Thursday, February 14, 2008

CODEPINK: Opening our hearts and shutting recruitment centers

February 14, 2008
Berkeley High students in our video.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, we witnessed a historical moment in the anti-war struggle. The Berkeley City Council withstood thousands of hate-filled emails, threats to cut off state and federal funds, hundreds of irate pro-war activists descending on their town insisting they were anti-troops. They stood firm in their opposition to a Marine Recruiting Station in the heart of their peace-loving city. Yesterday as we gathered to celebrate, the City Council expressed their gratitude of the resolve and tenacity of CODEPINK. Finally people in power modeling for Congress how to choose peace, instead of trembling in fear as the right hurls insults and threats.

Help us spread this campaign and sign our pledge of resistance to military recruiting and war and watch the video of youth and veterans speaking out for peace in Berkeley!

Today, CODEPINKers and friends are holding "kiss-ins" at recruiting centers around the country with the message, "Don't Enlist, Stay and Kiss”That Way Everyone Makes Out!" Of course, these actions are energized by the recent landmark actions in Berkeley. We are using the creative power of love to combat the destructive power of war. How better to celebrate Valentine's Day?!

Standing strong, with hearts wide open,

Dana, Desiree, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jodie, Liz, Medea, Nancy and Rae

Message from Eve Ensler, creator of V-Day, to CODEPINK├ó€¦
The women of New Orleans and the Gulf South - Katrina Warriors - have survived the fallout of global warming, failure of public structures, racism, economic hardship, and domestic abuse and violence. V-Day is working collaboratively with activists and grassroots groups to unite, activate, involve, and transform the women of the New Orleans and Gulf South community, forming a structure that will last through the rebuilding and beyond.
I invite YOU, the amazing activists of CODEPINK, to join V-Day in New Orleans on April 11 and 12, 2008 and change the story of women. Help us usher in the next decade where together we will end violence against women and girls!
Click here to find out how to join Eve!
CODEPINK is working to transform New Orleans through a cutting garden that will bring shade and beauty to families who live in the beleaguered region. This Valentine's Day instead of buying a dozen short-lived roses for your sweetie, consider planting a rose bush in their name. We need your help to make the garden, and the whole city of New Orleans, bloom. Donate a perennial, a wild rose or an indigenous tree TODAY!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tell the House: Strip Retroactive Immunity from FISA Legislation

Please have a look at this CREDO Action e-activism campaign.

The Senate has rolled over and given Bush, Cheney and the big
telecom companies exactly what they wanted -- immunity from
prosecution for their wiretapping crimes. Now it's up to the
House of Representatives to strip those provisions out of the

Please take action on this issue using the link below:

Friday, February 08, 2008

Benedict@Large: "Like your broadband? Just wait."

From: "Benedict@Large"
Subject: Like your broadband? Just wait.
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008

    Like your broadband? Just wait.
    If you're anything like me, you love your broadband connection. Not that your provider is perfect, but isn't that speed great? So much in so little time.
    At first, you either had broadband or you didn't. One size fits all. Then, the providers got together and started offering "tiered" broadband. Want a little more speed? Pay a few dollars more a month. But that didn't matter much because waiting 40 seconds for that video clip instead of twenty just wasn't a big enough deal for folks like us to pony up the extra dollars.
    But our ISPs still wanted more money, and so they tried to tier the internet itself! Internet sites that paid for premium delivery of their content would get it, while those who did not would be delayed in their delivery, even though we had paid for our broadband. They wanted to make our providers of internet content to pay extra for its delivery or make us wait extra for it, even as we had paid them to not wait for it.
    That effort is still in limbo; it requires an act of Congress before they do it, and so far, our internet service providers (ISPs) have not gotten that.
    Now, enter into their latest effort (the below article) to extract more money from us for less service. Now I write here assuming that most of you are at least a bit like me; you like to download (lots) whatever you can that you are interested in, and you need your broadband to do it. Well, it seems that our ISPs have suddenly found a new scheme to get more money out of you and I: They want to charge us for how much we download. If you download a lot, you'll be seeing an extra "usage charge" added to your bill.
    Do you use peer-to-peer file sharing? You're screwed. Pay for it. Like NetFlix and use their download service? Sorry, add to your NetFlix charge your ISP's charge for "excess usage".
    You have to understand what this is about. Your ISP is all willing and good to provide you with the quick access you've become used to, but they want more money from you if you get "too much" quick access. They sold you on quick access when you got broadband, but now they want to also tell you how much of that quick access you can have. Too much, and they want more money from you.
    Now the article below says that they are testing this in some community in Texas, and screw them I guess. But they are testing it there to see if it will work for the rest of us. If it works there, expect them to try it elsewhere. Like in your neighborhood.
    I've heard of late from others who have recently had their internet service suddenly cancelled. Excessive usage. And on every instance of this, the ISP could (or would) not specify exactly what constituted excessive usage. These folks had somehow exceeded some limit that could not be specified. I myself recently reviewed my new AT&T contract (which bought out my BellSouth contract), and indeed it specified this nebulous limit that might be applied to me. This is where they are coming from. They want more money out of us for the same service, and left to the "free market" Bushavics, they will get it. Which leaves it to us. Again.
    Now think of this for a moment. As liberals, we understand how critically important it is that people have as full access to internet content that they can use. Indeed, the internet is replacing our access to our now underfunded libraries, replacing those libraries with online content … our new world of knowledge.
    I think back now to when I was a child. Everyday as I walked home from school I went by my local branch of my town's libraries, and often stopped in. I loved that library so much, I would often go in without a single thought of why I was going in or what I was looking for as I did. I would "discover" that only as I repeatedly browsed what was there.
    Think of this. I was poor. This library represented to me everything I wanted to know about, and everything my parents could not afford to provide me.
    We speak these days of providing internet access to everyone, especially to poor children. To provide them with an equal opportunity so that they too have the ability to rise above their circumstances; to succeed. And yet now we are confronted by an industry that seeks to restrict how much we want to learn by how rich we are. If we (and especially our children) are indeed quite curious, our curiosity will be limited by what we can afford to toss at our ISPs. In other words, what is being pawned off to us as a quite reasonable usage fee will actually become a method of controlling what rich children can learn from the internet verses what poor children can learn. This is wrong. Our democracy cannot survive the tiered access to knowledge based on wealth that these corporations want. Our children too cannot survive this as they hope for their own futures.
    It's one community in Texas that is suffering from this so far. But it will not remain this way. If they get away with this there, we will begin to see it everywhere. One more spike in our democracy's death.
    Yes, we can.
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Microsoft finally got something right.

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