04.17.21

Links 17/4/2021: Linux 5.13 in Sight, Holland Warming up to Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 11:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Librem 14 Begins Shipping

        As expected, there is a lot of demand for the Librem 14 and now that we are shipping we expect that demand to grow. We plan to reach shipping parity (the point where we have shipped all existing orders so that new orders ship within our normal 10-business-day window) as soon as possible and with the help of some overtime we have an internal goal to ship through all existing orders in May, any newly placed orders get into the ever growing queue for fulfillment in a first-in-first-out process. If you are already in the queue with a pre-order, we will confirm shipping details prior to your order being delivered.

      • Does the choice of enterprise Linux really matter anymore?

        We speak to Canonical, Red Hat and SUSE about the place of Linux in a cloud-based future – and what the CentOS EOL foretells

      • You ever think about how Asus put out like 40 models of a laptop called the “Eee PC”

        There were two products that arrived in 2007 that fundamentally changed computing: one, of course, was the iPhone. The second, obviously more important product was the $399 Eee PC 701. It originally ran a custom Linux operating system that reviewers loved (Laptop Mag’s Mark Spoonauer said it was “ten times simpler to use than any Windows notebook”) and was generally heralded as a new kind of computer with tremendous mass appeal. Spoonauer: “Pound for pound, the best value-priced notebook on the planet.”

        Again, this was a weirdo little two-pound plastic laptop that ran a custom Linux distro that was basically a front for various websites. (We hadn’t invented the phrase “cloud services” yet.)

        Windows getting shown up by Linux was not allowed, so Microsoft did some Microsoft maneuvering, and by January 2008 the Eee PC was running Windows XP instead. It was also part of a larger category called “netbooks,” and we were all made to know what netbooks were.

    • 2D and 3D switching puzzle-platformer Neko Ghost, Jump! has a new demo and release window

      After a successful Kickstarter campaign and an Epic MegaGrant, Neko Ghost, Jump! which combines 2D and 3D platforming together is coming along nicely to release.

      What is it? Neko Ghost, Jump! is a puzzle-platformer that utilizes the unique mechanic of switching between a side-scrolling 2D perspective and a full 3D one. Traversal in Nekoworld will require players to utilize each perspective wisely and challenge their reflexes to quickly change between 2D and 3D to solve puzzles. Not only will players have to effectively change camera perspectives, they will also be able to switch between Nekoman’s physical form and his ghost form. Ghost form is used to attack enemies, as well as solve some environmental challenges.

    • Seafarer+ now live for wilderness survival roguelike Wayward with a new temperature system

      Wayward is an Early Access survival roguelike about being out in the wilderness, and now it’s getting a little bit tougher with the Seafarer+ update adding in a new temperature system.

      Not only are you now worried with your normal needs and crafting, you also need to battle directly against the elements with three temperature-related status effects, a new “insulation” property for equipment and containers, and more! The developer says it’s one of the biggest updates to the game ever.

    • Mindustry: I Big Brain Enough For This Game
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #407: The Weekender LXX

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

    • Kernel Space

      • Realtek RTL8156 2.5G Chips + RTL8153 To Be Supported By Linux 5.13 – Phoronix

        Realtek has contributed support for the RTL8153 and RTL8156 Ethernet chipsets to their “r8152″ USB network driver for the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle.

        The Realtek RTL8153 Ethernet controller supports Gigabit connectivity and interfacing with USB 3.0/2.0/1.1. The Realtek RTL8153 is found in a variety of current USB network dongles but can also be used by some motherboards and notebooks. The RTL8153 is used by some Anker and TP-LINK USB network adapters as well as some Lenovo ThinkPad branded adapters.

      • Linux 5.13 Set To Introduce A WWAN Framework – Phoronix

        Hitting the Linux networking subsystem’s “net-next” branch on Friday was the long in development WWAN subsystem/framework.

        This code now queued up for introduction with the imminent Linux 5.13 merge window is a Wireless WAN (WWAN) framework. This new code is for dealing with the complexity and heterogeneity of Wireless WAN hardware. Linaro spearheaded the work.

      • Graphics Stack

        • The Best Linux Vulkan Driver For AMD GPUs: Mesa RADV vs AMDVLK – LinuxReviews

          There are two Vulkan drivers for AMD graphics cards available: The RADV driver that comes with Mesa and the AMDVLK driver from AMD. Here is a test of the latest AMDVLK 2021.Q2.1 driver against the latest Mesa 21.0.3 RADV driver in some graphical and compute applications.

          [...]

          Both drivers will mostly provide the same performance with Vulkan compute as a notable exception. Which you should use is therefore mostly a question of what driver works best with the game(s) you would like to play. Both AMDVLK and RADV work fine with most games, but there are some that work better with AMDVLK or vice versa. It is, luckily, quite easy to have both drivers installed and choose what game or application uses what driver.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Download A Portion Of Youtube Video with Youtube-dl And FFmpeg – OSTechNix

        Even though there are multitude of programs available to download and encode videos, I prefer to use Youtube-dl and FFmpeg. These two utilities are just enough to download videos from online and encode, decode, transcode, crop and mux the downloaded videos. Today, we will see how to download a portion of YouTube video with Youtube-dl and FFmpeg in Linux.

        Before I know this tip, I would usually first download the entire video using Youtube-dl and then trim it down to my desired duration using FFmpeg as shown below.

      • How To Install LibreOffice on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install LibreOffice on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, LibreOffice is a powerful and free office suites such as the creation of spreadsheets, slideshows, and databases, used by millions of people around the world. Its clean interface and feature-rich tools help you unleash your creativity and enhance your productivity.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of LibreOffice on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • HOWTO Make Mozilla Firefox Stop Nagging You About Updates And Other Annoying Idiocy – LinuxReviews

        Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, has intentionally made it somewhere between hard and impossible to stop recent Firefox versions from nagging you about updates on a regular basis. That is you use the Beta or Nightly channels. It used to be possible to disable the nagging using in-browser configurable settings, but Mozilla decided that it gave Firefox users too much control so they took it away. Luckily, there is another lesser-know way Linux users can use to make Firefox stop nagging about updates and other lunacy.

      • 3 Ways to Run a Raspberry Pi Program or Script at Startup

        Need to ensure a program or script runs every time you boot your Raspberry Pi? Here are three ways to autostart software on the Pi.

      • 5 Of The Most Boring Commands In Linux – LateWeb.Info

        Linux is great, there are so many interesting things in it that one can get lost and one life is not enough to learn everything. In this article, however, we will show you the commands that we all know but never use – The most boring commands in Linux.

      • Keepass Portable Install and Review

        KeePass is a free open source password manager. Passwords can be stored in an encrypted database, which can be unlocked with one master key.

      • What I Wish I Knew About U2F and Other Hardware MFA Protocols

        While working on this, I had the pleasure of learning about this exciting world of hardware MFA devices, like U2F keys. OK, it’s not really that exciting, but I’d like to share some things I learned along the way. Hopefully, this will save some poor soul out there some time.

      • Deleting old FreeBSD boot environments

        I like boot environments (BE) on FreeBSD. They were especially handy when building the AWS host for FreshPorts, since I had no serial console. I would create a BE saving the current status, then make some changes. I’d mark the current BE as boot once, so I could boot back in the known good BE. Worst case, I could mount the storage onto a rescue EC2 instance and adjust the bootfs value of the zpool.

      • How to Remove Packages from Ubuntu & Debian – TecAdmin

        The APT (Advanced Package Tool) is a powerful package management tool for Debian based systems. It provides powerful command-line tool like “apt” or “apt-get”. Which is used to install, upgrade or remove a software package on your Debian system.

        In this tutorial, you will learn to how to uninstall or remove packages from a Ubuntu or Debian Linux system.

      • How to Find UUID in Linux

        UUID (Universally Unique identifier) is a 128-bit unique number standardized by the Open Software Foundation. UUID helps to identify partitions in Linux systems. It is generated by using the libuuid library (used by e2fsprogs) which is part of util-linux available by default in Linux from kernel version 2.15.1.

        UUIDs are unique among all UUIDs created on the local system, and among UUIDs created on other systems.

        The benefit of UUID comes If your system uses many data storage such as SAN, ISCSI, etc. Each time you move storage you don’t have to worry about updating /etc/fstab.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to find UUIDs of storage drives in the Linux system.

      • Fix LibreOffice Looks Ugly on Deepin 20

        Continuing similar issue fixing for KDE, it is now apparent that LibreOffice looks also “ugly” on Deepin 20 and later. This means its visual appears ancient unlike what users expect and look unmatched with the Deepin desktop themes. To solve this issue, follow these instructions.

      • How To Install BlueMail on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install BlueMail on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, BlueMail is a free, secure, universal email app, capable of managing an unlimited number of mail accounts. You can integrate any number of e-mail accounts from any provider, for example from Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, etc. It comes with a simple and easy-to-operate interface but with many functionalities such as push notifications, unified Inbox, Dark theme, calendar, Group Mail, Encryption and Security, and plenty of options for sorting and managing mail.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the BlueMail on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • LXQt Desktop 0.17 Is Released

        LXQt is a pretty bare-bones and light-weight desktop environment with a traditional desktop with icons on it, a simple panel, or panels, a power manager, a file manager, (pcmanfm-qt) and a terminal qterminal. The window manager it uses is openbox, a window manager developed completely independent on the LXQt project. The openbox settings manager has been removed from the LXQt session in this release to make it easier to use LXQt with other window managers.

        The latest LXQt 0.17 release has several mostly tiny improvements. Session management has been improved to include the most basic feature session management should have: Desktop applications are now notified when LXQt quits. This gives them a chance to exit cleanly instead of being abruptly terminated when the X server terminates.

        The PCManFM-Qt file manager that comes with LXQt has gained support for file creation times and a “Admin mode” in the tools menu that lets you transfer files between root and your regular user without the need to actually be root. This feature is, sadly, currently broken due to a problem in the underlying GNOME Virtual file system (GVFS) framework it depends on. It will work if that bug gets fixed.

      • Lightweight Desktop LXQt 0.17 Released. This is What’s New.

        LXQt 0.17 is released. The lightweight desktop environment brings its latest version LXQt 0.17 with moderate improvements across modules and their components. This is what’s new.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Offline updates are now optional

          I have good news for those of you who are upset by KDE Neon moving to offline updates by default: we’ve made a GUI setting to turn it off (there was already a CLI setting). I get that the nerdy tech crowd is not super thrilled by this new more Windows 10-style update mode. But though it sometimes be annoying, it really does improve your system’s stability. I can point to literally hundreds of bug reports about problems caused entirely by not rebooting the computer after installing updates. However, in KDE we want you to be in control, so starting in Plasma 5.22, you’ll be able to enable or disable offline updates to suit your preference. This work was done by Aleix Pol Gonzalez…

        • KDE Will Now Let You Easily Disable Offline Updates, More KWin Crash Fixes

          It’s been another busy spring week in KDE land.

          KDE has seen more improvements/fixes to its Wayland support and other new additions and fixes that landed over the past week. KDE developer Nate Graham continues providing the great weekly summaries about innovations happening on the KDE front. Among the material for this week includes:

          - KDE now has an option in System Settings to disable Offline Updates functionality. This change will appear with Plasma 5.22.

          - KDE Discover now supports updates using distribution’s RPM-OSTree like with Fedora Silverblue.

          - When screencasting on KDE Plasma Wayland sessions the “do not disturb” mode is activated by default.

        • SoK Final Update

          Hello again everyone, I wrote my last update related to Season of KDE in January, and now is the time for the final update. I am sorry I couldn’t write blogs in between. The 3 months passed by like at supersonic speed.

          So I was selected to work on Calamares project under Adriaan de Groot. Most of my work revolved around the functionality of sending the installation logs to paste server online. This feature would help distro maintainers, calamares developers as well as the end users to pin point the errors that possibly may have caused installation to stop (if that happens).

        • Sok : The beginning after the end

          Season of KDE 2021 officially concluded on 9th of April 2021 but this is just the beginning of the long road that I have to go with kockatoo. In this post I will write a short summary and a description of what went down during the Sok time period

        • Building Android release packages with KDE Craft

          One of the probably biggest gaps to make KDE Itinerary widely usable is the fact it is not available as a released package in any of the major APK stores such as F-Droid or Google Play. Unlike on Linux platforms there are no distributors handling this for us on Android-based platforms, we need to take care of that ourselves.

          Current Situation

          So far there’s only of a few KDE applications with release packages for Android, namely KDE Connect which is special in the technology and build system it uses compared to most other of out applications, and Krita, which uses a custom build script.

          On the other hand we do have the nightly debug builds, provided via a spearate F-Droid repository, which are build by a common infrastructure for more than 25 apps. Besides tracking the latest development branches of the apps and their dependencies, those are fairly heavy packages due to all being based on a common base build and thus including a number of unnecessary content. At the same time those are not complete either and for example miss translations.

    • Distributions

      • Bugfix for gFTP in EasyOS

        gFTP is a gtk+2-based FTP client. The first time that a ssh2 connection is made, there is a popup asking to confirm key authorization, with yes/no buttons. However, in EasyOS Dunfell-series, the popup dialog window does not appear, so unable to confirm the connection.
        This problem does not occur in EasyOS Buster-series.

      • Reviews

        • Hyperbola Linux Review: Systemd-Free Arch With Linux-libre Kernel

          In the last month of 2019, the Hyperbola project took a major decision of ditching Linux in favor of OpenBSD. We also had a chat with Hyperbola co-founder Andre Silva, who detailed the reason for dropping Hyperbola OS and starting a new HyperbolaBSD.

          HyperbolaBSD is still under development and its alpha release will be ready by September 2021 for initial testing. The current Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre v0.3.1 Milky Way will be supported until the legacy Linux-libre kernel reaches the end of life in 2022.

          I thought of giving it a try before it goes away and switches to BSD completely.

