Join the Internet Vote on April 23!

A Message from Fight for the Future:

“Congress is trying to make sure the public doesn’t have a voice in negotiations around the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They’re trying to “Fast Track” the secret deal, threatening our Internet and our democracy. Fight back by joining the Internet Vote on April 23rd. Together we will use the power of the Web to demand transparency and give people everywhere a voice against censorship.

Twitter is one of our most powerful platforms for making sure decision makers know we’re paying attention. Join our campaign on Twitter and help keep the Internet free of censorship.
Join with Twitter

The TPP would be a nightmare for Internet users everywhere — here are a few articles about the worst parts.

  • Force sites to remove allegedly infringing content from the web without a court order — similar to SOPA.
  • Create harsh criminal penalties for journalists and whistleblowers.
  • Punish Internet users who share copyrighted material, even without any personal gain.
  • Limit Fair Use to make copyright even more restrictive on creative innovation.

There are a lot of other reasons groups oppose the TPP beyond its impact on the free and open Internet. You can find out more information about those reasons at StopFastTrack.com.

We need to be as big and visible as possible to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership — that’s the only way we can win this fight. We all need to get as many people in our audiences, readerships, and communities motivated to do something. We can make this powerfully epic, but only if you help. Companies need to be the frontrunners, leaders, and heroes on this because we’ve seen time and time again with SOPA, Reset The Net, and net neutrality that it’s the key ingredient to raising the bar and making sure everyone goes big.

Time is short — Congress is introducing a bill to Fast Track the TPP in the coming weeks, so we need to act now.

The TPP is the kind of bad legislation that only comes along once every 10 or 20 years. It has pieces of every bad Internet policy we’ve fought against, and if it passes now we’ll be kicking ourselves for decades, fighting uphill battle after uphill battle on copyright reform, whistleblower protections, and so much more. Doing the most we can right now is the only rational step to protecting the open Internet.”

To join the fight go to: www.fightforthefuture.org

Net Neutrality: A First Amendment Right

Net Neutrality is a First Amendment right issue and fundamental to a democracy that is supposed to be of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE.  We cannot allow the FCC to adopt rules that allow corporations to exercise ever more control by imposing a “pay to play” mentality on Internet use.  If the new pay-for-priority rules are allowed to stand, it will allow Internet Service Providers to discriminate against smaller users, impose new fees, and even proscribe content.See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/fcc-net-neutrality_n_5331278.html and http://www.salon.com/2014/05/15/fcc_passes_proposal_to_create_rules_on_net_neutrality_in_a_3_2_vote/

It may surprise some to know that it is the DEMOCRATS on the FCC who, while questioning the repercussions and noting the public outcry, have voted for this rule.  We are living in an ever more Kafkaesque world where what actually is true is the opposite of what appears to be true. While proclaiming his support of Net Neutrality, President Obama appoints a former telecom lobbyist to the FCC, who in turn vows to protect Net Neutrality, while doing precisely the opposite.This dark irony is intensified by the fact that Wheeler replaces the former FCC Chair, Michael Powell (a Clinton appointee), who now works for NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) in a corporate/governmental revolving door so typical of corrupt Washington politics.

The FCC ruling is another clear expansion of corporate rule and related to the abuse of the Bill of Rights by the application of the fallacious legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.”  If net neutrality is destroyed, we lose our last bastion of free speech and free press:  the free and open Internet.  We must not allow this to happen.  In order to have true Net Neutrality, broadband needs to be reclassified as telecommunications and the Internet as a public utility so it may be appropriately regulated and big cable and telecom companies don’t monopolize and control it.

It’s Time to Defend Net Neutrality: Tell the FCC What you Think of its Proposed Regulations

February 11 – The Day We Fought Back

Yesterday we fought back against mass surveillance! Electronic Frontier Foundation, Demand Progress, the ACLU, Reddit, Credo, Greenpeace, Fight for the Future, Roots Action, Mozilla, Tumblr, and many, many other organizations banded together for a day to deluge the Congress with phone calls and emails letting them know that we WILL NOT tolerate being spied upon by our government, nor by major corporations seeking to exploit us.

This is an ongoing fight that we must win! You can still take action at: https://thedaywefightback.org/

Wikileaks Publishes Intellectual Property Chapter of TPP!

Yesterday Wikileaks published the chapter on intellectual property of the secretively negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty, an agreement that would usher in global corporate rule.  Probably the most controversial of all the TPP texts that have been leaked, it would impact medicine, Internet freedom, and more.  See the DemocracyNow! coverage in the video above and the following links for the text on both the IP chapter and the chapter on investment as well as analyses of both.

It is vital that anyone and everyone who cares about Internet freedom, civil liberties, and democracy post this information and call, email, and tweet your representatives in Congress to demand that they VOTE NO ON FAST TRACK, a Nixon-era relic that Obama is trying to resurrect in order to override Congressional oversight on this virulently elitist document that would enrich the few at the expense of the many worldwide and erect a global corporate state unanswerable to the people in the signatory countries.

