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Metta Ben
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Metta Ben

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Murdoch is about as close as you can get to my political opposite. And yet I was surprised to learn there are actually some issues we both agree on: we both agree the bailout of the wall street banks was immoral, for example. But while he approaches this from a free market is god argument, I approach it from the angle of social and economic justice. He and I also both agree that some amount of regulations is okay. But obviously where we draw the line is completely different. Fundamentally his point is that the rich deserve the fruits of their labor because the free market is the fairest system. Yet strangely inconsistently he warns about "crony capitalism" (which I'm sure even he would agree is our current system). Which is it Murdoch? Either our system is fair or it is not. He says people stop believing in the system when they come to believe it is rigged. Well, hello, news flash for Murdoch: almost everybody feels it is rigged.

Fundamentally Murdoch ignores the fundamental reason why the free market is immoral: truly it has come to mean the freedom to exploit others and to exploit the environment. He doesn't even mention the environment, as if massive species extinction and the global obliteration of nature is somehow completely irrelevant.

His view of freedom is much like the view of slave owners: slave owners have always argued that should be free to exploit their own property and enjoy the fruits of their own labor. The fact their their "property" should never have been "theirs" to begin with is a total blind spot.

No matter how persuasive his arguments about human progress, he cannot turn greed into a human virtue. I'm sorry, but greed is wrong, no matter what the lofty justification for it is. So long as people are dying for want, so long as our system is so massively unfair, and yes, rigged, given these basic realities, in spite of Murdoch's mighty media empire convincing people otherwise, ALL people are completely justified in wanting a fairer system, and all are justified looking for solutions from some source other than this free market ideological dead end which has so thoroughly obliterated nature and native peoples and real freedom and morality across the globe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbqLO1TBnGo99

#murdoch #freemarket #free #freedom #capitalism #socialism #fairness #economy #greed
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Metta Ben

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It would certainly explain a lot if it turned out to be the case that the economic survival of the United States depended on constantly overthrowing third world nations.

Let us assume for a moment this "conspiracy theory" is true.

Where do you stand? If you are a reptilian, you would unequivocally support more war. Might makes right.

If you are not a reptilian, you immediately begin to see the absolute horror of the situation.

My question is: why are the reptilians in power? Why do we keep electing them over and over again? Are we so afraid of change and so attached to our petty position of relative privilege that we refuse to let go of the riverbank?

#war #peace #conspiracy  
 
http://falkvinge.net/2012/10/06/the-us-invaded-iraq-because-it-wouldnt-have-survived-otherwise/
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Metta Ben

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Woman alleges she was pulled over at gunpoint, made to wait for hours, strip searched in public and in front of her kids, and they even forcibly removed her tampon and thus essentially raped her... all of this for allegedly rolling thru a stop sign.

#police #abuse #rape #occupy

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2012/08/cops_strip_search_mom_pull_tam.php
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Metta Ben

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6 months of jail for the crime of sleeping in public? Sounds fair to me!

#homeless #crime #injustice #occupy

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/07/29/18718520.php
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Now the truth is coming out. Many of us cynical anti-war folks were a bit baffled by Afghanistan's lack of oil. Obviously fighting the Taliban was a made up justification for the war, but what was the real reason? Now we know: Aghanistan has over a trillion dollars worth of minerals including those coveted rare earth metals China has a near monopoly over. Time to plow up the poppy fields, the wholesale strip mining earth-raping neocolonial  imperialist exploitation of Afhanistan is about to begin. For the multinational corporate war profiteers, it's nearly payday, big time. Maybe someday some of the profit will trickle down to US taxpayers who funded the war? Doubt it. We've been successfully manipulated once again.

#afghanistan #war #profiteer #occupy

http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/07/us-maps-afghanistans-geology-from-50000-feet/



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Metta Ben

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If u think this cartoon is hyperbole, consider the activist who was recently arrested for giving a speech without a permit. The Tea Party which bought a permit for a similar speech obviously has no problem with this state of affairs. The message is loud and clear: if u want free speech in Louisiana, get your own damn billionaire bankrollers. Since money is speech, according to the twisted logic of our increasingly fascist corporatocracy, it follows that free speech should cost money.

#freespeech #permit #occupy #teaparty

http://occupywallst.org/article/louisiana-permits-freedom-speech/


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Metta Ben

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A representative democracy, sometimes known as a republic, is held by many to be the highest form of government. Not me. I've come to convince myself that actually the human race is capable of much better. If you recall the social studies justification of representative democracy: a direct democracy is widely believed to be either unworkable or or will lead to “mob rule”, sometimes known as “tyranny of the majority”. But has direct democracy actually been tried with the benefit of modern ethical technologies that have evolved from the free and open source software world, such as crowdsourcing and wiki-style open editing?

