Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Democracy for Hong Kong

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

When free markets and democracy get skewed by the power and influence of large business, we get the bastardized version of capitalism called corporatism. And when corporatism is allowed to run amok, the top 1% of 1% of the people consistently get richer and more powerful while everyone else systematically grows poorer.

Case and point, Hong Kong. Touted as one of the world’s freest markets, it is producing a record number of new millionaires. The formation of these newly rich comes at a heavy toll: the bulk of the Hong Kong people facing a 30 year high for income inequality.

Given that the corporate stranglehold over their government is set to tighten, they have little hope to reform their state using existing political channels. Any politician that rises to power will already be part of the corrupt game, and any real revolutionary figure would be weeded out well before taking a seat in office.

This leaves few options. One thing the people of Hong Kong could do is unite. By taking the streets, coordinating and mobilizing online, they could forge an entirely new democratic mechanism and channel the warranted angst from the vast majority of the people into tangible political clout. Only then will their voice be heard, and only then will they get the reform they desire.

What the Hong Kong people are going through serves as a microcosm for what the bulk of humanity is experiencing. Right now, powerful forces are subtley yet steadily stripping power away from the entire human race in order to widen their already mind-numbingly fat coffers.

For years now, every single one of us has been under threat of an impending corporatist plutocracy. Only with unity and solidarity will we have any hope to overthrow our billionaire overlords and their minions.

Fortunately, this is already happening. The world’s people are waking up. Slowly but surely, our global eyes are opening, allowing us to see ourselves for the first time. And one thing we will quickly learn is just how powerful we can be when we work together. After that, it’s just a matter of steering our species towards a more just civilization for all.

Big Brother in the Great White North

Friday, June 8th, 2012

We protested. We rallied. We petitioned. They didn’t care. No matter how vocal we Canadians have been against ludicrous surveillance bills and privacy eroding legislation, corporately-owned politicians like Vic Toews refuse to quit their attempts to force unwanted rulings into Canada’s law books.

What is it this time, you ask? None other than our old nemesis Bill C-30. Except now that it’s been reanimated, it has extra ghoulish powers, like giving warrantless surveillance not just to Canadian agencies, but also to US authorities who would then have access to our private information.

The bill is not without it’s dissenters. According to, “nearly two-thirds of opposition MPs” stand against Bill C-30, a number sure to grow the more noise the public makes.

Still, as Law Professor Michael Geist points out in a lengthy yet insightful posting, the Intellectual Property Lobby tends to ignore facts in favor of ideology, looking at counterfeiting and piracy as vile evils to be fought at any expense.

But, as pointed out by myself and others, the fight against file-sharing stems from a few behemoth media companies sporting archaic business models that won’t adapt to today’s market. So they do the only thing they can: try to pass laws that protect their bottom line no matter the greater cost to society.

It’s sad and scary to think our elected officials are working so feverishly to screw us all over. Worse still, if the public keeps shutting down individual bills, the Tories might just cram them all together into next year’s omnibus budget bill and then ram it through parliament.

Just 3 more years. 3 more years? Oh man.

Tories to Tax Dancing

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

(The prudish townsfolk from Footloose approve of this new legislation.)

The Copyright Board of Canada has initiated new fees to play recorded music at large gatherings, like weddings and parties. If there’s fewer than one hundred people, the fees start at $9.25 per day.  400 guests will cost $27.76.  And get this… if dancing is involved that fee doubles to $55.52.

What an asinine load of horse manure. Why would the crowd’s reaction to the music being played have any impact on the royalties owed?

Not that artists are likely to see a dime from this new tax. Nope, any money reaped is sure to go squarely into the hands of recording industry executives, helping them to fund another round of ludicrous litigation against the entire population.

On the bright side, it’s crap like this that is fueling humanity’s uprising against corporate rule. A few more encroachments might be all it takes for society to snap, forever ousting these cronies from power.

Who Keeps Pot Illegal?

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Alternet writers put up a concise piece highlighting 5 Special Interest Groups That Help Keep Marijuana Illegal, something worth knowing if you didn’t already.

The 5 groups listed are:

  1. Police Unions
  2. Private Prison Corporations
  3. Alcohol and Beer Companies
  4. Pharmaceutical Corporations
  5. Prison Guard Unions (more…)

So Long Privacy, Hello Transparency

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Patsy politicians pandering to plutocratic priorities threaten to pilfer our precious privacy. Lousy legislation like ACTA, SOPA and now CISPA have come to the forefront of this fight, and these bills will all be, hopefully, crushed without mercy beneath  the feet of millions of vigilant citizens.

