Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 08/06/2022: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux LinksLinux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux - Extend your Desktop - Part 22

         For many years, GNOME has focused on simplifying functionality. This reduces the complexity of maintaining and designing the desktop environment as well as making it easier to improve the user experience. At the same time, functionality important to some users was removed in the process. But freedom of choice still remains a central plank of GNOME. The user is still in control over their desktop as the desktop offers good extensibility.

        Extensibility relates to the ability to customize a desktop environment to an individual’s preferences and tastes. This flexibility is offered by extensions, themes, and applets. The principle provides for enhancements without impairing existing system functions.

      • Its FOSSRufus for Linux? Here Are the Best Live USB Creating Tools

         Rufus is an open-source utility to create bootable USB drives. It is straightforward to use, with available options to tweak as per your requirements. Not just the ease of use, it is also incredibly fast to make bootable USB drives.

        Unfortunately, Rufus is not available for Linux, it is only exclusive to Windows. So, most of us who have used it on Windows, look for Rufus alternatives on Linux.

        If you are in the same boat, fret not, we have some excellent alternatives for various use-cases.

        Let us explore some Rufus alternatives for Linux...

    • Kernel Space

      • 9to5LinuxUbuntu Users Get a Massive Linux Kernel Update, 35 Security Vulnerabilities Patched

         The new Linux kernel security updates come about two weeks after the previous updates, which were minor ones patching only three security flaws, and are available for all supported Ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish), Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri), Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), as well as the Ubuntu 16.04 and 14.04 ESM releases.

    • Applications

      • Promptless Gemini

        gplaces 0.16.20 adds a new feature to gplaces: promptless search.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Automated XKCD with /etc/cron.daily/

        I was manually running a script which would sync the archives. I finally got around to automated this. I was expecting to edit crontab to create a cron job, but Ubuntu makes this easier by just having a /etc/cron.daily/ folder. Any scripts in there will execute automatically once a day. macOS has a similar concept via a /etc/periodic/daily folder.

      • XKCD Comics via Gemini

        XKCD is "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language" that's I've been enjoying for [checks calendar], oh damn, over 15 years.

      • Trend OceansThe Right Way to Remove Apt, Deb, Snap, and Flatpak Packages on Ubuntu

         Apt package manager, .deb file, snap store, and flatpak are the recognized ways to install a package on Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu and PopOS.

        Many people get confused about finding an appropriate method to remove a package from the system. For example, apt remove and apt purge is the standard method of removing packages from the Ubuntu system.

        Without much clarity, people randomly use this command to remove packages without understanding the working process of these commands.

    • Games

      • HackadayA Breath Of Fresh Air For Some Arcade Classics

        It’s said that good things come in small packages, which is hard to deny when we look at all the nifty projects out there that were built into an Altoids tin. Now, if that’s already true for the regular sized box, we can be doubly excited for anything crammed into their Smalls variety ones, which is what [Kayden Kehe] decided to use as housing for his mintyPico, a tiny gaming console running homebrew versions of Snake, Breakout, Pong, and a few more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • OpenSource.comHow I gave my old laptop new life with the Linux Xfce desktop

         A few weeks ago, I needed to give a conference presentation that included a brief demonstration of a small app I'd written for Linux. I needed a Linux laptop to bring to the conference, so I dug out an old laptop and installed Linux on it. I used the Fedora 36 Xfce spin, which worked great.

        The laptop I used was purchased in 2012. The 1.70 GHz CPU, 4 GB memory, and 128 GB drive may seem small compared to my current desktop machine, but Linux and the Xfce desktop gave this old machine new life.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

  • Leftovers

    • The NationZora
    • Common DreamsOpinion | On the Repurposed and Misapplied F-Word: Fascism

      Timothy Snyder, Levin Professor of History at Yale University, is a scholar of surpassing brilliance.€  His 2010 book Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin chronicles in harrowing detail the de facto collaboration of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union that resulted in the murder of millions of innocents.€  On any bookshelf reserved for accounts that reveal essential truths of our past, Bloodlands deserves a place of honor.€  It's a towering achievement.€ 

    • The NationLate December in Abidjan

      The city, awake and brooding, is its own thing. I walk along Abobo, on the road everything leads to God, even the air. I watch men spread prayer mats, each of them full of colors like little islands. The earth, holy in all its resurrections, moves forward, carrying us in its silence. Away from the men, a child leaning on a cement block tosses a ball into air as if to say, even here, even here, I am still tender. Yet, there is the shadow of life; the branches of trees, leaves brittle and dry, leaning toward an unpaved road. Loudspeakers blaring the latest song from Tanzania. In the dance of things, the elation of life, the streets are adorned with banners of salvation, all held together by puppets on the outside of heaven’s café. I walk through it all, even across the carcass of a slain lamb where a blind man led by a school boy fills his plate with meat, saying to the world, I have travelled through terror. Survival repeats itself again and again, knocking on the door of every city. And before me, a man with a stick leads a herd of Baoule cattle. O mouth of the approaching night, we who the world has ushered into the wildness of life are before you. From the darkness a muezzin call. I do not understand Arabic, but all I hear are these words, the sweet voice of God is calling you into the private moment of the sea, it is saying, sit, repeat your life. Like the waves you will be led into the miracle of existence, surfing over the small quiet heart of the world, rushing back to where it all begins, to a slain lamb, whose ribcage empty of meat, must begin to ascend through grace.

