09.25.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 25/9/2021: Wine 6.18 and Chromium Complier Woes

Posted in News Roundup at 11:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ultimate Off-Site Setup | Self-Hosted 54

        Alex is abroad and uses the opportunity to build out not one but two ultimate self-hosted off-site servers. We share the hardware, software, and networking details.

        Plus, how Chris built a Nest-type thermostat using parts he already had.

    • Kernel Space

      • Android is shifting to an “upstream first” development model for new Linux kernel features

        But what’s coming next is even more important, and is arguably the most important part of Google’s long-term strategy. When we pointed out earlier how Treble modularized Android by separating the OS framework from the vendor implementation, we included the “device-specific Linux kernel fork” as part of that vendor code. Anyone who’s familiar with Linux on desktops will recognize a problem there: Why is it lumped in with closed-source vendor code? The problem is that while Android devices do ship with the Linux kernel, that kernel features a lot of out-of-tree code.

      • Google plans to bring Android’s kernel closer to the Linux upstream

        Google has spent nearly half a decade attempting to make it easier for OEMs to keep their devices updated, most notably with the introduction of Project Treble in 2017. The company has previously proposed efforts to bring Android closer to the Linux kernel, something it’s finally attempting with the upcoming release of Android 12. At this week’s Linux Plumbers Conference, Google laid out how it’s planning to accomplish its lofty goal.

        As reported by Ars Technica, Android is moving to a new “upstream” model and away from the traditional forked layout that can cause software delays. Before a device is upgraded, the Linux kernel goes through multiple forks — from Linux into “Android common,” then into the SoC-specific version, before finally reaching its device-specific iteration. That’s a ton of work for every company involved, and it’s one of the main contributing factors to Android’s fragmentation issue.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Apache Maven on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Maven on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Maven is an open-source software project management and builds a tool that is tailored specifically for Java projects, but due to its plugin-based architecture, it can be used for C#, Ruby, C, C++, etc projects. Apache Maven projects are build around Project Object Model (POM) and use an XML file (pom.xml) to describe its software project configurations.

        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 Apache Maven on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How to install Darktable on a Chromebook in 2021

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

      • How to Install Brave Browser AlmaLinux 8 – LinuxCapable

        Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. Brave is a privacy-focused Internet web browser, which distinguishes itself from other browsers by automatically blocking online advertisements and website trackers in its default settings. Brave has claimed its browser puts less strain on your computer’s performance than Google Chrome, regardless of how much you ask of it. Even with multiple tabs open at once, Brave uses less memory than Google Chrome-like, up to 66% less.

      • How To Install Gparted on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Gparted on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, GParted is a free partition manager that enables you to resize, copy, and move partitions without data loss. Furthermore, it provides many features such as one partition mirroring with others. It is to be noted that Gparted supports several filesystems such as btrfs, ext2/ext3/ext4, fat16/fat32, lvm2, ntfs and xfs. Also, you can use a variety of storage devices such as SATA/IDE/SCSI, Flash memory, SSD and RAID with GParted.

        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 Gparted partition manager on a CentOS 8.

      • How to Install MariaDB 10.6 on AlmaLinux 8 – LinuxCapable

        MariaDB is one of the most popular open-source databases next to its originator MySQL. The original creators of MySQL developed MariaDB in response to fears that MySQL would suddenly become a paid service due to Oracle acquiring it in 2010. With its history of doing similar tactics, the developers behind MariaDB have promised to keep it open source and free from such fears as what has happened to MySQL.

        MariaDB has become just as popular as MySQL with developers, with features such as advanced clustering with Galera Cluster 4, faster cache/indexes, storage engines, and features/extensions that you won’t find in MySQL.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install MariaDB 10.6 on AlmaLinux 8.

      • How to Disable Strict Host Key Checking in SSH – TecAdmin

        The SSH server has default enabled the strict host key checking. When the key checking is enabled, the SSH client connects only those hosts, that valid host keys are stored in the known host’s file. You can find the fine at ~/.ssh/known_hosts.

        Once you are connected to a remote host file time via SSH, the SSH clients check for the host key file under the known_hosts file. If the key is found, you will be connected to a remote server after authentication, but if key doesn’t found in the known_hosts file, the command will show a warning message and a prompt to accept or reject the connection request. Once you accepted the by typing “yes”, the key is added in the known_hosts file.

        Here is an example to of command:

        ssh ubuntu@remote-host
        Output

        The authenticity of host ‘remote-host (123.45.67.89)’ can’t be established.
        RSA key fingerprint is 9f:48:89:f5:68:2f:cd:b3:19:95:40:43:98:09:0a:1a.
        Are you sure you wanThe SSH server has default enabled the strict host key checking. When the key checking is enabled, the SSH client connects only those hosts, that valid host keys are stored in the known host’s file. You can find the fine at ~/.ssh/known_hosts.

        Once you are connected to a remote host file time via SSH, the SSH clients check for the host key file under the known_hosts file. If the key is found, you will be connected to a remote server after authentication, but if key doesn’t found in the known_hosts file, the command will show a warning message and a prompt to accept or reject the connection request. Once you accepted the by typing “yes”, the key is added in the known_hosts file.

        Here is an example to of command:

        ssh ubuntu@remote-host
        Output

        The authenticity of host ‘remote-host (123.45.67.89)’ can’t be established.
        RSA key fingerprint is 9f:48:89:f5:68:2f:cd:b3:19:95:40:43:98:09:0a:1a.
        Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?
        But in some situations, like shell scripts, we need to disable the strict host check. Continue to read this article to understand the way to disable strict host check in the SSH clients on Linux systems.t to continue connecting (yes/no)?
        But in some situations, like shell scripts, we need to disable the strict host check. Continue to read this article to understand the way to disable strict host check in the SSH clients on Linux systems.

      • How to Install Node.JS 14 LTS / 16 & NPM on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 engine to build fast and scalable network applications and back-end APIs. Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking IO module that makes it very lightweight and practical. It is a fantastic choice for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.

        NPM is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language maintained by NPM, Inc. NPM is the default package manager for the JavaScript runtime environment Node.js and is arguably the most available repository for Node.JS packages.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Node.JS in various ways from the app stream and the node source repository on Debian 11 Bullseye.

      • How to Install Latest Nginx Mainline on AlmaLinux 8 – LinuxCapable

        For those using AlmaLinux 8, you might have noticed that installing Nginx directly from its Appresteam does not install the latest stable or mainline version. It is pretty far behind where Nginx is stable, and Mainline is at the current time of its development.

        For most, using the default Nginx that comes bundled with AlmaLinux Appstream will be preferred. Still, the following tutorial will cover the steps needed for those wanting to use newer versions for the latest features.

      • ACENET Basics: Introduction to Linux

        This core session is designed to help new users at ACENET and Compute Canada get up and running.

      • How to Remove Firefox Snap from Ubuntu (21.10 +)

        Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri makes Firefox Snap as a default browser. If you don’t like Snap, this is how you can remove it and use the stock version.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.18 Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.18 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Shell32 and WineBus libraries converted to PE.
          - Unicode data updated to Unicode version 14.
          - Mono engine updated to version 6.4.0, with COM improvements.
          - More work towards Dwarf 3/4 debug support.
          - HID joystick enabled by default.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.18.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.18.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
        
      • Wine 6.18 Released With HID Joystick Enabled By Default

        Wine 6.18 has been popped as the newest bi-weekly development release of this software that allows Windows applications and games to run under Linux and in turn what also powers Steam Play’s Proton.

        Wine 6.18 ships with its HID joystick driver enabled by default, which improves the joystick support for usage under Windows games. Wine 6.18 also continues work on improving the debug support, updates against the Mono 6.4 engine, and other changes.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD on the Vortex86DX CPU

          This is the OpenBSD counterpart of my article about running NetBSD on the Vortex86DX CPU, and its purpose is mostly to archive a dmesg entry and various benchmarks for this machine. I should note that with only 256MB of RAM, the machine is too constrained to do kernel and libraries relinking in a timely manner, due to swapping.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • The brains behind the books – part IX: Meike Chabowski | SUSE Communities

          Linux and I share the same birthday – it probably was just kismet that we met. No wonder that I seized my chance when I saw a job opening from SUSE in the newspaper – they were looking to hire somebody into the Marketing /PR department for press relations. I applied for the job, and got it – strike! This was in 2000 – more than 21 years ago. The first 6 weeks I worked as PR manager, and published my first press release about SUSE Blinux, a Braille screen reader developed by our former colleague Marco Skambraks. In the meantime, we had got a new Marketing director. And one fine day, he asked me if I would move over from PR to Product Marketing. Quite overrun, I said “why not, let’s try it”. And for the next 16 years, I worked as a product marketing manager on many different and interesting topics. I am very proud that, in 2000, I was among those that brought the very first Enterprise Linux server to market – it all started in 2000 with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for S/390 (IBM mainframes). The mainframe (today IBM Z and LinuxOne) was my first love, but I also was responsible for High Performance Computing for a very long time, and I am still addicted to this technology area, as HPC is so much impacting our daily life without us realizing it. Other topics I worked on were UNIX to Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in general, SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service, and also SUSE Manager. Already during my time in Product Marketing, I wrote technical feature guides, and together with subject matter experts, technical whitepapers focussing on many different topics (A NUMA API for Linux from Andi Kleen, for example, is still out there, and regularly referred to).

