1. "Walk Forth" Article Intro Video.


    Here’s a short video to accompany Ryan Winston Elliott’s most recently published piece, “Walk Forth.” Video was shot on the 4th of July, 2013, and edited by John Sutherland.

  2. Restore The Fourth


    July 4th, 1776— The colonies of America have come together to address grievances from one of the most powerful empires in history. A constitution is drafted, and later a bill of rights which protect the people of America from government intrusion upon life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


    237 years have passed, and we find ourselves modern day America, which is a prosperous, democratic nation that has come a very long way in terms of culture, and leadership. It is not difficult to imagine that one, or many, can exhume the critical intricacies of the system within which they live. What makes things incredibly interesting, considering the innumerable viewpoints and ideologies involved in the discussion, is when there is a questionable moral angle to the argument.


    There is formidable evidence against The National Security Agency concerning the recent revelations detailing its international, as well as domestic surveillance programs such as PRISM and SAURON.  These programs collect vast amounts of meta data, or data that provides a blueprint of a person’s everyday activities including their location, duration of data usage, and all those involved in the process.

     

    . This breach of the 4th Amendment, which promises Americans protection against unfounded searches and seizures, is exactly why the citizens of Austin, Texas took to the streets on the Fourth of July. Protesters gathered to express discontent with the government at the capitol building—not a week ago, the capitol was flooded with constituents concerned with the anti-abortion SB5 bill. Among many of the people I talked to, their discontent originated in their uneasiness with the governments ability to implement such intrusive surveillance programs. After the gathering at the capitol the protesters marched down Congress Avenue, into downtown Austin. They showcased that the people do have a voice, a voice that can address social injustices and demand, as the Constitution promises, redress.


    From what I experienced on the streets, through the myriad and vociferous opinions that flooded the capitol there was one thing that was clear: by an incredible manifestation of First Amendment rights, the People expressed that they do not want governments, foreign or domestic, watching them with unwarranted and unfound pretenses. As the language of the Amendment explains, personal liberty must be protected from self-granted, self-effacing government surveillance.



    After walking in the Texas heat with people of all backgrounds—people of intersecting faiths, concerns, and doctrines—I am reassured that American citizens can march together for a common cause. The road for both the truth-teller, and those who wish to remain in their veil of secrecy is a murky one. I do know, however, that we must retain our liberty and the ability to express our ideas and opinions. Without this ability, we lose those inalienable rights, declared 237 years ago on July 4, 1776.

  3. We urge you to take part in the Restore the Fourth protests set to take place July 4, 2013. These will be occurring in most major cities in the U.S. We must underscore the importance of the people in our democracy. Members of Congress, members of the Senate, and the President are elected by us. Don’t let them forget it.
Below are a few links with key information about the protests on Thursday. Remember to do more than attend a protest, though: call your representatives, send mail, email them—flood them with your disapproval of your 4th Amendment rights being trampled upon.

http://www.restorethefourth.net/
https://optin.stopwatching.us/
http://blog.reddit.com/2013/07/rally-to-restore-your-rights-on-july-4th.html

    We urge you to take part in the Restore the Fourth protests set to take place July 4, 2013. These will be occurring in most major cities in the U.S. We must underscore the importance of the people in our democracy. Members of Congress, members of the Senate, and the President are elected by us. Don’t let them forget it.

    Below are a few links with key information about the protests on Thursday. Remember to do more than attend a protest, though: call your representatives, send mail, email them—flood them with your disapproval of your 4th Amendment rights being trampled upon.

    http://www.restorethefourth.net/

    https://optin.stopwatching.us/

    http://blog.reddit.com/2013/07/rally-to-restore-your-rights-on-july-4th.html

  4. United States charges Whistle Blower with Spying 

    Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been charged with espionage as well as theft of government property for exposing highly developed government spy programmes. 

    Snowden fears an unfair trial in the United States, stating he has ‘already been labeled a traitor’. He is currently in Hong Kong, a territory that has an extradition agreement with the United States should they wish to have him returned to American soil.

    Full story on Snowden’s current situation here

  5. thesmithian:

    …up to 200,000 people angry with high costs and poor public services took to the streets. Protesters in Rio de Janeiro burned cars and looted buildings as police attempted to disperse them with teargas and rubber bullets. Aerial images showed thousands of people attempting to storm the congress building in Brasilia. The rallies…are some of the biggest ever seen in the country…

    more.

  6. Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings and actions that make for peace and freedom.

    Conversely almost nobody wants war or tyranny; but a great many people find an intense pleasure in the thoughts, feelings and actions that make for war and tyranny. These thoughts, feelings and actions are too dangerous to be exploited for commercial purposes.

    Accepting this handicap, the advertising man must do the best he can with the less intoxicating emotions, the quieter forms of irrationality.

    — Aldous Huxley

  7. https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp

    The Trans Pacific Partnership is a closed-door trade agreement being concocted by someone’s representatives in D.C. The partnership is much like NAFTA but even more far-reaching and draconian and is being negotiated (secretly, of course) between twelve countries, including the U.S.

    See what Jello Biafra has to say and check out the information the public has on the partnership due to leaks.

  8. Orwellian Surveillance in the TAR 


    The region of Tibet is usually a politically sensitive issue for international dialogue concerning human rights, as well as national autonomy. France 24 correspondant, Cyrel Payen, spent 7 days in a sacred land of ancient culture that is slowly but surely manifesting a blueprint of Orwells 1984 world of surveillance and government brutality. More of the story here

  9. Syria: Ground Zero →

  10. "Episode One: Gettysburg"

    I helped create this video, along with the three others in the series, last year right before heading off to Germany for a few months. Unfortunately, this meant I was unable to help distribute and increase views to this series. I think it holds an important political message that, even though it was created over a year ago, still remains relevant.