    • Confident Fools

      The world is full of confident fools that proclaim to know truths which vanish into thin air upon closer inspection. Don't forget that language is a tool and an evolutionary adaptation to coordinate large groups of people. It is more often used for deception than illumination (very often self deception). The world is a complicated place and any individual perspective on it can only reveal a very small part of the larger fabric of reality (which more often than not happens to be the wishes and aspirations of the individual).

    • Leave my quote lines alone

      Mirror universe Clippy: “Looks like you’re trying to write a quote line, I’d better silently change it to not be a quote line. Hehehehe. Only way to quote is to hit the FOTU button.”

      This is actually what RFC 3676 intended. So the windmill I’m tilting at is not only one app of wrongness, it’s eighteen years of wrongness since it came out in 2004.

      I even asked the guy who worked on the RFC, who very kindly replied (thank you for that) but… he doubled down on this madness! I was reading the source code of his email replies to me and I was like “See, these are the semantics I want; your mailer reflowed long lines, but kept > at the start of lines you quoted from me” and he was like inserting those is the job of the MUA. He used TOFU by the way. Which, I know traditional hacker culture says TOFU is worse than FOTU while I don’t care. I don’t care how you do it, I just wanna keep my own house in order and that sometimes means excerpting a single phrase with a > line. As is possible in traditional email, traditional paper letters, on Usenet, on Gemini, in Markdown, on Slack, on Discourse, on Reddit, on Stack Exchange, on Slack, on Mattermost, on Matrix, on the moon and the sun and the clouds and the pebbles and trees, on Mars, on Venus, on everything between us. Anywhere but in Delta Chat, where my arms suddenly get chopped off if I try it and I just come across as an embarrassing weirdo to the person on the other side. And I didn’t even know about it for the first year I was using Delta Chat (because it hides this tampering from the sender so I’m embarrassing myself unknowingly) but since I found out about it six months ago I’ve been trying to get this changed.

    • The (negative) Richter scale

      Did you know the Richter scale goes over 10 and it goes in the negative levels too? Me neither. Or you probably did if you work in the domain. This is a short presentation of the Richter scale, including negative levels. I found this information from Randall Munroe's book "What if?" (the XKCD author) combined with Wikipedia. I thought I'd share because I found it really interesting. Also added my own personal touch.

    • Book review: And Then There Were None

      Yesterday I've come across an intriguing book called And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Crime novels are not my usual genre that I read, but I thought I'd give it a go. And it did not dissapoint.

      There are no spoilers in this post, though it's quite hard to talk about the book without spoiling anything, if you've read the book you know what I mean.

      The characters are presented well overall, in detail, which I like. The author has a way of turning your perspective around, especially at the megaphone chapter, when the incriminating disk played.

      The ending was jaw droppi ng, I did not expect the book would end like that at all. You become suspicious of the characters one by one but then you find the killer wasn't that respective character and so on; it's very well written.

    • Science

      • HackadayHow To Make A Difference Through Plant Metabolism

        Generally when we consider the many plants around us, we imagine them efficiently using the electromagnetic radiation from the Sun via photosynthesis in their leaves — pulling carbon-dioxide from the air, as well as water from the soil via their roots, and grow as quickly as they reasonably can. In reality, the efficiency of this process is less than 10% of the input energy, and the different types of plant metabolisms that have formed over the course of evolution aren’t all the same.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayCheap Oscilloscope Is… Well… Cheap

        We always enjoy watching [Kerry Wong] put an oscilloscope through its paces. His recent video is looking at a very inexpensive FNIRSI 1014D ‘scope that you can also find rebranded. You can usually find these for well under $200 at the usual places. Can you get a reasonable scope for that cost? [Kerry] has a list of issues with the scope ranging from short memory depth to low sensitivity. He did, however, like that it is USB powered so it can be operated from a common battery pack, which would make it truly floating.

      • HackadayAutomate Parts Kitting With This Innovative SMD Tape Slicer

        Nobody likes a tedious manual job prone to repetitive stress injury, and such tasks rightly inspire an automated solution. This automatic SMD tape cutter is a good example of automating such a chore, while leaving plenty of room for further development.

