Tag Archives | Freedom

Aaron Swartz, America’s Mohamed Bouazizi: We’re in the midst of a revolution, which side are you on?

via chycho

The United States is ripe for a revolution. People are pissed, and rightfully so. The only question that remains is if the restructuring will be peaceful, like what we saw happen in Iceland, or will it be violent, like what we see happening in Greece and Spain.

As Chris Hedges has implied on multiple occasions, the revolution is well on its way:

I have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force.

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What is Freedom?

Picture: Pascale Riby (CC)

There’s a great line from the film Easy Rider, where Dennis Hopper’s character, Billy, asks, “What the hell is wrong with freedom?  That’s what it’s all about,” and Jack Nicholson’s character, George, replies, “Oh, yeah, that’s right.  That’s what’s it’s all about, all right.  But talkin’ about it and bein’ it, that’s two different things… they’re gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom.  But they see a free individual, it’s gonna scare ‘em.”

Living in a post 9-11 world, where it’s normal for elderly grandmothers to be submitted to invasive pat-downs before boarding a flight, where peaceful protests are met by legions of armor-clad riot police, where tweets and Facebook postings are routinely tracked by Homeland Security, and where anyone looking vaguely Hispanic must carry government-issued ID with them at all times if they happen to be living in certain states, it seems pertinent to ask the simple question, “What is freedom?”

If you look up its meaning in a dictionary, you’ll generally find something along the lines of, “exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.; the power to determine action without restraint.”  That doesn’t seem like something that should require a PhD in philosophy or political science to make sense of, yet what does it really mean for everyday people living everyday lives in a country that proudly brands itself as the “land of the free”?  How does this concept guide and shape our thoughts, our actions, our beliefs and our society?… Read the rest

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The California Department Of Corrections Wishes You A Happy Independence Day

What does freedom mean to you? In a much talked about Facebook post, the California Department of Corrections rang in the 4th of July with the below caption and image of a prisoner sewing American flags at ten cents an hour, which they saw as a cheery and appropriate way to commemorate a day celebrating the values of America:

Happy Independence Day from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation! (Photo: A female inmate works on an American flag while working in the Prison Industries Authority Fabrics program at the Central California Women’s Facility.)

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Bilderberg 2012 Wrap Up; Historical Overview of the Logan Act

Via Media Roots: For the last half century, an organization comprised of the .001% of the world's elite called the Bilderberg Group has met annually around the world with almost no official press coverage. During the meetings, the top 140 of the world's power brokers in banking, oil, food, media, defense, royalty and politics are believed to make policy decisions behind closed doors that affect the rest of the world. From Thursday, May 31st to Sunday, June 3rd, the annual Bilderberg Conference took place at the Westfields Marriot in Chantilly, Virginia, a city located right next to Washington, DC. I went to cover this year's Bilderberg Conference and mass protests that took place all weekend for RT TV. People across many political spectrums — including Ron Paul libertarians to Occupy Wall Street protesters — joined together to rally against the covert meeting of the minds, in which the protesters claim sets a global agenda to perpetuates their own power structure while subjugating the rest of humanity...
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United States Justice: 2,000 Convicted Then Exonerated Over 23 Years

JailbaitReports the AP via CBS News:

More than 2,000 people who were falsely convicted of serious crimes have been exonerated in the United States in the past 23 years, according to a new archive compiled at two universities.

There is no official record-keeping system for exonerations of convicted criminals in the country, so academics set one up. The new national registry, or database, painstakingly assembled by the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, is the most complete list of exonerations ever compiled.

The database compiled and analyzed by the researchers contains information on 873 exonerations for which they have the most detailed evidence. The researchers are aware of nearly 1,200 other exonerations, for which they have less data.

They found that those 873 exonerated defendants spent a combined total of more than 10,000 years in prison, an average of more than 11 years each…

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Is America Autistic?

An interesting article I discovered from Hug the Monkey:
Donna Williams, a self-described "mad, autistic artist"— as well as a teacher, author and consultant — wrote an article for American Chronicle that boldly questions whether our technology-oriented, individualistic society is creating more infants with reactive attachment disorder and autism. She writes,
Is possible that we’re living in an age where some pregnant mothers being so busy with cerebral, passive interactions with technology and its related increase in time use that they don’t have the range of movements, emotional experience, that it’d be conceivable some don’t develop the same full prenatal bonding with their child that may have been more common before the '80s and '90s?
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The Problem With Moderates

Plato And AristotleIn a world of ever-widening extremes – from weather patterns to wealth disparities to polarized politics – what does it mean to be a moderate? More specifically, how does this term apply to religion?

Viewed in the context of most everyday activities and situations and in line with Aristotle’s idea of the “Golden Mean” (which states that virtue lies at the midpoint between two vices; i.e. courage lies between cowardice and recklessness, etc.), it could be said that a moderate stance is generally better than an extremist one. For example, being a moderate drinker seems to strike a pretty good balance between being healthy and having fun, as opposed to the opposite extremes of being an ascetic teetotaler or a raging alcoholic. Likewise, being politically moderate, if nothing else, tends to generate far less strife during dinner conversations amid mixed company or at large family gatherings.

Then again, for some activities moderate is still too far from the bell curve – particularly in cases where conventional wisdom has taken up residence at one of the distant ends of the spectrum of possibilities.  For example, while being moderately racist may be an improvement over being a hate-filled white supremacist neo-Nazi skinhead, it still leaves a lot to be desired if hoping to join enlightened humanity in recognizing equal rights for all people based on our shared human condition.… Read the rest

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