Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Is Linus Trolling The Linux Community? - Invidious

        Linus and Luke (from Linus Tech Tips) recently published video number two of their "Linux gaming challenge". In this video, both men had some complaints about their Linux experience so far. Linus, in particular, had a lot of negative things to say. Here are some of my thoughts on their video.

    • Applications

      • Tux Paint 0.9.27 Open-Source Drawing App for Kids Adds New Ways to Draw, Other Updates

        Tux Paint 0.9.27 is here almost four months after the previous release, Tux Paint 0.9.26, and introduces new ways to draw to the popular children’s drawing program. These include no less than six new Magic tools, such as Panels for shrinking and duplicating drawings into a 2-by-2 grid like those used for four-panel comics.

        Other new Magic tools included in this release are Opposite for producing complementary colors, Lightning for interactiv drawing of a lightning bolt, Reflection for creating lake-like reflections on drawing, Stretch for stretching and squashing pictures, and Smooth Rainbow as a more gradual variation of the classic Rainbow tool.

      • 12 Best Free and Open Source OCR Tools - LinuxLinks

        Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the conversion of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into searchable, editable documents. OCR software is able to recognise the difference between characters and images, and between characters themselves.

        The use of paper has been displaced from some activities. For example, the vast majority of journeys on the London Underground are made using the Oyster card without a paper ticket being issued. We have witnessed talk of a paperless office for more than 40 years. However, the office environment has shown a resistance to remove the mountain of paper generated. Things have changed in the past few years, with a marked shift in the paperless office concept. Paper documents contain a wealth of important management data and information that would be better stored electronically. There is computer software that makes this conversion possible. The benefit of scanning documents is not purely for archival reasons. OCR technology is vital for gaining access to paper-based information, as well as integrating that information in digital workflows.

        The selection of the right OCR tool is dependent on specific needs. For some, online OCR services may be useful, but there are privacy concerns and file size limitations. This article focuses on desktop, open source OCR software that offer good recognition accuracy and file formats. We cover OCR engines as well as front-end tools.

        OCR software is not mainstream so open source alternatives to proprietary heavyweight software are fairly thin on the ground. Matters are also complicated by the fact that OCR computer software needs very sophisticated algorithms to translate the image of text into accurate actual text. The software also has to cope with images that contain a lot more than text, such as layouts, images, graphics, tables, in single or multi pages.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Setup C++/Qt SDK Programming Environment on Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri

        This tutorial explains how someone can setup C++ language and Qt Software Development Kit on Ubuntu 21.10 for doing software development that is world-class, full-featured, complete and crossplatform under free software licenses. For your information, Qt is the material that built professional computing software like Kubuntu, KDE and Telegram. With this tutorial you will get a full set of tools ready to use consisted of an advanced IDE Qt Creator, a GUI editor Qt Designer, a lot of code examples Qt Examples, an internationalization tool Qt Linguist and a documentation viewer Qt Assistant aside from the compiler G++ and the build tool QMake. Let's start!

      • How to Install Apache Cassandra on Ubuntu and Other Linux - It's FOSS

        Apache Cassandra is a free and open-source NoSQL database management system drawn to manipulate large amounts of information across many servers, providing high availability with no single point of failure.

        I am not going into the details of NoSQL database. I am going to so you how you can install Apache Cassandra on Ubuntu based Linux distributions.

      • SeaMonkey 1.1.19 compiled in EasyOS

        As I seem to have settled on Firefox as the main browser in EasyOS, I still want to keep a WYSIWYG HTML editor in the build, builtin. So, my mind turned to considering old versions of SeaMonkey... Looking at my old notes, the 1.1 series look good. Very old, version 1.1.19 was the last, released, I think, in 2010. The 1.1 series was the last, I think, that can be configured to build a standalone composer. But, then, with SM you get the browser and composer editor, both, for not much increase in size. So why not build the suite. The browser could be a substitute for the 'surfer' HTML viewer that I am currently using to view local help files in Easy.

      • How to install Proxmox? - Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to install Proxmox on a completely clean server. For this, then I will use a virtual machine but the procedure is simple and the same as on a real physical server.

        What is Proxmox?

        Proxmox VE “Virtual Environment” is a powerful enterprise-level virtualization platform 100% free and unlimited in its use.

        Of course, it has a license that allows us to obtain additional features that facilitate the administration of it. But in general, we can use it in many of our projects for free.

        Proxmox is essentially a Debian that adds KVM virtualization and Container-based Virtualization. Therefore the whole base is Free and this makes it possible for the final product to be free. How is it supported? The proxmox business model is based on training, certifications, and support and as I mentioned an enterprise license.

        One of the main advantages of Proxmox is that it has a JavaScript web interface. This has an intuitive design where all KVM clients, Linux containers, storage units, and clusters are displayed.

        So, let’s go for it.

      • Installing ArcoLinux on Windows 11
      • Removing ArcoLinux from Windows 11
      • Install ArcoLinux on Windows 11 on VirtualBox
      • Install ArcoLinux on Windows 11 on Vmware 16
      • How to dual boot Windows 11 and ArcoLinux
      • Dual booting Windows 11 encrypted and ArcoLinux on a laptop
    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Fixing a bunch of annoying bugs – Adventures in Linux and KDE

          This was a major bug squashing week, with quite a lot of annoying issues fixed–some recent regressions, and many longstanding issues as well.

          On the subject of bugs and recent regressions, I’m starting to think from a higher level about how we can prevent them. KDE has largely conquered our historical issues of excessive resource consumption and visual ugliness, and our next major challenge on the path towards world domination is reliability. One idea I’m toying with is starting an initiative to focus on the “15 minute bugs”–those embarrassing issues that can easily be found within just a few minutes of using the system normally. Here is a preliminary list of these issues in Plasma. I would encourage any experienced developers to try to focus on them! The impact will be very high.

        • KDE Squashes Many "Annoying" Bugs As It Works To Improve The Desktop's Reliability.

          KDE developers are trying to ensure the reliability of their desktop environment and thus they have recently begun a renewed effort on bug fixing. There is also talk of starting a KDE initiative focused on "15 minute bugs" for "embarrassing" issues that can be easily found within minutes. In any event, this week saw a lot of bug fixing in the KDE world.

          KDE developer Nate Graham in his latest weekly development summary outlined many of the bugs that were fixed and some of his initial thinking about the possible "15 minute bugs" initiative. Fixed this week included:

          - Fixing support so archives can be created using Ark's main user-interface.

          - Touch scrolling for the Konsole now works properly.

    • Distributions

      • IPFire Linux Firewall Now Supports exFAT, Boosts Intrusion Prevention System’s Performance

        IPFire 2.27 Core Update 161 introduces several new features, performance improvements, and some other important changes. For example, it brings support for the exFAT file system, support for the FriendlyARM NanoPI R2S open-source mini router, as well as Fast Flux Detection in the web proxy to proactively detect Fast Flux setups.

        Among the performance improvements included in this update, there’s a large increase of throughput for the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), allowing it to decide if the traffic from a certain IP connection needs to be seen or not and tell the kernel to bypass it.

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD on the VIA Eden X2 powered HP t510 Thin Client

          Back in 2017, I bought two used HP thin clients on a local auction site, the t5570e and the t510, both of them powered by VIA x86-64 CPUs. In this article, I will focus on the t510, which is the more powerful of the two.

      • Debian Family

        • Bullseye

          I just upgraded my Debian GNU/Linux server to Bullseye, 11. Except for a shortage of disc space everything went smoothly. It was my fault. I created a bit too small a / partition when I moved to a newer computer… I looked around and found gigabytes of cruft I could clear out to make things fit: obsolete compilers, files I was never likely to use and I deleted a few packages I was never likely to use. Did that from my smartphone while watching old news on CNN. Went to the console for the real work which took about ten minutes.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • VisionFive V1 RISC-V Linux SBC resurrects BeagleV single board computer - CNX Software

        Last summer we reported that BeagleV StarFive RISC-V SBC would not be manufactured, but all was not lost as StarFive would collaborate with Radxa to make a new single board computer based on their JH7100 dual-core 64-bit RISC-V processor.