Still, as disheartening as it may be to hear, these exercises could ultimately prove pointless because privacy is fast going extinct. (more…)

Worth Watching: Uprising 2012

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Here’s the best call to action I’ve seen in a while: Uprising 2012 by the Freedom Information Network.

For a video like this to have a dramatic effect on the population it would have to be seen by millions and millions of people, like Kony 2012.

Still, humans are fast approaching a state ready for this to happen. Maybe not quite yet, but it won’t be long.

In less than 5 to 10 years, the world’s social consciousness will be prepped for radical ideas to sweep through, fostering upheavals to the status quo, enabling a wide-spread redistribution of power and a reposition of priorities.

When humanity awakens as a species, nothing will ever hold us back again.

CISPA: The Return of SOPA

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

We knew this day would come. SOPA – the Internet-destroying bill we rallied together to destroy – is back! Legislators, hell-bent on crippling digital freedoms and stifling the incredible power of social media, have drafted a bill which is even worse than the one we shot down.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) forces Internet providers and other online businesses to hand user data over to government agencies upon request, no warrant or court oversight needed.

What’s the big deal?, you may ask. They just want to stop rampant piracy, right? That’s what the pretense is, but the subtext is to give more tools for the government to quash dissent.

Just as the PATRIOT act was supposed to fight violent extremist but ended up being used for non-terror related crimes, CISPA is likely to be used for silencing critics and impeding social uprisings rather than tackling what mega-corporations deem to be illegitimate file-sharing.

This means it’s time to, once again, rally the troops. We cannot tire. We cannot relent. Corporations will never cease trying to strip us of our power, so we can never stop fighting for our rights.

Ideally, this time we will rise in such great numbers, with such a tremendous fury, that anti-Internet legislators will think twice before drafting the next cockamamie bill they try to push down our throats.

Cloud Computing… For Real!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Watch out for more drones in the sky! Only this time, instead of bombing innocents and invading privacy, new unmanned aircraft are being designed to host Internet web sites.

The Pirate Bay – the world’s largest free information enabler – announced plans to develop and release so-called Low Orbit Server Stations, which will fly above international waters to serve the world’s file-sharing community.

So, once launched, even if some corporate lobbyists manage to convince governments to execute a take-down on The Pirate Bay’s servers, their raids will prove futile, since the information they seek will be, literally, up in the air.

For now, the idea is just that, an idea. There are several technical issues to overcome, including building solar powered aircraft that can hold computing equipment and networking devices while staying airborne 24 hours a day.

Still, once completed, the implications will be awesome!

ACTA, PIPA, SOPA, C-11, and whatever other censorship nonsense the government tries to impose on us will be no match for human ingenuity. If they want to crack down on our free Internet, we will build a new one.

Picture thousands of wireless hotspots forming a meshed network, mounted on rooftops, street poles, cars, and robotic drones hovering above, to provide everyone with free access to an unrestricted Internet.

With 3D printers churning out more amazing stuff every day, and solar getting so effective and accessible, a decade or two is all it will take to deploy an indomitable mesh Internet across all of earth’s major hubs.

Hooray! One more blow to the encroaching totalitarian regime.


Occupy Democracy

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Former VP Al Gore and online entrepreneur Sean Parker spoke this week at the SXSW conference in a riveting tete-a-tete which left the audience clamoring for more.

“Our democracy has been hacked!” says Gore, comparing the special interests in the political spectrum to malicious users in the cyber-realm.

It is time, Gore believes, to form a “Wiki-democracy” of “digital flash mobs calling out the truth” and “a government square that holds people accountable.” And the best way to do that is to leverage the online realm and social media in ways that will “change the democratic conversation.” (more…)

Make Cops Wear Cameras

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Imagine if cops had to wear cameras where the video is streamed to a public database. How would they act with an unblinking and unbiased witness forever leaving them open to the people’s scrutiny?

Here’s my prediction: there would be less abuse of power. Police misconduct happens when they know they can get away with it. But under and ever-present eye to watch them, they’ll find it much harder to abuse the authority they’ve been entrusted with. (more…)