination and persecution from the predominantly Sunni community.

      • Germany: Ex-Muslims demonstrating in Cologne against the call of the muezzin allowed by the municipality were threatened by Muslims in front of the mosque

        Imperto-Ghasemi also reports that demonstrators were directly threatened over the weekend. Individual demonstration members would therefore also file a complaint with the police on Monday ( October 18). “I am sure that I will also be threatened,” says Imperto-Ghazemi.

        When asked about the fact that church bells are also ringing in Cologne, the journalist says: “Church bells are only a sound and cannot be compared to the muezzin’s call. The words that are shouted there are not compatible with an open society.” Another large demonstration in front of the central mosque is planned for the coming days. However, it is not yet clear when this will take place.

      • France to Vote on the Great Replacement of Western Civilization

        Bfmtv interviewed Fewzi Benhabib, a resident of Saint-Denis. Since his arrival from Algeria 25 years ago, he found in France the ideology from which he was fleeing in his former country "For the Islamists, it is a question of Islamizing modernity, not modernizing Islam."

      • What is China’s new hypersonic glide vehicle?

        Glide vehicles work differently. They are also lofted on a rocket but either get released in the upper atmosphere, before they ever get into space, or re-enter very quickly. Their design, with a high lift-to-drag ratio, means that they can then glide, unpowered, much farther than the re-entry vehicle of a normal ICBM warhead. They stay lower than either ICBM or orbital systems—thus hiding better from radar—and can take long and convoluted routes that avoid ground-based missile defences.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Opinion | Climate Cassandra: Seeing the Future When No One Believes You

        For decades, I kept a poster on my wall that I'd saved from the year I turned 16. In its upper left-hand corner was a black-and-white photo of a white man in a grey suit. Before him spread a cobblestone plaza. All you could see were the man and the stones. Its caption read, "He stood up alone and something happened."

      • Opinion | Here's the Message: No Climate, No Deal
      • Green Public Spending a 'Win-Win Opportunity' for Climate and Workers, Global Study Shows

        As congressional Democrats reassess the Build Back Better Act's climate provisions after right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, an unabashed coal profiteer,€ vowed to gut a key clean electricity program, new research out Monday confirms that green public spending yields more jobs than unsustainable investments—for Manchin's constituents in West Virginia and for workers around the world.

        "Continuing to funnel money to unsustainable infrastructure rather than green infrastructure doesn't make sense for the climate, but it also doesn't make sense for workers."

      • ‘Ecocide’: Climate lawyers say Amazon deforestation is a crime

        A group of climate lawyers called Tuesday for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into Brazil’s president for possible crimes against humanity over his administration’s Amazon policies.

        The AllRise group filed a dossier with the global court alleging that Jair Bolsonaro’s administration is responsible for a “widespread attack on the Amazon, its dependants and its defenders” that affects the global population.

        The call comes less than three weeks before the United Nations’ 26th Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as the COP26, starts on Oct. 31 in Glasgow.

      • Manchin Obstructs Climate Progress as His Family Is Hit by “Unbelievable” Storms
      • It's Joe Manchin vs. the World, and Manchin Is Winning
      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • 'Policy of Death': Amazon Guardians Sue Ecuador's President Over Oil, Mining Decrees

          In a bid to halt what one Indigenous leader called a "policy of death," communities from Ecuador's Amazon region on Monday sued the country's right-wing president, who is planning a major expansion of fossil fuel extraction and mining that threatens millions of acres of pristine rainforest and the survival of native peoples.

          "President Guillermo Lasso intends to impose an extractive agenda and sacrifice the lives of thousands of Indigenous families who inhabit these territories."

        • 'Half-Measures Are No Longer Enough': Haaland Urged to Sign Order to Halt Extinction Crisis

          Noting that a million species around the world face extinction in the near future, more than 100 conservation groups on Monday implored U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to issue a secretarial order "that sets concrete action" to "stem the extinction crisis and restore abundant wildlife and plant populations" worldwide.

          "Our leaders need to commit to doing everything they can to save life on Earth."

        • Could Property Law Help Achieve ‘Rights of Nature’ for Wild Animals?
        • Reconciling God with Wild Animal Suffering

          One of the more interesting responses to my query on this problem of evil€ came from philosopher Thomas Jay Oord. He argued God wasn’t all powerful. It seemed like such a straightforward solution to so many age-old theological dilemmas, I was surprised more people haven’t taken it up. I’m pretty ignorant of religious debates, but I gather Oord’s is a heterodox view.