        But thanks to a report on Heise and extra photos acquired by CNX Software, we now have more details about the board that mostly comes with the same features as the BeagleV StarFive, but a completely different layout that brings all the main ports to one side of the board.

      • A masterclass in over-engineering

        Twitter went wild for the Robot Arm Clock featured in the new issue of The MagPi. At the last count our tweet had 1.8K retweets.

        We also showed you how to make Dune’s Gom Jabbar test, and we enjoyed a little Chopin as we watched a piano control LED lights.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • BeagleV RISC-V SBC reborn as VisionFive V1

          StarFive revealed details about a “VisionFive V1” SBC (formerly BeagleV) that runs Linux on a StarFive JH7100 SoC with dual 1.5GHz SiFive U74 cores and a 1-TOPS NPU based on RV64GC RISC-V. The Pico-ITX SBC has up to 8GB RAM and 40-pin GPIO.

          In January, and Seeed launched an early access release of a BeagleV SBC (later referred to as the BeagleV – StarLight) that runs Linux on a RISC-V architecture StarFive JH7100 SoC with dual Cortex-A55 like SiFive U74 cores. withdrew from the project over the summer, and StarFive is now prepping an updated version called the VisionFive V1.

        • Converting a Fat Cat cushion into a controller for Final Fantasy XIV | Arduino Blog

          Mounts in the video game Final Fantasy XIV act like how cars or horses do in our world since they allow players to travel around the map much faster than would otherwise be possible. But even better, mounts are ways to express personality and have some fun, which is especially evident with the infamous “Fatter Cat” mount, as it got so widely beloved that Square Enix, the game’s publisher, decided to start selling a plushie version of it in their store.

        • Unsurv offline open source, privacy friendly GNSS receiver with ESP32 & NFC

          “unsurv offline is a privacy friendly, small and lightweight PCB based on an ESP32 featuring a high quality GNSS receiver, accelerometer, and NFC capabilities. Using a combination of onboard features and OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, unsurv offline helps you collect and analyze location data in a privacy-friendly way. Originally conceived to better understand offline video surveillance, this fully open source project is here to help you find and develop a variety of custom use cases.”

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open-Source Virtual Assistant Almond Renamed Genie

        Genie (and Almond) were designed as an alternative to Alexa, Google Assistant, and other common voice assistants. Stanford computer systems designer Dr. Monica Lam set up OVAL to create a decentralized virtual assistant that stored and shared information based on user preferences, without mandates from a company. Almond’s success led to discussions of a rebrand to go with making a commercial product out of the academic experiment. The group wanted to come up with a word that would be useful regardless of the language spoken, thus accommodating international users. The researchers considered other names, like Coco, Mario, and Nico, before settling on Genie as the best option, one unrelated to the Genie virtual assistant developed by Disney for its theme parks and resorts or Alibaba’s Tmall Genie voice assistant.

      • Programming/Development

        • [Old] Advantages of Functional Programming

          At present, functional programming is rather popular, and many imperative languages are adopting some FP concepts such as lambda functions, partial application (currying) and higher-order functions (map, filter, folding). Some of the adoptions blend seamlessly, but some make the syntax look rather weird and foreign. Nevertheless, a programming paradigm is an approach that exists in the programmer’s mind, and is generally not part of the language itself. To some extent, any language supports different paradigms, and its structures allow developing software in various styles. The question of whether it makes sense to develop software in the functional style can’t be answered easily, and each developer will answer it based on their preferences, capabilities of the language, and other considerations. We believe that using the functional style in imperative languages or, better still, the functional language, especially in combination with static typing, will help to improve many aspects of the code, namely: [...]

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • The fish shell is amazing

            I’ve been lurking the fish shell for a couple of years now (and the nushell but it is another story for another time). Not so long ago, I decided to try it, and it’s simply… amazing. If I had to state one feature that makes me like to use it, it’ll be the autocompletion, hands down. It’s the first time I just take a shell and without customization it’s pleasing to use.

  • Leftovers

    • Goodbye Shuffle

      These days a whole song let alone a whole album is hard to catch on. Songs often go viral based on ten-second TikTok clips. TikTok made me feel old for the first time. It was too fast for even a millennial like me. I heard an interesting critique of millennials from the left by some people from Gen Z which I thought was worth sharing. Millennials in their view were too focused on themselves. Millennials recognized the crisis we are in but ultimately longed for a capitalist life like their parents. The youngest people are always the most radical so it’s worth noting the continued evolution of revolutionary consciousness growing from anti-capitalist to collectivist as evidenced by the rise of mutual aid.

      Time itself is sped up these days. We have so much stimulus and little time for reflection. As time goes into hyper-speed it is space that is condensed amidst the stay-in-place nature of the lingering pandemic. At this point the pandemic is likely permanent for the poorest people in the world. For the rich space is condensed but for the poor space has spread out to chase capital as migration and delivery becomes key to a pandemic economy.

    • Who Is the University of Austin For?

      The University of Austin (UATX) was announced to great fanfare on Monday, November 8, on the popular Substack of former New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss. “We got sick of complaining about how broken higher education is,” Weiss tweeted that morning, “So we decided to do something about it. Announcing a new university dedicated to the fearless pursuit of truth.” Headed by Pano Kanelos, the former president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, UATX boasted a roster of prominent academics and journalists known for pushing back against what they see as the hegemonic culture of “wokeness” that has supposedly undermined free expression and intellectual inquiry at America’s leading universities.

    • Reclaiming a Lost Sense of Community

      “It” amounted to this: It was Wednesday afternoon, I had finished my column early and walked out to my car, parked in the alley behind my house. I was on my way to an art show — very excited. I got in the car — hmmm, why is it so cold in here? — began backing out, what’s that? It looked like there was something on my rear window. I got out, walked around back. Oh my God! My rear window has been smashed in! What I saw was a fragment of broken glass dangling in a corner.

      Was this a robbery? I had two umbrellas in the back seat; they were still there. Nothing had been taken. Apparently it was plain old idiotic vandalism.

    • All Together Now

      This lack of authority to enforce global agreements necessary to human survival also sadly weakens the fragile international institutions that are intended to help us get beyond the scourge of war, especially nuclear war, and beyond our third great challenge, global pandemics. As the courageous Greta Thunberg bluntly put it, it’s mostly “blah blah blah,” rationalizing a status quo that isn’t working.

      With nuclear weapons, military force has reached a level of destruction which contradicts its own professed goals. Let alone that the arms race has become grossly irrelevant to our environmental and health crises, though it can still extinguish us even more rapidly than eco-degradation or plague. The deterrence system represents the utter opposite of the universal Golden Rule of interdependence found in all the world’s great religions: if you try to destroy me you will die trying.

    • Malcolm at the Audubon Ballroom

      Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., who ordered the belated reinvestigation, made a meaningless apology that might be the understatement of all time: “This points to the truth that law-enforcement over history has often failed to live up to its responsibilities. These men did not get the justice that they deserve.”

      Aziz and Islam spent a combined 42 years in prison, as the€ Times€ notes, “with years in solitary confinement… in some of New York’s worst maximum security prisons.” And knowing and maintaining all the while that they were innocent.

    • Cuba: Five Years After Fidel

      In five years, particularly in the last two years, incendiary slang has been unleashed on social media and international media networks, whose target is not only the Cuban government. They want to erase any trace of Fidel Castro. Since the news of the Cuban leader’s death, there have been hundreds of tributes for him from around the world; but simultaneously, a bombardment of calumnies have been launched against his memory to try to transform into ruins the sovereign, popular and democratic project of the revolution that he led.

      To present him as the symbol of defeat and failure, he is shown as a lonely idealist who led Cuba to ruin. They charge all his actions (real or invented) with negativity and perversity to villainize him and paint him as deserving of outrage. There are those who cynically excuse themselves in demystifying.

