Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 23/06/2022: Open Hardware and More LF 'Fluff'

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • OMG UbuntuFlameshot Screenshot Tool Just Added Even More Features

        When it comes to Linux screenshot tools nothing comes close to Flameshot.

        It’s quite the statement to make, I know. But this Qt-based screen-snipping utility richly earns its place on our list of the best Ubuntu apps because it is that good.

        Today, a new version of Flameshot arrived that adds even more features to its already feature-crammed toolset.

        In this post I tell you a bit more about what’s new, and point you in the direction of official downloads so you can try it for yourself, regardless of what Linux distribution or packaging perforce you have.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • HackadayLinux Fu: Roll With The Checksums

        We are often struck by how often we spend time trying to optimize something when we would be better off just picking a better algorithm. There is the old story about the mathematician Gauss who, when in school, was given busy work to add the integers from 1 to 100. While the other students laboriously added each number, Gauss realized that 100+1 is 101 and 99 + 2 is also 101. Guess what 98 + 3 is? Of course, 101. So you can easily find that there are 50 pairs that add up to 101 and know the answer is 5,050. No matter how fast you can add, you aren’t likely to beat someone who knows that algorithm. So here’s a question: You have a large body of text and you want to search for it. What’s the best way?

      • UNIX CopHow to Install Apache Maven on Ubuntu 22.04

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to install Apache Maven on Ubuntu 22.04 This post, is quite short, but it is useful for users who are just starting with Java.

      • VideoHow to install Sublime Text on Pop!_OS 22.04 - Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Sublime Text on Pop!_OS 22.04.

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install Unity 2022.1.5 on a Chromebook [Ed: But this is a Microsoft Mono trap]

        Today we are looking at how to install Unity 2022.1.5 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

    • Games

      • TechdirtKOTOR 2 Released On Nintendo Switch In A State That Makes It Un-Finishable

        Video games have always had bugs at the time of their release, though there has been a trend coinciding with the uptick in digital game sales in which games seem to be published in broken states far too often and are then “fixed” with a day-one patch or something of the like. Some of these bugs are on the more minor side, while some involve game releases that were very clearly pushed for way too early.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • The Register UKRISC-V International reveals latest spec approvals ● The Register

        RISC-V International has grown its pile of royalty-free, open specifications, with additional documents covering firmware, hypervisors, and more.

        RISC-V – pronounced "risk five", and not to be confused with the other architecture of that name, RISC-5 – essentially sets out how a CPU core should work from a software point of view. Chip designers can implement these instruction set specifications in silicon, and there are a good number of big industry players backing it.

        The latest specs lay out four features that compatible processors should adhere to. Two of them, E-Trace and Zmmul, will be useful for organizations building RISC-V hardware and software, and the other two could prove important in future, aiding the development of OSes to run on RISC-V computers.

      • Raspberry PiThe names of the new Astro Pi computers get revealed

        We and our collaborators at ESA Education are excited to announce that 17,168 programs written by young people from 26 countries have been successfully deployed on board the International Space Station (ISS) for the European Astro Pi Challenge 2021/22. And we can finally reveal the names of the two new and upgraded Astro Pi computers that Astro Pi participants have chosen.

      • HackadayPutting A Little More Juice In Your Emulation Station

        After you’ve built a snazzy Raspberry Pi-powered retro gaming console, you might be wondering if you could have just a wee bit more power and run some of those other games you might remember, such as Xbox, Wii, or PS3. Perhaps in the future, a later revision of an RPi could handle it but currently, to emulate the 6th/7th generation of consoles, you need something a little beefier. Luckily, [Zac] got his hands on an old gaming laptop and turned it into his own game console.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

  • Leftovers

    • Common Dreams'Villages Have Been Completely Destroyed': Earthquake Kills 900+ in Afghanistan

      A powerful earthquake in Afghanistan killed more than 900 people and injured hundreds more on Wednesday, flattening homes and devastating entire villages in a nation already ravaged by decades of U.S.-led war and an ongoing economic collapse.

      The earthquake, which hit overnight, had an estimated magnitude of 6.1 with an epicenter near the nation's border with Pakistan.

    • Counter PunchSlavoj Zizek Does His Christopher Hitchens Impression

      But, yeah.€  Zizek has been out of the left-leaning limelight for a while.€  Maybe this inattention to his ego from the media, his fans and detractors is why he penned a piece attacking pacifists and calling for a stronger NATO in the June 21, 2022 edition of the mainstream liberal publication British publication the Guardian.€  Yes, like a few others mostly in the US/western European Left, Zizek has decided that the only response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict is full-on support for the Kyiv government, no matter what.€  Going beyond others on the Left who have voiced similar sentiments, but kept their opposition to NATO/US troops and air involvement intact, Zizek has jumped full on board with the “fight to the last Ukrainian” crowd; the liberals, nazis, church patriarchs and every other segment of the pro-war crowd.

