Tag Archives | Politics

Electronic Frontier Foundation celebrates 25 years of defending online privacy

EFF Photos (CC BY 2.0)

EFF Photos (CC BY 2.0)

Maria Korolov via CSO Online:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the digital world’s top watchdog when it comes to privacy and free expression.

But while cops and firefighters are often ready to retire after 25 years on the job, protecting citizens, the EFF has a full agenda as it celebrates its 25th anniversary today.

The EFF was founded in 1990, when the Web still had just one webpage. Its first major case was one in which the U.S. Secret Service, hunting a stolen document, raided a company’s computers, computers that were also used to run an online bulletin board, and read and deleted those users’ messages.

The company, Steve Jackson Games, and some of the users of that bulletin board, thought that the government overstepped its warrant.

The situation inspired former Lotus president Mitch Kapor, Sun Microsystems employee John Gilmore and John Perry Barlow, cattle rancher and Greatful Dead lyricist to form the EFF and represent Steve Jackson Games and their users against the U.S.

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The Art of Breaking Chains and Taking Names

Brian Smithson (CC BY 2.0)

Brian Smithson (CC BY 2.0)

Gary Z McGee via Waking Times:

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.”H.L. Mencken

Here’s the thing: you are a force to be reckoned with. The question is, what kind of force are you? Are you a weak force or a strong force? Are you indifferent or cool with being different? Are you ordinary or extraordinary? Are you healthy or unhealthy? Are you a victim or a warrior? Are you codependent or independent? Are you a pawn or have you learned how to turn the tables on power? Are you a lamb afraid of wolves or are you a lion keeping wolves in check?

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Anarcho-“Capitalism” is Impossible

Flag used by the Swedish AnarkoKapitalistisk Front.

Flag used by the Swedish AnarkoKapitalistisk Front.

Anna Morgenstern writes at the Center for a Stateless Society:

Many anarchists of various stripes have made the claim that anarcho-capitalists aren’t really anarchists because anarchism entails anti-capitalism. I happen to think this is actually backwards. If they genuinely wish to eliminate the state, they are anarchists, but they aren’t really capitalists, no matter how much they want to claim they are.

People calling themselves “anarcho-capitalists” usually want to define “capitalism” as the same thing as a free market, and “socialism” as state intervention against such. But what then is a free market? If you mean simply all voluntary transactions that occur without state interference, then it’s a circular and redundant definition.  In that case, all anarchists are “anarcho-capitalists”, even the most die-hard anarcho-syndicalist.

Defining capitalism as a system of private property is equally problematic, because where would you draw the line between private and public?

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Is There a Human Right to Kill?

tai chang hsien (CC BY-NC 2.0)

tai chang hsien (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon write at CounterPunch:

On a cool spring day in May 2012, the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) met in McCormick Place, Chicago. The 28 heads of state comprising the military alliance had come to the Windy City to discuss the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan, among other strategic matters. Nearly a decade before, in August 2003, NATO had assumed control of the International Security Assistance Force, a coalition of more than 30 countries that had sent soldiers to occupy the most troubled regions in Afghanistan. Not long before the Chicago summit, President Barack Obama had publicly declared that the United States would begin pulling out its troops from Afghanistan and that a complete withdrawal would be achieved by 2014. NATO was therefore set to decide on the details of a potential exit strategy.

A few days before the summit, placards appeared in bus stops around downtown Chicago urging NATO not to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.

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The Eurozone Crisis: Neoliberal Economic Terrorism

"Alexis Tsipras on Subversive Festival" by Robert Crc - Subversive festival media. Licensed under FAL via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexis Tsipras on Subversive Festival” by Robert Crc – Subversive festival media. Licensed under FAL via Wikimedia Commons.

During the ongoing negotiations and humiliations of the Eurozone crisis, it has been surreal to hear repeated concerns by the EU about Greece’s apparent untrustworthiness. When the word manipulation is used in this context, by diplomats and global creditors, it loses all power of meaning. The pot calling the kettle black. One EU diplomat suggested frustration and fatigue, stating they were the victims of “five months of manipulation” at the hands of Greece. Perhaps they would prefer to live through five years of crippling austerity measures.

