Richard Stallman's Political Notes
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Saturday, December 14th, 2019
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12:00 am
Peak meat

*Reach ‘peak meat’ by 2030 to tackle climate crisis, say scientists.*

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12:00 am
Power of human emotion

*Populists understand the power of human emotion. Europe’s liberals need to grasp it, too.*

I think that a passionate defense of liberal democracy must also be compassionate towards the millions that have been deprived by the plutocracy that has manipulated it for its own gain. In other words, we must defend liberal democracy as a platform for the many to defeat the plutocrats with.

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12:00 am
Gang rehabilitation

Oakland, California, has raised taxes and spent them on gang rehabilitation programs that have reduced murders by 30%.

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12:00 am
Billionaire privileges

The trial of the libel suit against Elon Musk exemplifies how billionaires have made themselves into a legally privileged class — not entirely above the law, but treated with privileges.

Compare, for instance, how Bill Gates was able to make US schools twist education around a standardized test.

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12:00 am
Binational people's bank accounts locking

There must be over 100,000 Europeans who have US citizenship but don't know it. Due to a threat from the US, European banks may now freeze their accounts.

I think it is entirely reasonable for the US to demand its citizens pay taxes on large foreign income. (ISTR that there is already an exemption for up to a certain amount.) However, The US should revise the FATCA law so that the tax applies only to FATCAts, and only to people who have acknowledged US citizenship in some way since attaining adulthood.

The EU should do more than just beg the US to back off. It should protect its citizens by setting up alternative banks which do no business in the US, and legislating that banks which close accounts under threat from FATCA must move the accounts to the alternative banks rather than freeze them.

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12:00 am
Low shopping celebrations

*Berlin’s rubbish collection service is urging [people to celebrate by] shopping less, choosing to eat rather than throw away leftovers, and doing a good turn for a neighbour.*

Bravo!

You could also celebrate Grav-Mass.

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12:00 am
Ukraine and Russia

*Could peace between Ukraine and Russia finally be at hand?*

Putin started that war because having a war there would be convenient for him. The Russian-speaking rebels depended on Russia's military support all along, and without it, I think they would accept some kind of autonomy as part of Ukraine.

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12:00 am
Answering to lie evidences

*'Let's Bring Rumsfeld In': Khanna Calls for Hearings on US Officials Who Lied to American People About Endless Afghan War.*

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12:00 am
Less bad NAFTA

*NAFTA 2.0 Is an Assault on Food, Air, and Water.*

Balancing these new injustices against the elimination of part of the current NAFTA's injustices, I think the new one is less bad.

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12:00 am
Silencing boycott

The bully plans a sneaky, indirect move to force US universities to shut down student groups that support the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to end Israel's military occupation of Palestine.

On all issues pertaining to Israel, I ask myself, "What would Uri Avnery do?" Avnery, who grew up in Germany and saw Nazis in power, compared the oppression of Palestinians to the Nazi oppression of Jews. in the 1930s. He used the term "Araberrein", meaning "without any Arabs", to describe Israel's real goal for the West bank, as a reference to the Nazi term "Judenrein".

A legal requirement for people to keep silence about this truth is political censorship.

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12:00 am
How will we pay for it

Nonprogressive US legislators gave the Pentagon even more than the war-lover asked for, and didn't raise the question of "how will we pay for it"

That question is raised whenever progressives propose to protect non-rich Americans from the bigger dangers — hunger, homelessness, mounting debt, surprise medical expenses, and global heating disaster — because the wealthy believe they can cope with those problems on their own, by abandoning the rest of their country.

They may be right, in regard to most of those dangers. Rich people are not likely to lack money for food, shelter, or medical care. But they can't save themselves from global heating disaster alone.

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12:00 am
Targeted political ads

Facebook pressures political organizations to show ads only to people that Facebook believes support them. It charges extra to show the ads to anyone else.

This has the effect of encouraging twofaced campaigning.

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12:00 am
Poverty line

The Republicans' next attack against the poor: a scheme to underestimate the poverty line even more in the future.

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12:00 am
Arctic

Global heating effects in the Arctic are already disastrous.

Global heating in the Arctic may already have passed tipping points so that it would be difficult to stop.

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12:00 am
Detrumpification

Defeating the bully is the first step: after that, we will need detrumpification of the nonelected officials of the US government. To do this will require a substantial progressive victory and the will to do the job.

One part of this process must be to increase the size of the Supreme Court so as to dilute away the influence of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

Friday, December 13th, 2019
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12:00 am
Urgent: no new Trump tax scam

US citizens: call on Congress to oppose any new Trump tax proposal and repeal the 2017 tax scam.

If you call, please spread the word!

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12:00 am
Brazilian meat

*Don't invest in Brazilian meat, warn deforestation campaigners.*

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12:00 am
Weaponized humans

Nadine Batchelor-Hunt: During this election I have felt my Jewishness and my blackness frequently weaponised, sometimes pitted against each other. I have cried, I have been angry, and I have often found it impossible to articulate how horrific this has all been. … Labour has admitted fault on the issue of antisemitism and begun to reform in a way that the Conservative party has not.

She seems to have been mapped by intersectionality into the empty set.

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12:00 am
Factchecking Aung San Suu Kyi

*Factchecking Aung San Suu Kyi's claims over genocide allegations.* Many of them are at best half-truths.

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12:00 am
Antibiotics

*Americans take fish antibiotics because it's cheaper than a visit to the doctor.*

It is bad for society as a whole when people people get antibiotics on their own and use them without seeing a doctor. They are likely to use antibiotics when they shouldn't be used. That tends to promote antibiotic resistance.

Medicare for All would avoid this problem by making it easy and cheap to see a doctor and cheap to fill the prescription.

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