    • A Food for Thought Thanksgiving Weekend Side Dish

      Most whites are ignorant of all manner of massacres, lynchings and assassinations, let alone the countless other aggressions required to enforce the race/gender/economic hierarchy for more than 500 years. So that is one factor. Noting, however, for the record, that almost all of the ignorance is of the willful kind. The result, that is, of leaving out the bad stuff on purpose.

      What’s more impactful, however, is what happens when the engineered obliviousness doesn’t work properly and whites somehow do have access to information. This is where we can learn a lot about the resilience of the white supremacy way of thinking. Current resistance to the 1619 Project is a good example of how it works.

    • Death in Texas
    • Dennis Cooper’s Love Story of a Lifetime

      George Miles, when he first appears as a character in Dennis Cooper’s debut novel Closer (1989), is beautiful, nervous, and eerily vacant. A high school acidhead, George is plagued with a psychic pain that is only exacerbated by the way other people treat him; his cute looks and hyper-passivity make him a target for a range of obsession, lust, and cruelty. There is, for example, his friend John, who wants to be an artist and tries to paint him, but George “twitch[es] and tremble[s] so much” he makes John think of “a badly tuned hologram”; instead, he uses George’s body as a “prop,” to imitate the pornography he’s seen. Another man, Philippe, develops a drastically more debasing sexual routine with George that makes him (and others who witness it) puke. Tom, a murderer, mistakes George’s ambivalence about being alive for a death wish; he spares his life but badly maims his body. Only George’s friend Cliff (a stand-in for Cooper) shows him anything like tenderness. Unable to tell George how he feels about him (he can’t utter something as clichéd as the word “love”), Cliff can’t really console him either. Instead he reports on George, “Now there was nothing between him and ‘it,’ as he called what he currently felt…. I’d never grasp it…. Saying so wouldn’t help.”

    • Hardware

      • How WD-40 Became Rust’s Worst Enemy

        For a little more than a decade, I worked in a loud, dark room. Threading film through projectors, running movies, and repairing the mechanical components of the machines made the hours just fly by. Two of the most vital tools at my disposal were my trusty 7/16 wrench and a big can of WD-40. It’s been years since I worked around that equipment, but I still vividly remember that strange smell and how the substance seemed like a miracle cure for those crazy machines. These days, it seems like everyone has a can of the stuff on their workbench. But WD-40 is a veritable modern American institution and in this time of constant turmoil, it’s always nice to know it’s there on the workbench to help us solve some problems. In today’s Tedium, we’re looking at the unique story of America’s favorite all purpose product: WD-40...

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Not a Border Crisis: Harsha Walia on Why It’s Time for a New Political Project

        In today’s interview Harsha reframes the border and shows that bordering is not simply a wall but an expansive, omnipresent regime, one that is connected to capitalism and colonialism and that has racist roots. In this sense, she points out three things to keep an eye on with regard to the Joe Biden administration, and argues for the importance of a no borders political project. As she writes in Border and Rule, “Like the regime of private property, borders are not simply lines marking territory; they are the product of and produce social relations that we must emancipate ourselves from.”

        We owe Harsha a great deal of gratitude since she answered these questions under much duress, surrounded by floods and mudslides after torrential, record-breaking rains drenched her home in British Columbia, Canada.

      • The Right Is Hijacking Progressive Arguments to Undermine Public Health
      • Rich Countries Blamed as New COVID Variant Sparks Global Alarm
      • 'It Was Entirely Avoidable': Rich Countries Blamed as New Covid Variant Sparks Global Alarm

        The detection of a new, heavily mutated, and potentially vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant in Botswana and other nations is sending shockwaves worldwide as public health officials rush to understand the strain and its possible impact on the global pandemic response.

        "There have been countless warnings that super-variants could emerge if we do not remove artificial barriers to global vaccination."

      • South African scientists detect new virus variant amid spike

        “Over the last four or five days, there has been more of an exponential rise,” he said, adding that the new variant appears to be driving the spike in cases. Scientists in South Africa are working to determine what percentage of the new cases have been caused by the new variant.

        Currently identified as B.1.1.529, the new variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong in travelers from South Africa, he said.

      • Who's a Hero? Some US States, Cities Still Debating COVID Hazard Pay

        When the U.S. government allowed so-called hero pay for front-line workers as a possible use of pandemic relief money, it suggested occupations that could be eligible, from farmworkers and child care staff to janitors and truck drivers.

        State and local governments have struggled to determine who among the many workers who braved the raging coronavirus pandemic before vaccines became available should qualify: only government workers, or private employees, too? Should it go to a small pool of essential workers such as nurses or be spread to others, including grocery store workers?

      • Instagram chief agrees to testify before Senate

        Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, will testify before the Senate early next month about the social media platform’s influence on children.

        The appearance in front of the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee is scheduled for the week of Dec. 6.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Your Fingerprint Can Be Hacked For $5. Here’s How.

        To compromise your device or account, we don’t even need direct access to your fingerprint. A photo of a surface you’ve touched (from a table at the local library to the equipment at your nearest gym) will do.

      • Proprietary

        • Finnish authorities warn of new wave of malware text messages

          Clicking on the link does not immediately install the malware, though. Users are asked to allow the installation. The malware may also steal data from the device and send more malware-spreading scam messages.

        • [Old] So we could use a little help with systemd-shim…

          One of the unique features of MX has been the ability for the user to choose between systemd and sysVinit on installed systems. The magic sauce that made that work is a package called systemd-shim. However, development on systemd-shim stopped some time ago, and Debian recently dropped the package from the Buster repositories.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Caught in ‘porn wars’: backlash over [Internet] censor going on anti-porn podcast

              Emails obtained through a freedom of information request reveal the fallout from Inman Grant’s interview on the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)’s Ending Exploitation podcast to talk about her office’s initiatives.

              NCOSE is a not-for-profit that under its previous name, Morality in Media, was one of the main fighters in the religious right push to ban pornography or forms of obscenity. In 2015 it rebranded, but has stuck to claims that pornography is a “public health crisis” and has been criticised for making claims about the harms of pornography that go against peer-reviewed research.

            • Fears about real agenda behind Online Safety Bill after US podcast

              Inman Grant was given broad-ranging powers in an Online Safety Bill passed by the Federal Government in June, including the power to order the removal of material from the Internet within 24 hours, if said material was deemed to contravene provisions of the bill.

              But according to the report, Inman Grant appeared to have not carried out any background checks before she appeared on the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation's (NCOSE's) Ending Exploitation podcast to explain initiatives undertaken by the office she heads.

            • Apple gets hit by its second fine by Italian regulators in a week

              Apple and Google have each been fined €10 million (around $11.3 million) by Italy’s competition authority for not properly obtaining a user’s consent before using their data for commercial purposes, the AGCM has announced. Both are accused of not correctly informing users when their data will be used in this way, preventing customers from being able to give their informed consent.

            • Political advertising rules fail to stop personalised manipulation of elections and referendums

              „The Commission fails to heed the LIBE Committee‘s call for banning the personalised targeting of political messages. The personalised manipulation of elections and referendums by exploiting the user‘s individual preferences and fears is a special class of online threat because it influences the core mechanisms that enable the functioning of our democratic society. Has the Commission forgotten about Cambridge Analytica and the surprise election of Trump for President? The integrity of elections and referendums is of general interest and cannot be subject to individual choices. The targeting of individuals based on their personality, including their behaviour, needs to be banned!“

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Michael Moore: A Memorial to the Terrorists - When the Terrorists Are Us

        Information Clearing House -- Eleven days ago on Veterans Day, while watching the cable news, I learned that our Congress, never missing a chance to ingratiate themselves with what they think Middle America wants — more money for the military, more flags flying everywhere, more fake patriotism and more pandering to the fake patriots — decided it was time to create a brand new national memorial on the already overcrowded National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol building. The memorial will be called “The Global War on Terrorism Memorial.” I’m not making this up.

        And what patriotic politician or red-blooded American wouldn’t be in favor of that!

        Well, me. I’m not in favor of it. And I hope you won’t be, either.