      • Slackware Family

        • Slackware 15.0 Beta Announced and SBo Development Cycle

          It’s a few days late, but Patrick has announced Slackware 15.0 Beta in the Changelog per April 12. It’s another milestone after declaring Alpha in February. We are coming closer to final release of Slackware 15.0 after almost five years of development since the release of 14.2 back in 2016. Many things have changes since then and as far as i can see, all the major toolchain is now fixed in Slackware development tree and we are likely focusing to fix the remaining issue reported by many users who have been testing -current for a long time.

          SBo is following up by entering the development cycle for 15.0 repository as per this week and submissions is now closed. No new scripts can be submitted unless it’s a new dependency for newer version of the scripts available in the repository and it can only be added by admins. Thanks to Ponce’s work on tracking -current, his repository has contained a lot of commits fixing scripts to be buildable on current. That will be a good starting point and we will work on fixing the rest afterwards. This process might take some time as some of the scripts are outdated and some are abandoned by the maintainer or upstream.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Echoes of SCO case: Xinuos sues IBM, Red Hat in Virgin Islands

          The American software company Xinuos, created in 2011, has sued IBM and Red Hat over alleged anti-trust violations and copyright infringement, and claims that Big Blue has been misleading its investors since 2008.

          According to Wikipedia, “Xinuos develops and markets the Unix-based OpenServer 6, OpenServer 5, and UnixWare 7 operating systems, which have a long history in the marketplace, with prior owners being the Santa Cruz Operation and The SCO Group, as well as the newer OpenServer 10 operating system, which it developed upon a base of FreeBSD”.

          This case is reminiscent of the one that SCO filed against IBM in 2003. In 2015, after lying dormant for nearly five years, that case reappeared on the docket of the US federal court in Utah.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How I digitized my CD collection with open source tools

        The restrictions on getting out and about during the pandemic occasionally remind me that time is slipping by—although some days, “slipping” doesn’t quite feel like the right word. But it also reminds me there are more than a few tasks around the house that can be great for restoring the sense of accomplishment that so many of us have missed.

        One such task, in my home anyway, is converting our CD collection to FLAC and storing the files on our music server’s hard drive. Considering we don’t have a huge collection (at least, by some people’s standards), I’m surprised we still have so many CDs awaiting conversion—even excluding all the ones that fail to impress and therefore don’t merit the effort.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Begins Rolling Out QUIC + HTTP/3 Support

            QUIC and HTTP/3 support is now appearing in Firefox Nightly and Beta build while it will begin its roll-out with the upcoming Firefox 88 stable release.

            HTTP/3 as the new HTTP protocol standard based on QUIC is beginning its roll-out in Firefox. HTTP/3 aims to deliver better web performance and reliability but of course requires a compatible web server. Google and Facebook are among the notable major online destinations already supporting HTTP/3.

          • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR32 available, plus a two-week reprieve

            Mozilla is advancing Firefox 89 by two weeks to give them additional time to polish up the UI changes in that version. This will thus put all future release dates ahead by two weeks as well; the next ESR release and the first Security Parity Release parallel with it instead will be scheduled for June 1. Aligning with this, the testing version of FPR32 SPR1 will come out the weekend before June 1 and the final official build of TenFourFox will also move ahead two weeks, from September 7 to September 21. After that you’ll have to DIY but fortunately it already looks like people are rising to the challenge of building the browser themselves: I have been pointed to an installer which neatly wraps up all the necessary build prerequisites, provides a guided Automator workflow and won’t interfere with any existing installation of MacPorts. I don’t have anything to do this with this effort and can’t attest to or advise on its use, but it’s nice to see it exists, so download it from Macintosh Garden if you want to try it out. Remember, compilation speed on G4 (and, shudder, G3) systems can be substantially slower than on a G5, and especially without multiple CPUs. Given this Quad G5 running full tilt (three cores dedicated to compiling) with a full 16GB of RAM takes about three and a half hours to kick out a single architecture build, you should plan accordingly for longer times on lesser systems.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • SQLite the only database you will ever need in most cases

          In contrast to many other database management systems, SQLite is not a client-server database engine, but you actually very rarely need that. If your application software runs on the same physical machine as the database, which is what most small to medium sized web applications does, then you probably only need SQLite.

      • FSF

        • [Older] FSF doubles down on Richard Stallman’s return: Sure, he is ‘troubling for some’ but we need him, says org

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) on Monday apologized for mishandling the announcement last month that founder Richard Stallman, or RMS, had been reelected to its board of directors – and published a statement from RMS both justifying his behavior and apologizing for it.

          “FSF staff should have been informed and consulted first,” the FSF said. “The announcement by RMS at LibrePlanet was a complete surprise to staff, all those who worked so hard to organize a great event, to LibrePlanet speakers and to the exhibitors. We had hoped for a more inclusive and thoughtful process and we apologize that this did not occur.”

          The foundation’s director, deputy director, and chief technology officer walked away away from the organization as a result of Stallman’s surprise return, we understand from conversations with FSF staff.

          The FSF also defended its decision to restore RMS to its board, a year and a half after controversial remarks and allegations about past behavior led him to resign.

          RMS, the organization said this week, “has a deep sensitivity to the ways that technologies can contribute to both the enhancement and the diminution of basic human rights,” and it suggested he is essential to its mission, even as it acknowledged that “his personal style remains troubling for some.”

        • Licensing/Legal

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 5 Best Open Source JavaScript Game Engines You Must Know

          JS Game engines work fast with a compatible browser, hardware, and software a developer uses. In this article, we are going to explore the top 5 best open source JavaScript game engines. There are instances of using 2D and 3D games in game development companies all over the world. To learn web development, it is the best start with 2D platform-based games. The following are the best open-source JavaScript game engines used by beginners and experts alike.

        • 3 ways the CI/CD approach to software has made work better for developers – TechRepublic

          Over the last decade, continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) has replaced the traditional approach to software development that started with months of work and ended with a big push of new code.The industry has shifted to making smaller changes more frequently, which has changed the way developers work.

        • Python

          • Splunk : Getting Started with the Splunk Distribution of OpenTelemetry Python

            In our last blog, we introduced OpenTelemetry Python v1.0.0 and walked you through instrumenting a Python application and install both the OpenTelemetry API and SDK. In this blog, we’ll show you how to get started with the Splunk Distribution of OpenTelemetry Python- a secure, production-ready, Splunk-supported distribution of the OpenTelemetry project that provides multiple installable packages that automatically instruments your Python application to capture and report distributed traces to Splunk APM (no code changes required!), making it easy to get started with distributed tracing!

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Twitchy is dead — long live Twitchy [Ed: Twitter keeps breaking things; such is the nature of today's broken Web and clown computing for social control ('media')]

        I recently wrote about wtwitch, a CLI-client for Twitch. It was my replacement client for Twitchy when it died and stopped working.

        While wtwitch was (and still is) a good client, I missed one little detail from it; being able to see how long a channel has been online.

      • Clean up the web!

        Developers, it’s time for you to choose a side: will you help rid the web of privacy-invading tracking or be complicit in it?

      • Clean up the web
  • Leftovers

    • Nobody’s Burisma But My Own

      Well, that’s the way it felt when I parsed a Guardian ( Observer) review of Hunter Biden’s memoir, Beautiful Things, the other day. “The scandal that wasn’t: Republicans deflated as nation shrugs at Hunter Biden revelations.” Nah-Nah. And then follows endorsements of the books monumental and “searing” honesty. Publishers Weekly loves it! Stephen King was inspired (oh-oh, we know what that means: Think — Here’s Hunter! ). Dave Eggers us on. But the piece de insistence is Charlie Sykes’ ( How the Right Lost Its Mind) Much Ado Tempest Teapot quote:

      It is amazing how many of their hopes and dreams did centre on Hunter Biden’s addiction, Hunter Biden’s sex life, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and interesting for a political party that has based so much on ‘nothing matters’ to discover to their disappointment that nothing matters.

    • Denis Halliday: A Voice of Reason in an Insane World

      Halliday saw at first hand the devastating impact of this policy that had led to the deaths of over 500,000 children under the age of five and hundreds of thousands more older children and adults, and he called the sanctions a genocide against the people of Iraq.

      Since 1998, Denis has been a powerful voice for peace and for human rights around the world. He sailed in the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in 2010, when 10 of his companions on a Turkish ship were shot and killed in an attack by the Israeli armed forces.

    • The Ruins of Bunker Hill

      Last week, I stayed on Bunker Hill, in Downtown Los Angeles, at the glorious art deco Millennium Biltmore. With downtown hotels desperate to lure visitors in, the prices were so heavily discounted that (at least before the absurdly high parking fee was added on) it didn’t cost that much more than staying at a low-end motel. It was the first time since the pandemic began that I had visited the city. In LA to report a Nation story, I’d actually gotten on a plane and flown somewhere to do in-person interviews for the first time in more than a year.

      In “normal” times—whatever that now means—the skyscraper district of Los Angeles is filled with besuited, rushing men and women. People in a hurry. Executives with their Starbucks coffees, their boxed salad or sushi lunches, their luxury cars parked in the garages underneath their glistening, touch-the-sky office buildings.

    • Bach at Tax Time
    • Craving Forbidden Intimacy
    • Roaming Charges: Invitation to a Haunting

      At Lyle, I turned north following the twists and turns of the racing Klickitat River, as dozens of osprey and bald eagles scanned the water for silver flashes of salmon and trout. I stopped at the little town of Klickitat, once the home of a large mill operated by International Paper and Champion, now a toxic waste site fenced off for public safety. The same old story in the industrial West, where timber companies scalp as much as they can and leave behind ruins coated in lead, arsenic, chlorine and asbestos. Don’t worry, the company told the people of this remote company town, as the executives decamped back to corporate HQ in Memphis: most of the toxins will leach away and that ground will be good as new in no time. And 30 years later, it’s still leaching: into the river, into the salmon, into the eagles and osprey and bears, into the tribal people, into the children of the town. Out of the past, into the bloodstream.

      The place seemed haunted to me, a miniature version of the death zone in Libby, Montana. As I sat on the bumper of my car looking at the giant smokestack, a rusty pick-up truck pulled up next to me.

    • If We Cannot Hold the Pass

      The wind is tearing through Thacker Pass. I am warm enough in my tent, though I can’t sleep. In a nightmare vision, I have seen what will happen if we cannot hold this pass against the men who will come with guns and machines to destroy this mountain: the mountains will fall one after another—like dominoes.

    • On, I Claud: From The Week to the Worker to Breakfast With Hemingway in Spain

      The Week was the mimeographed newsletter Cockburn had launched in 1933 to influence the political influencers of the day. He’d been confident it would succeed and it had. His small network of foreign correspondents was meeting several times a week to share information. “There was something to be said for regular exchanges even when there seemed to be no news at all,” Cockburn writes in  I, Claud… The mere fact of each in turn going through a kind of ‘total recall’ of what had been said by informants —diplomats, financiers and others— during the course of the past 48 hours was clarificatory and often produced a piece of the great jigsaw which otherwise could’ve been overlooked or forgotten.”

      The Week published stories that correspondents “could not venture to send directly to their papers or news agencies but which they could send if they had just appeared in  The Week and could thus be quoted instead of being sent on the responsibility of the correspondence… And then naturally the whole business ‘snowballed.’ When it was seen what kind of stories  The Week uniquely would handle all sorts of people —for motives sometimes noble and quite often vile— would approach  The Week to draw its attention to the most extraordinary pieces of more or less confidential information. Sometimes it came from frustrated newspapermen who could not get what they considered vital news into their own papers. More often such confidences were the outcome of obscure financial or diplomatic duels. They would come for instance from a Councilor of an Embassy who was convinced of the wrongheaded policy of the Foreign Office and the Ambassador.”

    • Addressing America’s Homelessness and Squalor: What We Could Do If We Cared

      “I wanna know where the $2.5 million is – that’s my reaction.” Muhsin Boe Luther Umar — or as we call him, Uncle Boe — throws his hands up and shakes his head. In his role as both Resident Council President at Garfield Terrace and D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B03 Member, he’s had more than his fair share of dealings with D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA). So I had asked him what his reaction was upon hearing about the recent audit of three DCHA contracts, which found nearly $1.4 million in wasted funds.

    • Science

      • Opinion | Anti-Science Republicans Like Jim Jordan Have Blood on Their Hands

        The attitude of people like Jordan is why we are heading for 600,000 dead in the pandemic.

        Ohio Republican congressman Jim Jordan chomped on to Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday like a rabid dog and spewed foam and spittle while prattling on about people being deprived of “liberty” during the pandemic.

    • Education

      • Hershey Profits Fund $17 Billion Endowment for Nonprofit School, but Board Member Says It Won’t Let Him See Financial Records

        For over a year, lawyer Bob Heist, then-chairman of the Milton Hershey School’s board, says he sought internal financial records detailing the spending history of the $17 billion charity, which has a mission to educate low-income students for free.

        He now says he is being denied records he needs as a board member charged with overseeing the Pennsylvania boarding school’s operations, and earlier this month he sued the school to obtain the documents. It’s an extremely unusual step for a sitting board member, taken against an extremely unusual institution: The Milton Hershey School is the wealthiest pre-college educational institution in the United States. It controls 80% of the Hershey Co. candy giant’s voting shares, and reaps profits from the sale of Hershey chocolate bars, Reese’s peanut butter cups and SkinnyPop-brand snacks sold in thousand of U.S. retail stores.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Sanders, Senate Democrats Call on Biden to Support Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Waiver at WTO

        Letter urges president to “prioritize people over pharmaceutical company profits.”

        Sen. Bernie Sanders and a group of Democrats on Friday urged President Joe Biden to support an international push to temporarily suspend certain vaccine-related intellectual property rights, a proposal the lawmakers called a “vital” step toward speeding global inoculation campaigns and ending the coronavirus pandemic.

      • “Collision of Crises” Impact Black and Brown Survivors during COVID-19 – Validated Independent News

        As of April 2021, only a small amount of research has been done to explore the impacts of racism on survivors of color during this global health crisis. For the study, a survey was developed and distributed via an online survey platform called Qualtrics between June 23, 2020 and July 27, 2020. The survey was also available on the ‘‘me too.’’official website and was posted on social media platforms. 737 individuals who were 18 years or older participated.

