Category Archives: Your Individual Voice

Sue Udry/Defending Dissent Foundation: Stopping Secret Police Surveillance, One City At a Time

Re-posted in the public interest, from Defending Dissent/BORDC, with many thanks for this news and this initiative. Please visit there for ongoing news and action to protect citizens from unwarranted and intrusive surveillance. Please note that this initiative requires public engagement, by anyone who’d like to see arbitrary, unwarranted, intrusive, and violatory surveillance ended.

Surveillance technologies that are being used by local police departments today plausibly include the use of pulsed radar, micro-Doppler radar, and Through The Wall Surveillance (TTWS) Devices, all using sophisticated military-grade Electronic Warfare microwave/radar “Target Recognition” and target-tracking technologies (radiation/sonic weaponry) (under electronic/biometric surveillance labels) which most know little about, to be covered here soon.

DDF provides information below and at their web site regarding how to get involved at the city council level, how to find more information, and how to assist in this new and growing community initiative to protect our communities and ourselves, to challenge wrongful and abusive surveillance, and to restore meaningful and helpful community governance. Activist Post also has an article on this initiative, they too stress this won’t move forward without our own active participation, yours and mine: National Effort Launches to Fight Surveillance State on Local Level/Derrick Broze

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Stopping Secret Police Surveillance, One City at a Time

Do you know what surveillance equipment your local police force has? Do they roam the streets with an ALPR, scanning license plates of parked cars on the chance one of them is a stolen vehicle? Are ShotSpotters installed in your neighborhood, recording all the sounds that go on around them and around you? Is your cell phone being tricked into connecting to a police Stingray device rather than the nearest cell tower when you make a phone call?

Chances are good that your local police is making use of at least one of these invasive surveillance tools, or perhaps some other, unbeknownst to you or even your city council.

On Tuesday September 21, we joined the ACLU and 14 other groups to launch a new campaign to make police surveillance more accountable to the communities law enforcement is supposed to serve. It’s called Community Control Over Police Surveillance (CCOPS). The campaign will engage with local coalitions to pass ordinances to require that any new aquisitions of surveillance technology be approved by the city council. While this may seem like an obvious policy decision, in many communities elected officials, much less the public at large, are completely in the dark about what technology their local police are using. Before the city council even considers allowing police to acquire any surveillance technology, the ordinance mandates that the community be given significant involvement in the decision and the city must consider civil liberties and civil rights impacts of using such technologies.

Already, eleven different cities are considering legislation to accomplish this end, but our goal is to pass CCOPS ordinances in many more cities across the country. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation (BORDC/DDF) is proud to join the partnership, which was spearheaded by the American Civil Liberties Union and includes many of our long time allies, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, and the Tenth Amendment Center. See the CCOPS guidelines below.

BORDC/DDF grassroots partners have successfully passed local ordinances and resolutions through the years. Over 400 cities and towns passed resolutions against the Patriot Act, and cities from Asheville, NC to Hartford, CT have passed laws based on BORDC/DDF’s Local Civil Liberties Protection Act (LCLPA). The CCOPS campaign provides an opportunity for grassroots groups to to come together to make significant progress to promote transparency and push back against the surveillance state.

As technology evolves, police across the country are equipping themselves with even more sophisticated ways to spy on us. While unchecked law enforcement surveillance poses a threat to all of our liberties, this technology is disproportionately deployed against working class neighborhoods and communities of color. This constant surveillance and criminalization of entire communities only heightens the need for the people to know what technologies the police intend to turn on them, and to have a chance to say NO.

Get involved!

CCOPS Guiding Principles by Defending Dissent Foundation on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/324787395/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-QCnwbhsdcO6T6upOtDSO&show_recommendations=false

Source: Defending Dissent Foundation

 

Jeffrey Sterling Update: John Kiriakou/Truthdig: “Our Grass-Roots Pressure May Be The Only Thing That…Could Save His Life”

Sep 22: Jeffrey Sterling has suffered a heart attack in prison, John Kiriakou writes Sep 21 in Truthdig:

Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Appears to Have Suffered a Heart Attack in Prison

Excerpt, urging concerned communities to engage, take action, pick up the phone and call the Warden or Bureau of Prisons, or send an email message:

“Holly Sterling has been tireless in her work to get her husband to a cardiologist. She asked Jeffrey’s sentencing judge, Leonie Brinkema, to intervene. Brinkema refused. She then enlisted the support of Norman Solomon’s Roots Action, which has asked supporters to call Warden Deborah Denham at 303-763-4300. In addition to the warden, Solomon recommends contacting the Bureau of Prisons’ North Central Regional Office by calling Sara M. Revell at 913-621-3939 or writing to her at ExecAssistant@bop.gov. Our grass roots pressure may be the only thing that gets Jeffrey Sterling to a cardiologist. It could save his life.”

Please read the Truthdig article in full to discover how exactly the prison system has been structured to prevent outside interference and permit bureaucratic mayhem, as per the Administrative Remedy Process which all prisoners are supposed to go through if they need immediate medical attention or have a complaint, a “Process” involving paperwork, delays, and weeks/months/up to a year of processing. For immediate medical attention, it looks like prisoners need our help from the outside; we need to make those calls and write those emails immediately.