Here is the link to the intellectual property chapter: http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/TransPacificIP1.pdf

Analysis of the TPP intellectual property chapter on access to medicines:
MSF/Doctors Without Borders’ Release and Memo on How the Trans-Pacific FTA Undermines Access to Medicines

Public Citizen’s Memo on Obama Administration Backtracking from Bush Era Access to Medicine Commitments

MSF/Doctors Without Borders’ White Paper “Trading Away Health”

Public Citizen’s Access to Medicine Analyses Comparing TPP Proposals with Existing Laws and Trade Pacts

The Global Treatment Access Group Paper on the TPP and Access to Medicines

Analysis of the updated TPP intellectual property chapter:
Public Citizen Memo “What’s New in the Wikileaks TPP Text?”

The TPP investment chapter can be found online here

Analysis of the TPP investment chapter:

Global Trade Watch Analysis of Leaked TPP Investment Text

Gordon Campbell on the Trans-Pacific Partnership leaks

Professor Jane Kelsey on the TPP Investment Chapter

Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network Statement on the TPP Investment Chapter

Health GAP Analysis of the TPP Investment Chapter

FUKUSHIMA: A GLOBAL THREAT!

The worldwide threat that Fukushima represents is being ignored by the mainstream media (what a surprise) while tons of radioactive cesium are dumping into the Pacific Ocean as we write and contaminating the West Coast. Thankfully, we have alternative press that is getting the word out because this situation requires a global response in order to contain this unprecedented disaster. See the following sources for crucial information:

http://forumonenergy.com/2013/10/08/oceanus-magazine-assessing-the-health-risks-of-fukushimas-radiation/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/melted-nuclear-fuel-sank-into-the-ground-under-fukushima-reactors-irradiated-groundwater-flowing-into-ocean-its-too-late-to-do-anything-about-this-japan-journalist/5355375

http://pastebin.com/8W9UZDth

http://truth-out.org/news/item/19547-fukushima-a-global-threat-that-requires-a-global-response

http://t.co/gB1iqZSC66

Please sign the petition to respond to this crisis at:  http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/fukushima

Participate in the global Twitterstorm tomorrow, Friday, October 25, 2013!

Flush The TPP Action at U.S. Trade Representative’s Office 9-23-13

The TPP is a toxic, corporate profit-driven agreement that is anti-consumer, anti-environment, anti-worker, and anti-Internet freedom.  Among other things, the TPP will CENSOR THE INTERNET!  They are winding up the secret negotiations: Click here now to send a powerful message to the 12 political leaders who are about to make a decision that will affect generations.

It is crucial to call your representatives in Congress and tell them to oppose Fast Tracking the TPP.  Go to: www.house.gov/representatives to find your representative. Tell him or her to vote NO ON FAST TRACK!!

http://www.flushthetpp.org/letter-to-congress-on-fast-track-and-the-tpp/

http://www.flushthetpp.org/reasons-to-vote-no-on-fast-track/

Also, please sign the petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/congress-dont-renew-fast

How Does the Corporation Offend Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

The country is in a terrible state and we activists are run ragged trying to deal with endless permutations of corporate abuse and government corruption, running around like the proverbial headless chicken after all the assaults on our civil liberties, human rights, the environment, workers’ rights, the social safety net, women’s rights, a free and open Internet, and on and on.  There is, however, one overarching source of these problems which encompasses all the others, ties them together, and once one understands its significance, explains what otherwise would be an overwhelming array of separate, disparate, insoluble predicaments over which we might throw up our hands in despair.

Regardless of the concern, all of them are traceable back to the corporate “personhood” abuse of our system and subversion of our democracy.  Take any issue you like from foreign policy to food production and we can see how the corporate world has monopolized and controlled it for the purpose of amassing enormous wealth at the rest of our expense.  How has it managed to do this? By utilizing the misbegotten legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech” that came in through the back door by way of the Supreme Court’s being taken over by some old corporate attorneys back in 1886.  This precedent, set by what was actually a clerk’s summation of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, has been wreaking havoc ever since.

Let me give you an example.  Pretend for a moment that you are a poor, beleaguered billionaire who owns a pharmaceutical company and say you have this nifty new drug you want to foist on the public and there are all these pesky regulations that require you to actually test it first to make sure that it doesn’t cause birth defects, cancer, or premature death.  What do you do?

Well rather than wring your hands in desperate frustration, you get to work and go out and lobby congress, bribe some politicians, buy a few elections in key districts, gobble up some tv stations and start disseminating disinformation about how safe and wonderful and life-enhancing it is, place some corporate shills in some key agencies like the FDA, get a few judges in your pocket, corrupt some research, patent some human genomes, challenge whatever laws or regulations may be on the books or slipped through congress that are cramping your go-getter, capitalist style and go to court under the commerce clause and argue that your “right” to make obscene profits off of people’s suffering is being hampered, and voila, you’ve got your drug approved!