      • HackadayThe World’s Most Expensive 3D Printers

        How much would you pay for a 3D printer? Granted, when we started a decent printer might run over $1,000 but the cost has come way down. Unless of yourse, you go pro. We were disappointed that this [All3DP] post didn’t include prices, but we noticed a trend: if your 3D printer has stairs, it is probably a big purchase. According to the tag line on the post, the printers are all north of $500,000.

      • HackadayLTSpice Tips And A Long Tutorial

        We always enjoy videos from [FesZ], so when we saw his latest about tips and tricks for LTSpice, we decided to put the 20 minutes in to watch it. But we noticed in the text that he has an entire series of video tutorials about LTSpice and that this is actually episode 30. So there’s plenty to watch.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • OracHow to identify most antivaxxers with a simple question

        I’ve been at this blogging thing for nearly 18 years now, with few breaks, none longer than the month that it took me five years ago to move this blog over from its old ScienceBlogs platform to the current, much more amateurish (but completely underway control) WordPress blog. In that time, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s how to identify an antivaxxer and their tactics and tropes. (Contrary to what antivaxxers like to claim, there’s more to it than “I know one when I see one.”) Normally, I don’t write a lot about what goes on in the comment section of this blog, but recently there was an exchange that provided what I thought to be a “teachable moment.” Specifically, it’s a question to use to counter the claim, “I’m not antivax.”

      • Common Dreams'Our Seniors Deserve Better': Jayapal Demands End of All Medicare Privatization Schemes

        Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Monday called for an end to all Medicare privatization schemes following a Washington Post report spotlighting how Medicare Advantage plans are distorting patients' medical records to overbill the federal government and boost their profits.

        "Medicare Advantage plans regularly deny needed care to seniors and frequently create fake illnesses to defraud the government," Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote in a social media post.

      • Counter PunchThe DDT Octopus

        Morton Biskind, a physician from Westport, Connecticut, was a courageous man. At the peak of the cold war, in 1953, he complained of the incidence of maladies afflicting both domestic animals and people for the first time. He concluded that the popular insect poison DDT was the agent of disease. DDT, he said, was “dangerous for all animal life from insects to mammals.”

    • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Common DreamsTwo Weeks After Uvalde School Massacre, Texas GOP Vows Ban on... Taking Kids to Drag Shows

        Two weeks after a gunman armed with a semiautomatic rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition massacred 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a Republican state lawmaker announced that he is taking action—against drag shows.

        State Rep. Bryan Slaton said Monday he intends to file legislation "protecting kids from drag shows and other inappropriate displays" when the next legislative session begins.

      • Democracy NowWe Can’t Get Answers: Texas Lawmaker Decries Police Refusal to Address Response to School Massacre

        We speak with Texas Democratic state Senator Roland Gutierrez about how the police botched the response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a small town that is part of Gutierrez’s congressional district. The shooting left 19 fourth graders and two teachers dead after the police waited over an hour before anyone confronted the gunman. Gutierrez says he can “get no answers” from the state’s Department of Public Safety about why the police waited or which officials were present in the school in response to the shooting. He is calling on Texas Governor Greg Abbott to hold a special legislative session to pass comprehensive gun safety measures in response to the massacre.

      • Democracy NowTexas Editor: Police in Uvalde Are Actively Obstructing Us from Doing Our Jobs

        Police and bikers in Uvalde, Texas, are restricting a growing number of journalists from reporting on the aftermath of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 fourth graders and two teachers dead. “None of us can ever recall being treated in such a manner and our job impeded in such a manner,” says Nora Lopez, executive editor of San Antonio Express-News and president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. “Newsgathering is a constitutional right, so at some point this will cross into basically official oppression,” she says. Lopez also says residents are now afraid to speak with the press after one parent of two Robb Elementary students reported police had threatened to arrest her if she spoke with reporters about how she rushed the school to try to save her children.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The US/UK Proxy War Forestalling Peace Negotiations in Ukraine

        The British government, as ever following the US lead, is sending longer range missile systems to Ukraine for the first time. The government described the M270 weapon system they are despatching as a "cutting edge" military asset which can strike targets up to 80 kilometres away "with pinpoint accuracy." Ukrainian soldiers are due to be brought to Britain for training in how to use the missiles.

      • Common DreamsPoll Shows Majority of US Voters Opposed to Record-Level Pentagon Budget

        As Republicans push to boost the Pentagon budget beyond the $31 billion increase sought by the Biden administration for the next fiscal year, survey results published Tuesday suggest that any additional military spending wouldn't be popular among voters.

