Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 22/07/2022: The Document Foundation (TDF) Hiring, Lots of General News

  • GNU/Linux

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Convert WebP Images to PNG and JPEG in Linux

        Webp image formats are natively supported on reputable web browser platforms like Google Chrome, Opera, Brave, Edge, Safari, and Firefox. So what makes Webp image file format so unique? The lossless images associated with WebP image file formats tend to be 26% smaller than PNG images and 25%-34% smaller than JPEG images. They also have impeccable support for transparency (alpha channel).

        For one reason or another, you might need to convert raw WebP image files to PNG and/or JPEG image file formats. It could be for compatibility reasons with a project you are working on or for personal curiosity.

      • How to get byte count in a file in Linux -

        This simple tutorial will show you how to get byte count in a file in Linux. Byte is a unit of digital information that most commonly consists of eight bits. File sizes are measured in bytes.

      • TecAdminHow To Configure CORS in Amazon S3 Buckets

        The default CORS policy doesn’t allow S3 content to other origins, even if the repository is public or hosting a static website. To allow the resources accessible to other domains, you need to update the S3 buckets CORS policy.

      • H2S Media2 Ways to install AnyDesk on Oracle Linux 8 - Linux Shout

        Learn how to add the repository to install AnyDesk on Oracle Linux 8 for connecting and assisting remote systems with the help of the internet.

        AnyDesk is freemium software just like Teamviewer for allowing users to access remote computers and mobile devices for maintenance. It allows access to computers or servers from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

        The software is available for the operating systems Windows, macOS, Linux as well as iOS and Android. Data is transmitted using the TLS 1.2 (Transport Layer Security) encryption standard. This technology is recommended by the Federal Office for Information Security.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Red Hat / IBM

      • AxiosRed Hat's new CEO eyes future growth in cars and edge computing

        Raleigh-based Red Hat has tapped its head of products and technologies Matt Hicks as the new CEO of the open-source software company.

      • Red Hat OfficialAre Big Mistakes That Big Of A Deal?

        Oops. We all make mistakes. Most of the time, they’re small enough no one notices. But every now and then, we do something that makes us break into a cold sweat. The "Oops" becomes a curse, desperate pleas—or horrified silence as we process what just happened. In the moment, they’re panic-inducing. But once the dust settles, are those big mistakes that big of a deal?

        We hear three stories of people who wish they had an easy undo button. But making those mistakes taught them all something important—and changed how they do their jobs. Because those big mistakes end up being valuable lessons for the rest of their careers.

      • Red Hat OpenShift Review

        Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise-ready commercial cloud development platform as a service (PaaS) that is very helpful in developing cloud-enabled services. The family of containerization software products is built for an open hybrid cloud strategy and provides a consistent application platform to support and manage hybrid cloud, multicloud, and edge deployments.

        OpenShift was initially released on May 4, 2011, and developed by Red Hat. The hybrid cloud PaaS is built around Linux containers orchestrated and managed by Kubernetes on a foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. OpenShift allows developers to develop and deploy different types of applications on cloud infrastructure.

      • Enterprisers Project4 tips for leading remote IT teams

        In my decades of experience, the move to remote work has been one of the most difficult challenges I’ve faced. A fully remote workforce is tricky to sustain, and while having your team all in one room is great, I believe that a hybrid of remote work and thoughtful, regular in-person collaboration is the best long-term solution for everyone.

      • Enterprisers ProjectHybrid work: 5 tips to help build connections

        Businesses have spent the last year or so trying to figure out how work will work going forward. People are slowly returning to the office, but there’s no going back to the way things were. A more flexible working model has been embraced and now it’s time to put theory into practice.

        Maintaining connections with colleagues hasn’t been an easy or equitable experience for many workers. Without the in-person social norms, rituals, and ad hoc interactions, relationships have become fractured, and many employees feel disconnected.

      • Red Hat OfficialLinux skills: 9 tutorials to get more from your text editor

        When it comes to a sysadmin's daily drivers, text editors are always near the top of the list. Whether you're partial to Vi/Vim, Emacs, Nano, ed, or any of the many other options out there, you probably couldn't do your job without one of these handy tools close at hand.

      • Fedora ProjectCPE Weekly Update – Week 29 2022 – Fedora Community Blog

        This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Raspberry PiLearn how to teach computing to 5- to 11-year-olds

        Introducing children to computing concepts from a young age can help develop their interest and attachment to the subject. While parents might wonder what the best tools and resources are for this, primary and K1–5 educators also need to know what approaches work with their learners.

      • HackadaySimple Binary Watch Uses A PCB Body

        There are many ways to tell the time, from using analog dials to 7-segment displays. Hackers tend to enjoy binary watches, if only for their association with the digital machines that seem to make the world turn these days. [Vishal Soni] decided to build one of their own.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Document FoundationJoin the LibreOffice Team as a Quality Assurance Analyst (m/f/d), 40h per week, remote

        The Document Foundation (TDF) is the non-profit entity behind the world’s leading open source office suite, LibreOffice. We are truly passionate about free software, the open source culture and about bringing new companies and people with fresh ideas into our community, especially in the second decade of our project.

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayDesign Cities In A Snap With Buildify

      Designing 3D environments is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. A week ago, if you decided to design an entire city in Blender, say for a game or animation, you probably would have downloaded some asset pack full of building shapes and textures and painstakingly placed them over the course of days, modifying the models and making new ones as needed. Now, you would just need to download Buildify, feed it an asset pack, and watch the magic happen.

    • HackadayTurning The Back Of Your Phone Into A Touchpad

      Smartphones use big touchscreens on the front as a useful tactile interface. However, our hands naturally wrap around the back of the phone, too. This area is underutilized as an interface, but the designers of BackTrack found a way to change that.

    • Counter PunchThe Power of San Francisco’s Stories and Storytellers: The Olive Hackett-Shaughnessy Saga

      For much of the time that Olive Hackett-Shaughnessy told stories in San Francisco, she was a single mom, raising three kids and holding down several jobs. Before she became a professional storyteller, and made a living by telling stories five days a week, she held 36 different jobs—no exaggeration, she says— including one in a prison where her audience was literally captive.

      “She is a local treasure,” says Kathryn Grantham, the owner of Black Bird Books in the Outer Sunset. “Her ability to transport her listeners to faraway lands and epic adventures within minutes is real magic.”

    • Counter PunchDivided We’re Falling

      Our feet remain entangled in the roots of our unprocessed American past so we can’t move beyond it. We’re stuck. We’ve been stuck on the racial divide for over four hundred years!

      In fact, today half our nation is doing the self-destructive thing of erasing history from the history books, teaching kids an abomination called “patriotic history” that censors the horrors of slavery because, they say, we should not expose kids to uncomfortable material.

    • Counter PunchWhat is on the Horizon?

      When you lose your bullshit detector and have lost your path-to-truth compass, you are liable to spin off a mental fly wheel to the cockamamie. Weird men, gonzo politicians, and clowns, as Patrick Cockburn calls them (Counterpunch, July 18) calls them join with frenzied and hysterical conspiracy revelations.

      In an upside-down world, we begin to see hatred and violence, erasure, and mockery as just and moral.€ Clearly, truth and moral compasses, like democracy and plumbing in India, have a debatable order of priority. We have now lost both, although whether we ever had a moral one in the eyes of Native Americans, the descendants of black African slaves and Eve’s daughters is also debatable.

    • The NationSquare Poem: King
    • The NationSolidarity From Paris
    • The NationDavid Cronenberg’s Tableaux of Pain and Pleasure

      David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future begins with the killing of a child. One evening, in a villa off the coast of Athens, a young boy is smothered to death by his mother. It’s a heinous, unnatural crime, recalling not only lurid tabloid narratives but a more general sentiment about humanity’s lurch toward catastrophe. Beyond the villa, amid the Aegean’s waters, we glimpse a capsized vessel.