Imagine if laws were drafted openly, submitted by anyone who cared to submit it, deliberated in an open process, and if every bill were voted on directly by every single person who cared to vote on it. The average person couldn't be trusted to read every detail of every law, that is true. However, let that person FIND HIS OR HER OWN REPRESENTATIVES. If you want to bundle your votes with certain pacs or parties, that is your own choice. But here is the awesome part: under my proposal you can have different parties for different types of laws. So if you like one party's position on social spending, and a totally different party's position on civil liberties, you simply set your voting preferences to filter depending on the issue type. It would be no more difficult to set up than an email filtering system. But it would lead to a vastly more democratic system than the pseudo-democratic (and arguably crypto-fascist) system currently inflicted upon us. Where representatives are bought and sold to the highest bidder in secret, craft their laws in secret, rehearse how they will sell these sold out laws to the public who is starved of any real information, and only then reveal their compiled and legalese encrypted proprietary end product. (Unless the actual laws or the interpretation of the laws are considered too secret to reveal in which case they will be CLASSIFIED for national security purposes.) In our current system, concerned citizens can't directly participate even if they wanted to. This is NOT the free and open source way.

As for the concern that the system itself could be hacked? That is very valid: however, along with this proposal is a proposal that the hardware and software that runs the elections also be completely open source, and therefore subject to inspection by everyone who cares to inspect it. 

Linus's law states: given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

The free and open source ecosystem is not 100% perfect, but has been proven over time to be relatively secure, and definitely not less secure than secret source code systems.

The success of the crowdsourcing of Iceland's constitution has convinced me that this is not mere conjecture: that our political systems can be modernized with the judicious use of ETHICAL technology that is proven to work. Our creaky legacy political system is starting to show it's age. Time to upgrade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_governance

#free #open #source #government #democracy #governance #internetocracy #internet #egov #vote #voting #election #elections
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Metta Ben

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#Sanctions against #Iran harm and kill a specific group of innocent people for the purpose of effecting political change. As such, sanctions meet the formal definitions of both #terrorism and #genocide. Forcing the Iranian populace to struggle for their very survival limits their ability to strive for democratic political and social reform. Thus sanctions make #war a virtual certainty. Does this story sound familiar? It should. This is exactly what happened in #Iraq.

#suffering #hunger #peace #occupy

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/07/iran-santions-suffering
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Metta Ben

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Voting Green Party, pros and cons:


Arguments FOR voting third party:

(1) Without pressure from progressives, Democrats will continue to their drift to the right.
(2) It is possible that a Romney victory wouldn't be the worst case scenario for the progressive cause:
 (a) When Obama does evil shit, progressives stay silent, yet would vigorously protest a republican doing exactly the same evil shit
 (b) Romney is so obviously horrible that his victory might finally wake up the slumbering progressive majority.
(3) Republicans and democrats are more similar nowadays than dissimilar. Compared to 30 or 40 years ago, democrats of today are more similar to moderate republicans of that era. Compared to Europe, democrats would be center right, and republicans would be far right. If we want a politician who is genuinely on the left, we MUST vote third party.
(4) Especially in foreign policy, Obama and Romney have almost identical policies. Both support going war on behalf the economic interests of multinational corporations.
(5) Also, both Republicans and democrats profit from the super PAC system which allows them to concentrate their power. In stark contrast, the Green Party refuses to take part in this inherently immoral superPAC system of legalized bribery. Therefore only the Green Party can be trusted to represent the interests of the people rather than the interests of the mutinational corporations and the handful of ultra-rich individuals who own them.
(6) a vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil, and thus will guarantee that our government remains evil. It is so sad to see so many good people feel they are forced by Machiavellian cynicism to vote for evil because they feel our awful two party system is just a fact of life and a third party candidate will never get enough votes to make a difference. And this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. SOMEBODY needs to set an example and vote based not on dis-empowering fear, but on idealism, otherwise nothing will ever change.
(7) Jill Stein is an awesome candidate, willing to get arrested, for example, in protest against the big banks. Her worldview is almost entirely exactly the same worldview as the left (non-libertarian) branch of the occupy movement.