          “I don’t think God can prevent suffering singlehandedly,” Oord said. “Simply can’t. I think God loves every creature, large and small, complex and simple. And God wants all to flourish. But God can’t prevent the evil of the world, whether done by humans or animals. So God’s not culpable for failing to prevent animal suffering.”

        • Stop the Deforestation Madness

          In that time, over four decades now, the propaganda produced by the private-public partnership that created modern industrial logging after the end of WWII, has kept pace with the expanded use of heavy machinery to extract and process logs. There’s plenty of blaming others for causing “illegally deforested land around world,” and finger-pointing directed at domestic forest activists, but never constructive self-criticism or reflection that might lead to change in forest practices causing deforestation here at home. Industry propaganda is repeated ad nauseam by industry flacks, active and retired U.S. Forest Service (USFS-USDA) agents and like-minded congressional members, who all sing in perfect unison from the same hymnal.

          Where we (most of us) see, experience and feel a forest, the timber industry and its partners in crimes against nature, see only “natural capital” as an engine to generate corporate profit. The more acres of nature converted to profit, the greater their bottom line. Measuring a forest’s value only in dollars is ceremonial cult worship. Propaganda (false narratives to divert our gaze away from clearcutting) manipulates public perception by distorting what’s really happening to public forests and the deadly effects on all local lifeforms.

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • Poverty Can Happen to Anyone

        The pandemic has been a crash course in hardship and downward mobility for millions of Americans. Whether they thought they had their lives “set” or were already struggling to get by, the arrival of the coronavirus suddenly added a lot of new households to the ranks of those scrambling to make the rent, pay the electric bill, or make three weeks’ worth of money stretch to the end of the month.1

      • Local Democrats Nationwide to Congress: 'Don't Come Home' Until Biden Agenda Passed in Full

        Democratic local and state lawmakers representing millions of people throughout the United States sent a clear message to congressional Democrats on Monday: "Do not come home until you have passed the FULL $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act."

        "Stop playing games and pass the Build Back Better Act for the American people."

      • Why Record Numbers of Workers Are Quitting and Striking

        Perhaps McGrath was inspired by Shana Ragland in Lubbock, Texas, who nearly a year ago carried out a similarly public resignation in a TikTok video that she posted from the Walmart store where she worked. Ragland’s complaints were similar to McGrath’s as she accused managers of constantly disparaging workers. “I hope you don’t talk to your daughters the way you talk to me,” she said over the store intercom before signing off with, “F**k the managers, f**k this company.”

        The viral resignations of these two young women are bookending a year of volatility in the American workforce that economists have branded the Great Resignation. Women in particular are seen as leading the trend.

      • 'Indefensible': US Billionaires Became $2.1 Trillion Richer in 19 Months of Pandemic

        American billionaires grew in number and expanded their collective fortunes by $2.1 trillion since Covid-19 sparked a worldwide pandemic nineteen months ago, according to a new analysis unveiled Monday.

        "Targeted tax increases on billionaires, including the proposed Billionaire Income Tax, would rebalance the tax code and reduce these glaring abuses in who pays for the services we all depend on."

      • US Billionaires Became $2.1 Trillion Richer in 19 Months of Pandemic
      • Fed Chair Jerome Powell Sold Over $1 Million in Stocks Right Before Crash
      • The Embarrassment of Riches

        They build enormous homes for everyone to gawk at. They throw lavish parties. They commission paintings, statues, biographies. They endow institutions so that their names can live on in granite forever.

        At the same time, the rich withdraw into gated villas, travel in their own private jets, and buy their own Picassos so that they don’t have to mix with the hoi polloi at museums. The rich want us to know about their wealth, but they also want to be left alone to enjoy it. They engage in an enormous game of peekaboo with the public. Now you see my wealth, now you don’t

      • Manchin Sparks Fury With Demands for Work Requirement, $60K Income Cap on Child Tax Credit

        Progressives responded with outrage following Sunday night's report that right-wing Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has told the White House that he would only support prolonging the expanded child tax credit—a key component of his party's potentially historic investment in improving social welfare—if it includes a work requirement and limits benefits to households with annual incomes under $60,000.

        "The White House needs to tell Joe Manchin 'no'... Six months of appeasement brings stuff like this that will guarantee Dem losses in 2022."

