No Picture

New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship

Source: The Intercept

A newly published study from Oxford’s Jon Penney provides empirical evidence for a key argument long made by privacy advocates: that the mere existence of a surveillance state breeds fear and conformity and stifles free expression. Reporting on the study, the Washington Post this morning described this phenomenon: “If we think that authorities are watching our online actions, we might stop visiting certain websites or not say certain things just to avoid seeming suspicious.” read more

No Picture

The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big Dreams

Source: Yes! Magazine

Even with Tuesday’s campaign setbacks, Bernie Sanders’ pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable is more realistic than some people are letting on.

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who can get things done.

That’s what many pundits say. But, even with Tuesday’s setbacks to the Sanders campaign, it’s worth examining which is actually unrealistic—Bernie’s pledge to make the country more equitable and sustainable? Or Hillary’s progressive talking points, given her deep ties to corporate power players? read more

How Bernie Sanders and Occupy Wall Street Cracked Open America’s Political Imagination

A shift is happening outside the spotlight of the corporate media and our rigged political system. Socialism was the most looked-up word in the Webster dictionary last year. A recent poll conducted by Harvard says a majority of millennials do not support capitalism. The battle around the US ballot box could be narrowing, but the longer war of hearts and minds is still wide open.

No Picture

Why NATO Has Become One of the Most Destructive Forces on the Planet

Source: Alternet

Actions in Afghanistan, Europe, and Libya have created insecurity rather than order.

In May 2012, in the warm Chicago sunshine, I sat with journalist Jim Foley who had just returned from Syria. Jim and I had come for a large demonstration against a meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). War reporting in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria had not been easy on Jim, who was an easy-going man. “You can’t get what the Afghan people really think,” he said, when you travel with US troops and rely upon a US-military translator. Nearby sat a group of Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans who had planned to return their medals to their commanders. Jim had a great deal to say about warmongers, the merchants of war. NATO’s advocates were among them. They had come to celebrate their war on Libya. Meanwhile, in Libya, the devastation had spilled social toxicity across its landscape. This mattered little to NATO’s bureaucrats. read more

No Picture

I want Bernie Sanders to win. But it’s more vital that his movement persevere

Source: The Guardian Unlimited

Obama showed that a charismatic leader with big ideas doesn’t automatically bring big change – we need people to raise their voices and take to the streets

I was caucusing for Bernie Sanders at Washington State’s Democratic event last month, but when I stood up to speak to my peers, I found that I wasn’t specifically praising Sanders himself.

Rather, I spoke passionately about our need in this country for political imagination and for vibrant grassroots movements. Though I’m rooting for a Sanders presidency, it’s even more important that the ideals spurred by his movement continue, with or without him at the helm. read more