        "Congress should heed popular, public opinion and reject proposals for even more Pentagon spending than President Biden has requested."

      • Common DreamsBoris Johnson Says Ukraine Should Not Accept 'Bad Peace' With Russia

        Fresh off his narrow victory in a closely watched no-confidence vote, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his top cabinet ministers on Tuesday that Ukraine should not be pushed to accept a "bad peace" with Russia, remarks that align with private comments he reportedly made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in April.

        "Britain and the U.S. appear to have abandoned even the limited military restraint they showed early on in the war."

      • Democracy NowU.K. PM Boris Johnson Survives No-Confidence Vote But Faces Uphill Battle to Stay in Power

        British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of no confidence held by members of his own Conservative Party on Monday. The 211-148 vote came just days after Johnson was booed by conservative royalists when he arrived at a service to honor the queen’s 70-year reign. We speak with Priya Gopal, English professor at the University of Cambridge, who says the vote signals a division within the country’s Conservatives and an opening for progressives. “This reflects a mood shift among voters who handed Johnson a huge majority at the last elections,” says Gopal. She also explains how Johnson may be forced to resign if he isn’t able to gain enough parliamentary support to pass legislation.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Politicians Who Stood With the NRA After the Uvalde Massacre

        Two days after an 18-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle locked himself in adjoining classrooms at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and blew apart 19 children and two teachers before he was eventually killed by a member of the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit, the National Rifle Association proceeded with its annual meeting 300 miles east at Houston's city-owned George R. Brown Convention Center. The gathering€ came following years of disarray in the gun rights advocacy organization; in 2020 New York Attorney General Letitia James filed€ a civil lawsuit€ alleging fraud, financial misconduct, and misuse of charitable funds by executives including longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre. The attorney general for the District of Columbia has filed a similar action.

      • TruthOut44 Percent of GOP Voters View Mass Shootings as Part of Living in "Free Society"
      • TechdirtCompany That Turned ‘Excited Delirium’ Into A Thing Thinks It Can Prevent School Shootings With Drone-Mounted Tasers [UPDATED]

        UPDATE: Since this post’s composition over the weekend, there has been a notable development. Axon has, for the moment, pulled the ends of its toes from overhanging the precipice. It only took the resignation of most of the Ethics Board (nine of twelve members) to force the company to reconsider its move towards offering schools access to armed drones.

      • Meduza‘Ordinary Nazism’: Bizarre exhibition at Moscow’s Victory Museum attempts to draw comparisons between Nazi Germany and modern-day Ukraine

        When announcing the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin justified the “special military operation” by invoking World War II. Russian officials and propagandists on state television have been echoing Putin’s claims about the need to “demilitarize and denazify Ukraine” ever since. In a similar vein, since mid-April, Moscow’s Museum of the Great Patriotic War (also known as the Victory Museum) has been running an exhibition that supposedly traces the development of a “Ukrainian version of Nazism” from World War II to the present day. Upon visiting the exhibition, Meduza found a bizarre mishmash of information ripped from the Internet, memorabilia from Nazi Germany, and decontextualized TikTok videos from the ongoing war.

      • Meduza‘I asked them to remove Mom’s chains. They refused’: In their own words, ethnic Kazakhs whose loved ones disappeared into Xinjiang’s internment camps describe their fight for answers

        Since 2014, the world has gradually been learning about the horrors that occur in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Media reports have described how Uyghurs are put in “vocational training camps,” which are effectively concentration camps. People can be put there for the smallest expression of religiosity, and any hope of getting out requires undergoing a “reeducation” process, though some never escape at all. Members of Xinjiang’s other ethnic groups are put in the camps, too — primarily Kazakhs. Since February 2021, the relatives and loved ones of Kazakh people currently being held in the Xinjiang camps have held daily protests outside of the Chinese Consulate in Almaty. Meduza is publishing photographer Ofeliya Zhakaeva’s project “Nearby,” which focuses on Chinese Kazakhs whose relatives have disappeared into the Xinjiang internment system. She photographed protest participants outside of the Consulate with objects that remind them of their loved ones and recorded their stories.

      • The Gray ZonePaul Mason’s covert intelligence-linked plot to destroy The Grayzone exposed
      • Common Dreams'Trump on Trial': What to Know and How to Watch the Jan. 6 Hearings

        The U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection—provoked by then-President Donald Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen from him—will launch a series of six public and nationally televised hearings on Thursday, June 9 at 8:00 pm in Washington, D.C.

        The prime-time event will be available on C-SPAN and the YouTube channel of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

      • TruthOutDamning Leaks Provide Grim Preview of Thursday’s January 6 Congressional Hearing
      • Common DreamsOpinion | Jan. 6 Hearings: Is It Too Late to Save Our Democracy?