        A memorial to the victims, the brave Americans who’ve died in The Global War on Terrorism. Is this an Onion prank? An Orwell novel? Because my first question is — the victims of whose terrorism? The scattered actions of a few crazed Muslims?

      • 5 Georgia officers are indicted on murder charges in death of 24-year-old man

        Arrest warrants were issued Monday for five Georgia police officers indicted on murder charges for the 2019 killing of a 24-year-old man. Fernando Rodriguez died of asphyxiation after being placed in a prone position while he was handcuffed and held down, allegedly in violation of state law.

        The indictment accuses Henry County Police Department officers Robert Butera and Quinton Phillips and former Hampton Police Department officers Mason Lewis, Marcus Stroud and Gregory Bowlden in Rodriguez's death on September 20, 2019, following contact with police outside a concert at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

      • Prosecutor drops charges against officer in rare case of restorative justice mediation

        Criminal charges against a St. Louis County police officer who shot a Black woman were dropped Monday after the victim requested a restorative justice mediation that focuses on repairing the harm caused by an offense.

        The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said Ashley Fountain Hall asked that assault charges be dropped against former Ladue, Missouri, police officer Julia Crews, 39. The charges stemmed from a dispute that took place on April 23, 2019, outside a Schnucks grocery store.

        Crews mistakenly drew her firearm instead of using her Taser to restrain Hall and shot her in the torso, leading to critical injuries, the office said. Hall lost part of her spleen and suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder, prosecutors said.

      • Nashville DA Seeks to Vacate Claude Garrett Murder Conviction

        A reinvestigation of the case “dismantles every single piece of evidence previously believed to inculpate Garrett,” the director of the DA’s Conviction Review Unit wrote.

      • What Are The Prospects For Peace? An Interview with Finian Cunningham

        Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Second-time recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism (December 2020). His prolific output of excellent political analysis and commentary can be accessed at Strategic Culture Foundation, Sputnik News, andRT. His responses below are exactly as he provided.

        The questions here are not philosophical or abstract. They focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in the escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We also probe the role of everyday citizens in affecting the relationship the U.S. now has and will have with the rest of the world community.

      • Ethiopia Conflict by US Design

        The impact of the year-long conflict is devastating. Perhaps as many as three million people are internally displaced, tens of thousands have been killed; women and girls raped, property trashed, land destroyed, livestock slaughtered by TPLF fighters. At this stage it is difficult to see how a peaceful resolution can be reached; the government has said it will not enter into negotiations until the TPLF withdraws to Tigray, and the TPLF, in no position to set any conditions, are demanding Prime-Minister Abiy Ahmed steps down.

        The conflict was initiated when the TPLF attacked the Ethiopian State on 4 November 2020 (perhaps with US approval): despite this, the US and her puppets (UK, EU etc) have, to the incredulity of many, stood behind the terrorists and not the government of Ethiopia, or the Ethiopian people. It is widely acknowledged that the Biden Administration is behind the movement to replace the Abiy government, and install the TPLF – a less independent (the US doesn’t tolerate independent governments), more malleable group that, in exchange for the freedom to do as they like, will once again provide the US with a foothold in the Horn of Africa.

      • The Delusional Commitment to the Doctrine of “Full Spectrum Dominance” is leading the U.S. and the World to Disaster

        For both classical liberals like Fukuyama and neoconservatives who would rise to power during the George W. Bush administration, it was asserted that the societies of the U.S. and Western Europe should be viewed as representative of the apex of collective human development that all should aspire to because history and objective rationalism had determined it so, and – “there is no alternative.”

        But human societies, even when they are claimed to be guided by objective scientific laws, have never emerged as a tabula rasa. What develops at any point in history is the outcome of the social and economic contradictions of the previous era with many of those unresolved contradictions still present in the new era.

      • Congress Forces Weapons Spending the Pentagon Wanted Cancelled

        These four committees have repeatedly kept hundreds of millions of tax dollars gushing into the coffers of the world’s biggest weapons contractors — for weapons declared unnecessary by the military. The committees can even refuse to reject the savings recommendations without saying why. Donnelly wrote, “None of the four defense panels provided CQ Roll Call an explanation for forcing the Pentagon to keep spending money on particular initiatives.”

        “The Pentagon had said it does not need the $500 million-plus that was appropriated for the fighter jets, helicopters, ships, vehicles, and bombs made by four of its top five contractors” (Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman). But, Roll Call reports, “Congressional Appropriations and Armed Services committees, for reasons that none of them would divulge, insisted that the military spend the money anyway.”

      • From Anti-War Progressive to Pro-Drone Militarist: Tulsi Gabbard’s Odd Political Trajectory

        While many on the American left have denounced the acquittal of Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse as handing a get-out-of-jail-free card to racist militias, former Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard openly celebrated the verdict. “The jury got it right — finding Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges,” said the 40-year-old lieutenant colonel, adding that the prosecution was so obviously politically motivated and his innocence so obvious that bringing charges against him should be considered “criminal” in itself.

      • Why Don’t We See Headlines Touting the Pentagon’s Hefty Price Tag?

        Compare this to President Joe Biden’s proposed military budget expenditure of€ $753 billion€ for the 2022 fiscal year. According to the€ Security Policy Reform Institute, “This amounts to an increase of well over $12 billion, meaning that Biden boosted Pentagon funding by an amount roughly equivalent to CDC’s entire annual budget.”

        Extrapolating this figure over 10 years while accounting for the projected yearly increases—a good assumption considering that the military budget almost never loses its annual raise—predicts that American taxpayers will be footing€ almost $8 trillion€ on the “defense” slice of our budgetary pie in the coming decade.

      • Meet Mansoor Adayfi: I Was Kidnapped as a Teen, Sold to the CIA & Jailed at Guantánamo for 14 Years

        We speak with Mansoor Adayfi, a former Guantánamo Bay detainee who was held at the military prison for 14 years without charge, an ordeal he details in his new memoir, “Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo.” Adayfi was 18 when he left his home in Yemen to do research in Afghanistan, where he was kidnapped by Afghan warlords, then sold to the CIA after the 9/11 attacks. Adayfi describes being brutally tortured in Afghanistan before he was transported to Guantánamo in 2002, where he became known as Detainee #441 and survived years of abuse. Adayfi was released against his will to Serbia in 2016 and now works as the Guantánamo Project coordinator at CAGE, an organization that advocates on behalf of victims of the war on terror. “The purpose of Guantánamo wasn’t about making Americans safe,” says Adayfi, who describes the facility as a “black hole” with no legal protections. “The system was designed to strip us of who we are. Even our names were taken.”

      • Roaming Charges: Fear is a (White) Man's Best Friend

        Rittenhouse was there to help. But to help whom? From what? Rittenhouse came to the civil rights protests in Kenosha that night expecting to be needed. Expecting to be wanted. Expecting to be welcome. He also came expecting violence. What kind of violence? Perpetrated by whom? Not by the police.€ Rittenhouse felt safe where many others fear to tread–jaywalking down a street carrying a rifle in front of police, police who kill an average of three people a day for lesser offenses, safe enough to joke with them.€  He was one of them. Sort of. A junior police cadet back in Grayslake, Illinois. He didn’t fear them, even though the police had fired thousands of rounds of plastic bullets into dense crowds of protesters. Rittenhouse didn’t fear the Kenosha Guard, a militia group also armed to the teeth that night, whose geared-up members pointed laser-sighted guns at the crowd, hoping to incite a panic.

        Fear was in the air that night in Kenosha. And some found it intoxicating, including the pudgy kid in the Army green t-shirt, combat boots and ballcap, who came to Kenosha with an assault rifle and medical kit to help. He’d use one, but not the other. Did he also come to spread fear? To instigate the carnage, he planned to treat? “If there’s somebody’s hurt,” he said. “I’m running into harm’s way.” It turns out: He was going to hurt somebody. He was harm’s way running.

