1Sky and 350.org Merge under 350.org Banner to Unite Large-scale Powerful Grassroots Climate Movement | Common Dreams

350.org

Image via Wikipedia

1Sky and 350.org Merge under 350.org Banner to Unite Large-scale Powerful Grassroots Climate Movement | Common Dreams.

More information at above link.

Grassroots groups 350.org and 1Sky today announced they will combine under the 350.org banner and dramatically expand their work. “In light of last night’s vote, it is more important than ever to unite and train a bigger, more powerful grassroots movement capable of attacking our corporate polluter opponents and fighting for a real clean energy future. This moment is our call to action,” said Liz Butler, Campaign Director of 1Sky.

In an essay announcing the merger, McKibben and new 350.org board member, author and activist Naomi Klein, wrote, “The idea is not to supplant the Washington green groups, but instead to give the whole movement new clout—enough clout to withstand the crushing power of oil money.”

Advertisements

Revealed: US Spy Operation That Manipulates Social Media | Common Dreams

Full article is at the above link.

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media using fake online personas designed to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

General David Petraeus has said US efforts to spy on social media are aimed at ‘countering extremist ideology and propaganda’. (Cliff Owen/AP) A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with the US Central Command (Centcom) to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities at once.

The contract stipulates each persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 controllers must be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.

Once developed the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with a host of co-ordinated blogposts, tweets, retweets, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

More information is available under the Freedom of Information Act at FedBizOpps.com

 

Protect Civil Liberties: Don’t Re-Authorize PATRIOT Act | Demand Progress

Your conversation is being monitored by the U....

Image via Wikipedia

Protect Civil Liberties: Don’t Re-Authorize PATRIOT Act | Demand Progress.

Full Article at above link.

Since it was passed almost a decade ago, some of the most noxious portions of the PATRIOT Act have burrowed their way deep into our legal system.  A year ago, President Obama signed a bill extending three provisions of the original PATRIOT Act; last week Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) introduced legislation to extend them again.

Barack Obama’s justice department has come out in favor of renewing three controversial PATRIOT Act provisions.  The silver lining?  Tthe Justice Department also declares its openness to “modifications” of those provisions designed to provide checks and balances, provided they don’t undermine investigations.  The problem with many of the law’s provisions is that there are needed constraints and oversight mechanisms.

Three of the Potential Changes That Can Be Made:

Consider the much-contested “roving wiretap” provision allowing warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to cover all the communications devices a target might use without specifying the facilities to be monitored in advance—at least in cases where there are specific facts supporting the belief that a target is likely to take measures to thwart traditional surveillance. The objection to this provision is not that intelligence officers should never be allowed to obtain roving warrants, which also exist in the law governing ordinary law enforcement wiretaps. The issue is that FISA is fairly loosey-goosey about the specification of “targets”—they can be described rather than identified. That flexibility may make some sense in the foreign intel context, but when you combine it with similar flexibility in the specification of the facility to be monitored, you get something that looks a heck of a lot like a general warrant. It’s one thing to say “we have evidence this particular phone line and e-mail account are being used by terrorists, though we don’t know who they are” or “we have evidence this person is a terrorist, but he keeps changing phones.” It’s another—and should not be possible—to mock traditional particularity requirements by obtaining a warrant to tap someone on some line, to be determined. FISA warrants should “rove” over persons or facilities, but never both.

 

The DOJ letter describes the so-called “Lone Wolf” amendment to FISA as simply allowing surveillance of targets who are agents of foreign powers without having identified which foreign power (i.e. which particular terrorist group) they’re working for. They say they’ve never invoked this ability, but want to keep it in reserve. If that description were accurate, I’d say let them. But as currently written, the “lone wolf” language potentially covers people who are really conventional domestic threats with only the most tenuous international ties—the DOJ letter alludes to people who “self-radicalize” by reading online propaganda, but are not actually agents of a foreign group at all.

Finally, there’s the “business records” provision, which actually covers the seizure of any “tangible thing.”  The problems with this one probably deserve their own post, and ideally you’d just go through the ordinary warrant procedure for this. But at the very, very least there should be some more specific nexus to a particular foreign target than “relevance” to a ongoing investigation before an order issues. The gag orders that automatically accompany these document requests also require more robust judicial scrutiny.

The link above will take you to Demand Progress and there is an option to sign their petition.

The Food Safety Bill Passes Senate: What it Means for Eating in America : TreeHugger

Fresh! Fruits and vegetables in León HDR

Image by marcp_dmoz via Flickr

The Food Safety Bill Passes Senate: What it Means for Eating in America : TreeHugger.