      • Opinion | Suspending Vaccine Patents Is the Leadership the World Needs to End This Pandemic

        Intellectual property rules are not sacrosanct; this is, after all, an unprecedented crisis.

        When the coronavirus pandemic first erupted, there seemed a consensus among nations that there could be no national route out of a global pandemic. Since then, however, we have all too often seen political leaders turn away from the values of international co-operation and multilateralism. President Biden is now considering a move that will help end the diplomatic crises over vaccines—and provide leadership that the world needs to end this pandemic.

      • Paul Thacker amplifies antivaccine messaging by attacking science communicators

        It’s been a long time since I’ve paid much attention to—or any attention at all— Paul Thacker. Indeed, the only time I ever thought about Mr. Thacker enough to write about him was over five years ago, when he had been openly bragging about using abusive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the emails of scientists involved with research into genetically modified organisms (GMOs), working for public universities in states with laws that allowed for such requests, all in order to look for dirt with which to embarrass them. That dirt was usually in the form of any sort of conflict of interest (COI), either real or hyped up, with industry, especially Monsanto, then the Voldemort, Sauron, and Darth Vader of GMOs all rolled up into one. Indeed, he harassed one such scientist, Kevin Folta, until he found a relatively minor undisclosed COI in the form of an unrestricted educational grant from Monsanto. While it was a mistake of Dr. Folta not to have disclosed it (and it wasn’t a huge sum of money), it was clear that Mr. Thacker’s purpose wasn’t “transparency,” as he claimed, but rather to slime scientists involved in GMO research in the name of “transparency” in much the same way climate science denialists routinely try to slime climate scientists as hopelessly corrupt. That’s his M.O., to attack the science he views as “dangerous” by attacking scientists involved in that science, particularly those who are outspoken defenders of that science. Basically, Mr. Thacker is so blatant in doing this that, even when he is making a reasonable point about industry influence, he frequently comes off as a crackpot. That’s because he is a crackpot.

      • Norway Begs Migrants to Stop Vacationing in Home Countries Amid Imported COVID-19 Cases

        Every fourth aircraft that landed at Oslo Airport from Dubai and Istanbul has been found to have infected passengers on board, the newspaper Aftenposten reported.

        Many of the infected passengers are Norwegian immigrants who have been on holiday in countries such as Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. Furthermore, 80 percent of those tested positive carry one of the new, worrying virus variants.

      • Most Americans want tougher gun laws. Why is it so hard to change?

        The president’s actions delivered on a pledge he made last month to take what he termed immediate “common-sense steps” to address gun violence, after a series of mass shootings drew renewed attention to the issue, according to the Associated Press. His announcement came the day after a South Carolina shooting incident that killed five people. Last month, eight were killed in the Atlanta spa shootings, and a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado claimed the lives of 10 people.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • IN THE MATTER OF THE SEARCH OF: CASE NO. 4:21mj755: Certain Microsoft Exchange Servers Infected with Web Shells [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Pursuant to the United Stat’s motion and for good cause show, the motion to seal and sealing order in the above-captions matter shall be unsealed. The redacted search warant and redacted application for search warrant appended to the Governm,ent’s motion shall be unsealed. Any copy of the search warrant and application for search warrant taht is unredacted shall remain sealed.

        • Justice Department Announces Court-Authorized Effort to Disrupt Exploitation of Microsoft Exchange Server Vulnerabilities [iophk: Windows TCO]

          “Today’s court-authorized removal of the malicious web shells demonstrates the Department’s commitment to disrupt [cracking] activity using all of our legal tools, not just prosecutions,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “Combined with the private sector’s and other government agencies’ efforts to date, including the release of detection tools and patches, we are together showing the strength that public-private partnership brings to our country’s cybersecurity. There’s no doubt that more work remains to be done, but let there also be no doubt that the Department is committed to playing its integral and necessary role in such efforts.”

        • A ‘Worst Nightmare’ Cyberattack: The Untold Story Of The SolarWinds [Attack] [iophk: Windows TCO]

          NPR’s months-long examination of that landmark attack — based on interviews with dozens of players from company officials to victims to cyber forensics experts who investigated, and intelligence officials who are in the process of calibrating the Biden administration’s response — reveals a [attack] unlike any other, launched by a sophisticated adversary who took aim at a soft underbelly of digital life: the routine software update.

        • Did Someone at the Commerce Dept. Find a SolarWinds Backdoor in Aug. 2020?

          A search in VirusTotal’s malware repository shows that on Aug. 13, 2020 someone uploaded a file with that same name and file hashes. It’s often not hard to look through VirusTotal and find files submitted by specific users over time, and several of those submitted by the same user over nearly two years include messages and files sent to email addresses for people currently working in NTIA’s information technology department.

          The NTIA did not respond to requests for comment. But in December 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported the NTIA was among multiple federal agencies that had email and files plundered by the SolarWinds attackers. “The [attackers] broke into about three dozen email accounts since June at the NTIA, including accounts belonging to the agency’s senior leadership, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter,” The Journal wrote.

          [...]

          But the joint advisory makes clear the VMWare flaw was in fact used by SolarWinds attackers to further their exploits.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Eruption of the Refugee Crisis and the Global Push for Vaccine Passports

              The controversy erupted on Twitter even as the 32,000-foot-high plume of smoke from Saint Vincent’s La Soufrière volcano was still rising in the sky. The firestorm on American social media platforms over reports that only those vaccinated against COVID-19 would be allowed to evacuate the eastern Caribbean island sheds light on the architects of the biosecurity state who have descended on Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) to explore the limits of mandatory public health protocols in the midst of a natural disaster now projected to “ last months.”

            • How China’s massive Digital Silk Road project threatens privacy around the globe

              BRI is a conscious harking-back to the ancient Silk Road, which acted as a conduit for trade between Asia and Europe for centuries. Alongside the overland routes, Xi added a maritime project, which requires port development around the Indian Ocean, from South-east Asia all the way to East Africa and parts of Europe. An article on the Council on Foreign Relations site estimates that more than 60 nations, accounting for two-thirds of the world’s population, have signed up to projects or indicated an interest in doing so.

            • Encryption Has Never Been More Essential—or Threatened

              Elected officials in Europe have recently called for companies to build ways to break into their own encryption. In India, regulators have published new rules for messaging services that would undermine people’s ability to have a private conversation. Brazil’s Supreme Court may soon decide whether the government can shut off encrypted messaging services, in a case that started after a Facebook executive was arrested for not providing police with messages we could not access. Any of these steps could alter the course of the internet at a time when people need strong security more than ever.

            • Advocacy groups tell Mark Zuckerberg Instagram for children is a very bad idea

              Advocacy groups today signed off on a letter telling Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg that he should not go ahead with plans to develop an Instagram app for children under the age of 13.

              Thirty-five consumer advocacy groups, as well as 64 experts in the field of child development, said technology such as Instagram poses many risks for children related to their well-being, risks that have been well documented in older children.

            • Mass-action lawsuit against Facebook

              Did your data get breached by Facebook in its vast, ghastly, 500,000,000 person valdez? The lovely folks at Digital Rights Ireland are suing Facebook under the GDPR for money damages and they’d like to sign you up to be part of the lawsuit.

              You’re eligible if you live in the EU and your data was leaked. And, thanks to the GDPR, your participation in the legal action could result in Facebook being on the hook for real cash damages.

            • [Old] SSH is the new GPG

              Did you know that you probably already have a working PKI system for signing artifacts on your laptop today, with no keyservers, web-of-trust, or configuration? You can use it to sign files, and to find the public keys for other people and use them to verify files they signed.

              So why aren’t more people using this? I think it’s just gone overlooked because it’s a relatively new feature in apretty old piece of software. I’ve only been able to find one other blog post explaining how it works (outside of the man pages).

            • What digital footprint have you left on online?

              You may even be reading this article online! As we go about clicking, searching, posting, et cetera on our smart phones, laptop or desktop, each of us is building a digital footprint that many times we do not think about.

              Well, we all know the foot marks we leave on the ground as we walkalong a sandy beach or down a muddy patch. Digital footprints are the marks about ourselves that we leave online as we surf the [Internet] and engage in a sorts of things on social media, emails, searches, websites, etc.

              In other words, “a digital footprint is your online identity and individuality and is what makes you unique. It builds the online reputation, or impression depending on the things you do online. It is important to be aware of it because anything posted online is permanent and stays there forever regardless of being deleted.” – www.prezi.comYour digital footprint can be of benefit or it can damn you depending on what you have been doing online.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Life After Covid, as the U.S. Competes with China

        That said, there are all the things that won’t change: murderous sanctions on Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, Iran and basically any country that won’t approach the U.S. on its knees; over 800 imperial U.S. military bases in 70 countries; continued, very dangerous attempts to destabilize the nuclear-armed governments of China and Russia; the new, idiotic space force; an obscenely large military budget that starves the rest of the very needy nation; international trade deals, stupendously lucrative for rich corporations and horrible for workers; global bullying of any allies that do business with our so-called adversaries, for instance Germany and its Nord Stream 2 deal with Russia; fossil fuel corporations’ impunity as they cook the planet; violent interference in Latin American affairs whenever a left government gains power; support for Colombia’s reactionary leader and a blind eye to its death squads, because that government is the chief U.S. servant on the South American continent – and on and on.

        Then there are the things that could change, mostly in the imperial core. Because Biden is concerned about life in the imperial core, and his massive $2-trillion-dollar covid rescue plan addresses some of the many inequities there. Biden’s rescue bill won’t end poverty in the U.S., won’t even come close. It is not a comprehensive, sustained offensive of the sort China mounted and with which it lifted over 800 million people out of poverty. In fact, no country on earth can compete with China on this score, no country has improved the lives this much of this many people this quickly.

      • Venezuela Border Conflict Mixes Drug Trafficking and Regime-Change Ambitions

        The bi-national border is porous and long enough, at 1367 miles, to encourage smuggling and the undocumented passage of cross-border travelers such as the narcotraffickers in Apure. These include paramilitaries, bands of former FARC-EP insurgents, and drug-trade workers – pilots, truckers, laboratory workers, and more. Also involved are Colombia’s Army; Mexican drug cartels; officials in Washington; and DEA functionaries in Colombia.

        The paramilitaries in Apure represent Colombia’s largest drug cartel, “Los Rastrojos.” Colombia’s paramilitaries in general are the products of advice given Colombia’s government by U.S. Army consultants in the 1960s. They claimed paramilitaries were essential for defeating leftist guerrillas. The Colombian military controls the paramilitaries’ actions, as verified recently by the prototypic paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso. He was testifying before a Colombian judge virtually from a U.S. prison.

      • Violence for the Sake of Violence

        We watch them approach their prey. He lies there, also watching them. But wait a minute; something is wrong. This guy has shown no preparation to defend himself. Maybe he’s playing possum so that this street gang will leave him alone. But it is too late for that. He knows what they are going to do. We see it in his face.

        As the four surround him, yelling things at him that interfere with each other and become unintelligible, two of them reach down, grabbing his arms and pulling him up from the ground. They pull him up roughly to a kind of sitting position, twist him around, and throw him back down. They are kicking him, and one of them punches him four or five times. He doesn’t go down as easily as he came up.

      • The Hawks Who Want War With Iran Are Working Overtime

        This is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks on Iran designed to scuttle negotiations. Last summer, a number of explosions attributed to Israel broke out across Iran, including a fire at the Natanz site. These took place while US elections were in full swing and Biden was promising that if elected, he would return the US to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) that Trump withdrew from in 2018. In November 2020, Israeli operatives assassinated Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist in the city of Absard outside Tehran. Had Iran responded, the US might have been dragged into an all-out war.

        Israeli officials have also directly lobbied the US Congress to quash with deal. In 2015, Netanyahu traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2015 to address a joint session of Congress in an attempt to uncut Obama’s original negotiations. This time, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen will be traveling to Washington to meet with top White House and US intelligence officials, and he hopes with Biden directly, to convince the administration that Iran has been concealing details about its nuclear program and therefore can’t be trusted. This is indeed ironic coming from a country that, unlike Iran, actually has nuclear weapons and refuses to disclose any information about its program.

      • Biden Sanctions Russia for Cyber Espionage While Remaining Silent over Israeli Cyberattack on Iran

        The United States has imposed new sanctions on Russia and expelled 10 Russian diplomats after the Biden administration accused Moscow of being involved in major cyberattacks. The Treasury Department claimed Russia interfered in the 2020 election and was behind the SolarWinds hack, which compromised the computer systems of nine U.S. government agencies and scores of private companies. The sanctions target 32 Russian entities and individuals and bar U.S. banks from purchasing Russian government debt. Russia vowed to retaliate against the new sanctions and accused the Biden administration of degrading bilateral relations. “The most dangerous aspect of this is it introduces something new into international relations, because despite the way that it’s being described, this was not an attack on the U.S.,” says Anatol Lieven, senior fellow for Russia and Europe at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. “Never previously have sanctions been imposed in response to an espionage case, for the very good reason that every country, including the United States, engages in espionage.”

      • How BLM Is Subtly Shaping the Chauvin Trial

        The phrase “Black Lives Matter” hasn’t cropped up frequently during the actual trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing manslaughter, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder charges over the death of George Floyd. But in many ways, the proceedings at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis mark a subtle sea change in how racial biases are treated in the courtroom, and show the profound impact that a year of protests challenging the police violence that Black people disproportionately face has wrought on the American legal system.

        I am a scholar of juries, and my research has focused on the way citizens develop an acute understanding of their civic power when they serve on juries. I’ve paid close attention to the Black Panther trials of the 1970s, the Central Park Five trials, the trial of George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin, and recent cases in which Black Lives Matter has come up in jury selection. So seeing the ways in which racial bias has been approached during the Chauvin trial jury selection, and judging from the testimony of key witnesses—during a trial of a police officer no less—I’ve taken away a sense that something new is happening in this courtroom.