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 6 open source tools for orchestral composers

        As an avid amateur musician, I’ve worked with many different software programs to create both simple and complex pieces. As my projects have grown in scope, I’ve used composition software ranging from basic engraving to MIDI-compatible notation to playback of multi-instrument works. Composers have their choice of proprietary software, but I wanted to prove that, regardless of the need, there is an open source tool that will more than satisfy them.

        When my needs were simple and my projects few, I used the excellent resource Lilypond, part of the GNU project, for engraving my music score. Lilypond is a markup language used to create sheet music. What looks like a mass of letters and numbers on the screen becomes a beautiful music score that can be exported as a PDF to share with all your musical acquaintances. For creating small snippets of a score, Lilypond performs excellently.

      • 11 Best Free and Open Source Matrix Clients

        Matrix is an open standard for interoperable, decentralised, real-time communication over IP.

        It can be used to power Instant Messaging, VoIP/WebRTC signalling, Internet of Things communication – or anywhere you need a standard HTTP API for publishing and subscribing to data whilst tracking the conversation history.

        The standard can integrate with standard web services via WebRTC, facilitating browser-to-browser applications.

      • Bespoke shenanigans

        A bit over a week ago, I found a DAW called Bespoke. It features a rich set of composable audio and modulation modules that can be freely instantiated and connected (and I thought Reaper’s routing was cool).

        More importantly, there’s a scripting module. It offers note, pulse and modulation inputs, note outputs, and api-based integration with other Bespoke modules.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium compiled for 15 hours before failing

            Ha ha, the saga continues! Yesterday’s post:

            https://bkhome.org/news/202109/chromium-compiled-for-12-hours-before-failing.html

            This time, using Chromium version 93.0.4577.82. Running EasyOS 3.0pre, Lenovo PC with Intel i3 CPU and 8GB RAM. The build is happening on an external USB3 500GB SSD. There is a swap partition, 24GB internal HDD.
            Failure point looks like the same place. It is trying to create ‘libblink_platform.so’.
            Normally, the build is configured to create static libraries and there is a massive final link creating a huge single binary. However, I have used the “is_component_build=true” configure option, which causes a smaller final binary with lots of shared libraries.

      • Education

        • The Big Book of Computing Pedagogy

          In this issue, you’ll find:

          Techniques for fostering program comprehension

          Advice for bringing physical computing into your classroom

          Introductions to frameworks for structuring your lessons

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Python as a build tool

            Normally, when starting a Java project (or any other programming project, really), you don’t want to reinvent the wheel. You go with the de-facto build system, folder structure, environment etc. The ones that rest of the world is using.

            Yet, both Skija and JWM are built using Python scripts instead of more traditional Ant/Maven/Gradle/SBT. Why? Let’s find out!

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Daniel Foote’s Resignation Resounds Like Thunder

      Finally, the machine is breaking down. For 10 years (and many more), the United States has been directing and controlling a destructive and corrupt political steamroller in Haiti that the embassy in Port-au-Prince has dared to call electoral democracy.

    • The Camera is the Rifle: an Interview With Oliver Stone

      Like most of Stone’s film work, Chasing the Light is up-close and personal.  It’s a deep dive into his complicated New York childhood, his decision to volunteer for combat in Viet Nam, and his struggle to overcome a drug habit. Stone’s powerful new memoir confronts the struggles and up-hill battles behind the making of such films as Platoon, Midnight Express, and Scarface. 

      The memoir marks the multiple challenges that preceded Stone’s international success with Platoon, in 1986. Oliver Stone was wounded as an infantryman in Vietnam, and spent years writing unproduced scripts while driving taxis in New York, finally venturing westward to Los Angeles and a new life. Stone, now 73, recounts those formative years with in-the-moment details of the high and low moments of his life: We see meetings with Al Pacino over Stone’s scripts for Scarface, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July ; we see him harrowing demon of cocaine addiction following the failure of his first feature and then his auspicious comeback: I sat down for a interview with Stone late last week to talk about the memoir and his new soon to be released doc on JFK.

    • #Ballgate, Ballgown, Brett’s Balls & Yours

      It’s also Self-Love September (SLS), which is good for the bollocks, as well as the female or gender-fluid equivalent. A couple weeks ago, we celebrated Labia Day, so it’s only fair and bonoboësque to honor the boys too. Though, according to the Internet, SLS is more about lofty ideals of self-improvement than the earthy reality of self-pleasure. This may be because it’s only been around a few years (in contrast, May as Masturbation Month goes back to 1994), or because promoting solo sex benefits is still (rather absurdly) taboo.

      Of course, “self-love” means different things, from hiking to volunteer work to baking yourself an “I Love Me” cake. However, in this not-so-humble sexologist’s opinion, if a little quality masturbation time (which could include the mutual kind), isn’t part of self-love, well, you’re just not fully loving yourself.

    • Not-OK-Corral
    • “They Saw Me and Thought the Worst”

      As Sojourner Gibbs pulled out of her parking space at a Sam’s Club in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, one afternoon last summer, she felt the familiar, sickening symptoms of diabetic shock. Weakness, confusion. She began to sweat and shake uncontrollably. And then, Gibbs said, panic set in.

      Her car lurched forward a few feet. She slammed on the brakes. The groceries she had just purchased for her family’s Juneteenth barbecue jostled in the back. People started honking their horns. A concerned woman walked up to her car. “I’m a diabetic! I need help!” Gibbs yelled.

    • Twentieth Century Europe: Revolution and Reaction

      Occasionally however, a text comes along that is meant to counter the dominant narrative. A text that retells our understood history in a manner that emphasizes the role of working people and their lives in the making of the past. Raquel Varela’s A People’s History of Europe: From World War One to Today is just such a book. Varela lives, writes and teaches in Portugal. This in itself provides her with a perspective closer to the periphery of Europe than to that of London, Paris or Berlin. It is her leftist politics, however, that primarily inform the perspective of this text. In other words, this is a history that not only tells the story of Europe’s twentieth century from a working-class perspective, but from a perspective that understands it is the workers and peasantry who decide the course of history, not just the rulers be they aristocrats or the bourgeoisie.

      Given the understanding that it is the workers and peasants who determine history (and the future), it is only natural that Varela’s point of reference would be the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russia. After all, it was this revolution that truly changed all previous history. Not only was the aristocracy that had ruled Russia for centuries overthrown, but so was its budding bourgeoisie. The forces of humanity who had been under the boot of the nobility and the profit-driven world of the capitalist class were in control. It is this fact that determined much of what followed over the next one hundred years, not only in Russia but around the world. Communist movements would be determinants in the economies and politics for much of Europe and beyond. Likewise, the reaction to the successes of the communists would propel capitalist forces into accommodation with or extreme reaction to the masses of people identifying as communist and socialist. The most extreme reaction would be fascism. The more accommodating would be democratic socialism. Both political forms were meant to save the capitalist class.

    • Science

      • A teenager on TikTok disrupted thousands of scientific studies with a single video

        Scientists doing this sort of research in the United States generally want a pool of subjects who speak English as a first language, are not too practiced at taking psychological surveys, and together make up a reasonably representative demographic sample of the American population.

        Prolific, most agreed, did a good job providing high-quality subjects. The sudden change in the platform’s demographics threatened to upend that reputation.

    • Education

      • Opinion | Echoes of the Past Are Present in Texas’ Latest Racist Attack on Education

        For a view of the real-life fallout of the far right campaign to stamp out the teaching of the history of U.S. racism and its legacy today, meet James Whitfield.

      • Algorithmic Employment Decisions In Academia?

        A company in ‘Workplace Analytics’ is selling a product called ‘OccupEye’ that tracks employees with movement sensors mounted under their desks. They have partnered with network giant Cisco that uses WiFi routers to derive movement patterns within rooms and buildings. Besides movement detection and text analysis, mouse-clicks and keystrokes (also as suggested by academic publishers) can be analyzed and incorporated into the algorithms as well, in order to, e.g., classify employees as “Low Performer”, “Good Performer” or “High Performer”, as Zalando is doing (p. 135 in the study).

        Surely, academia would never use performance metrics for their hire and fire decisions? OK, bad joke.

      • Stanford students sour on big-tech careers amid ethics concerns

        A number of Stanford University students and graduates appear to be avoiding or turning down job opportunities with leading technology companies in a bid to force changes in ethics and corporate culture.

        The newly publicised cases include Hannah Mieczkowski, a doctoral student who declined an interview with Google for an internship this summer over last year’s high-profile firing of a scientist critical of bias in computer algorithms.

        Far more Stanford students, Ms Mieczkowski said, were expressing similar concerns about technology companies as they neared the point of their own decisions on internships and jobs.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | To Build Back Better, Congress Must (Finally) Invest in Black Caregivers Like Us

        As Congress is considering making a once-in-a-generation investment in workers and families to enact President Biden’s care infrastructure plan through the Build Back Better Act, our country is at a crossroads. Over the past 19 months, caregivers like us have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, with this time being among the most challenging of our combined 60 years of service within our industry. But our challenges did not begin with the global pandemic. Even before the pandemic, we’ve had to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet and support our families while providing the vital care that millions of older adults, people with disabilities, and their families depend on.