    • Education

      • Counter PunchThe Nazification of American Education

        The crisis of education in the United States presents not only a danger to American democracy, but also the ideological and structural foundations for the emergence of a fascist state. The slide towards lawlessness and authoritarianism is now aided and abetted by educational policies that are repressive and dystopian, wedded to social control and the death of the social imagination. An unimagined catastrophe now characterizes how American education is being shaped by far-right Republican Party politicians. Nowhere is this more evident than in the policies of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who is on the forefront of transforming American education into a feral propaganda tool for producing and legitimating what is euphemistically called “patriotic education.” Coercion, conformity, and toxic forms of religious, political, and economic fundamentalisms now threaten to destroy education as a democratic public sphere, however weak it may be. Institutions of learning at all levels in the red states are becoming laboratories for what I term the Nazification of American education, replicating pedagogies of repression that were at work in Germany in the 1930s.

        The mean-spirited, far-right DeSantis and his Republican allies have inverted an insight taken from the renowned, late educator John Dewey who recognized that politics required informed judgments, public dialogue, dissent, critical exchange, judicious discrimination, and the ability to discern the truth from lies. Instead of embracing these democratic elements of education as central to creating citizens with an open mind and with a willingness to engage in a culture of questioning in order to expand and deepen the conditions necessary for a flourishing democracy, DeSantis and the GOP are doing everything they can to remove such practices both from schools and other cultural apparatuses that function as teaching machines. Under such circumstances, DeSantis and the GOP are producing what Dewey claimed amounted to the “eclipse of the public,” which he considered the most serious threat to the fate of democracy.[1] DeSantis has put into place a range of reactionary educational policies. These include banning books and critical race theory, requiring educators sign loyalty oaths, and forcing them to post their syllabus’s online. He has also instituted legislation that restrict € tenure and allows students to film faculty classes without consent, and much more. [2]

    • Hardware

      • HackadayTiny Pinball Machine Also Runs X86 Code

        As arcades become more and more rare, plenty of pinball enthusiasts are moving these intricate machines to their home collections in basements, garages, and guest rooms. But if you’re not fortunate enough to live in a home that can support a space-intensive hobby like pinball machines, there are some solutions to that problem. This one, for example, fits on the palm of your hand and also happens to run some impressive software for its size.

      • HackadayBuilding A Modular Joystick For Star Citizen

        Joysticks are great for gaming, but sometimes it’s hard to find one that suits your personal playstyle. [Nixie] developed the TinkerJoy to suit their own needs, while giving it a modular design to make it easy to customize as well.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Counter PunchMedical Debt is a Rip Off

        We’ve had such infamous, high-profile scammers as Medicare fraudster (and now Florida Senator)€ Rick Scott, Big Pharma price gouger Martin Shkreli, and the Sackler family of opioid pushers. Even worse, we now face an industry-wide epidemic of insurers, hospitals, and others that are pushing higher costs onto patients and then systematically pushing those who can’t pay the full inflated tab into debt schemes.

        With bloated interest charges, payments go on for years. No wonder€ medical bankruptcies are soaring.

      • ScheerpostMedical Debt Is a Rip-Off

        Health care giants aren’t just making care more expensive. They’re putting Americans in debt bondage.

      • Common DreamsPresident Joe Biden Tests Positive for Covid-19

        U.S. President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday morning and is "experiencing very mild symptoms," the White House said in a statement.

        "He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted," said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary. "He has begun taking [Pfizer's Covid-19 pill] Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time."

      • Common DreamsPharma Mobilizes Army of Lobbyists to Tank Democrats' Medicare Drug Pricing Plan

        The pharmaceutical industry is mobilizing its army of Capitol Hill lobbyists in a last-ditch bid to tank Senate Democrats' effort to cut prescription drug costs with legislation that would, for the first time, require Medicare to directly negotiate the prices of a small number of medications.

        While Democrats' latest drug pricing plan is highly modest and limited in scope, applying to far fewer medicines than progressives wanted, advocates say it's an important first step toward curbing the pharmaceutical industry's unchecked ability to set prices as it pleases, a dynamic that has resulted in exorbitant costs for patients and the federal government.

      • Common Dreams50 House Democrats Urge Biden to Declare Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency

        Fifty House Democrats on Thursday called on the Biden administration to declare a public health emergency and boost vaccination efforts in response to the nation's rising Monkeypox cases.

        "Declare a public health emergency and use those authorities to accelerate the federal response."

      • Common DreamsMarijuana Justice Coalition Applauds 'Long Overdue' Senate Legalization Bill

        Cannabis policy reform campaigners across the United States on Thursday celebrated Senate Democrats' long-awaited introduction of legislation to legalize marijuana nationwide and begin addressing the harms of the decadeslong war on drugs.

        "The CAOA would help fuel job growth and increase opportunity for communities most harmed by our country's criminalization of marijuana."

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Private Clinics Won't Solve Ontario's Healthcare Crisis and the Sickest Patients Will Suffer the Most

        Now that it's clear Premier Doug Ford will rule over Ontario for another four years, we can begin to survey the damage he's likely to do in some key areas—like health care.

      • Common Dreams55 Dems Join GOP to Tank Tlaib Amendment Aimed at Helping Cuba Import Food From US

        Dozens of House Democrats joined nearly all of their Republican colleagues on Wednesday to vote down an amendment from Rep. Rashida Tlaib that would have made it easier for Cuba to import food grown by U.S. farmers.

        Tlaib's (D-Mich.) amendment to H.R. 8294, which funds the Treasury Department and its Office of Foreign Assets Control, would have suspended enforcement of the U.S. government's ban on financing agricultural sales to Cuba. The Caribbean island is currently in the grips of a crushing economic crisis made worse by Washington's 60-year embargo.

    • Proprietary

      • ZDNetMicrosoft Teams outage: Here’s what went wrong [Ed: Microsoft ZDNet making excuses for Microsoft]

        Microsoft has said a recent deployment that contained a “broken connection to an internal storage service” was the likely cause of an outage that left many users unable to access or use various Microsoft 365 apps for several hours.

    • Pseudo-Open Source

      • Openwashing

        • Linux Foundation's Site/BlogBosch leverages open source model; teams with PolyCrypt to tackle blockchain for the Economy of Things [Ed: Openwashing marketing SPAM]

          Some years ago, researchers realized that IoT devices would need to buy and sell from one another. In this “Economy of Things,” the items to be traded will include power, data, and connectivity. Most transactions will be fast, low value, and high frequency.

          For a company like The Bosch Group that’s active in everything from autonomous vehicles to thermal plants, the Economy of Things will touch many lines of business. That’s why, in 2017, the company’s advanced research group, Bosch Research, was looking to find a way to scale up blockchain transactions to support the Economy of Things.

    • Security

      • HackadayReverse Engineering A Phased Array System Reveals Surprising Details

        The term “phased array” has been around for a long time, but in recent years we’ve heard more and more about the beam shaping that’s possible with phased array antennae. In the video below the break, [The Signal Path] breaks down a Qualcomm 60GHz WiGig unit, and does a deep dive, even looking at the bare silicone and an x-ray of an antenna.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • TechdirtFBI Successfully Forced A Criminal Suspect To Unlock His Wickr Account With His Face

          Based on (admittedly scattershot) case law, the best protection for your phone (and constitutional rights) seems to depend on whatever device owners feel is the most persistent (or dangerous) threat.

        • EFFNew Amendments to Intermediary Rules threaten Free Speech in India

          EFF has already expressed its concerns about IT Rules’ chilling effect on Internet users’ freedom of expression and privacy. The 2021 IT Rules compel significant social media intermediaries (those with registered users in India above a 5 million user threshold)€  to deploy “technology measures” to proactively monitor certain types of content that have previously been found in violation of the 2021 IT Rules. This includes child sexual abuse material and content that has previously been removed for violating rules. Proactive monitoring will force companies to provide “automated tools”€  which require monitoring what users post and share online, and inevitably rely on error-prone filters that undermine lawful online expression.

          Online intermediaries face harsh penalties for failure to comply with the 2021 IT Rules, including a jail term of up to seven years.

