Diatribe Media http://www.diatribemedia.com Chicago-based Collectors and creators of independent media Fri, 24 Feb 2012 23:03:43 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.1 Copyright © Diatribe Media 2010 aaron@diatribemedia.com (Aaron Cynic) aaron@diatribemedia.com (Aaron Cynic) posts 1440 Armageddon, end times, farmer's tan market, YMTE This Is The End Episode 1. Readings from Ian Randall and Brandon Weatherbee. This Is The End is a podcast series about Armageddon, end times propaganda and humanity's missteps towards extinction. Part social commentary, part comedy, part sad reality. Brought to you by Diatribe Media. Visit diatribemedia.com for more info Aaron Cynic Aaron Cynic aaron@diatribemedia.com No yes http://www.diatribemedia.com/wp-content/plugins/podpress/images/powered_by_podpress.jpg Diatribe Media http://www.diatribemedia.com 144 144 In Pictures: Serious Occupation http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/24/in-pictures-serious-occupation/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/24/in-pictures-serious-occupation/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2012 23:01:09 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1408 A few photos from a workers occupation at a factory in Chicago]]> Article by Aaron Cynic

On Thursday, employees from the Serious Energy window factory on Chicago’s Goose Island occupied their workplace in order to fight to save their jobs (full report at Chicagoist). In 2008, some of these workers staged a sit in to fight for their jobs, when then owners Republic Window and Doors planned on shuttering the factory doors and laying them off without pay owed to them. They won their fight then, and Serious Energy bought the company after bankruptcy and hired back some of the occupying workers.

After finding out in the morning that Serious planned to shut the factory’s doors, workers voted to once again occupy the space until they could be allowed a chance to sit at the negotiating table in order to either find a new owner, or turn the factory into a workers run collective. At 1am, they won their struggle and will be kept on the job for 90 days while union workers and the company find a way to keep the plant open with new owners.

IMG01026-20120223-1924 IMG01028-20120223-1931 IMG01047-20120223-2026 IMG01050-20120223-2034 IMG01052-20120223-2045 IMG01053-20120223-2048

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/24/in-pictures-serious-occupation/feed/ 0
New Georgia Bill Further Punishes Protest http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/23/new-georgia-bill-further-punishes-protest/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/23/new-georgia-bill-further-punishes-protest/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 23:53:39 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1402 Article by Aaron Cynic A new Senate Bill in Georgia is leading the charge in punishing peaceful protest. Senate Bill 469 amends laws relating to labor organizations and relations to “provide that certain provisions prohibiting mass picketing shall apply to certain private residences…provide for an action to enjoin unlawful mass picketing…and provide for both criminal [...]]]>

Police at Occupy Oakland, via Wikimedia Commons

Article by Aaron Cynic

A new Senate Bill in Georgia is leading the charge in punishing peaceful protest. Senate Bill 469 amends laws relating to labor organizations and relations to “provide that certain provisions prohibiting mass picketing shall apply to certain private residences…provide for an action to enjoin unlawful mass picketing…and provide for both criminal trespass and criminal conspiracy” with punishment and fines (h/t Sarah Jaffe at Alternet).

The bill makes it unlawful for persons to engage in picketing where “a labor dispute exists” in numbers that would block any kind of transportation or entrances to buildings or interrupt “quiet enjoyment.” In addition, planning such a direct action or protest would also become a crime – “conspiracy to commit criminal trespass.” In other words, a protest action such as a march or occupation of a building or protest around a private residence will be an arrestable offense, as well as planning such an action. The possible punishment includes a fine of up to $10,000 and a year in jail.

Eric Robertson, Political Director for Georgia Teamsters Local 728 told Alternet “This bill is obviously an attack on working people and anyone who believes in organizing for justice. It undermines civil liberties, and clearly is designed to cripple working peoples’ ability to organize and build organizations to improve their working conditions.”