      • A Little Radiation Is Not Good For You

        After six years of deliberation, the NRC’s three commissioners, two Democrats and one Republican, voted unanimously to reject formal petitions submitted in February 2015 urging the agency to adopt a cost-cutting scheme known as “hormesis” which claims that “a little radiation is good for you.” The September 16 decision by the NRC says this “threshold theory posits that “there is some threshold dose below which there is either no radiation-related health detriment or a radiation-related health benefit that outweighs any detriment.” The order then rebukes this concept, finding the petitioners “fail to present an adequate basis supporting the request,” and “Convincing evidence has not yet demonstrated the existence of a threshold below which there would be no … effects from exposure to low radiation doses.”

        The basis for hormesis had been explicitly rejected ten years earlier, the NRC pointed out, by the National Academy of Sciences in its 2005 report “Biologic Effects of Ionizing Radiation, 7th Ed” or BEIR-VII. The National Research Council summed up its book-length BEIR-7 report saying, “the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans.”

      • ‘Hold My Pearls’: Debbie Dingell Lets Marjorie Taylor Green Have It Over Abortion Rights

        Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan exchanged heated words with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia outside the U.S. Capitol building Friday afternoon as Democratic lawmakers gathered to champion passage of sweeping abortion rights legislation.

        “I was mad. Why do you have to yell at your colleagues on the steps of the Capitol other than to create a scene?”

      • Cisneros Slams Cuellar for Being Only House Democrat to Vote Against Abortion Rights

        Texas congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros on Friday slammed Rep. Henry Cuellar—the U.S. House member she is aiming to unseat—for being the lone Democrat to vote against legislation that would codify abortion rights into federal law.

        Shortly after the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act by a vote of 218-211 Friday afternoon, Cisneros released a video calling out Cuellar for “once again” refusing to “stand up for South Texans’ reproductive freedom.” Every House Republican who was present joined Cuellar in voting no.

      • Is Australia’s Anti-Lockdown Movement a Creature of Corporate Dark Money?

        In sociology, the process of constructing an exclusionary binary between the known and unknown is called ‘Othering.’ This is a facet of moral panics, or episodes of social hysteria characterised by preoccupations with more or less spurious existential threats.

        To the anti-lockdown movement, tendencies in ‘mainstream media’ towards what Herman and Chomsky famously called the ‘manufacture of consent’ is the known. The lies of the US government around Iraqi WMDs are one example of mainstream media being complicit in the manufacture of consent, leading to the Iraq War. Epidemiological science is the unknown.

      • Covid-19 Cases, Deaths Rising Among Children Across US

        “The risk to children right now is higher than it’s ever been during the pandemic because of the delta variant being more transmissible.”—Rachel Herlihy, Colorado state epidemiologist

      • African Leaders Condemn Vaccine Apartheid as an ‘Indictment on Humanity’

        The leaders of several African nations on Thursday blasted the system of “vaccine apartheid” that rich countries and pharmaceutical giants have created by hoarding doses and refusing to share key manufacturing technology, opting to prioritize profits and patent rights over ending the coronavirus pandemic everywhere.

        Addressing the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video conference, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that vaccines are “the greatest defense that humanity has against the ravages of this pandemic.”

      • Big Ag Influence Over UN Food Systems Summit Criticised by Green Farming Advocates

        The scale of agri-food giants’ influence and greenwash efforts surrounding the first-ever UN Food Systems Summit, held yesterday in New York City, has raised concern among sustainable farming experts. 

      • Scientists Say a Daily Pill to Treat COVID Could Be Just Months Away
      • Biden EPA Announces New Rule to Reduce Use of HFCs, a Potent Greenhouse Gas
      • Coalition Sues Biden EPA Over Approval of ‘Highly Toxic’ Pesticide Linked to Parkinson’s

        A coalition of groups filed a lawsuit on Friday over the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision to renew approval for the toxic herbicide paraquat.

        “This paraquat registration puts EPA on the wrong side of science, history, and the law,” said Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, a senior attorney at Earthjustice, in a statement.

      • Upcoming PBS Doc “Cured” About Gay Liberation from Psychiatry…and Much More

        Cured is the story of how gay activists forced the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973 to rescind its declaration that homosexuality is a psychiatric illness and, ultimately, to remove it from their DSM manual of disorders. Cured is a powerful piece of filmmaking, and I suspect that even if one has neither a personal reason to be thankful for the bravery of these gay activists nor a personal reason to be appalled by the arrogance and barbarism of psychiatry, one may still well be touched by filmmakers Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon’s documentary, scheduled to be broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens on October 11 (National Coming Out Day).

        Barbaric is a strong word, but Cured viewers will not consider it to be an unfair description of psychiatry’s “treatments” for homosexuality, which included talk therapy but did not stop there. Cured graphically details the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly known as electroshock, to “cure” homosexuality,” as filmmakers pull no punches showing just how traumatizing and brain injuring ECT was for its victim patients. Another commonly used “treatment” was “aversion therapy,” in which electric shock to the genitals and/or nausea-inducing drugs were administered simultaneously with the presentation of homoerotic stimuli; and psychiatry also attempted to “cure” homosexuality with castration and lobotomy.

      • Florida Sen. Manny Diaz wants to “review” all vaccine mandates

        Of all the cesspits of anti-science and antivaccine nuttery in the US, Florida has a strong claim to being the most anti-science and nuttiest. First, it has Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose embrace of Great Barrington Declaration-style, “don’t worry, be happy,” “let COVID-19 rip” policies recently led to his appointment of an utter crank to head up the entire medical and public health bureaucracy of the state. This crank, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, was a member of America’s Frontline Doctors, the same group that was pushing hydroxychloroquine a year ago (and is pushing ivermectin now and antivaccine misinformation now) as a miracle cure for COVID-19 and counts among its members a grifting quack and a physician who thinks that demon sperm from sex with demons is responsible for a number of gynecological maladies and was a signatory of the Great Barrington Declaration, which basically advocated letting COVID-19 infect the “healthy” population and using “focused protection” to keep the elderly and others at high risk of serious disease and death safe, neglecting the impossibility of protecting high risk people if the virus is ripping through the population. Unfortunately, Dr. Lapado is not the only crank in charge. Enter Florida State Senator Manny Diaz, whose recent bloviations are remarkable mainly for being utterly honest about what the endgame always was for those resisting COVID-19 mandates:

      • CDC Head Sidesteps Agency’s Own Advice, Pushes Booster Shots for Some Workers
      • Activist goes to court against government over coronavirus certificate

        “In the heart of the complaint is the fact that the certificates received after so-called vaccinations do not actually prove the person’s infection safety and, therefore, do not fulfill the goal that it has been put to use in the context of restrictions as,” Vooglaid explained.

      • From QAnon to anti-vaccination, scholar Andy Norman says we face a scourge of “mind parasites”

        We are in the midst of an ignorance outbreak. QAnon’s account of global politics, despite being both irrational and implausible, has enraptured thousands. Specious anti-vaccine rhetoric abounds even among the educated. Everywhere we turn, bad ideas are spreading like a, well, virus.

        Author Andy Norman takes that problem literally. In his provocative book “Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think,” the director of the Humanism Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University and founder of the Cognitive Immunology Research Collaborative reveals a growing scourge — and explores what we can do to fend it off. As he explains why thinking for yourself is a poor strategy and why everyone is not, in fact, entitled to their own opinion, Norman offers a compelling case for a regimen of mental resistance. Salon talked to the author recently about how to survive an era where misinformation is more common than the flu, and why “humility is a really important, under-appreciated cognitive virtue.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Cybersecurity Threat Vectors For AI Autonomous Cars

          It might seem puzzling that there is any connection between those pesky possums and the topic of cybersecurity and self-driving cars. As will soon be apparent, the parade of possums that you could suggest “attacked” my house is somewhat analogous to those dastardly human hackers that try to break into computer systems. And when you give this matter some careful thought, it is apparent that a self-driving car is really a computer on wheels.

          Self-driving cars are chock-full of computers.

          Computers underpin the AI driving system. These are typically specialized processors especially souped-up to perform lots of computations, something sorely needed to autonomously drive a car. By and large, the computer processing onboard a self-driving car is awe-inspiring and rivals the kind of supercomputers that we used to call supercomputers back in the olden days (to clarify, today’s supercomputers are still many times faster than the computers put into a self-driving car, so my comparison is to the prior eras of supercomputers).

          But the computers for self-driving purposes are just one instance of computing that is found inside a modern car.

        • The real stakes of Apple’s battle over remote work

          And those are just the potential consequences in the short term. This fight will have bigger ramifications later on. That this battle is happening at Apple signals a major shift for the company. For the most part, until now, it’s managed to avoid the internal conflicts that have seized other tech companies like Google. Now Apple will need to reckon with internal employee activists who are learning to pressure their employer about issues beyond remote work, like pay parity and gender discrimination. Even when the question of remote work is eventually settled, its employees are now emboldened to push for other demands — and so Apple will likely continue to grapple with this challenge.

        • VMware vCenter Server Vulnerability CVE-2021-22005 Under Active Exploit

          On September 21, 2021, VMware disclosed that its vCenter Server is affected by an arbitrary file upload vulnerability—CVE-2021-22005—in the Analytics service. A malicious cyber actor with network access to port 443 can exploit this vulnerability to execute code on vCenter Server.

          On September 24, 2021, VMware confirmed reports that CVE-2021-22005 is being exploited in the wild. Security researchers are also reporting mass scanning for vulnerable vCenter Servers and publicly available exploit code. Due to the availability of exploit code, CISA expects widespread exploitation of this vulnerability.

        • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • NY Times Advises China on Covid-19: Abandon Success, Try Failure

        The recent outbreak of the Delta variant in China “shows that its strategy no longer fits. It is time for China to change tack.”