      • Opinion | Manchin's Native Con

        The legislative battle between progressives and moderates over the "Build Back Better" spending bill became increasingly personal this week. A West Virginia newspaper published an op-ed by Bernie Sanders in a not so veiled attack on Senator Joe Manchin's refusal to support the plan, declaring that its passage would "finally address the long-neglected crises facing working families and demand that the wealthiest people and largest corporations in the country start paying their fair share of taxes."In response, Manching put out a public statement proclaiming that "this isn't the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state"

      • Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve Board

        What we are seeing right now is a Federal Reserve Board that is doing the right thing in the face of the hysteria of its critics. The critics want to see it move rapidly to slow the economy so that they can again get good help cheap. Specifically, they would like to see the Fed end its quantitative easing program (buying bonds and other assets) and raise the short-term interest rate it controls, in order to reduce demand in the economy.

        Higher interest rates will slow the economy by making it more expensive for people to buy homes and cars, since they now have to pay a higher interest rate on their mortgages and car loans. Higher interest rates will also end a boom in mortgage refinancing that has saved homeowners tens of billions of dollars in interest payments. The arithmetic on this is straightforward. If someone had a $250,000 mortgage at 4.25 percent interest rate, and was able to refinance at 3.25 percent, they saved $2,500 on their annual interest payments by refinancing.

      • 'Just Cancel the Debt,' Advocates Say as Biden Admin Develops Strategy for Restarting Student Loan Payments

        "Student debt cancellation is a racial, economic, and inter-generational issue."

      • Occupy Wall Street With Author Michael Levitin - The Project Censored Show

        Michael Levitin is a widely-published journalist who in 2011 co-founded The Occupied Wall Street Journal.€  His work has been featured in numerous publications internationally from Bolivia to Berlin, as well as in the Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic and many other outlets. He is currently assistant professor of journalism at Diablo Valley College. His web site is

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Welcome to the USA
      • Biden’s Supreme Court Commission Was Designed to Fail

        The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States released its draft findings late last week, and, in a surprise to absolutely no one, the commission was skeptical of the idea of court expansion—or pretty much any other real reform to the Supreme Court.

      • Legacy Social Media: Free as in Beer, Not as in Speech

        Per Haugen’s theory, lack of “action” by social media platforms is the cause of social ills such as violence€  in Myanmar and Ethiopia. Because, as we all know, Myanmar and Ethiopia were oases of tranquility before Facebook came along and ruined everything.

        What kind of “action” Does Haugen advocate?

      • New Research Shows Social Media Doesn't Turn People Into Assholes (They Already Were), And Everyone's Wrong About Echo Chambers

        We recently wrote about Joe Bernstein's excellent Harper's cover story, which argues that we're all looking at disinformation/misinformation the wrong way, and that the evidence of disinformation on social media really influencing people is greatly lacking. Instead, as Bernstein notes, this idea is one that many others are heavily invested in spreading, including Facebook (if the disinfo story is true, then you should buy ads on Facebook to influence people in other ways), the traditional media (social media is a competitor), and certain institutions with a history of having authority over "truth" (can't let the riffraff make up their own minds on things).

      • Apple Gives Chinese Government What It Wants (Again); Pulls Quran App From Chinese App Store

        Apple has generally been pretty good about protecting users from government overreach, its recent voluntary (and misguided) foray into client-side scanning of users' images notwithstanding. But that seemingly only applies here in the United States, which is going to continue to pose problems for Apple if it chooses to combat local overreach while giving foreign, far more censorial governments greater and greater control.

      • Apple takes down Quran app in China

        The BBC understands that the app was removed for hosting illegal religious texts.

        The Chinese government has not responded to the BBC's request for comment.

        The deletion of the app was first noticed by Apple Censorship - a website that monitors apps on Apple's App Store globally.

      • Mark Zuckerberg Knows Exactly How Bad Facebook Is

        The words came across as weaselly and disingenuous at the time, but they sound even worse now. Thanks to tens of thousands of pages of internal documents provided by Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager turned whistleblower, we know that Zuckerberg was willfully lying about this and many other issues concerning his company. Haugen took these internal reports to The Wall Street Journal, which has published them in a lengthy series titled The Facebook Files.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • After Corbyn, Israel Lobby Turns Its Guns on UK Academia

        The Israel lobby appears to be readying for a campaign to root out leftwing academics in the UK critical of Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinian people – echoing its efforts against the previous leader of Britain’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn.

        As with the attacks on Corbyn, the assault on academia is being led by the Jewish Chronicle, a UK weekly newspaper that speaks for the most ardent supporters of Israel among the UK’s Jewish community.

