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How to Be More Than a Mindful Consumer

Source: Yes! Magazine

Since I released “The Story of Stuff” six years ago, the most frequent snarky remark I get from people trying to take me down a notch is about my own stuff: Don’t you drive a car? What about your computer and your cellphone? What about your books? (To the last one, I answer that the book was printed on paper made from trash, not trees, but that doesn’t stop them from smiling smugly at having exposed me as a materialistic hypocrite. Gotcha!)

Let me say it clearly: I’m neither for nor against stuff. I like stuff if it’s well-made, honestly marketed, used for a long time, and at the end of its life recycled in a way that doesn’t trash the planet, poison people, or exploit workers. Our stuff should not be artifacts of indulgence and disposability, like toys that are forgotten 15 minutes after the wrapping comes off, but things that are both practical and meaningful. British philosopher William Morris said it best: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” read more

Tar Sands Drones Are On Their Way

North American energy companies are planning to use drones to monitor their pipelines—in part to check for potential gas or oil leaks, but also to limit “third-party intrusions,” a broad range of activity that includes anything from unwanted vehicles entering restricted areas around pipelines to environmental activists.

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Manning: ‘Sometimes You Have to Pay a Heavy Price to Live in a Free Society’

The following is a rush transcript by Common Dreams of the statement made by Pfc. Bradley Manning as read by David Coombs at a press conference on Wednesday following the announcement of his 35-year prison sentence by a military court:

The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war.

We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on a ny traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life. read more

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Austerity & Agony Worsen in Greece

Source: The Indypendent

Oops, we did it again.

That’s essentially what the International Monetary Fund has to say in a June report acknowledging the grave mistakes it, the European Commission and the European Central Bank made in 2010 when they insisted on a savage austerity program as a condition for loans that allowed Greece to continue servicing its debt to European banks. While the stated expectation of the IMF, EU and ECB troika was that their program would only lead to a short recession that would quickly allow Greece to return to global financial markets, three years later austerity has led to a deep economic depression, with socially catastrophic consequences and the Greek debt as unmanageable as ever. read more

Attorney Patrice Florvilus

“Now They’re All Dead”: Threats of Assassination to Human Rights Advocates in Haiti

"Those before you were strong. Now they're all dead. Stop what you are doing, or the same will happen to you." Those were the words delivered to Frena Florvilus, Director of Education and Advocacy of the Haitian human rights organization Defenders of the Oppressed (DOP), early on the morning of August 11 by one of four unidentified men who attempted to enter DOP's office.