      • Medical Examiner Accused of Covering Up Police Killing in Maryland Becomes Witness for Derek Chauvin

        In the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a key witness for the defense was the former Maryland chief medical examiner, Dr. David Fowler, who contradicted most other expert witnesses in the trial and suggested heart trouble and other issues, not the police restraint, caused George Floyd’s death. The decision by Chauvin’s legal team to rely on Fowler’s testimony shocked many in Maryland, where he is being sued by the family of 19-year-old Anton Black, an African American teenager from Maryland who died in 2018 after he was electrocuted with a Taser, pinned in a prone position and crushed under the weight of three white police officers and a white civilian as he struggled to breathe and lost consciousness. After an autopsy, Dr. Fowler ruled Black’s death an accident, and no one was charged with a crime. The wrongful death lawsuit says Dr. Fowler delayed release of an autopsy report for months and covered up police responsibility for Black’s death. Sonia Kumar, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Maryland, says there is “a pattern of conduct in Maryland involving police violence against Black people that then are characterized as anything other than homicides.” We also speak with Richard Potter, the founder of the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black and president of the Talbot County branch of the NAACP, who says officials in Anton Black’s case spent months dragging their feet after the teenager’s death. “Nobody was giving the family any information in terms of a cause of death,” he says.

      • ‘The Status Quo Is Failing’: 36 Progressive Groups Demand Pentagon Cuts

        “We must change course and invest in the needs of people rather than the greed of the military-industrial complex.”

        Rejecting President Joe Biden’s call for a $753 billion military budget as a non-starter, a diverse coalition of dozens of progressive advocacy groups on Friday demanded that Biden and Congress work to reduce funding for the Pentagon in favor of increased spending on programs that improve social well-being.

      • Making Sense of a Viral Military

        According to news reports, at least a third of active-duty military personnel or those in the National Guard have opted out of getting the coronavirus vaccine. That figure, by the way, doesn’t even include American troops stationed around the world, many of whom have yet to be offered the chance to be vaccinated. As a Navy spouse whose husband has moved to five separate U.S. duty stations in the decade we’ve been together, one thing is hard for me to imagine: an administration pledging to do everything it can to beat this pandemic has stopped short of using its executive powers to ensure that our 2.3 million armed forces members are all vaccinated.

        From the point of view of those in the military refusing the vaccine, there’s a simple reality (or perhaps I mean surreality) to this situation. There’s so much disinformation about Covid-19 and the vaccination programs meant to deal with it floating around, particularly in the world of social media, that no one should be surprised that a third of the military here has flatly refused the shots. Even public efforts of the armed forces to dispel myths about the vaccine have not made a dent in these figures. For example, the decision of Army commanders at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to develop a local podcast on the subject and create what they call “vaccine ambassadors” in their own ranks have still left them facing an uphill battle. (Vaccine acceptance at that base was, as of February, below 50%.)

      • Remembering Ramsey Clark 1927–2021

        I first met Ramsey Clark, who died on April 9, when I interviewed him for Kennedy Justice—the book I was writing about Robert F. Kennedy’s attorney generalship.

        Ramsey had been assistant attorney general in charge of the Lands and Natural Resources Division at Justice. In a department that included, among others, Burke Marshall as head of the Civil Rights Division, Nick Katzenback as Kennedy’s number two, and Archibald Cox as solicitor general, Ramsey was thought by many—including yours truly—to be a nonentity who was given his job as a favor to Lyndon Johnson, then John F. Kennedy’s vice president.

      • Ramsey Clark: One of the Greatest

        In this short tribute, I have chosen to highlight some of his outstanding achievements. At some  point in the future, one hopes that some better qualified person will analyse in depth his impact upon American society and global politics.

        It was Sara Founders, his close associate, herself a renowned activist, who conveyed news of his demise to me. I was deeply saddened by the news. The entire JUST family shares my profound sorrow.

      • Released Body Cam Footage Shows Chicago Cop Shoot And Kill An Unarmed 13-Year-Old

        Another shooting of an unarmed person by police officers will likely see parts of Chicago burn over the next few days. But to get to where we are in the aftermath of this very disturbing shooting, we have to start at the beginning.

      • Chicago Police Officer Shot 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo With His Hands in the Air

        Protesters in Chicago took to the streets to condemn the police killing of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latinx boy, after bodycam video released by the Chicago police showed Toledo had his hands up in the air when a police officer shot him dead on March 29. Police initially described the incident as an “armed confrontation,” but the video shows Toledo raised his hands after being ordered to do so. He was killed within 20 seconds of the officer leaving his car to chase him down a dark alley following a report of gunshots in the area. “A Chicago police officer murdered Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old. There is no other way to describe what we saw in the video,” says Rey Wences, a community organizer based in Chicago’s Little Village. We also speak with Rossana Rodríguez-Sanchez, a Chicago alderperson, who says city officials spent weeks disparaging Adam Toledo before releasing the bodycam footage. “Lori Lightfoot ran as a reformer. She ran on transparency,” Rodríguez-Sanchez says of Chicago’s mayor. “She’s doing exactly the opposite of that.”

      • “Cold-Blooded Murder”: Chicago Police Officer Shot 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo with His Hands in the Air

        Protesters in Chicago took to the streets to condemn the police killing of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latinx boy, after bodycam video released by the Chicago police showed Toledo had his hands up in the air when a police officer shot him dead on March 29. Police initially described the incident as an “armed confrontation,” but the video shows Toledo raised his hands after being ordered to do so. He was killed within 20 seconds of the officer leaving his car to chase him down a dark alley following a report of gunshots in the area. “A Chicago police officer murdered Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old. There is no other way to describe what we saw in the video,” says Rey Wences, a community organizer based in Chicago’s Little Village. We also speak with Rossana Rodríguez-Sanchez, a Chicago alderperson, who says city officials spent weeks disparaging Adam Toledo before releasing the bodycam footage. “Lori Lightfoot ran as a reformer. She ran on transparency,” Rodríguez-Sanchez says of Chicago’s mayor. “She’s doing exactly the opposite of that.”

      • A School for Spooks: The London University Department Churning Out NATO Spies

        Last week, MintPress exposed how the supposedly independent investigative collective Bellingcat is, in fact, funded by a CIA cutout organization and filled with former spies and state intelligence operatives. However, one part of the story that has remained untold until now is Bellingcat’s close ties to the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, an institution with deep links to the British security state and one that trains a large number of British, American and European agents and defense analysts.

      • Nobel Laureate Warns of ‘Devastating Marriage’ Between Artificial Intelligence and Killer Robots

        “The biggest threats are the ‘modernization’ of nuclear weapons and the new ‘revolution’ of weapons,” says Peace Prize winner Jody Williams.

        Peace activist and Nobel laureate Jody Williams is continuing to sound alarm about so-called killer robots, saying in a recent interview that they represent a frightening marriage between “artificial intelligence and weapons of war.”

      • The Supreme Court Is Also to Blame for Daunte Wright’s Death

        When veteran Minnesota police officer Kimberly Potter, who is white, stopped Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, for an expired registration tag, she committed an act of racial profiling. As a result, Wright’s blood is on the hands not only of Potter but also of the U.S. Supreme Court, which has legally sanctioned this type of racial profiling.

      • FedEx’s Phone Policy Meant Workers Were Unable to Reach Families After Shooting

        A gunman opened fire at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, Thursday evening, killing at least eight individuals.

      • ‘Hale’s Crime Is Not Leaking Information, but Exposing Government Lies About the Drone Program’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Defending Rights & Dissent’s Chip Gibbons about drone whistleblower Daniel Hale for the April 9, 2021, episode of CounterSpin . This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • The Palestinians: “We Shall Not Be Moved”

        Since that time the resolve of the Palestinians to live on the land that is rightly theirs, despite all the Israeli efforts to dislodge them and drive them out, has never wavered. Just as the long struggle of African Americans has persisted since in the face white resistance which has employed an evolving array of tactics to block their way, ‘voting reform, being only the last.

        For both peoples their simple determination to win their rights remains their greatest strength.

      • Cold War Liberalism and the Labor Movement: The Epic Fail

        By undermining unions, AFL-CIO foreign policy helped corporations exercise global control and contributed its share to the availability of cheap labor abroad. That cheap labor then became a central ingredient in outsourcing, plant closing, wage suppression, and the loss of jobs at the heart of labor’s decline.

        This support for empire was sometimes called “Cold War Liberalism” because many liberals, progressives, even some radicals joined the anti-communist crusade. Cold War liberals use a logic similar to the lesser evil thinking so prevalent in US domestic politics. It goes like this: “Sure the US Empire is bad but in this case the Russia, Chinese, etc. etc. “imperialism” is so much worse.” By this logic radicals vote for Democrats. By this logic radicals support US Imperialism. By this logic the peace movement is deprived of its most important political meaning: anti-imperialism. We cannot stop the wars unless we see war as a product of the war machine — not simply the foreign policy choices of one or another President. In fact, the enduring bi-partisan consensus on war has its roots in the Cold War liberalism of the post WWII period.

      • Starving Yemen

        More accurately, Yemen is being starved to death.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf States, has deliberately chosen to weaponize starvation in its war against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.  The Saudi-led coalition has imposed a land, sea, and air blockade of Yemen which keeps desperately needed food, fuel, and medicine from the 90% of Yemenis who are completely reliant on humanitarian aid from the outside world.

        The coalition claims that the blockade is necessary in order to detect weapons being smuggled from Iran to the Houthis.  The coalition claims that UN Security Council Resolution 2216 (Apr. 14, 2015), which imposed an arms embargo on Yemen, furnishes the legal authority for the blockade.  By a happy coincidence, Saudi Arabia helped draft UNSCR 2216.

      • Armed Racism Keeps No One Safe

        The officer — the mad man with a badge — probably shouts those words 50 times at the driver, Second Lt. Caron Nazario, at a gas station in Windsor, Va., all the while holding a gun a foot from his face. Nazario, who is black and Latino, had just been pulled over for not having a rear license plate (he did have one but, you know, we all make mistakes) and . . . fasten your seatbelts! . . . driving with tinted windows. Of course the cops had their guns drawn.

        The incident happened last December, but the crazy video has only recently been made public. While it did not, thank God, culminate in a shooting — beyond the use of pepper spray — the video reveals an oh, so typical American scenario: a person of color suddenly caught, for no sane reason, in a life-threatening situation at the hands of someone whose job is to keep Americans safe.

      • US escalates in Ukraine battleground
      • Biden isn’t ending the Afghanistan War, he’s privatizing it: Special Forces, Pentagon contractors, intelligence operatives will remain
      • The Home of Devils

        But even if this administration actually does follow through and pulls the 2500 or so troops or “boots” as they like to call them (further dehumanizing the soldiers who fight) that we have stationed in Afghanistan, the war will be far from over. Yes there will be the advisors, the private contractors, the embedded snitches and indebted political operatives still scuttering about working the empires will, but more horrendous, though less obvious than that to the average American, will be the aftermath, the devastation, the lost years, the lost lives of loved ones, the left-over poison on the land and the left-over poison in the hearts and minds of every Afghan.

        But here behind the strength of presidential podiums and in the comfort of our homes, we the people who supported and allowed and those who created and committed this catastrophic and horrendous act on those millions of REAL people, well we can finally wash our hands, heave a collective sigh of relief and pat ourselves on the backs for being so good as to generously now “leave” this torn apart, shattered and desolate place. We can also, while we’re at it, reflect on how terribly bad things will be for those poor, incompetent Afghans who, as we’ve been told, will be henceforth, forever terrorized by their own lawless and war-crazed relatives and neighbors whether Al-Qaeda or Taliban. We can rest easy and forgive ourselves knowing, because we heard it in the news that we did a good work smashing apart their country and they will suffer greatly now in their ancient homeland without us there to monitor and control their lives.

      • Yet Another Imperialist Occupation of Afghanistan Ends in Disaster
      • As Biden Plans Withdrawal, Analysis Shows Afghan War Cost At Least 241,000 Lives and $2.26 Trillion

        “Ending the war as soon as possible is the only rational and humane thing to do,” said a co-director of the Costs of War Project.

        In the wake of President Joe Biden’s announcement that he plans to withdraw all regular U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by this year’s anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, experts at the Costs of War Project on Friday released an update on what nearly two decades of war has cost in both dollars and human lives.

      • Contrary to What Biden Said, U.S. Warfare in Afghanistan is Set to Continue

        Troops on the ground didn’t kill Guljumma’s relatives and leave her to live with only one arm. The U.S. air war did.

        There’s no good reason to assume the air war in Afghanistan will be over when — according to President Biden’s announcement on Wednesday — all U.S. forces will be withdrawn from that country.

      • Iran to enrich uranium by 60% yet wants relief on sanctions

        attack on its Natanz nuclear facility, a negotiator said Tuesday, pushing its program to higher levels than ever before, though it still remains short of weapons-grade.

        The announcement marks a significant escalation after the sabotage that damaged centrifuges, suspected of having been carried out by Israel – and could inspire a further response from Israel amid a long-running shadow war between the nations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed never to allow Tehran to obtain a nuclear weapon and his country has twice preemptively bombed Mideast nations to stop their atomic programs.

      • Iran says it has begun enriching uranium to 60 percent, its highest level yet

        The Islamic republic had declared it would sharply ramp up its enrichment of uranium on Tuesday, two days after an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility that it blamed on arch-foe Israel.

        The announcement cast a shadow over talks in Vienna aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that then US president Donald Trump abandoned almost three years ago.

        Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, on Friday confirmed the country was now producing uranium enriched to 60 percent purity.

      • Sexual violence a weapon of war in Tigray

        The conflict killed thousands and forced hundreds of thousands more from their homes in the mountainous region of about five million. Eritrea has helped Ethiopian troops, although Eritrea repeatedly denied its forces are in Tigray.

      • UN Suspends Aid in Nigeria’s Borno State as Thousands Flee Armed Attacks

        “Humanitarian aid operations and facilities are the lifeline of people in northeast Nigeria who depend on our assistance to survive,” he said. “These violent attacks in Damasak will affect the support of nearly 9,000 internally displaced people that we were helping and 76,000 people in the host communities who were receiving humanitarian assistance and protection.”