        So declared a lead essay atop the New York Times Opinion/Editorial section on Sept. 7 by Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

      • The Official History of the Successful War in Afghanistan

        1. The terrorist organization al-Qaeda was headquartered in Afghanistan at the time of 9/11 and so HAD to be destroyed to prevent further attacks on our Homeland. It was a “war of necessity,” as President Obama said as he continued it. The allied forces succeeded in killing hundreds of terrorists and driving al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. And there has not been another 9/11. It was a success. That’s the MAIN point.

        2. The Taliban, the organization governing Afghanistan, had been hosting al-Qaeda and was/is itself a terrorist organization. It had to be toppled also, to prevent future terrorist attacks on the Homeland. The allied forces accomplished this goal successfully too, with ease, within weeks.

      • Here Are the 22 Democrats Who Voted Against Limiting Transfer of Military Gear to Cops

        In a blow to demilitarization advocates, 22 House Democrats on Thursday joined nearly all of the chamber’s Republicans in voting down an amendment that would have curtailed the flow of military weapons to police departments across the United States.

        The amendment (pdf) to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), introduced by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), sought to reform the Defense Department’s 1033 program, which has authorized the transfer of more than $1.5 billion worth of “excess” military equipment to local law enforcement agencies since 2013.

      • Dems Who Opposed Pentagon Cuts Received Nearly 4x More Donations From Weapons Makers

        In a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday night, the U.S. House authorized a $778 billion military budget for fiscal year 2022. Every Republican voted against two amendments to reduce Pentagon spending, but Democrats were split, and a new analysis reveals that lawmakers who rejected the proposed cuts received far more campaign cash from the weapons industry than those who supported the cuts.

        “Our biggest problems can’t be solved by more ships, planes, or missiles.”—Lindsay Koshgarian, IPS

      • Opinion | EU’s Undying Fealty to the Imperial US Leads to Latest Humiliation

        A “brutal lesson in geopolitics,” is how the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel described the announcement of AUKUS, the new security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The deal is not just a major financial blow to France, whose contract to deliver 12 submarines to Australia for $A50 billion ($36 billion) was unceremoniously ditched in the process. Perhaps even more important was that US President Joe Biden chose to announce AUKUS in a manner that can only be interpreted as a deliberate humiliation of France and, by association, the rest of the European Union.

      • New Report On Predictive Policing Shows How New Tech Is Giving Us Little More Than The Same Old Racism

        The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has just released an in-depth examination of predictive policing. Titled “Garbage In, Gospel Out,” it details the many ways bad data based on biased policing has been allowed to generate even more bad data, allowing officers to engage in more biased policing but with the blessing of algorithms.

      • Drawdown: Improving US and Global Security by Closing Military Bases Abroad

        In other cases, foreign bases are being used and have made it easier for the United States to launch and execute disastrous wars, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. Across the political spectrum and even within the U.S. military there is growing recognition that many overseas bases should have closed decades ago, but bureaucratic inertia and misguided political interests have kept them open.

        Amid an ongoing “Global Posture Review,” the Biden administration has a historic opportunity to close hundreds of unnecessary military bases abroad and improve national and international security in the process.

      • Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

        Warning against collective defense agreements “which dangerously intensify geostrategic military tensions with China,” a group of international peace advocates on Friday published a letter decrying the new trilateral pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while calling for “peace, justice, and disarmament.”

        The letter, whose signatories include peace groups and activists from over a dozen nations, was released as leaders of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia—the Quadrilateral Security Dialog, or “Quad”—met in the White House to share concerns about China.

      • A Parable of (All-American) Violence: Accountability and the War on Terror

        The heart-wrenching last days of that war amounted to a cautionary tale about the nature of violence and the difficulty Americans have honestly facing their own version of it. As chaos descended on Kabul, and as the Biden administration’s efforts to evacuate as many Afghans and Americans as possible were stretched to the limit, one more paroxysm of senseless violence took center stage.

        A suicide bomber sent by the Islamic State group ISIS-K struck Kabul’s airport, killing and maiming Afghans as well as American troops. The response? More violence as a Hellfire missile from an American drone supposedly took aim at a member of the terror group responsible. The U.S. military announced that its drone assassination had “prevented another suicide attack,” but the missile actually killed 10 members of one family, seven of them children, and no terrorists at all. Later, the Pentagon admitted its “mistaken judgment” and called the killings “a horrible tragedy of war.”

      • More Bad News About the U.S. and China

        Now of course, amid a sententious hubbub from GOP senators, pundits second guess the general’s bid for human survival over a potential nuclear holocaust. This uproar, the whole debate, is shameless humbug. Milley behaved as a cautious military man in the face of a deranged leader. If he was as amoral as his Republican senate second-guessers, he would have let the Chinese stew, growing more and more alarmed over Trump’s lunacy and possibly concluding they had to launch a preemptive strike. Thankfully for the posterity of the human race, Trump left office. But troubles did not end, because things did not evolve as Chinese leadership clearly hoped. Along came Biden, proclaiming that China is the competitive threat to the U.S. and amplifying naval forays on China’s coast. That was all bad enough.

        But then on September 15, we learned from the New York Times that the U.S. and the U.K. will “help” Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines, to counter China in the Pacific. This lousy idea is a threat. That is exactly how China takes it. That is how any country, including and especially the U.S., would take the appearance of a hostile nation’s nuclear-powered submarines not far off its coast. Once upon a time, something rather similar occurred and caused a nail-biting lurch to the precipice of nuclear extinction; it was called the Cuban missile crisis. So now, don’t be surprised that China will likely respond by boosting its nuclear arsenal – definitely NOT what the world needs.

      • Looking Back: 50 Years of Foreign Policy

        During this time I have also learned a fair amount about military matters and various weapons systems, because they cost enormous amounts of money that could be put to much better use than killing and maiming people. But also because it’s hard to resist the absurd: the high performance US F-35 fighter jet–at $1.7 trillion, the most expensive weapons system in US history–that costs $36,000 an hour to fly, shoots itself, and can decapitate pilots who attempt to bail out. There are, as well, the $640 toilet seats, the $7,622 coffee maker, and the fact that the Department of Defense cannot account for $6.5 trillion in spending.

        I have also become fairly conversant with the major nuclear arms agreements and I know what Article VI of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty says (more on this later).

      • Minnesota Dept. Of Public Safety Now Handing Out License/Insurance Carriers In Hopes Of Keeping Cops From Killing More Drivers

        Well, here’s something unexpected, delivered in a somewhat tone-deaf fashion. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has partnered with a mother whose son was killed by a Minnesota police officer to hopefully reduce the number of times people are killed by police officers for following instructions during traffic stops. (h/t @Ktech)

      • Remembering Paulo Freire as a Freedom Fighter

        One of Freire’s most important contributions was his politicization of culture. He viewed culture a terrain of struggle that both reflected and deployed power. He rejected the vulgar Marxist notion that culture was simply a reflection of economic forces. Not only did he connect culture with social relations that ranged from producing and legitimating class warfare, ecological destruction, and various forms of privilege, but he also understood that culture was always related to power and was an enormously influential force. This was especially true in the age of social media with its power to define diverse modes of inclusion, legitimate consent, produce specific forms of agency, and reproduce unequal relations of power both within and outside of nation states. He strongly emphasized the role of language and values in struggles over identities and resources and how they worked through different organizations and public spheres such as schools, the media, corporate apparatuses, and other social spheres.  His work on literacy focused on how neoliberal cultural practices put certain forms of commercialized agency in place, defined and circumvented public space, depoliticized people through the language of commands, while commodifying and privatizing everything. Culture and literacy for Freire offered people the space to develop new modes of agency, mass resistance, and emotional attachments that embraced empowering forms of solidarity. For Freire, the terrains of culture, literacy, and education were the terrains on which individuals acquire consciousness of their position, and the willingness to fight for dignity, social justice, and freedom. For Freire, culture was a battlefield, a site of struggle, and he recognized in the manner of Gramsci that every relationship of domination was “pedagogic and occurs amongst the different forces of which it is composed.”

        Freire first and foremost believed that education was linked to social change and that matters of consciousness and identity were integral to making pedagogy central to politics itself.   For Freire, education and schooling were part of a larger struggle against capitalism, neoliberalism, authoritarianism, fascism, and the depoliticization and instrumentalization of education. Direct action, political education, and cultural politics defined for him both new strategies of resistance and new understandings of the relationship between power and culture and how it shaped matters of identity, values, and one’s understanding of the future.  Pedagogy and literacy were political because they were connected to the struggle over agency, ongoing relations of power, and the preconditions for connecting knowledge and values to the development of  active and engaged critical citizens.  Freire’s great contribution was to recognize that domination was not only economic and structural but also pedagogical, ideological, cultural,  and intellectual and that matters of persuasion and belief were crucial weapons for creating engaged agents and critical subjects. He also refuted the easy escape route for cynics who equated and collapsed domination and power. Resistance was always a possibility and any politics that denied the latter erred on the side of complicity with the most heinous crimes, however unrecognized.  Freire was a transformative public intellectual and freedom fighter who believed that educators had an enormous responsibility to address important social and political problems, to tell the truth, and to take risks, however inconvenient the consequences. Civic courage was essential to politics, and he embodied the best of that conviction.

