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

GREENPEACE ARCTIC 30 and PUSSY RIOT GRANTED AMNESTY!

We are thrilled to learn that the brave activists who risked their lives and freedom in their efforts to save the Arctic as well as the two members of the punk protest band Pussy Riot have been granted amnesty by the Russian Parliament along with thousands of other prisoners!

We want to thank activists worldwide who stood up in protest to the outrageous arrest and imprisonment of Pussy Riot for nearly two years for exercising their freedom of speech and activists who protested the seizing of the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, and false, trumped-up charges of “piracy” with which these courageous people have been charged and held for the past four months. There were 860 protests in 46 countries, and more than 2.6 million people emailing the Russian embassy according to Greenpeace.

The sad truth we are left with in the case of the Arctic is that drilling is set to begin any day, and the fight to preserve freedom of speech is ongoing so we must persevere and fight on.  Although this move was likely a calculated one aimed at appeasing world opinion prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, this is a moment to celebrate and send thanks to activists and the Russian Parliament for ending this injustice!

Russell Brand Calls for Revolution!!

Watch Russell Brand’s eloquent and inspirational call for REVOLUTION!

For more Russell Brand, check out this article:

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/20275-focus-we-deserve-more-from-our-democratic-system

Free Bradley Manning!

Bradley Manning has endured over 3 years of imprisonment and cruel treatment, including the trial which just ended, which has been a far cry from open, fair, just, or impartial. Bradley Manning is a global hero for his personal sacrifice, an idealistic young whistleblower who deserves not only to be released immediately but praised for his unselfish defense of our Constitution and rule of law.  That he should be treated as he has been is a sign of how far this country has traveled from its ideals of freedom, civil liberties, and democracy towards authoritarianism and fascism.

Though his many supporters are infinitely relieved that he was found not guilty of “aiding the enemy,” a charge that could have led to life imprisonment or even the death penalty, it is very likely that this spurious charge was leveled against him mainly for the terrorizing effect on him and other whistleblowers and would-be whistleblowers, and in order to try to justify finding him guilty of 5 counts of “espionage.”  These charges likely may be used as a foundation in this administration’s attempt to charge other whistleblowers such as WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, given the opportunity.

As it stands right now, the estimates of his “guilty” charges are between 17-20 out of 22 charges and he still could be jailed for up to 136 years–an outrage.  The sentencing phase is estimated to take another few weeks and reportedly the defense has more witnesses set to take the stand in this portion than does the prosecution–20 in all.  The verdict will be appealed.

We say, “Free Bradley Manning” and sentence him to time which he has already unjustly served!

See the following for more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23506213

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/07/30/wikileaks-bradley-manning-verdict.html

http://dncdn.dvlabs.com/ipod/dn2013-0731.mp4

http://youtu.be/pX6NyElC698

Whistleblowers: The Best and the Bravest Among Us

This is an homage to whistleblowers, a heartfelt paean of gratitude for your courage and your clarity, your putting ethics and the greater good over self-interest, generously risking your own well-being and safety because of your commitment to principle over profit and transparency over secrecy.  You are the reason we know the extent of corporate corruption of government and the abuse of power, the impetus behind the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement, the catalysts in the struggle for democracy and against authoritarianism. 

It is the Daniel Ellsbergs, the John Kiriakous, the Aaron Swartzes, the Bradley Mannings, the Julian Assanges, and the Edward Snowdens who shine light on the cover-ups and the schemes of the 1% who would subvert democracy and justice in service of their lust for power, greed, and self-enrichment at the expense of the 99%.  You are the best and bravest of us and the truth you disseminate shines brightest and most brilliantly through the strength of your character. 

We will forever be in your debt and honor your service to humanity when we repeat your names as mantras invoking a higher consciousness and a deeper good for all life on this living planet.  May the great goddess protect you from all harm and expand your influence to everyone everywhere and give them the courage and stamina to stand tall against oppression in all its forms!  Daniel, John, Edward, Bradley, Julian, Aaron thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!  You are beacons of light in a dark, benighted world!

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/07/08/snowden-honored-by-ex-intel-officials/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/daniel-ellsberg-nsa-leaker-snowden-made-the-right-call/2013/07/07/0b46d96c-e5b7-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_story.html

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/obama-retreats-on-snowden-even-the-worlds-most-powerful-media-and-intelligence-apparatus-cant-always-control-public-opinion

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/07/edward-snowden-public-opinion

Petitions re Snowden and the NSA:

Tell Congress: Investigate NSA abuses and protect our constitutional rights

http://wh.gov/liZnR

http://bit.ly/10KZOrR

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_prism_global/?taGunbb

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

Occupy Patriarchy – WORD March & Rally

WORD Rally 8-26-12

WORD – Women Organized to Resist and Defend organized a march and a rally in Los Angeles on August 26, 2012 and Women-Occupy was there in support.  The signs say it all, summarizing the outrage at the War on Women being waged across the country by the patriarchal, fuedalistic religious right who are attempting to undermine our democracy and replace it with a male supremacist theocracy–a favorite read, “Gender Violence is a Men’s Issue!”

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