Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 17/10/2020: No GNU/Linux for 10 Days, Google Coral Dev Board Runs Debian

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • No Linux for 10 Days

        In my time away from my normal life, I was in a situation where I was without Linux for almost two weeks. I hear of people that consider time away from tech as being “refreshing”. I wouldn’t consider that the case at all but it was enlightening. Using “analog” methods for recording information is super inefficient but it did force me to work on my hand writing as it is atrocious.

        Secondly, having to use Windows 10 to do “digital work” was so frustrating, I will say, the points of frustration were not all the fault of Windows 10 but it did make me greatly despise using tech. It confirmed that if Linux went away and I was forced to use Windows 10, I just wouldn’t.

      • Pre-Black Friday Chromebook Sales with Linux Support

        Chrome OS is based on Gentoo, and a person can enable Linux Apps (Crostini) on a Chromebook and install pure Linux Apps on it. The Linux Apps is basically a virtual machine of Debian 10.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • OverlayFS Adds A "Volatile" Option - Faster Performance But All Syncs Are Omitted

        OverlayFS as the Linux union mount file-system that allows combining multiple underlying mount points into one is seeing a new feature with Linux 5.10.

        This decade-old alternative to the likes of AuFS and UnionFS is used by the likes of the OpenWrt project and also can be used for container/Docker use-cases too. The main new feature of the OverlayFS changes for Linux 5.10 is the introduction of a new "volatile" mode exposed via the new mount option of the same name.

      • Linux Kernel 5.9 Gets First Point Release, It’s Now Marked as “Stable”

        Linux kernel 5.9.1 is here as the first point release in the series, also marking the Linux 5.9 branch as “stable” on the website, from where you can download the source tarball if you fancy compiling your own kernel or you’re a Linux OS maintainer.

        This is a small bugfix release that includes a total of 19 changes, with 119 insertions and 64 deletions. Besides the bug fixes, Linux kernel 5.9.1 also adds Telit FT980-KS composition, support for FreeCalypso JTAG+UART adapters, device-id for the HP GC device, and Cellient MPL200 card option.

      • PowerPC 601 Support Retired In Linux 5.10 While Continuing To Bring Up POWER10 - Phoronix

        The POWER architecture changes have been submitted for the Linux 5.10 kernel. As expected, the PowerPC 601 support is retired as that original 32-bit PowerPC processor from the early 90's.

        The PowerPC 601 support is cleared out with Linux 5.10 since it's no longer actively being used on new kernel releases and not part of any default kernel configuration. Given the PowerPC 601 is sufficiently different from later models, it's beneficial to remove the 601 support for reducing the ongoing code/maintenance burden.

      • Linux 5.10 Perf Adds More Reporting For Zen 1, Initial Zen 3 Support - Phoronix

        The perf tool updates have been sent in for the ongoing Linux 5.10 merge window.

        The tool updates for Linux 5.10 now allow reporting L2 prefetch events and iTLB instruction fetch hit events for Zen 1.

        But besides those belated bits for Zen 1, there is also initial Zen 3 (Family 19h) perf tool support. That Zen 3 support is enabled by currently matching Zen 2 events with no new Zen 3 metrics currently being exposed.

      • Linux 5.10 Will Have A Fully Lock-Less Ring Buffer - LinuxReviews

        Linus Torvalds has merged a set of printk() patches by John Ogness that make the kernel ring buffer (what you see if you type dmesg fully lock-less. This is a big improvement that allows messages to be stored and read without the need for temporary per-CPU buffers with no risk of deadlocks.


        John Ogness gave a 57 minute long video titled "Why is printk() so complicated?" detailing the history of the Linux kernel's ring buffer since Linux 0.01 (Linux-0.01.tar.gz) was released in 1991 to 2019 at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference. He pointed out the problems with the long-used printk() implementation and proposed a set of ideas for improving printk() and the kernel's ring buffer functionality at that conference. Some of of his work has now been merged to the Linux git tree, ensuring that it will be a part of Linux 5.10 when it gets released in a few months time.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Deploying Talkyard Forum Under Ngnix With Docker

        Deploying Talkyard forum is a tricky task. Follow this hybrid docker approach to deploy Talkyard on a server with other web-services.

      • How to Update Firefox on Ubuntu [Beginner's Tip] - It's FOSS

        The other day, one It’s FOSS reader asked me, “Abhishek, How do I Update Firefox on Ubuntu”.

        The question surprised me because there are no specific steps for updating Firefox. When you update Ubuntu, Firefox is updated with it. Just keep your system updated to get the latest Firefox.

      • How To Install Dokuwiki on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Dokuwiki on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, DokuWiki is considered to be the most versatile open-source Wiki software application which is proven to meet your demanding wiki needs. Using a very familiar interface, it allows you to easily scale and optimize using many advanced features. Utilizing files instead of a database, DokuWiki is extremely flexible with the type of system it will run on (no database server required).

        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 Dokuwiki on a Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install SparkyLinux 5.12 + VMware Tools on VMware Workstation - SysAdmin

        This video tutorial shows how to install SparkyLinux 5.12 on VMware Workstation step by step. This tutorial is also helpful to install SparkyLinux 5.12 on physical computer or laptop hardware. We also install VMware Tools (Open VM Tools) on SparkyLinux for better performance and usability features: Fit Guest Now, Drag-Drop File and Clipboard Sharing.

      • How to Resolve "Temporary failure in name resolution" Issue

        Sometimes when you try to ping a website, update a system or perform any task that requires an active internet connection, you may get the error message ‘temporary failure in name resolution’ on your terminal.

      • How to install latest LibreOffice version on Debian 10

        LibreOffice is a free and open-source office-suite productivity software. It is a free alternative for Microsoft Office. It has applications for database management, spreadsheets, presentations, word processor, and graphic editing. It runs on Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Since the LibreOffice has multiple versions. The current versions are 6.3.x and 6.4.x. For this particular article, I am going to install the latest LibreOffice version 6.4.

      • Fail2ban on Linux: An Internet Security and Utility Tool for Server Admin

        Fail2ban is an internet security utility tool for Linux server and web-host admins. You can use the Fail2ban tool to control, monitor, and add rules on your Linux server. Suppose you have a website on any hosting platform.


        But, definitely, the Fail2ban can reduce the number of DDOS attacks on your Linux server. Once you install the Fail2ban tool on your Linux server and set the parameters, it can automatically protect your server from login attacks.

        Fail2ban uses the Jail script to make the Linux server secure. Jail is the settings script file, where all the default IP blocking and maintaining parameters are set. Understanding the Jail script is essential to ensure the security of your Linux server.

      • How to Switch Kernels on Arch Linux

        One of the reasons why people use Arch Linux is that it is a bleeding edge rolling release. You get most software and the Linux kernel before users of other distributions.

        But this doesn’t mean that you have to always use the latest mainline kernel. There are several kernel options available, and I am going to show you switch kernels in Arch Linux.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • GRID 2019 Works on Proton 5.13 - Boiling Steam

        As soon as the news of Proton 5.13 broke out, we have been trying out several games that did not work previously on Proton 5 just to see if the new version improved compatibility across the board, not just for the games mentioned in the release notes. Cow Killer discovered that he could now run GRID (2019) out of the box – which uses DX12 by default.


        While the game does run out of the box, it’s probably not ready to be considered “Platinum”. There are a few caveats. Apparently the game does not detect RAM properly (his machine has 24Gb while the game reports 49), and changing the settings anywhere from “High” to something else does not work.

        We will keep reporting our successes in the next few days if we do find other games that work well in this new Proton version.

    • Games

      • Valve have released the Steam Digital Tabletop Fest schedule, sales and livestreams | GamingOnLinux

        With the Steam Digital Tabletop Fest coming up between October 21st through 26th, Valve have now put up the schedule so you can make space for some fun events.

        This is the first ever event of its kind of Steam, dedicated to celebrating games that cross between physical and digital. Valve worked with Auroch Digital, to bring together virtual let’s plays, panels, talks and more streaming activities and of course a nice big sale too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Plasma 5.20 released, and looking forwards

          We released Plasma 5.20 this week and I think our QA generally paid off–it seems to have been one of the smoothest releases I can remember despite all of the changes! That said, Neon experienced some packaging issues that affected users on the release day, which we’re investigating, and we’ll figure out how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. those issues have all been fixed now, so it should be safe to upgrade, if you haven’t done so yet. And of course we spent a lot of time fixing the few regressions in Plasma 5.20 that did manage to slip through, but also working on the next versions!

        • More KDE Wayland Fixes Heading Into Plasma 5.20.1 - Phoronix

          This week marked the release of Plasma 5.20 while KDE developers continue working towards not only Plasma 5.21 as the next desktop feature release but also providing fixes for next month's Plasma 5.20.1 release and the growing collection of KDE applications.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his weekly KDE development highlights. On top of releasing Plasma 5.20, KDE developers also made a lot of other progress:

          - Ark finally supports archives using Zstd compression.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • antiX 19.3 Released with Wi-Fi Switch and LibreOffice 7.0, Latest Debian Buster Updates

          Coming seven months after antiX 19.2, the antiX 19.3 release is here to introduce a new tool called Wi-Fi Switch, which can be used to select the Wi-Fi manager of your choice. Users, will be able to choose between the default Connman or the optional Ceni Wi-Fi connection managers.

          On top of that, the default IceWM window manager has been updated to version 1.8.3 in this release, which is the first to move to the newest Firefox ESR release, version 78.3, and also include the latest LibreOffice 7.0 office suite. Also, the mps-youtube terminal-based YouTube player and downloader was updated with a fix for an apt_key bug.

        • systemd Free Distro antiX 19.3 Brings Latest Update

          antiX project releases its latest bug-fix, updated version antiX 19.3 based on stable Debian 10 "Buster".

      • BSD

        • Cryptographic Signing using ssh-keygen(1) with a FIDO Authenticator

          Hitherto, releases of the fwobac software (which underlies Undeadly) have been unsigned. This is overdue for change, so for the latest release [version 1.7], we are providing a digital signature. As signing is being performed manually, why not employ an additional [hardware] factor?

          signify(1) does not support the use of FIDO authenticators. However, recent versions of OpenSSH do support signing using the [under-appreciated] -Y sign option of ssh-keygen(1), and with the recent addition of FIDO authenticator support to OpenSSH [as reported previously], we have a means (using tools in base OpenBSD) of using a hardware factor when signing files.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

  • Leftovers

    • Oops
    • Hellas Reborn?

      In a few months, Greeks will celebrate the 200-year anniversary of their 1821 Revolution against the Turks. The decision to revolt and win their independence drew inspiration from the classical Greek past. Greece was full of ancient ruins: marble columns, wrecked temples, theaters, and athletic stadia. These stones and marble never ceased to speak, telling their stories.

      In addition, there were Greek scholars like Adamantios Koraes, 1748-1833, who spent his life publishing the classics of Greek civilization and urging the enlightened Europeans to help the Greeks liberate themselves from the abominable Turkish tyranny.

    • The Tragedy of Stanley Crouch

      I met Stanley in the early seventies. I€ stopped off to see him in Los Angeles after he contacted me about my books.€ Ivan Dixon, the late actor, and I were on the way to see Quincy Jones about his€ possible co-producing my western,€ Yellow€ Back Radio Broke-Down, the “antecedent” of “Blazing Saddles,”€ as a result€ of Richard Pryor introducing the book to the studio that produced it. Stanley€ wanted to tag along. He wanted to call Jones an “Uncle Tom.” I refused his€ request.