Considering the already violent and harsh treatment Occupy demonstrators have received by law enforcement across the country, particularly in Oakland, Los Angeles, and New York City, this is a sad but not surprising attempt by legislators to further legalize state repression and fight dissent. As Jaffe points out, the language in the bill is very nebulous:

“’Constitute a threat to obstruct or interfere with’ could be interpreted pretty broadly, and leaves a lot of discretion up to police on the scene – or to business owners, who could have picketers removed by claiming they presented a ‘threat.’”

Such language mirrors the words contained in the National Defense Authorization Act, passed at the beginning of the year, which essentially, codifies the Federal government’s ability to indefinitely detain citizens. The Georgia Senate Bill reflects a much larger threat to democracy, slowly creeping its way across America in the wake of Occupy protests, but one that has existed always to people who wish to express dissent against war, corrupt politicians, and other misdeeds by their government: When people feel empowered to make bigger changes and work towards them, those sitting in the seats of authority will do everything to repress that sense to keep their place.

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/23/new-georgia-bill-further-punishes-protest/feed/ 1
Direct Action In Action: Occupy Piccolo http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/21/direct-action-in-action-occupy-piccolo/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/21/direct-action-in-action-occupy-piccolo/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2012 23:25:22 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1387 Article by Aaron Cynic A group of parents, students, teachers and activists occupied an elementary school in Chicago over the weekend to protest what the city calls a “turnaround,” which would shake up the staff and put the school under the authority of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a private organization opponents say fails [...]]]>

Article by Aaron Cynic

A group of parents, students, teachers and activists occupied an elementary school in Chicago over the weekend to protest what the city calls a “turnaround,” which would shake up the staff and put the school under the authority of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a private organization opponents say fails to produce results. Parents of students at Piccolo Elementary School in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood voted overwhelmingly against the proposed turnaround measures and developed a counter proposal, but their voices were ignored by City and Chicago Public Schools officials.

About 15 people stayed inside the school, while more than 100 helped to set up tents out front to show solidarity. Despite the cold, a few dozen stayed in shifts throughout the night, and well more than 100 supporters came back the next day to show their solidarity. Despite being denied food and in one person’s case, much needed blood pressure medication, the parents and activists inside remained until Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz met with them to listen to their demands. The action managed to secure the parents a meeting with board members of Chicago Public Schools, where they will be able to present their counter proposal which Ruiz said he hadn’t even heard of, though they had developed it more than a month prior.

After the occupants emerged from the school, Cecile Carroll, a spokeswoman for the group, said on the steps to a crowd of cheering supporters and media “This engagement was satisfying, but it illustrated the community engagement process though, is flawed. It should not have to take drastic measures like an occupation for real engagement…parents and community members need to be communicating with decision makers before things like this happen.”

Carroll’s words and the actions of the parents and their supporters, including members of Occupy Chicago, illustrate the exact reason why peaceful direct action is so necessary to reinvent our democratic system. The power imbalance in American politics has become so wide that signed petitions, marches in the streets, or even voting officials out of office can be completely ignored by the political elite. Campaign promises became little more that public relations bargaining chips during an election season long ago. While not all public officials are corrupt, the idea that a majority of them can be corrupt and ignore the will of their constituents shows that our democratic process has become corrupt. When the Congressional approval rating barely reaches 10%, it’s a glaring statement that the will of the American public has been almost completely ignored.

Occupy movements across the country have engaged in a multitude of peaceful direct actions, from shutting down traffic during protest marches, to fighting home foreclosure, aiding community organizing groups, and here in Chicago, assisting a struggling school in finding a better way to succeed than giving in to privatization. Such peaceful, non-violent direct actions have become necessary because merely stepping into a ballot box once every few years or flooding the phone lines have produced negligible results in stopping the downward spiral our society has been in.

On February 15th, members of Occupy Chicago packed a courthouse to show support for more than 90 people fighting to dismiss the charges leveled against them by the city for attempting to build an encampment last October. At an evening rally outside, one activist summed up the necessity of continued direct action, saying “When you have corruption, the only thing you can do is stand against it…we conduct direct action, because you’re acting as though you’re already free.”