It is hard to take such concerns seriously, especially in the face of the cruelty and maneuvering by the Troika et al. Before they talk so freely of manipulation and wrongdoings, they would do well to consider the reality of life among austerity, unemployment and poverty.… Read the rest

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The 10 Inventions of Nikola Tesla That Changed The World

"Tesla circa 1890" by Napoleon Sarony - postcard (radiographics.rsna.org). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Tesla circa 1890” by Napoleon Sarony – postcard (radiographics.rsna.org). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

This post was originally published on Activist Post

Nikola Tesla is finally beginning to attract real attention and encourage serious debate more than 70 years after his death.

Was he for real? A crackpot? Part of an early experiment in corporate-government control?

We know that he was undoubtedly persecuted by the energy power brokers of his day — namely Thomas Edison, whom we are taught in school to revere as a genius.  He was also attacked by J.P. Morgan and other “captains of industry.” Upon Tesla’s death on January 7th, 1943, the U.S. government moved into his lab and apartment confiscating all of his scientific research, some of which has been released by the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act. (I’ve embedded the first 250 pages below and have added a link to the .pdf of the final pages, 290 in total).… Read the rest

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Permaculture – Reconnecting with Nature

Bonzai-Tree-Permaculture

Phil Watt via Waking Times:

Humanity has lost its connection to nature. We’re so bombarded with artificial imagery and ideals of superficial living that most of us think taking in an occasional sunset or going for a bush-walk is what it means to be united with our Mother Earth. These practices are wonderful, and very grounding, however they are temporary and don’t truly represent the holistic way we most naturally connect to the spirit of our world and the life that it breathes.

As a culture, we have become disconnected from our food. We have forgotten the cycles of natural systems. We are blind to the divine patterns found in nature. We have lost the innate wisdom of knowing our environment like the back of our heart, and knowing our place within it. Instead we have accepted urbanization of our civilization as ‘natural’. In cities we live in a cement jungle, on top of each other but isolated from each other and our natural environment.

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Further Notes From Greece: Compromise and Capitulation

With the deadline fast approaching for an embattled and financially desperate Greece, Alexis Tsipras and his left-right coalition rallied and tabled a bail-out and reform proposal to the European creditors Thursday evening. Saturday morning saw the government of Greece, by a large majority, accept and back the proposal for negotiations in the coming days. In comes the desperate proposal, in come the compromises and capitulations.

Photo: Philly boy92 (CC)

Photo: Philly boy92 (CC)

Five months of stalemate and bluff have led to this weekend and, after everything that’s happened, it’s not surprising that Tsipras has finally been beaten into submission, made malleable enough to seek the reinstatement of austerity to his damaged and struggling country in the hope of debt restructuring and further bailout. It’s not surprising, but it is disappointing. Politics is the grinding wheel of disappointment.

Even when one is the wielder of great power and influence, political negotiation can be difficult and laced with traps, but when vulnerable, in a position of weakness and without any recognisable leverage, it becomes virtually impossible without compromising your position or appealing to humanitarian compassion.… Read the rest

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The Magical Thinking at the Core of the Confederate Flag Hysteria

Kurz & Allison

Historical prints depicting Civil War battles are among the  merchandise currently being removed by Amazon.

That’s right, I’m calling it hysteria — this zealous, self-congratulatory crusade to abolish all representations of the Confederate battle flag, from the Dukes of Hazzard reruns nixed by TV Land, to the books and historical artwork currently being removed from the Amazon catalog. The mass killing in Charleston has reaffirmed the Stars and Bars as an icon of militant white supremacy, and now society is taking a stand:

No longer will we tolerate that which reminds us of the divisions in our society. Our ongoing history of institutional racism will no longer be quite as apparent in department store inventory as it once was. We will browse eBay for iPhone cases without fear of being reminded of just how much racial bigotry is still entrenched in our culture.

We will lead a purely symbolic charge against violence and racism, even if it means empowering the very symbol that we seek to abolish.… Read the rest

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