        On Thursday evening, the House Select Committee investigating the sacking of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 will hold the first of its prime-time, televised public hearings. The committee has done an exhaustive investigation, interviewing a thousand witnesses, looking at tens of thousands of documents.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Can the January 6 Committee Help Fix Our Damaged Democracy?

        I have a lot of respect for the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. After meeting in closed session for nearly a year,€ interviewing more than a thousand witnesses and gathering more than 100,000 documents, the nine-member committee will begin a series of televised public hearings on June 9 and release their findings later this summer.

      • The NationLiz Cheney Wants the January 6 Committee to Pull Its Punches

        High-profile congressional hearings can go one of two ways. They can follow the course of the Watergate hearings of the 1970s, which led to the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency and inspired sweeping campaign finance and election reforms. Or they can go the way of the Iran/Contra hearings of the 1980s, which let Ronald Reagan off the hook and did little to alter corrupt US foreign policies.

      • The NationThe January 6 Committee’s Audience Won’t Match Watergate’s. But It Should.

        Fifty years ago this month, the American public was riveted by the Watergate hearings. This week, the House select committee investigating the January 6 sacking of the Capitol promises an equally riveting show as it releases “previously unseen material” and lays out facts that, in the words of Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), “will blow the roof off the House.”

      • The NationThe Disturbing Reason the Uvalde Police Won’t Be Held Accountable

        The massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., has exposed one of the Republican Party’s favorite pro-gun talking points—the “good guy with a gun” refrain—as a fraudulent gun lobby ad campaign that will not protect our children. There were many police officers on the scene in Uvalde, yet these alleged good guys with guns did nothing to stop the mass murder of children. Instead, the officers used their armaments and training to prevent parents from saving their own kids. I guess all the military-style equipment Republicans constantly funnel to the police really is just meant to shoot gas canisters at unarmed protesters outside a Target, not to subdue a lone gunman systematically executing children and teachers.

    • Environment

      • Counter Punch50 Years of UN Environmental Diplomacy

        At Sweden’s urging, the United Nations brought together representatives from countries around the world to find solutions. That summit – the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm 50 years ago on June 5-16, 1972 – marked the first global effort to treat the environment as a worldwide policy issue and define the core principles for its management.

        The Stockholm Conference was a turning point in how countries thought about the natural world and the resources that all nations share, like the air.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Climate Killer: How to Get Out of the Fossil Fuel Trap

        Let's be brutally honest here, fossil gas is a climate killer. But that's not its only problem. Gas is also fuelling the Russian war on Ukraine, it's expensive, causing millions of Europeans to worry about heating up their homes, and it's dangerous for our health. So why does the European Union want to label it 'green' and funnel billions of public money into it?€ 

      • Common DreamsHouse Progressives Cheer Biden Solar Order But Say 'Executive Action Alone' Not Enough

        Progressive U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday joined climate campaigners in welcoming President Joe Biden's executive order invoking the Defense Production Act to accelerate domestic solar panel production while calling on Congress to pass legislation to facilitate the nation's transition into a post-fossil fuel era.

        "There is simply no way to meet the president's climate goals with executive action alone."

      • Counter PunchElectric Cars: Great Idea, But Not a Panacea

        Setting aside my visceral love for the old muscle cars I grew up around, I wholeheartedly support that transition. My own “car” happens to be an electric bicycle (it used to be a regular bicycle, but knee problems made motorization attractive), and I hope that the next family vehicle, or the one after that, will be electric too.

        That said, the urge to get society completely electrified and off of fossil fuels suffers from both propaganda oversell and from practical problems.

      • Energy

        • Common DreamsDemand Grows for Windfall Profits Tax as Goldman Sachs Predicts More Gas Pump Pain

          Progressives are arguing that Wall Street's new prediction of worsening pain at the pump for U.S. consumers this summer underscores the need for Congress to pass Democratic lawmakers' overwhelmingly popular bill to impose a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.

          "The public knows oil and gas billionaires are responsible for the pain at the pump."

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Pro PublicaYes, We Fact-Checked These Watercolors

          Most of the time, my colleague Irena Hwang works with numbers. An electrical engineer by training, she wrangles impossible data sets into intelligible sentences that word-bound people like me can understand. What she does seems like a kind of intellectual alchemy, drawing solid and valuable facts out of barely visible particles of knowledge.