          The online intermediaries are also forced to comply with strict removal timeframes, e.g., they have 36 hours to remove restricted content, and 72 hours to respond to government orders and requests for data—not allowing providers enough time to assess the legality, necessity and proportionality of the request.€ 

        • Common DreamsUS Regulators Urged to Block Amazon's 'Terrifying' Purchase of One Medical

          Privacy, antitrust, and other advocates on Thursday sounded the alarm over Amazon's purchase of boutique healthcare company One Medical, a move that one group said "opens a terrifying new frontier in surveillance of Americans by private corporations."€ 

          "You don't need to play glitchy PC games to experience the cyberpunk capitalist dystopia. The real world got real bad, and we didn't stop it."

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Counter PunchNATO’s Partnerships 360 Symposium: A Fatal Attraction?

        The PfP was a creative idea, allowing countries like Switzerland to participate in various NATO activities while not actually being members. Today, it has become even more attractive as NATO re-emerges as a major force countering Russia after its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

        But the attraction of becoming closer and closer to NATO as a military alliance risks disqualifying Switzerland as a neutral convenor and international actor. Switzerland helped Russia join the World Trade Organization and represents Russian interests in Georgia as well as Georgian interests in Russia. While joining European Union sanctions against Russia was a small step away from neutrality, becoming more and more active in the PfP could be a step too far.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | My Weekend With the 'Good Guys With Guns'

        You may find this shocking, but a little over a decade ago I spent a weekend learning how to shoot a handgun—under the auspices of the NRA. I wound up earning myself an NRA "personal protection in the home" certificate.

      • TruthOutJan. 6 Committee Will Show How Trump Was Resistant to Condemning Violence
      • Counter PunchThe Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Joe Biden and the Approaching NPT Review

        Only Israel, North Korea, India, Pakistan and South Sudan have refused to sign the NPT. Iran has signed the NPT but is regularly accused of non-compliance. South Africa to date is the only NPT signatory to have dismantled their own nuclear arsenal.

        For its part the United States though a principal negotiator in the drafting of the NPT has delayed and obstructed various efforts over many years to strengthen the treaty and fulfill the spirit and letter of the NPT: The complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

      • Counter PunchMiss Clark’s Civics Class Revisited

        The three branches of government worked, and there were checks and balances against egregious policies. Pretty funny stuff these many tattered decades later!

        During the Vietnam War, I believed Martin Luther King, Jr.’s pronouncement that the moral arc of the universe pointed toward justice. I became a war resister during the Vietnam War despite two opportunities to leave the US for Canada during that era. I believed society would become better in terms of social justice and an end to war. And the long haul from Reaganism to Trumpism and to the Biden administration’s lack of action provided opportunities to fight back, as I always did working with others in social justice and political movements.

      • Counter PunchPresident Biden and Iran: the Cost of a Missed Opportunity

        Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia last week demonstrated that Trump’s pandering to Jerusalem and Riyadh would continue in the Biden administration. The president traveled hat-in-hand to Saudi Arabia for increased oil production, and his fist bump with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was seen around the world.€  Biden’s most costly regional blunder was his failure to return to the Iran nuclear accord—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—which served the interests of Jerusalem and Riyadh, but not the interests of the United States and a global community concerned with the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

        The JCPOA, one of the genuine triumphs of the Obama administration, was negotiated by John Kerry, arguably the most successful secretary of state over the past thirty years.€  The agreement was a careful exercise in multilateral diplomacy as key European countries as well as Russia and China joined an international accord that honored the Non-Proliferation Treaty from 1969.€  Iran agreed to intrusive international monitoring from the International Atomic Energy Agency; limited the enrichment of uranium to a non-threatening 3.67 percent; dispersed€  most of its enriched uranium to Russia; and capped the number of centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium.€  Even Israeli national security experts have praised the agreement.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Why Is Biden Dangerously Joining the Warpath Against Iran?
      • Common DreamsDHS Inspector General Launches Criminal Probe Into Secret Service Text Deletions

        The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General has opened a criminal investigation into the Secret Service's destruction of text messages sent the day of and before the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

        "This is to notify you that the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General has an ongoing investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the collection and preservation of evidence by the United States Secret Service as it relates to the events of January 6, 2021," DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray on Wednesday night.

      • Common DreamsWATCH LIVE: Jan. 6 Panel Holds Prime-Time Hearing on Trump Refusal to Defend Capitol

        The U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is set to hold its eighth public hearing Thursday at 8:00 pm ET.

        Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), a committee member, explained earlier this week that the hearing will focus on what former President Donald Trump did between his speech at the Ellipse—which critics argue incited the attack—and when he finally urged his supporters to leave the Capitol.

      • Counter PunchThe “Russian Minority in Donbas” and the History of the Majority
      • Counter PunchLetter From Crimea: Bloody Sunday 1962 Brings Down the Soviet Union

        After my visit in Novocherkassk (in southern Russia) to the Ataman Palace, I ate lunch in an open air restaurant—it cost about $6 and was the best meal of the trip—and set off on my bicycle to explore the contours of what was called Bloody Saturday in the history of the Soviet Union. It was the 1962 massacre of twenty-four civilians (plus the wounding of many others) who were protesting price increases for meat and butter, plus wage cuts at the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant (NEVZ), where many of the protesters were employed.

        I knew that there was a stone marker for those killed in the massacre, and that in 2008 President Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Novocherkassk, laid flowers next to the memorial. (If he were required to lay flowers beside every site in Ukraine where the Russian government has massacred twenty-four civilians, he would have to leave government and become a full-time florist.) But it took me a while to find the small stone marker, which turned out to be about ten meters from where I had locked my bicycle outside the palace.

      • Counter PunchThe Problems with Seeking the Death Penalty in the Nikolas Cruz Case

        Cruz pleaded guilty and, as such, the sentencing could have moved on quickly, with him never being released from prison during his lifetime. Instead, prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty, resulting in months of delays for the sentencing hearing and deep trauma to the victim’s families. This is always the case when the death penalty is on the table, and in this situation, like so many, the families are split on what they prefer to be the outcome. I believe the trauma of experiencing this kind of sentencing hearing far outweighs any benefit, but I have never endured it in person. My daughter, however, is an intern with the Broward County Defense Attorney’s Office and was in person at the hearings. She described how horrific it was to sit through it, especially expressing empathy for the family members, many of whom were visibly breaking down in the courtroom.

        So, why? If Cruz could be held accountable for the rest of his life without this additional trauma for the families, why seek the death penalty at all? The Broward County Prosecutor’s Office made that answer clear—so that execution remains an option in Florida. When asked why they are spending millions of dollars for this sentencing hearing, prosecutors said that in a case like this, if they did not seek capital charges, they’d have a hard time ever doing so in future. That justification is troubling on so many levels.

      • Counter PunchProlonging War is a Crime against Peace – and a Crime against Humanity

        Article 6(a) of the London Agreement of 8 August 1945, the statute of the International Military Tribunal, defines crimes against peace as “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing”.

        In his open statement at the Nuremberg Tribunal in October 1945 the US Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson wisely observed that “while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment[1].”

      • Counter PunchDeterrencelessness: Nuclear Threats Neither Credible Nor Viable

        U.S. Air Force thermonuclear weapons, about 100-to-150 of them known as B61s, are stationed at two NATO bases in Italy, and at one NATO base each in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey. These 170-kiloton H-bombs — 11 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb — are always described euphemistically as “theater” nuclear weapons, defensive ones that are a “deterrent” to aggression.

