Reset The Net: 'Don't Ask for Online Privacy... Take It Back.'

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Online coalition vows to fight mass online surveillance by empowering web users.

Published on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 by Common Dreams Jon Queally, staff writer

Led by online freedom organizations, internet firms, and other advocacy groups, a broadbased coalition is coming together with a singular call to "Reset the Net" as a way to beat back government and corporate surveillance on the web.

With a national online day of action scheduled for June 5, supporters of the campaign—including Common Dreams (full disclosure), Free Press, Fight for the Future, Credo Action, RootsAction.org. Demand Progress, Greenpeace, Reddit, CodePink, and dozens of others—say they will use the anniversary of the first reporting about NSA spying based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden as an opportunity to reclaim the internet from the spying eyes of the National Security Agency and gross abuse of privacy protections.

As part of its effort to promote the campaign and encourage broad participation, the 'Reset the Net' coalition released this video:

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Humanity's Destruction of Earth's Climate in Ninety Seconds

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Data visualization that compresses thousands of years of historic atmospheric data presents frightening prospects for humanity's future
Jon Queally, CommonDreams.org staff writer

As carbon emissions concentrate in the atmosphere, the planet is burning up... and fast.

That is the well-known bottom line when it comes to human-caused global warming and climate change.

Over the course of April, according to the world's premiere atmospheric monitoring station  Mauna Loa, Hawaii, which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the concentration of carbon averaged more than 400 parts per million for the entire month for the first time in human history.

For those looking for a short, visual expression of what that means and looks like, an animation from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) provides a  ninety-second, jaw-dropping look at the history of these concentrations and the "unparalleled" rise that has occurred over the last several decades:

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Number of working age Americans without job has risen by 27 million since 2000

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Did you know that there are nearly 102 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now? And 20 percent of all families in the United States do not have a single member that is employed. So how in the world can the government claim that the unemployment rate has “dropped” to “6.3 percent”?

Published on PressTV

Well, it all comes down to how you define who is “unemployed”. For example, last month the government moved another 988,000 Americans into the “not in the labor force” category. According to the government, at this moment there are 9.75 million Americans that are “unemployed” and there are 92.02 million Americans that are “not in the labor force” for a grand total of 101.77 million working age Americans that do not have a job.

Back in April 2000, only 5.48 million Americans were unemployed and only 69.27 million Americans were “not in the labor force” for a grand total of 74.75 million Americans without a job. That means that the number of working age Americans without a job has risen by 27 million since the year 2000. Any way that you want to slice that, it is bad news.

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Supreme Court Denies NDAA Lawsuit

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The American people, have lost their fight to defeat the parts of the NDAA (a much worse version of Bush's Patriot act on steroids) that remove our constitutional rights under civil law. After a federal court ruled that the NDAA law was unconstitutional, we then lost in every appeal, and Chris Hedges just lost his last attempt at an appeal. This is a monumental loss for our personal freedoms.

A group of journalists and activists who filed a lawsuit two years ago challenging a controversial provision in a national defense spending bill that they claimed allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens were dealt a crushing blow Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal.

In declining to hear the case, the highest court in the land effectively killed the lawsuit—Hedges V. Obama—which was brought by famed former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, plus four others. Collectively, the plaintiffs were dubbed “The Magnificent Seven” by supporters.

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Top 5 Reasons Solar Energy Will Save the World

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This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

1.  The research and development monies now going into solar energy are great enough to fuel innovation and bring down prices rapidly.  First Solar expects solar electricity generation costs to fall from 63 cents a watt to 35 cents a watt from now through 2017!

2.  Honda is experimenting with a zero-carbon home.  It includes a direct DC recharger for an electric car so as to cut down on energy lost to heat during the DC to AC conversion.  Charging would take only 2 hours, direct from sunlight.

3. Thin-skin solar panels will be installed directly on the cars, and a canopy recharger will fill them back up.

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Does Climate Apathy Hinge on 'Pervasive' American Stupidity?

