Stop SOPA: Protect Your Online Rights!

Stop SOPA: Protect Your Online Rights!

PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House, and is moving quickly through Congress. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the internet, in the name of protecting “creativity.” The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites; they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.” The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year. That’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

PROTECT-IP/SOPA Breaks The Internet

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Wired: Federal Wiretap Surveillance Now

Wired: The Wiretap Now

Studs Terkel, the eminent chronicler of American life, has written this Op-Ed piece in today’s edition of the New York Times:

“EARLIER this month, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the White House agreed to allow the executive branch to conduct dragnet interceptions of the electronic communications of people in the United States. They also agreed to “immunize” American telephone companies from lawsuits charging that after 9/11 some companies collaborated with the government to violate the Constitution and existing federal law. I am a plaintiff in one of those lawsuits, and I hope Congress thinks carefully before denying me, and millions of other Americans, our day in court.

During my lifetime, there has been a sea change in the way that politically active Americans view their relationship with government. In 1920, during my youth, I recall the Palmer raids in which more than 10,000 people were rounded up, most because they were members of particular labor unions or belonged to groups that advocated change in American domestic or foreign policy. Unrestrained surveillance was used to further the investigations leading to these detentions, and the Bureau of Investigation — the forerunner to the F.B.I. — eventually created a database on the activities of individuals. This activity continued through the Red Scare of the period.

In the 1950s, during the sad period known as the McCarthy era, one’s political beliefs again served as a rationale for government monitoring….I was among those blacklisted for my political beliefs. My crime? I had signed petitions. Lots of them. I had signed on in opposition to Jim Crow laws and poll taxes and in favor of rent control and pacifism. Because the petitions were thought to be Communist-inspired, I lost my ability to work in television and radio after refusing to say that I had been “duped” into signing my name to these causes.

By the 1960s, the inequities in civil rights and the debate over the Vietnam war spurred social justice movements. The government’s response? More surveillance. In the name of national security, the F.B.I. conducted warrantless wiretaps of political activists, journalists, former White House staff members and even a member of Congress.

Then things changed….In 1978, with broad public support, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which placed national security investigations, including wiretapping, under a system of warrants approved by a special court. The law was not perfect, but as a result of its enactment and a series of subsequent federal laws, a generation of Americans has come to adulthood protected by a legal structure and a social compact making clear that government will not engage in unbridled, dragnet seizure of electronic communications.

The Bush administration, however, tore apart that carefully devised legal structure and social compact. To make matters worse, after its intrusive programs were exposed, the White House and the Senate Intelligence Committee proposed a bill that legitimized blanket wiretapping without individual warrants….

I have observed and written about American life for some time. In truth, nothing much surprises me anymore. But I always feel uplifted by this: Given the facts and an opportunity to act, the body politic generally does the right thing. By revealing the truth in a public forum, the American people will have the facts to play their historic, heroic role in putting our nation back on the path toward freedom. That is why we deserve our day in court.”

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My Articles for Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Attorney General Gonzales was heatedly denounced by senators at Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing. He brazenly tried to dodge responsibility for his abysmal leadership at Justice and for his shameless role in trying to force a hospitalized John Ashcroft into renewing Bush’s surveillance program. Photo, hearing transcripts and videos included.

[tags: blogs, Attorney General Gonzo Gonzales, Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft, Judiciary Committee testimony, photograph, YouTube]

“Photo of the Day: The Manhattan Bridge.” This is a beautifully rendered, high-resolution photograph of The Manhattan Bridge, with stunning dimensionality revealed in striking shadow contrast. A masterpiece!!

Photography by: Joseph O. Holmes, NYC

[tags: blogs, Photo of the Day, Photograph of the Day, Manhattan Bridge, New York City, photograph]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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My Articles for Friday, July 06, 2007

President Bush’s commutation of Libby’s sentence continues to be seen by many as an impetuous attempt to cling to his remaining hardcore base for the remainder of his term, as well as to shield Dick Cheney and perhaps himself from implication. A summary of many angry reactions to his decision is presented. Photos and Keith Olbermann video included.