      At first, Stanley wrote some articles that lauded my literary output.€ Even stuck his neck out by writing in€ The€ Village Voice€ that “Blazing Saddles” was a rip off of my surrealistic€ western,€ Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down,€ a connection that is still being made. Andrew Bergman, one of the scriptwriters€ for the€ film, wrote a letter to€ The Voice€ denying such a connection. What Bergman failed to mention was that Richard€ Pryor was his co-writer. Pryor read my novel in Berkeley and wrote a letter to€ the late€ actor D’Urville Martin, in which he said he was considering making a€ film based on the book. Alison Mills, an actress and filmmaker, whose novel,€ Francisco, was published by Steve Cannon€ and me,€ mentioned in the book that a friend of hers, who worked at the studio€ that produced “Blazing Saddles,” told her that they were reading my book.

    • Why I Hate Mad Men

      When we were small, she was like a bright flash of red feathers, a bird that fluttered about the kitchen banging pots and pans, singing–the “Toreador’s Song,” while she boiled water, let us shake in the packet of powdered cheese. It was “Habanera” over the dishes—occasionally she broke one when the maestro worked late and she’d had a few.

      But before all that, for years she worked on the ward. She knew what she could expect when it came time to deliver. She knew, after all, all there was to know about preeclampsia, toxemia, episiotomies, things that lapsed and fell, about doctors, their gloved hands in up to their elbows, about incisions, the different ways a pregnant body could be rendered unto Caesar.

    • NBA Bubble Postmortem

      The smoke has cleared. The confetti has been swept away. The Los Angeles Lakers are the 2020 NBA Champions and the Seattle Storm are the WNBA Champions. LeBron James and Breanna Stewart are right where they are supposed to be: at the apex of their respective sports.

    • The Revolutionary Beethoven

      In the year of the great composer’s 250th birthday, it would be fitting to recapture the music’s essence, retune our ears to pick up its political and philosophical message. This is especially appropriate in our own time of democratic struggles against a corrupt and decaying ancien régime, a time of parallels with the Beethovenian era of revolution, hidebound reaction, and soaring hopes to realize “the rights of man.” Beethoven belongs, heart and soul, to the political left. Centuries after his death, his music, especially if properly understood, still retains the power to transform, transfigure, and revivify, no matter how many political defeats its partisans and spiritual comrades suffer.

      We might start with the most famous of Beethovenian motifs, the opening notes of the Fifth Symphony (1808). We’ve all heard the legend that they represent “fate knocking at the door.” The source of this idea is Anton Schindler, Beethoven’s notoriously unreliable secretary. Sir John Eliot Gardiner, world-renowned conductor, has a different interpretation: he detects the influence of Cherubini’s revolutionary Hymne du Panthéon of 1794 in the famous notes. “We swear, sword in hand, to die for the Republic and for the rights of man,” the chorus sings, to the rhythm of da-da-da-duuum. Beethoven was a great admirer of Cherubini, not to mention a devoted republican, so Gardiner’s theory is hardly far-fetched. In the stultifyingly conservative and repressive Vienna of 1808, Beethoven issued a clarion call to revolution in the very opening notes of one of his most revolutionary, Napoleonic symphonies. No wonder conservatives detested his music!

    • Science

      • Trust Science

        Aye, there’s the rub. Answers by science sometimes are almost as baffling and logic-defying as the mumbo-jumbo of churches.

        Multiple universes, for example – or Einstein’s assertion that time slows and dimensions shorten as speed increases – or the mysteries of “quantum weirdness,” with particles popping in and out of existence in pure vacuum.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Town of Great Barrington Joins Health Experts in Condemning 'Herd Immunity' Death Cult That Bears Its Name

        "Many town leaders believe herd immunity is a dangerous Covid-19 strategy... Please wear a mask."

      • Why Pray for the Renewed Health of a Tyrant Who will Merely Continue to Lie and Harm People?

        When President Trump and the First Lady, Melania Trump, became infected with the coronavirus, countless faith leaders across the country offered up prayers for their recovery. Known leaders especially were quoted. Tony Suarez, Trump administration faith advisor and National Hispanic Leadership Conference vice president, immediately emailed the following prayer to Trump: “I know a name greater that COVID, corona, or SARS. It’s the name of Jesus and I pray healing in that wonderful name over you and the First Lady . . . rest and get well sir. See you back on the campaign trail soon.” (“Faith leaders offer prayers as President Trump tests positive for COVID-19,” By Bob Smietana, Jack Jenkins and Adelle M. Banks, Religious News Service, The Salt Lake Tribune, October 2, 2020)

        Prominent Baptist Bible teacher, Beth Moore began praying as soon as she heard the president was infected, and “cautioned Christians of all political persuasions to show compassion.” She is also quoted: “This is Christian. God, help us in these difficult days.” (Ibid)

      • Outnumbered on Supreme Court Nomination, Democrats Campaign for ACA

        Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee know that, barring something unexpected, they lack the votes to block President Donald Trump from installing his third justice in four years on the Supreme Court and creating a 6-3 conservative majority.

      • Who Decides When Vaccine Studies Are Done? Internal Documents Show Fauci Plays a Key Role.

        Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official, will oversee most of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials in the U.S., but not that of the current front-runner made by Pfizer, documents obtained by ProPublica show.

        According to a draft charter spelling out how most of the advanced COVID-19 vaccine trials will be monitored, Fauci is the “designated senior representative” of the U.S. government who will be part of the first look at the results. That puts Fauci in the room with the companies — including Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca — in deciding whether the vaccines are ready to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

      • ‘All current solutions are bad solutions’: Mayor Sergey Sobyanin on how Moscow is handling the pandemic’s second wave

        To mark his tenth year as Moscow mayor, Sergey Sobyanin gave a lengthy interview to the Russian state news agency “TASS.” But rather than focusing on the last decade of his career, he mostly talked about the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what he said, in a nutshell.

      • Medical Doctors Seek Social and Political Solutions for COVID 19 Crisis

        A disease manifests signs and symptoms, and its cause or causes and treatment methods are usually well known. The assumption of both writers is that for the COVID 19 syndemic, ideas of cause and treatment, so far, are less well established. In his article, Martínez draws from Horton’s editorial to analyze the COVID 19 situation in Colombia. The present report aspires to do likewise in regard to the United States and we expand upon remarks of Horton in regard to management.

        Martínez’s title is “From Pandemic to Syndemic: Poor Prognosis.” He indicates that, “the [COVID 19] pandemic, although in principle a phenomenon of biological origin, affects each nation differently, according to the political, economic and social organization it has established.”

      • “Masks make you sicker”: The unkillable COVID-19 conspiracy theory

        Of all of the disinformation about COVID-19 that’s been spreading, for all the conspiracy theories, the confluence of COVID-19 deniers, antivaxxers, and even QAnon conspiracy theorists, for all the unproven and disproven treatments (like hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and the like), for all the quackery that’s bee promoted, even by the President, the most depressing nonsense about the COVID-19 pandemic that’s persisted and proven incredibly resistant to disconfirming science is the myth that, not only do masks not work to slow the spread of COVID-19, but they actually make people sicker. This particular myth has been very destructive to efforts by public health officials to slow the spread of the disease, leading to the misuse and abuse of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which has been incorrectly used (and, quite frankly, grossly misused) as an excuse not to wear a mask by those who oppose mask mandates. Even worse, masks (or, more precisely, refusals to wear a mask) have become a badge, a signifier, of loyalty to a particular tribe, largely thanks to President Trump’s refusal to wear a mask, dismissal of masks as unimportant, and even mocking of people who wear masks as “weak” and “afraid,” even after he himself got sick with COVID-19, largely because of his lackadaisical approach to COVID-19 at the White House.

      • Trump Advisers Privately Warned GOP Donors About Covid-19 in February While Telling Public Virus Was 'Very Much Under Control'

        "Apparently, if Americans want to hear the full truth from the Trump administration about the severity of Covid-19, they need to be wealthy and well-connected donors."

      • As White House Embraces Dangerous 'Herd Immunity' Strategy, Covid-19 Deaths Predicted to Spike 80% in US by February

        "This is the time when we could be entering one of the worst periods of our epidemic and one of our worst periods in modern American public health. I'm very worried for the nation."

      • Preserving Roe: West Virginia Mom Tells Abortion Story in Heartfelt Speech Against Amy Coney Barrett

        The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony this week from Crystal Good, who spoke about her experience of having an abortion and expressed concerns that Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would limit access to safe, affordable care. During three days of hearings, Judge Barrett has repeatedly refused to answer questions about her views on abortion and the future of Roe v. Wade, despite her public record opposing reproductive rights. “If confirmed, Judge Barrett will be a fifth vote to eviscerate the important protections that have been afforded by Roe v. Wade,” says Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who also testified in the Senate this week.

      • West Virginia Mom Tells Her Abortion Story in Speech Against Amy Coney Barrett

        The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony this week from Crystal Good, who spoke about her experience of having an abortion and expressed concerns that Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would limit access to safe, affordable care. During three days of hearings, Judge Barrett has repeatedly refused to answer questions about her views on abortion and the future of Roe v. Wade, despite her public record opposing reproductive rights. “If confirmed, Judge Barrett will be a fifth vote to eviscerate the important protections that have been afforded by Roe v. Wade,” says Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who also testified in the Senate this week.

      • [Old] Kids widely exposed to smoking in movies

        More than half of the top-grossing movies in Ontario in the past 16 years featured smoking, according to University of Toronto researchers with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit -- and most of these films were rated as acceptable for youth.b

      • How Trust in a Covid Vaccine Eroded

        Two thirds of Americans say they won’t get a covid vaccine when it first comes to market, according to USAToday in September. “One in four say they don’t want to ever get it.” The paper quoted one person saying, “I don’t plan on being anyone’s guinea pig.” The newspaper also cited other surveys showing one third of Americans would decline the vaccine.

        The Trump regime has managed to scare most Americans off taking a covid vaccine, by convincing them it politicized the science to rush it to market. People have concluded it may not be safe. So much for Operation Warp Speed. It turned into Operation Warp Distrust. So what if it provides 300 million vaccine doses by early 2021 – if few people take it, that’s a waste of time and effort. USAToday quoted one expert saying, “you probably need between 70 and 80 percent of the population to get immune in order to really control COVID. And when I say immune, I mean both get the vaccine and the vaccine worked for them.”

      • Trump Downplayed COVID at His Town Hall. No Wonder He’s Losing Older Voters.

        When you watch Donald Trump — for example, during last night’s town hall — it is easy to think that all you are getting is a stream of consciousness: in Freudian terms, the id of Trump’s psyche. But a better way to understand him is to think of Trump’s avarice, as well as his blatantly racist rhetoric, as being in tension with some (though certainly not all) of his advisers. The Republican Party is clearly trying to keep Trump within the bounds of conventional right-wing respectability, just as hard as he constantly escapes.

      • Denver mandates masks outside, restricts gathering sizes as COVID-19 infections spike | Colorado Springs News |

        With cases of COVID-19 soaring over the past month, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced stricter mask-wearing and group-gathering rules on Friday with hopes of stemming the spread.

