Posts tagged freedom
- guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 August 2012 09.00 BS
Posts tagged freedom
Freedom has become one of those politically charged terms that means whatever people need it to mean. There is no coherent conception of freedom, though, in which it only exists at the pleasure of the U.S. military.
We discover that Brooklyn Nets star Paul Pierce is incredibly grateful, at a deeply personal level, that the men and women of the U.S. military are willing to “protect” him and his country (“I’m so thankful that they are able to do that for me, to make this a safer place for me to live”). Roy Hibbert, starting center for the Indiana Pacers, sees Pierce’s gratitude and raises him in a big way, making the latter’s sentiments seem woefully weak by comparison:
They’re protecting our country, they’re protecting the world, and, you know, obviously we wouldn’t have freedom without them.
This is just an extraordinary sentence. It contains three distinct, factual claims. While the first two are highly debatable, let us suspend consideration of them in order to focus on the third, which is actually an outright falsehood. Not only does Hibbert confidently assert that “we wouldn’t have freedom” were it not for the beneficence of the U.S. military, but that this is “obviously” so.
Freedom has become one of those politically charged terms that means whatever people need it to mean. There is no coherent conception of freedom, though, in which it only exists at the pleasure of the U.S. military. It’s simply a non sequitur. The “freedoms” most Americans think of when they hear the term are enshrined in constitutional and statutory law. They are in no way dependent on the size, scope or even the existence of the U.S. military. If John Lennon’s ghost assumed dictatorial control of the U.S. government tomorrow and, as his first order of business, disbanded the entire military, Americans’ “freedoms” would not suddenly vanish.
Other than military promotion, there is no other conceivable context in which an athlete, officially representing a major professional sports league, would go on television and say something that is so bizarre, explicitly political and manifestly untrue. Whether Roy Hibbert was simply reading something that was handed to him, or expressing his own sentiments, is immaterial. What is problematic, in any case, is that this peculiar, nonexistent connection between “freedom” and the military continues to be perpetuated as an uncontroversial truism, and is met with virtually no resistance, at least within the confines of the mainstream.
WikiLeaks has published the secret text to part of the biggest U.S. trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the past several years, the United States and 12 Pacific Rim nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on the sweeping agreement. A 95-page draft of a TPP chapter released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday details agreements relating to patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design — showing their wide-reaching implications for Internet services, civil liberties, publishing rights and medicine accessibility. Critics say the deal could rewrite U.S. laws on intellectual property rights, product safety and environmental regulations, while backers say it will help create jobs and boost the economy. President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman reportedly wish to finalize the TPP by the end of the year and are pushing Congress to expedite legislation that grants the president something called “fast-track authority.” However, this week some 151 House Democrats and 23 Republicans wrote letters to the administration saying they are unwilling to give the president free rein to “diplomatically legislate.” We host a debate on the TPP between Bill Watson, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
"If instituted," Assange continues, "the TPP’s intellectual property regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs."
A small glossary designed to help those struggling to understand American usage of certain English words :-
Communist - satanic entity from the darkest pits of hell dedicated to the total destruction of the American way of life.
Socialist - a lesser demonic entity, sent from hell to pave the way for Communism.
Liberal - an American-hating mutation resulting from degenerate sex between a Communist and a Socialist who combines elements of traitor, sex-fiend, and drug addict and whose aim is to make homosexuality compulsory.
Terrorist - any foreigner who objects to, or resists, being killed, tortured, invaded, occupied or exploited by America
Freedom - at home, the freedom to spend and consume as instructed and abroad the freedom to do whatever America dictates.
Democracy - in America government by the 1%, of the 99%, for the 1%.
Congressman - an entity who represents the interests of the very rich and corporations against the American people (see ‘Democracy’)
Free Press - the means by which the very rich and corporations, who own it, mislead and brainwash the American public.
If Right-Wing Violence Is Up 400%, Why Is the FBI Targeting Environmentalists?
Violent attacks by right-wing groups and individuals have increased by 400% since 1990, and dramatically in the last five years, according to a new report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.
When examined side-by-side with FBI reports on domestic terrorism, the data from this study shows that the FBI has been either grossly miscalculating, or intentionally downplaying, murders and violent attacks by right-wing extremists while exaggerating the threat posed by animal rights activists and environmentalists, who have only destroyed property.
For decades we have campaigned to get rapists caught, charged and convicted. But the pursuit of Assange is political
- guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 August 2012 09.00 BS
Much music these days is totally formed by agents and corporations and voice synthesizers for a profit.That is why much of the music today sucks.
In a bold comparative analysis of TheNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Jada Williams, a 13-year old eighth grader at School #3 in Rochester, New York, asserted that in her experience, today’s education system is a modern-day version of slavery. According to the Fredrick Douglass Foundation of New York, the schools’ teachers and administrators were so offended by Williams’ essay that they began a campaign of harassment—kicking her out of class and trying to suspend her—that ultimately forced her parents to withdraw her from the school.