      In his column, he lumps Noam Chomsky and Henry Kissinger together, solely because they both support negotiations instead of a wider war.€  In making this comparison conveniently ignores the differences in each man’s statements on the subject.€  Of course, that is truly the only approach he can take—by removing context from the equation.€  After attacking pacifism and its advocates throughout the piece, Zizek makes a claim that only someone with his ego and arrogance would be okay with making, at least seriously.€  He writes, “Today, one cannot be a leftist if one does not unequivocally stand behind Ukraine.”€  in other words, Zizek’s test of left moral purity is whether or not they support every and any version of the Kyiv government and its war.€  In a sentence, Zizek goes from just someone stating his argument against negotiated settlement for an expanded NATO, and against rational alternatives to a long, deadly and potentially wider war to purging a fairly large segment of the international left from the debate.€  As far as I know, no other leftist who supports Ukraine has dismissed those who don’t from the ranks, such as they are.€  No other leftist has written out those they disagree with over the Ukraine-Russia conflict.€  Slavoj Zizek, on the other hand, makes this the core of his argument.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayHow Far Can You Push A €£500 Small Electric Car; Four Years Of The Hacky Racer

        Four years ago when the idea of a pandemic was something which only worried a few epidemiologists, a group of British hardware hackers and robotic combat enthusiasts came up with an idea. They would take inspiration from the American Power Racing Series to create their own small electric racing formula. Hacky Racers€ became a rougher version of its transatlantic cousin racing on mixed surfaces rather than tarmac, and as an inaugural meeting that first group of racers convened on a cider farm in Somerset to give it a try. Last weekend they were back at the same farm after four years of Hacky Racer development with racing having been interrupted by the pandemic, and Hackaday came along once more to see how the cars had evolved.

      • HackadayAn Impressively Functional Tacobot

        We’re big fans of useless machines here at Hackaday, there’s something undeniably entertaining about watching a gadget flail about dramatically without actually making any progress towards a defined goal. But what happens when one of these meme machines ends up working too well? We think that’s just what we might be witnessing here with the Tacobot from [Vije Miller].

      • HackadayThe Little Lightgun That Could: Sinden Makes Good

        Back in 2018, we covered the work being done by [Andrew Sinden] to create a lightgun that could work on modern televisions. The project was looking for funding via Kickstarter, but due at least in part to skepticism about the technology involved, the campaign fell well short of its goal. It seemed, at the time, like the story would end there.

      • HackadayExtruded Resin FDM Printing (With Lasers!)

        At this point, 3D printers are nearly everywhere. Schools, hackerspaces, home workshops, you name it. Most of these machines are of the extruded-filament variety, better known as FDM or Fused Deposition Modelling. Over the last few years, cheap LCD printers have brought resin printing to many shops as well. LCD printers, like their DLP and SLA counterparts, use ultraviolet light to cure liquid resin. These machines are often praised for the super-high detail they can achieve, but are realllly slow. And messy —€  liquid resin gets everywhere and sticks to everything.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Linux Foundation

    • Security

      • Krebs On SecurityMeet the Administrators of the RSOCKS Proxy Botnet

        Authorities in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. last week said they dismantled the “RSOCKS” botnet, a collection of millions of hacked devices that were sold as “proxies” to cybercriminals looking for ways to route their malicious traffic through someone else’s computer. While the coordinated action did not name the Russian hackers allegedly behind RSOCKS, KrebsOnSecurity has identified its owner as a 35-year-old Russian man living abroad who also runs the world’s top spam forum.

      • HackadayHDMI Is An Attack Surface, So Here’s An HDMI Firewall

        Many years of using televisions, monitors, and projectors have conditioned us into treating them as simple peripherals whose cables carry only video. A VGA cable may have an i2c interface for monitor detection, but otherwise it presents little security risk. An HDMI interface on the other hand can carry an increasing number of far more capable ports, meaning that it has made the leap from merely a signal cable to being a connector stuffed with interesting attack vectors for a miscreant. Is it time for an HDMI firewall? [King Kévin] thinks so, because he’s made one.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • TechdirtUvalde PD Continues Stonewalling, Hires Private Law Firm To Block Release Of School Shooting Recordings

        The Uvalde Police Department — recipient of 40% of the city’s budget — botched its response to a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. Rather than rush to the sound of gunfire, the officers stopped making forward progress once they were adjacent to the gunfire. It took another law enforcement agency (a Border Patrol tactical team) to end the killing, which at that point numbered 19 students and two teachers.

      • TruthOutCori Bush Shares Her Experience With Gun Violence From an Abusive Partner
      • The NationA Peace Settlement in Ukraine

        It is becoming more and more urgently necessary to achieve a stable cease-fire in Ukraine, leading to a lasting peace; and unfortunately, the initiative for this will probably have to come from Washington. The Europeans are too divided among themselves and too subservient to the United States to adopt any effective independent strategy for peace. With the East Europeans opposed to any compromise, the European Union is paralyzed.

      • ScheerpostJoseph E. Stiglitz: How the U.S. Could Lose the New Cold War

        Jospeh E. Stiglitz warns that other countries will not want to ally themselves with a U.S. whose power rests on increasingly uncertain economic, social, and political foundations.

      • Common DreamsDemanding Global Ban, UN Chief Calls Nuclear Weapons a 'Recipe for Annihilation'

        Warning of the heightened threat of nuclear war in a "world rife with geopolitical tensions and mistrust," United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday called upon nuclear nations to join the scores of countries that have adopted a landmark treaty banning atomic weapons.

        "The once-unthinkable prospect of nuclear conflict is now back within the realm of possibility."

      • Counter PunchWhat is Westinghouse Doing in Ukraine?

        Earlier this month, Energoatom inked a new agreement with Westinghouse of all companies, the American corporation that went bankrupt trying to build four of its AP1000 reactors in South Carolina and Georgia. The two in South Carolina were canceled mid-construction, while the pair in Georgia are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over-budget.

        But like a good corporate vulture, Westinghouse has swooped into Ukraine, to grab a golden opportunity. Already the supplier of nuclear fuel to almost half of Ukraine’s reactors, the company now plans to increase that commitment to all 15, replacing Russia’s Rosatom; to establish a Westinghouse Engineering and Technical Center; and, craziest of all, build nine new AP1000 reactors there.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Children Have the Right to Be Safe From Gun Violence Made Possible by the GOP's Political Lunacy

        A deadly epidemic is hitting the US and ordinary citizens are unable to stop it. The reason is simple: the laws protect the killers. And those responsible for making the laws have abdicated their responsibility. They do so even when the victims could be their children or grandchildren, engulfed in a wave of violence and death that is increasingly targeting schools. The Gun Violence Archive reports that mass shootings have increased from 269 in 2014 to 693 in 2021.