        Effective immediately, face coverings will be required in all outdoor settings with few exceptions, including being outside alone or with a household member, he said. Organized athletic programming will also be exempt. The second order will cut the number of unrelated people allowed to gather together in half, from 10 to five, in both public and private gatherings, non-organized athletic events and workplace settings, such as meetings.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Why Apple’s App Store Is Under Siege

          Fueling the fire was a report issued last week by House Democrats summing up an antitrust probe into four Big Tech companies — Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — and urging Congress to enact new laws to curb the companies’ power. The 449-page report called on Congress to enact new laws to curb the companies’ power, including prohibiting companies like Apple from operating “adjacent lines of business” (in other words, preventing it from offering its own apps in the App Store that compete with those from third parties).

          “Apple’s monopoly power over app distribution on iPhones permits the App Store to generate supra-normal profits,” the House Judiciary Committee report said.

        • Microsoft Says Long-Time Deals Executive Brown Leaving Company

          Microsoft Corp. said mergers and acquisitions chief Marc Brown is leaving the company after a more than two-decade stint working on deals ranging from LinkedIn to Nokia Oyj’s handset unit.

          Brown, vice president of corporate development, reported to Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood. Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw on Friday confirmed Brown’s departure and declined to comment on a replacement. The company is still conducting a search for a senior business development executive to replace Peggy Johnson, who left in July to become chief executive officer at Magic Leap Inc.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Twitter Fixes Its Bad Policy On Blocking 'Hacked' Documents

            As I'm sure you're already aware, there was a lot of focus this week on Twitter's content moderation practices, after it chose to stop people from linking to a sketchy NY Post article that contained some emails taken from a computer that was claimed to have been Hunter Biden's laptop. While many in the Trump orbit were insisting that this was "anti-conservative bias," the company said that the issue was violating its "hacked content" policies, as well as its policies against showing images revealing personal information, such as email addresses.

          • Uproar over Biden story forces Twitter to change hacked materials policy

            The US Government's reaction to Twitter's blocking of dissemination of a story about Hunter Biden, the son of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, appears to have forced the social media platform to change its rules around its so-called Hacked Materials Policy.

          • Twitter CEO Admits Blocking NY Post Stories Was Wrong, Changes [Cr]acked-Content Policy

            Twitter said tweets with links to the Post’s articles ran afoul of its policy against sharing [cracked] materials. But late Thursday, Twitter announced that it will make changes to that policy and its enforcement.

            Under Twitter’s revised policy, it will no longer remove [cracked] content “unless it is directly shared by [crackers] or those acting in concert with them,” Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of legal, policy and trust, and safety, wrote in a thread. In addition, Twitter will label tweets that link to [cracked] material “to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared on Twitter,” she added.

          • Twitter Changes [Cracked] Content Rules Over New York Post's Hunter Biden Story

            Twitter initially responded by banning users from sharing links to the article in tweets and direct messages because it violated the company’s policy prohibiting [cracked] content. But it didn’t alert users about why they couldn’t share the link until hours later.

            Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that it was “unacceptable” the company hadn't provided more context around its action. A little over 24 hours later, Gadde announced the company was making changes after receiving “significant feedback (from critical to supportive)" about how it enforced the policy.

          • Three npm packages found opening shells on Linux, Windows systems [Ed: The writers at ZDNet are apt at blaming “LINUX” for security threats that have nothing to do with Linux. Now that Microsoft is serving malware ZDNet… blames “NPM” (ssshhhhh… don’t mention Microsoft)]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Augmented Reality Must Have Augmented Privacy

              Imagine walking down the street, looking for a good cup of coffee. In the distance, a storefront glows in green through your smart glasses, indicating a well-reviewed cafe with a sterling public health score. You follow the holographic arrows to the crosswalk, as your wearables silently signal the self-driving cars to be sure they stop for your right of way. In the crowd ahead you recognize someone, but can’t quite place them. A query and response later, “Cameron” pops above their head, along with the context needed to remember they were a classmate from university. You greet them, each of you glad to avoid the awkwardness of not recalling an acquaintance.€ 

              This is the stuff of science fiction, sometimes utopian, but often as a warning against a dystopia. Lurking in every gadget that can enhance your life is a danger to privacy and security. In either case, augmented reality is coming closer to being an everyday reality.€ € 

            • The Content Value Hierarchy (CVH)

              “Prediction is hard, especially about the future.”

              My prediction is that people will drop most of their first and second-level content and hold onto content that hits levels three and four.

            • Latin American Governments Must Commit to Surveillance Transparency

              This post is the second in a series about our new State of Communications Privacy Laws report, a set of questions and answers about privacy and data protection in eight Latin American countries and Spain. The series’ first post was “A Look-Back and Ahead on Data Protection in Latin America and Spain.” The reports cover Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, and Spain.

              Although the full extent of government surveillance technology in Latin America remains mostly unknown, media reports have revealed multiple scandals. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have deployed powerful spying tools in Latin American presidential politics and used them against political adversaries, opposition journalists, lawmakers, dissident groups, judges, activists, and unions. These tools have also been used to glean embarrassing or compromising information on political targets. All too often, Latin America’s weak democratic institutions have failed to prevent such government abuse of power.

            • Location Data Obtained By CBP Comes From Phone Apps, Is Capable Of Tracking People On Both Sides Of The Border

              More details are coming out about federal law enforcement's purchases of location data from data brokers. In February, the Wall Street Journal reported ICE and CBP were both purchasing large amounts of data from Venntel, using this information to track down people in this country illegally. Supposedly the data was "anonymized," which the CBP felt was enough to dodge any Constitutional concerns. Of course, the more data you have, the easier it is to de-anonymize it. And if it was truly anonymous and unable to be converted into traceable human beings, there would be no reason for ICE and CBP to be purchasing it.

            • Dissenter Weekly: Expanded DHS ‘Insider Threat’ Program Flouts Privacy Law

              On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola responds to censorship by Twitter, which invoked a policy adopted after pressure to crack down on WikiLeaks. He also highlights whistleblowing against the JBS meatpacking corporation.€ 

              Later in the show, Gosztola outlines how the Homeland Security Department has expanded its “insider threat” program in ways that flout Privacy Act provisions. He ends with coverage of Reporters Without Borders’ report on barriers to access at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition trial.

            • Police racism: Net's giants are pretending to stop facial recognition

              In a time where the police institution is being called into question, the multinational security companies are trying to redeem there image through publicity stunts: they would be stoping the usage of facial recognition because the technology is supposedly not fully developed and the police could misuse it.

            • Anonymise online courses ‘to protect students from foreign laws’

              Students could submit coursework anonymously or attend seminars without being identified under new guidance issued to British universities on how to tackle foreign interference and promote academic freedom.

              The report, Managing Risks in Internationalisation: Security Related Issues, published by Universities UK (UUK), highlights that institutions have introduced measures to protect international students from laws in their own country, such as identifying course material that might be considered politically sensitive in certain states.

            • Chairman: Senate Judiciary to vote on subpoena for Mark Zuckerberg

              Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said Friday the committee should also vote to subpoena Zuckerberg amid harsh criticism from congressional Republicans over the platform's decision to curb the spread of the Post story about Hunter Biden. The story drew skepticism over its sourcing.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • And who will join this standing up: A Poetic Response to Empire, Burning

        And who will join this standing up and the ones who stood without sweet company will sing and sing back into the mountains and if necessary even under the sea:

        we are the ones we have been waiting for. ― June Jordan

      • Russian Investigative Committee declines to open criminal case over the death of neo-Nazi ‘Tesak’

        The Russian Investigative Committee has declined to open a criminal case over the death of Russian nationalist Maxim Martsinkevich, reports the state news agency TASS. Better known by his nickname “Tesak” (Hatchet), Martsinkevich died in a prison cell in Chelyabinsk in mid-September.

      • The US is Set on a Path to War with China. What Is to be Done?

        There was only problem: it was completely, utterly, totally fraudulent. It was engineered, perjured, coached testimony concocted by PR experts, designed to manufacture consent for a US war on Iraq.

        At the time, it was also crystal clear that the claims were absurd—Kuwait had a population of less than 1.5 million at the time, and given its birthrate, would have had a few hundred premature babies a year. It’s inconceivable that over 300 of them could have been clustered in a single hospital on a single day.

      • Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Activists Sentenced for 2018 Anti-Nuclear Protest at Georgia Naval Base

        Father Stephen Kelly and Patrick O'Neill were sentenced to nearly three years and 14 months in prison, respectively.

      • Washington rejects Putin’s offer to extend New START arms control treaty for another year ‘unconditionally’

        During a video conference on Friday with members of Russia’s National Security Council, Vladimir Putin proposed offering to extend the New START treaty with the United States by another year “unconditionally” in order to salvage “substantive talks” on arms control. The New START agreement is due to expire in February 2021.€ 

      • Dropped Prosecutions: The Afghan Files, Public Interest Journalism and Dan Oakes

        In exposing these depravities of invasion, adventurism and war, the devotees of secrecy got busy. Bureaucrats chatted; investigations commenced. On June 5, 2019, officers of the Australian Federal Police raided the Sydney offices of the ABC. It was a busy time for the police; Annika Smethurst of News Corp was also the subject of a warrant, having written about discussions about a proposed enlargement of surveillance powers already possessed by the Australian Signals Directorate. Both warrants had been executed pursuant to alleged breaches of official secrecy under the old version of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). Legal affairs editor of The Australian, Chris Merritt was alarmed enough to write of a less than brave new world. “Welcome to modern Australia – a nation where police raid journalists in order to track down and punish the exposure of leaks inside the federal government”.

        Both warrants were subsequently challenged. The returns for journalism were mixed. In the case of the ABC, they were abominable. In February, the Federal Court Justice Wendy Abraham dismissed the effort by the broadcaster to impeach the warrant. She found the warrant validly drafted and sufficiency clear. Justice Abraham also affirmed that the implied constitutional right to communicate on political subjects was not a personal, enforceable one, merely a restraint on state power. “[T]he notion of speech as an affirmative value has no role to play.”

      • Based in Empire

        It was when I was Reading Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim that I first began to understand that US military bases were more than just pieces of real estate granted by the host country to ensure that nation’s security. Even though I had not begun questioning the US military when I was ten and reading Kipling, I did realize then that the US base was just a different version of the colonial outposts of the British Raj, from which the novel’s protagonist came. No matter how interesting and enjoyable my life was because of my father’s assignments, this was an essential truth I could not ignore.

        This is the foundation o David Vine’s newest book, The United States of War: A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State. While expanding on his previous work, titled Base Nation, Vine provides a comprehensive history of Washington’s quest for empire. Conceiving military outposts as actual colonial usurpations of other nations’ land, Vine argues that not only do these bases assist the US military in its wars, but their presence across the globe makes war more likely and all too often the preferred means to accomplish the goals of Washington and Wall Street. This fact, when combined with the mammoth amount of monies spent to arm the United States, spy on humans around the globe, and defend markets and other resources abroad, puts the generals in the Pentagon at the helm of US foreign policy. That prominence is rarely good for any nation and never good for one that claims to be a democracy. After all, generals rarely answer to anyone and, when they do, they usually end up having the upper hand.

