TODAY: Take Action for Net Neutrality

Last night, President Obama, in his State of the Union speech, made clear that net neutrality is important to everyone throughout the world.

“I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.”

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

We already know that if we don’t continue to have unfettered and free access to this most important utility, the voices of so many people will be unnecessarily silenced, bringing us further under the corporatized, enslaving stranglehold by a small group of elites who lack any empathy for the rest of us.

As the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) seems poised to put all (or at least some) protections of net neutrality in place, powerful lobbyists representing corporations who wish to exploit this utility for their own financial gain are gaming the U.S. Congress in an attempt to circumnavigate the FCC.

[This was Comcast’s big play all along] . . . if they lose the FCC, get Congress to do the dirty work. Now it’s happening. There are two fake net neutrality bills in motion that wouldn’t stop cable companies from discriminating against certain sites, but would block the FCC from enforcing real rules. — Holmes Wilson of  Fight for the Future

We can’t wait until President Obama has to veto attempts by Congress to do the dirty work of the corporatists, or for a possible Republican president in 2 years to allow this travesty. Click here to call the committee members, right now and tell them to stop standing in the way of real net neutrality. We need *everyone* to do this.

So take a few minutes now to call as many of them as you can.

How awesome would it be if while they’re at these bogus hearings, they get panicked texts from staff about the HUGE number of pro-net neutrality calls? 

Many of you have been active all year in making sure the FCC hears your voice. The FCC acknowledged the millions of calls and statements in favor of making the internet a public utility, like water, electricity, and your phone, as it should be. We were heard, and up until this unnecessary interference to neutralize the power of the FCC, it’s been looking good.

We can’t give up, we won’t give up. Make your voice heard, today especially.



Thousands of drug offenders to receive clemency

Step by step, month by month, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, as left us breathless as he and the Obama Administration have begun to heal America by destroying some of the malignant tentacles of the 40-year-old War on Drugs.

April 2013 will become one of the greatest landmark in establishing human rights in our own country because Holder’s most recent efforts will expand the eligibility for clemency to the 20% of all current prisoners who are serving sentences for marijuana possession, eventually freeing tens of thousands of people and improving the future for just as many families. He’s hiring more lawyers to free more and more people from jails and prisons.


In order to keep up with the influx of applications, Holder says the Department of Justice will assign more lawyers to review the applications. “As a society, we pay much too high a price whenever our system fails to deliver the just outcomes necessary to deter and punish crime, to keep us safe, and to ensure that those who have paid their debts have a chance to become productive citizens,” Holder said. “Our expanded clemency application process will aid in this effort. And it will advance the aims of our innovative new Smart on Crime initiative – to strengthen the criminal justice system, promote public safety, and deliver on the promise of equal justice under law.

This is a prime example of the progress at its best, and the further dismantling of completely coercive and useless systems. Things like racially motivated “stop and frisk” are unconstitutional in the first place and techniques like it are headed for the dustbin of history, at long last. Most important, we are seeing the first reversal of the corrupt and coercive corporate prison industry. Amazingly, as U.S. taxpayers we have been paying for the privilege of this industry’s Washington lobbyists wasting our time fluffing our congressmen, judges, and local communities for longer and more severe sentences, for the express purpose of improving profits, mostly on the backs of people of color, who have been ensnared by the War on Drugs because of poverty and joblessness.


What do you think?
Is there anything about the War on Drugs worth saving?
How will society change once this domestic war has ended, beyond the end of penalizing drug users?
What do you think of the very concept of for-profit prisons? Aren’t they a brick and motor conflict of interest?





White House Proposes Online Privacy Bill of Rights

(También en Español)

News of Note: White House Proposes Online Privacy Bill of Rights

the Obama Administration released a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights for online users, including the ability for browser users to opt out of being tracked by advertisers and others.

The proposed document was described by the White House as “part of a comprehensive blueprint to improve consumers’ privacy protections,” while maintaining the Internet’s growth and innovation. The Administration said the intent is to give users “more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet,” and to help businesses grow while maintaining consumer trust.

In the wake of SOPA, PIPA and other bills, I’m immediately suspicious of an online “Bill of Rights.” The proposal focuses on data collection and online privacy. I am totally in support of increased privacy online but I’m totally against enacting new laws to enforce that privacy. This “Bill of Rights” does not protect us from the government, it protects us from commercial websites. Giving the government any more reasons to police the internet, even if under the guise of enforcing privacy, is not welcome or necessary. If you want to browse the internet privately you already can. People everywhere (and in countries like China) use Tor to anonymize their online activity and social networks like Diaspora address privacy concerns related to centralized social networks.

The US Government recently labeled anyone that cares about online privacy suspicious of terrorism. I have no reason to believe this new Bill of Rights is anything but a loss of freedom.