The American political system has become so broken and corrupt, the feeling of powerlessness and apathy amongst the people has been palpable for decades. Occupy movements the world over, when engaged in community building and peaceful non-violent direct action, combat that powerlessness by creating empowerment. Like growing a garden, people see the results of their actions daily, The whole world is doing more than just watching, they’re actively attempting to weed out the roots of social and economic inequality, and plant new ones which will hopefully result in a better world and future for all people.

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/21/direct-action-in-action-occupy-piccolo/feed/ 0
Chicago Will Have Eyes In The Sky For NATO/G8 http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/13/chicago-will-have-eyes-in-the-sky-for-natog8/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/13/chicago-will-have-eyes-in-the-sky-for-natog8/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:08:36 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1379 Article by Aaron Cynic Illinois legislators are still wrestling with the issue of average citizens recording police activities on the streets, particularly in regard to the upcoming NATO/G8 demonstrations in May in Chicago. Local law enforcement, however, will be able to keep their eyes and ears trained on anyone planning to protest, and will now [...]]]>

Via Wikipedia

Article by Aaron Cynic

Illinois legislators are still wrestling with the issue of average citizens recording police activities on the streets, particularly in regard to the upcoming NATO/G8 demonstrations in May in Chicago. Local law enforcement, however, will be able to keep their eyes and ears trained on anyone planning to protest, and will now be doing it from the friendly windy city skies.

A press release from a company called Vislink revealed that Chicago Fire and Police Department helicopters will be equipped with new airborne surveillance technology ahead of the summits in May:

The airborne units will transmit to four strategically located ground-based receiver sites providing city-wide coverage and the ability to simultaneously receive real-time images from two aircraft for viewing at the OEMC operations center. An additional three receive systems will be installed in the city’s mobile command vehicles to facilitate field operations.

Already, Chicago is taking on massive preparations to lock the city down during the demonstrations. A private security firm is providing training to security forces, Mayor Rahm Emanuel changed various ordinances making it more difficult to organize a demonstration, the Chicago Police now have the power to deputize and enlist any other available security forces, and sharpshooters and other militarized types of law enforcement will be on hand.

City officials might say everyone will be able to exercise their First Amendment rights, but when people choose to do so, it will be under a microscope – one held by law enforcement and attached to a “less than lethal weapon.”

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/02/13/chicago-will-have-eyes-in-the-sky-for-natog8/feed/ 2
The Infectious Escalation of Occupy Oakland http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/30/occupy-oakland-what-it-means-for-us-all/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/30/occupy-oakland-what-it-means-for-us-all/#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2012 21:03:36 +0000 Natalie http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1366 As the police launched high velocity flash bangs, smoke bombs, and bean bag projectiles while a few demonstrators tossed hand-sized objects while fleeing the public street. In Oakland, a city so rife with economic and repressive tensions, Mayor Quan and Police Chief Howard seem intent on ignoring the needs of the public and grinding them under the department-approved 5.11 ATAC boot heel. In the mainstream media, Occupy Oakland participants have been typified as the aggressive instigators when, according to citizen journalism, they were only reacting to the upswing in violent action. ]]> Article by Natalie W

An unofficial count of 400 Occupy Oakland demonstrators were arrested Saturday, January 28, after being fired upon, beaten, kettled, and trapped by Oakland riot police.  The Occupy Oakland social movement is rooted in the lower-income, ethnically diverse Bay area city and has been a previous site of violent police repression. Oakland has been a nexus of social unrest long before the Occupation catalyzed it as an outlet for frustration. Oakland boasts closing public schools, an annual median family income at $56,000 in 2008, and in 2010, it was listed as the fifth most dangerous in the US with a history of police brutality. With all of these simmering tensions, Occupy Oakland’s actions should not come as a surprise to anyone, least of all elected officials like Mayor Quan and Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan.