        Violence in the Lake Chad Basin has uprooted 3.3 million people since 2009, when the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram launched its insurgency.

        The displaced include more than 300,000 Nigerians, who have fled to neighboring countries for refuge, and some 2.2 million people within northeastern Nigeria, especially in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

      • In secret [sic] Facebook groups, America’s best warriors share racist jabs, lies about 2020, even QAnon theories

        They’re the most elite, lethally trained members of the U.S. military, widely considered the best of the best. And yet in secret Facebook groups exclusively for special operations forces that were accessed by NBC News, they share misinformation about a “stolen” 2020 election, disparaging and racist comments about America’s political leadership and even QAnon conspiracy theories.

        Among the hundreds of Facebook posts NBC News reviewed from forums for current and former Rangers, Green Berets and other elite warriors: a member of a special forces group lamenting that several aides to former Vice President Mike Pence were part of a “Concerted effort by the thieves and pedophiles walking the hallowed halls of the peoples government” to undermine former President Donald Trump.

      • UK Prisons Are an Urgent Warning About the Threat of Islamic Radicalization

        The country’s successful counter-terrorism strategies thwarted a number of terrorist plots during the past decade. That success led to prosecutions under the UK’s Terrorism Act, which more than doubled the population of convicted terrorists in British prisons.

        The record in handling those inmates is less impressive, former UK counter-terrorism analyst Eilish O’Gara wrote in a paper published last month by the Henry Jackson Society.

        The problem, as the report found, was that the “efforts at fighting terrorism and stamping out the sources of extremism” seemed to stop once the terrorists were incarcerated. No real reason was given for that.

      • Alert: Muslims Are Going To Kill Hindu Leader Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati – Help Him (Videos)

        Islamic political leaders, Imams, and hundreds of thousands of their brethren in India call for the decapitation of the head Hindu-priest of Desana temple, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati (Swami Yati). The brave, unapologetic Hindu Leader is being hunted after addressing the Islamic Prophet Muhammad’s contentious and violent misogynist life. If India doesn’t protect Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, Muslims will kill him in their Prophet’s name.

      • Afghanistan: ‘We have won the war, America has lost’, say Taliban

        Driving to Taliban-controlled territory doesn’t take long. Around 30 minutes from the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, passing large craters left by roadside bombs, we meet our host: Haji Hekmat, the Taliban’s shadow mayor in Balkh district.

    • Environment

      • The Last Whites
      • After Elections, Seoul Braces for Environmental Inaction

        The death of former mayor Park Won-soon in 2020 triggered the April 7 by-election to fill the remainder of his term. Park’s suicide and the related sexual harassment allegations against him sparked a national debate on his legacy. But on environmental issues Park bucked the trend of growth at any cost that obsessed his predecessors.

        One such predecessor is the recently victorious conservative party candidate Oh Se-hoon, who served as Seoul’s mayor from 2006 to 2011. Oh ran on a platform devoid of environmental policies and in support of increased car usage. Vehicles remain the single largest source of particulate matter air pollution in the country’s capital.

      • The “Footloose” Eco-Activism of Marnie Gaede

        Long before she became involved in saving whales and other wildlife, Marnie dated an aspiring musician named Kenny Loggins. He hoped to record a song about Winnie the Pooh, but Disney’s lawyers would not give him permission to do so. In an example of her inherent helpfulness, Marnie drew on her family connections in the Disney corporation to enable Kenny Loggins to record the song. This helped launch his very successful music career, perhaps best known for his song “Footloose.”

        Flashforward to 50 years later and Marnie is now helping another Footloose. Footloose Montana is the name of a wildlife protection group that is challenging the horrific use of animal traps on public lands. Footloose Montana is one of the small but highly effective grassroots environmental groups that receives financial assistance from the Fund for Wild Nature. Marnie joined the board of directors of the Fund for Wild Nature in 2000 and has become the Fund’s longest-serving president.

      • ‘Watershed Moment’ as Haaland Revokes Trump-Era Orders, Creates Climate Task Force

        “Today’s orders make certain that the Interior Department is no longer going to serve as a rubber-stamp for the coal and oil and gas industries.”

        As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government’s federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

      • Interior Department Orders Give New Hope for Climate, Public Lands, and Justice

        Denver, CO—WildEarth Guardians today cheered Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s latest actions to protect the climate and public lands, and to restore transparency, public accountability, environmental scrutiny, and justice in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

        “Today is a watershed moment in the history of the U.S. Department of the Interior,” said Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians. “With Secretary Haaland’s actions today, it’s clear the Interior Department is now working for communities, science, and justice. We are grateful for her leadership and bold action to put people over polluters.”

      • We Are Living in a Climate Emergency. Why Doesn’t Nature Have Legal Rights?

        Mike Ludwig speaks with journalists Melissa Troutman and Joshua Pribanic about their new documentary, Invisible Hand, which covers the Indigenous-led Rights of Nature movement on the front lines of the climate emergency.

      • The US’s Biggest County Jails Are Sites of Extreme Environmental Injustice

        For more than half a century, 441 Bauchet Street has been the address where Los Angeles’ most stark social and environmental inequalities converge. It’s the location of L.A.’s Men’s Central Jail, the largest facility in the most populated county jail system in the country. On any given day, about 5,000 people are incarcerated there.

      • New Google Earth Timelapse Feature Offers Devastating View of Climate Emergency

        “We want this to be very visceral and real for people, and a ray of hope that there’s actually a lot we can do.”

        Google Earth’s new Timelapse feature, released Thursday, provides a bird’s eye view of nearly four decades of environmental transformation, allowing viewers to see how the climate emergency, a planetary crisis driven by fossil fuel-powered capitalism, has unfolded since 1984.

      • Texas Families Feel Impacts of Cold Case Crisis – Validated Independent News

        Olsen’s reporting localized this national issue to Texas. According to the Law Office of David A. Breston, there were 1,403 murders in Texas in 2019, a six percent increase from 2018. Olsen found that the Texas cities of Houston, Arlington, Killeen, and Lubbock cleared 40 percent or less of reported homicides in 2019. A combination of limited and ineffective use of resources and the number of serial killers operating in the US have contributed to the problem. For example, Olsen noted that the Dallas Police Department initially assigned one homicide detective out of 3,000 officers to reexamine cases that could be related to serial killer Billy Chermirmir. She also reported that the nation’s first public database of serial killers, maintained by Radford University and Florida Gulf Coast University, indicates that ten serial killers caught in Texas were responsible for 250 deaths since 1970. Ellen French House, the daughter of Norma French, who was murdered by Chermirmir, stated in the article that “’If the Dallas PD had put the dots together and sent out flyers, my mother wouldn’t be dead.’”

      • Monsoon changes threaten Asia and warn the world

        For generations India’s farmers have relied on its arrival, but monsoon changes suggest a hotter and less predictable world.

      • Communicating Global Warming

        Many have lamented that many environmental groups continue to reproduce communication that does not work well. To fix this, one might like to argue that the following article is not about inventing a new proposal for building a better world. Instead, it presents a simple model that citizens, organizations, and communication scholars can use to think and act differently about a set of problems that current approaches are failing to solve. One might like to propose five steps:

        Beyond that, one might also like to suggest linking the environment to economics. By doing so environmental communication can overcome what is presented as the economy-vs.-environment cleavage that is used by lobbyists to defame environmental groups and proposals on sustainability. In particular, one might argue against one of neoliberalism’s favorites, namely the hallucination of endless growth. One might like to realize that anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist. To enhance the environmental argument, one might like to take three steps:

      • Shell’s Sponsorship of Science Museum Climate Exhibition Sparks Outrage – DeSmog
      • Climate Migration Has Come to the United States

        This story is published in partnership with Nexus Media News as part of Covering Climate Now , a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

        In September of 2020, California was in the midst of a record-setting heat wave. The hot and dry conditions fueled fires all over the state, and smoke from wildfires hundreds of miles away hung over the Bay Area for weeks. Andrew Kornblatt woke up one morning at his home in Berkeley to find that the air had grown cool and still, and the sky was an eerie orange.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Hey Conservationists! Got Hope?
        • The Indefensible Violence of Wildlife Killing Contests

          Wildlife killing contests are prize-driven competitions to see who can kill the most target animals—such as bobcat, wolves, foxes, pumas, and, most of all, coyotes—in a given period of time. Offering the perspective from hunters, historians, activists, policymakers, and ranchers, this film makes clear that these brutal events targeting native wildlife constitute an unethical bloodsport, often motivated by prize money, with no scientific basis in ecosystem management.

          Debunked and specious claims of “predator management” promoted by contest organizers and participants are convenient justifications for these killing contests that hold no scientific merit. Peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated that not only do these contests serve no legitimate ecosystem management purpose, they can actually exacerbate livestock depredation and human-wildlife conflict.

        • Saving the Mama Tree: Seventy Feet Up an Ancient Redwood

          The expectation was that there would be a confrontation on the morning of twelfth – the date set for the Anderson Logging Company of Fort Bragg to begin cutting. Several dozen supporters joined the tree sitters early that morning, prepared to form a human chain to cross the logging road and stop the trucks. It didn’t happen. This delay has provided some breathing space for Greasy and Bugs, but no one doubts that the confrontation is coming.

          The tree-sit is on the far western edge of the Jackson State Forest, 48,000 acres of publically owned redwood forest in Mendocino County in Northern California. The sit is intended to stop the first of several timber harvest plans (THPs) now in the works for the forest, all of which will involve logging within two or three miles of the county’s famed coastline, not to mention its villages and coastal neighborhoods – Caspar on the coast is literally a stone’s throw away from this one.

        • Bats: 4 good reasons to save them

          Without the 1,400-odd species of bats that pollinate more plants across the planet than any other animal, biodiversity will continue to decline and the risk of disease increase.

        • New Study Finds Undisclosed Ingredients in Roundup Lethal to Bumblebees

          Researchers found that one of the herbicide formulations killed 96% of the bees within 24 hours.

          Commonly used herbicides across the U.S. contain highly toxic undisclosed “inert” ingredients that are lethal to bumblebees, according to a new study published Friday in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

    • Finance

      • The Case of the Cato Street Conspirators: a Sad Tale of Suffering, Insurrection, and Ruling Class Criminality

        On May Day 1820 five men were hanged at Newgate in London. Arthur Thistlewood, apothecary, radical, and husband to Susan; Tom Brunt, artisan bootmaker, husband to Molly, and father; Richard Tidd, another shoemaker, father, radical, and husband to Eliza; James Ing, a butcher, father, radical, and husband to Celia; Will Davidson of Jamaica, cabinet maker, husband to Sarah, a Sunday school teacher and former milliner. These were the Cato Street conspirators.

        Judy Meewezen has written a wonderful historical novel about them called Turtle Soup for the King .

      • ‘Completely Unreasonable’: Dems Slam GOP Demand for No Corporate Tax Hikes in Infrastructure Plan

        “Republicans’ insistence that the most profitable companies in the world shouldn’t contribute a single penny to investments in roads, schools, and our clean-energy future is simply not acceptable.”

        Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said Thursday that keeping in place the current 21% corporate tax rate is a “non-negotiable red line” in infrastructure negotiations, a position that Democratic lawmakers rejected as “completely unreasonable” as they face pressure from progressives to forge ahead without the GOP.

      • Opinion | As Nations Slash Budgets, Global Study Warns of Looming Austerity Shocks

        It is imperative to watch out for austerity measures with negative social outcomes. After COVID-19’s devastating impacts, austerity will only cause more unnecessary suffering and hardship.

        Last week Ministers of Finance met virtually at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to discuss policies to tackle the pandemic and socio-economic recovery.

      • Ben Fletcher—Unsung Hero of the Working Class

        Ben Fletcher was not necessarily the most radical member of the IWW. However, he was one of its most prominent organizers and a Black man. These were reasons enough for the bosses and their henchmen in government to go after him. The rampant racism imbued with legal measures designed to maintain the system of white supremacy made his willingness to challenge the system of power on Philadelphia’s docks too dangerous to ignore. Indeed, the IWW Local there—Local 8—was one of the largest and most militant of all IWW locals. As Fletcher’s oratorical and organizing abilities were recognized by other union leaders, he began to speak and write nationally; an endeavor which drew the attention of federal authorities in a nascent federal police agency soon to be directed by J. Edgar Hoover. The name of the agency was the Bureau of Investigation. That would quickly be changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. One of its primary tasks was to intimidate, harass, and lock up anarchists, socialists and radical labor leaders. The leaders of the IWW became some of its prime targets.

        On February 9, 1918 Fletcher was arrested and charged with treason, among other things. He was among 166 Wobblies arrested. It took the jury one hour to convict Fletcher and the others who stood trial with him. This was despite the fact that there was no actual proof of treason, only numerous statements by the IWW regarding their opposition to capitalism and its wars. He spent three years in the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. This took a toll on his health. Fletcher continued to work with the IWW, but the union’s back had been broken by the assaults on it from the US government. In addition, the communist movement in the US was quickly becoming the dominant radical left organization in the country. Fletcher, in true anarchist fashion, had no use for communist organizations. This ideological position combined with his failing health, meant his involvement in daily organizing would diminish over time. He did continue to speak at numerous events and write for the IWW newspaper.

      • Corporation as Cult: WeWork’s Wild Ride

        EST stood for Erhard Seminars Training that was a mixture of founder Werner Erhard’s ersatz Eastern religious mysticism and Dale Carnegie type lessons on how to become a “success” in business. While certainly cultish, it was by no means as bad as Scientology. Fred used to take me out to dinner from time to time, mostly to be able to chat with someone who didn’t fit the mold of the propellor-heads who worked for him.

        Even as the 60s/70s radicalization was dying out, the New Age lingered on in the corporate world as the idea of leveraging economic success with spiritualism proved seductive. With some leftists like Rennie Davis jumping the radical ship, it was the perfect place for them to land. You could simultaneously “make it” and feel superior to the grubbiness of American society. After becoming a disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji, Davis created the Foundation for a New Humanity, a technology development and venture capital company specializing in new technology.