      • ScheerpostAmerica’s Second Civil War is Underway

        The frightening epidemic of gun violence in the US has become a commonplace reality. Easy access to firearms is an obstacle that national politicians have not been able to overcome with more than lip service. But gun violence is only one ominous symptom of a growing social collapse that directly threatens our nearly 250-year old system of democratic capitalism.€ 

      • ScheerpostThe Pentagon Gets More Money and Americans Pay the Price

        What’s all this new defense spending for?

      • Common Dreams'Unconscionable': House Committee Adds $37 Billion to Biden's $813 Billion Military Budget

        Progressives expressed outrage after a House panel voted Wednesday to tack an additional $37 billion on top of President Joe Biden's already gargantuan military spending request.

        "Members of the House Armed Services Committee put the demands of the military-industrial complex over the needs of the American people yet again."

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Remembering Operation Bagration: When the Red Army Decapitated the Nazi Front

        Eighty-one years ago, in the early summer of 1941, Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, attacking the Soviet Union along a massive front at the height of World War II.€ 

      • Common DreamsCiting 'Deluge of New Evidence,' House Jan. 6 Committee Delays Hearings

        Citing a "mountain of new information" requiring analysis, the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol announced Wednesday that it will delay the hearings into the deadly insurrection until next month.

        "We've taken in some additional information that's going to require additional work. So rather than present hearings that have not been the quality of the hearings in the past we made a decision to just move into sometime in July," committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters, according to The Hill.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Second Amendment Is a Palladium of Death. It Should Be Repealed

        It is shameful and unconscionable that this country has allowed gun violence to become the leading cause of death among children in the United States—but that is the reality. The legislation, including gun measures, recently proposed by a bipartisan group of senators represents a step in the right direction: it does some good things, such as provide money to encourage states to pass and implement "red flag" laws to remove guns from potentially dangerous people, as well as money for school safety and mental health resources; it expands background checks for gun purchases for people between the ages of 18 and 21 and penalties for illegal straw purchases by convicted criminals.

      • Common DreamsFar-Too-Weak Senate Gun Control Bill Slammed as 'Crumbs'

        While Democratic lawmakers lauded the gun control package unveiled in the U.S. Senate after weeks of negotiations late Tuesday and national advocacy groups called the bill a "step in the right direction," educators, parents, and local civil rights organizations in Arizona rebuked their senators for standing in the way of farther-reaching reforms.

        In a 64-34 vote, the Senate agreed to take up the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act hours after the group of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans released the 80-page bill, with senators hoping to pass the legislation by this weekend.

    • Environment

      • Pro PublicaUtah Officials Called It the “Year of Water.” Special Interests Still Resist Conservation.

        Utah policymakers billed the 2022 legislative session as the “year of water.” Gov. Spencer Cox signed into law more than 15 measures related to water conservation, heralding “generational” progress as the West’s megadrought continues well into its third decade.

        Those pieces of legislation allow farmers to earn money by sending their water downstream to shrinking lakes, require water meters for landscaping, appropriate $40 million to protect the Great Salt Lake and more. But perhaps more telling were proposals that lawmakers carved up or voted down.

      • DeSmogClimate Denial Group Criticised For Ties to Pro-Putin Millionaire

        A climate science denial group campaigning against the UK’s green policies has close ties to a right-wing businessman who backed Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, DeSmog can reveal.€ 

        CAR26, which launched in October with a call for a referendum on the UK’s net zero target, is run by Lois Perry, a regular guest on GB News and talkRADIO who has used Russia’s war to argue that the UK should extract more fossil fuels.€ 

      • DeSmogRep. Grijalva Tours Cancer Alley Communities Plagued by Racial Discrimination and Environmental Injustice

        Temperatures€ soared into the high€ nineties€ on Saturday, June 18, as Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee Rep. Raúl Grijalva spoke about the moral imperative to achieve environmental justice at a press conference on the grounds of the Whitney Plantation,€ a converted historical museum about slavery, in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana.

        After delivering an update on the bill that he spearheaded, known as the€ Environmental Justice For All Act, Grijalva and his team were taken on a tour of Cancer Alley where they could learn firsthand the challenging circumstances some fenceline communities face. The visit coincided with Juneteenth weekend and the start of a heat dome stretching from the Gulf Coast to Canada, serving as a reminder of the urgent need to simultaneously address the climate crisis and racial injustice.

      • Counter PunchClimate Change: The New Abnormal
      • Counter PunchMining Resistance From Alberta to Argentina

        At one of the many frontiers of mineral extraction in the Patagonian province of Chubut, Argentina, Indigenous Mapuche-Tehuelche communities and citizens groups flooded the streets for days just before Christmas 2021.

        A U.S.-Canadian mining company, Pan American Silver, had been pressuring legislators there to overturn a nearly 20-year prohibition on open-pit metal mining and the use of cyanide in mineral processing, which threatens precious water supplies. When lawmakers obliged and zoned for mining where the company wants to operate on the province’s plateau, people went to the streets by the thousands and faced violent police repression.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Common DreamsConservationists Warn the 'Save Our Sequoias Act' Would Do the Opposite

          A coalition of more than 80 environmental organizations representing millions of Americans has sent a letter urging members of Congress to vote against the so-called "Save Our Sequoias Act"—legislation the groups warn would do the very opposite of what its name suggests.

          Smart planning and public engagement as required by NEPA are integral to success, not a barrier to success.