[tags: President Bush, Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Keith Olbermann, photographs, YouTube]

A “national underground network” of lesbian pistol-packing lesbians is terrorizing America, according to a shocking report on the Fox News Channel program, The O’Reilly Factor. See terrifying pictures of them and watch the video of Bill O’Reilly’s frightening report.

[tags: lesbian, gay, GLBT, lesbian gangs, photographs, video, YouTube]

WordPress.com cans one of its main forums moderators, because he doesn’t toe the line. So much for internet freedom at WordPress. Read about it here, before WordPress deletes any mention of this incident.

[tags: blogs, bloggers, WordPress, WordPress stifles freedom, internet freedom, freedom]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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WordPress.crap: WordPress Stifles Free Expression

WordPress.com cans one of its main Forums moderators, because he doesn’t toe the line.  So much for internet freedom at WordPress.  To them, it’s all about the money anyway!

A typical user’s response to this incident:

I’ve been around wordpress long enough now to know that things like fairness, honesty and accountability are foreign concepts to them, and every couple of months I watch another batch of people get disillusioned after they believed the rhetoric and thought they were decent guys.”

The WordPress Cyberborg: Pet Shop Boys

Cyberborg: The Pet Shop Boys

Read about it here, before WordPress deletes any mention of this incident:

You’ve been fired!

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My Articles for Wednesday, June 20, 2007

At the time of his death in 2004, at the age of 83 Richard Avedon was arguably the world’s most famous photographer. There were times in his life, however, when Mr. Avedon worried that people didn’t recognize that he really was an artist. In retrospect, it’s clear that his artistic talent was phenomenal. This article includes music audio, photographs and a photo slideshow.

[tags: blogs]

“Influential Blogger Digby Comes Out: Take Back America”

Netroots blogger Digby, the influential but until-yesterday anonymous political blogger, accepted an award at the “Take Back America Conference” yesterday on behalf of the “Progressive Blogosphere.” Glenn Greenwald wrote about her acceptance speech today in in Salon. A Photograph and video of Digby’s acceptance speech are included.

[tags: Digby, blogger, blog, politics, poitical blog, social issues]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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Influential Blogger Digby Comes Out: Take Back America

Netroots Blogger Digby: Take Back America Conference

Digby, the influential but until-yesterday anonymous political blogger, accepted an award at the Take Back America Conference yesterday on behalf of the “Progressive Blogosphere.”  Digby, of Digby’s Hullabaloo fame, turns out to actually a be woman, who has previously won the coveted Koufax Award for blog writing. Glenn Greenwald wrote about Digby’s acceptance speech today in Salon:

“When establishment journalists speak of the liberal blogosphere, it is virtually an article of faith that it represents the “far left,” that it is composed of the radical and fringe elements of liberalism. This week, the increasingly dishonest Fred Thompson castigated Harry Reid for participating on a conference call with bloggers from some of the largest liberal blogs by describing the participants as “fringe elements of the blogosphere who think we’re the bad guys.  This is a place where even those who think the 9/11 attacks were an inside job find a home.”

Before I began blogging in October, 2005, I was an avid reader of blogs.  What motivated me to begin blogging was that the most insightful and informed political analysis was to be found, far and away, on blogs, and I wanted to be part of that discussion.  And, as is true for thousands of people, I believed (and still do) that the most insightful political analysis of all came from the keyboard of Digby, who — until now — has shielded all parts of her identity, including her gender, behind her pseudonym.

Yesterday, Digby unmasked herself. Appearing at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, she accepted an award on behalf of all liberal bloggers and gave a truly superb speech about the blogosphere.  The speech in its entirety is worth watching, principally because it provides one of the most accurate portrayals of who bloggers are, what motivates them, their demographic diversity and the role they play — certainly far more accurate than the trite caricatures which are typically embraced by media mavens, including (albeit to a lesser extent) Jonathan Chait in his much-discussed New Republic cover story on the “netroots.”

The full version of Greenwald’s article can be read at Salon.

In addition, Joan Walsh has an article about Digby that also appears in Salon, which you can read here.

Political Blogger Digby: Take Back America Conference

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