          But this year, as Oregon Public Broadcasting and ProPublica worked to document the extent to which the salmon hatcheries of the Pacific Northwest were failing to sustain fish at healthy levels, another of Irena’s talents emerged. One she had been keeping secret.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Counter PunchTwo Vital New Books on the Labor Movement

        History of the Labor Movement in the United States, Volume 11 Philip S. Foner International Publishers

        When Vermont Senator and socialist Bernie Sanders ran for the White House again in 2020, one of his oft-mentioned observations was that “Half the working people in the United States cannot come up with $400 – even for an emergency.”€  So, what is organized labor’s antidote for this systematic mass impoverishment? Answer: pick away at organizing one small shop and unit at a time, hoping somehow to counteract the millionaire and billionaire assault.

      • Counter PunchTwo Nations Joined at the Hip by English ... and Inequity
      • Counter PunchPlatinum Jubilees and Republican Questions

        A rash of countries have expressed an interest in severing ties with the monarchy.€  In November last year, Barbados did so with some pomp, swearing in its first president, Sandra Mason, a former governor general.€  “Today,” Mason proclaimed, “debate and discourse have become action.”

        Through 2022, the royals made visits to the Caribbean that showed waning enthusiasm for the Windsors.€  In Belize and Jamaica, local protesters gathered to call for a formal apology for their family’s role in encouraging that other institution, slavery.€  A government committee in the Bahamas did not mince its words in calling upon the royals to issue “a full and formal apology for their crimes against humanity”.

      • Counter PunchAmerican “Democracy” as a Dead Parrot: Constitutions, Killing Floors, an Unhatched Egg, and Forced Motherhood

        “E’s Not Pining, E’s Passed On!”

        This patriotic lecture always reminds of the old Monty Python “Dead Parrot” sketch, featuring John Cleese as a dissatisfied customer and Michael Palin as a pet shop owner:

      • The NationThe Second Destruction of a Black Community in Tulsa

        Donald Thompson is a social justice photographer who lives and works in Tulsa, Okla., and has deep roots in the city’s Greenwood District. Once a thriving and prosperous Black community, Greenwood was largely destroyed in 1921 by a mob of armed white citizens in what has come to be known as the Tulsa Race Massacre. During the 1960s and ’70s, Thompson photographed what he terms the “second massacre of Greenwood,” when the city of Tulsa used eminent domain to bulldoze most of what remained of Greenwood’s business district. On the 101st anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, I interviewed Thompson about his more than five-decades-long quest to capture and preserve his beloved community in photos.

      • Counter PunchDemocrats Need the Independent Voters to Keep the Senate

        A popular image of an independent voter is a white middle-class suburbanite. But that image, if it was ever true, is far more complex.

        One surprising finding that came out of a€ Pew Research study of independent voters€ was that they had a most significant share of those under the age of fifty (62%) compared to the Democrats (50%) or the Republicans (44%). That younger slice of the voting population is why the following policies rank within the top ten€ issues of importance to Independents: debt-free state college, a $15 minimum wage, and legalizing marijuana. Democrats attract independent voters that they lead on these issues, not the Republicans.

      • Counter PunchSupreme Court Allows States to use Unlawfully Gerrymandered Congressional Maps in the 2022 Midterm Elections

        You read that right: The U.S. Supreme Court recently barred federal courts from requiring states to fix their newly adopted, but unlawful, congressional maps before the 2022 midterm congressional elections.

        In Merrill v. Milligan, the Supreme Court in February 2022, stayed the decision of a lower court that ruled Alabama had improperly redistricted its congressional seats. The lower court found Alabama’s maps resulted in Black and Democratic voters wielding less political power in Alabama’s congressional delegation than they otherwise would or should. It required Alabama to redraw its congressional map immediately.

      • Common DreamsOcasio-Cortez Endorses Biaggi Over DCCC Chair Maloney in NY Primary

        Offering her endorsement to New York state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi on Tuesday in the state's 17th district, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on her supporters to "continue building progressive power" in Washington by helping Biaggi defeat Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, current chair of the Democrat's congressional fundraising arm.

        In a fundraising email, Ocasio-Cortez noted that Biaggi, who has served in state Senate since 2018, "knows what it takes to go up against powerful opponents and win," having unseated former state Sen. Jeffrey Klein of the Republican-aligned Independent Democratic Conference.

      • Meduza‘A twisted form of democracy’: In Sunday's referendum, Kazakhstanis voted to amend the country's Constitution. The authorities call it a step towards democracy, but many have doubts.

        On June 5, Kazakhstan held a referendum on amendments to its Constitution that were proposed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. If you ask the Kazakhstani government, these amendments are a serious step on the path towards Kazakhstan’s democratization. But many political scientists, activists, and Kazakhstani citizens believe that the referendum’s main goal is to consolidate Tokayev’s own power. Meduza explains what’s happened in Kazakhstan since the protests that swept through the country in January, how Sunday’s elections went, and how Kazakhstani citizens see the situation.

