Richard Stallman's Political Notes
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Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
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12:00 am
Urgent: Biden and fossil fuels

US citizens: call on Biden to sign the no-fossil-fuel-money pledge.

If you sign, please spread the word!

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12:00 am
Women's driving rights activists

Salafi Arabia is putting women's driving rights activists on trial, with reporters and diplomats excluded from the courtroom. This may be a way to prevent verification of their charges of torture. If they have cracked and confess, no one will be able to say that they seem to have been brainwashed.

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12:00 am
'Alternative' treatments on Netflix

Science writer Ginny Smith accuses Netflix of promoting "alternative" treatments based on discredited, or imaginary, evidence.

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12:00 am
Combatants for Peace

Combatants for Peace is a joint Arab-Jewish organization that campaigns nonviolently for reconciliation between the two peoples. The word "combatants" refers to the fact that its founders were former fighters on both sides.

The US just blocked one of its Arab activists from visiting the US for a speaking tour.

The border thugs gave no explanation for the decision, but he says that the questions they asked him were about the organization.

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12:00 am
Zakaria Zubeidi

Israel has arrested a Palestinian who opposes the occupation with political theater.

He has been held for two weeks, with no charges yet. I suppose they are aiming for a false confession of something or other.

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12:00 am
Wing flap

(satire) Butterfly Fears Damaging Our Timeline with an Ill-Judged Wing Flap.

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12:00 am
Intervention in Venezuela

Guaidó has suggested he will invite US military intervention in Venezuela. The US is removing its diplomats, suggesting an intention to attack.

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12:00 am
BirthStrikers

BirthStrikers — an organization of people who refuse to have children until we avoid global heating disaster.

The article's discussion of how laws and individual decisions can affect the future population is flawed. It may be true that a global one-child policy would not make the population smaller by 2100, but simply reducing the increase is a step away from disaster.

I agree that individual decisions are not enough to avoid disaster, but the conclusion from that is a reason to push for more.

I think that convincing many people not to have children is a goal we should work for. The fact that so many people report being unable to resist natalist pressure on their own shows how much room there is to make progress.

There are many other reasons not to have children.

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12:00 am
Production in the West Bank

A UN investigation compiled in 2013 a list of companies involved in production in Israel's colonies in Palestine's West Bank. The UN has kept the list secret, under pressure from the US.

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12:00 am
International trade

Walden Bello, cofounder of Focus on the Global South, summarizes how the WTO arranges "the corporate capture of international trade" based on an ideology disconnected from economic facts.

He does not mention the harmful political effects of business-supremacy treaties.

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12:00 am
Arab-Jewish leftist party

A subcommittee of the Knesset voted to ban an Arab-Jewish leftist party from running for election, based on its political position.

Mainstream (right-wing extremist) politicians are calling it "terrorist".

One candidate was banned for advocating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

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12:00 am
Warren's Facebook ads

Facebook blocked Senator Warren's ads that called for breaking up Facebook.

It reminds me of when Amazon remotely deleted copies of 1984: so ironic that it is hard to believe they wouldn't know better.

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12:00 am
Face recognition for flights

The US is using international flights as an opportunity to impose more face recognition.

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12:00 am
Toxic Products

Explained: the Toxic Threat in Everyday Products, from Toys to Plastic.

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12:00 am
Plastic ban

The UK will ban more single-use plastic items.

I am in favor of this, but what we really need is a general system to make sure non-durable plastic items are practical to recycle.

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12:00 am
Captive Activist

UN Rapporteurs Urge India Again to Release Ailing Activist-Academic G.N. Saibaba.

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12:00 am
Trade War

China and the US are starting a world-wide competition for which will control digital technology and networks.

What is the role of human beings in this competition? We are supposed to be prey — the little bits of "land" that they will compete to dominate, monitor, and control.

Therefore, the battle that matters for us is between the tech companies of the two superpowers, and people.

We, the people, need to defeat both of those competing "sides" that aim to control us.

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12:00 am
Detained Immigrants

The US deportation thugs put their immigration prisoners into solitary confinement (which drives people mad) as the default method for dealing with anyone who is inconvenient. Including those who are mad. Including those who are mad as a result of solitary confinement. Including those who tried to kill themselves to get out of solitary confinement

I suspect the staff do this because they hate immigrants and are eager to hurt them. Here's a report about a thug that vented such hatred many times, and came close to murdering one border-crosser.

It does not follow that all the border thugs are as bad as he is. But they didn't treat his salivating, murderous hatred as a problem, which implies that this hatred is more or less accepted among them.

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
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12:00 am
Future of Capitalism

"Capitalism used to promise a better future. Can it still do that?"

Capitalism generally provides a better future to those who have political power. Historically, that included most workers only when and where governments helped the workers demand that. In the US before the New Deal, bosses often crushed unions with violence using thugs such as the Pinkertons.

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12:00 am
Climate Journalism

Bill Moyers's speech to a conference on climate journalism: "Soon, some of you will be traveling to the ends of the earth to report on this Great Disruption" — the effects of climate mayhem.

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