Richard Stallman on Companies That Are “Only Pretending to be American Companies”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Interview at 1:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, speaks about US politics being captured and dominated by large and multinational corporations in pursuit of just money and power

Direct download as Ogg (00:01:54, 6.2 MB)



(intro music)

Roy: … the system in the United States. I know that lobbying plays a great role in just about any country and one of the corporate welfare methodologies is to try to get subsidies from the public, from the taxpayers for all sorts of reasons and essentially extract the money from the taxpayers and assure you are too big to jail or that the state perceives you as something that is not allowed to fail.


To what degree is this true in the United States?

RMS: Oh, it’s tremendously true and in many different areas of policy you can see that the government does what the big companies that are interested in that area demand. So for instance, in copyright the US government does what the big media companies demand. In banking, it does what the big banks demand. In regard to fossil fuels, it does what the fossil fuel companies demand. And …


Roy: Agriculture as well.

RMS: Yeah, that’s true. It does what the big agribusiness companies demand. I’m sure you could think of a few more. The point is that these are examples of a plutocratic system. We need to tell all of those companies to take a flying leap and that we don’t care whether they continue to exist or not. And that they are only pretending to be American companies.


When they say, if I say this is my country it means in a sense I belong to it. But when they say this is our country it means they think they own it.


Richard Stallman on Writing rm, ls, and cp (Also Working on Bison)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Interview at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, explains what programs he developed in the eighties

Direct download as Ogg


(intro music)

Roy: Which was the first GNU project or GNU program, officially?

RMS: The first one to be released, you mean?

Roy: Yeah.

RMS: I believe it was GNU Emacs. There were other programs written before then but they weren’t really worth distributing. For instance, I wrote rm and ls and cp, but I didn’t


see that anyone would care about them by themselves. So I didn’t release them. Those were ways I got used to writing programs to run on UNIX and thus to be part of the system like UNIX. The first GNU program I worked on was Bison. Now, I didn’t start from zero. Bison was basically running but it didn’t have many of the features that Yacc had and for it to really do its job as a replacement for Yacc it needed


all those features. So I added those features, and some more. And I did that first because I wanted to use it to write the C front-end for our compiler.


Richard Stallman: Steve Jobs Did Some Very Bad Things

Posted in Apple, Interview at 9:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman told me about Steve Jobs that he had helped digitally imprison computer users

Direct download as Ogg (00:02:02, 6.7 MB)


Richard Stallman: “Google Can Forcibly Impose Software Changes and the User Can’t Say No.”

Posted in Google, Interview at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

First published a decade back

Summary: “This is the same thing that Microsoft has in Windows,” Stallman told me, “so Microsoft can also impose software changes. Any malicious feature that’s not in the program today could be remotely installed tomorrow.”

I think in practice one of the issues is many of the browsers these days have actually got some surveillance built in and one of the usual excuses these days is security, so they try to prevent phishing scams and things like such that are absolute; I think since Internet Explorer version 7 and Google Chrome and other browsers by default they will track the users and leave a trail, or at least provide the corporate maker of the browser, with a list with pages you visit, so the other releases…

“…Google can forcibly impose software changes and the user can’t say no.”Richard Stallman: Those are non-Free programs. Internet Explorer is non-Free and Google Chrome is non-Free. Not only that, Google Chrome has a universal back door, which is another way of saying auto-update; basically it means that Google can forcibly impose software changes and the user can’t say no. This is the same thing that Microsoft has in Windows, so Microsoft can also impose software changes. Any malicious feature that’s not in the program today could be remotely installed tomorrow. So, once a program has a universal back door, you must consider it not merely malware but universal malware.


Ogg Theora

As embedded (HTML5):


Dr. Richard Stallman on How He Judges News Stories

Posted in Deception, FSF, Interview at 7:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Originally published 9 years ago

Direct download as Ogg (12:12, 4.8 MB)

Summary: Relevant bit of an old interview series with Richard Stallman (2012)

Dr. Roy Schestowitz: How do you judge the reliability of a news source and which one or ones do you favour?

Richard StallmanDr. Richard Stallman: Well, how do I judge the reliability? To a large extent I look at the story, and I try to judge based on the other things I know whether this looks like it’s bullshit or possible truth. Because there are news sources that I know often slant things, but that doesn’t mean that I think that their statements of facts would wrong, because I expect that they would be caught if were wrong. I don’t know of any news sources that I could say “that’s a good one”, because they all have their positions, they all want to say some things and not others. The question is, does it seem plausible that they would say falsehoods about facts? Because there is some embarrassment involved in getting caught in saying… in giving some news that wasn’t true.

Many places are not likely to say things that are just false, but they may draw conclusions that don’t really follow, or that reflect bias.