The Occupy movement is a global social demonstration aimed at overturning the interconnectivity of money/economic/political entitlement. In 2011, acting under orders from Mayor Jean Quan, Oakland cops destroyed two Occupy encampments on public land. The immediate aftermath of their and other cities police forces’ wanton destruction of the camps created dialogue about the definition of public space, the role of elected officials and the need for the Occupy movement.

Occupy Oakland furthered the debate by their attempt to re-purpose the 6-year abandoned and shuttered Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. The convention center has no current plans for use and Occupiers intended to repurpose it as a community center, intending to offer housing, medical and convergence facilities. The simple fact that Occupy Oakland decided to enact this bold move is an indication that the public’s needs are not being met by their elected officials.

According to an eyewitness account from an arrested Mother Jones reporter, during an all-day festival, thousands of Occupy Oakland supporters demonstrated against the broken system, but did not take the abandoned convention center. Still, hundreds of police officers dressed in riot gear arrived to face down over a thousand Oakland men, women, and children as they walked the streets and sidewalks carrying signs, chanting and singing. According to the Huffington Post, there was a volley of tear gas and bottles between the police and protesters on the streets. According to various YouTube citizen video footage, the cops shot tear gas and flash bang grenades into lines of protesters, including a group of shield-carrying people protecting a medic as the masked individual provided medical assistance to a fallen man. Protesters retaliated by throwing bottles, furniture and rocks.  Last year, brave men and women waded into the tear gas to rescue Scott Olsen after he was shot in the head by a tear gas canister. They were dispersed when an officer shot a canister of tear gas directly into their group.

While no one should ever attack police officers, the violence enacted against police was a reaction to violence demonstrated to them. Not even in a directly proportional sense, the police launched high velocity flash bangs, smoke bombs, and bean bag projectiles while a few demonstrators tossed hand-sized objects while fleeing the public street.

In Oakland, a city so rife with economic and repressive tensions, Mayor Quan and Police Chief Howard seem intent on ignoring the needs of the public and grinding them under the department-approved 5.11 ATAC boot heel. In the mainstream media, Occupy Oakland participants have been typified as the aggressive instigators when, according to citizen journalists, they were only reacting to the upswing in violent action.

Furthermore, later that Saturday, Oakland police further increased the violence when after ordering the hundreds of women and men to disperse, kept them kettled in a small area and arrested them for a range of violations, including failure to disperse. Among the arrested included journalists. The elected officials of Oakland are choosing to burn taxpayer dollars restricting freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Instead of throwing blame like tear gas canisters or rocks, city officials should consider the upside of allowing a community organization to repurpose an abandoned structure for the betterment of their city.

Locally, in Oakland, the police and state escalated the power struggle by attending a peaceful public demonstration dressed in riot gear. Nationally, the federal government has shown up with its finest billy clubs as First Amendment-curtailing laws like NDAA are signed in to existence, regardless of public outcry.

Escalation is occurring. The state and status quo are utilizing their momentum to further increase the acceptable allowances of violence. When Occupations move to take back their rights, we are beaten, gassed, pepper sprayed, concussed, kettled, and arrested. As one of the many signs I’ve held at my Occupy Chicago rallies reads, “They only call it class warfare when we fight back,” that statement is truth. We need to keep fighting the escalation of violence. Every local occupation needs more ideas, more voices, more bodies dedicated to building a better world where public needs are met and police are not ordered to fire on their brothers and sisters.

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/30/occupy-oakland-what-it-means-for-us-all/feed/ 2
Journalists Under Fire in 2012 http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/29/the-dangers-of-protest-and-journalism-in-2012/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/29/the-dangers-of-protest-and-journalism-in-2012/#comments Sun, 29 Jan 2012 17:15:48 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1354 Article by Aaron Cynic Reporters Without Borders released its 10th annual Press Freedom Index, which found that while 2011 may have been Time Magazine’s “Year of the Protester,” it was also the year of government crackdowns on journalists. The opening of the report reads: “Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom [...]]]>

Occupy Oakland demonstration, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Article by Aaron Cynic

Reporters Without Borders released its 10th annual Press Freedom Index, which found that while 2011 may have been Time Magazine’s “Year of the Protester,” it was also the year of government crackdowns on journalists. The opening of the report reads: “Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom so much. Never have acts of censorship and physical attacks on journalists seemed so numerous. The equation is simple: the absence or suppression of civil liberties leads necessarily to the suppression of media freedom.”