What purpose do you believe this internet Bill of Rights may serve? Would you rather have the government step in and police the Internet for you, or are comfortable protecting yourself with the tools already at your disposal?

Global Sexual Freedom Watch

The struggle for the civil rights for women, sexual minorities, and people who are HIV+ outside of the United States, in hundreds of countries, involves fierce protection against imprisonment, mutilation, violence, and death. The abuse of power is monumental, and first world countries mostly sit idly by while this miscarriage of humanity is put forward by governments, religions, commerce, and often vile social custom.

This alone should make every American care about this silent genocide, the systematic “disappearing” of people who are HIV+ or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and gender-nonconforming (LGBT) and severe restrictions on the rights of women.

But, there are still other reasons, all very troubling, that should lead every global citizen to be concerned with this tyranny which causes the unnecessary shattering of people’s lives on every continent.

American foreign aid supplies all or a portion of the budgets of many foreign governments but we fail to do enough, anything, to interrupt the associated civil corruption which swallows sometimes half and mismanages what is supposed to be benefiting their populations. This has the most severe impact on women, sexual minorities, and people with HIV+. When will the United States live up to its own principles and condemn these practices and add more safeguards for our US tax dollars? Quiet and overt diplomacy and more public statements from President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton must be forthcoming, not just occasionally reactive or opportunistic sound-bites.

The US has a great opportunity to save a whole class of people in other countries, but looks away. Are we to look back on this period and say we stood quiet instead of interceding to prevent the mass murder of thousands and thousands we could have saved?.

To stand by not only misses that opportunity, America sends the wrong message, attitude, and philosophy out to the rest of the world, whose eyes are fixed on what we are or are not doing to make the world a better place. Will the US just perpetuate the global culture of sexual violence or do something about it?

Worse, and complicating this terrible worldwide problem, is the direct manipulation of dishonest, hypocritical, and greedy past and current US elected and appointed officials. These men very unofficially and unlawfully earn millions for themselves and their cronies on the backs of foreign populations. They are connected and primarily loyal to secretive christianist corporations/organizations, such as “The Family” (aka “The Fellowship”), the Family Research Council,  and to religious leaders whose congregations comprise primarily of honest people who may be blissfully unaware that their financial and moral support of their church is being funneled into the pockets of these commercial adventurers.

Like past charades and crusades, these zealots come in the disguise of acting “in the name of Jesus” and today use fear of women’s rights, fear of people who are HIV+, and fear of anyone who is LGBT to terrorize entire populations. This is a ruse to distract because they are chiefly concerned with who gets the contracts, for roads, schools, hospitals, and especially the extraction of national resources, and most important, “What is the margin? Their profit, how much can they get their hands on?

They lobby at home to unadvisedly turn out more foreign aid, even to countries under dictatorships, to keep the revenue stream pregnant with multiple opportunities to make even more money. One U.S. Senator has boasted of hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel and security he received as senator to fund his “Jesus work” in Uganda.

More in the weeks and months to come exposing the voting and lobbying histories of these current elected and appointed US officials (virtually all Republican, white, and male) which will disclose this egregious mishandling of US tax dollars for spreading homophobia and hate abroad, lining the opposition’s own pockets, and working to blur all lines separating church in state everywhere.

How about a round up and forced resignations of a few dozen members of the US Congress?

We will delve deeply into the cause which motivates these christianist corporations/organizations which advocate adherence to a duty they place higher than any civil duty whatsoever, including government service. Their shared cause is to bring about a world where the rule of law is replaced by the rule of [their] God. And their rule of God includes putting women in their place, and erasing sexual minorities that make them uncomfortable or scare them (itchy about one’s own sexuality, really) and any evidence of HIV+.

This goal to erase the rule of law is foundational to their political and private lives, as Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachman are showing us right now (don’t they know we can see them??). To me, this parallels the oft-disdained mission of jihadists. As for our the members of the US government involved in this cause, ahead of their oath to the US Constitution, this is a vile form of organized crime secretly draining our treasury and ought to be considered sedition.

Are we going to just sit by and let them do that? Their mayhem here and abroad must come to an abrupt end.

If we fail to get involved and act, these self-styled American Fundamentalists, these abusers of powers, will continue their mission of eradication of what they find unacceptable, bringing their theocracy to Main Street USA and every continent on the globe.

These forces are engaged in a worldwide, well-organized attack on all countries’ governments and their populations to extend their exclusionary religious beliefs and unreckoned homophobia and hate, all in the name of their religious cause.

We are broadening out contacts with foreign groups representing women, people with HIV+, and LGBT rights, and will be regularly reporting here, organizing grassroots activism in Washington, DC, and working with watchdog groups to expose the secretive disloyalty of US elected officials. We welcome new contributors.

Let us know what you think? What are you doing to right this terrible and shame wrong being perpetuated by our hard-earned tax dollars?

Where is the outrage?