Archive for January, 2012

Several Billion Reasons to be More Upset

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Across America, the fit is really hitting the shan. Regular citizens are expressing well-warranted dissent, only to find out just how much their country has crept into the clutches of a police state.

The question is, why aren’t you among them? If you’re not, then here’s a few billions reasons to be upset:

To start, taxpayer-owned mortgage giant Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars speculating that U.S. homeowners won’t be able to refinance their mortgages at today’s lower rate. At the same time, Freddie Mac has been actively limiting the refinancing options available to these same homeowners.

Simply put, “Freddie Mac prevented households from being able to take advantage of today’s mortgage rates — and then bet on it,” says Alan Boyce, a former bond trader. It’s absolutely criminal what they are doing. Or at least it should be. But these greedy bankers will keep it up until the hammer of justice crushes them.

On the other side of the world, another robbery is being perpetrated. The Department of Defense has lost another 2 Billion Dollars. Whoops! Well, if they got away with it before, why would they bother to change?

These thefts are utterly reprehensible, and should, especially for those of you who are American taxpayers, rile up a foul taste in your mouth. It’s the feeling of being taken advantage of, and it will continue to happen until you get off your butt, get your voice heard, and help co-create a brighter future.

Canadians Must Crush C-11

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Well-funded lobbyists representing the special interests of media giants have, for many years now, been engaged in an all out war against the Internet as we know it. The free exchange of information fostered by the Net represents a threat to their business models. Unwilling/unable to change themselves, these behemoth corporations are looking to change the Internet, even if it means destroying everything good about it.

Here in Canada the latest front in the battle against online liberty takes the form of Bill C-11, a piece of proposed legislation that has already garnered an extensive list of dissenting organizations, representing millions of Canadian voices.

The proponents of Bill C-11, much like those who pushed the outlandish SOPA bill until it was shelved due to unprecedented public uproar, largely consists of Hollywood film studios, major record labels, and other high-level mucky-mucks who earn their keep in the entertainment industry.

Several proposals in C-11 would create what is essentially a digital lock, allowing courts to order websites blocked from Canada without the need for any proof of copyright infringement or due process. In other words, they want the right to censor the Internet on a whim, and to hell with what any of you whiny citizens may want.

Clearly this bill would be a bad thing for the majority of freedom-loving Canadians. Worse still, should this bill pass, it would give the precedence for other countries to follow suit. ‘Look, the Canucks are doing it… we should too!’

If you haven’t already done so, you need to step up to the plate. Write or call your MP, your MLA, and any other politician you can think of. Plead with your friends and family to get involved. Without sufficient backlash from the Canadian people, this bill will pass. And then the next one, then the next one, until the Internet is nothing but a portal to corporate products and their corresponding commercials.

If my words aren’t enough to motivate you, then I’ll leave you with this inspiring call to action from Redditor Stormy_Fairweather:

SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, C-11, TPP, PCIP… the writing is on the wall. Those who would rule are terrified of the internet. They are doing everything they can to choke it, to control it, to bring it under their rule.

We MUST not allow it, for the future of our species, it is time to fight, it is time to overthrow our masters, it is time we stopped being domesticated and embraced the greatness within us. Every man should be his own master, and if we do not make this happen then we will all be slaves.

For Humanity!


Occupy Rages On in Oakland

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

By now you are familiar with the routine: peaceful protesters engaged in non-violent civil disobedience meet armor-clad government-sanctioned thugs. Said security goons escalate situation by confronting and encircling large mobs of unarmed civilians. A clash ensues, tear gas and rubber bullets are fired. Many are injured, and many more are unlawfully detained. Freedom of speech takes yet another blow.

Yesterday this scene was re-enacted in downtown Oakland, as thousands of activists sought to reallocate an abandoned building, turning it into a headquarters, shelter, and symbol of something beautiful. ‘Not on our watch’ was the police response, as evidenced by the video below.

Keen observers will notice something new – the protesters are using makeshift shields along with a loosely followed phalanx formation. No doubt an adaptation learned from being shot at far too many times.

Speaking of an evolving response, cyber-activist group Anonymous released this video, along with the personal information of Oakland’s mayoral office. That’s sure to get someone’s attention.

If there’s a couple things to be learned from this, one, is that the people’s uprising isn’t going anywhere. And two, if you give humans training and a badge, along with a gun and the pretense to use it, you are pretty much guaranteed to see shots fired.