Rounding out the bottom of the list are countries like North Korea, Iran, Syria and China – all types of dictatorships with very tightly controlled state media. While Tunisia, the country which arguably sparked the Arab Spring rose 30 places in the RWB index, Egypt plummeted nearly 40 due to the military maintaining the dictatorial practices of former President Mubarak.

The United States, land of the supposedly freeist press on Earth, dropped 27 places on the index to 47. Reporters Without Boarders attributes the giant drop in press freedom in the U.S. To the arrest of journalists made at Occupy protests. In just two short months, the index shows that at least 25 (that number is most likely much higher) journalists in the United States were subject to arrest and beatings by police who “were quick to issue indictments for inappropriate behavior, public nuisance or even lack of accreditation.”

Unfortunately, as Occupy demonstrations and other social movements will continue to grow across the United States and the globe, freedom of the press here in the U.S. And abroad will continue to diminish. Gothamist (full disclosure: I write for its Chicago outlet, Chicagoist) reported in December on its Kafkaesque journey to get press credentials from the New York Police Department, who has not been kind to journalists reporting on Occupy demonstrations. Various cities have engaged in actions to keep journalists far away from actions happening on the ground, particularly when arrests of demonstrators begin. Even just last night at a mass arrest of Occupy Oakland, at least one journalist from Mother Jones was arrested.

Fortunately, such incursions on a free and open press haven’t gone unnoticed. Here in the United States, Free Press, a media reform organization, collected more than 40,000 signatures in December urging New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, to protect the rights of journalists. The group also tracks the arrest of journalists. Thanks to major technological shifts making it easier to record and document events, social media and a huge increase in citizen journalism, we can hope that no matter how hard governments try, the people will be able to continue to document their struggles for freedom worldwide.

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/29/the-dangers-of-protest-and-journalism-in-2012/feed/ 2
EPIC Request Reveals DHS Monitoring Social Media http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/16/epic-request-reveals-dhs-monitoring-social-media/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/16/epic-request-reveals-dhs-monitoring-social-media/#comments Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:38:48 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1345 Post by Aaron Cynic A Freedom of Information Act has revealed the Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract in 2010 to General Dynamics’ Advanced Information Systems in order to provide constant surveillance of social media, according to The Washington Post. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed the request, and according to a training manual [...]]]>

Image via Wikipedia

Post by Aaron Cynic

A Freedom of Information Act has revealed the Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract in 2010 to General Dynamics’ Advanced Information Systems in order to provide constant surveillance of social media, according to The Washington Post. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed the request, and according to a training manual that was among the documents they received, DHS engaged in monitoring comments on Facebook, Twitter and blogs to obtain public sentiment on a proposed transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to a town in Michigan. The $11 million contract awarded to General Dynamics is expected to produce “reports on DHS, Components, and other Federal Agencies: positive and negative reports on FEMA, CIA, CBP, ICE, etc. as well as organizations outside the DHS,” according to Computer World.

An unnamed senior DHS official denied any such snooping or out of bounds monitoring and said the training manual is no longer in use. John Cohen, a senior counterterrorism adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Post he hadn’t seen any reports on negative views of a governmental agency and that reports of this nature “would not be the type of reporting I would consider helpful.”

Still, it’s not hard to connect the dots. Ginger McCall, director of EPIC’s open government program told the Post “The language in the documents makes it quite clear that they are looking for media reports that are critical of the agency and the U.S. government more broadly.” Considering the way law enforcement has treated political dissenters historically and recently, those that are part of Occupy movements, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, it’s not hard to forget the NSA’s dream of “Total Information Awareness,” and anyone who’s been to a political march or rally can tell you plenty of law enforcement agencies attend as well, cameras in hand. No matter how many times they deny it, the evidence shows exactly how much they are watching you.