        Of course, Russian aggression in Ukraine has shown nuclear “deterrence” to be an expensive, destabilizing, terroristic fraud. That our high, holy, sacrosanct, and unquestionable arsenal of “deterrence” did not deter Russia on February 24, 2022 is dreadfully, painfully, catastrophically obvious. Yet the nakedness of the deterrent-less Emperor has hardly been acknowledged.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | We Celebrate 10 Years of Rojava: A Visionary Social Experiment Under Threat

        Ten years ago, an auspicious experiment started alongside one of the most atrocious bloodsheds of this century. In July 2012, as Assad's troops faced an armed insurrection in southern and central Syria, a popular Kurdish-led uprising in northeast Syria quickly filled the power vacuum. By 2017, the Rojava revolution encompassed 5 million people—Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmen, Armenians, Yazidis, and others. Guided by one of the most democratic constitutions in the world, the people of Rojava have established a system of decentralised self governance based on popular assemblies, gender equity, and radical inclusion of minorities. Striving towards a post-domination, post-extractive, post-state society, the Rojava revolution rests on a deep recognition of the necessity of women's leadership at every level of social and political life, a community-based system of restorative justice, respect for all living beings and regenerative agriculture.

      • Common DreamsProgressive Lawmakers Push Biden to Stop Transferring Military Weapons to Cops

        Congressional progressives this week urged top Biden administration officials to end the transfer of military weapons to local law enforcement agencies under a program that critics say disproportionately harms communities of color.

        "It's time we demilitarize the police and abolish the 1033 program."

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The DissenterFacing Felony Trial, Joliet Police Whistleblower Who Exposed Black Man's Death Retires

        A Joliet police sergeant in the state of Illinois, who leaked footage to the press and blew the whistle on the death of Eric Lurry, has been pushed into retirement as a result of retaliation.

        Sgt. Javier Esqueda has been on desk duty since he released video and faces felony charges for “official misconduct” that involve spurious allegations that he tampered with a computer and compromised evidence. Police went outside of the county where the Joliet Police Department is located and convinced Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis to prosecute Esqueda. "I was a good cop while I was there but became the whistleblower to reveal something horrific,” Esqueda told CBS2, a local news affiliate in Chicago. He added, “I never ever fit in to that culture because I was different.” “Do you think this video would have been destroyed had you not come forward?” CBS2 Chicago reporter Dave Savini asked Esqueda. “Oh, there's no doubt in my mind it would have been destroyed,” Esqueda replied.

    • Environment

      • Democracy NowPaper Straws Are Not Enough. Only “System Change” Can Halt Climate Crisis, Says George Monbiot

        A massive heat wave has scorched much of Europe this week, with the U.K. shattering its record for highest temperature ever recorded Tuesday. We’re joined by author and environmental activist George Monbiot, whose latest column for The Guardian is headlined “This heatwave has eviscerated the idea that small changes can tackle extreme weather.” Monbiot criticizes what he calls “micro-consumerist bollocks” — an approach that presents “micro-solutions” to the “macro-problem” of climate change. “The only thing that delivers quickly and effectively is system change,” says Monbiot, who also breaks down how new technology can eliminate the West’s reliance on animal agriculture, which is one of the leading causes of the climate crisis. He also discusses the role of industrial animal agriculture in the climate crisis, which is often overshadowed by a focus on fossil fuels.

      • TruthOutNew Mexico's Megafires Are a Hint of the Climate Nightmare Ahead
      • Counter PunchNew Mexico’s Megafires Mark a Turning Point

        The Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire blazed across 534 square miles of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost extension of the Rockies. Although the fire was the largest in New Mexico’s history, it had competition even as it burned. This spring, the Black Fire, a megafire of nearly equal size, devoured forests in the southern part of the state. The combined area of the two fires is roughly equal to that of Rhode Island, the American standard for landscape disasters on a colossal scale.

        Records amassed by the Forest Service indicate that, at the fire’s peak, 27,562 people were evacuated from their homes. Four hundred and thirty-three of those homes were destroyed and more damaged, while an even greater number of barns, garages, sheds, and other outbuildings were also lost. The unquantified property damage, including destroyed power lines, water systems, and other infrastructure, will surely exceed the nearly billion dollars in damages arising from the Cerro Grande fire of 2000, which torched more than 200 residential structures in the city of Los Alamos. Meanwhile, the heartbreak resulting not just from destroyed homes but lost landscapes — arenas of work, play, and spiritual renewal, home in the broadest sense — is immeasurable.

      • TruthOutAs Congress Fails to Act, Pressure Grows on Biden to Declare Climate Emergency
      • TruthOutYoung Workers Are Bridging the Climate and Labor Movements
      • Democracy NowWith Congress Unwilling to Act, Pressure Grows on Biden to Declare National Climate Emergency

        President Biden outlined new efforts to combat the climate crisis in a speech Wednesday but stopped short of declaring a national climate emergency — a move sought by the U.S. climate movement and many progressive lawmakers. This comes after Senator Joe Manchin just scuttled Biden’s Build Back Better climate legislation and as more than 100 million people in the United States are under heat advisories. We speak with Jean Su, energy justice director and senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, who co-wrote a report detailing how the president can use emergency powers to address the climate crisis. “We’ve wasted too much time thinking about Senator Manchin and relying on Congress,” says Su. “We have to go full force on executive action.”

      • Counter PunchRoaming Charges: The Sky is Frying

        Meanwhile, this week the tarmac on the runways at London’s Heathrow Airport melted, after the temperature soared to 104F. (It had never been 100F there before at any time.) Fires burned across England, France, Portugal and Spain. The surface soil temperature in Spain spiked to 138F. People died on the streets, in their cars, on their bikes, in prisons and nursing homes. Europe’s response to this crisis is to restart shuttered coal plants.

        It’s raining where’s it’s never rained before. Ice frozen 10,000 years ago is melting into milky streams. Rivers that have run for 1,500 years are now seasonal creeks. 1,000-year floods are happening every 30 years. Forests are burning beyond their capacity to regenerate, while deserts are expanding in all directions. Alpine glaciers in the Alps and the Karakoram are collapsing. The cost of all is this enormous, hundreds of billions a year in the US alone. But one community’s catastrophe is another’s financial opportunity. Many of the same corporations driving the climate crisis and are making out on the other end “restoring” the damage–often underwritten by government subsidies on both ends.

      • Common DreamsWater From Major Greenland Ice Melt Could Fill 7.2 Million Olympic Swimming Pools

        Several days of above-average temperatures in northern Greenland caused rapid melting of the country's precarious ice sheet this past weekend, underscoring why climate scientists and campaigners are demanding more ambitious policies to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, the primary source of planet-wrecking emissions.

        "The amount of ice that melted in Greenland between July 15 and 17 alone—6 billion tons of water per day—would be enough to fill 7.2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools," CNN reported Wednesday, citing findings from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado.

      • Common DreamsDownplaying Extreme Heat, UK News Anchor Draws Comparisons to 'Don't Look Up'

        An exchange between BBC meteorologist John Hammond and a news broadcaster went viral Wednesday as climate campaigners and other observers noted its uncanny resemblance to scenes in the 2021 film Don't Look Up, in which scientists tried desperately to warn the press about a comet approaching Earth.

        In the July 14 interview on GB News, Hammond spoke with news anchor Bev Turner about the forecasted extreme heat in the U.K. and other parts of Europe, which ended up breaking previous temperature records by huge margins, sparking dozens of fires across London, and killing more than 1,900 people in Spain and Portugal.€ 

      • Energy

        • Insight HungarySzijjarto meets Lavrov in Moscow to discuss new gas deals despite EU sanctions

          "Energy security in Hungary, peace in Europe. These two tasks set the agenda for today's meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov," - Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto posted on his social media before he sat down with Lavrov in Moscow.€ 

          They discussed crucial bilateral issues between the two countries in detail. The Russian foreign minister pointed out that the bilateral trade in goods have increased by 25 percent last year despite the pandemic.

        • Counter PunchSouth Africa’s Energy Crisis Escalates

          On June 28, Eskom€ announced€ that it was going to implement “Stage 6 load shedding” due to “unlawful industrial action.” “Load shedding” is defined as a rationing measure to reduce the demand for electrical energy by imposing rotational power outages when the supply from power plants is severely constrained. South Africa’s load shedding schedule ranges from stage 1 to 8. Stage 8 represents a full-scale collapse of the grid. Stage 6 has left parts of the country with no power, in the middle of winter, for up to eight hours a day. Load shedding has become part of the everyday vocabulary and one of the defining symptoms of post-Apartheid state decay and political dysfunction.