Unite Earth’s 99% to Find World Peace

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

When it comes to human organizations, be it a business, a religious institution, or the population of an entire country, what most often develops is a pyramid type structure. The leaders with the most power sit at the top, and then with each step you take down the ladder you get larger groups of people holding a decreasing amount of individual influence.

Within most of the world’s various pyramids there is a power struggle taking place between pretty much everyone involved. But the more disorganized and divided the groups at the bottom, the greater the ability for those at the top dictate what happens to the rest of the population.

These leaders, like every human on earth, are inherently selfish and will inevitably try to sway the system in their own favor, which usually means the rest of us get screwed.

Fortunately, in most places on earth, a peoples uprising has begun. The Occupy movement, the arab spring, the SOPA protests. And its not just the bottom rung getting involved. People from all parts of the pyramid have grown tired of the inherent injustice of the system.

The 99% are uniting, throwing themselves upon the levers of power. As millions upon millions of humans flip the mental switch from passive to engaged, the masses involved will be enough to force the system to function more to everyone’s benefit, and less to just those at the top.

This unification is just awesome, because once the 99% start coming together within individual pyramids, its just a few more steps to uniting the world’s 99%. And when that happens, we won’t have major armed conflicts on earth anymore. I’m talking about World peace, and it could be here within the decade!

See, war happens when leaders of one pyramid pit their own 99% against another leader’s 99%. So what ends up happening is two groups people who are pretty much the same end up fighting and killing each other when they could just as easily coexist peacefully.

Yet only with the vantage point to see war this way will we do away with it forever. And this is exactly what the Internet is giving us. Never before have we been more connected, and social cohesion around the globe will only tighten. We are awakening to see we really are one people, and that allowing our governments to wage war only worsens the world in which we all live.

Just keep uniting the world’s 99%. Together, we’ll have the power to stop the 1% who’ve been hurting the rest of us.

Rational Reefer Reform

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Oh glorious days! The war against the war on weed is advancing across many fronts. As long as this keeps up, the Western world might actually climb out of the dark ages and finally purge the plague of drug prohibition.

Up in the Great White North, the Liberal party added legalization of marijuana to their platform. Not less enforcement. Not decriminalization. Actual full fledged regulation that allows the unfettered distribution and taxation of legal weed. Take that, Harper!

Spurred forward by the frigid temperatures, Michiganders just kicked of a campaign to amend state law and legalize marijuana for use with adults over the age of 21. Go Wolverines! Or should I say Weedverines? No… Wolverines is just fine.

Members of the Centennial State – Colorado – will soon get a chance, come November, to decide whether or not they’d like to legalize possession of small amounts of the sticky icky. Finally, a law-abiding rocky mountain high!

And last but not least, prepare your bullshit protection for when the US government will be forced to justify the Schedule I status of Marijuana in court. Watch as the contortionists from the pro-prohibition side attempt to show how one of the safest and most beneficial plants on earth is actually just as bad as black tar heroin.

Opposition to drug prohibition has never been stronger than it is right now. The end is in sight. Within a few years, if all goes smoothly, we’ll be able to look back on ourselves today with the same disdain with which we view the quaint alcohol prohibitionists from last century.

Glorious days, indeed!

Poland Protests for Internet Freedom

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

(Even the Polish Parliament is up in arms.)

Upwards of 20,000 freedom fighters have taken to the streets across Poland, outraged over their government’s decision to sign the liberty-crushing treaty known as ACTA.

Many other nations, including Japan, United States and – gasp!!! – Canada, already signed the agreement back in September. Talk about flying under the radar. Of course, when passing such anti-people, pro-corporation legislation, it’s best not to inform those who are getting screwed over, lest they make a stink about it.

But it’s not too late yet. While the initial treaty has been signed, it still needs to be ratified within each country’s own legal system.

Here in Canada, for example, Bill C-11 is working it’s way into the law books. This bill would include blocking of websites and, more chilling, allow the revocation of Internet access by anyone deemed to be in violation of copyright infringement. To learn more, check out Professor Michael Geist’s comparison of this bill with the typical anti-piracy arguments put forth by media giant Viacom.

What’s really at stake here has less to do with piracy, since clever coders will ALWAYS find ways to circumvent censorship, and more to do with Internet freedom in general. The net has opened up an entirely new avenue for humankind to unite, share information, and rally behind important issues, enabling a power shift the likes of which has never been seen before.

And there in lies the real threat to the powers that be: if earth’s people actually take control over the planet, it would mean the hundred$ of billion$ currently being pillaged off humankind’s labor will end up being distributed in a far more equitable manner.