      • Clear Away the Hype: The U.S. and Australia Signed a Nuclear Arms Deal, Simple as That

        While China was not explicitly mentioned by these leaders at the AUKUS announcement, it is generally assumed that countering China is the unstated motivation for the new partnership. “The future of the Indo-Pacific,” said Morrison at the press conference, “will impact all our futures.” That was as far as they would go to address the elephant in the room.

        Zhao Lijian of the Chinese Foreign Ministry associated the creation of AUKUS with “the outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow-minded geopolitical perception.” Beijing has made it clear that all talk of security in the Indo-Pacific region by the U.S. and its NATO allies is part of an attempt to build up military pressure against China. The BBC story on the pact made this clear in its headline: “Aukus: UK, US and Australia launch pact to counter China.”

      • ​​Who Represents Afghanistan: Genuine Activists vs ‘Native Informants’

        In the US and other Western media, answers were readily available: they were mostly ‘translators’, Afghans who ‘collaborated’ with the US and other NATO countries; ‘activists’ who were escaping from the brutality awaiting them once the Americans and their allies left the country, and so on.

        Actually, the answer is far more complex than that offered by Western officials and media, which ultimately – although inaccurately – conveyed the impression that NATO armies were in Afghanistan to safeguard human rights, to educate women and to bring civilization to a seemingly barbaric culture.

      • Afghanarchism: What American Radicals Can Learn From the Pashtuns

        You see the Afghan people, in particular the Pashtuns who have made up the bulk of the Taliban, are a people who simply refuse to be ruled by anyone or anything besides their own distinctly stateless culture. The Pashtuns of Afghanistan’s rugged borderlands are essentially anarchists and their successful centuries old resistance to conquest didn’t begin with the Soviets or the British or even Alexander the Great. It began with the first taxman sent by a local emir to those mountains, who was returned riddled with bullets for his trouble.

        The rugged mountainous region now separated superficially by the Durand Line forming the border between what is now modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan has always been a distinctly wild country populated by hard men who love their rifles and hate being told what to do. This region was traditionally known as Yaghistan which roughly translates to the land of lawlessness and rebellion. But this title was clearly bestowed upon the rural Pashtuns by another simple minded outsider, for even though these people are certainly stateless, they are anything but lawless.

      • Women’s Rights: Afghanistan and Beyond

        Oh my God, we’ve given Afghanistan back to the Taliban! Even George W. Bush found his way back into the news cycle: “I think the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad and sad.”

        America, America, the global do-gooder, bringer of civilized values to the Middle East. This is why we’ve hemorrhaged trillions of dollars over the past two decades engaging evil itself. This is why hundreds of thousands of people had to die, millions had to be displaced. We were defending the rights of . . . people we could care less about.

      • Opinion | It’s Been Two-Hundred Years, Not Twenty: Targeted Repression in the US Started Long Before 9/11

        What comes after the anniversary of a tragedy? Earlier this month, many of us participated in memorials and retrospectives on the changes to American society in the two decades since the attacks of 9/11. We were among the many American Muslims who wrote about the impact of 9/11 on civil rights. As co-executive directors of Muslim Advocates, we were asked to document how the Patriot Act enabled mass surveillance and profiling of Muslims by local and national government, how a Bush-era immigrant registration program (NSEERS) effectively created a Muslim registry, and the many ways that the stereotype of Muslims as terrorists has fueled decades of anti-Muslim hate crimes and bullying. So what comes next?

      • Former Member of Afghan Parliament Says U.S. War Ushered in “Another Dark Age” for Women

        The Taliban are already restricting women’s rights in Afghanistan — just a month since they overran the capital of Kabul — by blocking female students from returning to schools and universities, and telling many women workers to stay home. The new Taliban government has closed the Ministry of Women’s Affairs that was established soon after the Taliban were toppled in 2001, and replaced it with the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, charged with enforcing strict Islamic law. Former Afghan Member of Parliament Belquis Roshan calls for international solidarity with the women of Afghanistan and an end to imperial interventions in the country. “International solidarity, we can initiate … by creating harmony and unity and working together — not with governments, but the people,” says Roshan in an exclusive interview with V, the award-winning playwright formerly known as Eve Ensler. V joins us along with Madinah Wardak, a mental health social worker of Afghan descent and founder of the digital platform Burqas & Beer, ahead of a global day of action in support of Afghan women.

      • January 6 Select Committee Subpoenas Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Other Top Aides

        The U.S. House of Representatives select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6 issued subpoenas on Thursday to former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and three other allies of former President Donald Trump.

      • Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Is Rising. Nuclear Nations Are on the Defensive.
      • Jan. 6 Committee Issues First Subpoenas, Seeks Testimony From 4 Trump Aides
      • Missing Voices in Broadcast Coverage of Afghan Withdrawal

        As the US after 20 years finally began its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the story dominated TV news. Just as they did when the war began (Extra!, 11–12/01), corporate journalists overwhelmingly leaned on government and military sources, while offering no clear antiwar voices and vanishingly few perspectives from civil society leaders in either Afghanistan or the United States.

      • Is Brazil About to Face a Military Coup? Brian Mier on Brazil’s March Towards Fascism
      • US Congress outlines new phase of economic attacks and hybrid war on Nicaragua’s Sandinista government
      • Cece Jones-Davis Wants to Stop an Execution

        In 2002, an almost all-white jury convicted Julius Jones in the carjacking and shooting death of Paul Howell, a white businessman in Edmond, Okla. For 22 years, Jones and his family have maintained his innocence, contending that he could not have shot Howell because at the time of his murder he was celebrating his 19th birthday with his mother, father, and sister. Despite the seriousness of the crime, the case languished in obscurity until June 2019, when the ABC docuseries The Last Defense brought renewed attention to it.

    • Environment

      • Activists Ramp Up Pressure on Biden Administration Ahead of UN Climate Talks
      • Scientists Take to Late Night to Warn It’s Not Too Late to ‘Unf–k the World’

        Jimmy Kimmel invited climate scientists that he previously had on the show five years ago to reiterate taking action. “There’s still time to unfuck some stuff,” said one, leading into a montage of experts calling on us to “unfuck the world.”

        “It seems that we get hit with fallout from the climate crisis every day here in California. Wildfires, floods, landslides — which are all amazing things to hear Stevie Nicks sing about, not something you want to experience in life,” Kimmel said. “And if death and destruction, famine, pestilence, water shortages on a global scale isn’t enough, think about this: Scientists say climate change can severely impact the world supply of beer.”

      • For the US, the Climate Plan is More Walls and Armed Agents at the Border

        Not long into our conversation, the young woman at the migrant resource center in Sasabe, Sonora, told me why she had left her home in Baja Verapaz, Guatemala: floods had ruined her family’s crops. Her name was Flor* and she was 19 years old. Two Category 4 hurricanes battered Central American coasts in late 2020, unleashing intense flooding throughout Guatemala, drowning harvests, and threatening starvation for the coming year. The migrant center, called Casa de la Esperanza, is just two blocks from the US port of entry. Mexican flags fluttered throughout the town on September 15, the day before Independence Day. Flor told me it was exactly a month since she had left home. She was sitting next to her companion, Esmeralda, who was 20 and also from Guatemala. They told me they had already tried to cross into the United States the week before, but were arrested and deported by the US Border Patrol.

        Earlier that week, the World Bank released a report titled Groundswell, which predicted that, if global carbon emissions are not mitigated, 216 million people will be on the move by 2050 from six different regions, including Latin America, as a direct result of the changing climate. This came a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s August report delivered a dire warning: unless there are “immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions to greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5 degrees celsius will be beyond reach.” Outside the migrant center, you could see the 30-foot wall going up the hill; it had been constructed by the Trump administration in late 2020, around the same time Flor’s crops were being submerged by catastrophic flooding. The red, rusty wall left a wide scar of razed land visible from miles away.

      • Climate Question
      • Hundreds of Thousands Take to Streets Worldwide for ‘Uproot the System’ Climate Strikes

        Young people by the hundreds of thousands took to the streets across the globe on Friday to deliver a resounding message to world leaders: The climate crisis is getting worse, and only radical action will be enough to avert catastrophe and secure a just, sustainable future for all.

        “As emissions and inequalities increase, we rise up and demand climate justice.”

      • U.S. Militarism’s Toxic Impact on Climate Policy

        But the U.S. is not a leader when it comes to saving our planet. Yahoo News recently published a report titled “Why the U.S. Lags Behind Europe on Climate Goals by 10 or 15 years.” The article was a rare acknowledgment in the U.S. corporate media that the United States has not only failed to lead the world on the climate crisis, but has actually been the main culprit blocking timely collective action to head off a global existential crisis.

        The anniversary of September 11th and the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan should be ringing alarm bells inside the head of every American, warning us that we have allowed our government to spend trillions of dollars waging war, chasing shadows, selling arms and fueling conflict all over the world, while ignoring real existential dangers to our civilization and all of humanity.

      • Water Protectors Challenge Minnesota AG Keith Ellison’s Silence on Line 3 Pipeline

        Water protectors fighting to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline expansion interrupted a Thursday evening speech by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison to challenge the Democrat’s silence on the multi-billion-dollar project, which violates Anishinaabe treaty rights while endangering local ecosystems, Indigenous communities, and the global climate.