        • Counter PunchTribal Waters Trailer
        • The RevelatorAn Earth Activist Talks to the Trees
        • Counter PunchTargeted Grazing: the Latest Magical Solution To Improve Rangeland Health

          I have previously warned almost all the “evidence” for the value of grazing to reduce wildfires comes from university range departments or government apologists with connections to the livestock industry. And this is the case with the recent action to implement “targeted grazing” on public lands.

          As is the case across the West, range department researchers’ primary mission is to find excuses to continue livestock grazing on public lands. Our tax dollars support these efforts on behalf of private businesses.

      • Overpopulation

        • Common DreamsChildren 'Dying Before Our Eyes': Aid Workers Plea for Help as Famine Unfolds in Somalia

          International aid workers are issuing desperate pleas for help this week as severe climate-driven drought coupled with critically depleted global food supplies due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine are fueling a slide into "catastrophic famine" in Somalia that could claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of children by summer's end.

          "If an intervention does not happen as expected, and quickly, we will inevitably witness the mass death of children in the coming months."

    • Finance

      • Counter PunchPrivate Equity Funds’ Claims of Strong Performance are Based on a Mirage
      • TruthOutBipartisan Group’s School Meal Plan Axes Funds That Have Fed Millions of Kids
      • TruthOutMexican GM Workers Win an 8.5 Percent Wage Hike in First Union Contract
      • ScheerpostUK Railway Workers Begin Largest Strike in 30 Years

        Amid high inflation, tens of thousands of railway and subway workers across the United Kingdom have declared at least three days of work stoppages to demand wage increases and other protections. Tr…

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Who Is to Blame for Inflation? The Power Brokers of Capitalism

        The blame game over surging prices is on. Was it too much central-bank money being pumped out for too long that caused inflation to take off? Was it China, where most physical production had moved before the pandemic locked down the country and disrupted global supply chains? Was it Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine took a large chunk out of the global supply of gas, oil, grains, and fertilizers? Was it some surreptitious shift from pre-pandemic austerity to unrestricted fiscal largesse?

      • The NationBillionaire Bash

        Forbes started compiling an annual list of the world’s billionaires in 1987. That year, 141 people made the cut. The number crossed the four-figure threshold for the first time in 2008; a brief market correction brought it down to 793 the following year, but the group has expanded at a fairly steady rate since then, until a recent and unprecedented surge. From the spring of 2020 to the spring of 2021, the number of billionaires jumped from 2,095 to 2,755, with a collective net worth of over $13 trillion, up from $8 trillion the year before. This increase, which roughly coincides with year one of life under the Covid-19 pandemic, is just one of the more dramatic indicators of a longer period of socialized risk and privatized reward.

      • Counter PunchThe Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages

        So in practice, one of the Fed’s two directives has to give. And hardly by surprise, the “full employment” aim is thrown overboard – if indeed it ever was taken seriously by the Fed’s managers. In the Carter Administration (1777-80) leading up to the great price inflation of 1980, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker expressed his economic philosophy in a note card that he kept in his pocket, to whip out and demonstrate where his priority lay. The card charted the weekly wage of the average U.S. construction worker.

        Chairman Volcker wanted wages to go down, blaming the inflation on too much employment – meaning too full. He pushed the U.S. bank rate to an unprecedented 20 percent – the highest normal rate since Babylonian times back in the first millennium BC. This did indeed crash the economy, and with it employment and prosperity. Volcker called this “harsh monetary medicine,” as if the crash of financial markets and economic growth showed that his “cure” for inflation was working.

      • Counter PunchThe People vs. Petrocracy

        Now, freaked out by high fuel prices, the Democratic majority in Congress is pushing to accelerate this fossil fuel rush while President Biden rushes, hat in hand, to Saudi Arabia, forgetting that the kingdom is supposed to be a pariah. Furthermore, as Robinson Meyer recently wrote in The Atlantic, the party’s leadership seems blissfully unbothered by the fact that Congress has failed to pass even the weakest of laws to curb climate catastrophe. And if the Democrats—having been unable to defend either voters’ rights or life on Earth over the past year and a half—lose their congressional majority to the oily authoritarians in November, our already dim hopes for the federal government to reverse course and start phasing out fossil fuels could fade away altogether.

        If that nightmare scenario unfolds, local and regional activism will not only become more essential than ever; it could be the nation’s only route to climate mitigation and adaptation. As the republic teeters on a knife edge in coming months, “In Real Time” will be recognizing grassroots movements across the country that stand as exemplars for collective climate action. Climate is not always the chief focus of such struggles, but the movements’ strategies and methods are deeply relevant.

      • Common DreamsProgressives Say Windfall Profits Tax a 'Better Solution' Than Biden's Gas Tax Holiday

        As President Joe Biden on Wednesday prepares to urge Congress to temporarily suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes in a bid to ease pain at the pump, progressives are calling instead for the passage of Democratic lawmakers' overwhelmingly popular bill to impose a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.

        "Congress should take the president's call and answer it with the windfall profits tax legislation already proposed in the House and Senate," Jamie Henn, a spokesperson for the Stop the Oil Profiteering (STOP) campaign, wrote on social media. "A windfall tax would get more relief to more people by penalizing the Big Oil profiteering that's driving up prices."

      • Meduza‘Borjomi is for Borjomians, not for Russian oligarchs!’ When the Russian owner of a Georgian bottling plant came under sanctions, workers stopped getting paid. Now they're fighting back.