          Gearing Up for a Collapse

        • ScheerpostWhy Nord Stream II Must Be Opened Immediately

          The energy crisis Europe will experience was created by the governments of those European countries who stop the pipeline flow of gas from Russia and whose citizens will have to bear the consequences.

        • DeSmogLiz Truss Cites Economist Linked to Climate Deniers in Defence of her Tax Cut Plan

          The current favourite to replace UK prime minister Boris Johnson has defended her plans to slash taxes by citing an economist from a think-tank with ties to the country’s main climate science denial group.

          Foreign Secretary Liz Truss referenced a Daily Express article earlier today by Patrick Minford, a free market economist who is best known for his dubious 2017 claim that a no-deal Brexit would boost the UK economy by €£135 billion per year.€ 

        • TechdirtWith The Hype Bubble Burst, Companies Try Comically Hard To Distance Themselves From NFTs

          There’s surely some utility buried somewhere underneath the monumental piles of bullshit, hype, and outright scams. But with cryptocurrency values tanking and the public losing interest, the NFT craze appears to be retreating just as quickly as it arrived.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Counter PunchLarge Trees, Bad Projects

          This, to me, is because big trees are impactful. They resonate. They are magical. There is history and wisdom in large trees that we humans will never fully be able to access. While you’re there admiring the giant for just a moment, the giant has taken in and modified the ecosystem where it stands for 100, 200, 300 years or more. The tree has been habitat for who knows how many species. It’s converted carbon dioxide to oxygen, held soil in place, filtered water, and maintained moisture regimes.

          Contemporary research shows that large trees actually transfer nutrients via mycorrhizal networks to their own offspring and exchange nutrients with other species of trees to help themselves and others survive. And we know these large trees store massive amounts of carbon, 17.2 billion metric tons in federal forests alone.

        • Common DreamsClimate Crisis Pushes Migratory Monarch Butterflies Onto Endangered List

          The International Union for Conservation of Nature on Thursday formally listed the beloved migratory monarch butterfly as endangered, citing dire threats to the subspecies posed by the climate crisis, deforestation, pesticide use, and logging.

          Dr. Bruno Oberle, the director-general of IUCN—the world's leading scientific authority on species conservation—said the new listing "highlights the fragility of nature's wonders, such as the unique spectacle of monarch butterflies migrating across thousands of kilometers," a reference to the insects' remarkable biannual journey across North America.

        • ScheerpostNew Mexico’s Megafires Mark a Turning Point

          For People, Land, and the Forest Service.

        • Common DreamsOpinion | New Mexico's Megafires Mark a Turning Point for the People, the Land, and the Forest Service

          Firefighters don't normally allude to early English epics, but in a briefing on the massive Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire in northern New Mexico, a top field chief said, "It's like Beowulf: it's not the thing you fear, it is the mother of the thing you fear." He meant that the flames you face may be terrifying, but scarier yet are the conditions that spawned them, perhaps enabling new flames to erupt behind you with no escape possible. The lesson is a good one and can be taken further. If tinder-dry forests and high winds are the mother of the thing we fear, then climate change is the grandmother.

      • Overpopulation

        • Counter Punch8 Billion Humans? Population Is a Difficult Conversation, but We Need to Start Getting Real

          While this staggering figure should alarm even the most casual observer of the various environmental and health crises stemming from the€ overpopulation that is emblematic of the Anthropocene—like climate change, deforestation, ocean acidification, food and water shortages, plastic pollution, air pollution, biodiversity loss, and the€ sixth extinction—the UN has€ advanced a false narrative, trumpeting the “story behind 8 billion and how we’ve got here… [as] a story of triumph,” saying that reaching this milestone is “a cause for celebration” with “infinite” possibilities for growth.

          “We must celebrate a world of 8 billion people,”€ writes€ Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi, the East and Southern Africa regional director for the UN Population Fund, the UN agency tasked with improving reproductive and maternal health. Others are picking up that upbeat messaging.

        • Democracy Now“It’s Already Happening”: Ugandan Activist Vanessa Nakate on Deadly Climate Crisis in Africa

          As heat waves scorch much of the globe, we look at who bears the brunt of the climate emergency and go to Kampala, Uganda, to speak with climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate. “The climate crisis has been here. It has been impacting the lives of so many people on the African continent, which is responsible for less than 4% of the global emissions,” says Nakate. “Media has a huge responsibility to cover the climate crisis, but it has a much bigger responsibility to cover the climate crisis in the places where people are already suffering some of the worst impacts.” This comes as a new study finds U.S. greenhouse emissions have caused nearly $2 trillion in damages to other, mostly poor, countries.

        • Common DreamsOpinion | The Treasury Department Could Prevent Widespread Global Starvation With No Cost to US Taxpayers

          The world is facing unprecedented levels of hunger that are growing every day with food-price increases caused by the Ukraine war. Russia and Ukraine normally account for about 28% of world exports of wheat, providing much of the main staple food in many developing countries. International food prices are up 23% over the last year, and hit a record high in March.

    • Finance

      • Krebs On SecurityMassive Losses Define Epidemic of ‘Pig Butchering’

        U.S. state and federal investigators are being inundated with reports from people who’ve lost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in connection with a complex investment scam known as “pig butchering,” wherein people are lured by flirtatious strangers online into investing in cryptocurrency trading platforms that eventually seize any funds when victims try to cash out.

      • Counter PunchHousehold Economics: Where's My $200K?

        As a creature, you have come to accept the requirement to absorb that which is not you in order to continue living. You must take in air rich in oxygen and expel air rich in carbon dioxide. If you fail to take in air or expel air for even a few minutes, your body will fail and consciousness will cease. The same is true if you fail to take in liquid for as little as a week, or fail to take in food for as little as a month, or fail to take shelter for as little as three hours.

        None of the things you need in order to survive are yours. You must take that which is not you, convert it to you, and discharge the byproduct. You are essentially conditioned to this ritual from birth. By the time you achieve consciousness, you have become resigned to the rituals of eating, drinking, sleeping, shitting and peeing. It takes much longer to realize that your food, water and shelter is not yours, belongs to someone else, and you are expected to pay for it with your labor.

      • Telex (Hungary)Several towns cancel celebratory fireworks due to economic crisis, government still going ahead with „Europe’s biggest fireworks” on August 20th
      • Counter PunchThe Fed Should Not Allow Itself to Get Bullied into Bringing on a Recession

        There are several points that this analysis misses. Most obviously, much of the inflation we have been seeing comes from food and energy, not the core. The sharp price increases in these areas have been partially reversed in the last couple of months.

        There is good reason to expect these price declines to continue. For example, the price of December oil futures is less than $91 per barrel, and for April 2023, it is less than $86. There is a similar story with wheat and a number of other important commodities.

      • Counter PunchEviction Defense in Brooklyn

        The COVID-19 pandemic has added to all of this, with mass unemployment in 2020 and 2021 signaling capitalism’s inability to handle a public health crisis. 7 in 10 renters who were behind on rent lost income during the pandemic. And to make matters worse, the overall number of renters behind on payments doubled. To ‘assist,’ the Federal government initiated its Emergency Rental Assitance program and the National Eviction Moratorium. And yet, renters were still illegally evicted by landlords. Whether that was locking residents out of their homes, illegally denying services, or harassment of a different kind, landlords abused residents’ vulnerable position in a public health crisis to consolidate their wealth.

        Yet, it was precisely because of this crisis that Brooklyn Eviction Defense (BED) found its start. After the June 2020, Black Lives Matter protests and rising discontent in Brooklyn, an illegal eviction at 1214 Dean St. and a subsequent ‘eviction defense’ led to a loose coalition of residents, activists, and organizers. From there, Brooklyn Eviction Defense would coalesce into an autonomous collective, providing support to residents in Brooklyn and across New York City, including at Eric Adam’s illegal housing sweep of “Anarchy Row” in Thompkins Square Park. What follows is a conversation between Theia Chatelle and Brooklyn Eviction Defense on their vision, impact, and desire for a revolutionary future.