      • AMERIKA!: The Horror Story

        Empire’s deadliest incarnation was born from the deeds of self-righteous wicked men. This thing that would someday colonize the earth was a colony itself. The great empires of Europe had sent their deadliest killers to the stony shores of the New World in search of treasure to plunder. They found a strange new hemisphere ripe for rape and honey. The English soon established the colonies that would serve host to a new Rome. They had no idea what evil they had unleashed. Centuries of savagery, of genocide and slavery, had created an insatiable hunger in the men who would be declared this new nation’s founding fathers. They wanted more. They wanted so much more. And they weren’t content to share their spoils with the Queen. They wanted their own crown. London realized that their greed had given birth to a monster more wicked than their wildest dreams. Terrified, they rushed to pull the plug on their Amerikan murder machine, but it was already too late. After attempting to hobble it’s march to power by curtailing the slave trade and granting recognition to the Indian Nations still standing on it’s frontier, the Founding Fathers launched a successful coup against their English overlords and declared the fitful farce a revolution. These psychopaths perverted the name of democracy much the way Rome and England had Christianity, and used its hollowed out title to justify the greatest killing spree in the history of mankind.

        Possessed by the demons of Manifest Destiny, Amerika wasted precious little time after defeating their English masters on anything remotely resembling peace. There was simply too much killing to do, too many brown bodies to throttle and mutilate with steam howling trains and cackling Gatling guns. Amerika spread like a disease from sea too shining sea, smashing anything that stood in its way. It chased the remaining European empires from its continent and slaughtered entire races of indigenous people in a holocaust that would one day inspire Hitler. But the North American continent wasn’t enough. Nothing was. Once the empire had tasted flesh, its hunger became insatiable. It took the southern half of it’s hemisphere with gunboats and caudillos, and cast its chains across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines where the Indian massacres continued. When given the opportunity to take Europe in the waning days of the empires that birthed it, Amerika jumped like a jackal at the opportunities afforded it by two world wars. At the end of the Second, devices capable of annihilating entire nations in seconds were constructed and dropped on the shattered shoulders of a crippled and surrendering Japanese Empire that dared to fondle our slaves in their seas. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a message to the world, all your empires are now ours. The Amerikan Empire wanted to make it crystal clear. There was a new killer on the loose. No one was safe and nothing was sacred.

      • The Slavic brotherhood’s future Belarusian security expert Yahor Lebiadok breaks down military cooperation between Moscow and Minsk

        One of the defining turns that took place during the protests in Belarus was Russia abandoning its neutral, wait-and-see position in favor of throwing strong support behind Alexander Lukashenko. Perhaps, many years from now, one of these countries will publish transcripts of the talks that took place during this period — just as the United States has published the conversations that took place between Russian President Vladimir Putin and American President Bill Clinton in the 2000s, — but for now we can only speculate about how things went. A rather obvious explanation for Moscow’s change of heart is the fear that Belarus will side with the West and curtail its military cooperation with Russia. In any case, at the very peak of the Belarusian protests, Putin and Lukashenko met in Sochi, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu led a military delegation on a visit to Belarus, and the joint “Slavic Brotherhood” military exercises took place in Brest. In a special report for “Meduza,” military expert Yahor Lebiadok, the author of a Telegram channel focused on Belarusian security, offers a detailed analysis of the main areas of military cooperation between Moscow and Minsk.

      • ‘All 50 States Bar Private, Unauthorized Paramilitary Activity’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection’s Mary McCord about unlawful militias for the October 9, 2020, episode of CounterSpin–recorded before news was in about an alleged attempt by private paramilitaries to kidnap the governors of Michigan and Virginia. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Fact-Checking the Liars: the Record of U.S. Imperial War and Plunder

        Socialists have a habit when it comes to facts, especially “facts” of a political nature. We place them in historical context so that they are not isolated from social reality – so that they clearly reveal the operative class forces that largely determine the course of human events. Karl Marx said it well: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” Bourgeois fact-checking may tell us who is the liar of the moment but never who represents the class that has oppressed, exploited, if not murdered, the vast working class majority whenever it appears on the stage of history to demand its rights.

        Of course, there are available measures to democratize debates under capitalism like allowing working class candidates to participate as opposed to restricting debates to the candidates of the billionaire-backed elite. The same with ballot access, severely restricted by onerous signature requirements that, even when met, are routinely declared “insufficient” by compliant judges, who impose massive fines in the form of legal fees payable to the attorneys of the twin parties or to the state for “staff time.” Not long ago, a compliant California judge imposed $242,000 in legal fees against this writer and a few others for suing to have the names of our parties listed on the ballot when we had already qualified for ballot status. I was listed as “Jeff Mackler” only. In place of the space for party affiliation, the judge order the ballot designation, “declined to state” along with the $240,000 fine!

      • Not Proud, Boys

        In the midst of a pandemic that we are far from “turning the corner” on, how is it possible that so many men feel wearing a mask or maintaining physical difference is a sign of weakness? Conservative commentator and Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren recently said with a straight face that [Democratic presidential candidate Joe] “Biden might as well carry a purse with that mask,” referring to how disciplined the former vice president is in following the CDC’s safety protocols.

        Please hear me. I am not only talking about the Beltway Boys and their macho disregard for wearing masks, including White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and coronavirus-infected Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee. And I’m certainly not forgetting the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as he huffs and puffs but still—hard as he tries—cannot blow the American house in. Consider: When he was being helicoptered from the White House to Walter Reed Medical Center it’s certainly plausible that Mr. Trump was overheard quoting Eric Garner and George Floyd gasping, “I can’t breathe.”

      • Ten Things to Know About Stopping a Coup

        I’m part of an effort called Choose Democracy, which is preparing people to stop a coup attempt — or prevent one altogether. These guidelines are drawn from the many countries that have experienced a coup since World War II.

        Don’t expect results on election night.

      • American Jewish Progressives Declared Irrelevant

        Ha’aretz€ is an Israeli newspaper and news outlet. It is considered to be the country’s most liberal paper and, at least in its English presentation, often reflects “liberal Zionist” sentiments, such as questioning Israeli settlement and occupation policies. Still, the paper can get things seriously wrong, because Zionism, Israel’s official ideology, can make objective interpretations of current events difficult—especially events taking place at a distance. It is simply the case that ideologies set boundaries to understanding. Facts can often be misjudged or simply ignored if they cannot be reconciled with established beliefs. For an observer standing outside of Zionism’s ideological turf, so to speak, such misreckonings can appear obvious. But for those within, few will notice when ideologically influenced interpretation is in fact misinterpretation.

        Something like this recently occurred in the pages of€ Haaretz€ (English). On 2 October 2020 the paper’s “senior correspondent and columnist,” Anshel Pfeffer, published an€ opinion piece€ entitled “American Jewish Leftists Are Heading for Self-Righteous Irrelevance, Just Like Israel’s.” In it, he claimed that the American “leftist” Jews (he is actually referring to Jewish progressives and I will now use this more accurate descriptor) are single-issue oriented and therefore devoid of strategic thinking. He notes that a similar problem doomed their Israeli leftwing counterparts to political irrelevance some thirty years ago.

      • Republican Senate Candidate Linked to Organizer of Right-Wing Militia Rally

        Michigan Republican Senate candidate John James received campaign contributions and was photographed with the organizer of the rally where conspirators accused of planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer allegedly plotted with a militia to recruit more members.

      • Michigan Bans Open Carry of Guns at Polling Places to Prevent Voter Intimidation

        The state of Michigan will ban the open carry of guns at all polling locations on Election Day in order to allow residents to vote without fear or intimidation.

      • Trump's Endless Wars

        President Barack Obama’s global charm offensive brought friends and allies back to America’s side, but his€ ten-fold increase€ in drone strikes to assassinate often innocent terrorism suspects, and his failure to reverse the ever-expanding violence and chaos of U.S. wars,€ overshadowed€ his efforts to restore America’s international credibility, especially in the Global South.

        Then came Donald Trump.

      • How Fascism Has Converged With Capitalism to Redefine Government

        Should the state—the institution that organizes, enforces, and adjudicates the rules governing our behavior in society—exist in capitalism? That question has been important chiefly for certain ideologues who defend capitalism. Their major idea is that the problems of modern society are caused by the state. They are not caused by the employer-employee structure of capitalist enterprises or the markets, unequal distributions of wealth, and other institutions those enterprises support. Those ideologues imagine a pure, perfect, or good capitalism undistorted by any state apparatus. The capitalism they seek to achieve is very utopian. They conclude that by reducing the state (bad by definition), modern capitalism’s problems can also be reduced. By eliminating the state, a thereby purified capitalism will solve those problems. From libertarians to Republican Party hacks, this ideology serves to deflect the justified resentment and anger of capitalism’s victims away from capitalism and onto the state.

        A contrary view holds that the state always existed throughout the history of societies in which the capitalist economic system prevailed. In them, the state—like other institutions—reflected each society’s particular conditions, conflicts, and movement. The capitalist economy rested on a foundation of enterprises whose internal organization divided participating individuals into a minority (employers) and a majority (employees). The minority owned and operated the enterprises, making all of its basic decisions: what, how, and where to produce and what to do with output. The majority sold its labor power to the minority, owned little or nothing of the enterprise, and was excluded from the basic enterprise decisions. One result of that basic economic structure was the existence of a state. Another result was a pattern of state interventions in society that reproduced its prevailing capitalist economic system and the employers’ dominant position within it.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Trump Tweeted a Literal Fake News Story From Satirical Site The Babylon Bee

        Sharing a story with the headline “Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network To Slow Spread Of Negative Biden News,” President Trump wrote in a tweet Friday morning: “Wow, this has never been done in history. This includes his really bad interview last night. Why is Twitter doing this. Bringing more attention to Sleepy Joe & Big T.”

        Trump’s tweet also included the @ for the outlet the story came from, the Babylon Bee, which describes itself on Twitter as “Fake news you can trust.” The story Trump shared is about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey attempting to use a special emergency sledgehammer stored in his office to smash his company’s servers, but, in the process, creating a robot that attacks cis white men. After the president’s tweet, the Babylon Bee wrote on Twitter that its website was unavailable for some users due to high traffic.

    • Environment

      • Hurricane Delta Compounds Oil Pollution Left By Hurricane Laura in Louisiana’s Wetlands

        An€ assessment€ of how much oil was spilled after Laura had not been made when Hurricane Delta created a new round of destruction along a similar€ track, from Port Arthur, Texas, to Baton€ Rouge.€ 

      • Pro-Life, Judge Barrett? Climate Denialism Is Mass Murder

        Human-induced climate change through burning gasoline, coal and natural gas is not "politically controversial." It is established science.

      • Karuk Tribe Leads Effort to Fight Racism and Climate Change with Fire

        “Organizers believe this is all the more urgent as the United States (and the World) reckon with the hard truths of how hundreds of years of ecological injustices have shaped our present threat of increasingly severe catastrophic wildfire in the West,” according to a press release from the WKRP and the Karuk Tribe.

        “This event occurs each fall and builds local capacity to utilize lower intensity prescribed fire as a fuels-reduction tool,” the partnership stated. “Although KTREX has only been happening for the last six years, Karuk (and other Indigenous People have been using prescribed fire since time immemorial. Burning is a cultural and spiritual practice that serves numerous vital functions to the natural resources on which Karuk People depend. For example, frequent burning increases the quality and quantity of basketry materials, acorn crops, fish and wildlife habitat, and ensures the community’s safety during wildfire season by reducing fuels.”

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • I Witnessed an Eco-Crime

          Now, I no longer see the ring necked pheasant or hear its bark. One quarter mile away I no longer encounter mother pheasant with chicks in the meadow along the edge of a now seasonal creek that meanders near my home. Less frequent, too, are the deer and coyotes that roamed the space between these two wetland environments. These loses seem trivial to most but, represent the devastating reality underlying anthropogenic climate change.