Arguments AGAINST voting third party

(1) It's throwing your vote away.
(2) A vote for Green Party is a vote for Romney
(3) Obama doesn't care if progressives vote against him. He's not a progressive anyway. So the idea that we can influence or scare the democrats into being more progressive by voting green party is absurd. In fact, by focusing progressives away from the democratic party, it will make the democratic party even more right wing.
(4) There is no reason to believe that a Romney victory would trigger a mass awakening of the progressive movement. Consider as evidence the fact that the occupy movement was birthed while a democrat was president.
(5) The Tea Party was able to take over the republican party and make it far right by taking short term losses (running extreme right politicians) in exchange for long term victory. However, progressives can't afford to take similar short term losses, because the goal of the right wing was is to tear down government services and infrastructure, to destroy it. If the right wing is victorious, this will cause genuine pain and suffering among those who rely on government services. (argument made by Jay Tomlinson on Best of the Left podcast)
(6) If Romney wins, more people will die (from lack of healthcare, etc). So this is a life or death struggle. If you vote green party, your vote could literally cause the death of innocent people.
(7) Let us suppose that both Romney and Obama are evil nazis, but Obama promises to build one fewer concentration camp than Romney. Isn't it therefore a moral imperative to vote for the candidate who will kill the fewest number of innocent people? (argument made by Sam Seder on the Majority Report)

My thoughts currently: if people want to vote Obama, I won't hold that against them. There are are many valid reasons for doing so. This is absolutely a very complex ethical issue, and I'm still sorting out my own thoughts and feelings. Overall, if you live in a non-swing state (such as Hawai'i) I see absolutely no ethical reason to not vote Green Party. In these cases, a vote for Obama is essentially throwing your vote away because it will make relatively no difference-- whereas relatively a vote for Green party could make a major difference. If Green Party can get 5% of the popular vote, they will qualify for federally distributed public funding for the next election cycle. Accomplishing this is a huge and daunting task, but, from my perspective, it's a worthy and heroic challenge. And it could, mathematically, be accomplished without endangering Obama's re-election prospects.

#green #third #party #politics #obama #romney #stein #gp #ethics #election #strategy #occupy
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Metta Ben

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For my non-computer geek friends, rms aka Richard Stallman, is a freedom fighter who fights not with guns but with something even more powerful: ideas, such as the radical notion of "copyleft", the freedom to make improvements and share those improvements, which paved the way for the development of Linux and thousands of other free software projects. (90% of the world's top 500 supercomputers run Linux.) It is no great surprise that somebody who regards Freedom as so essential would also endorse Jill Stein for president.
#computer #freedom #green #stein #occupy
http://stallman.org/
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Metta Ben

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 An open letter to Mayor of Honolulu, +peter carlisle 

It has come to my attention that you have been accused of some serious allegations, and my community and I would appreciate it if you could take some time out of your busy schedule to either confirm or deny these allegations and to explain yourself if they are true. If you fail to respond, I will assume the worst, but if you do respond, I promise to send out your response unedited to my community, my social media community of progressive Honolulu folks who are passionate about civil rights and our island environment. Many of these good folks might have voted for you because there is no (R) next to your name, but I doubt they would be able to vote for you ever again should these allegations prove to be correct and if you do not have a really good explanation for them.

The first allegation is that you drove by the unprecedented take down of the (de)Occupy Honolulu encampment, today (June 28, 2012), in your little electric car, and gave your workers a big thumbs up. Is this true? My concern is that these workers were breaking the law in at least two ways, and your thumbs up is a symbol that you support these illegal actions: (1) Bill 54 requires at least 24 hours between when an item is tagged and when an item was seized. These items were seized LESS than 24 hours after they had been tagged. (2) At least some of the items seized had just been purchased and had not been tagged and there are receipts that prove it. What it looks like to my community is that your thumbs up makes it look like you support illegal activity! It also naturally fuels speculation that since you support illegal actions, that you must have a political or even a personal vendetta against (de)Occupy Honolulu. Is this true? If you have time to take a joy ride in an electric vehicle and do a drive-by thumbs up, surely you must have the time to respond to this inquiry.

Reference: http://dougnote.blogspot.com/2012/06/police-and-dfv-conducting-illegal-raid.html

The second allegation is that you support the sale of public beach in Haleiwa in a limited auction for a small number of private parties for a starting bid at a firesale price. Do we really need to convert our precious beach front public green space to become just another for-profit private boutique hotel? If it is true that you support this, naturally people will assume thtat you are seriously corrupt and essentially a thief. This might also explain why you might feel so threatened by peaceful protesters who advocate for the public interest that you feel you have to go beyond the law in order to try to shut them down. If I am wrong about this, please explain. I want to hear your side of the story.

Reference: http://hawaiiindependent.net/story/city-seeks-to-sell-popular-well-used-haleiwa-beach-park

Eagerly awaiting your response,

Sincerely, 

Metta Ben
A concerned citizen and Honolulu resident.

#hawaii #honolulu #mayor #occupy
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Metta Ben

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Legalized bribery and corruption is so fundamental to and pervasive in our political system, that really this should be taught in every civics class.

#bribery #corruption #politics #occupy

How To Buy A Politician
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Have him in circles
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Daddy is the word that probably best describes my primary identity, followed by husband, computer professional, free software and media activist, sacred sounds and calendar practitioner, naturalist, advocate for world peace and human rights
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