In her essay, which was written for a contest, Williams reflected on what Douglass heard his slave master, Mr. Auld, telling his wife after catching her teaching Douglass how to read. “If you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him,” Auld says. “It will forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.”
Williams wrote that overcrowded, poorly managed classrooms prevent real learning from happening and thus produces the same results as Mr. Auld’s outright ban. She wrote that her white teachers—the vast majority of Rochester students are black and Hispanic, but very few teachers are people of color—are in a “position of power to dictate what I can, cannot, and will learn, only desiring that I may get bored because of the inconsistency and the mismanagement of the classroom.”
Read more: Education - GOOD
I’m so freaking proud of this child.
“The conservative Frederick Douglass Foundation gave Williams a special award, saying that her essay ‘actually demonstrates that she understood the autobiography.’ They have also reached out to the school for an explanation of the 13-year-old’s treatment.”
She is my hero.
The DEA acknowledged that it was investigating a Montana state lawmaker for potentially conspiring to violate federal anti-marijuana laws. The lawmaker, Rep. Diane Sands – a Democrat from Missoula, Montana – served as the chairwoman of a 2011 interim legislative committee that sought to enact statewide regulations governing the production and distribution of medical pot, which has been legal in the state since 2004. “Can you say McCarthy?” she told The Missoulian newspaper. “This sounds like stuff from the House Un-American Activities Committee and Joe McCarthy. So once you talk about medical marijuana in reasonable terms, you’re on some sort of list of possible conspirators. … It’s ridiculous, of course, but it’s also threatening to think that the federal government is willing to use its influence and try to chill discussion about this subject.”
Worse, it looks as if Obama is setting up big pharma to take control of marijuana, resulting in pot not only staying illegal, but staying illegal with its “heroin classification” intact just so an obamacorporation can profit from Americans use of this truly recreational drug.
ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and CISPA are all Internet destroying bills or treaties that will violate privacy rights of Americans, destroy the openness of the Internet, destroy the free exchange of the internet, reduce the virtual real time discussion of information on the Internet and destroy the interactivity, the give and take of the Internet (as opposed to, “sit and listen to a corporate employee tell you what to think…one way monologue”).
Most importantly, what will be protected by destroying the Internet is a lack of government transparency. And a lack of government transparency is what Obama is all about: remember Obama’s hunt for whistleblowers? A destruction of government transparency by Obama and his associate legislatewhores is veiled thinly by their slight of hand argument for protection against online theft. Theft, greed and alakazam, corporations design the Internet, the same corporations that created peer to peer software, the same corporations that made billions from peer to peer software, the same corporations that wiped their asses on the Internet creating peer to peer software facilitating all the illegal downloading.
Obama would have the Internet be a lackey to corporate greed and the Internet be thereby castrated in its ability to effect government transparency. Obama, like most of our elected officials operates within a culture of incompetence: remember Wikileaks? No one died because of Wikileaks but a great number of public officials were embarrassed due to the Wikispotlight on their incompetence. Wikileaks is the essence of the Internet. Wikileaks is the greatest creation of the Internet and this our pitifully incompetent public servants fear rather than embrace as it could herald a rebirth of citizen participation and a rebirth of America’s health and vigor. Obama and our legislatewhores are cowards.
Yes, Obama and legislatewhores like him are definitely shallow, cowardly, small minded, greedy, corporate sycophants but mostly our politicians simply suck at what they do. If ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and CISPA are enacted, you the people, my fellow Americans are back to watching corporate state TV and maybe one of the laughing hyenas you put in office will throw you a biscuit.
The Freenet is the only way to bring more people back into participating in their country. That these useless talking heads, like Obama, would destroy the constitutional powers at the core of the Internet is clearly an indication of what these abject traitors, like Obama think of Americans, the essence of The US Constitution and all those Americans that sacrificed greatly, down through the years. It is not what politicians say; it is what politicians do and a politician supporting anything like ACTA, SOPA, PIPA or CISPA believes that Americans are little more than cattle.
In Many Ways, Obama, Like George Bush, Is Just One More Sick Bastard in Public Office.
Operation Clean Halls, a part of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to patrol thousands of private apartment buildings across New York City, violates the rights of residents of those buildings and their guests – largely black and Latino New Yorkers – according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed today by the New York Civil Liberties Union, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and The Bronx Defenders.
The Rotten Apple.
The conservative Christian group One Million Moms is angry. Sure, the down-home-sounding offshoot of the reliably right-wing American Family Association exists in a perpetual state of twisted knickers.It’s whipped itself into a frenzy of indignation at the not-quite-exclusionary-enough tactics of Macy’s, Levi’s, Jenny Craig and Oreos in just the past few months. But its outrage at JC Penney, the jeans supplier to at least 800,000 of those million moms, is especially intense of late.
At issue is the group’s contention that by hiring Ellen DeGeneres for a new campaign, the department store is “jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon” and turning away from “traditional families.” The organization warns darkly that “Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.” There is so much to love in that sentence alone. Culture war! Brand transformation! Fearless disregard for the rules of comma usage after a subordinate clause! “The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended,” they continue, “and choose to no longer shop there.”