          Bainbridge Island is probably similar to other small communities (population 24K) where local politics is controlled by descendant landowners, developers and their enablers who scheme to extract as much money from the land as possible. Only 35 minutes by ferry from Seattle, this is a predominately white liberal professional middle class community. As such, we proudly proclaim, Black Lives Matter, feel badly about the affordable housing crisis, and affirm the science behind climate change, etc; as long as it doesn’t interfere with money making and unlimited consumption. And, when it does? Well, there are work-arounds, variances and carve-outs to the “comprehensive development plan”. In one recent example, the city will gift a 14 acre forested parcel it owns to developers so they may graciously build 100 affordable housing units. To insure the scheme is profitable for all involved, affordable housing is defined as meeting the needs of professionals with incomes up to 1.5X the Bainbridge Island yearly average of $100K. Moreover, it is estimated that gifts and tax breaks to developers will cost the city over $4M. Although, I have voiced my objections in city council chambers I must admire the brilliance of a proposal that hits the daily-double by satisfying the greed of the development interests and assuaging liberal guilt. If the City were really interested in affordable housing they could easily have supported this goal over the past several years instead of permitting a hodgepodge of highly profitable McMansion developments on multiple 5 acre plots that bear no relationship to the surrounding environment or community.

        • How the Clinton-Era Roadless Rules Aid and Abet Logging

          RACR always has contained several exceptions that allow cutting trees in roadless areas. One particular exception allows logging “generally small diameter” timber to improve habitat for threatened, endangered, or sensitive species or to “reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire effects.” In 2020, fire ecologists tell us that weather and climate drive fires, and logging cannot fix the climate or the stand-replacing-wildfire ecology that has naturally existed for centuries in the Northern Rockies. Wildlife biologists tell us that logging and thinning thick, mature forests and downed woody debris will only eliminate habitat for species like the Endangered Species Act listed lynx or the sensitive fisher or wolverine. We can’t have our cake and log it, too. Yet, the Forest Service disclosed to my nonprofit that, between 2010 and 2018, the agency used RACR’s exceptions to authorize at least 33,000 acres of logging in national roadless areas in Montana, the state containing the third largest acreage of our national roadless areas. When I crosschecked this self-reporting with the environmental documents available online, I accounted closer to 40,000 acres of roadless logging authorized; somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of those authorizations used the exception above. At its inception, RACR predicted 22,000 acres of small diameter trees would be logged nationwide in five years to reduce wildfires. In eight years, the Forest Service almost managed to double that number for our roadless areas in Montana alone, and under a theory that science has mostly debunked for the Northern Rockies. But, after RACR’s publication, in the time it took for the Forest Service to learn how to exploit the exceptions, Republican politicians also nakedly attempted to reduce protections in the nation’s roadless areas by allowing states to make their own rules.

          Idaho, the state with our second largest roadless acreage, has its own roadless rule because President Bush attempted to undo RACR. The outgoing Clinton Administration issued RACR in 2001, and the incoming Bush Administration moved to modify it with a process where states could petition for their own, state-tailored rule. Then Governor of Idaho, Jim Risch, a former attorney for the timber industry (and now U.S. Senator from Idaho), ensured his was one of the two states who slid into Bush’s petition process before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down. The result is a state-specific Idaho Roadless Rule weaker on substantive protections for more roadless areas—only sixteen percent of our roadless areas in Idaho enjoy more explicit substantive protection under the Idaho Roadless Rule than they would have had under RACR. Most of the national roadless areas in fall into a category modified from RACR where the agency can authorize logging under the unscientific exceptions like needing to reduce “wildland fire effects” or to “improve” listed or sensitive species habitat, while eliminating any check on any requirements that trees be small or the wildfire risk be “uncharacteristic.” Idaho can essentially clearcut portions of your roadless areas with agency discretion that is notoriously difficult to challenge in court. Yes, the photograph below depicts part of a two-hundred-acre clearcut in one of your Idaho inventoried roadless areas, where the Forest Service sold the timber to a logging company in the name of wildfire-risk-reduction and still considers this an inventoried roadless area.

        • Compassion, Wolves and America’s First Wilderness

          That’s what it was—a sound.€ Not just any sound, but a sound I’d never heard before. At first, it was indiscernible.€ After a moment, it was unmistakable. Almost like a song.€ One voice, then two… then three… then, an entire chorus.

          I tried to focus, but my damn sleeping bag was making all those crinkly sounds as I tried to settle my body into a comfortable position.€ When I was finally still, the singing grew clearer—not just the sound, but the echo as well.€ The echo of wolves—howling in some place that seemed, at once, both far away and very near.

        • Picking Up the Pieces: My Search and Rescue Mission for Fallen Songbirds
        • Trump Denies California Request for Federal Disaster Aid After Historic Fires

          After repeatedly downplaying the catastrophic wildfires that have ravaged California in recent months and falsely attributing the blazes to poor “forest management,” the Trump administration this week denied Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request for federal disaster assistance needed to recover from the destruction the fires inflicted across the state.

        • 'Sadistic and Depraved': Trump Rejects California Request for Federal Disaster Aid to Recover From Catastrophic Wildfires

          "That a sitting president—of any party—would deny their own citizens help during their time of greatest need, amid literal hellfire raining down on American cities, is beyond shameful."

      • Overpopulation

        • Russia’s population will decline by 352,500 people this year — 11 times more than in 2019

          Russia’s population is expected to decline by 325,500 people this year — 11 times more than in 2019 (when the number of Russians fell by just 32,100 people) — according to the latest government projections, first leaked by the Telegram channel Maisky Ukaz and later confirmed by sources who spoke to the news outlet RBC. The estimated population loss in 2020 is now twice what the government anticipated in its last report, issued in August, when federal officials said Russia’s numbers would start growing again as soon as 2022.

        • Haunted by demographic holes Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov weighs in on Russia’s declining population

          Kommersant FM: Back in 2018, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin said in his message to the Federal Assembly that “everything depends on the preservation of the people of Russia and the well-being of our citizens, this is where we need to make a decisive breakthrough.” Today, a working version of the government’s new projections on population loss in our country has appeared. And although it’s a working version, the trends are clear: Russia’s population will decrease until 2030, the first increase will only take place then, and in total, for example, from 2020 to 2024, the number of Russian citizens will [decline] by 1.2 million. Do you know what the president thinks about this and how long this decisive breakthrough will have to be postponed? Is it possible that a breakthrough in this sphere won’t happen under Putin?

    • Finance

      • Profits über Alles – MBAs in Germany

        In their recent book “Smoke Screening, Profiteering and Lamenting”, Kreiß and Siebenbrock argue with the even Pope noted, this economy is killings us reflecting on the misery global capitalism causes in the so-called third world – a term that makes increasingly less sense – if it ever did. The authors do not argue that profits are wrong as such. On the contrary, they explicitly say, profits are good and important – profits über Alles. What they argue is that a one-dimensional focus on profits über Alles is highly damaging. This has to change, even when teaching German MBAs, as both authors do. Currently, Germany has about 240,000 MBA students or BeWeEller and a further 240,000 in business related apprenticeships.

        Trained in German business schools, these MBA students carry a profit-maximising thinking into society leading to a slithering dehumanization. All of this is neither God-given nor did it come by nature. Instead, all those rules about the economy and society, we have given to ourselves. In other words, they can be changed. Even life at a neoliberal university where for every academic there are two managers and administrators can be changed.

      • AOC and Other Top Progressives Urge Biden—If Elected—to Deny K Street, Wall Street Execs Top Cabinet Posts

        "The next White House should belong to the people, not corporate America," said Jamaal Bowman, a New York Democrat.

      • Trump's Millionaire Economic Adviser Celebrates 'Gales of Creative Destruction' as Millions Lose Their Jobs and Go Hungry

        "Wonder how the 14% of households with kids who reported that they didn't get enough food to eat in the last seven days feel about the 'gales of creative destruction.'"

      • Koch-Funded Legal Group Pushes to Allow Mass Evictions During Pandemic

        The CDC's eviction moratorium update "is symptomatic of a system that has always and continues to work to benefit the profiteers."

      • Yandex is no longer buying Tinkoff Bank. The $5.4-billion mega deal collapsed due to a lack of ‘synergy.’

        TCS Group announced on Friday that the sale of Tinkoff Bank to the tech giant Yandex has collapsed and the deal is now “terminated.” “Following further discussions, including with Tinkoff's controlling shareholder, the parties have agreed not to proceed with the potential transaction,” the company said, offering no further explanation. In a separate press release, Yandex confirmed that it is no longer buying Tinkoff Bank, saying that it failed to finalize terms with the bank’s main shareholders.

      • How it started The chain of events that led to Tinkoff Bank’s sale to Yandex falling through

        TCS Group, Tinkoff Bank’s parent company, announces that it has reached an “agreement in principle” with Yandex on the sale of the bank. The deal will total $5.48 billion. The company’s press release emphasizes that they have yet to work out the final terms of the agreement.€ 

      • Latest Election Stunt Proves Uber and Lyft are Their Own Worst Political Enemies

        But there is a more complex historical reality lurking beneath the headlines. Yes, the future of work is changing, and the labor laws must adapt, as the CEOs of Uber and Lyft asserted recently in a joint op-ed. Yet these companies have consistently missed numerous opportunities to act as good-faith partners for their drivers, and for society in general.

        I have personally witnessed these companies’ failings. After my book Raw Deal: How the Uber Economy and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers was published, I was asked to a meeting with high-level Uber representatives. Previously, I had also been part of a meeting with Lyft leaders. A central part of these discussions was my proposal calling for a “portable safety net” for their drivers, and for other types of freelance workers.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Our Territory is Fractal, Our Mapping Hyperreal

        Another factor here can be traced to an imposed, usurping order of things that has led to a vicious dividing of both psyche and culture, a fragmentation that is nurtured in the hyperreality of cyberspace. This is a breaking apart fragmentation that does not represent but rather distorts and diminishes a fractal complexity in which there is a relationship between fractals and the whole, an order of separate and distinguishable unities, a distinguishable order shaped in variant dimensions we cannot map. No imposed order can hold off the dissent inherent in our fractal territory.

        The mapping of our fractal territory is designed by power. The signing amoral telos has been since the last third of the 20th century the rule of “The Efficient Market Hypothesis” which serves as alibi for an economics of zero-sum competitiveness leading to wealth growth through domination. That quest for efficiency in terms of minimum investment/high returns has overlaid a hyperreality upon the increasing immiseration of the many and the compounding of wealth and power for the few.

      • Electionland 2020: Absentee Vote Tracking, Drop Boxes, Poll Watchers and More

        Millions of Mail-In Votes Have Already Been Cast in Battleground States. Track Their Progress Here.

        ProPublica and The Guardian are tracking mail-in votes in battleground states — how many have been requested, how many have been returned and how many have been rejected. Read the story.

      • With 170+ 'Protect the Results' Events Planned for Nov. 4, Pro-Democracy Groups Vow to 'Ensure Voters Have the Last Word'

        "We will honor the valid results of the 2020 election, ensure that every vote is counted, and show up to demand that the losing candidate put their ego aside and concede for the good of our country."

      • Wisconsin Voter Data Shows Risks of Absentee Ballot Rejection

        For months, President Donald Trump has alleged without evidence that any expansion of mail-in voting in the 2020 election will lead to “tremendous” fraud and a “rigged” election. Last month, he suggested without evidence that vote by mail might even allow citizens to vote twice, urging North Carolina voters to try voting by mail and in person to test for alleged faults in the system.