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New survey highlights connection between political and religious affiliations and scientific beliefs.

Published on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams staff writer

Despite near-consensus by the scientific community that processes of global warming and natural selection are real, Americans continue to be skeptical, according to a new poll released Monday.

Following its publication, Nobel Prize winning scientists said that the research highlights the "force" of those politicians and special interest groups working to thwart scientific truths.

More than half of respondents to the Associated Press-GfK poll (pdf) said they were "not at all confident" that the universe began with the Big Bang. Further, 42 percent said they were skeptical that "Life on Earth, including human beings, evolved through a process of natural selection."

When asked to rate their confidence in the statement, "The average temperature of the world is rising, mostly because of man-made heat-trapping greenhouse gases," 37 percent responded "Not too/ not at all," compared with 28 percent saying "Somewhat," and 33 percent identifying as "Extremely/ very confident."
2013 Nobel Prize in medicine winner Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley lamented to the Associated Press that the results reveal how "Science ignorance is pervasive in our society."

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The establishment is telling us to rethink peace, and you still don’t get it

Police use chemical agents on demonstrators. Not only were protesters and bystanders injured, so were police. At least one officer exposed to these chemicals experienced heart problems, according to SPD reports.Police use chemical agents on demonstrators. Not only were protesters and bystanders injured, so were police. At least one officer exposed to these chemicals experienced heart problems, according to SPD reports. (Image: ©Mattia Emrich)

The problem of humanity is not simply that people are apathetic, distracted or divided by politics and ideologies, but much more that those who are "awaken and active" are divided and weakened by too many separate causes or protests, in so many nations, by so many languages, trying out so many different tactics, all trying to build solidarity.

They still don’t seem to have a clue about how much power lies in the idea that they are all realizing peace, and that the values they wish to see reflected in their institutions, namely accountability in governments/politics, responsibility in the media, sustainability, and freedom of expression are already being the foundation to a new kind of peace movement, rekindled, repurposed.

The elites who have taken control of our media and our institutions have already figured that one out! They treat ALL activists as pacifists, in the streets AND online, no matter what they/you protest against. The NDAA is already in place to allow the State to arrest and possibly kill every American it deems as an enemy of the State.

Also major authors and journalists from all political walks keep telling us how many “WARS” have been waged on us:

  1. Chomsky: Business Elites Are Waging a Brutal Class War in America (here)
  2. ‘Banks, corporations wage war on working class Americans’ (here)
  3. US "Waging War" on Whistleblowers (here and here)
  4. Is America Ready for a New War on Poverty? (here)
  5. The Origins of the Neoliberal War on the Poor (here)
  6. "There is a War on Journalism": Jeremy Scahill on NSA Leaks & New Investigative Reporting Venture (here)
  7. Report on the War on Dissent. (here and here)
  8. Anatomy of the War on Women. (here)

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Noam Chomsky Interview About the Relevance of Activism And Solidarity

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This is a great interview with Prof. Chomsky that I want to share and use for future reference. (video is below)

 

Transcript:

At its best what can activism be?

At its best it achieves results it's trying to attain. You have a goal, you want to do something about it, you pick various techniques that emerge, you refine the ones that seem to be working, improve them, try to get somewhere. One of Occupy's biggest achievement was to create communities of mutual solidarity and support, attract participation. That's a very important achievement, specially in a society that is designed to divide people and isolate them from one another, which is a great technique of control, of course. Solidarity is very important and in fact is one of the main reasons the Labor movement was concerned from its origins. Solidarity was one of its main slogans: "we ought to be working together, we have to help one another, that's the only way we can confront concentrated power. You find out what you think and what the main values are by participation and interchange.

 

As far as action, what actions are most effective?

There is no general answer to that. It depends what your ends are, what you're trying to achieve. If you want to create an enterprise, a workforce, that is run and controlled by the community, choosing tactics is a very tricky operation. You have to take into account what kind of reactions are you going to get from other people.

 

What about protests? Isn't that a pretty important tactic?

Sometimes.

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