      • Opinion | Congress Needs to Investigate the Pentagon's Failure to Protect Civilians

        Pentagon leadership cannot — or will not — fix its civilian casualties problem. It’s long past time for Congress to step in.

      • Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg in the Metaverse

        Facebook, in particular, has been trying to push such a model using a tactic all companies in distress have sought to adopt: rebranding.€  Be it the scandals disclosed by the Facebook papers, the scrutiny over the use of algorithms by the company, the inability to combat galloping misinformation on its platforms, or the stark amorality of the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, the chance to seek the metaverse has presented itself.

        Enter, then, the world of Meta Platforms, aided by the virtual reality headset company Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion.€  Astute watchers then would have been the strategy afoot at the time; most, however, thought the decision misguided and destined to flop.

      • US History and its Ugly Truth

        Dunbar Ortiz, whose classic text An Indigenous People’s History of the United States details the history of that nation via the histories of the nations they encountered in North America and destroyed, begins her new book with a discussion of the Lin Miranda Broadway hit, Hamilton! The musical is based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founders of the United States, a slave trader and a proponent of continued expansion into indigenous lands by the new nation. The drama obfuscates the true nature of the United States by featuring Black and Latino actors playing white men and women and is scored to a hip hop soundtrack. By doing this, Miranda’s casting illustrates a key part of the immigrant myth dismantled in Not a Nation of Immigrants. That is, the US invites people from around the world into its borders, gives them opportunity and hope, and over time they become Americans, just like the English, German and other European settlers did in centuries past.

        Of course, this mythology is just that. In truth, there are other requirements to become a real American. Historically, foremost among those requirements was white skin. Despite the efforts of millions of US residents to end this (now) unmentionable requirement, the politics of our time prove almost daily that skin tone matters more than it should. The text describes the arrival of settlers and immigrants from different European nations—the Irish, Italians, Germans, and English—and the trajectory of each ethnicity as it traversed the path from non-white immigrant to white American. In discussing this social mechanism, Dunbar Ortiz describes the imaginary racial hierarchy based on skin tone and its concretization as fact by the most powerful (and in their minds, the whitest) men in the nation. It almost goes without saying that this whitewashing requires these migrants to dismiss the existence of those humans who lived on the continent before the first settler invasion. Likewise, each “new American” is also expected to forget the slave bodies that made up the wealth of so many of the families whose names are synonymous with their new country.

      • Carol Anderson on White Supremacy vs. Democracy

        This week on CounterSpin:€ What do we want? Multiracial democracy. When do we want it? Now. What stands in the way? White supremacy that has disregarded, derailed and violently defied that democracy at multiple turns.

      • Danish Navy kills four pirates in firefight in Gulf of Guinea

        Danish naval forces have killed four pirates during a firefight off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea.

        The Esbern Snare, a Danish frigate, came under fire in an incident yesterday, reports Forsvaret, the Danish armed forces.

        In returning fire, five of the assailants were hit – four fatally. No sailors on the Esbern Snare were injured.

      • American manufacturers race to relieve a pandemic-triggered ammo shortage

        Remington has been able to increase prices seven times. It has unfilled orders worth billions of dollars. Retailers of ammunition surveyed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a trade group, said they could have sold three times more ammunition during the first half of 2021 had it been available. Vista, Remington’s new parent, has infused working capital and increased the size of its workforce. The unit’s operating profits this year are expected to be similar to the $81m that Vista paid for the business. As for Winchester Ammunition, its revenues for the third quarter nearly doubled year on year, to $400m, and its gross operating profits nearly quadrupled.

      • Migrant smuggler 'butchers' must be stopped, victim's father tells France

        “I ask the French government to tighten their borders and stop those butchers. They are not smugglers, they are mafias. This is my only request.

        “Those boats that they are using are not made for that purpose. They treat those poor people like animals. Where were her human rights?

        “It is the role of the French government to have a strict procedure to stop those butchers to avoid further tragedies. And I hope our people stop even thinking about migrating using similar ways.”

    • Environment

      • Big Oil’s Big Lie About Who Caused the Climate Collapse

        The very problematic concept of one’s carbon footprint is the subject of Sami Grover’s new book, We’re All Climate Hypocrites Now. Who kicked the carbon-footprint-individual-responsibility-for-climate-change bandwagon into gear? None other than the guilty parties, the oil companies. BP to be exact. Fossil fuel companies love it when ordinary people blame themselves for the climate collapse, for an obvious reason: it gets them off the hook to keep raking in profits, receiving mega-subsidies from government and polluting the atmosphere with carbon without getting fined for it – as they would in any sane world.

        “BP’s championing of carbon footprints should be viewed not simply as a naïve and imperfect effort at corporate responsibility,” writes Grover, “but rather as a direct and calculated attempt to shape discussion of the problem in BP’s favor.” Oil companies, Grover notes “are actually all too happy to talk about the climate crisis. They just want you to know that it’s mostly your fault.” And they’ve succeeded remarkably with this subterfuge. Lots of people dither about eating a cup of yogurt when they could be joining Extinction Rebellion. Some benighted souls have even been hoodwinked into foreswearing children.

      • Tory MP Who Criticised Climate Action For Impact on World’s Poor Has Stakes in 18 Extractive Companies

        A Tory MP who suggested it is “morally wrong” to discourage poor countries from pursuing high-carbon growth on climate change grounds has a financial interest in numerous fossil fuel and mining companies.

        Among the 18 extractive companies listed under the MP’s entry in the parliamentary register of interests are Shell and the world’s largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger.

      • Climate tipping points: The Arctic is a bellwether for irreversible change

        Around the world, ecosystem tipping points loom as wildfire, human land use and biodiversity loss exponentially increase and magnify climate impacts. Expanding ocean dead zones, coral reef bleaching and rainforest loss are emblematic of system collapses — and are slowly combining to create global tipping points. There is very little time to alter the trajectory of Earth's ecosystems, halting climate-driven collapse. To protect the Earth's incredible diversity and stability, we must acknowledge that climate change is already permanently changing the planet — and we have little time to change course.

      • When Real Life Feels More Like Science Fiction

        Sadly enough, however, you can’t just blame Donald Trump and the Republicans for our increasingly endangered planet. After all, who needs giant Martians or monstrous human-destroying plants when carbon dioxide and methane will, in the long run, do the trick? Who needs aliens like Martians and Triffids, given the global fossil-fuel industry?

        Keep in mind that more representatives of that crew were accredited as delegates at the recent Glasgow climate-change talks than of any country on the planet. That industry’s CEOs have long been all too cognizant of climate change and how it could ravage this world of ours. They have also been all too willing to ignore it or even to put significant funds into climate-denial outfits. If, in 2200, there are still historians left to write about this world of ours, I have little doubt that they’ll view those CEOs as the greatest criminals in what has been a sordid tale of human history.

        Nor, sadly enough, when it comes to this country, can you leave the Democrats out of the picture of global destruction either. Consider this, for instance: After the recent talks in Glasgow, President Biden returned home reasonably triumphant, swearing that he would “lead by example” when it came to climate-change innovation. He was, of course, leaving behind in Scotland visions of a future world where, according to recent calculations, the temperature later in this century could hit 2.4 to 2.7 degrees Celsius (4.32 to 4.86 degrees Fahrenheit) above that of the preindustrial age. That, of course, would be a formula for destruction on a devastating scale.

      • Opinion | Why Big Oil's Pivot to Carbon Capture and Storage—While It Keeps on Drilling—Isn't a Climate Solution

        After decades of sowing doubt about climate change and its causes, the fossil fuel industry is now shifting to a new strategy: presenting itself as the source of solutions. This repositioning includes rebranding itself as a “carbon management industry.”

      • The Lesson Moby-Dick Has for a Warming World

        As an environmental historian and scholar of the 19th century, I spend a lot of time thinking about how the past can help us confront our current crises – especially climate change.

        And there’s a lot of help to be found in the 1800s, from the appreciation of wildness in Henry David Thoreau’s famous “Walden,” to the rise of ecology, the science of interdependence. “We may all be netted together,” Charles Darwin scribbled in his notebook.