      • Democracy Dies in the Light

        The problem is that the media continue to operate as if a normal democratic election is being held in this country, when it clearly is not.

      • Biden Can’t Let Republican Court Packers Intimidate Him Into Pledging Not to Unpack the Courts

        Mitch McConnell subscribes to the premise that "the easiest way to change the law is to change the judges."

      • The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fascism in WWII, It Discretely Internationalized It

        The material record suggests, however, that this narrative is actually based on a false antagonism, and that a paradigm shift is necessary in order to understand the history of actually existing liberalism and fascism. The latter, as we shall see, far from being eradicated at the end of WWII, was actually repurposed, or rather redeployed, to serve its primary historical function: to destroy godless communism and its threat to the capitalist civilizing mission. Since the colonial projects of Hitler and Mussolini had become so brazen and erratic, as they shifted from playing more or less by the liberal rules of the game to openly breaking them and then running amok, it was understood that the best way to construct the fascist international was to do so under liberal cover, meaning through clandestine operations that maintained a liberal façade. While this probably sounds like hyperbole to those whose understanding of history has been formatted by bourgeois social science, which focuses almost exclusively on visible government and the aforementioned liberal cover, the history of the invisible government of the national security apparatus suggests that fascism, far from being defeated in WWII, was successfully internationalized.

        The Architects of the Fascist International

      • Emma Goldman and Lesser Evilism

        While this is nothing new, the pressure this cycle is more intense than ever.€  The mantra goes like this: if you don’t vote for their candidate, the other will win, and that will be the end of America.€  By voting, you act to preserve our great democracy, hence not voting is unthinkable.€  It would sully your citizenship and spurn your priceless birthright.

        Two elements in the mantra need revision.€  First, we don’t have, have never had, a democracy; at best, a hamstrung republic.€  Second, not voting won’t end America and whatever you wish to call what we do have.€  America is ending itself fine on its own, regardless of voting, campaigning, and all the Dada imbecile trappings of our polity.

      • Can an Eco-Socialist Revolution Save China?

        The references to growth and degrowth occur in chapter seven, cryptically titled “Grabbing the Emergency Brake,” a reference to the epigraph to chapter six. The words are from Walter Benjamin’s unfinished Arcades Project: “Marx says that revolutions are the locomotives of world history. But the situation may be quite different. Perhaps revolutions are not the train ride, but the human race grabbing for the emergency brake.” With the title of Smith’s book referring to China’s “engine,” one might say that the emergency brake and degrowth are practically synonymous.

        For Marx, capitalism was not quite the threat to humanity that it is today. Some on the left even considered Marx to be pro-capitalist based on his breathless description of the system in “The Communist Manifesto.” After all, he wrote, “The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.” Taking Marx at his word, the Revolutionary Communist Party in England ended up as the Koch-funded Spiked Online. You even wonder if Leigh Phillips’s endorsement of GMO and nuclear power in Jacobin might hint at a similar evolution.

      • Pennsylvania’s Rejection of 372,000 Ballot Applications Bewilders Voters and Strains Election Staff

        Pennsylvania, one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds in the presidential election, has rejected 372,000 requests for mail-in ballots, straining election offices and bewildering voters.

        More than 90% of those applications, or about 336,000, were denied as duplicates, primarily because people who had requested mail-in ballots for the state’s June 2 primary did not realize that they had checked a box to be sent ballots for the general election, too. Voters have also been baffled by unclear or inaccurate information on the state’s ballot-tracking website, and by a wave of mail ballot applications from political parties and get-out-the-vote groups. County offices across the state have been forced to hire temporary staff and work seven days a week to cope with the confusion.

      • Trump Is Urging Republicans to Break the Law
      • A Calm, Cool, and Presidential Joe Biden Won the ‘Debate’ That Wasn’t

        The United States is now so politically dysfunctional that it cannot pull off a presidential debate. Instead of tuning in to the debate that should have taken place on Thursday night, the American people had to choose between watching the source of that dysfunction, Republican President Donald Trump, on NBC, or his challenger, Joe Biden, on ABC.

      • Donald Trump Is America’s First Conspiracist President

        News is “faked”; elections are “rigged”; a “deep state” plots a “coup”; Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died suspiciously in bed with a pillow over his face; aides of ex-president Barack Obama conspire to undermine foreign policy from a “war room”; Obama himself was a Muslim mole; the National Park Service lied about the size of the crowd at the president’s inauguration; conspiracies are afoot in nearly every department and agency of the executive branch, including the State Department, the CIA, the Justice Department, the Federal Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI (“What are they hiding?”). Thus saith, and maybe even believeth, the president of the United States.

      • Texas and the Long Tail of Voter Suppression

        Last month, cars snaked through the parking lot of San Antonio’s AT&T Center as volunteers in bright-yellow MOVE Texas T-shirts directed traffic through the sprawling complex. Some of them wore face shields and carried clipboards as they bounced between cars registering people to vote. The Spurs Coyote even wore an Uncle Sam getup for the occasion, posing for photos with organizers and newly registered voters.

      • Moscow prosecutors order universities to report virtually any anti-Kremlin activity by students or faculty

        District attorneys in Moscow have started reviewing local scientific and educational institutions, asking universities to provide information about any students involved in protests or publications about the difficulties of life in Russia. The “University Solidarity” student union first reported the new inquiry on Friday, citing orders addressed to RANEPA (the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation). The website also reported the story on October 16. Specifically, administrators are being asked to complete forms detailing any politically sensitive student or faculty activities affiliated in any way with foreign organizations.

      • Democrats Should Welcome More Trump Town Halls

        Many liberals were understandably annoyed that NBC decided to give Donald Trump an hour for a town hall on Thursday night, which overlapped with the 90-minute town hall ABC hosted for Joe Biden. The two presidential contenders had in fact originally been scheduled to debate, but Trump bowed out because he did not accept the ruling of the debate commission after his recent bout with Covid-19 that it should be a virtual event. This led ABC to offer a town hall to Biden. Trump, wishing to one-up his rival, requested and received the NBC town hall.

      • Eyes Wide Shut
      • DOJ Says Trump's Tweets Declassifying All Russia Investigation Docs Doesn't Mean Anything; Judge Says They Better Go Ask Him

        Investigative reporter/FOIA terrorist Jason Leopold has been suing the US government for a while now, trying to get access to the full Robert Mueller special counsel report investigating President Trump's alleged ties to Russia. While a version of the report has been released, it was heavily redacted, sometimes in important areas. Leopold and Buzzfeed are seeking the report along with additional interview details, emails, memos, letters, and charts used by Mueller's office in preparing it. Not surprisingly, the DOJ has been fighting this.

      • The Coup Already Underway

        How the Founders Put Trump In

        For the fifth time in American history, a candidate who lost the national popular vote became president. Thank the holy charter’s Electoral College, which selects the president on the basis an archaic formula that vastly over-represents the nation’s most rural, white, and reactionary regions and reduces serious presidential campaigning to a relatively small handful of states where the winner-take-all Electoral College slates are contested.

      • Who Elected Donald Trump?

        The question of elections is typically answered through demographic analyses of the people who voted. This view assumes that not voting by people who are eligible is either immaterial, or that the implied politics is irrelevant or indeterminate. Additionally, given the income and wealth skew amongst those who vote, the contention that the rich elected this candidate or that implies inclusive representation of the polity that simply isn’t the case. These are more than abstractions. As is illustrated below, voters who didn’t vote in 2016, or who switched from one party to another in ways that are inexplicable within the official view, had a large impact on the outcome.

        The upset victory of Donald Trump in 2016 produced a torrent of head scratching, finger-pointing and outrage by pundits, the politically oriented commentariat, and the vast food chain of professional politicians, consultants and advisors whose livelihoods depend on selling plausible explanations of unexpected outcomes to political donors. Right up to election eve, 2016, the overwhelming consensus was that Donald Trump would lose and that capitalist democracy would proceed apace with corporate bailouts, gratuitous wars, and trade agreements that benefit corporate executives and the already rich.

      • Pack the Damn Court, Joe

        This of course assumes that Biden will not go the way of Hillary Clinton, losing the unlosable. He certainly has it in him; that possibility cannot be ignored.

        If he does lose, many will “abandon all hope.” That would be entirely understandable. After all, there is something profoundly wrong with a universe in which Donald Trump could get any votes at all, much less enough for the Electoral College to propel him into the White House — twice.

      • From prison to the presidency The incredible journey of Kyrgyzstan’s new acting head of state and the political crisis still ahead

        On October 15, Sooronbay Jeenbekov resigned Kyrgyzstan’s presidency, bowing to pressure from the country’s new prime minister, Sadyr Japarov, who became the country’s acting president before the end of the day. Just 24 hours earlier, after meeting privately with Japarov, Jeenbekov said he’d step down only after Kyrgyzstan held new parliamentary elections, but his resolve collapsed almost immediately. Leaving office, he said resigning was necessary to prevent violent clashes between opposition protesters and law enforcement. Reporting from Bishkek, Meduza special correspondent Maxim Solopov explains what comes next for Kyrgyzstan and why the president had to choose between resignation and blood in the streets, becoming the country’s third leader forced from office early by mass protests.€ 

      • These Are the States to Focus on to Flip the Senate

        In the final few weeks of the election, with Joe Biden looking strong (fingers crossed!), winning the Senate is a critical imperative in terms of rebuilding this country and reversing the damage caused by Trump. For the average activist, the best way to help in these final few weeks is to focus on Georgia and Texas, in particular the voter mobilization work happening in those states, as they are among the winnable races that could use the most help.

      • Press Worries About a Fracking Ban’s ‘Risk’ to Democrats—Not Fracking’s Threat to Planet

        In last week’s vice presidential debate between Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence, Harris reiterated Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s rejection of a fracking ban, despite her earlier call for one when she was a presidential candidate (CBS News, 10/7/20):

      • After The Donald, The Deluge?

        Be careful what you wish for. Things could get even crazier under Biden.

        Even though it’s only a few weeks away, I am hesitant to call the election. Biden has a huge lead in the polls but Trump has an ace in the hole: an unprecedented volume of mail-in ballots due to the COVID pandemic, which will run predominantly Democratic and provide attractive targets for Republican attorneys to drag out state vote counts past the December 14th electoral college certification deadline, which would trigger the obscure 12th Amendment scenario in which 50 states each get one vote for president in the next House of Representatives, in which case Trump wins even if Biden wins the popular vote by a lot.

      • The Squad Is Growing: A New Crew of Left Challengers Is Bringing Movement Politics to Congress

        It’s not just AOC, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib. This crop of organizers-turned-politicians—alongside the Squad—plans to usher in a progressive revival in the House of Representatives.

      • Trump Blasted by Town Hall Moderator for Spreading Conspiracy Theories

        During a town hall event hosted by NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie on Thursday evening, President Donald Trump refused to denounce the QAnon movement and deflected other questions regarding his promotion of conspiracy theories in general.

      • As Memory of 2016 Clinton Defeat Lingers, Biden Campaign Manager Warns 2020 Race 'Far Closer' Than You Think

        "Like a lot closer.”

      • Someone's Crazy Uncle
      • Court Says Trump Appointee Had No Authority To Fire Open Technology Fund Board; Says They Remain In Place

        Back in July, we wrote about how Trump had appointed a Steve Bannon mentee, Michael Pack, to head the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), the organization that oversees a bunch of independent media organizations, including the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcasting. The plan was to turn them into a state-sponsored Breitbart. That process has begun, including the recent attempt to investigate Voice of America journalists for impure thoughts about Dear Leader.