        “What will you do about the frivolous charges brought against over 800 people drawing attention to Line 3′s climate impacts and civil rights violations?”—Water protector

      • Energy

        • ‘Coal Is Dead’: New Global Pact Announced After China’s Bold Step

          “I call on more countries to come forward and sign up to this compact ahead of COP26, and play their part to limit global warming and keep 1.5 degrees alive.”—Alok Sharma, COP26

        • Green Hydrogen’s Rapidly Falling Costs Undermine the Gas Industry’s Argument for Blue Hydrogen

          New research predicts that green hydrogen — a clean fuel produced from water using renewables — will be comparable in cost and likely cheaper than blue hydrogen by 2030. This is much sooner than what the blue hydrogen industry is estimating when advocating for the natural gas-based fuel to be widely adopted — essentially eliminating the only viable argument to invest in blue hydrogen. 

          “The True Cost of Solar Hydrogen,” the report from a European research team led by the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics, was published September 7 in the journal Solar RRL and concludes that “during this decade, solar hydrogen will be globally a less expensive fuel compared with hydrogen produced from natural gas with CCS [blue hydrogen].” (CCS is carbon capture and storage.)

        • The Record-Breaking Failures of Nuclear Power

          After taking a whopping 42 years to build and finally bring on line its Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear power reactor in Tennessee, TVA just broke its own record for longest nuclear plant construction time. However, this time, the company failed to deliver a completed nuclear plant.

          Watts Bar 2 achieved criticality in May 2016, then promptly came off line due to a transformer fire three months later. It finally achieved full operational status on October 19, 2016, making it  the first United States reactor to enter commercial operation since 1996.

        • Fossil Fuel Companies Want Governments To Pay $18 Billion For Bringing In Laws Tackling The Climate Crisis Largely Caused By Fossil Fuel Companies

          Back in 2013, Techdirt started writing about the boring-sounding Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system. It was so boring, we decide to use a better term for it: corporate sovereignty. It’s an appropriate name, since this system of secret courts effectively places companies above a government, by allowing them to sue a nation if the latter takes actions or brings in laws that might adversely affect their profits. It was originally designed to protect companies that invested in unstable parts of the world, and to discourage things like expropriation by corrupt officials. But clever lawyers soon realized it was much more general than that, and could be used as a weapon against even the most powerful — and stable — nations.

        • Biden EPA’s Clean Car Standards Fall Short Even of 2012 Standards
        • The case for funding bike infrastructure

          A recent study found, too, that European cities that expanded their biking infrastructure during the pandemic — when interest in the activity soared — saw up to 48 percent more people taking up biking than those that did not, according to the New York Times. Cities with better biking infrastructure also have much higher proportions of commuters who bike in general: 62 percent of Copenhagen’s workers commute by bike, for instance; domestically, over 20 percent of Davis’s do, compared to just 0.6 percent of commuters in the US overall.

          Key infrastructural changes can help residents move away from cars as their sole means of transportation, and help address a major source of pollution. As Gabby Birenbaum explained for Vox, curbing this dependence is important, as cities like Dallas are outsize contributors to the pollution that causes climate change: [...]

        • [Old] Keeping Track of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Progress and Targets in 167 Cities Worldwide

          Actions in cities shape the outcome of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation and our climate change response. Accurate and consistent carbon inventories are essential for identifying the main sources of emissions and global comparison of carbon reduction progress and would help inform targeted policies for low-carbon transition. To identify the effectiveness of historical carbon reduction policies, our study conducted energy-related GHG emission inventories for 167 globally distributed cities with information from different sectors, and assessed the city-scale near-term, mid-term, and long-term goals carbon mitigation targets from 2020 to 2050. On this basis, we propose mitigation strategies to achieve local and global climate targets. We found that, although Asian cities are the biggest carbon emitters in totals, the per capita GHG emissions of cities in developed countries are still generally higher than that in developing countries. In terms of sectors, the GHG emissions from the stationary energy uses (such as residential, commercial, and industrial buildings) and transportation sector contributed the most. However, cities in more developed nations have been inclined to set absolute carbon reduction targets before 2050, while intensity reduction target has been largely set for cities at the stage of rapid economic growth and accelerated industrialization. More ambitious and easily-tracked climate targets should be proposed by cities and more effective measures of reducing GHG emissions are required to stay consistent with the global ambition of climate change mitigation.

        • China deems all [cryptocurrency]-related transactions illegal, bitcoin slips 5%

          Ten Chinese government agencies, including the central bank as well as banking, securities and foreign exchange regulators, said in a joint statement that they would work closely to maintain a “high-pressure” crackdown on speculative trading of cryptocurrencies.

          All cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and tether, are not fiat currency and can’t be circulated on the market, People’s Bank of China said on its website. All crypto-related transactions, including services provided by offshore exchanges to domestic residents, are illicit financial activities, the PBOC said in the statement. The regulator will also bar financial institutions, payment companies and [Internet] firms from facilitating cryptocurrency trading, and will strengthen monitoring of risks from such activities.

        • Bankman-Fried’s [Cryptocurrency] Exchange FTX Leaves Hong Kong for Bahamas

          The move comes as regulatory issues become a bigger factor for the cryptocurrency industry. Not only are U.S. officials looking to police the sector more closely, but China’s central bank on Friday declared all crypto-related transactions illegal, furthering a months-long crackdown. Thailand, South Korea and the U.K. are also among countries that have recently been scrutinizing [cryptocurrency] more closely.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Vanishing: A Bond Across Centuries
        • Trophy Hunters Have Yellowstone’s Wolves in Their Crosshairs

          Restraints that had formerly limited the kill to one wolf in this hunting zone, to reduce the likelihood of harming Yellowstone’s wolves and ecosystems, had recently been wiped away by Montana officials.

          Within a few days, hunters shot three wolves dead in the zone bordering America’s first national park. We do not yet know if the wolves were adventurous, young males out on their own or if they were critical members of a family of Yellowstone wolves—perhaps even alpha females or males.

        • Opinion | A More Just Biodiversity Framework Must Build Better Bridge Between the Global North and South

          This month, the leaders of nation states from around the world have been gathered in New York City to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Covid, climate and biodiversity are among the topics they are expected to address. Indeed, on September 21, in his sobering yet passionate address to the assembly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres focused attention on all three crises.

    • Finance

      • Why We Need the $3.5 Trillion Reconciliation Bill

        I want to focus on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill but before that I want to comment on the looming debt ceiling crisis.  Republican leader Mitch McConnell this morning once again reiterated that the Republican Party will not vote to lift the debt ceiling and in extraordinarily irresponsible manner, will not pay the debts incurred under the Trump Administration.

        In his statement, as he has done time and time again, Senator McConnell implies that this debt ceiling has something to do with future spending.  It does not.  Like anybody who owns a credit card the payments that are made are for past spending, in this case spending incurred under President Trump.  And let’s be clear: if the United States, the largest economy in the world, defaults on its debt it will plunge not only our country but the entire global economy into a severe economic depression.  That means massive unemployment, higher interest rates, severe reduction in government services and possible cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

      • Even During COVID-19 Recession, Temporary Assistance Does Little to Reduce Child Poverty

        The Census Bureau examined the impact of 13 programs on reducing child poverty during 2020. Of the 13 programs, TANF was among the weakest at reducing child poverty. (See Figure.) The Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was more than five times as effective as TANF in reducing child poverty. Unemployment Insurance was nearly seven times as effective.

        TANF ranked ninth out of the 13 programs in reducing child poverty. But one could argue that even this low rank was inflated by one position. Normally the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is more effective at reducing child poverty than TANF. For example, in 2019, the NSLP was nearly four times as effective in reducing child poverty as TANF. Because schools were closed for at least part of 2020, the NSLP was weaker than normal, and it was slightly less effective than TANF.

      • What should we do about the debt ceiling, and why should you care?
      • “Our Health or Our Homes”: Tenants Facing Eviction Help Introduce New “Keeping Renters Safe Act”

        As the Delta variant continues to surge across the United States, so too has the housing and eviction crisis, with more than 11 million households now behind on rent. Most of those evicted are Black or Latinx, and the majority are single women with children. We speak with a single mother and a high school student who have faced eviction and went to Washington, D.C., this week to help Congressmember Cori Bush and Senator Elizabeth Warren introduce the Keeping Renters Safe Act to reinstate the federal pandemic eviction moratorium. “We need the eviction moratorium and the National Tenant Bill of Rights,” says Vivian Smith, a tenant activist with the Miami Workers Center. We also speak with Faith Plank, a 17-year-old housing activist in Morehead, Kentucky, who was evicted in March and says she has felt “the pain of that eviction” every day since. “I can’t focus on school when I’m worried about how I’m going to go to bed tonight,” says Plank.

      • Tenants Facing Eviction Help Introduce New “Keeping Renters Safe Act”
      • Central Bank Digital Currency

        Central bank digital currency: the future starts today, a speech by Benoît Cœuré, Head of the Innovation Hub at the Bank for International Settlements identifies a number of problems that central banks face: [...]

      • 83 Percent of Rental Assistance Still Undisbursed as Millions May Face Eviction
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The China Initiative, a Flawed and Dysfunctional Policy

        Many people may not be aware that the opposite policy once had equally strong support across the political spectrum with respect to educational and scientific exchanges with China. Approximately 370,000 students and scholars from China are in the US, nearly a third engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) research.

        But now, as relations with China have deteriorated, Democrats and Republicans alike view Chinese graduate students and researchers, especially those in science and technology, with suspicion and even hostility. Sadly, many Chinese students are no longer feeling welcome.