      • Court Tells Arkansas Troopers That Muting Anti-Cop Terms On Its Facebook Page Violates The 1st Amendment

        When government entities use private companies to interact with the public, it can cause some confusion. Fortunately, this isn't a new problem with no court precedent and/or legal guidelines. For years, government agencies have been utilizing Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to get their message out to the public and (a bit less frequently) listen to their comments and complaints.

      • [Old] Does Freedom of Speech Include the Right to Offend?

        As artists, we have control over the message we want to share. I pitched this article to HowlRound just after Sony’s incident with The Interview and am now writing this article post Je suis Charlie. I can’t help but wonder had the production happened post Charlie Hebdo, would the TFANA conversation have changed? Are we now even more steadfast in our beliefs? I guess we won’t know until the next time as artists we are tested and held accountable. The idea of censorship is personal and emotional, and yet I can’t imagine living in a country where we risk loosing freedom of speech. In a microcosm of what is happening across the world, this year in Brooklyn we faced a test and reached a decision that was right for the production, the artists, and engaged our community. If we are going to take on the question of freedom of speech and the right to offend, our answer must be an informed one. It is our job as artists to open the door to start that conversation, which begins with a willingness to reach out.

      • Museums Post Nude Artworks on OnlyFans to Beat Social Media Censorship

        The tourism board in Vienna said the capital city is home to "some of the world's most famous artists [...] whose works pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in art and society at the time [...] so it hardly comes as any surprise to learn that some of their artworks fell foul of the censors over 100 years ago. [...] Major social media channels like Instagram and Facebook have nudity and 'lewd' content firmly in their sights." Adding: "Vienna and its art institutions are among the casualties of this new wave of prudishness," as the reason for posting "the capital's world-famous 'explicit' artworks on OnlyFans."

      • Vienna museums launch OnlyFans account to display 'explicit' artworks

        Now, these works and more of Vienna's "18+ content" can be found on full, unfiltered display on OnlyFans -- a subscription-based website best known as a platform for sharing and viewing pornographic content.

        The capital's tourism board said that Vienna is home to "some of the world's most famous artists [...] whose works pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in art and society at the time [...] so it hardly comes as any surprise to learn that some of their artworks fell foul of the censors over 100 years ago.

        "And the battle against censorship still rages on: with the rise of social media, bans like these are back in headlines once again. Major social media channels like Instagram and Facebook have nudity and 'lewd' content firmly in their sights."

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • EFF Joins Press Freedom Groups In Asking U.S. To Drop Assange Extradition Efforts

        The renewed request comes after a Yahoo News report that the CIA discussed kidnapping or killing Assange in 2017, before charges against Assange were filed. The agency also reportedly planned extensive spying on WikiLeaks associates.

        Assange has been charged under the Espionage Act. The charges have been widely condemned by journalists and press freedom organizations, including by outlets that have been critical of Assange. Leaks of information that the government would prefer to keep secret, and the publication of those leaks by journalists, are vital to our democracy. Regardless of what one thinks about other criminal charges against Assange, his indictment on charges that mostly reflect basic journalistic practices will have a chilling effect on critical national security journalism.€ 

        In January, a British judge denied the Trump Administration’s extradition request, on the basis that the conditions of confinement in the U.S. would be overly harsh. The U.S. chose to appeal that decision. A hearing on the case is scheduled to be heard next week. Human rights and press freedom groups, including EFF, first asked in February for the Biden Administration to drop the extradition effort.

      • After CIA Plot Revealed, Press Freedom Coalition Says DOJ Must Drop Assange Case

        "The actions laid out in the indictment are virtually indistinguishable from common practices in newspapers around the country."

      • Britain’s Guantanamo: is Julian Assange a terrorist?

        As Julian Assange prepares to face a British court for possibly the last time, threatened with up to 175 years detention in a US supermax prison, journalist Gary Lord explores the latest bizarre twists in the US effort to extradite the Wikileaks founder and the silence of global media.

      • Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Imprisoned In Communications Management Unit Designed For Terrorists

        This article was funded by paid subscribers of The Dissenter, a project of Shadowproof. Become a paid subscriber and help us expand our work.

        Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale, who pled guilty to violating the Espionage Act, was transferred from a jail in Virginia to a communication management unit (CMU) at United States Penitentiary Marion in southern Illinois.

      • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: British-Iranian aid worker loses court appeal in Iran

        Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was a project manager for the charity Thomson Reuters Foundation when she was was arrested in April 2016 after having taken her daughter to Iran to celebrate the Iranian new year and to visit her parents.

        Iranian authorities alleged that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was plotting to topple the government in Tehran and Iran's Revolutionary Guards accused her of leading a "foreign-linked hostile network" when she visited.

        She completed a five-year sentence in March this year, only to be slapped with a fresh one-year jail term for "propaganda against the system".

        She is one of a number of Western passport holders being held by Iran in what human rights groups condemn as a policy of hostage-taking aimed at winning concessions from foreign powers.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • How Not to Talk About Race

        An African-American friend describes the following scenario: “My son L. was invited to a neighbor’s seventh birthday party. When we arrived, the neighbor child introduced L. to the small circle of other children, all of whom were white; he did so in hushed tones, seemingly so that adults wouldn’t hear. ‘This is my friend L.,’ he whispered. ‘He’s Black!’ He said it with giddy pride, as though L. were an exotic prize, an unusual triumph, a trophy specimen.”

      • Beyond Bows and Arrows: Indigenous Radio in Texas

        It’s a gloomy, overcast Sunday evening in August, and Albert Old Crow pulls a collapsible crate on wheels that holds two giant CD binders from his maroon truck. Old Crow, 66, is host of the Beyond Bows and Arrows radio program in Dallas. He’s tall with long, graying hair tied into a low ponytail at the nape of his neck, dressed in a Head Start T-shirt and black basketball shorts, and holding a 44-ounce drink from Sonic. Old Crow, who is Cheyenne and originally from Hammon, Okla., has brought hundreds of CDs with him to the KNON 89.3 FM station, as he’s done every Sunday since October 1996. This story is published as part of a partnership between€ The Nation and The Texas Observer.

      • Biden Has Outpaced Trump's Use of Title 42 to Expel Asylum Seekers
      • Behind the ‘Uyghur Tribunal’, US govt-backed separatist theater to escalate conflict with China
      • Over 650 People Arrested in D.C. During Week of Indigenous-led Climate Action Calling on Biden to be the Climate Leader he Promised to be

        As€ environmental advocates€ from across the United States€ converged in Washington, D.C. last week to take part in the five day “People vs. Fossil Fuels” action, President Biden’s infrastructure package€ remained stalled, in part, by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s push to cut its largest climate measure.

        The series of fossil fuel protests were organized by€ a coalition of over 25 environmental groups known as Build Back Fossil Free, a poke at Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. Indigenous leadership in the fight against fossil fuels was forefront at the rallies.

      • Good Americans

        Under Hitler, Nazis became, as was promised, more repressive, politically punishing, and viciously racist, murdering leadership of the parties that had opposed them, the Communists—who had gotten nearly as many votes—and Social Democrats.€  With those parties decapitated, organized resistance ceased in a nation divided between a minority supporting Hitler and everyone else.

        What became of the will of that near two-thirds of Germans who had rejected Nazis and their Fuhrer?€  Prevailing American opinion has mistakenly regarded in naive wonder their complaisance, their utter passivity and their genuflection to, and public adulation of, their dictator.€  It’s as if most Americans have no idea what universally applied terror does.€  Of course, they haven’t.

      • Students in GA Protested Against Racism. Only the Black Pupils Were Punished.
      • LAPD Sees Your Reform Efforts, Raises You $20 Million In Bullets, Snacks, And Surveillance

        The Los Angeles Police Department is reform-resistant. This isn't the same as reform-proof, but more separates "resistant" from "proof" in this case than the misleading labels promising varying degrees of water resistance placed on watches and cellphones.

      • US universities ponder massive debt to Native Americans

        That recognition began growing over the past year, after an extensive analysis showed that 52 US universities – largely major public institutions – were built on land directly taken from Native Americans.

        That land, presented and long understood as gifts from federal holdings, has an estimated current value of nearly $500 billion (€£360 billion), according to the investigation led by a Native American journalist and a University of Cambridge history lecturer.

        Even Native American tribes were unaware of the foundational role of indigenous land seizures in the long-revered Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, and are still trying to sort out the implications.

      • Desperate Afghan parents are selling their kids to pay off debt as poverty levels deepen following Taliban takeover: report

        "Afghanistan pretty much faces universal poverty by the middle of next year," Wignaraja said. "That's where we're heading — it's 97-98% no matter how you work these projections."