      • GOP Is Focused on Sabotaging a Potential Biden Administration Amid a Pandemic

        As Donald Trump continues to slide in the polls, losing support among seniors and in battleground states, Senate Republicans remain opposed to even a relatively narrow $1.8 trillion stimulus deal the White House wants. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be bringing an even smaller $500 billion stimulus bill to the Senate floor, where it will almost certainly fail. With so many Republican senators in tight races, one would imagine a stimulus deal would be in their favor. Their intransigence on a deal makes them look resigned not just to a Trump loss, but to a blue wave where Democrats retake the Senate. And while they remain divided over their support for a short-term stimulus, both the White House and Senate Republicans are using the levers available to them to blunt any economic recovery during a Joe Biden administration.

      • Trump Town Tunes

        This morning Newsweek is reporting that the Democratic candidate had more than just pipped the current Commander-in-Chief at the post. Biden racked up 507,445 YouTube viewers at the end of his two-hours plus on ABC, whereas Trump had a mere 153,660 over on NBC. The viral president had not gone viral. Even if neither fighter had broken through to seven digits, a feat easily attained by second-rate TikTok influencers, the Scranton Scrapper had hit Donnybrook Don where it hurt most: in his numbers.

        ABC dubbed their show “The Vice-President and the People.” The synthesized theme music had a disco pop to it, dated but energetic, hoping to convince the undecided that even though Biden remained seated for his Townhall he still had a spring in his septuagenarian step. The broadcast emanated from Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center and the commercial breaks (only in America!) were framed by an assuring disembodied male voice reading passages from the sanctified Constitution. For these recitations the soundtrack followed the reverent contours of Aaron Copland’s Americana, evoking in just a few seconds the open-range possibility of this great land, its high-minded morality, super-power altruism, and cheap gas. Social distanced on stage were the comforting democratic duo of Joe Biden and George Stephanopoulos, one-time communications director in the Clinton White House. This was clearly a re-run except that the actors were older. Enhanced reality technology had digitally adjusted the actors to account for the advancing years—the gray hair, the sagging jowls, the ultra-white teeth. My fellow Americans, we are now in round-the-clock syndication!

      • FBI investigating Hunter Biden emails as possible Russian disinformation operation: reports

        The alleged emails came to the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid through President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who claimed to have acquired a copy of a computer hard drive belonging to the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The authenticity of the emails has not been independently verified, and reporters pointed out major errors and holes in The Post story after it was published.

      • The official Biden HQ in Animal Crossing has poll booths, ice cream, and no malarkey

        With only 18 days left until the US presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign is launching a new virtual field office today for voters to visit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

      • GOP senator writing book criticizing Big Tech for 'tyranny'

        Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), one of Congress’s biggest critics of Big Tech, is writing a book about the companies he has long criticized, his publisher announced Friday.

        In Hawley’s book titled, “The Tyranny of Big Tech,” the senator will argue that Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple represent the “gravest threat to American liberty since the monopolies of the Gilded age,” according to Simon and Schuster’s description.

      • NBC’s Trump Town Hall Was Pointless and Shameful

        The American voter knows the president’s answers — or lack thereof — to these questions. They’ve emerged in countless interviews, press conferences, Twitter tirades, and presidential debates featuring the 45th president over the past three and a half years. We’ve seen the Trump Show enough to recite them by heart. So why did NBC, one of the most powerful news networks in the world, turn over its airwaves to a politician who, to the surprise of no one, used that immense platform, as he so often does, to deceive, misinform, evade, and complain?

      • QAnon accounts make a dent in voting discussion on Twitter

        More than 1 in 50 tweets about voting in the 2020 elections in August and September were posted by QAnon accounts, according to research released Friday by Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit.

        The research also found that 2 in every 25 tweets using the hashtag #voterfraud originated from QAnon accounts, a sign of how ubiquitous the conspiracy theory has become on Twitter, one of the last remaining major social media platforms to allow QAnon content.

      • I Accept the Nomination

        My administration will rest on an understanding that we are all fucked. We are not fucked if this or that, we are fucked, period. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given the real awfulness homo sapiens have become. From god-like to bed-bug like in a few short millennia. I am disgusted with the whole species, myself included, and if it weren’t for the pointlessness of it I would be happy to kick the whole can of worms into the polluted canal where brain eating amoebas could administer the coup de grâce. But that would be kicking a dying dog.

        So my platform, as I explained at the Utter Scorn Party convention to wild applause and rattling of multiple noisemakers, is designed to arrange for homo sapiens to leave the planet with as little further damage and fanfare as possible. I know, I know, you would all like to hang on with your fingernails a little longer, have a little more fun destroying your home, see another gore fest on Netflix, luxuriate in the mud of another spa, Covid be damned, but, well, sorry Charlie. If that’s your cup of hemlock, vote for The Bozo or The Tool or both. Kick back, and watch the fireworks. It won’t mean shit. The Utter Scorn Party utterly scorns them both. Callous stupidity is just not that much fun any more.

      • Memories of Voter Suppression

        It all started in the fall of 1961, the beginning of my senior year at Columbia College. My roommate (Mike Weinberg) and I, both white, had joined the campus chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and participated in a few of its New York City projects. The real action, though, was in the turbulent South, swept by sit-ins and Freedom Rides that demanded an end to racial discrimination and, especially, the right to vote.

        One evening in the spring of 1962, Ronnie Moore, a Black CORE Southern field secretary, brought the news of the Southern struggle to our Columbia CORE meeting. Having headed up desegregation efforts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Ronnie and three other students at Southern University, an historically Black institution, were out on bail on “criminal anarchy” charges. The laws under which they were charged and imprisoned, which provided for a penalty of 10 years at hard labor and a hefty fine, dated back to the state’s early 20th century repression of union organizing.

      • Scammers seize on US election, but it's not votes they want

        The email from a political action committee seemed harmless: if you support Joe Biden, it urged, click here to make sure you're registered to vote.

        But Harvard University graduate student Maya James did not click. Instead, she Googled the name of the soliciting PAC. It didn’t exist -- a clue the email was a phishing scam from swindlers trying to exploit the U.S. presidential election as a way to steal peoples' personal information.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Avia Law: Constitutional Council refuses censorship without a judge

        Victory! On 18 June 2020, after year-long struggle, the Constitutional Council has declared almost the entire law against online hate contrary to the Constitution. Beyond its decision, the Constitutional Council refuses the principle of censorship without a judge within an imposed time limit of one hour or twenty-four hours.

      • Mumbai Police Help Indian Prime Minister Modi Scrub BuzzFeed Of Images That Offended His Delicate Sensibilities

        The government of India has been a pretty active censor in recent years, blatantly ignoring the constitutional right to free speech the country's citizens are supposed to be able to enjoy. Free speech is fine, as long as it's free speech the government likes. In many cases, the likability of the speech depends on its portrayal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi doesn't like critical news coverage. Or, as in the case we're about to discuss, critical memes. And he's been using a handy excuse -- terrorism -- to shut down or severely cripple internet access for Indian residents.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Apple Removes Games Containing Confederate Flags (June 2015)

        Summary: On June 17, 2015, South Carolina native Dylann Roof entered a church in Charleston, South Carolina and killed nine Black attendees. Roof was an avowed white supremacist as his consequent convictions on hate crime charges attest. Roof also published a racist manifesto to his website prior to the attack, along with photos of white supremacy emblems and the Confederate flag.

      • Teacher decapitated near Paris after allegedly showing Muhammed caricatures

        A history teacher who had allegedly shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed in class was decapitated and his assailant shot dead by French police as they tried to arrest him on Friday, police and prosecutors said. French anti-terror prosecutors said they were investigating the assault which happened on the outskirts of Paris at around 5:00 pm local time near a school in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a western suburb of the French capital.

        Le Parisien and Reuters reported the teacher recently gave a class on freedom of expression and showed cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, which are considered by Muslims to be blasphemous.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Family of Russian journalist who self-immolated plans to continue work on the media outlet she founded

        The family of Russian journalist Irina Slavina, who self-immolated outside of the police headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod on October 2, have published an open letter stating that they plan to continue work on the publication she founded, Koza.Press.€ 

      • Roaming Charges: Pray, Grin and Barrett

        We’re halfway through it, and here at CounterPunch we’re getting first-hand testimony about the depth of the economic desperation most of us are experiencing in the time of Trump and COVID. Many CounterPunchers are rallying as they do year-after-year, but telling us times are tighter than they’ve ever been. All we can ask is: give if you can and as much as you feel you can afford. We truly need every penny and every dollar to keep the show on the road.€ 

        CounterPunchers! Please don’t let this offer ebb away unfulfilled.€  Double your clout right now. € Step up to the plate, and reach for the phone, or your check book or hit the online donation button.

      • I photographed Obama and Reagan. Here's why Trump's White House is a national disgrace.

        First and foremost, I am an American citizen. I have the absolute right to speak out. To paraphrase the late Rep. John Lewis, if you see something wrong, say something, do something. We have a president who lies to us every day about little things (crowd size) and big things (Covid-19), who bullies people who criticize him, who denigrates our intelligence agencies, who disses our allies and sucks up to our adversaries, who calls the press fake news and the enemy of the people. That is wrong; all of it.

      • Paris Artwork Calls Attention to Journalist Jailed in Algeria

        Media freedom groups say the appeals court verdict shows the dangers for online journalists, and it signals the deterioration of press freedom in Algeria since President Abdelmadjid Tebboune came to power in 2019.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Why America Still Needs to Abolish ICE

        The nation’s attention may have moved on, but the crisis remains.

      • Deeply Troubling: Kristen Clarke on How Rush to Confirm Barrett Endangers Voting & Civil Rights

        The Senate confirmation hearing for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett ended Thursday with Republicans on the Judiciary Committee scheduling a vote on her nomination for October 22, with a full Senate vote to follow shortly thereafter — less than two weeks before the presidential election, in which the Supreme Court could play a decisive role. The right-wing judge’s confirmation looks all but assured, after four rushed days of questioning in which Barrett refused to state her position on abortion rights, gay marriage, the Affordable Care Act, voting rights, climate change, and even if President Trump could delay the election. If confirmed, she gives conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court. “We have never had a president put forth a nomination and commence confirmation hearings in the middle of an ongoing presidential election,” says Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

      • The Hallmark of Trump

        The Executive Order in question is entitled “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” In the€ preamble€ to the Order, one of the stated purposes is said to be “to combat offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating.” It explains that many people are pushing a vision of America “grounded in hierarchies based on collective social and political identities rather than in the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual.”

        In commenting on the sorts of conduct the Order is designed to correct, the Order observes that there is in this country an ideology “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.”€  It criticizes training materials from Argonne National Laboratories that say that racism “is interwoven into every fabric of America and describes statements like ‘color blindness’ and the ‘meritocracy’ as ‘actions of bias.’”

      • Lisa Graves on the Story Behind Amy Coney Barrett

        This week on CounterSpin: Despite the symbolism of her White House launch party being a superspreader event, the story of Amy Coney Barrett, the conservative judge currently looking like being foisted on the Supreme Court, actually begins a while back. Understanding how we got to this place—where a person who uses the term “sexual preference” may have a hand in interpreting laws governing all of our lives—requires looking behind the curtain of the “partisan tug of war” narrative corporate media present every day, to see how a powerful minority in this country manages to use public institutions to do unpopular things. We’ll get the story behind Amy Coney Barrett from Lisa Graves, editor-in-chief and executive director at True North Research.