      • David Moore on Manchin’s Conflict, Jim Naureckas on Covid and Media
      • Republican Representative Lauren Boebert Goes Full Blunderbuss

        Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert was recently spotted at a Staten Island GOP fundraiser palling around with a couple of the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol on January 6. She was joined at the New York City fete by fellow Trump throne-sniffer Lee Zeldin, the Long Island congressman who, like Boebert and Staten Island Representative Nicole Malliotakis, were among the cohort of coup supporters who did not vote to certify the 2020 election results—and are now fundraising off a presumptive “Trump’s Majority” in advance of next year’s midterms.

      • Glenn Greenwald is Not Your Misunderstood Left Comrade

        Don’t disparage Glenn Greenwald in left media unless you are ready for an inbox eruption.

        The leading complaint in these messages is that I failed to acknowledge that Greenwald was being facetious and that he shares my Marxist critique AOC’s faux-radical stunt. A repeated theme can be summarized as follows: “You’re on the same side, give the man a break! Why must the Left always engage in self-destructive internecine warfare?”

      • Noam Chomsky on the cruelty of American imperialism

        It turns out that was not far from the doctrine of Donald Rumsfeld, America’s then defence secretary, when the Taliban offered surrender in 2001, a stance now being acknowledged 20 years too late. If there were reason to apprehend Osama bin Laden (which was not obvious—he was just a suspect then) the right procedure would have been a police operation, probably with Taliban co-operation: they wanted to get rid of him. But America had to show its muscle—as it has been doing in recent weeks by sending an armada into the South China Sea. It goes on and on: there is little new in imperial history.

      • Biopic on Reality Winner, Who Leaked NSA Report on Russia’s Election Interference, in the Works

        A biopic is in the works on the life of Reality Winner, a former American intelligence contractor who was arrested for leaking a classified report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and charged with the first criminal leak case in President Donald Trump’s administration.

        The project, titled “Winner,” was announced on Tuesday by producers Big Beach, the production team behind “The Farewell” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” Susanna Fogel, the co-writer of “Booksmart” and director of “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” is set to direct from a script by Kerry Howley. Howley is the author of an article in New York Magazine from 2017 called “Who is Reality Winner?” that also serves as the basis of the screenplay.

      • [Old] Emily Davis Doesn’t Do Impressions

        Is This a Room, by Tina Satter and her company, Half Straddle, has wended its way from the performance-art space the Kitchen to Off Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre and now will open at the Lyceum on Broadway in September. With a script drawn entirely from the FBI recording of Reality Winner’s arrest at her house in Georgia, the show balances on the extremely downtown, never-before-on-Broadway star Emily Davis as Reality. We spoke in mid-August.

      • Corporate America Cashed In on 9/11

        Corporations large and small have left the financial feast of that post-9/11 surge in military spending with genuinely staggering sums in hand. After all, Pentagon spending has totaled an almost unimaginable $14 trillion-plus since the start of the Afghan War in 2001, up to one-half of which (catch a breath here) went directly to defense contractors.

        The political climate created by the Global War on Terror (GWOT), as Bush administration officials quickly dubbed it, set the stage for humongous increases in the Pentagon budget. In the first year after the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan, defense spending rose by more than 10 percent and that was just the beginning. It would, in fact, increase annually for the next decade, which was unprecedented in American history. The Pentagon budget peaked in 2010 at the highest level since World War II—over $800 billion, substantially more than the country spent on its forces at the height of the Korean or Vietnam Wars or during President Ronald Reagan’s vaunted military buildup of the 1980s.

      • EU ‘denounces’ Russian malicious cyber activity aimed at member states

        A top European Union (EU) official on Friday called out Russia for its involvement in recent hacking efforts directed towards the governments of multiple member states, describing these efforts as “unacceptable.”

      • Trump opposes YouTube change of venue request in platform ban case

        Former President Trump in a late Thursday court filing expressed opposition to YouTube’s motion to move the case regarding the former president’s removal from the platform from Florida to California.

        The filing, submitted on behalf of Trump and others opposing the decision by YouTube to suspend him from the platform in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, argued that YouTube’s Terms of Service, including its clause on appropriate forums to resolve disputes, “do not apply to government entities,” including Trump himself.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The Inexorable Push For Infrastructure Moderation

        I’m grateful to Techdirt and the EFF for this series. There are so many legitimately difficult issues around content moderation at the application layer—that is, on (and usually by) platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And they can crowd out the problems around the corner that are at least as difficult: those of code and content moderation at the infrastructural level, such as the wholesale platforms (such as Amazon Web Services) that host websites; domain name registries that support the use of domain names; and app stores from Apple and Google that largely determine what applications users can choose to run.

      • Texas’ Unconstitutional Social Media Censorship Bill Challenged In Court, Just As Texas Joins The Legal Fight For Florida’s Unconstitutional Social Media Bill

        Texas and Florida. Florida and Texas. Two states with governors who have decided that culture warrioring and “owning the libs” is way more important than the Constitution they swore to protect and uphold. As you’ll recall, last month Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided to use the internet services he hates to livestream his signing of the clearly unconstitutional HB20 that seeks to block social media sites from moderating how they see fit.

      • Censorship Is OK When Transphobes Do It

        An interview in the Guardian (9/7/21) made waves—not because of something it said, but because of something it didn’t say.

      • Lithuania looks to ban ‘untrustworthy’ phones after Chinese censorship concerns

        The censoring capability in Xiaomi’s (1810.HK) Mi 10T 5G phone software has been turned off for the “European Union region” but can be turned on remotely at any time, the country’s National Cyber Security Centre said in a report on Tuesday. read more

      • Top Republican torches LinkedIn for censoring Americans at the request of China

        A top Republican has become the first member of Congress to call out LinkedIn, the only major American social media platform that operates in China, for censoring American users on behalf of the ruling Communist Party.

        Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee in Congress, sent a letter Friday to Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, criticizing them for bowing down to the Chinese government by blocking the profiles of Americans who refer to the Asian superpower in a critical fashion.

        There are at least 100 Americans whose LinkedIn profiles have anecdotally been found to have been banned by China in the past few months for allegedly anti-China content in the “Education” or “Experience” sections of their LinkedIn profiles.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • These Cities and States Are Fighting the Tide and Expanding Abortion Access

        On September 15, two weeks into a near-total ban on abortion in Texas, the city commission of Portland, Ore., voted to vastly expand abortion access by granting $200,000 to the Northwest Abortion Access Fund.

      • Trumpism with a Biden Face: US Haitian Policy

        Instead, we have had secret diplomacy culminating in the trilateral security pact of AUKUS, one reached unbeknownst to allies in Europe, Asia and the Indo-Pacific.  And we have had a particularly ugly spectacle concerning Haitian refugees, with many being bundled into planes to be sent back to their country, having been taken from the burgeoning border camp around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.

        Having been blooded in the mass evacuation exercise from Afghanistan, the Biden administration was now doing the reverse in an exercise of expulsion, promising the deportation of 14,000 Haitians over a period of three weeks.  The jarring contrast was not lost on Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans.  “When you contrast the welcome mat that was rolled out for many Afghan refugees who are deserving – of course – of our support and resettlement, with the deplorable treatment of Black migrants on our home soil, it is just an unfathomable contrast.”

      • Roaming Charges: When the Whip Comes Down

        The blackness of the Haitians crossing the Rio Grande, fleeing their quake-ravaged nation, a country whose elected leader was just assassinated by hired killers trained by the US Army and on the dole of the DEA, strikes deep historical chords of anxiety and guilt that dates back to its slave-led revolution, a revolution that has never been forgiven, an example the US has spent the last 230 years trying to suppress and punish. Usually this retribution takes place off camera, in a country the press rarely visits and never stays in for long. Haiti is a state where failure has been manufactured repeatedly by the US and then blamed by the US government for the destitution it has wrought, just as those anguished people at the border, chased down by horse patrols and whipped into submission, are transformed into the perpetrators of their own misery. Our leaders–Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden, and Harris–wash their hands before they’ve even spilled blood of lives they consider insignificant. They’re willing to spend more on detention camps (including for separated children), prisons and deportation flights than it would cost to house, cloth and feed them. In the US, the door is closed most firmly in the faces of refugees from countries our economic and foreign policy has helped to ruin.

        When things go badly wrong, no one is held accountable. It’s the system, they say. And, of course, that much is true. But it’s a system politicians like Biden helped to program. It’s a system that administration after administration refuses to change, a system as inhumane as it is terrifying. We are meant to believe that the system runs on autopilot, where each past failure is replaced by a new crueler upgrade. The US is whipping people on the border to preserve a democracy that is incapable of changing a system most of its citizens find morally abhorrent.

      • One Year on Since the Farm Laws – India’s Farmers’ Struggle Set to Intensify

        In November 2020, a nationwide general strike took place in support of the farmers and in that month around 300,000 farmers marched from the states of Punjab and Haryana to Delhi for what leaders called a “decisive battle” with the central government.

        But as the farmers reached the capital, most were stopped by barricades, dug up roads, water cannons, baton charges and barbed wire erected by police. The farmers set up camps along five major roads, building makeshift tents with a view to staying for months if their demands were not met.

      • Senate Filibuster Final Obstacle After House Dems Pass ‘Historic’ Abortion Rights Bill

        With Roe v. Wade at risk and abortion access under assault by GOP state lawmakers, nearly all Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives came together Friday to pass federal legislation that would ensure the right to abortion, free from medically unnecessary restrictions, nationwide.