        In late April, the Georgian company IDS Borjomi, which sells mineral water under the brand name Borjomi, announced it was temporarily suspending operations at both of its bottling plants in Georgia due to financial difficulties resulting from the war in Ukraine. Oligarch Mikhail Fridman, owner of the Alfa Group, which owns a majority stake in the company, had come under sanctions. Now Alfa Group plans to donate its shares to Georgia —€ but this hasn’t helped the plants’ employees, who haven’t been paid in two months. Meduza takes a closer look at the town of Borjomi, where protests are ongoing.

      • ScheerpostVIDEO: Senator Elizabeth Warren Challenges Fed Chair Jerome Powell in Senate Banking Committee Hearing

        Senator Elizabeth Warren challenges and urges caution to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. During a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Sen. Warren warned about what a recession could me…

      • Common DreamsWarren Warns Powell That Fed's Rate Hikes Could Drive US Economy 'Off a Cliff'

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday told Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell directly that the central bank's recent decision to enact more aggressive interest rate hikes in an effort to combat inflation could push the U.S. economy "off a cliff"—and throw millions of people out of work—without reining in soaring prices.

        "Inflation is like an illness and the medicine needs to be tailored to the specific problem, otherwise you could make things a lot worse," Warren (D-Mass.) said during her remarks at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. "Right now, the Fed has no control over the main drivers of rising prices."

      • Common DreamsCivil Rights Groups Demand Biden Cancel at Least $50K in Student Debt Per Borrower

        Marking one year since the Biden administration announced its intention to narrow the racial wealth gap and "reinvest in communities that have been left behind by failed policies," 60 civil rights groups on Tuesday wrote to the White House demanding the cancellation of at least $50,000 in student debt per borrower—a step, they said, that would help "alleviate the financial suffering of millions of Americans."

        Noting that 45 million Americans carry a total of more than $1.6 trillion in student debt, the groups called the federal student loan payment moratorium—which has been extended multiple times since the coronavirus pandemic began and is currently set to expire at the end of August—"only a band-aid solution."

      • Common DreamsOpinion | In Praise of the 15-Hour Work Week

        Back in 1930, renowned economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technological advances, slowed population growth, increasing capital (or "material things") and changing economic priorities would make three-hour shifts or a 15-hour workweek possible and desirable within 100 years.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Counter PunchPutin Attempts to Justify the Unjustifiable

        Although, in defending the Russian invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s primary emphasis has been on the threat of Ukraine joining NATO, that action, had it occurred, would have been perfectly legitimate under international law. The UN Charter, which is an instrument of international law, does€ not ban membership€ in military alliances. And, in fact,€ a great many such alliances€ are in existence. Russia currently heads up the€ Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance composed of six nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

        Of course, Putin’s focus upon NATO is based on the notion that Russia’s national security would be endangered by the existence of a NATO nation on its border. But why are Russia’s national security concerns more valid than the national security concerns of nations on Russia’s borders―particularly nations that, in the past, have been€ invaded and gobbled up as territory€ by Russia or the Soviet Union? Moreover, if a feared threat to national security provides valid grounds for a military invasion, this would also justify military attacks by many nations. Finally, the degree of danger to Russia posed by NATO€ might well be questioned, as the Western alliance has never attacked Russia during the 73 years of NATO’s existence.

      • The NationThe Supreme Court Strikes Another Blow to the Separation of Church and State

        I do not know what most people think “separation of church and state” means, but I can tell you that the six conservative justices on the Supreme Court think it means nothing. There is no meaningful check anymore on whether conservatives will allow religious concerns to supersede secular laws. Can businesses run by religious people deny health care to women? Yes, according to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. Can religious schools use public funds to upgrade their school playgrounds? Yes, according to Trinity Lutheran v. Comer. Can the state be forced to give scholarship aid to students attending religious education? Yes, according to Espinoza v. Montana Department Of Revenue. Can religious organizations or institutions get state funds to discriminate against LGBTQ couples in adoption services? Yes, according to Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. Can houses of worship ignore occupancy restrictions during a pandemic? Yes, according to Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo.

      • The NationThe Perils of Shaping a Recalcitrant World

        Whenever you hear senior US officials tout Washington’s determination to “shape” the world order pursuant to America’s vision of all that is right and good, make sure you have your flak jacket handy. In practice, “shaping” typically culminates in exchanges of gunfire.

      • TruthOutTrump Ranks Near Very Bottom in Survey of Best Presidents in US History
      • The NationThe Democrats Have a Winning Message: “Stop Dangerous Extremists”

        “Trump and his allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy.”—the Honorable J. Michael Luttig

      • Counter PunchTrump "A Clear and Present Danger"
      • TruthOutRon Johnson Fakes Call to Avoid Discussing His Involvement in Electors Plot
      • TruthOutTrump’s Election Lies Unleashed Racist Death Threats Against Poll Workers
      • TruthOut70 Percent of Voters Want to Ban Congress From Trading Stocks
      • ScheerpostThe Tragic Absurdity of Qatar’s World Cup Sportswashing

        Labor abuses, homophobia, corruption? Qatar and FIFA will use the men’s World Cup to put a happy gloss on it all.

      • ScheerpostElectoral Victory of Colombians Petro and Marquez is Unprecedented
      • ScheerpostEcuadorians Continue To Resist as National Strike Enters Second Week

        Defying the state of emergency, enduring brutal police and military repression, hundreds of thousands of Ecuadorians continue to remain on the streets against neoliberalism.

      • TruthOutDemocrats Are Recklessly Promoting Far Right GOP Candidates in Midterm Ploy
      • The NationHate Is Not Welcome Here
      • The NationFor Once, a Republican Tells the Truth About Trump
      • ScheerpostThe Federal Bureau of Tweets: Twitter is Hiring an Alarming Number of FBI Agents
      • Common DreamsDemocratic Groups Panned Over 'Dangerous' Midterm Ploy to Boost GOP Extremists

        In several midterm primary races across the United States, political organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party—including Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House Majority PAC—are spending big to boost far-right Republican candidates in the hopes of securing more favorable general election matchups for Democrats.