      • Energy

        • The Big Industry That COP26 Failed to Tackle

          Lehner€ argues€ that most analyses exclude five unique sources of emissions from the farming sector: soil carbon (carbon released during the disturbance of soil), lost sequestration (carbon that would still be sequestered in the ground had that land not been converted into farmland), input footprints (carbon footprint for products used in agriculture, like the manufacturing of fertilizer), difficult measurements (it is harder to measure the carbon emissions of biological systems like agriculture than it is to measure the emissions of other industries that are not biological, like transportation), and potent gases (like methane and nitrous oxide).

          Regarding that last source: Focusing on carbon dioxide as the main greenhouse gas often ignores powerful planet-warming gases that are emitted by agriculture and that are even more potent than carbon dioxide. Methane, which is emitted by the burps and farts of ruminants like cows and sheep, has up to€ 86 times€ more global warming potential over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide (and also impacts public health,€ particularly in frontline communities). Nitrous oxide, a byproduct of fertilizer runoff, has€ 300 times€ more warming potential than carbon dioxide (and also€ harms plants and animals).

        • COP OUT 26
        • Opinion | California May Ban New Oil Wells Near Homes. Let's Eliminate the Existing Problem While We're At It

          A few months ago, the two of us joined California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom at the Boys & Girls Club in Wilmington to show her places where oil wells are poisonously close to where children play, learn and live. Then late last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom heeded the demands of frontline residents when he stood at this same site and€ announced a plan€ to€ prevent new oil drilling operations€ within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, playgrounds and hospitals.

        • Black Friday is causing toxic traffic jams at US ports and warehouses

          As millions of Americans rush to take advantage of Black Friday deals this weekend, the shopping spree will add to a pollution crisis unfolding at America’s ports. For months, broken supply chains have saddled port-side neighborhoods with more pollution than they normally endure. The holiday season will make things even worse.

          The disaster is unfolding in spectacular fashion in Southern California, home to the busiest port complex in the western hemisphere (which includes the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach). Here, cargo ships have piled up offshore as the pandemic wreaks havoc on global supply chains. The traffic jam extends to inland distribution hubs that attract trucks, trains, and planes shuttling goods from warehouses to consumers’ doorsteps.

        • Interior Dept. Report on Drilling Is Mostly Silent on Climate Change

          The department recommended higher fees for oil and gas leases, but there was no sign the government planned to take global warming into account when weighing new applications.

        • Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

          Climate campaigners and other progressive critics on Friday called out the Biden administration for a new U.S. Interior Department report about leasing public lands and waters to oil and gas companies, slamming its proposals as far too weak given the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

          "These trivial changes are nearly meaningless in the midst of this climate emergency."

        • With California’s OK, Chevron is selling oil from an illegal spill

          Chevron, the company responsible for the McPhee spill, appears to be violating a law prohibiting so-called surface expressions. But the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), the regulating agency responsible for enforcing such rules, hasn't issued penalties to Chevron, apart from a fine it levied against the company for a nearby spill that occurred in May 2019.

          More alarming, argue environmentalists, is that Chevron is selling the oil that it collects from the spill, even though it's coming from a seep prohibited by regulations. CalGEM says it has yet to "assess" the amount of money Chevron has made off selling oil from this surface expression since November 2019.

        • Interior recommends imposing higher costs for public lands drilling

          The report, which was originally slated for an "early summer" release that didn’t materialize, is expected to inform the administration’s future oil and gas leasing policies.

          Specifically, the report calls on BLM, which governs public lands drilling, to raise minimum royalties paid for onshore oil and gas leases, increase minimum bids that companies can make on tracts of land and rental rates that companies pay before they begin producing oil and gas on the leased lands.

          It also calls for BLM to increase the surety bonds that companies pay the federal government as an assurance to make sure they are complying with their lease terms.

        • Biden administration approves second major offshore wind project, to provide power to N.Y.

          The approval from the Interior Department paves the way for the country's second large-scale offshore wind farm after a similar project got underway in Massachusetts. The administration aims to put the U.S. on a path to generate 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, powering about 10 million homes.

        • Russian coal mine: Dozens killed in Siberia accident

          mong the dead were five rescue workers, although a sixth was found alive and taken to hospital in a serious condition.

          The blast happened at the Listvyazhnaya mine when coal dust caught fire in a ventilation shaft on Thursday.

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

    • Finance

      • Raising the Standard of Living for Everyone Could Offset the Pains of Inflation
      • Opinion | Blowing Up a Few Myths About Inflation

        Inflation has been a bugaboo of right-wingers and even the political center since the 1970s. So it’s not surprising that with consumer prices rising, the national discourse has suddenly shifted from yesterday’s news to looming hyperinflation and fiscal ruin. But in order to understand what’s really going on, you need to understand what inflation is, what it isn’t, and where we actually are.

      • ‘They Do Not Tell Both Sides of the Inflation Story’
      • The Media's War Against Biden on Inflation

        There, I said it in all caps so that everyone can see I recognize it as a problem. The question is how big a problem. After all, we have lots of problems, millions of children in poverty, a huge homeless population, parents without access to affordable childcare, among others.

        But none of these other problems has gotten anywhere near the same amount of attention from the media in recent months as inflation. These pieces have often been quite openly dishonest. The nonstop hype of “inflation, inflation, inflation” unsurprisingly leads many people to believe inflation is a really big problem, even if their own finances are pretty good, because they hear all those wise reporters at CNN, NPR, the NYT and elsewhere telling them it’s a really big problem.

      • Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

        As workers worldwide took to the streets while shoppers flooded stores for Black Friday, progressive U.S. lawmakers used the event to pressure the Senate to pass sweeping, House-approved labor rights legislation.

        "The Senate should celebrate Black Friday by passing the PRO Act to protect the hardworking folks who are being underpaid and overworked this holiday season."

      • DoorDash to pay $5.3 million to S.F. couriers over alleged violations of past benefits

        Restaurant-delivery company DoorDash will pay $5.3 million to settle allegations with San Francisco that it stiffed almost 4,500 delivery workers of the city’s mandated health care coverage and paid sick leave, The Chronicle has learned.

        The settlement being announced Monday represents substantial restitution for some couriers and marks another inflection point in the discord over whether gig workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors, although it does not set a precedent.

        DoorDash, which is headquartered in San Francisco, did not admit wrongdoing. Although the health care and sick leave requirements both apply to employees, DoorDash said that settling was not an acknowledgment that a judge could have found it to be an employer. DoorDash, like other gig companies, is adamant that its workers should be classified as independent contractors.

        But city officials involved in the case begged to differ.

      • Irving Wladawsky-Berger: The Evolution of Enterprise Architecture in an Increasingly Digital World

        “What does it take for traditional companies to create value with digital technology?,” asked a McKinsey article published in November of 2018. Based on its research, the article suggested that “successful digital reinventors - digital natives and digitally transformed incumbents - employ a range of approaches, such as investing boldly and adopting cutting-edge technologies at scale.” However, the article warned, such efforts can run into serious difficulties. “In our experience, a push to launch more digital applications can make a company’s technology landscape increasingly complex and difficult to manage, to the point that it impedes transformation programs.”

        A few months ago, I wrote about the evolving role of the CIO, based on a survey of over 500 CIOs and related technology leaders. Almost all of the surveyed CIOs agreed that their responsibilities will become more strategic in the coming years, uniting their company’s business and technology strategies and managing increasingly complex and difficult digital transformations.

        This strategic role of the CIO is in turn driving the evolution of their enterprise-architecture (EA) teams. Traditionally, enterprise architects have been responsible for translating business needs into IT requirements. A major part of their job is making sure that their company’s IT systems work together to enable and support the company’s overall digital strategy. And increasingly, EA teams have the primary responsibility for managing the technological complexity inherent in digital transformations.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Everybody Knows: Corruption in America - A Book Review
      • Elitism is Not the Answer to Populism: On ‘Anti-Vaxxers’ and Mistrust in Government

        While it is true that populist, right-wing movements throughout Europe and elsewhere have actively exploited the anger, confusion and lack of trust in governments for years, it is still necessary to understand the roots of the mistrust, as opposed to readily contributing to the stifling division.