JC Penney, however, which recently declared that “We share the same fundamental values as Ellen,” has remained unmoved from its perch on a “pro-gay bandwagon” in the midst of a “culture war.” (I hope that bandwagon is reinforced.) Also unmoved: the woman at the center of the controversy.
On her daytime talk show Wednesday, DeGeneres cheerfully opened by talking about Proposition 8 being overturned in California, then segued into a riff about her partnership with Penney’s. “Normally I try not to pay attention to my haters,” she said, “but this time I’d like to talk about it.”
After announcing she was “proud and happy” that JC Penney was sticking by her side, she explained to America that “Being gay or pro-gay is not a bandwagon. You don’t get a free ride anywhere. There’s no music, and occasionally we’ll sing, ‘We Are Family,’ but that’s about it.” And she noted that “For a group that calls itself the Million Moms, they have only 40,000 members on their [Facebook] page. They’re rounding to the nearest million.” It was a witty retort to a campaign of hate, though frankly, not nearly as hilarious as the Million Moms’ depiction of DeGeneres as an “open homosexual spokesperson.”
"Not that there’s anyone counting, but for a group that calls themselves the million moms, they only have 40,000 members on their page," she mentioned as part of a response on her talk show. "They’re rounding to the nearest million, and I get that."
Now a counter Facebook group has started that has already found more supporters than “One Million Moms.” In 24 hours, the group called “1 Million people who support Ellen for JCPenney" had already surpassed "One Million Moms" in likes. At about 1 p.m. ET, it had more than 90,000 likes, which is more than double the other side. And by about 3 p.m., it had broken the 100,000 mark. So far, the likes keep counting, putting the page on a path toward substantiating its own name.
November 11, 2011
Nobel Prize Committee
Henrik Ibsens gate 51
Dear Chairman Jagland and Nobel Peace Prize Committee Members:
Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein understands that religious discrimination and harassment within the ranks of the U.S. military is far from a marginal issue or isolated problem, and it was the shocking realization of just how deeply ingrained and widespread this problem is that led him to found the Military Religious Freedom Foundation in 2005. As a Jewish-American honor graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Mr. Weinstein’s own experiences were not free from the bitter experience of persecution. However, Weinstein had not expected that his sons, also Jewish cadets, and his now daughter-in-law, a Christian cadet, would experience the same environment at the Academy, tainted as it is by religious coercion and sectarian bigotry. After some investigation, Mikey Weinstein soon realized that only a fearlessly direct and aggressive approach would be effective in addressing the deeply-rooted and all-too-prevalent culture of religious extremism within the strongest armed body on the planet: the U.S. Military.
A lesbian minister in North Carolina has joined the ranks of those willing to officiate marriage ceremonies but not sign licenses until gay couples’ marriages have the same legal recognition as heterosexual ones.
Expand government? I’d like to have someone explain to me what that concept is and how it is worse than corporate control of America. The expression, “Big Government” usually is in reference to a Corporation that an ankle grabbing Republican does not want regulated - “don’t regulate my corporate sugar daddy - we need to maximize profits selling cigarettes to children”. I’d suggest this was uttered by John Boehner, drunken Republican hack.
As I see it, within the human condition, one has three choices to run/control operations of a huge scale. These choices are One: Government, Two: Corporations and Three: Private sector. PBS is an example of private sector and private money, for huge operations always gets help from Government and Corporations. So basically, it is Government or Corporations that will manage giant enterprises or they will not run. That simple. You can talk forever or you might examine the History and if you do, one thing is paramount, it is people that are or are not running things and you can’t escape that reality, whether you prefer Government or Corporations. Those people/politicians in Government now function more as extension of Corporations than they do as representatives of the people. Because of corrupt politicians it is corrupt Government placing big Corporations in charge of America. Bad Government officials make bad Government simply by extension from their complicity and corrupt relationships with bigger Corporations. Big Government is not the problem, the problem is politicians subservient to corporations. Look at the History; Corporations running America have run America into the dirt. There is only one other choice for managing America and that is “Government”; Corporations and their corrupt politicians have failed horribly as a means to direct America. Ignore a Republican who begs you not to regulate their sugardaddy.
It is infuriating to see people fooled by a GOP air head ranting about Government: “Government is bad, Government needs to be spanked, Government needs to be choked and drowned in a wash basin.” The GOP airheads are simply talking about their own evil corporate allegiance and pointing off into the ether, sleight of hand, distracting an audience who would look them in the eye and see the soul of a utter liar.
There is no Government. Yes, take a deep breath, grasshopper, there is no Government. Government is an abstract concept, it is a set of rules mixed up with some history. Like the game Monopoly, Government was conceived and is played by people. Cowboy up, learn the rules, become proficient at the game, study the history. You and me and the useless SOB’s we put in office and do not keep tabs on are “The Government”. We The People need more direct ties to the people we put in office than Corporations would like.
Call it whatever you want, when the people have no voice, when the people don’t participate in their countries affairs, it is all things bad. Fuck corporate control of our legislature, and -
GOP IS SHIT.