        What could possibly go wrong?

      • TruthOutJanuary 6 Hearings Remind Us of the Lives Threatened by "Big Lie" Proponents
      • Common DreamsAmid Jan. 6 Hearings, Watchdogs Warn GOP Efforts to Steal Elections Are 'Still Underway'

        As the ongoing January 6 congressional hearings further confirm the threat posed by former President Donald Trump's coup attempt last year, watchdog groups emphasized following Tuesday's testimony that the GOP's election subversion efforts across the United States are continuing—and intensifying—in the present.

        “Long before January 6, attempts were underway to illegally steal our votes," said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, referring to the Trump campaign's coordinated push to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election—an effort that has been a central focus of the House select committee's public hearings thus far.

      • Telex (Hungary)Hungarian counties may be given centuries-old archaic names, and government commissioners will be named after officials representing Hungarian kings of the past
      • FAIR‘The Times Is Telling You to Choose Between Rights and Safety’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Alec Karakatsanis about the recall of Chesa Boudin for the June 17, 2022, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Pro PublicaDOJ Settlement: Facebook to Eliminate Tool that Let Advertisers Discriminate

        In a settlement announced by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, Meta Platforms —€ formerly known as Facebook — has agreed to eliminate features in its advertising business that allow landlords, employers and credit agencies to discriminate against groups of people protected by federal civil rights laws.

        The deal comes nearly six years after ProPublica first revealed that Facebook let housing marketers exclude African Americans and others from seeing some of their advertisements. Federal law prohibits housing, employment and credit discrimination based on race, religion, gender, family status and disability.

      • Democracy NowTop Arizona Republican Testifies He Rejected Trump Plot to Overturn Vote, Then Faced Violent Threats

        The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection held its fourth public hearing Tuesday with testimony that included a series of Republican state officials detailing pressure they faced from President Donald Trump and his staff to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Republican Speaker of the Arizona House “Rusty” Bowers described how he was pushed by Trump, John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani to call the Arizona Legislature back into session to investigate what Trump’s team claimed were hundreds of thousands of illegal votes cast by dead people and undocumented immigrants in a greater effort to undo Joe Biden’s win in the state. Bowers refused after Trump’s team wasn’t able to provide evidence of a rigged election — and consequently Bowers and his family became the target of death threats by white supremacist groups and other Trump supporters. “I didn’t want to be used as a pawn,” said Bowers during his live testimony.

      • Democracy NowGeorgia Poll Workers Falsely Targeted by Trump as “Scammers” Faced Racist Harassment, Lived in Fear

        In some of the most dramatic testimony from the fourth hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, Shaye Moss, a Black election worker in Georgia, and her mother Ruby Freeman described how their lives were forever changed in December of 2020 when Trump’s top campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed they manipulated ballots to rig the election outcome in the state, which was among those he had lost. They faced severe harassment, racism and death threats from Trump supporters and had to be relocated by the FBI for safety. “I don’t want anyone knowing my name. … I don’t want to go anywhere. I second-guess everything that I do,” said Moss, who, like her former colleagues, is no longer an election worker in Fulton County. “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States to target you?” said Freeman in taped testimony. “The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American — not to target one.”

      • Democracy Now“Whatever You Can Do”: Jan. 6 Hearing Lays Out “Fake Electors” Scheme to Rig 2020 Election for Trump

        Tuesday’s hearing of the House committee investigating the January 6 attack included evidence of how then-President Trump and his campaign “were directly involved” in a plot to replace Biden electors with fake electors for Trump in states where he had lost. Investigators displayed fake certifications manufactured by the Trump campaign and said that one group of fake electors even asked for a promise that the campaign would pay their legal fees if they got sued or charged with a crime. The committee also revealed that just minutes before the joint session on January 6, a staffer for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson told Mike Pence he wished to hand deliver to the vice president the fake electors’ votes from Michigan and Wisconsin — which Pence’s aide unambiguously refused. We feature a video presented to the January 6 committee as evidence that features Casey Lucier, an investigative counsel, describing the plan to organize fake electors for Trump in states where he had lost, with testimony of former Trump staffers, lawyers and other Republican officials.

      • Meduza‘Taira is already home’: Release of famous Ukrainian paramedic Yulia Paevska leaves pro-Kremlin blogosphere confused

        On the evening of June 17, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukrainian paramedic Yulia “Taira” Paevska had been released from Russian captivity. Paevska has long been hailed as a hero in Ukraine, known for saving hundreds of lives as a volunteer medic in the Donbas. At the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Paevska spent more than two weeks evacuating the wounded in besieged Mariupol (the harrowing footage from her body camera was later published by the Associated Press). After Russian troops captured Paevska on March 16, pro-Kremlin media began smearing her as a “Nazi” and accusing her of terrible crimes. As a result, news of Paevska’s release sent the rumor churning once again as pro-Kremlin bloggers wondered how it was even possible for Russia to let her go.

