Activist Comics: Disclosure

If someone was talking shit about you, wouldn’t you want to know who it was? And if it was $145 million worth of shit you were buried under, wouldn’t you be outraged and demand to know who was dumping all this excrement on top of you, and why?

Well, here we are: After $145 million of anonymous spending in the midterm elections, the American public remains none the wiser as to who not only wanted to spend fortunes influencing politics, but needed to do it without exposing their identities and their motives. Insomuch as political spending is largely an investment made by eager pay-to-players looking to get a massive return in the form of tax breaks, contracts, or legislative deference, how much worse must these interests be if they need to keep their motives secret?

There are some — such as Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, and fulminating lawyer James Bopp — who believe there should no disclosure on spending in elections at all, because that might expose a particular donor to criticism from others, which then would make them hesitant to give large sums to unpopular causes, and that is JUST LIKE restricting their First Amendment right to free speech.… Read the rest

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Memories Transplanted With Organs

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I recently came across an interesting and novel phenomenon via a remarkable fact I read on Kickassfacts.com. It seems organ recipients sometimes have living memories or peculiar affinities which somehow carried over along from their donor. Can the ‘Ship of Theseus’ that arrives with new oars, planks, and sail be considered the same ship that left port?

Ethically, very few religions around the world actually have a problem with organ harvesting and transplantation. With reference to harvesting from the brain-dead, Pius XII said that knowledge of when death occurs is the domain of medical science. However some Judaic authorities take issue with harvesting the organs of a brain-dead individual because anything that will stop the heart beating causes death. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses have changed their stance since the 1980s, excluding the acceptance of an organ from their definition of cannibalism (which includes accepting blood transfusions).

However, no religions to my knowledge presently acknowledge the idea that a person may somehow be incarnate after their death when another person has accepted that person’s organ.… Read the rest

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Young French Maker 3D Prints a Replica of His Fiancée

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via 3D print:

When French 3D design company Le FabShop set up its booth near the Shapify space at the Autodesk Pop-Up Gallery in Paris last October, one young designer with Le FabShop, Samuel N. Bernier, could not resist collaborating with the neighbors. Le FabShop is a major distributor of Makerbot 3D printers and scanners in France, organizes Maker Faires, and provides retailers such as the upscale gift shop at the Versailles Palace with high-quality 3D printed objects such as architectural models. Shapify, a branch of Artec, the 3D scanner manufacturer, has begun setting up 3D scanning photo booths in Europe, the UK, and the US. The booths allow users to create full-body 3D scans and then 3D prints of the scan subjects. In short, they are 3D photo booths.

Enter Le FabShop’s young maker, who saw an opportunity to combine the resources of Le FabShop and Shapify to pay homage to his unnamed fiancée.

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China Stops Censoring the Web—for Three Days, in One City

Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0)

World Internet Conference in China. Now there’s an oxymoron.

via Bloomberg:

This week in China, there is a place where you can tweet to your heart’s content, Facebook your friends, or Google a YouTube video.

Beijing normally blocks nationwide access to Western social media and news websites, but it’s opening a crack in the Great Firewall just big enough for participants at a technology conference in Wuzhen, China, to squeeze through. The country is hosting the World Internet Conference from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, where leaders from local Internet giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, will mingle with executives from LinkedIn, SoftBank and other global tech companies.

This temporary opening of the gates doesn’t mean China is having second thoughts about Web censorship. Not in the least. China often lifts its controls on the Web for attendees of high-profile international forums, as it did for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing earlier this month.

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Cost of Obesity Equivalent to Global Impact of Smoking or War

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Obese person’s chair (CC)

Some of you may recall the opening sequence to the obesity documentary Killer At Large where then-Surgeon General Richard Carmona says that the greatest threat to America, bigger than terrorism or anything else, is obesity.

He was right: The McKinsey Global Institute, the business and economics research arm of the global consulting firm McKinsey, has published a new report saying that “Obesity is responsible for about 5 percent of all deaths a year worldwide, and its global economic impact amounts to roughly $2 trillion annually, or 2.8 percent of global GDP—nearly equivalent to the global impact of smoking or of armed violence, war, and terrorism.” That’s right, obesity costs as much as the ridiculous wars and armed violence perpetrated against one another throughout the world. More from the report:

Obesity is a critical global issue that requires a comprehensive, international intervention strategy. More than 2.1 billion people—nearly 30 percent of the global population—are overweight or obese.1 That’s almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished…

And the problem—which is preventable—is rapidly getting worse.

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The Cosmic Trigger Play and Find the Others Conferestival Kicks Off This Weekend

cosmictriggerShould be noted that the crowdfunding campaign was a rousing success, and my favorite book about summoning aliens with your privates is coming to a stage in Liverpool this Sunday, November 23rd (of course) and again in London the following weekend. Not only that but there’s going to be an epic “Conferestival” on Saturday to kick things into the upper echelons of high strangeness. Apparently, some of my collage sigils even made it into the tantric sex sequence of the play, which is magickally appropriate. To say that I’m more than a bit honored by this creative decision would be a massive understatement. If only I was a richer man who could justify spending my money on such a trip, I’d be there in a heartbeat, but alas it is not to be at this point in my life. Apparently they might make it to the states here if it’s successful enough (come to Seattle) but if you happen to live in the UK, make it fucking so.… Read the rest

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Danny Casolaro and ‘The Octopus’ – The Stage Play

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Danny Casolaro

Long time disinfonauts will surely remember one of the legends of modern day conspiracy investigations, Danny Casolaro, and his revelations of ‘the Octopus.” Casolaro met an untimely end and his investigation petered out. He’s not forgotten, however, and his life and work are about to be immortalized in a stage play, reports American Theatre:

A journalist is hot on the trail of a con­spiracy whose scope seems ever-expanding. Nicknamed “The Octopus,” the plot connects shadowy private-security contractors with an international criminal bank, government piracy of law-enforcement database software, a corrupt Native American reservation where experimental weapons are developed, and even Reagan’s October Surprise.

The journalist hopes to break the whole story all at once and find fame and fortune. According to his book proposal (quoted in Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen’s The World’s Greatest Conspiracies), he’s after a “web of thugs and thieves who roam the earth with their weapons and their murders, trading dope and dirty money for the secrets of the temple.”

Before he leaves to meet a source in West Virginia, he warns his family that, if anything happens to him, they shouldn’t believe the official story.

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‘Tactics as Dirty as Their Oil': Leaked Docs Reveal TransCanada’s Propaganda Plan

Keystone XL demonstration, White House, 8-23-2011 Josh Lopez, CC BY 2.0

Keystone XL demonstration, White House, 8-23-2011
Josh Lopez, CC BY 2.0

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Internal strategy documents prepared by a public relations firm on behalf of Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada reveal details of an enormous and well-organized effort by the oil industry to neutralize the transnational grassroots movement which has grown up around the industry’s effort to expand tar sands mining and the building of huge infrastructure projects designed to get “the world’s dirtest fuel” to market.

Obtained by Greenpeace and given to The Guardian newspaper, the documents show that TransCanada—which has proposed building a pipeline called Energy East to bring tar sands from Alberta to New Brusnwick through the largest such pipeline ever built—is aligned with other oil and gas companies placing serious resources of time, money, and personnel into countering the growing climate justice movement which has so far successfully delayed building the Keystone XL pipelein and affirmed its commitment to stopping similar projects in the name of fighting global warming and the resulting threat of climate change.

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