        A Gallup poll, published in 2013, revealed the extent of mistrust that Americans, for example, have in their own government, and the decline of that trust when compared to the previous year. According to the poll, only 10% of Americans trusted their elected Congress, only 19% trusted the country’s health system, 22% had trust in big business and 23% in news media.

      • Communications and Electronics Lobbying Skyrockets Amid Microchip Shortage
      • Opinion | Breaking News: AOC's District Has Opinions

        The residents of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district, like all New Yorkers, love to argue. No one can agree which Colombian bakery has the best empanadas. Given that the district is in both the Bronx and Queens, it is home to both Mets and Yankees fans.The state’s 14th congressional district is well-known for its diversity. It’s the type of place where you might find a Bangladeshi woman in full body covering selling Korans next to a sex worker. Everyone has their differences, but for the most part people get along.

      • Opinion | Germany to Get Green Party Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Climate in Boost for President Biden

        Germany’s environmentalist Green Party, led by two popular politicians, nearly doubled its seats in parliament to become a swing party for the formation of a new government coalition. Their prospects were boosted when the center-left Social Democrats narrowly beat the conservative Christian Democrats in number of seats in the September 26 election.

      • Mystery Meat Congress; Clueless Mainstream Press

        A couple of decades ago, I complained to a Hill colleague, “It (Congress) can’t get any worse than this.”€  How wrong I was.

        Based on my experience and outlook, I offer the following observations.

      • No Accounts
      • Jayapal's Shrewd Gambit
      • Pramila Jayapal Has Made Her Case to Be Pelosi’s Successor

        The House’s passage of the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better legislation was another example of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s legendary ability to keep her caucus united. What made this time different, however, was the emergence of a new force in the House—the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The CPC and its chair, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), forced conservatives in the House caucus to pass the expansive BBB, and got the Senate’s prima donna—Democrat Joe Manchin III (W.Va.)—to embrace a framework that gives it some hope of surviving in the Senate. In doing so, the CPC and Jayapal displayed a new coherence, strategic sophistication, and collective discipline that bodes well for the future.

      • Georgia teens become unlikely warriors in redistricting fight

        Horton is one of the dozens of teenagers mobilizing and testifying in Georgia’s redistricting process this year, juggling finals and extracurriculars with special legislative sessions and injecting an unusual level of youth engagement into a typically wonky, insiders' political routine.

        In the last few years, a surge of interest in redistricting has raised awareness about the effects of gerrymandering and propelled many states to revamp their map-drawing processes, prompting more young people to get involved around the country. Middle school students in New York created an algorithm for drawing maps, while North Carolina college students lobbied against the gerrymandering that split their campuses into multiple districts.

      • China steps up pressure on tech with draft online ad rules

        China's market regulator proposed new rules on Friday that would increase online advertising oversight, including stipulating that adverts should not affect normal [Internet] use or mislead users.

        Authorities in China have tightened regulation across a range of industries this year, with an emphasis on technology.

      • AIT director lambastes China for destabilizing region

        The director pointed out that China's provocative military operations near Taiwan destabilize the region and increases the risk of misjudgment. In addition, Beijing is attempting to minimize Taiwan’s international space by asserting pressure on Taiwan’s allies and interfering with Taiwan’s democratic system, CNA cited Oudkirk as saying.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Providing a European perspective…public service media allied to offer an innovative news sharing model across the continent

        In a world where audiences are overwhelmed by an avalanche of information that has no editorial or ethical guardrails, ‘A European Perspective’ will serve as a beacon of trust and integrity. Its content will be deeply rooted in core European values such as respect for human dignity, equality, inclusion and the rule of law.

        Through this initiative, EBU Members from Belgium (RTBF), Finland (YLE), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR/ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (RAI), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE) and Switzerland (SWI as well as ARTE, the Franco-German broadcaster, are poised to reshape the European digital sphere by offering their online readers access to stories that explore the many facets of the European identity.

        The ten public media organizations are able to select and publish each other’s content through a bespoke digital news hub that uses AI technology to translate the reports into multiple languages. The service is underpinned by the EBU’s PEACH system for recommendations and the EuroVOX toolkit for automated language services.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Murdoch and the IPA Politicise Freedom in Battlelines for Next Year’s Elections

        In addition to lording over a media empire known for making an art out of demonising enemies and panic-driven scapegoating, Rupert Murdoch has long been recognised as the kingmaker in federal elections. When a party leader visits Rupert Murdoch in the months before an election is announced, it is a predictable sign that he has bestowed his favour on the candidate. So when it emerged that Scott Morrison had dined with News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson in New York during his September trip to the US, political commentators took note.

        Election or not, Murdoch thrives on political instability. As Democrat Rahm Emanuel so infamously observed, one can never let a serious crisis go to waste. From the Tampa to terrorism, Murdoch’s process of turning ‘unwinnable elections’ into great victories follows the all-too-familiar pattern of the Scare Cycle, stirring up moral panic and overwhelming the public with fears of imminent existential threats.

      • €¡Basta! Sports Journalists in Spain Demand End to Abuse

        The article came out as a new law was going through the Spanish parliament that promises to tackle online sexual abuse for the first time.

        Due to come into effect next year, the legislation will class online abuse as sexual violence. Convicted offenders will face fines or even house arrest.

      • Cuban Journalists Say Facebook Curbs Ability to Work

        Facebook has been accused of blocking independent journalists in Cuba from sharing posts as opposition groups have called for protests to continue against the island's communist government.

        The social media platform, whose parent company is now known as Meta, sends messages to journalists regularly, telling them that they cannot share messages, three different reporters told VOA. The journalists complain this prevents them from sharing information, which they say is crucial to their work.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • This Year I’m Thankful for the Revolt Against Two-Tier Hiring Practices
      • Social Theory in the Age of Catastrophes: Engaging Seyla Benhabib

        Benhabib informs us that she has not given up hoping. The famous slogan of the German student movement in the 1960s was “below the asphalt lies the beach.” She is still looking for it. The great theologian Paul Tillich wrote about the “courage to be” in the late 1950s. Today a new slogan is required: the “courage to critique” and “courage to keep on keeping on.” € Our age of catastrophe is knocking the stuffing out of us. It itself seems interminable, the challenges new, we’re tired. Are our conceptual resources (located in the Critical Theory tradition) up to the new-present-before-us?

        In a recent article, “Democracy, science and the state: reflections on the disaster(s) of our times, Philosophy and Social Criticism, vol. 47(4), 2021, the intrepid Benhabib ventures onto the terrain of a world radically disrupted by the global Covid-19 pandemic and damages inflicted upon by the Anthropocene on earth. She begins her meditative essay by asking whether humankind is facing a unique historical kairos moment when a monumental transformation is occurring within global civilization.

      • Malcolm at the Audubon Ballroom

        Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., who ordered the belated reinvestigation, made a meaningless apology that might be the understatement of all time: “This points to the truth that law-enforcement over history has often failed to live up to its responsibilities. These men did not get the justice that they deserve.”

        Aziz and Islam spent a combined 42 years in prison, as the€ Times€ notes, “with years in solitary confinement… in some of New York’s worst maximum security prisons.” And knowing and maintaining all the while that they were innocent.

      • 'We Are Fighting Back': Global Black Friday Strikes and Protests Seek to #MakeAmazonPay

        On Black Friday, more than 70 labor unions and progressive advocacy groups shut down workplaces and hit the streets in cities around the globe to demand—on Amazon's most profitable day of the year—that the sprawling tech and logistics corporation pay a living wage to its employees and a fair share of taxes to compensate the societies in which it operates.