      • Meduza‘In Moscow everything’s fine’: In Russia’s capital, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin tries to distance himself — and his city — from the war against Ukraine

        Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has precious little to say about Russia’s war against Ukraine. Over the past four months of the full-scale invasion, he has hardly made any public statements about the progress and consequences of the so-called “special operation.” Meanwhile, his counterparts in other regions (like St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov, for example) have been toeing the line and parroting Kremlin propaganda narratives about “fighting Nazis” in Ukraine. As Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev learned, Sobyanin has instead “buried himself” in work in the Russian capital and is deliberately trying to distance himself from the war. Here’s why.€ 

      • Misinformation/Disinformation

        • TechdirtWhite House Launches Yet Another Task Force To Try To Curb Online Abuse; But So Far It Seems Extremely One-Sided

          Apparently missing the entire controversy the White House faced just a few weeks ago regarding Homeland Security’s poorly explained Disinformation Governance Board (which has since been put on hold), the White House is trying yet again, with its new White House Task Force to Address Online Harassment and Abuse. At least this time, they didn’t launch it without any details at all. This time, there’s an official document explaining the taskforce, and the announcement came complete with a speech from VP Kamala Harris and a meeting with a strikingly one-sided group of “experts.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ScheerpostCriminalizing Palestine Solidarity Activism in the UK

        In January, British Education Secretary€ Nadhim Zahawi€ claimed€ that€ the popular phrase,€ “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is anti-Semitic and implied that chanting it should be considered a criminal offense.

      • AccessNowInternet shutdowns hide atrocities: people in Myanmar need global action - Access Now

        Content note: this statement contains references to violence, murder, and war crimes.

        Since the February 2021 coup, the Myanmar military has systematically imposed internet shutdowns across regions where it faces the most intense resistance, while implementing an aggressive scorched-earth campaign across the nation. In one of the regions most heavily hit by the military invasion, Sagaing, the junta has shut down internet, mobile, and landline connections since late 2021, with access only available intermittently for a few hours every few days. When connections are cut, it can be a sign of an impending military attack.

        “The situation on the ground in Myanmar is deteriorating at a tremendous rate,” said Wai Phyo Mint, Asia Pacific Policy Analyst at Access Now. “The military is targeting these communication blackouts to bury the atrocities of its campaign and crush the resistance. Homes and religious buildings are regularly burned. Houses are raided, and people are dying. The flickering attention from the international community is further intensifying suffering. It’s time for immediate global action.”

      • AccessNowHow internet shutdowns affect women in Iran

        Women in Iran face an incredible array of legal and social obstacles to gaining financial independence. The worsening economic situation across Iran — owing to a barrage of economic sanctions and domestic corruption and mismanagement, among other things — has only made matters worse. Women are disproportionately affected by the crisis, and some have turned to selling goods online to earn income and support their families. But what happens when the internet goes dark?

        As a new report from the United Nations confirms, internet shutdowns, by their very nature, restrict human rights, and there are almost no circumstances under which they can be justified according to international human rights law. Yet Iran’s regime systematically imposes internet shutdowns to silence dissent and simultaneously repress the right to peaceful assembly and association. Often, these shutdowns entail cutting off mobile phone networks, slowing down broadband speeds, or completely cutting internet access across regions or on a national scale, affecting both national and international networks.

      • AccessNowOpen call to all international actors: Do more to stop internet shutdowns shrouding torchings and killings in Myanmar - Access Now

        For months, the Myanmar military has systematically imposed internet shutdowns to facilitate an aggressive scorched-earth campaign across the nation. Internet, mobile, and landline connections are cut in an impending sign of a military attack — and as shutdowns reign for days on end, entire villages, schools, places of worship, and personal property are torched, villagers killed, and food and other necessary supplies destroyed. Internet shutdowns have fortified the military’s oppressive “Four Cuts” strategy — a military campaign to indiscriminately destroy anything or anyone deemed to support the raging popular resistance movement on the ground. As places continue to be wiped out amidst communications blackouts, the international community and companies tasked to enforce the junta’s orders have remained largely silent. This must change.

        Internet shutdowns have been imposed across regions where resistance against the military has been most intense, and where arson attacks by the junta have been most widespread as both punishment, and cover for atrocities. In one of the worst-hit regions of Sagaing, internet, mobile and landline connections have been shut down since late 2021, with access only available intermittently for a few hours every few days. Out of 34 townships in Sagaing, eight are facing regular internet blackouts, while the other townships have access only to 2G connections. Reports indicate that more than 22,000 sites including residential and religious buildings have been burned down between February 1 to May 2022. Homes have been raided by soldiers, property destroyed, and burned bodies reportedly found “shot in the head” and “tied with cables.” Regional shutdowns have been reported and continue across the regions of Magway and Mandalay, and states of Chin, Kayah (Karenni) and Kachin, where intense fighting between military and resistance forces is ongoing. This is all being perpetrated with impunity amidst recurring internet shutdowns, now in place in at least 54 townships across the country.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Assange Case Still Matters—A Lot

        The announcement by UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would be extradited to the US to face espionage charges may be news that many consider to be of lesser importance. We are, after all, in the midst of both a war inside of European borders and an economic crisis. The seemingly endless Assange saga has been going on for 12 years, and there is undoubtedly fatigue on the part of news consumers who have lost interest in the story.

      • TruthOutExtraditing Assange Would Be a “Legalized” Rendition to US Torture
      • ScheerpostAssange Put on Suicide Watch After Patel Decision, Father Says

        John Shipton said Julian Assange was stripped naked and put in an empty cell to prevent him from killing himself over the home secretary’s decision to sign his extradition order, Joe Lauria reports…

      • ScheerpostFree Assange? Yes, But That’s Not Nearly Enough
      • Counter PunchAssange Should Put the Pentagon and the CIA on Trial

        Let’s hope that he uses the opportunity to put the Pentagon and the CIA on trial. Yes, I know that whichever federal judge is appointed to preside over the trial will do his best to not permit that to happen, but what’s wrong with a little civil disobedience in what will inevitably be a rigged kangaroo court whose outcome of guilt will be preordained?