    Let us know what you think.

    I may continue to post the other three in the series in the next couple weeks if there seems to be some interest.

  11. UN Officer Hired By Dyncorp To investigate Forced Prostitution Is Fired Once She Discovers That The Main Perpetrators Were UN Police (Must Read) →

    anarcho-queer:

    A former United Nations police officer is suing a British security firm over claims that it covered up the involvement of her fellow officers in sex crimes and prostitution rackets in the Balkans.

    Kathryn Bolkovac, an American policewoman, was hired by DynCorp Aerospace in Aldershot for a UN post aimed at cracking down on sexual abuse and forced prostitution in Bosnia.

    She claims she was ‘appalled’ to find that many of her fellow officers were involved. She was fired by the British company after amassing evidence that UN police were taking part in the trafficking of young women from eastern Europe as sex slaves.

    She said: ‘When I started collecting evidence from the victims of sex trafficking it was clear that a number of UN officers were involved from several countries, including quite a few from Britain. I was shocked, appalled and disgusted. They were supposed to be over there to help, but they were committing crimes themselves. When I told the supervisors they didn’t want to know.

    DynCorp sacked her, claiming she had falsified time sheets, a charge she denies. Last month she filed her case at Southampton employment tribunal alleging wrongful dismissal and sexual discrimination against DynCorp, the British subsidiary of the US company DynCorp Inc.

    DynCorp has the contract to provide police officers for the 2,100-member UN international police task force in Bosnia which was created to help restore law and order after the civil war.

    Bolkovac has also filed a case against DynCorp under Britain’s new Public Interest Disclosure Act designed to protect whistleblowers.

    As well as reporting that her fellow officers regularly went to brothels, she also investigated allegations that an American police officer hired by DynCorp had bought a woman for $1,000.

    Many of the hundreds of women working in Bosnia’s sex industry are lured from countries such as Romania and Ukraine with promises of jobs as waitresses but then delivered to brothel owners who confiscate their passports. Bolkovac claims that Dyncorp officers forged documents for trafficked women, aided their illegal transport through border checkpoints into Bosnia and tipped off sex club owners about raids.

    In an email to more than 50 people - including Jacques Klein, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative in Bosnia - Bolkovac described the plight of trafficked women and noted that UN police, Nato troops and international humanitarian employees were regular customers. It was shortly after this email went out that Bolkovac was reassigned.

    Related: The 15 Deadliest Corporations: #15 Dyncorp

    Dyncorp is a privatized military company that is often hired by the U.S. government to protect American interests overseas — and so the government can claim no responsibility for Dyncorp’s actions.

    Dyncorp is best known for its brutality in impoverished countries, for trafficking in child sex slaves, for slaughtering civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for training rebels in Haiti.

  12. Project Censored, the US media watchdog group, has released their annual report examining the shortcomings of reporting in 2012.

  13. Collaborative Consumption is a new model of product use emphasizing re-use and community development. 

    With an ever growing global society, the way in which our economies are becoming intertwined is clearly evident. The internet generation has found ways in which to share services, products and abilities which can build trust and economic benefit like never before. 

    Websites like MyCampusWall and Collaborative Consumption promote this idea for students, businesses and individuals across the globe. 

    "Basically, we are reinventing things that we used do in village squares – share, barter, rent, swap – but we can do them in ways that are relevant to the Facebook age," - Rachel Botsman, author of What’s Mine is Yours

  14. “If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.”

Matt Taibbi’s recent article on the HSBC settlement, the drug war, and what your class in society can buy you, or, rather what your class may allow you not to purchase. In essence: the fix is in.
Read at Rolling Stone.

    If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.”


    Matt Taibbi’s recent article on the HSBC settlement, the drug war, and what your class in society can buy you, or, rather what your class may allow you not to purchase. In essence: the fix is in.

    Read at Rolling Stone.

  15. "I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context. The film, which premiered this week, addresses the successful hunt for Usama Bin Ladin that was the focus of incredibly dedicated men and women across our Agency, Intelligence Community, and military partners for many years. But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.”

Interesting to see CIA Director Michael Morell take a stance on the film Zero Dark Thirty. I will say I’ve never seen the film and have little intention to - it appears a textbook example of Hollywood exploiting a (very) recent event for (very) quick profits with little regard to those actually involved and affected by the event.
Interesting to note too is a recent post by Bret Easton Ellis on Twitter: “The US critics lauding Zero Dark Thirty need to admit that they’re admiring a morally indefensible movie. I don’t care how “exciting” it is.”

Read More at The Hollywood Reporter.

    "I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context. The film, which premiered this week, addresses the successful hunt for Usama Bin Ladin that was the focus of incredibly dedicated men and women across our Agency, Intelligence Community, and military partners for many years. But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.”



    Interesting to see CIA Director Michael Morell take a stance on the film Zero Dark Thirty. I will say I’ve never seen the film and have little intention to - it appears a textbook example of Hollywood exploiting a (very) recent event for (very) quick profits with little regard to those actually involved and affected by the event.

    Interesting to note too is a recent post by Bret Easton Ellis on Twitter: “The US critics lauding Zero Dark Thirty need to admit that they’re admiring a morally indefensible movie. I don’t care how “exciting” it is.”


    Read More at The Hollywood Reporter.