      • Counter PunchLes Miserables, Living and Dying on American Streets

        As the average American single-family dwelling price stays stratospheric despite the cratering real estate market (one of the miracles of modern finance) and rents skyrocket, millions of people stare into the abyss of homelessness. “The cost of living is going up so quickly,” Johns Hopkins University professor Meredith Greif told the Washington Post July 3, “—through the price of gas and food and rent – that more people can’t afford a place to live anymore. Everywhere you turn, prices are rising, but wages aren’t keeping up.” If you think this is some fluke, some mistake, you need seriously to reconsider your take on our economy. The game is rigged, and it’s been rigged like this longer than you’ve been alive.

        In 2019, before the covid cash stimulus briefly and refreshingly altered the picture, 40 percent of Americans were unable to cough up $400 in an emergency. So for them, eviction often means sleeping in a car, tent or on the sidewalk. These people are modern-day landless serfs. And what’s happening to the rental market they depend on resembles enclosure: just as, centuries ago, English peasants were barred from farming what previously had been common land, nowadays many tenants are no longer allowed to sleep under a roof, because more and more of those single-family roofs are owned by big private companies who charge exorbitant rents, while apartments are reserved for those able to shell out thousands of dollars a month, a challenge even if you earn the supposedly princely sum of $15 per hour. The main difference between the English peasants and twenty-first century American tenants is that enclosure stole what had been a commons in England, while modern evictees had previously paid most of their meager earnings for a roof and a bed.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Only Effective Pandemic Response Is a Global One

        At their recent meeting in Bali on July 15-16, G20 finance ministers reaffirmed their commitment to coordinated action to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control and better prepare for the next global health emergency. A central topic was the creation of a new financial intermediary fund (FIF) to address pandemic preparedness and response (PPR), under the trusteeship of the World Bank and with the World Health Organization playing a central technical and coordinating role. The goal is to close some of the annual PPR financing gap of $10.5 billion and help strengthen capacities that are critical to protecting global health, including genomic sequencing and drug manufacturing.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The NationCan Trump Oust Liz Cheney From Congress?

        It sure sounded, on the evening of June 9, like Liz Cheney was prepared to sacrifice the political career she had spent a lifetime constructing in order to restore a measure of sanity to American governance. The Republican representative from Wyoming, who was raised amid the cutthroat politics of the Grand Old Party in the era when names like Reagan and Bush and Cheney still mattered, took a moment before the close of the first public hearing of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol to call out lifelong allies for choosing an authoritarian course that threatens America’s future as a constitutional republic. “I say this to my colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone,” Cheney thundered, “but your dishonor will remain.”1

        All the talk of honor and dishonor, duty and conscience made it seem as if the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney was breaking not just with her Trump-adoring colleagues in Congress but perhaps even with the scorched-earth conservatism that has defined the GOP since Cheney and her ilk embraced the hate-mongering politics of racial division, xenophobia, and big lies about everything from policing to immigration to the climate crisis. But the spell was broken by regular appeals for money to fund Cheney’s uphill bid for another term as the sole US representative of Wyoming, a state that the fiercely ambitious congresswoman desperately wants to keep as the base for her political ambitions. Liz Cheney is unwilling to accept that her future as a leader of conservative Republicans is over. The 55-year-old is not merely fighting Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election; she is fighting to outlast and replace him as the manager of the right-wing franchise in American politics.2

      • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: Smoke and Mirrors

        Zelensky’s purging of top officials ignored by Western media cheerleaders.

      • ScheerpostThe Infernal Manchin Machine

        Can Dems pass anything at all through Manchin’s buzzsaw?

      • Meduza‘If only we had the political will’: Why Russia’s rise in drug overdose deaths is unlikely to end soon — Meduza

        According to data from Russia’s Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat), over 10,000 Russians died from drug use in 2021. That’s 37 percent more than in 2020 — and twice as many as in 2019. To find out what’s causing the spike in overdose deaths, and what the government can do to prevent them, Meduza turned to Alexey Lakhov, former development director at the Humanitarian Action Foundation, creator of the Drugmap project, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association.

      • FAIRCalling Putin ‘Hitler’ to Smear Diplomacy as ‘Appeasement’

        The lie that the government and culture of Ukraine are filled with dangerous “Nazis” has become a central theme of Kremlin propaganda about the war.

      • Meduza‘He doesn’t speak out, even behind closed doors’ How Russia’s war against Ukraine forced Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to shift gears — Meduza

        Mikhail Mishustin has been Russia’s prime minister for more than two and half years — despite constant rumors about his impending resignation. Moreover, throughout his career, Mishustin has cultivated a public image as an effective manager. Nevertheless, on February 24, he was caught flat footed. According to Meduza’s sources, Vladimir Putin neglected to tell his prime minister that he was planning to wage a full-scale war against Ukraine. Meduza special correspondent Andrey Pertsev explains how the past five months of war have changed Mikhail Mishustin’s role and his public image.

      • Pro PublicaTen Floridians Charged With Fraud for Voting Before Paying Off Court Debts

        His last night as a prisoner in North Florida, Kelvin Bolton couldn’t sleep. Fifty-five years old, with a wispy goatee the same color as the gray flecks in his hair, he was about to get out after serving a 2 1/2-year sentence for theft and battery. The last time he’d seen his brothers and sisters at a big family gathering, he’d marched onto the dance floor ostentatiously, turned away and wrapped his arms around himself to caress his own back. As he swayed goofily to the music, everybody laughed.

        Now Bolton was so close to being free and seeing his family again. The next morning, a bright Wednesday in April, he was already dressed in his street clothes and cleared to go when the woman processing his paperwork stopped him.

      • TruthOutTrump’s Allies in Congress Are About to Be Humiliated in Prime Time
      • TruthOutSanders Urges Progressives to Keep Fighting: “Despair Is Not an Option”
      • Counter PunchDemocracy Down on the Constitutional Killing Floor

        But he can’t really deliver, and he knows it. His pledge goes unfulfilled because a higher, 100-person club of structurally entrenched distributors refuse to deal seriously with him and most of the other 434 “district-level” club managers.” And those “higher ups” are opposed to you getting what you want and need.

        Still, even as his failed promises pile up, your club manager comes back again and again demanding, sometimes begging more of your votes and money every two years. “The next purchasing cycle is going to be different,” he says. He “can’t make the case to the big shots above him without your votes and money,” he adds. And by the way, he says, you should try to use your votes and money to change the names and faces in the big club above him.

      • Counter PunchLet’s Rename the Misnamed GOP the BLP

        For well over a century the party of Abraham Lincoln has been referred to as the GOP — especially by the news media, whose editors love appellations that allow for shorter headlines — instead of Grand Old Party. (According to an AP report, the initials were first “coined” by a T.B. Dowden, a typesetter at at the Cincinnati Gazette, who found he couldn’t fit the words Grand Old Party into the last line of a quote of the speech by a Republican presidential candidate which ended a late-filed story about a Presidential candidate. Asking what he should do he was told by his foreman, “Abbreviate ’em, use initials, do anything but hurry up!” And so he substituted the letters GOP.0

        That name, Grand Old Party, and the shorter GOP version that was appropriated by the party amounted to an early example of branding by Republicans, and I suppose that given early Republican support for an end to slavery during the Lincoln presidency, GOP once made some sense. But over the years, the Grand Old Party has become anything bu ”Grand.”

      • Misinformation/Disinformation

        • Counter PunchDid Lawmakers Finally Figure Out That Critical News Literacy is Antidote to Disinformation?

          Keppler’s article typified the moral panic over fake news, or disinformation, which began during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and was magnified during Donald Trump’s presidency and the COVID-19 global pandemic. In response to these fears, the federal government and private industry have collaborated to determine what is truth for the public. Through public denouncements, hearings, and the threat of regulation and or trust-busting, federal lawmakers have repeatedly pressured Big Tech to remove or censor content from their platforms that they deem false.