This would be bad for the oligarchs, but awesome for the rest of us, which is why it is so very important that draconian laws like ACTA and C-11 get violently crushed under the boots of millions of engaged citizens from around the world.

Capitalism is Failing – World Economic Forum Founder

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Attention Occupy protesters! You have a new, albeit unlikely, devotee: Founder and Chairman of the Davos World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab.

Yesterday, in front of some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, Schwab declared that “Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us.”

“We have failed to learn the lessons from the financial crisis of 2009,” he goes on. “A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility. The time has come to embrace a much more holistic, inclusive and qualitative approach to economic development.”

Failing to change, remarked the professor, could risk sinking the world into “dystopia”, dragged into the abyss by a “morality gap” of inequity that has “undermined social coherence”.

Wow! This dramatic shift in the narrative is a huge testament to the effectiveness of the people’s uprisings taking place around the world. Finally, issues like income inequality, social disparity, and the impact they play in global security, are taking the forefront of the debate.

There can be no peace as long as people are starving. Now, with the cards on the table, the pressing problem of poverty on our planet can be addressed by those with the most power to do so.

As for the rest of us, we just have to keep making as much noise as we can, so that our leaders have no choice but to create the more just global civilization we all desire.

Insightful Images of the Day

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Here’s two brilliant cartoons for your Tuesday reading pleasure:

It warms the heart to think that, within just a few short years, commentary like those contained in these cartoons could very well grow obsolete. Then, once we’ve done away with the war on drugs and war in general, we can look back on ourselves today and wonder why it took us so long to restore sanity to our domestic and foreign policies.

US-NATO Perpetrated Extensive War Crimes in Libya

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The invasion of Libya and murder of Gaddafi has been touted by many as the future of warfare. Why use expensive invasions and occupations when you can just drop bombs from the safety of the sky?

Well, the war may be fought by-proxy with jets and remote controlled drones, but the same atrocities remain, even if they happen to be further out of sight. There is no such thing as a clean war.

Confirming this is an in-depth report released by several Middle East Human Rights groups, presenting extensive evidence of war crimes carried out in Libya by the United States and NATO. The coalition stands accused of targeting civilian sites, including schools, government buildings, food warehouses, and private homes.

The report also shows evidence of systematic murder, torture, expulsion and abuse of suspected Gaddafi loyalists by the NATO-backed “rebel” forces of the National Transitional Council (NTC). It describes the forced expulsion of the mostly black-skinned peoples and the ongoing persecution of sub-Saharan migrant workers by forces allied to the NTC and its transitional government.

Investigators also discovered evidence of savage and repeated beatings of prisoners held without trial or charges, the summary execution of pro-Gaddafi fighters, along with witness reports of “indiscriminate and retaliatory murders, including the ‘slaughter’ (i.e., throat slitting) of former combatants.”

What’s that you say? America and NATO shouldn’t be held liable for what the rebels were doing? Of course they should! US-NATO gave the rebels carte blanche, and are therefore just as culpable for the heinous acts committed under their wing.

The lie we were sold, and what the UN mandated, was an operation to protect civilians. But, as estimated by the NTC themselves, the war took 50,000 lives and injured another 50,000 people. And now, with escalating infighting between rival NTC factions, the door is open for full-scale civil war across Libya.

So much for improving security. The only thing US and NATO secured in Libya is control over its natural resources, which were divvied up long before Gaddafi was dragged out of a hole and shot.

Don’t be fooled again. The next time the United States or NATO want to ‘help’ some other nation for whatever cockamamie reason they come up with, rest assured that unspeakable atrocities will be committed for the true motive behind war – furthering corporate interests around the globe.

Stop ACTA – It’s like SOPA on Steroids

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Something extraordinary happened this week: droves of freedom fighters coordinated an online protest which successfully stalled the notoriously flawed censorship bills, SOPA and PIPA. It was a glorious victory for the people, exemplifying what can happen when millions of us work together.

But this is no time to get complacent. A greater threat has been looming. An international treaty – in development for a few years now – has the potential to go beyond simply crushing Internet freedom.

The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – ACTA – is the product of background, closed door negotiations by appointed (not democratically elected) representatives. Whose interests do these people represent? Why, the biggest corporations on earth, of course.

Here’s some information to get you up to speed about this growing danger to the future of a free human race:

Redditor justicia311 also shares a concise analysis of the latest version of ACTA and what it could mean for our world. Scary stuff!

If and when ACTA gets shot down, there will still be more liberty-stripping bills coming down the pipe. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and this holds true for the digital realm as well.