As embedded (HTML5):

Keywords: softwarepatents uspto monopoly gpl gplnext gnu fsf richardstallman


Ogg Theora


Richard Stallman on “Imprisonment Without Trial” and Lynching by Government

Posted in Interview at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Reasons for optimism (getting more progressive people to join the government) and reasons for pessimism, by self-described “pessimist by nature” Dr. Richard Stallman

Direct download as Ogg (00:02:13, 7.3 MB)


Richard Stallman: Censorship Threatens Democracy… Making It a Crime to Insult Someone — That’s Always Wrong

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman speaks about laws that affect freedom of speech and censorship

Direct download as Ogg (00:03:07, 10.3 MB)


(intro music)

Roy: The issue of censorship is very kind of heated right now in the UK and different people will talk about protecting the children, or terrorism, or libel, issues to do with leaked passwords, things to do with violence and threats and so on and so forth. Where do you set the line if anywhere, when it comes to censorship?


RMS: Censorship is more disgusting than anything anyone proposes to censor. Because censorship threatens democracy. There is no political freedom if people are not free to express their views. But in the UK you can be imprisoned for merely having copies of a book. You can be imprisoned for offending somebody.


Now, this is not freedom of speech. The crucial point about other issues, such as, for instance, libel, is that in the UK and the US, libel is not a crime. It’s grounds for a lawsuit. But there are many countries where people can be imprisoned for offending, insulting something or other. A


man said, “Sarkozy, I see you”. Meaning you’re behind what is happening here and he was arrested and charged. So, and in Italy,

Roy: In the United States there was a guy who jotted with a chalk on the sidewalk against Bank of America and almost got 13 years in jail.

RMS: He was, well he was charged and acquitted but if he had not


been acquitted, I expect the conviction would have been reversed on appeal because the First Amendment counts for something. The point is though that, that wasn’t because of what he wrote. At least not ostensibly, maybe they chose to prosecute him because he was criticizing banks. But he wasn’t accused of insulting banks. But there are


many where people can be accused of insulting various, depends on which country who it’s a crime to insult, but that’s different from allowing the possibility of a lawsuit for libel. So making it a crime to insult someone, that’s always wrong.

Richard Stallman: We Need to Increase the Minimum Wage in the US

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, Interview at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direct download as Ogg (00:05:20, 17.8 MB)

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, speaks about corporations versus benefits, among other related issues


(intro music)

Roy: We’ve spoken about poverty in general, it’s been shown recently that a thing the United States has dropped a great deal in terms of the levels of the child poverty in the Western world. I think it’s second worst now.

RMS: Well, that’s not surprising because you have Republicans doing everything key can to attack


anything that benefits most Americans and you have Democrats rather weak in defending those programs so they’ve been reduced and reduced and reduced. You get a Democratic president who said that he wanted to make budget cutting and deficit cutting a goal. That’s the wrong goal when you’re having a recession. What you need to get out of a recession is deficit spending. That’s what Keynes told us. So, they’re ignoring this. Why? Well, we


can guess it’s because the plutocrats want them to ignore this.

Roy: Would you say that the minimum wage is the main point to concentrate on?

RMS: I don’t know if it’s the main point because it’s one of many important things. Yes, we need to increase the minimum wage in the US. That’s not all we need to do. We need to do a lot of things.

Roy: I think there’s been a great deal recently in the media especially where they speak about how unemployment rates have gone down but they don’t really want to show you which companies were hiring and the fact they were


hiring temporary employees and part-time employees and that’s another issue which robs people from the rights to certain benefits of full-time employment.

RMS: Yes, in the US health benefits and some others are, including retirement income, these have been connected by a mistake in judgement with employment. However, employers don’t have to pay into these things for somebody


who’s working less than half-time. So that gives employers an incentive to hire only less than half-time workers and then people don’t get these things. Now, the solution, in regard to health care is disconnect it entirely from employment. It is a mistake, and likewise for support for the old, it shouldn’t be connected with employment at all. Because if it is connected with employment, that is economic pressure on companies not to employ workers in your country.


They would rather employ people elsewhere or use machines. They would rather spend a lot of money to automate rather than pay people. So it’s an undesirable incentive that this law places on employers. If we simply taxed businesses based on their revenue and used the money to provide health care and income for the old and everything else that is important to do for


people, then these companies wouldn’t have any incentive not to get their work done by hiring people. No, don’t stop it because I want to say a bit more. First of all, when I go into a supermarket or any other store that has self-checkout machines, I urge people not to use them because by using those machines they are increasing unemployment. I don’t use them myself, unless they basically give


me no other choice at all. And I tell the people who work in the store, I’m refusing to use those because I want you to continue to have jobs. You can do this too. We can all do this. We can make it a movement. Second, I learned a few days ago about the role played by offshoring, by complcated chains of ownership running through countries where


the real owners of a company can be secret so it seems that this is something that we need to put a stop to. But why don’t we? Plutocracy, of course. The governments that continue to allow this to be done are obeying the rich that they don’t dare disobey.

Roy: Because they fund them.

RMS: Exactly. So, you need politicians who are courageous enough to


say we are not going to play beggar thy neighbor any more. We’ve going to kick the banksters out of London unless they bow down to a state that isn’t plutocratic. And if they say obey us or we’ll leave, we’ll tell them good-riddance because trying to attract marauders like that in the hope of a little trickle-down


is in the long term a self-defeating policy which anyone can see by looking at it with the long perspective.

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