If all of that doesn’t work, go to court on the basis of corporate “personhood” and argue that your “rights” under the Bill of Rights have been infringed upon and that you should be compensated by the taxpayers for all your pain and suffering at outrageously being required to actually do business legitimately!  That will show those do-gooders and bleeding hearts that corporations are people too and your feelings are mightily hurt!

Now if we actually had a free press rather than a corporate-owned press, journalists could challenge this kind of propaganda and corruption, but once again, because of corporate rule and undue influence allowing them to dictate and even write many laws, impact policies of government agencies, not pay taxes, get government subsidies (i.e. corporate welfare) so they can amass billions, these corporations, owned by the 1%, can buy up all the news media they like and monopolize the message and go to court endlessly and challenge every law, regulation, and restriction until they get what they want. Case in point:  the Koch Bros. are trying to buy the Tribune now (in addition to elections and politicians).  As if Rupert Murdoch controlling the flow of information were not enough!

The corporation has been allowed to run amok, enabled by an increasingly corrupt government, becoming so enmeshed, that more and more the corporate world and government are indistinguishable from one another. In addition, the press has been taken over by the 1% and commandeered to be nothing more than corporate copywriters dispensing its pre-approved messaging, rather than doing its job of challenging and exposing this merger and sabotage of our democratic process.

Corporate “personhood” is the root cause of how nothing is working any more, like it did when FDR was President for instance, because it is a cancer that has metastasized throughout our entire political system and mortally infected it by eliminating all the safeguards and checks and balances on the abuse of power.  It is as if the immune system has been disabled so that there is no longer any effective response to the opportunistic disease of corruption–a system that was previously capable of throwing off illness is no longer healthy enough to do so.

The patient has succumbed and is in its death throes unless we intervene and pass a Constitutional amendment to restore our democracy by excising corporate “personhood” and money as “speech,” the only remedy to this dire situation.  We can no longer afford to offer the patient palliative relief by chasing symptom after symptom (though that billionaire big pharma owner would love us to do so).  We must go for the all-out cure because democracy is all-but-dead and our Constitutionally-protected right to a government of, by, and for the PEOPLE, not the CORPORATION, is null and void if we do not.

There may be a plethora of problems, but fortunately the solution is elegantly simple:  stop chasing the symptoms and attack the root cause of corporate “personhood.”

Habeas Corpus is Like Car Insurance

Habeas Corpus is like car insurance—you don’t worry about it much until you have an accident; or, in the case of habeas corpus, until you get arrested for peaceful protest and hauled before a military tribunal.  Sound preposterous?  Isn’t this the United States, the land of the free?  Well, no, actually.  Not anymore.  Not since the Patriot Act, the NDAA 2012 (and 2013) Act, and the Trespass Bills (HR 347, S 1794), AKA the “anti-Occupy bills”.

Now, in the United States of America, U. S. citizens can be indefinitely detained, without charge or trial, for a “belligerent act”.  What is that?  Well, no one quite knows for sure.  Want to stage a protest at the Democratic convention, or question your representative on where your tax dollars are going?  Be careful, you could be guilty of “knowing” you are entering a government building or within proximate space of someone guarded by the Secret Service (if they aren’t in their hotel rooms with prostitutes), and therefore in violation of a federal crime that could land you in prison for ten years, in which case I guess at least you wouldn’t have to be paying taxes!

Add to this the attacks on our privacy and free speech by the SOPA, PIPA, and now (again!) CISPA legislation, which if passed, would eviscerate our ability to voice our outrage and connect with one another on the Internet, and a frightening picture of a world dominated by Big Brother watching and controlling our every move begins to take shape.

These laws make a mockery of our Bill of Rights by violating our First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and whether you are a Tea Partier or an Occupier, your civil liberties are under assault.  We the people need to demand that these unconstitutional laws be rescinded before we find ourselves in Nazi Germany, or worse, living out an Orwellian nightmare.

Like car insurance, it’s a good idea not to let your constitutional rights like habeas corpus “lapse” because you never know when you might need them. 

Help us fight this unconstitutional attack on our civil liberties!  Write and call Congress and demand that these unconstitutional laws be reversed!

Internet Freedom

The Internet is vital to our freedom and to our democracy.  One of the most luminous, gifted individuals who contributed to it was Aaron Swartz, devoted to transparency and open communication.  We honor his memory and we dedicate ourselves to the fight to preserve our First Amendment by resisting SOPA, PIPA, CISPA I and now CISPA II.  For more information on the latest incarnation of CISPA, see:  HR 3523 – CISPA