      • The NationThe End of the Nordic Ideal
      • The NationTwo of the Trump Era’s Biggest Grifters Are Angling for a Comeback

        Republican voters in Montana and Oklahoma will soon have an opportunity to send back to Washington two former Trump administration officials who left that town four years ago enmeshed in scandal. This article is based on reporting and writing from Demolition Agenda: How Trump Tried to Dismantle American Government, and What Biden Needs to Do to Save It, which was published in May by the New Press.

      • TechdirtElon Trying To Get Out Of The Twitter Purchase, Claiming That Because Twitter Won’t Share Private Info, It Has Breached Its Agreement

        It’s entirely possible that there’s a different backstory to the whole Elon/Twitter mess, but from everything that’s happened so far, the story sure looks like (1) Elon decided to buy Twitter on a whim without recognizing either the risks or the actual challenges in pulling together a deal, (2) almost immediately started regretting it, especially as the price of his Tesla shares, which are key to the deal, tanked, and (3) began to seek any pretext to bail on the deal, hopefully without having to pay the $1 billion breakup fee.

      • ScheerpostAndrew Bacevich: Who Are You Calling Fascist?

        Andrew Bacevich criticizes Timothy Snyder for calling Russia fascist.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Democracy Now“Corrections in Ink”: Keri Blakinger on Her Journey from Addiction to Cornell to Prison to Newsroom

        Criminal justice reporter Keri Blakinger speaks with us about her new memoir, out today, called “Corrections in Ink,” which details her path from aspiring professional figure skater to her two years spent in prison after she was arrested in her final semester of her senior year at Cornell University with six ounces of heroin. Blakinger says her relatively short jail sentence was a lucky case, which she attributes to progressive drug reform as well as her racial privilege. Blakinger went on to become an investigative journalist and now works at The Marshall Project, where she is the organization’s first formerly incarcerated reporter.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Counter PunchChaos or Community

        Dr. King’s ideas and words resonate today, but it is the last phrase of the title, “chaos or community,” that speaks most sharply to our time.

        The word “chaos” is understood as meaning “disorder” and “confusion,” and when it flourishes, it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve socially desirable goals. Chaos grows when powerful economic interests dominate the public sphere – and when democracy is impaired both by that domination and by institutional barriers such as the filibuster. It grows when conditions grow ripe for the emergence of demagogic leadership.

      • Counter PunchThe Solidarity Vacuum for the Non-White Oppressed

        Solidarity abounds for Ukrainians, who have suffered from a brutal, three-months-long Russian invasion. If you’re not a member of the far-right, like Tucker Carlson, or someone on the left who hasn’t lost sight of the invasion’s context, in all likelihood, you fly a blue-and-white flag. At the very least, you are likely to have intense sympathy for Ukrainians.

        Such international solidarity may have been cause for celebration if similar kinship were expressed for Yemenis, Uighurs, Rohingya, Palestinians, Congolese and other groups suffering from tyranny, war, invasion, occupation and genocide.

      • Common DreamsWith Reproductive Rights Under Threat, Dems Introduce 'Free the Pill' Bill

        Congressional Democrats on Tuesday put forth legislation intended to ensure that people across the United States can access and afford over-the-counter contraception, which lawmakers and advocates argue is increasingly urgent amid mounting right-wing attacks on reproductive freedom.

        "No one should have to jump through ridiculous hoops or pay extra just to get the birth control they need."

      • Common DreamsPoland Establishes 'Terrifying' Pregnancy Register After Banning Almost All Abortions

        A new government database tracking people's pregnancies in Poland is sparking fears that medical data will be used to prosecute women who obtain abortion care in other countries or by getting abortion pills through the mail, and potentially to target women who have miscarriages.

        "First comes the ban, and then the mechanism for enforcement follows."

      • The NationAlaa Abd el-Fattah and the Hope of a Generation

        As I write this, Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who is often known in Egypt just as Alaa, is on his 67th day of a hunger strike. In solitary confinement at Egypt’s maximum security Tora Prison, he has been deprived of sunlight, reading materials, or the right to walk outside his cell for exercise, and forbidden from writing or receiving letters. So he has resorted to the only means of protest that remains to him. There is so much to be said about Alaa—his transformation from blogger to “voice of a generation,” from activist to revolutionary icon, from tech whiz kid to symbol of Egypt’s hundreds of thousands of nameless disappeared. But that his life now hovers at the edge of the bardo, sustained by water and rehydration salts, is the fact that must appear first. “I’m the ghost of spring past,” he wrote in 2019, as if to prophesy his fate.

      • TechdirtSheriff Who Claimed He Would Clean Up The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Gang Problem Has Instead Allowed It To Thrive

        The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has long contended it has no gang problem. We’re not talking about the many gangs roaming the streets of Los Angeles. We’re talking about the cliques formed by deputies that identify themselves with patches, tattoos, tactics, and a general disregard for the rights of the people they serve.