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/16/epic-request-reveals-dhs-monitoring-social-media/feed/ 0
Gingrich: Occupy Infringes On My First Amendment Rights http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/10/gingrich-occupy-infringes-on-my-first-amendment-rights/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/10/gingrich-occupy-infringes-on-my-first-amendment-rights/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2012 20:45:19 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1336 Newt Gingrich shows conservatives only care about free speech when it's their own. ]]> Post by Aaron Cynic

Image via Wikipedia

Newt Gingrich believes that his right to free speech is being blocked by the free speech of others. Raw Story reports Gingrich told Fox’s Sean Hannity that he cancelled an event at his campaign headquarters due to Occupy protesters demonstrating outside. In the interview, Gingrich not only said that some Occupy demonstrators “have a touch of anarchism in them,” but went on to say “the society’s going to have to say there are limits to those kind of folks blocking people from having their right to free speech.”

In other words:

  • Gingrich continues the ramped up rhetorical war against anarchists. We’ve already seen this in several places. Anarchists are quickly becoming the new favorite villain of the right and the left, thanks to 2011’s explosion of anti-corporate and left leaning demonstrations across the globe. As Joe Macare at Global Comment points out: “(anarchism) is a word that is much misunderstood and often deliberately misrepresented to evoke cartoonish chaos, but it is also a political philosophy that arguably threatens established power structures most, since it calls for not the reform but the dismantling of the modern nation state.”
  • Newt believes in free speech, but his right to free speech is simply more important than others. More than likely, he would be fine with OWS protesters, provided they were kept confined to “free speech zones,” fenced in areas set up far away from the eyes and ears of the targets of said protests.
  • Like plenty of other right wing conservatives, Gingrich loves the rhetoric provided by Occupy movements. Provided he can doublethink hard enough to criticize his opponents while ignoring his own role and status in those criticisms, that is. Talking Points Memo reports Newt recently leveled criticism about Mitt Romney’s role as a one percenter, telling reporters “You have to ask the question, is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money?”

Ultimately, Newt’s opinion of Occupy demonstrators and free speech reflect the sad state of understanding the right wing has when it comes to free speech. Conservative politicians and pundits love free speech, provided that speech agrees with their views and values. Anything critical or not under their PR spin control either sends them running or has them calling for a clamp down.

When a candidate for the nation’s highest office, whose job would be to uphold the constitution, says we should limit the speech of his opponents because they exercise their right to peaceably assemble, it’s time for that candidate to exit the election cycle. The statement not only demonstrates a gross interpretation of what “free speech” means, but shows exactly how totalitarian Newt Gingrich would act sitting in the Oval Office.

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/10/gingrich-occupy-infringes-on-my-first-amendment-rights/feed/ 0
New Year’s Revolution http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/09/new-years-revolution/ http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/09/new-years-revolution/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 19:39:03 +0000 Aaron http://www.diatribemedia.com/?p=1329 Instead of trying to fix ourselves, failing, and then beating ourselves up about it, let’s consider a new concept of resolutions for this New Year. Let’s endeavor to better society for everyone, not just our individual selves.]]>

Image via Wikipedia

Article by Natalie W

We’re breathing the very last gasp of the holiday cycle. First it was the overeating celebration, where we shoved every last delicious morsel of multiple dinners in to our mouths and tried not to nap in front of the football game. Then, it was the winter holiday, where we all spent too much money or were upset that we couldn’t spend more money to demonstrate affection on our beloveds. Then, it was the year-end party where we bid adieu to last year with booze, food, and dancings. In the cold light of 2012, we took stock of the confetti-strewn, champagne soaked, glitterbomb of our lives and resolved to do better this year. On the heels of the self-focused 6-ish weeks, 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. The top New Year’s resolutions are about weight loss, exercise, consuming less alcohol, quitting smoking cigarettes, finding the love of the your life, better money management and debt reduction. Further analysis shows exactly what we’re attempting to improve and how we’re only setting ourselves up to fail.