        "From oil refineries, to factories, to warehouses, to data centers, to corporate offices in countries across the world, workers and activists are rising up in strikes, protests, and actions to Make Amazon Pay," reads the campaign's website. While the international coalition held€ its first Black Friday day€ of action€ 12 months ago, opposition to Amazon's abuses has only grown since then,€ and work stoppages and rallies targeting the e-commerce giant were expected in at least 20 countries on every inhabited continent this year.

      • Spotty Data and Media Bias Delay Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People

        There are estimates. In 2019, 8,162 Indigenous youth and 2,285 Indigenous adults were reported missing to the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC, out of a total of 609,275 cases. But crimes against Native individuals often go unreported, and with American Indian and Alaskan Native cases, race is sometimes ignored or misclassified as white.

        The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that Native American women are murdered at a rate three times that of white American women.

      • Which Immigration Story Will Prevail?

        It’s a narrative as powerful as it is untrue, and it needs to be countered: not just for the sake of immigrants, but for the nation as a whole.

        On November 19, when House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion social safety net and climate bill, they left out a signature Biden administration commitment: a path to citizenship for the 10.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Instead, they included in the budget bill a provision for a temporary status called “parole,” a five-year protection from deportation along with eligibility for work permits. If the provision is passed in the Senate, it will also give immigrants an opportunity to renew the protected status for another five years. But even that development is iffy. Senate negotiations on the budget bill, particularly on immigration, may be more grueling than in the House.

      • The Indian Farmers Defend the Rights of Farmers Everywhere

        It seems likely that Modi will not give up on his policies to privatize agriculture, but rather will return to them with different packaging. “Our government has been working in the interest of the farmers and will continue to do so,” he insisted.

        Jubilation at the Victory

      • The Jury Selection Process Is Rigged in Favor of White Supremacy
      • Crossings to the UK: EU police to install hidden cameras on French and Belgian beaches

        With several police actions, the riparians of the English Channel want to prevent unwanted crossings of migrants. German authorities plan internet campaigns against the sale of inflatable boats and engines. After Brexit, the UK is taking part in these measures funded by the Council of the EU.

      • A Chink in My Privilege: When Being White and Jewish Isn't Enough

        “I need a cell for a Jew,” the Israeli cops driving the jeep called into the jail. I was the Jew they were referring to and the jail was the infamous “Muskobia,” in the heart of West Jerusalem. This was the end of a long and tiring day that began with a protest in the village of Nabi Saleh in Palestine. I was covered in sweat, tear gas, dust, and quite a bit of the disgusting skunk liquid that the Israeli army sprays on protestors.

      • UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

        Tech ethicists on Friday applauded after all 193 member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization adopted the first global framework agreement on the ethics of artificial intelligence, which acknowledges that "AI technologies can be of great service to humanity" and that "all countries can benefit from them," while warning that "they also raise fundamental ethical concerns."

        "It's a good step, but there are a lot more steps that we need to take, like a ban on autonomous weapons, on killer robots."

      • Facebook tells LA police to stop spying on users with fake accounts

        "Not only do LAPD instructional documents use Facebook as an explicit example in advising officers to set up fake social media accounts, but documents also indicate that LAPD policies simply allow officers to create fake accounts for 'online investigative activity'," wrote Facebook's vice president and deputy general counsel for civil rights Roy Austin in a letter outlining Facebook's policies.

        "While the legitimacy of such policies may be up to the LAPD, officers must abide by Facebook's policies when creating accounts on our services. The Police Department should cease all activities on Facebook that involve the use of fake accounts, impersonation of others, and collection of data for surveillance purposes."

      • China man claiming to know Peng Shuai says WTA head ignored her mail

        A man claiming to be an associate of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai has accused the head of the Women's Tennis Association of allegedly ignoring an email from her.

      • Tribes That Aren’t Federally Recognized Face Unique Challenges

        Being federally recognized means the U.S. government engages with a tribe in a government-to-government relationship, granting tribes sovereignty and access to resources such as federal funds. The Winnemem are not the only tribe who lack this status. In 2012, the Government Accountability Office counted around 400 unrecognized tribes in the U.S.

        Federal recognition may be an asset, but the process to acquire it is far from smooth. Ironically, the process means tribes must seek approval for recognition from the United States, a nation founded on Indigenous genocide. Tribes can gain federal recognition by taking their case to court, receiving a presidential executive order, petitioning the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), or through an act of Congress.

      • Clashes as protesters demand end to violence against women

        The demonstration in Istanbul's Taksim Square came just months after Turkey withdrew from an international treaty aimed at protecting women.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Internet is Held Together With Spit & Baling Wire

        Imagine being able to disconnect or redirect Internet traffic destined for some of the world’s biggest companies — just by spoofing an email. This is the nature of a threat vector recently removed by a Fortune 500 firm that operates one of the largest Internet backbones.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • TV News’ Dangerous Bet: Hedging on a Streaming Future

        Does TV news have a future outside of the existing television ecosystem? The question is top of mind for news executives as the entertainment world dramatically shifts, with linear TV channels facing steady decline and streaming on the rise.

    • Monopolies

      • Nextcloud: Complaint to the Federal Cartel Office about Microsoft

        The German software company Nextcloud has applied to the Federal Cartel Office to check whether Microsoft has a dominant position. Company founder Frank Karlitschek announced this on Friday and confirmed a report by the news magazine “Der Spiegel”.

        Nextcloud competes with Microsoft products such as Office 365, OneDrive, Azure and Teams.

        The Stuttgart company’s complaint now states that the US group is using its power to sell package solutions for Microsoft Office. The Teams cooperation platform also has a significant market share, as does the OneDrive cloud solution. The complaint is primarily directed against the deep integration of the cloud solution. Nextcloud argues that the service is regularly displayed to users of the widespread Microsoft Windows operating system during relevant work steps.

      • Deutsche Softwarefirma beschwert sich beim Bundeskartellamt über Microsoft [Ed: A Bill Gates-bribed (repeatedly) 'news' site]
      • EU tech sector fights for a Level Playing Field with Microsoft

        Microsoft is integrating 365 deeper and deeper in their service and software portfolio, including Windows. OneDrive is pushed wherever users deal with file storage and Teams is a default part of Windows 11. This makes it nearly impossible to compete with their SaaS services. In the wider context, you see that over the last years, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have grown their market share to 66% of the total European market, with local providers contracting from 26% to 16%. Behavior like this is at the core of this growth of the tech giants and has to be stopped.

        This is a similar situation than in the late 90s when Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer with Windows to compete with Netscape. This is not an incident. Other Big Tech firms like Google and Amazon are doing the same thing and the EU should take a stand.

      • Copyrights

        • Pass the American Music Fairness Act, Says GRAMMY U

          To do that, artists and musicians like us need to be compensated fairly for the hard work that goes into our music — but unfortunately, that’s not how it is right now. Songwriters get paid for radio play, but performers do not. For decades, big corporations that own and control thousands of radio stations in the United States have refused to pay performers when they play their music on AM/FM radio. That’s right, they take our product and use it to make billions of dollars from advertising — and then don’t give us a single cent.

        • North Korean sentenced to death after students caught watching Squid Game

          North Korea has sentenced to death a man who smuggled and sold copies of the Netflix series “Squid Game” after authorities caught seven high school students watching the Korean-language global hit show, sources in the country told RFA.

          The smuggler is said to have brought a copy of Squid Game into North Korea back from China and sold USB flash drives containing the series. Sources said his sentence would be carried out by firing squad.

        • IFPI & MPA Oppose 'New Safe Harbors' in Digital Services Act

          The European Council's adoption this week of the General Approach on the Digital Services Act has been met with disappointment by a coalition of rightsholders including IFPI and the MPA. Their concerns include the introduction of a "safe harbor" for search engines and the apparent detachment of due diligence obligations from liability for infringing content.

        • Dubious Outfit Uses Copyright Claims for Black Hat SEO Scheme

          A few days ago, we were accused of copyright infringement by a company that says it acts 'on behalf' of photographers whose work is shared without permission. To resolve the dispute, we only had to add a link to an entirely unrelated website. We denied this request but this black-hat SEO scheme is quite successful at other sites, including news outfits and even a university.

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