          Meanwhile, companies such as Facebook and Newsguard, have capitalized on the moral panic, collaborating with people from the military-intelligence community to create problematic fact checking tools that purportedly determine fact from fiction for citizens. Big-tech has been found to not only remove false content from their platforms, but accurate content as well. For example, in October 2020, Facebook and Twitter famously removed a New York Post story from its platform about Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, even though the story was not false, it was unverified. The removal later proved to be unwarranted as it authenticated by other media outlets including The Daily Mail and The Washington Post.

        • TechdirtBlaming Social Media For Suicide Is Taking The Easy, And Likely Wrong, Way Out

          It’s seems to have become accepted wisdom by many — including policymakers — that social media is dangerous for kids. But every time we look at the details, the data is lacking. This is not for a lack of trying, of course. There have been tons of studies that try to make the link, but most of them fail to turn up anything significant. It’s not that there aren’t kids who are depressed and/or suicidal. There are. And many of them are on social media. Because basically all kids are these days. But making the link is what’s difficult.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • TechdirtTwo Dogmas Of The Free Speech Panic

        Antonio García Martínez recently invited me on his podcast, The Pull Request. I was thrilled. Antonio is witty, charming, and intimidatingly brilliant (he was a PhD student in physics at Berkeley, and it shows). We did the episode, and we had a great time. But we never got to an important topic—Antonio’s take on free speech and the Internet.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • MeduzaThe ‘W’ orchestra awaits you: Russian journalists identify mercenary recruiters thanks to Wagner Group billboards in the regions — Meduza

        In mid-July, Meduza published an in-depth report about Russia mobilizing mercenaries to fight in Ukraine. Not long after, billboards began popping up in a number of Russian cities featuring thinly veiled recruitment ads for the Wagner Group — the notorious private military company financed by Kremlin-linked catering tycoon Evgeny Prigozhin. Following the clues contained in the billboard ads, journalists from the independent Russian media project Verstka managed to identify a number of recruiters apparently involved in the Wagner Group’s latest mobilization campaign. Meduza summarizes the investigation’s findings here.€ 

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ScheerpostBail Reform Helps Countless People. Why Don’t We Hear More of Their Stories?

        Personal narratives can help the public understand the benefits of bail reform, but telling these success stories presents its own share of challenges.

      • TruthOutMarriage Equality Bill Could Break Senate Filibuster, Lawmakers Say
      • Common Dreams'Absolutely Nonsensical': Supreme Court Blocks Biden From Limiting Deportations

        In what one immigration campaigner blasted as "a radical, unprecedented decision," the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from resuming a policy limiting migrant deportations.

        "The anti-immigrant judicial pipeline is gushing."

      • Counter PunchRemedy for the Left's 'Substance Problem': Anger Born of Hope

        It seems to me that, especially for white people, social consciousness and unassailable self-confidence are incompatible. In examining this problem I’m not really interested in helping out a moribund left, if by “left” we mean Democrats. I’m interested in the root of the problem so well phrased by W.B. Yeats, as to why “the best” (the “best” being, let’s say, those who think about the welfare of social others) “lack all conviction.” I found a clue to this perplexing question in Lewis Hyde’s book The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World. He writes that according to the “mythology” of a market society “getting….is the mark of a substantial person…the hero [in such a society] is “self-possessed,” “self-made,” while giving (that which gifted people, i.e., artists, do), is “powerless to make a person substantial.”

        Simply put, in capitalist society, substance is a matter of wealth. Hyde’s words impressed me as an explanation for why I struggle continuously and without ever any sign of victory, with feelings of worthlessness (insubstantiality). But they also explain why those who fall under the sway of liberalism, under its banner of concern for rights and freedoms, its sympathy for the oppressed, its tendency to want the government to level the playing field, lack the self-confidence and will of those who, for instance, are now the majority opinion on the Supreme Court. Just as the artist’s gift cannot assure her of her substantiality, “bleeding heart” concerns do not provide substance for their liberal champions in a context that perceives only one kind of substance.

      • Counter PunchSinging in the Shadow of Belmarsh

        From some vantage points, there may be little relationship between the commemoration of a labor struggle involving farmworkers in 1830’s Dorset that I sang at last weekend, and the imprisonment of a journalist in present-day London.€  But for all of the folks I know who have had their eyes on this connection for one reason or other, the parallels are veritably shouting for our attention.

        In 1834, six hungry farmworkers who became known as the€ Tolpuddle Martyrs swore a secret oath, that they would organize nonviolently to better the conditions of the farmworkers of Dorset, who lived wretched lives under the thumb of the Squire, the landowner, who was also the judge for the sham trial the men were subjected to.€  They were sentenced to “transportation” — to the miserable, 111-day journey to the other side of the world, to split rocks beneath the blazing sun in Australia for seven years, a form of torture that many did not survive.

      • ScheerpostHarperCollins Workers Go On Strike

        Yesterday, workers at the “Big Four” publisher HarperCollins went on a one-day strike, protesting the company’s refusal to agree to a fair contract.

      • ScheerpostIlhan Omar’s Meddling in Horn of Africa Earns Boos at Somali American Concert

        Framed by Republican media as a backlash against Ilhan Omar’s “woke” politics, the boos of a Somali American crowd expressed growing anger over the congresswoman’s role in US meddling in the Horn of Africa.

      • The NationThe Campaign to Reverse Roe Was Always About Political Power

        When I was the age that my daughter is now, my favorite sweatshirt had the words “Choice, Choice, Choice, Choice” in rainbow letters across its front. My mom got me that sweatshirt at a 1989 rally in response to Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a Missouri law restricting the use of state funds and facilities for abortion, an early attempt to eat away at Roe v. Wade. And though many adults in the Wisconsin neighborhood where I grew up thought that message inappropriate for a 13 year old, I wore it proudly. Even then, I understood that it spoke not just to a person’s right to an abortion, but also to the respect and dignity that should be afforded every human being.

      • Counter PunchSelfishness Fuels the War on Abortion

        Contrary to the idea that men have foisted the abortion ban on women, though, the ban is a patriarchal attack by conservatives — men€ and€ women — on the rest of us.

        There’s a general attitude that forms the basis of most right-wing attacks: that the denial of rights will only affect someone else — someone who deserves it. But when conservatives are personally impacted, they’re an exception.

      • Common DreamsNearly Every House Republican Votes Against Codifying Right to Contraception

        With many lawmakers expressing disbelief that a law codifying the right to use birth control is needed in the U.S. in 2022, House Democrats passed the Right to Contraception Act on Thursday—joined by just eight Republicans as the party denied access to contraception is under attack.

        All 220 Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

      • TruthOutThe Supreme Court Cited “Ordered Liberty” to Overturn “Roe.” What’s Next?
      • Common DreamsHouse Dems Urge Private Mail Carriers to Protect Access to Abortion Pills

        Five Democratic lawmakers called on private mail companies on Wednesday to ensure their customers' privacy rights are protected as more people are likely to rely on the mail to obtain medication abortions.

        "In the event that your employees become aware that a package in their possession contains abortion medication, they are under no obligation to alert law enforcement."

      • The NationIn These 6 States, Abortion Rights Are Literally on the Ballot

        One evening in early July, Shakti Rambarran called her boss from her car, crying. On the other end of the line, Taryn Gal, executive director of the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health, felt a wave of panic at the after-hours call. The Supreme Court had just overturned Roe v. Wade, and Michigan’s 91-year-old abortion ban was on hold pending a court battle.

      • The NationThe So-Called “Pro-Life” Movement Couldn’t Care Less About the Living

        Ever since Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Dobbs was leaked, some anti-abortion writers have been saying that the “culture of life” means supporting pregnant women and their babies, too. “For many pro-life and whole-life leaders,” says the Anglican priest and New York Times opinion writer Tish Harrison Warren, “this Supreme Court decision would represent a starting line, not a finish line.” She asked a sampling of those leaders what should come next, and to be fair, some of their ideas are what progressive feminists have been demanding for decades: paid parental leave, affordable housing, child care, and other anti-poverty, pro-family measures.