Full article is available at the above link.

The bill gives the FDA the ability to test foods for dangerous pathogens, to issue food recalls, and requires that it do better and more frequent inspections of industrial food production plants.

It will also hold imported food to the same standards for inspection that we hold domestically produced food.

Many in the local and organic food movement were worried that such a sweeping safety bill would regulate them too heavily, and effectively drive them out of business. But a provision introduced in the later stages of debate exempts any producer making less than $500,000 in sales, so as long as it does its business locally.

Will 3D Printing Spark A Green Manufacturing Revolution? : TreeHugger

Example of replication of a real object by mea...

Image via Wikipedia

Will 3D Printing Spark A Green Manufacturing Revolution? : TreeHugger.

It is like the music for our iPod; dematerialized bits and bytes put together again where we need it, without the waste of a physical intermediary.

[Abe Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems] predicts the cost of outsourced labor in emerging markets like China and India will continue to rise along with the growth of their middle classes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, both employment and compensation costs in China increased rapidly from 2002 to 2006. Employment in China increased by more than ten percent in just four years, while compensation costs increased more than 40 percent. “We believe this is an opportunity for recreating a reverse flow, bringing manufacturing activities and jobs back to the United States,” says Reichental.

It may seem a far-fetched to predict that thousands of entrepreneurs across America will install professional-grade rapid prototyping machines in their garages and begin manufacturing custom-made products. But if the costs of rapid prototyping technology continue to decline, it’s hard to see why future generations will have to go to the store to buy anything made of solid plastic or metal. Why buy cutlery and plastic cups if you could just download the design and make it yourself? Plastic water bottles, shower curtains, simple toys, Tupperware, and all types of kitsch. The list goes on.

Amnesty International’s Global Write-a-thon

Amnesty International

Image via Wikipedia

Amnesty International’s Global Write-a-thon.

Sign up to Write for Rights: December 4-12 2010

“YOUR WORDS HAVE POWER:

They can bring FREEDOM to prisoners of conscience. They can demand JUSTICE for survivors of torture. They can offer HOPE to human rights defenders at risk.

Your words can SAVE LIVES.

Each year hundreds of thousands of people across the world mark International Human Rights Day on December 10 by taking part in Amnesty International’s Write for Rights Global Write-a-thon – the world’s largest letter writing event. We write letters to demand that the rights of individuals are respected, protected and fulfilled. In doing so, we show solidarity with those suffering human rights abuses and work to bring about real change in people’s lives.”

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:

1. SIGN UP to Write for Rights! Participate as an individual, or host an event and invite friends, family, and members of your community to join the call for human rights. Check out our Write for Rights! map to find an event near you.
2. SPREAD THE WORD! Tell everyone that you plan to Write for Rights on Facebook and/or Twitter. Encourage others to sign up for Write for Rights! by texting or emailing this registration link: www.aiusa.org/writeathon

3. Get your RESOURCES in November. Everything you need to participate in Write for Rights! will be available on this website, including case summaries, sample letters, promotional materials, and helpful tips for holding a successful Write for Rights! event. Participants will receive an email when these additional Resources become available. If you’d like hard copies of these items or have questions, email us: writeathon@aiusa.org.

4.  WRITE and MAIL your letters. (December 4-12 are the key dates, but feel free to start earlier or later.)

5. TELL US HOW IT WENT! We want to hear from you: did you meet your letter pledge goal? Do you have great ideas on how we can make next year’s Write for Rights even better? Be sure to complete the very brief online evaluation form (available in November) or send us an email: writeathon@aiusa.org.

We Need A New Type of Grassroots Movement: What Is Next For Climate Change Policy?

Past clean energy growth 1995-2007. Based on i...

Image via Wikipedia

Daphne Wysham, from the Institute of Policy Studies, talks about dislike of Cap and Trade, AB32 and incentives for renewable sources of energy.

She says that we know the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been “a funnel for a lot of oil, gas, and cola money; specifically to be fighting any sort of clean energy initiatives at the state, local, and national level”.

She also mentions that European polluters have thrown a lot of money into the US election, specifically to climate change deniers.

The Hope Shot?  Grassroot struggles ARE….I repeat ARE…succeeding!!  This includes Native Americans saying NO MORE COAL MINING and The Environmental Justice League saying an incinerator is not a renewable option.  There are also anti-fracking initiatives in the North East advocating clean water, Sierra Club has been taking on coal plants, and more!!

There are Environmental Justice issues that help to mobilize people.