      • Farmers and Meatpackers Are Teaming Up

        But Breitenmoser is one of many Wisconsin farmers who are showing solidarity with others in the food supply chain who are at the pandemic’s epicenter — meatpackers and food processing plant employees.

        According to the Food and Environment Reporting Network, more than 65,000 food production industry workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 268 have died.

      • Structural Racism in Liberal Armor: Newsome's Veto Domestic Workers' Rights Bill

        Newsome may not be a member of the Proud Boys–with a swastika stamped on his naked chest–but his “cruel decision” to kill the bill, says Renee Saucedo, Program Director ALMAS/Graton Day Labor Center, will cause “more hardship, suffering and potential deaths” than any actions that rag-tag right-wing fringe group could ever have taken. Sauceo, a longtime civil rights attorney didn’t mince words regarding the implications of the Governors structural racism.

        “Vetoing of SB 1257 will have a devastating impact on not only the 300,000 domestic workers in California but all of their family members,” she told me, the anger rising in her voice. “Governor Newsom has vetoed a bill that offers basic health and safety protections to the women, primarily women of color, who work inside people’s homes – right – who historically have been excluded under health and safety protections of Cal-OSHA simply because their work has never been valued. And they have never been valued,” said the seasoned Chicano civil rights attorney . “So this governor who says that he values immigrant workers, says that he values essential workers has, by vetoing this bill, showed us that his words don’t mean anything; they’re not true. Because to deny hundreds of thousands of domestic workers, plus indirectly all of their family members and community members a lack of access to basic health and safety protections is both structural and unconscionable.

      • Dark Money & Barrett Nomination: The Link Between Big Polluters & the War on ACA, Roe & LGBT Rights

        During confirmation hearings this week for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island opted not to ask the judge any questions. Instead, he gave a 30-minute presentation on how right-wing groups, including the Federalist Society and Judicial Crisis Network, use dark money to shape the nation’s judiciary. We air excerpts from his presentation and get reaction from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

      • Amy Coney Barrett Is Not Pro-Life

        Trump's Supreme Court nominee has no regard for Americans protected by the Affordable Care Act.

      • Pro-Life is a Pedophilic Position

        For the right, the child is always in the bedroom. On the one hand the child must be made in the sex itself, on the other hand the child is always already there. The child is the woman, made to obey everything the man says, held as a second class citizen, treated as a child in a power play that sexualizes her because she’s made a child, not the other way around. The actual child is given no rights, left to fend for its own in Man’s world (in life) and in God’s world (in death) but given full rights over his mother during the time in her stomach, the very limited time the child is in a woman’s world.

        The totally arbitrary term of pro-life sees a potential life as a life when there is no reason abortion is anything more than a simple medical procedure that doesn’t relate to children at all. The attacks on Obamacare and birth control are linked because Obamacare gave women rights to contraception from their employer with some “religious” exceptions.

      • Tucker Carlson and the Cult of the Court

        Perhaps Tucker should keep a copy of the Constitution, maybe even a history book or two, on his desk (or on the table in his show’s writers’ room) to help him avoid saying stupid things like that in public.

        “Judicial review” of laws for the purpose of determining their constitutionality or unconstitutionality is far from the “only” reason for the Court’s existence. In fact, the practice isn’t even mentioned in the Constitution itself, and wasn’t firmly established until 1803 when Chief Justice John Marshall asserted (in Marbury v. Madison) that “a law repugnant to the Constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.”

      • Voter Suppression in a Pandemic Election

        Texas, for example, only allows absentee voting if voters are 65 or older, disabled, or incarcerated but eligible to vote. Even during COVID, the state won’t expand absentee voting to more of the state’s population, and they’ve fought tooth and nail in court to prevent counties with millions of residents from opening more than one drop-off point.

        Absentee voting has also been a hot-button issue in Wisconsin, where I live. During the primary election, the state failed to send many voters their absentee ballots before the election.

      • Barrett Is Poised to Become the Most Radical Right-Wing Member of Supreme Court

        During her Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Amy Coney Barrett refused to say that voter intimidation is illegal, that armed poll watchers are intimidating, that voter discrimination exists, whether the president could deny someone the right to vote based on race or that Congress has a constitutional duty to protect the right to vote.

      • The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights

        The pandemic has been terrible not only for the human body but also for the body politic. Freedom House, a think-tank in Washington, counts 80 countries where the quality of democracy and respect for human rights have deteriorated since the pandemic began. The list includes both dictatorships that have grown nastier and democracies where standards have slipped. Only one country, Malawi, has improved (see map). Covid-19 “has fuelled a crisis for democracy around the world,” argue Sarah Repucci and Amy Slipowitz of Freedom House. Global freedom has been declining since just before the financial crisis of 2007-08, by their reckoning. Covid-19 has accelerated this pre-existing trend in several ways.

      • 5M+ people barred from voting due to felony convictions: study

        The analysis found more than 5 million people are not allowed to vote due to a felony conviction. The number represents a decrease of nearly 15 percent compared to 2016 due to state laws re-enfranchising people with felony convictions. However, the number remains significantly higher than in 1976, when more than 1 million felons were disenfranchised, or 1996, when more than 3 million were disenfranchised.

        The research also found that due to wide variation in state laws, more than 8 percent of the adult populations of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi are disenfranchised. Nationwide, about 1 in 16 African American adults are disenfranchised due to felony convictions, about 1.7 percent more than the non-African American population.

      • Tragedy or Farce? Reflections on Aaron Sorkin's "Trial of the Chicago 7"

        I thought about Marx’s comment after I saw Aaron Sorkin’s recreation of the Chicago 7 trial, now a movie on Netflix. I watched it on the screen of my desktop. I wasn’t entertained and wasn’t looking for entertainment. Sorkin and the folks at Netflix would like us to think that 1968 and 2020 are mirror images of one another. That’s one of the ways they’re trying to market the film. At the same time, Bobby Seale, Rennie Davis and Judy Gumbo are trying to use the occasion of the film to generate protests here and now. All power to them and all power to the people, as the€ Panthers used to say, but there must be more effective ways of getting folks into the streets now. I’m all in favor of discussion of the film and how it does or doesn’t accurately reflect those times when the Vietnam War was at its height, and Vietnamese and Americans were dying on battlefields that were close to home for the Vietnamese and far away for the Americans.

        I’ve read articles that say that 2020 is not only a repeat of 1968, but also a repeat of 1820 and 1920. Some of those articles are entertaining. I think that more than anything they reflect a widespread feeling of confusion among citizens and voters who don’t see familiar signposts. Perhaps Sorkin’s movie will help them. But maybe not. The U.S. government seems to have given up, for the time being at least, on big show trials like the Trial of the Chicago 8, as it was originally called and then changed to the Chicago 7 when Seale was cut loose from the other defendants.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Half Of Smartphone Users Incorrectly Think They Already Have 5G

        With smartphone sales plateauing the last few years, handset vendors and wireless carriers have worked overtime trying to make 5G seem like it's something utterly revolutionary in the hopes of driving more phone upgrades. The problem: U.S. 5G is more evolutionary than revolutionary. And researchers who've been running U.S. 5G networks through their paces have made it clear that U.S. 5G is much slower than most overseas 5G networks (largely due to a lack of fiber, regulatory incompetence, and not enough mid-band spectrum).

      • California Is Putting Together A Broadband Plan. We Have Thoughts.

        Right now the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Broadband Council are collecting public comment to create the California Broadband Plan, per Governor Newsom’s Executive Order 73-20. The order’s purpose is to get a means of delivering 100 mbps-capable Internet connections to around 2 million Californians who lack access to at least one high-speed connection. These Californians overwhelmingly live in two types of places: rural and low-income urban.€ 

        California has some major broadband access problems, despite the size and reach of its economy. The state has the largest number of students (1.298 million) in the country who are unable to access high-speed Internet access. When we see kids going to fast food parking lots for Internet access, like the two little girls in Salinas, California doing their homework with Taco Bell parking lot WiFi, that is a pretty clear sign of policy failure in cities. When 2 million, mostly rural, Californian residents are dependent on the now bankrupt Frontier Communications— which received billions in federal subsidies and spent a lot of it on obsolete copper DSL instead of profitable fiber to the home—that is a pretty clear sign of both market failure and policy failure. And when studies of California cities find that ISPs are more likely to avoid Black neighborhoods with fiber in Los Angeles and have deployment patterns of high-speed access that mirror 1930s-era redlining in Oakland, we have a failure to modernize and enforce our existing non-discrimination laws.€ 

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Your brand new Oculus Quest 2 can’t play Oculus Go games, John Carmack confirms [Ed: Digital Restrictions (DRM) in action]

        If you bought a new Oculus Quest 2 with the hopes of experiencing games from the now-discontinued Oculus Go, I have bad news: the company has decided not to include support for Go titles on the Quest 2, Oculus’ consulting CTO John Carmack confirms on Twitter.

        When the Oculus Quest 2 launched three days ago, some people noticed there was no feature on the UI that allowed users to access Go apps and games, something the original Quest headset featured. Carmack did not go into much detail on why support was not added other than “[he] totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility.”

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: Fortnite users continue to make in-app purchases on iOS that bypass Apple's payment system: court filing says "Epic is stealing money from Apple"

        In yesterday's filing, Apple says it has the right to sue Epic not only for breach of contract but also for tort, given that Epic would face tort liability "if [t]c had never executed the contracts with Apple and had instead found another way to smuggle Fortnite and its 'hotfix' payment mechanism into the App Store." Apple argues that a company protecting itself against such behavior through contracts must not be in a weaker legal position than one that doesn't. What Apple does clarify is that it won't seek "multiplicative recovery" if the same conduct on Epic's part constituted both a breach of an agreement and fraud. In other words, Apple would then content itself with only the greater of the two alternative amounts.

        It appears that the "hotfix" was just a simple data point on Epic's servers--not program code, but merely a trigger. When the iOS version of Fortnite checked on that data point, it offered an alternative payment mechanism to end users in circumvention of Apple's in-app payment rules.

        After the "hotfix" that Apple says became Epic's hot mess, Fortnite was removed from the App Store. That means it cannot be downloaded to iOS devices right now, and Epic has already failed twice (with a motion for a temporary restraining order as well as a motion for a preliminary injunction) to get a court to force Apple to tolerate an iOS version of Fortnite that bypasses Apple's in-app payment system.

      • Trademarks

        • Take-Two Opposes Trademark For An Entertainment Company Running An Axe-Throwing Facility

          When it comes to my writing about trademark and intellectual property issues, there is perhaps no more flummoxing company than Take-Two Interactive. Why? Well, because the company is simultaneously the victim of a ton of stupid disputes, and also a purveyor of stupid disputes. On the one hand, we've defended Take-Two when it has been the victim of spurious claims brought against it by The Pinkerton Agency, Lindsay Lohan, and a handful of tattoo artists over athlete depictions in video games. On the other hand, we've slapped back at Take-Two when it has taken down modding tools for its games that have been around for years and years, or when the company decides to file lawsuits over fan-projects. The point is that when it comes to the pain brought by overly protectionist IP activities, Take-Two is a company that should know better, but acts as though it doesn't.

      • Copyrights

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