      • The Taliban Is Just as Bad as It Always Was

        Of course the Taliban hasn’t changed. Despite its savvy public-relations operation, few believed that it actually would. But leaders in the U.S. and elsewhere had expressed hope, perhaps naively, that maybe the group’s priorities had. If the Taliban of 2021 was so intent on seeking international legitimacy, the logic went, then the West could feasibly retain a degree of leverage over it, which in turn could be used to ensure that certain basic rights—particularly those of women, members of ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable populations—would be maintained.

        This theory hasn’t come to pass. In the months since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, it has overseen a steady return to the pre-2001 status quo. Women, who previously made up a little more than a quarter of the country’s Parliament and 6.5 percent of its ministerial posts, have been excluded from the Taliban’s interim government. And despite assurances that women would still be allowed to work and study, many have yet to be invited back to their offices and classrooms, as their male peers have. In perhaps the most ominous sign of things to come for Afghan women, the building that was once the Ministry of Women’s Affairs has been repurposed to house the reestablished Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Taliban’s morality police.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Alder Lake May Break Some Games Due To DRM Tripwire But Intel Is Working With Devs

        To prep coders for the new era of computing on Intel hardware, the company published a guide primarily aimed at game developers, on how to optimize their stuff for Alder Lake. We covered many of the high-level details, except for one interesting tidbit—potential compatibility issues with Data Relationship Management (DRM), as Intel calls it (we call it Digital Rights Management around these parts).

        "If your existing or upcoming game uses a DRM middleware, you might want to contact the middleware provider and confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general, and the upcoming Intel ADL platform in particular," the guide states.

        "Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it might use CPU detection, and should be aware of the upcoming hybrid platforms. Intel is working with leading DRM providers such as Denuvo to make sure their solutions support new platforms," the guide continues.

    • Monopolies

      • Arm wrestling with Intel over open RAN as it sets up 5G lab

        Open RAN, it is fair to say, has some image problems. It is purportedly about supplier diversity, and yet Intel seems impossible to avoid. It is no more a priority than energy efficiency has become to the world's biggest operators, but those Intel chips are seen as power hogs in parts of the telecom industry. Reconciling these contradictions is awkward for open RAN enthusiasts.

      • U.S. bill would stop Big Tech favoring its own products

        The bill follows others introduced with the goal of reining in the outsized market power of tech firms, including industry leaders Facebook and Apple. Thus far none became law, although one, which would increase resources for antitrust enforcers, passed the Senate.

        Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley's bill would prohibit platforms from requiring companies operating on their sites to purchase the platform's goods or services and ban them from biasing search results to favor the platform.

      • Amazon accused of lying to House panel over business practices

        Five members of the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives made the accusation in a letter sent to Andy Jassy, the president and chief executive of Amazon on Monday. The company has not made any public statement about the accusations.

      • Patents

        • Why the hell are Democrats keeping your drug prices high?

          Here’s something else you can do: If you happen to be a constituent of one of these four Democrats, don’t vote for them when they’re up for reelection. Make sure they’re primaried, and then vote in the Democratic primaries for true public servants — who care more about advancing the public good than protecting private profits.

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa

          Most people would agree that those who are blind or visually impaired deserve all the help they can get. For example, the conversion of printed materials to accessible formats like Braille, large print, or Digitally Accessible Information System (DAISY) formats, ought to be easy. Who could possibly object? For years, many publishers did; and the reason – of course – is copyright. For example, publishers refused to allow Braille and other accessible editions to be€ shared between different countries:

        • A time of new beginnings and heartfelt farewells

          I wanted to welcome and introduce some new team members to our broader community, as well as publicly thank those for their service who have recently moved on to new and exciting opportunities.€ 

        • Filmmakers Withdraw Popcorn Time 'Blocking' Request After Google Shows Up

          Several movie companies have withdrawn a broad injunction request that would require ISPs and other Internet services to block access to the Popcorn Time app. The decision comes shortly after Google intervened. The filmmakers shouldn't be disappointed, however, as a Virginia magistrate judge is recommending an award of millions in copyright and trademark infringement damages.

        • Dune Leaked on Pirate Sites Before US Theatrical & HBO Max Release

          Dune is one of the most anticipated movies of the year and has already stirred controversy with the decision to launch in US theaters and HBO Max on the same day. However, that debate will now be placed on the back burner after a copy of the movie was leaked online. The release comes courtesy of EVO, the same group that recently leaked Netflix's 'The Power of the Dog' and 'The Guilty'.

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