      • Dorothy A. Brown and Amy Hanauer on Tax Unfairness
      • America’s Neoliberal Financialization Policy vs. China’s Industrial Socialism

        Machiavelli preferred the first option, citing Rome’s destruction of Carthage. That is what the United States did to Iraq and Libya after 2001. But in today’s New Cold War the mode of destruction is largely economic, via trade and financial sanctions such as the United States has imposed on China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and other designated adversaries. The idea is to deny them key inputs, above all in essential technology and information processing, raw materials, and access to bank and financial connections, such as U.S. threats to expel Russia from the SWIFT bank-clearing system.

        The second option is to occupy rivals. This is done only partially by the troops in America’s 800 military bases abroad. But the usual, more efficient occupation is by U.S. corporate takeovers of their basic infrastructure, owning their most lucrative assets and remitting their revenue back to the imperial core.

      • Racial Oppression Will Not be Overcome Under Capitalism

        I get the disgust. Millions of white Amerikaners are perfectly willing to accept the absurd Derek Chauvin defense, according to which the white Minneapolis police officer’s act of placing his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine-and-a-half minutes was just an unfortunate co-morbidity in Floyd’s supposedly self-inflicted, drug-induced death. These lethal idiots nod along like Nazified bobbleheads when some neofascist clown goes on FOX News or OAN to claim that Black people are no more likely to be killed by cops than whites or that the Democrats “stole” the 2020 presidential election from the malignant racist Donald Trump. Bear in mind the not-so-subtle racial subtext behind the Big “Stop the Steal” Lie: Trump should be president because he won the white vote.

        Corporate Media Feeds White Racism

      • Wall Street Gave More Money During 2020 Election Than Any Campaign Season in US History

        “Year in and year out, this torrent of money gives Wall Street an outsized role in how we are governed.”

        As part of Wall Street’s “relentless push to influence decision-making” in Washington, D.C., the powerful financial sector spent a record $2.9 billion on campaign donations and lobbying in the 2020 election cycle, a new report shows, with Democrats including President Joe Biden accepting millions of dollars.

      • The Post-Pandemic Outlook for Technology, Jobs, and Skills [Ed: Exploiting a pandemic to crush society even more with buzzwords and harmful nonsense like (in this case IBMer) “Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Science and Big Data” (from his leading tags)

        “The COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and related global recession of 2020 have created a highly uncertain outlook for the labour market,” said the World Economic Forum (WEF) in The Future of Jobs Report 2020. The pandemic has caused labor markets to change significantly faster than previously expected. What used to be considered the future of work has already arrived. As McKinsey noted in a May, 2020 article: “we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks.”

        The WEF report aims to shed light on the post-pandemic outlook for technology adoption, jobs and skills over the next five years, including detailed quantitative profiles on 15 industry sectors and 26 advanced and emerging countries. The report is based on a survey of senior executives from nearly 300 global companies which collectively employ 8 million workers. The survey asked 49 questions on the outlook for their companies’ workforce through 2025, including major trends affecting the labor market, the technologies their companies are adopting, the expected evolution of jobs and skills, their training and reskilling programs, and the near-term impact of the pandemic on their workforce.

        “The global shift to a future of work is defined by an ever-expanding cohort of new technologies, by new sectors and markets, by global economic systems that are more interconnected than in any other point in history, and by information that travels fast and spreads wide. … As a new global recession brought on by the COVID-19 health pandemic impacts economies and labour markets, millions of workers have experienced changes which have profoundly transformed their lives within and beyond work, their well-being and their productivity. One of the defining features of these changes is their asymmetric nature – impacting already disadvantaged populations with greater ferocity and velocity.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Are Democrats So Determined to Block Court Reform?

        Congressional Democrats unveiled legislation on Thursday aimed at expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court. The bill, introduced by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and cosponsored by House Democrats Hank Johnson and Mondaire Jones, would swell the number of justices from its current nine to 13, adding four seats to the nation’s highest court. The bill arrived precisely one week after President Biden announced the formation of a commission to study adding seats to the court—and one day before that commission’s first meeting—and can, in many ways, be seen a direct response to the failure of that committee to impress anybody besides the Federalist Society.

        Biden has thus far ignored the bill. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did him one better and shot it down immediately. She indicated to reporters that she would not allow it to come to the House floor for a vote.

      • Charles Booker Knows Just How to Tackle Rand Paul in 2022

        Democrats have to grab a bunch of Republican-held US Senate seats in 2022 in order to expand control of a chamber that has proven to be the biggest barrier to the progressive changes proposed by the Biden administration and approved by the House of Representatives.

        Some 2022 races are already understood as essential. Everyone knows that Democrats have to go big in Pennsylvania, where Republican Senator Pat Toomey’s decision not to seek reelection has created an open-seat race in a state where the party won the governorship in 2018 and the presidential race in 2020. The same goes for Wisconsin, where Democrats are already lining up to take on Senator Ron Johnson, a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist who hasn’t yet announced that he will seek a new term but is being encouraged to run by Donald Trump. Open seats in North Carolina and Ohio will also be seriously contested.

      • Pakistan at the Crossroads, Again

        The first of these discourses one would like to think is well on its way to being relegated to the dustbin of history, given the spotlight shone on it by the #Metoo movement of recent years, with its global scope. But no! The same old tired clichés and misogynistic stereotypes of women as whores, responsible for their own rapes, for the male violence committed against their (sinful) bodies (in Islamic parlance, their bodies are the source of fitna, or chaos), have once again flooded Pakistani airwaves. What makes such unfounded and derogatory claims worse, by blaming the victims instead of the perpetrators of the crimes, is that the danger they represent to the female citizens of Pakistan today is issuing forth from the lips of the man elected to protect them: Prime Minister Imran Khan.

        He is, sadly, not the first leader of the country to have made such remarks which, as Andrea Dworkin, radical US based feminist put it so aptly in the title of her 1974 book, is evidence in the broader culture, of an attitude and ideology she calls, Woman Hating. Such hatred of women, leads, as another feminist  scholar named Susan Brownmiller noted, to what she termed Rape Culture; that is, a culture, like Pakistan’s today, though hardly confined to it– that justifies the rape and mistreatment of women that has deep theological and mythological roots.  In a persuasive analysis of the role of fairy tales in delineating female archetypes that teach women (and men) how to behave in worldwide patriarchal culture, we learn, claims Dworkin, that women are either “good” or “bad.” Much like the Biblical story of the Fall of Adam and Eve from Paradise into a debased and degenerate world—all women, like the first mother, Eve—are to be blamed for this ejection of Man [sic] from the Garden of Eden. Succumbing to temptation and tasting of the Tree of Knowledge, which is a metaphor for sexual knowledge and thus bespeaks a loss of innocence—Eve literally, leads poor Adam down the garden path, consorts with the satanic serpent, and thus, inaugurates humankind’s entry into a corrupt secular world.

      • Was Trump’s Family-Separation Policy Torture?

        Former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein  cited a statement by the American Association of Pediatrics that the family-separation policy was a form of “government-sanctioned child abuse” which could cause “irreparable harm” with “lifelong consequences”. He added: “The thought that any State would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable.”

        Now, a report from Physicians for Human Rights raises questions of criminal liability and accountability arising from the policy. And it points to potential avenues towards justice for both victims and perpetrators.

      • Cry Fraud and Let Slip

        The trump’s efforts to demonstrate voter fraud were first shown in the state of Georgia. Believing that massive voter fraud had occurred in that state, the trump had repeated phone calls with its election officials in which he urged them to acknowledge what he already knew-the election in that state had been stolen from him by extensive voter fraud.  At one point in an hour-long conversation with the Georgia Secretary of State he made a very modest request. He did not request that the entire election be overturned.  Since he lost the state by 11,779 votes, he simply asked the Secretary of State to find 11,780 votes, enough to make him the winner.  The Secretary of State declined to go on a stolen vote search and, accordingly, the results in Georgia remained as recorded by its officialdom, and to his dismay and annoyance, the trump remained the loser in that election.

        Thanks to the trump’s unsuccessful importuning of the Georgia Secretary of State, Republicans in the state legislature acted quickly to enact legislation to insure that in the future, voting by minorities would be more difficult, thus, apparently, eliminating the possibility of voter fraud. (One of the newly enacted provisions in the Georgia law prohibits offering food or drink to those standing in line to vote.  Governor  Bryan Kemp quite properly pointed out that is not as harsh as it seems.  He  explained that people standing in line can get food or drink by ordering from Grubhub or Uber.)

      • Opinion | The Dirty Campaign Underlying Ecuador’s “Free and Fair” Election

        Given all the strikes against Arauz, it is remarkable the progressive presidential candidate Andrés Arauz did so well.

        Ecuador’s April 11 election that led to a 5-point victory by conservative banker Guillermo Lasso over progressive candidate Andrés Arauz was not what it appeared to be. On the surface, it was a surprisingly clean and professional election, as our CODEPINK official observer delegation witnessed. But a fraud-free process for casting and counting ballots does not mean that the election was free and fair. Behind the scenes was a monumentally unequal playing field and dirty campaign designed to quash an Arauz win.

      • Opinion | We Must Reclaim Voting Rights as a Moral Imperative

        Our deepest moral and constitutional traditions point us toward the possibility of a more perfect union when we respect the basic democratic principle of one person, one vote.

        We are in a battle for the ballot. When Democrats flipped both U.S. Senate seats in Georgia during a run-off election in January, Republicans in the statehouse responded by moving to pass an omnibus voter suppression bill. Since Governor Brian Kemp signed that bill into law last month, the Peach State has been branded ground zero for Jim Crow 2.0, drawing criticism from civil rights organizations, corporations and Major League Baseball.

      • Biden Aligning With the Wrong Side in India

        This powerful and spontaneous democratic surge poses the most serious challenge in decades to the mixture of populist sectarian violence, political repression, and crony capitalism that has kept the Hindu right in power. Embracing tolerance, democratic rights, and social justice, the protest movements explicitly reject the religious hatred that has fueled Hindu nationalism. Given that the new U.S. administration has committed to supporting human rights and democracy, and is still engaged in its own struggle with populist ultra-nationalism at home, the Biden administration should naturally support these protest movements.

        It hasn’t.

      • Social Democrats, China and John McCain Prize

        The recent flap over an award given out by the Halifax International Security Forum highlights how the NDP is jumping into bed with neocon militarists over China.

        Recently Washington-based Politico reported that the Trudeau government pressured the HSF not to give its John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service to Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. The government denied the charge but initially refused to recommit the $3 million in Department of National Defence (DND) funding for HSF.

      • Anarchists Need to Drop the Adjectives

        All in all, this need not be a bad thing and it really isn’t that unusual either. Anarchism has always been a movement that defies and transcends the traditional left-right spectrum. But attempt to suggest as much online and just wait for the bricks to fly.

        Contrary to the popular caricature of the tattooed green-haired vagabond like myself, anarchism is an almost mind-bogglingly diverse ecosystem of fantastic radical freaks. Travel into this jungle online and you will find yourself amidst a teeming forest of colorful countercultures. You have your modern day barbarians of anarcho-primitivism, your cyber punk geeks of crypto-anarchism, your dandy nihilist outlaws of egoism, and your maligned heathen LARPers of National-Anarchism. But most of my fellow anarcho-freaks can find themselves beneath one of two major ideological umbrellas. The red leftists of anarcho-communism and the right-libertarians of anarcho-capitalism, and here is where my beloved stateless ecosystem finds itself in the eternal conflict that threatens to spoil our latest fifteen minutes of zeitgeist defining public imagination.

      • Biden Breaks Promise on Refugee Resettlement, Imposing Trump’s “Draconian” Cap

        President Joe Biden will uphold former President Donald Trump’s historically low “refugee cap” despite earlier promises to raise it drastically, he announced Friday .

      • ‘Lives Depend on It’: House Democrats Push Biden to Immediately Lift Trump Refugee Cap

        “We must keep our promises to people who have fled unthinkably brutal conditions in their home countries and live up to our ambition to provide them a safe haven.”

        Led by Reps. Ilhan Omar, Pramila Jayapal, and Jan Schakowsky, more than 30 House Democrats sent a letter Friday demanding that President Joe Biden lift an inhumane Trump-era cap on refugee admissions without any further delay as the president’s foot-dragging leaves vulnerable people around the world in danger.

      • ‘Utterly Unacceptable and Shameful’: Anger Erupts Over Biden Plan to Keep Trump-Era Refugee Cap

        “Biden is turning his back on tens of thousands of refugees around the world who have been approved to come to the United States.”

        Reneging on his earlier promise to raise the refugee admissions cap to 62,500 this fiscal year, President Joe Biden on Friday signed a directive keeping in place the historically low 15,000-person limit imposed by the Trump administration—a decision that sparked furious backlash from human rights campaigners.

      • Ivanka and Jared Are “Advisers” to New Cash-Flush Right-Wing Think Tank

        On Tuesday, it was reported that a group of former advisers to Donald Trump, with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s guidance, would launch a new right-wing nonprofit aimed at “perpetuating former President Trump’s populist policies,” according to Axios . The new foundation is just the latest in a long string of recent announcements about Trump-centered think-tank-style organizations popping up in Washington aimed at doing Trump’s bidding, all while the former president attempts to maintain control of the Republican Party from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

      • Democrats Slam GOP Demand for No Corporate Tax Hikes in Infrastructure Plan

        Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said Thursday that keeping in place the current 21% corporate tax rate is a “ non-negotiable red line” in infrastructure negotiations, a position that Democratic lawmakers rejected as “completely unreasonable” as they face pressure from progressives to forge ahead without the GOP.

      • Clearing the way Moscow prosecutors want to ban the Anti-Corruption Foundation and ‘Team Navalny’ offices as extremist organizations

        The Moscow Prosecutor’s Office has filed a lawsuit seeking to have Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) and his campaign offices recognized as extremist organizations. The Russian authorities are accusing “Team Navalny” of destabilizing the country and attempting to overthrow power in Russia by staging “color revolutions.” Navalny’s closest associates fear that being labeled as extremist will “clear the way for hundreds of criminal cases” against these organizations and their members.