New Year’s Resolution: lose weight/exercise more/drink less:

We’re all fat and lazy, duh. We just spent the last six weeks shoving so much alternately delectable and downright awful food paired with heavy drinks and boozy bevies down our throats. All we have been doing is eating, drinking, watching holiday specials on tv, and shopping, which does not count for exercise. (Full disclosure: the author has a legit potbelly.) We live in a truly body-conscious society where we are not considered attractive even to ourselves until we’re living up to a Hollywoodized or Photoshopped standard of beauty-slash-reality. Let it go. Beauty is in brains, not butts or abs or chiseled upper arms. Start doing interesting things that lead to connections with others through foundation-building conversation over beers or coffee or dinner. In creating something other than your body to focus on, the depths of personality, dreams, goals, and offerings can be discovered and then shared.

New Year’s Resolution: fall in love/find the perfect partner

This resolution equates human relationships to car keys. Love is not something to be found; it’s a state of being, of creating and then nurturing. Of course we all want companionship but emphasizing the necessity of the existence of a relationship for happiness is not a sound foundation for a healthy involvement.

These resolutions are so self-focused and so individualistic, there’s barely any room for anyone else to squeeze in their goals. It’s no surprise that 75 percent of these resolutions are not maintained past the first week of making them.

Seventy-five percent of resolutions are not maintained past the first week of making them. Of the remaining 25 percent of resolutions, 71 percent do not survive the second week. These resolutions are so self-focused and so individualistic, there’s barely any room for anyone else to squeeze in their goals. Then everyone forgets or decides their pledges are too hard and reverts to their same old selves. Currently, we’re reaching that time in the new year where we give up on, or are about to abandon, improving ourselves and revert back to the lonely, lazy, boozy person we were at the end of 2011. Instead of trying to fix ourselves, failing, and then beating ourselves up about it, let’s consider a new concept of resolutions for this New Year. Let’s endeavor to better society for everyone, not just our individual selves.

So this 2012, let go of feelings of depression about the current failure of self-improvement, and declare that we revolutionize (or reform) the resolution process and determine goals we can actually achieve. If we endeavor to better society, we will find ourselves inspired, engaged, and meeting a host of new people at the same time.

New Year’s Revolution: Improve Society, however you like:

If uncertain of where to start, start with yourself. Determine what interests you.

§  If you’re interested in helping animals or animal rights, meet your local animal rescue group and ascertain what’s needed.

§  If your jam is helping others through nonprofit organizations in areas like arts and culture, homelessness, seniors, health and medicine, crisis support, etc, check out Volunteer Match. Volunteer Match links up individuals with groups sharing their goals.

§  If politics and improving life for everyone across a range of topics and practices speaks to you, investigate your local Occupy movement. The Occupy movement has over 1,505 global operations aimed at raising political consciousness, empowering the general public, holding elected officials accountable, proffering solutions for improving society, among other undertakings. To find your local occupation, see OccupyTogether.org/actions. By involving yourself in your local Occupy movement, even just by tipping a toe into the waters of revolution by reposting or retweeting information, you’re still participating and strengthening a network of informed individuals. For further involvement, consider attending the public General Assembly, where committees present ideas, working groups are formed, and issues are voted on.

The key in revolutionizing (or reforming) the resolution process is that this goal is not about you. It’s not about dropping 20 pounds, quitting smoking, or striking up conversation with the attractive person at the bar; it’s about bettering society and finding yourself improved as a by-product. Once we as a culture realize this society doesn’t have to remain so individualistic and that the goals of one can interconnect with the goals of many, we can truly begin self-improvement.

Article by Natalie W

Digg This  Reddit This  Stumble Now!  Buzz This  Vote on DZone  Share on Facebook  Bookmark this on Delicious  Kick It on DotNetKicks.com  Shout it  Share on LinkedIn  Bookmark this on Technorati  Post on Twitter  Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)  
]]>
http://www.diatribemedia.com/2012/01/09/new-years-revolution/feed/ 0