      • ScheerpostDobbs Is an Attack on Us All

        As a Christian theologian and pastor, Liz Theoharis writes that she has been deeply disturbed by the growth of the Christian nationalist movement.

      • TruthOutHouse Passes Bill Barring States From Restricting Access to Contraception
      • Democracy Now“Morons”: George Monbiot Compares PM Race to Viral British TV News Clip Questioning Climate Science

        Following the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have advanced to a runoff to succeed Johnson as Conservative leader, which would also make them prime minister. Both candidates would be “utterly devastating” for the U.K., says Guardian columnist George Monbiot. “What these people have to do to become prime minister is really to appeal to the worst instincts of humanity.”

      • Counter PunchFighting Back Against the Forever Lockup

        Let’s return to the US, where approximately 2 million people are in jail or prison on any given day, while another three million or so are under some kind of supervision by prison-related authorities (parole, probation, etc.) This includes more than thirty thousand immigrants with no criminal charges against them. The Black population in the United States, which history tells us has been considered “surplus” ever since slavery was eradicated by war, is grossly over-represented in the nation’s criminal justice system, with those of Latino heritage similarly affected. As Ruth Wilson Gilmore points out in a recently published collection of essays and talks, this is not an accident. Indeed, the development of this phenomenon is part and parcel of economic and governmental policy to the extent that observers have called it the prison-industrial complex and industrialized incarceration.

        I imagine some of those reading this have done time. Whether it was a few days or many years, anyone who has been behind bars knows the finality of the doors clanging shut, the guards pushing food through the slot, the fear that one will not get out alive, and the almost constant undertone of fear and violence—from the guards or other inmates. The fear is real. When one realizes they are inside for an offense that those with more money or from a different neighborhood would either not be imprisoned or even arrested for, that fear deservedly turns to anger. Unfortunately, the power of a prisoner to change the law that put them inside is at best limited, even when organized into groups.

      • TruthOutLululemon Workers in DC Become the Latest to Join Retail Union Wave
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • TechdirtCanadian Government Really Wants People To Ignore The Text Of Its Streaming Regulation Bill

        Canada’s Bill C-11, which will hand the country’s broadcast regulator new powers to set rules for all kinds of online video and audio content, was rushed through an undemocratic sham of a “review” and then passed in the House of Commons by the reigning Liberal government. Now, it’s sitting in the Senate where the last hope of preventing it rests on Senators sticking to their assertion that they won’t be pressured by a government that is clearly intent on making it law without addressing any of the myriad serious concerns about what it would do. In the mean time, the office of the Heritage Minister (the driving force behind C-11) seems intent on continuing with the pattern it has established ever since the bill was first introduced as C-10 in 2020: ignoring or dismissing all critics, and insisting that the actual text of the bill doesn’t matter.

      • TechdirtFCC Boss Wants To Define Broadband As 100 Mbps, But May Not Have The Votes

        The US has always had a fairly pathetic definition of “broadband.”

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakYouTube Processed Nearly 1.5 Billion Content-ID Claims in 2021

          The latest edition of YouTube's copyright transparency report reveals that the streaming platform processed almost 1.5 billion Content ID claims last year. This figure represents roughly 98% of all copyright claims received by YouTube. Most of these complaints are handled without human intervention, but a small error rate still triggers millions of disputes.

        • Torrent FreakMeta Hit With Massive Piracy Lawsuit Over Epidemic Sound Royalty-Free Music

          Meta has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit demanding at least $142 million in damages. Epidemic Sound, a company that provides royalty-free music to YouTubers and other creators, claims that Meta hosts 94% of Epidemic's music in its own library, none of it licensed. According to Epidemic, this has resulted in billions of illegal views across Facebook and Instagram.

        • TechdirtFacebook Is So Sure Its Erroneous Blocking Of Music Is Right, There’s No Option To Say It’s Wrong

          It’s hardly a secret that€ upload filters€ don’t work well. Back in 2017, Felix Reda, then Shadow Rapporteur on the EU Copyright Directive in the European Parliament, put together a representative sample of the€ many different ways in which filters fail. A recent€ series of tweets by Markus Pössel, Senior Outreach Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, exposes rather well the key issues, which have not improved since then.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Mardo, Merkredo, kaj Ä´aÅ­do

        Fr. Thermos talked about premodern, modern, and postmodern thought, and what that means with regards to Christianity. I was surprised to see mention of The Spectacle in his talk.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It's like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp to Decide the Fate of Julian Assange in About Three Weeks
Will he be back home in Australia by year's end?
Treating Them as Teammates, Not as Political Props, Trophies, or Objects
Most of the world's people are women
Belarus: Bing Fell From 1.1% to 0.6% Since Microsoft Started the LLM Hype (Yandex is 50 Times Bigger Than Bing)
Now enter Belarus
Australia: Bing Lost Market Share Since the LLM Hype ("Bing Chat")
Google rose, Bing went down
[Meme] Canonical Has Basically Become Novell II
Today's Canonical...
[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
It Took Microsoft More Than 3 Years to Get a Quarter of Windows Users to 'Upgrade' to Vista 11 (3 Out of 4 Windows Users Still Reject It)
That is exactly what's happening right now
[Meme] The Empire
Don't be like Putin
They Want 'Transparency' Only for the General Public (Every Bit of Communication Available to the Government, Usually Via Corporations)
The EU might decide to effectively ban SSH
Free Software Won't Fix Equality, But It Helps
Let's examine Free software in the context of: 1) money. 2) justice.
Links 19/06/2024: SFTP and Gopher Milestone
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 18, 2024
US Surgeon General's Advice on Social Control Media (and "Smart" Phones) Seems Reasonable
People forget what the real world is about
Quiet at Planet Debian has not had any updates since 5 days ago
Morale at Microsoft Sinks to New Lows
The annual 'Employee Signals' survey showed a drop from 69% to 62% in positive responses
Microsoft Windows is Being Abandoned in the UK, Relative to Other Platforms (New All-Time Lows)
Windows at new lows
Links 18/06/2024: More Executives Leave Microsoft, Attacks on the Press in Russia and 'Exile'
Links for the day
[Meme] Always Livecasting
Wait Till Systemd-Recall
Gemini Links 18/06/2024: Unconscious Consumption and Firewall Autoban
Links for the day
While Everyone is Furious at Vista 11 (Over TPM, Recall and Other Malicious 'Features') Canonical is Selling It to People
So the only thing Canonical says about Windows is that you should give it a try?
Links 18/06/2024: Adobe and Internet Archive in Trouble
Links for the day
Peter Duffy Explains SystemD
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters
Jean-Pierre Giraud, Possible Forgeries & Debian: elections, judgments, trademark already canceled, archaeologist
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Six on the Beach: After Losing Six Continents Microsoft is Losing Oceania Too
Based on the 6- or 7-continent view of the world
Links 17/06/2024: Mass Layoffs Accelerating in Tech, Concerns About Impact of the Net
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/06/2024: Hyprland Analysed and No Use for Betrusted
Links for the day
Microsoft Can Never Make a Comeback Anymore, the Community is Shutting It Out
We're relying on the real community, not fake ones or coopted ones
The World is Becoming (or Has Already Become) Linux
An intercontinental success story
Georgia: Bing Share Fell by Half Since 'Bing Chat' (LLM Hype), Fell Behind Yandex As Well
Georgia's situation is interesting
[Meme] Community of People to be Exploited, Then Thrown Away, Left Behind or Even Slandered front page
Alexandre Oliva's FSF disposition
During my recent trip for LibrePlanet, I was fortunate to have, or at least start, long conversations with nearly everyone in FSF staff
[Meme] SPI and 'FSFE': Sponsored by Microsoft to...
women's instincts do not matter to these strongmen
One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
[Meme] Shitburger of an LLM
IBM and the Hololens
Links 17/06/2024: Chatbot Nonsense Thrown Under the Bus (Severe Failure, Pure Hype), How to Finance Free Software 'Hackers'
Links for the day
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day