      • Russian prosecutors seek to ban Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation and campaign offices as ‘extremist’

        Russian prosecutors have filed a lawsuit with the Moscow City Court on declaring Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK), Citizens’ Rights Protection Foundation, and campaign offices “extremist.”

      • A common practice We asked a diplomacy expert what happens when Russia’s Foreign Ministry ‘summons’ an ambassador

        Immediately after the White House announced new sanctions against Russia on April 15, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Reports about ambassadors being “summoned” often appear in the news amid rising tensions between states. Russian ambassadors are also called to the U.S. State Department, the UK’s Foreign Office, or the foreign affairs department of any country that has diplomatic relations with Russia. But only professionals from the diplomatic service know the purpose of the summons. To find out more about what goes on during these consultations, Meduza spoke to Roman Reinhardt, an associate professor in MGIMO University’s Department of Diplomacy. 

      • Unpleasant emails Team Navalny apologizes after database of email addresses registered for planned protest leaks online

        Team Navalny is looking into how a database of email addresses registered for their “Freedom for Navalny!” protest campaign leaked online. Journalists from Open Media first reported the leak on Thursday, April 15, after receiving copies of the database in an email attachment. The leak took place on the same day that Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation released a new investigation into Vladimir Putin’s official residence in Valdai. Team Navalny has apologized for the incident, and assured that the database itself doesn’t contain any personal information other than email addresses. Navalny’s chief of staff told Meduza that the leak hasn’t affected his team’s preparations for the planned protest action.

      • After Refugee Directive Sparks Backlash, White House Vows to Increase Cap in May

        “As a candidate, Biden promised humanity and relief for refugees fleeing persecution,” said an ACLU attorney. “We will be watching to see if President Biden fulfills his promises.”

        After President Joe Biden on Friday came under fire from human rights advocates and progressive lawmakers for signing a directive to retain the historically low 15,000-person refugee cap imposed by former President Donald Trump, the White House issued a statement that appeared to walk back Biden’s widely criticized move.

      • Virginia, Minnesota, Illinois
      • Why Biden is Feigning Left

        Biden’s instant media conversion is no accident or change of heart but rather a corporate recognition that past Democratic Party administration policies had significantly alienated the party’s traditional working class base, opening the door wide to either potentially broad independent working class fightback or to the emergence of a Trump-type reactionary populism that has the potential of undermining the nation’s image and operation as a stable bourgeois democracy. President Barack Obama’s bailing out the corporate elite and banking institutions to the tune of unprecedented $trillions following the 2008-9 recession while millions of working class families lost their homes has taken a toll on the Democrat’s credibility. Massive plant closures accompanied by a generalized de-industrialization policy that sent millions of high-paying jobs overseas to low wage countries further alienated working people and fed into Trump’s “anti-establishment” appeal. In the electoral arena, Hillary Clinton was the first to pay the price.

        Ruling class closes ranks against Trump

      • End of an Era as Raúl Castro Steps Down as Cuba’s Leader

        The longtime first secretary’s resignation means Cuba will be led by someone whose name is not Castro for the first time in over 60 years. 

        For the first time since the 1950s, Cuba will have a leader whose name is not Castro, as Raúl Castro announced Friday that he will step down as first secretary of the country’s ruling Communist Party just ahead of the 10th anniversary of his appointment. 

      • Cuba Moves Into the Post-Castro Era

        Exactly 60 years ago, as the CIA-led invasion force approached the Bay of Pigs, Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state. “What the imperialists cannot forgive is that we are here,” Castro said in a speech, filled with anger and pride, at the funeral of 11 air force personnel killed during the preliminary airstrikes on April 15, 1961. “This is what they cannot forgive: the fact that we are here right under their very noses,” he told an audience of thousands as he rallied the country to fight the impending invasion. “And that we have carried out a socialist revolution right under the nose of the United States!”

        With his country facing the imminent threat of US aggression, this was Castro’s first public proclamation of Cuba’s ideological direction. As such, the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) has identified April 16, 1961, as its symbolic date of origin. The last several party congresses have been scheduled on the anniversary of the invasion, tying the ideology of the revolution to the David vs. Goliath victory over the CIA’s brigade of exiles in the Bahia de Cochinos. Just as the Bay of Pigs marked a turning point for the young revolution, the 8th Party Congress convening this weekend is a major juncture for Cuba.

      • Facebook Oversight Board Delays Decision on Trump

        Facebook suspended Trump on Jan. 6, forbidding him from sharing content with his 35 million followers after his posts encouraged a violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol. His ban has intensified long-running accusations of political bias against conservatives and added fire to the debate about social media companies’ refereeing of speech.

      • Facebook Oversight Board delays decision on Trump ban

        Facebook banned Trump from its platforms after the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg writing that “the risks of allowing President Trump to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.” Trump has remained banned from the services, and his attempts to appear in videos on his children’s pages have also been blocked. But the ban was always “indefinite,” and it’s now up to Facebook’s new Oversight Board to make a call about when and how Trump might be allowed to return, if ever.

      • Facebook board delays decision about Trump’s possible return

        Mr Trump was banned from Facebook in January after the Capitol Hill riots.

        The Board said the delay was due to the time it has taken to review over 9,000 public responses to cases.

        A decision was originally due by 21 April. In a statement on Twitter, the Board said it would make a decision “in the coming weeks”.

      • Pakistan blocks social media access after violent anti-France protests

        Pakistan’s government ordered the country’s telecoms agency to temporarily shut down social media and instant messaging platforms on Friday after days of violent anti-France protests.

      • Pemra bans TV, radio coverage of TLP after proscription by govt

        The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has banned the television and radio coverage of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) after it was declared a proscribed entity by the government, it emerged on Friday.

        In a communique sent to all satellite TV channels and FM radio stations, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the authority referred to the Ministry of Interior’s notification in which it said the government “has declared Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan as a proscribed organisation for being engaged in act of terrorism, [and] acting in a manner prejudicial to the peace and security of the country”.

        It noted that the Pemra (Television Broadcast Station Operation) Regulation, 2012, and the Electronic Media Code of Conduct, 2015, required that programmes “shall conform to the laws of the country”. Additionally, Clause 3(3) of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct, 2015, “prohibits media coverage to proscribed organisations”.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The Most Popular J&J Vaccine Story On Facebook? A Conspiracy Theorist Posted It

        Those are the publishers of four of the five most popular Facebook posts of articles about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week. They’re ranked 2 to 5 in total interactions, according to data from the tracking tool CrowdTangle.

        The No. 1 posting, however, isn’t from a news organization. Or a government official. Or a public health expert.

        The most popular link on Facebook about the Johnson & Johnson news was shared by a conspiracy theorist and self-described “news analyst & hip-hop artist” named An0maly who thinks the pandemic is a cover for government control.

      • Fact check: No, an algorithm did not manipulate Michigan’s election results

        While the analysis is new, it boils down to a familiar falsehood: that Michigan’s 2020 election was tainted by widespread misconduct and fraud.

        There is no evidence for that and a comprehensive series of audits validated election processes and affirmed the results.

      • Nigeria Steps Up Vaccination Efforts After Slow Rollout Blamed on Misinformation

        Although authorities say more Nigerians are now getting vaccinated, Abuja Primary Healthcare Board Executive Secretary Ndeyo Iwot says vaccine hesitancy and misinformation about the coronavirus are to blame for the low numbers.

        “There’s a very big problem. Now start from the beginning, how many people even believed that we have the pandemic here? And now you want to bring vaccine for what they did not believe in the first instance? We have a lot of work to do,” Iwot says.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Republican’s ‘Big Tech Accountability’ Platform Calls For Both More And Less Moderation, And A ‘Not Fairness Doctrine’ Fairness Doctrine

        It’s become quite clear over the past few years that the Republicans’ platform these days is “punish those who disagree with us,” or, in the shorter vernacular: “cry moar, libs.” This becomes blatantly clear as you look at the newly released “Big Tech Accountability Platform” that the Republicans in the House have released (coming from the ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers). The platform actually starts out making some amount of sense, but note that it will ignore all of that within a single page. The principles laid out are actually good ones — if the plan actually followed them (which it does not):

      • Mastercard Lays Down New Rules For Streaming Sites That Require Them To Review Content Before Publication

        Mastercard is in the process of killing off another way for sex workers to make money. Its updated policy on “illegal adult content” takes aim at a bunch of adult content that isn’t actually illegal. What the new policy does is make it impossible for streaming platforms to comply with the new rules. Since they’re not able to prescreen streamed content, they’re just going to start blocking anything that seems like it might lead to Mastercard pulling the plug.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Friendster Battles Fakesters (2003)

        Summary: While the social media/social networking space today is dominated by Facebook, it’s interesting to look at how Facebook’s predecessors dealt with content moderation challenges as well. One of the earliest social networks to reach mainstream recognition was Friendster, founded by Jonathan Abrams in 2002 and launched in early 2003, gaining millions of users who signed up to connect with friends. Originally built as a dating site, it expanded quickly beyond that.

      • Anti-Corruption Foundation employee handed two-year prison sentence over ‘extremist’ tweets

        A Moscow court has sentenced Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) employee Pavel Zelensky to two years in prison for inciting extremism, his lawyer Svetlana Bayturina told Mediazona on Friday, April 16.

      • Coalition of human rights and journalist organisations express concerns for free speech

        Moreover, it would set a dangerous precedent for any future EU legislation regulating online expression and the digital ecosystem, notably the upcoming Digital Services Act.

        As the last step of the legislative process, the European Parliament must decide whether they will approve the text, which is the result of over a year of negotiations with the Council. The vote is foreseen to take place during the plenary session of the Parliament at the end of April.

      • French embassy advises citizens to leave Pakistan

        The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country, after violent anti-France protests paralysed large parts of the country this week.

        “Due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan, French nationals and French companies are advised to temporarily leave the country,” the embassy said in an email to French citizens.

        “The departures will be carried out by existing commercial airlines.”

      • Exclusive: Batley teacher’s union donated money to charity that accused him of ‘terrorism’

        Dr Paul Stott, associate fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, said: “There is now a real question mark about the ability of the NEU to represent its members at Batley Grammar School. That the Kirklees branch of the NEU has funded an organisation that calls for the sacking of a school teacher for doing his job is lamentable.

        “The NEU now needs to review the organisations it funds and works with to avoid a repetition of this farce.”

        Earlier this week, it emerged that the teacher’s family accused Batley Grammar’s headmaster, Gary Kibble, of “throwing him under a bus” by failing to fight his corner while he lives as a fugitive.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Russian investigators plan to interrogate ‘Doxa’ editor-in-chief 24 times in 36 days

        Between April 19 and May 24, Russian investigators plan to interrogate Doxa editor-in-chief Armen Aramyan 24 times. Aramyan is currently under house arrest on suspicion of involving minors in unauthorized protests. 

      • Edward Snowden Plans to Auction an NFT, Proceeds Will Go to Freedom of the Press Foundation [Ed: 1. A bit of a conflict of interest here. 2. Freedom of the Press Foundation works for #omidyar and other oligarchs who put there their moles in there, it doesn't work for the people who founded it (or for the goal it's named after)]

        The whistleblower and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and subcontractor Edward Snowden has revealed he is stepping into the world of non-fungible token (NFT) assets. Moreover, 100% of the NFT sale proceeds will be donated to the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

      • Edward Snowden NFT sells for more than $5.4 million

        The profits won’t go to America’s most famous exiled whistleblower, however. Instead, the sale is meant to benefit the Freedom of the Press Foundation, where Snowden is the president. Its board includes actor John Cusack, whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and the writer Glenn Greenwald.

        [...]

        In 2020, seven years after Snowden passed his documents to Greenwald and Poitras, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records was illegal.

      • Kashmir: Indian police tighten curbs on media coverage of gun battles

        More than 50,000 people have died in the insurgency that erupted in 1989, according to government figures. Human rights activists estimate the toll to be more than twice as high.

        India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir. Both control parts of the region but claim all of it.

      • Keep Your Distance, Kashmir Police Tell Media

        Gunfights in a conflict zone are a matter of public interest and police should not dictate what reporters can or cannot report on, said Aliya Iftikhar, senior Asia research at the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

        The police chief’s remarks are “yet another attempt to control the narrative around Kashmir and the press,” Iftikhar told VOA.

        Mohammad, of the Kashmir Press Club, said that covering the news live is important in helping stem the flow of false rumors and unverified information, which has potential to trigger chaos in Kashmir.

      • Hong Kong: Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai sentenced to one year and two months in jail for “unauthorised assembly”

        Jimmy Lai, Apple Daily founder and 2020 RSF Press Freedom Awards laureate, was sentenced on 16th April by a Hong Kong court to one year and two months in prison for two cases of “unauthorised assembly”. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for Lai’s immediate release and the end of judicial harassment against him.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Groundhog Day: Postmortem in Bessemer

        74 percent of workers voted against joining the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

        Polls show that about half of nonunion workers in the country say they would join a union if they could and union have broad public support in the country. Yet the unionization rate for the private sector hovers at around six percent. The most obvious factor for this disparity is of course that labor laws highly favor employers, as does the overall political climate where these votes are occurring. After a union files for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), it is perfectly legal for employers to force workers to attend mandatory meetings where management harangues them with reasons they should not unionize, and certainly management is not above making threats or telling outright lies.

      • Letters From Minsk: the Warsaw Ghetto

        From the Katyn Museum I biked to a Warsaw Ghetto memorial and the nearby Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Along the way, I found a small stretch of the ghetto wall that has been preserved on which there is now a cast-iron map of the quarter and an inscription that reads:

        By order of the German occupation authorities, the ghetto was cut off from the rest of the city on November 16, 1940. The ghetto areas, surrounded by a wall, was initially 307 hectares (759 acres); with time, it was reduced. Starting in January 1942, it was divided in two parts called the large and small ghettos. Approximately 360,000 Warsaw Jews and 90,000 from other towns were herded into the ghetto. Nearly 100,00 died of hunger. During the summer of 1942, the Germans deported and murdered close to 300,000 people in the gas chambers of Treblinka. On April 19, 1943, an uprising broke out in the ghetto. Until mid-May, fighters and civilians perished in combat or in the systematically burned ghetto buildings. The remaining population was murdered by the Germans in November 1943 in the Majdanek, Poniatowa and Trawniki concentration camps. Only a few survived.