        “Now the Senate must act or the current crisis on abortion access in Texas could reverberate across large swaths of the nation.”—Nancy Northup, CRR

      • US Envoy to Haiti Resigns, Citing Political Intervention and “Inhumane” Deportation Policy

        The resignation comes as the Biden administration pushes forward with one of the largest mass expulsions of asylum seekers in decades. At least 12 flights have transported an estimated 1,400 individuals from Texas to Haiti in the past four days, and such flights are expected to nearly double throughout the week. The Biden administration has pledged to totally close the Del Rio, Texas border camp, where some 14,000 people had gathered last week hoping to apply for asylum in the United States. Though the administration has stated it is prioritizing single adults for deportation, flight manifests show that a significant portion of those sent to Haiti are families with young children.

        The head of Haiti’s migration office, Jean Negot Bonheur Delva, has personally called for a moratorium on the flights. Delva, however, said the government was not in a position to make a formal request. “We need to understand that this is a relationship between a big and a small country,” he told the Washington Post.

      • Rep. Maxine Waters: Biden Admin Must End “Inhumane” Deportation & Whipping of Haitian Asylum Seekers

        Longtime diplomat Daniel Foote, the U.S. special envoy to Haiti, has resigned in protest over the Biden administration’s mass deportation of Haitian asylum seekers and meddling in Haiti’s political affairs. The resignation comes days after U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback were filmed chasing, grabbing and whipping Haitian asylum seekers who had gathered in a makeshift camp in Del Rio, Texas. “I am outraged,” says Maxine Waters, a Democratic congressmember from California who is a longtime advocate for the rights of people in Haiti. She says refugees must be able to seek asylum in the U.S. without such “inhumane” treatment, and urges the Biden administration to do more to protect vulnerable people. “The United States can do better than this,” Waters says.

      • Opinion | Imagine US Border Agents on Horses Whipping Swedish Immigrants

        The Texas side of the Rio Grande was alive with the sound of cruelty earlier this week. On Sunday, shouts of outrage in Creole mingled with orders barked in southern accents by American border patrol agents on horseback warning Haitian migrants and asylum seekers to turn back to Mexico.

      • Biden Decries ‘Outrageous’ Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

        After several days of global outrage over footage of mounted U.S. agents using their horse reins as whips and menacing Black migrants at the southern border, President Joe Biden on Friday finally condemned the conduct, while his administration continued mass deportations to Haiti.

        A reporter asked the president whether he takes responsibility for the “chaos that’s unfolding” at the border and if he was failing to deliver on his campaign promise to restore the moral standing of the United States, in part by ending the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

      • How the Kaepernick Effect Reached Small-Town Iowa

        It can be a struggle for antiracist activist-athletes in a city or even a liberal college town. Now imagine doing it in Storm Lake, Iowa, an area known as “Steve King country” after the former white supremacist congressman who was voted out of office in 2020. Alyssa Parker, hailing from the comparatively big city of Des Moines, took a knee at tiny Buena Vista University, in Storm Lake. Copyright © 2021 by Dave Zirin. This excerpt originally appeared in The Kaepernick Effect: Taking A Knee, Changing the World, published by The New Press. Reprinted here with permission.

      • Erasing Women To Suck Up To Trans Activists

        Set aside your view of abortion, because it’s about that. The issue is the ACLU joining in the ridiculous push to contort how we describe women to remove being born female from the equation.

      • SCOTUS Asked to Find Texas Abortion Ban Unconstitutional as GOP States Copy Bill
      • I am [person], hear me roar — the ACLU’s Orwellian editing of RBG to erase women

        It’s Orwellian, to rewrite history and remove inconvenient but real references. Yet even the statists and authoritarians of “1984” understood that women existed and were unique from men. It’s grotesque to write women out of history as if we don’t matter.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Apple, John Deere Investors Pressure Companies On Their Backwards Repair Policies

        For years we’ve noted how both Apple and John Deere have become the face of the kind of obnoxious repair restrictions that have fueled the growing “right to repair” movement. Apple has long been criticized for bullying independent repair shop owners, attempting to monopolize repair, and generally being terrible from an environmental standpoint when it comes to waste and repair. John Deere has been equally criticized for obnoxious DRM and draconian repair policies that force many rural tractor owners to spend thousands of dollars, and sometimes drive thousands of miles, just to get essential agricultural equipment repaired.

    • Monopolies

      • Corporate Cartels are Back

        Cartels or trusts are back and with an equal vengeance.  In 2017, Lina Khan, then at the Yale Law School and now chair of the Federal Trade Commission, published a critical essay, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” in the Yale Law Journal.  She provocatively stated: “Amazon is the titan of twenty-first century commerce.”  And added:

        She then raised a deeper concern, noting that “the current framework in antitrust — specifically its pegging competition to ‘consumer welfare,’ defined as short-term price effects — is unequipped to capture the architecture of market power in the modern economy.” Going further, she argued, “We cannot cognize the potential harms to competition posed by Amazon’s dominance if we measure competition primarily through price and output.”

      • SHOP SAFE Is Another Attempt to Fix Big Tech That Will Mostly Harm Small Players and Consumers

        Think about trying to sell something used online. Think about having a wool sweater that’s still in great condition but just doesn’t make sense for you anymore. Maybe you moved from Denver to Miami. So, as many of us do these days, you list your sweater online. You put it on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Or a friend says they know someone who wants it and puts you in touch via email. You exchange the sweater for some cash, and everyone’s happy.

        Now imagine that before you can make that sale, you have to send eBay (or Facebook, or your email provider) a copy of your government ID. And verify that you took “reasonable steps,” whatever that means, to make sure the sweater isn’t a counterfeit. And state in your listing where the sweater was made, or if you don’t know, tell the platform all the steps you took to try and figure that out. And carefully word your listing to avoid anything that might get it caught in an automated trademark filter. At this point, you might reasonably decide to just chuck the sweater in the trash rather than jump through all these hoops.

        That’s the regime SHOP SAFE threatens to create.

      • Patents

        • Probe of Secret Vaccine Talks Finds ‘Access for All Was Never a Priority’

          An investigative media outlet’s probe of closed-door negotiations between European officials and pharmaceutical companies indicates that ensuring equitable, universal access to coronavirus vaccines worldwide was never a top priority of the talks, despite political leaders’ repeated claims to the contrary.

          After speaking with current and former negotiators, United Nations representatives, NGO officials, and politicians, Investigate Europe reported Thursday that “access for all was never a priority” in initial vaccine procurement talks, which set the stage for the present inoculation gap between rich and poor countries. Of the more than 6 billion coronavirus vaccine doses that have been administered globally to date, just 2.2% have gone to people in low-income nations.

      • Trademarks

        • Italy Vows To Bring Entire Government To Bear To Oppose Croatian ‘Prosek’ Trademark

          We’ve written a couple of times about the Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco, whom I have nicknamed “The Prosecco People” because I’m not typing that every time. This organization with the sole goal of protecting the “Prosecco” name from being used, or nearly used, by anyone else has taken this mission to extreme lengths historically. Serving as examples were such times as The Prosecco People opposing a French company’s non-alcoholic sparkling wine brand dubbed “Nosecco”, as well as bullying a pet treat company that created a drink for pets called “Pawsecco”. In both cases, if you can find any real reason to worry about public confusion as to the source of those goods, you’re a crazy person.

      • Copyrights

        • Website blocking: No copyright liability for DNS services!

          EDRi’s member Society for Civil Rights (GFF) supports the independent DNS resolver Quad9 in a court case against an interim injunction ordering Quad9 to set up network blocks. The blocking of entire websites is a threat to freedom of information on the [Internet]. Technologically neutral service providers must not bear the costs and risks of enforcing claims for copyright infringements for which they are neither involved in nor aware of.

        • Marvel Suing to Keep Rights to ‘Avengers’ Characters From Copyright Termination

          Disney’s Marvel unit is suing to hold on to full control of Avengers characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Falcon, Thor and others.

          The complaints, which The Hollywood Reporter has obtained, come against the heirs of some late comic book geniuses including Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Gene Colan. The suits seek declaratory relief that these blockbuster characters are ineligible for copyright termination as works made for hire. If Marvel loses, Disney would have to share ownership of characters worth billions.

        • Disney sues to keep its Avengers copyrights assembled

          Termination notices are meant to let creators and their heirs share in publishers’ profits. But Disney’s attorneys argue that Marvel had sole creative control over the characters and comic books in question, saying it paid writers and artists on a work-for-hire basis that precluded any rights to the resulting books. “This case thus involves an invalid attempt, by means of termination notices … to acquire certain rights to iconic Marvel comic book characters and stories,” says the suit against Lieber.

        • ResearchGate Removes 200,000 ‘Infringing’ Files After Takedown Tidal Wave

          The academic community platform ResearchGate has removed 200,000 files in response to a wave of copyright complaints from publishers ACS and Elsevier. The takedowns go against ResearchGate’s open-access philosophy but, legally, it saw no other option than to comply.

        • Several ‘SportsBay’ Pirate Streaming Sites Go Dark In Wake of US Lawsuit

          Several large live streaming sites sued by DISH Network for breaching the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA have gone dark. SportsBay, the largest of the quartet, had around nine million visitors per month but an order issued by a Texas court requiring third-parties to hand over details of its operator may have set off alarm bells.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  2. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  3. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  4. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  5. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  7. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  8. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  9. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  11. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  13. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  15. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  17. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  18. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  19. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  21. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  22. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  23. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  24. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  26. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  27. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  29. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed


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