        Let’s not forget, after all, that Assange isn’t the criminal here. He’s the guy who disclosed the criminal conduct to the world through his organization WikiLeaks. That criminal conduct was committed by the Pentagon and the CIA, supported by their enablers in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.€ 

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Pro PublicaLouisiana Limits Solitary Confinement for Youth

        Lawmakers in Louisiana passed new restrictions on the use of solitary confinement in juvenile facilities following an investigation by The Marshall Project, ProPublica and NBC News into harsh conditions in a youth lockup.

        The law, which will go into effect Aug. 1, marks the first time that lawmakers in a state known as the world’s incarceration capital have put limits on solitary confinement for youth, advocates say.

      • The NationAbortion Involves Killing–and That’s OK!

        In 2019, I published a kind of manifesto—Full Surrogacy Now—whose opening line is “It is a wonder we let fetuses inside us.” The opening pages are entirely given over to my extended paean to the process of gestating in all its shockingly grisly biology, its everyday sublimity. Whereas, in other species, a female can often discard or expel a pregnancy at will, in our species, a hyper-invasive placenta puts the gestator at risk of lethal hemorrhage. Locked down, our body becomes a daredevil participant in a wrestling match (or similar extreme sport) we cannot easily quit. From this starting point, I make a case for rethinking human gestation as real and, currently, often deadly dangerous labor, deserving of maximal support. The controversial part is that a key correlate of viewing gestating as labor is that forcing someone to gestate against their will is forced labor.

      • The NationLabor’s Coachella

        Reading about an event you didn’t attend isn’t always fun. After all, now it’s over, and you missed it. And unless you were there and could feel the passion, why would you care who attended and what was said?

    • Monopolies

      • TechdirtRoku, Netflix, Start Behaving More Like The Annoying Cable Giants They Once Disrupted

        It’s always interesting to watch one-time disruptors shift toward turf protection, apparently remembering none of the annoyances that drove their passion for disruption (and ultimate success) in the first place.

      • EFFWestlaw Must Face Antitrust Claims in a Case That Could Boost Competitive Compatibility

        The ruling is a significant step in an antitrust case about Westlaw’s conduct as an entrenched incumbent. The company controls 80 percent of the market for legal research tools and maintains a massive, impossible-to-duplicate database of public case law built over decades. It faces few major competitors. Westlaw doesn’t license access to its database, which means that it’s difficult for another company to offer new and innovative online tools for searching case law or other follow-on products and services.€ 

        The potential ramifications of this case are huge. The outcome could boost the case for competitive compatibility (comcom), the ability of challengers to build on the work of entrenched players like Westlaw to create innovative and useful new products. More prosaically, it could improve public access to court records.

        The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in April refused to dismiss an antitrust claim against Westlaw by the now-defunct legal research company ROSS Intelligence. ROSS developed a new online legal research tool using artificial intelligence (AI), contracting with an outside company for a database of legal cases sourced from Westlaw. Westlaw sued ROSS for copyright infringement, accusing it of using AI to mine the Westlaw database as source material for its new tool. Though the database is mainly composed of judicial opinions, which can’t be copyrighted, Westlaw long maintained that it holds copyrights to the page numbers and other organizational features. ROSS went out of business less than a year after Westlaw filed suit.€ 

      • TechdirtTechdirt Podcast Episode 324: Revisiting The Question Of Proprietary Platforms For Media Companies

        We’ve got some great new discussions for the Techdirt Podcast… coming in a few weeks. But at the moment, amidst a very busy schedule on a variety of fronts, we’re taking a short break to look back on a very old conversation: our 14th episode ever, from 2015, about media companies rolling out proprietary content management systems. Since we recently completed our own migration to WordPress (the popular platform that was also a major component of that seven-year-old discussion) we thought it might be fun to revisit the question. So on this week’s episode, Mike and I open with a bit of a retrospective followed by a replay of the original conversation in full.

      • TechdirtAnother Issue With Internet Antitrust Bills: Sloppy Drafting Could Lead To Problems For Encryption

        As the big push is on to approve two internet-focused antitrust bills, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) and the Open App Markets Act, we’ve been calling out that while the overall intentions of both may be good, there are real concerns with the language of both and how it could impact content moderation debates. Indeed, it seems pretty clear that the only reason these bills have strong support from Republicans is because they know the bills can be abused to attack editorial discretion.

      • Counter PunchNeoliberals Don't Like Free Markets, But They Want You to Think They Do
      • Patents

        • TechdirtToo Little, Too Late, WTO Finally Eases Patent Rights On COVID Vaccines

          In what definitely feels like a case of way too little, way too late, the WTO last week finally decided to grant the TRIPS waiver on COVID vaccines, allowing others to make more of the vaccine without violating patent rights. The WTO has long had this ability to issue a patent waiver as part of its Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. The idea is that in an emergency, when patents or copyrights are getting in the way of real harm, the WTO can say “hey, let’s grant a waiver to save people.”

      • Copyrights

        • Creative CommonsOpen Minds Podcast: *Special Episode* CC Roundtable on EU DATA ACT

          Hi Creative Commoners! We are back with a brand new episode of CC’s Open Minds … from Creative Commons podcast.€ 

        • Creative CommonsHere are four key takeaways from evaluating the CC Certificate

          The CC Certificate program is an investment in the global community of open creators and advocates. It is a tool to support people as proactive participants in our shared digital commons, and strengthen the diversity of creative thought and expression to improve open access to open knowledge and culture.€ 

        • Torrent FreakMegaupload Pair Plead Guilty, Kim Dotcom Turns Anger on Former Friends

          In May, former Megaupload executives Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk revealed a deal to avoid extradition to the US by being charged with crimes in New Zealand. Today the men pleaded guilty and both face up to 10 years in prison. Kim Dotcom - who is not part of the deal - congratulated his former friends last month but now accuses them of facilitating Chinese spying.

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