      • Steven Biss Loses Yet Again; Judges Still Resist Sanctions

        It truly is incredible how many second chances the courts are willing to give lawyers who clearly seem to be filing vexatious SLAPP suits. The lawyer in Devin Nunes’ long list of SLAPP suits, Steven Biss, has a few other clients as well, though so many of them seem to be in the same Trumpist circles. The other thing they have in common is that Steven Biss seems to have no problem filing vexatious wasteful SLAPP suits to try to stifle speech. And these cases always fail. It really kinda makes you wonder (1) why anyone would hire Biss and (2) who’s paying for all of these failed lawsuits? This latest one is a follow-up to a case we covered a little over a year ago, in which Biss lost a case he filed on behalf of a Russian-born academic, Svetlana Lokhova, going after a Cambridge academic named Stefan Halper and a variety of media organizations.

      • ‘Racist, Unconstitutional, and Anti-Democratic’: Florida Senate Passes GOP Anti-Protest Bill

        “This bill is a disgrace to our state.”

        After Florida’s Senate Republicans on Thursday passed an undemocratic anti-protest bill—expected to be signed into law by its chief proponent, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, as early as next week—the state’s ACLU chapter condemned GOP lawmakers for “aiming to shut down political speech they disagree with in a direct attack on the First Amendment and at the cost of Black and Brown people.”

      • ‘Entire System Is to Blame’: Outrage Builds After Police Union Leader Says Officer Killing of Unarmed Teen Was ‘Heroic’

        “Ending this isn’t just about consequences for who pulls the trigger. It’s about admitting to and confronting an entire system that exists to protect, defend, and cover up state violence.” 

        Outrage over the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago was compounded overnight and into Friday after the president of the city’s police union claimed the shooting was “100% justified” and that the officer’s actions were “heroic.”

      • Forced Patriotism is Un-American: Arkansas and the Anthem

        When explaining why she introduced these bills, Ms. Rutledge said, “Cancel culture is trying to stamp out the foundation of our republic despite the generations of Americans…who have fought and died for our country.”

        While the argument can be made that children should learn to cherish founding principles, the AG’s policy proposals wouldn’t accomplish this. In fact, they’d do precisely the opposite by conflating blind love of country with true patriotism. I’d call it all a star-spangled disaster.

      • Slavery and the Age of Ego

        Slavery is an outgrowth of ego sickness, which is at the core of all that is wrong with humans in this time Hinduism refers to as the Kali Yuga, a spiritual nadir in an ongoing cycle where selfishness, materialism, and cruelty are the manifested symptoms of the era, an apt description of our time regardless of one’s personal belief in Hinduism. Further, the idea that human cultures go in cycles exhibiting different patterns of thought at different times collectively doesn’t seem that far-fetched either. In this time of ego many can see nothing else, yet indigenous cultures lived for long periods of time over wide expanses of land in relative peace and were not building standing armies or plotting how to plunder their neighbors. What is happening now isn’t a remark on our species as much it’s a commentary on our current mental disposition.

        The majority are now slaves to the ego roles traipsing around in their heads, the jealousies, the pride, the perceived insults, all the petty things that can’t be let go of become persistent phantasms haunting their waking minds, giving them reason to fear, to create division in the name of security, and adhere to defensive mechanisms in order to deal with the fear of the “other”, or that which is identified as separate from us and may pose a threat to the intransigent ego identity role.

      • Navalny says prison officials ‘ready to switch to force-feeding’ as his health worsens

        Opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who has been on a prison hunger strike for 17 days now, says that prison officials have warned him about his deteriorating health and are “ready to switch to force-feeding.”

      • Abusers Benefitting from International Anti-Abduction Treaty – Validated Independent News

        With 101 countries participating in this treaty, the repercussions of these cases is truly global. Article 13(b) of the Hague Convention allows for exceptions to be made, if a child’s return home might expose them to physical or mental trauma. In domestic violence situations, Gundle explains, “batterers frequently take their anger out on their children” when their spouse is no longer present. In 2020, Hague Commission issued a “Guide to Good Practice” which emphasized the importance of Article 13(b) but failed to acknowledge that many survivors of abuse are too afraid to report abuse for fear of disbelief, embarrassment, or shame. Without a history of filing claims, mothers and children fleeing from abusive environments cannot meet a strict standard of proof for court cases. The American Judges Association reports that abusers get shared custody approximately seventy percent of the time.

      • Google’s Union-Busting Methods Revealed – Validated Independent News

        IRI Consultants is only one of many union-busting firms that help business prevent workplace organizing by intimidating workers, tracking employee behavior, and engaging in workplace anti-union propaganda.  The war against workplace organizing in the United States through intimidation and surveillance has been an ongoing effort since the 1870s. In response to strikes and other labor agitation, the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 was passed by Congress making it illegal for employers to spy on employees and guaranteeing workers the ability to organize and engage in collective bargaining. Nevertheless, companies like Google attempt to circumvent the law by hiring union avoidance firms like IRI Consultants as independent contractors to engage in surveillance and intimidation on their behalf.

      • ‘This Is Crazy’: Jamaal Bowman Excoriates NYPD DigiDog Robotic K-9

        “We need police reform. We need racial justice. We need economic justice,” said the New York progressive. “Why the hell do we need robot police dogs?” 

        Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Friday added his voice to the growing public outrage—especially in over-policed communities of color—in response to the New York Police Department’s deployment of a robotic K-9 unit. 

      • Why Disability Rights Advocates Are Pressing the Senate to Allow an Internet Voting Option

        Their concerns and online voting remedy have come into focus in recent months as upwards of 20 organizations representing voters with hearing, visual, cognitive and mobility impairments and sometimes requiring assistive technologies have formed a national coalition to press for more flexible voting options as Congress considers the most sweeping reforms in years.

        The push for congressional approval of online voting could pose one of the most significant challenges yet for passage of the Democrat-drafted package. It pits two core constituencies—disability rights groups and cybersecurity advocates—against each other. These two cadres have clashed in the past when disability advocates successfully pressed Congress to spend billions on paperless voting machines in the early 2000s, the very systems that most states replaced after Russian interference in 2016’s election due to cybersecurity threats.

      • Daunte Wright’s Death Proves We Don’t Need More Police Training

        I want justice for Daunte Wright. I want justice for George Floyd. But what I want more than that is for them to still be here. True justice is dismantling the system that took them from their loved ones — shattering their communities and the hearts of Black people nationwide. Tired doesn’t feel like an adequate description of the level of exhaustion felt in this continuous state of mourning. With every headline about a Black life taken too soon, we ache. These names, these faces, these people — our people — they live in our bones. Generational trauma compounded with the pain of our present-day atrocities and the thought of this persisting, in one way or another, over the next several years, decades, centuries — it’s infuriating.

      • Pat Robertson is wrong: Police use of Tasers, like guns, constitutes excessive force

        I’ve been writing about Tasers for a long time, even here on Salon back in the aught years. Yes, they are certainly a better choice than using a gun (if the cops can keep their wits about them enough to tell the difference.) But the truth is that Tasers are often deadly weapons in themselves. There have been at least 500 documented deaths by law enforcement’s use of Tasers in the U.S. since 2003, according to Amnesty International, 90% of which were perpetrated on unarmed people. Two police officers were charged with murder in Oklahoma last year for killing a man by Tasering him over 50 times.

        Generally, these deaths are attributed to “underlying conditions” such as the dubious medical diagnosis of “excited delirium,” the unusual condition that mainly afflicts people in police custody. The plain fact is that Tasers are electroshock torture devices designed to force people to comply with the police. When they are used on people with mental health problems, on drugs, or with underlying conditions, they can be debilitating and sometimes deadly, which one would think would cause police to be very cautious about using them on unarmed people at all if they can help it. Just because it doesn’t usually break any bones doesn’t mean it isn’t excessive force. In fact, unless there is no choice other than to actually shoot someone, it is excessive force.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why the Liberals Have Become the Most Anti-Internet Government in Canadian History

        All remain silent as the government pursues policies and non-consultative processes that would have been unimaginable when it took office. It may have started with emphasizing innovation, but discouragingly today it is more accurate to lament that it has become the most anti-Internet government in Canadian history.

      • Wall Street Stock Jocks Are Worried About A Modest Uptick In Broadband Competition

        For decades, America’s entrenched broadband monopolies have had it pretty good. Despite a brief blip there during the Wheeler FCC years, they’ve been hugely successful in gutting most of the meaningful regulatory oversight of natural monopolies. At the same time, they’ve been damn successful in using their political power to limit the threat posed by smaller competitors. The end result should be fairly obvious to those with eyes: Americans pay some of the highest rates in the developed world for patchy, slower service, and US broadband providers see some of the lowest consumer satisfaction ratings of any industry in America.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • PlayStation Y2K-Like Battery Bug About To Become A Problem As Sony Shuts Down Check In Servers

        We’ve had a couple of discussions now about video game preservation with the impetus being Sony’s shutdown of support for the PlayStation Store for PSP, PS3, and Vita owners. The general idea there was questioning what happens to games for those systems in the very long term if suddenly nobody can get to them anymore and the developers and publishers are not always retaining the source code and assets for these games on their end. That sort of thing is probably primarily of interest to us folks who look at these games as a form of art and culture, very much worth preserving.

    • Monopolies

      • Monopoly Versus Democracy: Reflections on Unionizing Amazon

        We turn to author, journalist and professor Juan González. “How do more than 2,000 workers sign union cards at Amazon’s Alabama plant but only 700 vote yes?” he tweeted  Bully-style, the monopoly company intimidated its workforce via captive management meetings with employees, a legal tactic.

        Thus, labor law reform is one site of employees’ struggle to form unions at Amazon. “The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act … would institute meaningful penalties for private-sector employers that coerce and intimidate workers seeking to unionize—as has been clearly documented in the Amazon organizing campaign in Bessemer,” according to Celine McNicholas of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington DC.

      • Copyrights

        • Nintendo Wins US-Wide Injunction Against Seller of RCM Loader ‘Piracy’ Device

          Last November, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against an Amazon seller who distributed RCM Loader, a device that has the “sole purpose” of allowing people to play pirated video games by circumventing the Switch console’s technological protection measures. A court has now handed down a permanent injunction to prevent such sales anywhere in the United States.

        • UK Pirates Remain Driven by Convenience, Availability and Cost

          A report published by the UK Intellectual Property Office shows that a quarter of all online entertainment consumers downloaded or streamed content illegally last year. Many pirates pay for content but turn to illegal sources when availability is lacking or when the costs become too high.

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    Links for the day



  14. Free Software Proponents Don't Fall for Bullshit (Same is True for EPO Examiners)

    There are parallels between what happens in the Free Software Movement and the EPO, where well-meaning people — and usually hard-working scientists — are besieged by people who never really contributed anything to society



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 05, 2021



  16. Lessons From Another Failed Coup Against the Free Software Movement

    The coup has very clearly failed and we should prepare for future attempts (they go in cycles); the monopolies really dislike software they cannot control fully (e.g. copyleft/GPL-licensed software)



  17. Links 5/5/2021: Mesa 21.1 Released and New Releases of Python

    Links for the day



  18. Links 5/5/2021: StarLabs, GNU Zile 2.6.2, Fedora i3 Spin

    Links for the day



  19. Phony 'Scandals' From Phony 'News' Site ZDNet

    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols continues the coup against the FSF (trying to separate it from its founder, Richard Stallman), funded by IBM and Microsoft to engage in libel at a marketing company-owned ‘news’ site called ZDNet



  20. Links 5/5/2021: Windows Security Breaches and GNU Pokology Launched

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 04, 2021



  22. Links 4/5/2021: Taiwins 0.3, KDE Plasma 5.21.5 Released

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Already Wasting Money on Media Manipulation Campaigns for European Inventor Award

    An online-only European Inventor Award 'event' is being used as a pretext/excuse to flood European publishers with money they can rightly perceive as 'hush money'; everyone out there with no spine would likely buckle at the sight of EPO euros and just produce mindless puff pieces that serve to distract from EPO corruption



  24. The Timing of This Melinda Gates Tweet Was Always Curious...

    Remarking on her trip to Africa, where the Gates family lobbies for monopolies on seeds (for profit or course, notably through Monsanto/Bayer, which the Gates family heavily invests in), she posted pure fluff and old photos. And it’s hard to believe she had nothing better to do at the time (better than such nostalgia). As we noted last year: “The above tweet of a beach was posted [by Melinda Gates] on the date of the arrest/search of their employee, who was at their residence at the time.” He was arrested around the very same time this tweet was posted. As we wrote last year (based on detailed documents obtained from the police department): “This tweet was posted 2 hours and 40 minutes after the door was breached and incriminating evidence collected.” He was arrested later that morning at the mansion of Bill and Melinda Gates (the police records contain detailed timelines to confirm the chronology). Melinda’s first name was also in the CP 'stash'.



  25. Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill's Crimes

    The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 03, 2021



  27. EPO Disregards Animal Welfare

    An often overlooked issue surrounding the second-largest institution in Europe is its impact on millions if not billions of animals; there's ongoing research into that



  28. Links 3/5/2021: Sparky 5.15, Bill Gates Divorce, Netflix Fraud

    Links for the day



  29. Links 3/5/2021: New in OpenBSD 6.9 and Audacity Acquired By Muse Group

    Links for the day



  30. Adding, Seaming Together, Merging, or Concatenating Videos From the Command Line With FFMPEG (Scripting for Streamlining of Workflows)

    In order to enrich the looks of videos with almost no extra time/effort (all scripted, no GUIs should be needed) use ffmpeg with the concat operator; but there are several big gotchas, namely lack of sound and need for consistency across formats/codecs and even sampling rates


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