      • TruthOutAngela Davis Says Black Activist Anthony Gay Is Jailed on False Charges
      • Common DreamsAmazon, Starbucks Unions Join Coalition Pushing Biden to Go Big on Student Debt Relief

        The Amazon Labor Union and Starbucks Workers United on Monday joined a growing coalition of unions and progressive advocacy groups that is pushing President Joe Biden to go big on student debt relief.

        "This is a working people's issue."

      • Common DreamsAnti-Labor Starbucks 'Getting Wrecked' as Memphis Workers Win Latest Union Drive

        Seven workers at a Memphis, Tennessee Starbucks who were fired earlier this year after starting a unionization campaign declared victory Tuesday after employees at the store overwhelmingly voted in favor of forming a union.

        "The Memphis Seven have been vindicated."

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TechdirtAcademic Paper Shows How Badly The Mainstream Media Misled You About Section 230

        We’ve had to publish many, many articles highlighting just how badly the mainstream media has misrepresented Section 230, with two of the worst culprits being the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal. Professor Eric Goldman now points us to an incredible 200 page masters thesis by a journalism student at UNC named Kathryn Alexandria Johnson, who did an analysis entirely about how badly both the NYT and the WSJ flubbed their reporting on Section 230.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • EFFWhen DRM Comes For Your Wheelchair

        Anyone who’s ever dropped a cellphone or laptop knows that any gadget that travels with you around the world will eventually need repairs. This goes double for powered wheelchairs, not least because Medicare has adopted a narrow interpretation of its statutory obligations and will only pay for indoor chairs, despite the fact that the owners of these chairs use them outdoors, as well.

        Any product that travels with you is likely to break, eventually. A product that is designed solely for indoor usage but gets used outdoors is even more at risk. But for powered wheelchair users, this situation is gravely worsened by an interlocking set of policies regarding repair and reimbursement that mean that when their chairs are broken, it can take months to get them repaired.

        This has serious consequences. Wheelchairs are powerful tools that enable mobility and freedom; But broken wheelchairs can strand people at home—or even in bed, at risk of bedsores and other complications from immobilization—away from family, friends, school and work. Broken wheelchairs can also be dangerous for their users, leading to serious injuries.€ 

      • Krebs On SecurityKrebsOnSecurity in New Netflix Series on Cybercrime

        Netflix has a new documentary series airing next week — “Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies & the Internet” — in which Yours Truly apparently has a decent amount of screen time. The debut episode explores the far-too-common harassment tactic of “swatting” — wherein fake bomb threats or hostage situations are phoned in to police as part of a scheme to trick them into visiting potentially deadly force on a target’s address.

      • TechdirtNew York Becomes The First State To Pass A ‘Right To Repair’ Law

        New York State has become the first state in the country to pass “right to repair” legislation taking direct aim at repair monopolies. The bill itself mandates that hardware manufacturers make diagnostic and repair information available to consumers and independent repair shops at “fair and reasonable terms.”

    • Monopolies

      • Common DreamsBig Tech Mounting Big-Money Fight to Defeat to Corporate Antitrust Bill

        Amazon and tech giants are mounting a big-money push to tank bipartisan antitrust legislation its proponents say rightly takes on concentrated corporate power undermining small businesses and democracy.

        Introduced in October by lead co-sponsors Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.), the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S.2992) is coming up against negative media and spending blitzes ahead of a possible vote later this month.

      • Patents

        • TechdirtTechdirt Podcast Episode 323: Why Patent Quality Matters

          This week is Engine’s second annual Patent Quality Week, focused on the many ways that the patent system allows low-quality patents to get through, the problems this causes, and what can be done about it. On this week’s episode, we’re joined by Abby Rives and Charles Duan for a discussion all about why patent quality matters.

      • Trademarks

        • TechdirtLicensing Troll For Elvis Estate Seeks To Shut Down ‘Elvis’ Weddings In Las Vegas

          When someone mentions Las Vegas, a couple of things are likely to leap directly into your brain. Gambling and casinos, but of course. Perhaps magic shows, too. And, obviously, Elvis. Yes, the idea of Elvis-themed weddings in Las Vegas has reached trope status. But Authentic Brands Group (ABG) would like to put a stop to all of that.

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent Freak‘Copyright Troll’ Has Already Filed Over 1,000 Piracy Lawsuits This Year

          Strike 3 Holdings has already filed over a thousand lawsuits against alleged BitTorrent pirates in U.S. courts this year. The adult entertainment company used to be part of a larger group of prolific litigants but it is now the only one left. It is responsible for the vast majority of all piracy lawsuits filed in the US this year.


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