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Sep 21: Please write, call, or email to speak on Jeffrey Sterling‘s behalf, to ensure timely and urgently needed medical treatment for him in prison. Jeffrey Sterling as you may know is the CIA whistleblower who had sued the CIA for discrimination related to employment issues and was later charged under the Espionage Act for leaking of classified information regarding the CIA’s “bungled” undercover operations in Iran to James Risen of the New York Times. More on his story may be found at this Nation article. RT covers the urgent call for humane treatment and urges treatment of his heart condition. The Intercept calls this week for a pardon of all whistleblowers. Roots Action features this call from his wife Holly Sterling to all Americans and citizens worldwide of conscience: please speak out to assist this CIA whistleblower, whose health from all accounts needs immediate attention. Source: Email/Roots Action.
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Sep 17, 2016

Hello Friends,

During this morning’s telephone conversation with Jeffrey, he informed me there was a date he was to see the medical specialist. Sadly, that date has come and gone. I remain in complete and utter disbelief that Jeffrey’s dire medical issues continue to be blatantly ignored to the point of medical negligence by the prison.

To cause further angst, Jeffrey told me a fellow individual recently requested to report to sick call immediately. His request was denied by the corrections officer as it was prior to the “official” sick call time. Tragically, he died a couple hours later. The cause of death, a HEART ATTACK!

Friends, I cannot and will not let Jeffrey suffer the same tragic consequences. I am requesting your help once again to get my beloved husband the medical treatment he is inherently entitled to as a human being.

Every day I am plagued by unimaginable fear when my telephone rings, as when the caller ID says “private,” I am terrified if it is going to be Jeffrey’s voice on the other end or that of a prison employee with terrible news.

Please help us:

**  You may once again email or phone the Warden, Deborah Denham, demanding that Jeffrey receive the necessary and proper medical care. You can contact her at ExecAssistant@bop.gov or call 303-763-4300.

In addition to contacting the Warden, please email or call the North Central Regional Office that is responsible for oversight and support to FCI Englewood and other prisons in its jurisdiction. You may email Sara M. Revell at NCRO/ExecAssistant@bop.gov or call 913-621-3939.

**  Chances are you’ve already signed the petition for President Obama to grant Jeffrey an immediate pardon. Now I hope you’ll encourage others to sign it as well. Mindful that the president will be vacating his office soon, I will be making my way back to DC for a final plea.

**  Your help for the Sterling Family Funddonating here — would assist with me hiring a lawyer, as it currently appears that may be the only way for Jeffrey to receive proper medical care. The Fund also continues to allow me the privilege to visit with Jeffrey, and I pray my recent visit will not be the last.

**  Lastly, please continue to send words of encouragement to my dear husband Jeffrey. You may write letters and/or send cards to him at the following address:

JEFFREY STERLING, 38338-044
FCI ENGLEWOOD
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
9595 WEST QUINCY AVENUE
LITTLETON, CO 80123

Jeffrey and I remain grateful and humbled by your actions and support standing in solidarity to get him the medical help he is entitled to. We honestly could not continue without your support and help, as tragically our government continues to demonstrate how powerful and evil it truly can be. We wish all of you health, happiness, and peace to you and your families.

Fondly,
Holly Sterling

Background:
>>  AFP: “Pardon Sought for Ex-CIA Officer in Leak Case”
>>  Marcy Wheeler, ExposeFacts: “Sterling Verdict Another Measure of Declining Government Credibility on Secrets”
>>  Norman Solomon, The Nation: “CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling Sentenced to Prison: The Latest Blow in the Government’s War on Journalism”
>>  Reporters Without Borders: “Jeffrey Sterling Latest Victim of the U.S.’ War on Whistleblowers”
>>  ExposeFacts: Special Coverage of the Jeffrey Sterling Trial
>>  BBC News: “Jeffrey Sterling’s Trial by Metadata”
>>  Documentary film: “The Invisible Man: NSA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling”
www.RootsAction.org

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John W. Whitehead/The Rutherford Institute: Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution: A Graduation Message for a Dark Age

Re-posted, with many thanks to John Whitehead for this profound message, from The Rutherford Institute. Inspiring and relevant to our times, an address to everyone, really. It’s not the time to sit back and remain silent, for our rights are daily being stripped from us–rather a time to get informed, to find our inner courage, to speak out, and to take action. 

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Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution: A Graduation Message for a Dark Age

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By John W. Whitehead
May 02, 2016

“The most striking fact about the story of Rip Van Winkle is not that he slept 20 years, but that he slept through a revolution. While he was peacefully snoring up on the mountain, a great revolution was taking place in the world – indeed, a revolution which would, at points, change the course of history. And Rip Van Winkle knew nothing about it; he was asleep.”—Martin Luther King Jr., Commencement Address for Oberlin College

The world is disintegrating on every front—politically, environmentally, morally—and for the next generation, the future does not look promising. As author Pema Chodron writes in When Things Fall Apart:

When the rivers and air are polluted, when families and nations are at war, when homeless wanderers fill the highways, these are the traditional signs of a dark age.

Those coming of age today will face some of the greatest obstacles ever encountered by young people. They will find themselves overtaxed and struggling to find worthwhile employment in a debt-ridden economy on the brink of implosion. Their privacy will be eviscerated by the surveillance state.

They will be the subjects of a military empire constantly waging war against shadowy enemies and on guard against domestic acts of terrorism, blowback against military occupations in foreign lands. And they will find government agents armed to the teeth ready and able to lock down the country at a moment’s notice.

As such, they will find themselves forced to march in lockstep with a government that no longer exists to serve the people but which demands they be obedient slaves or suffer the consequences.

It’s a dismal prospect, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, we who should have known better failed to guard against such a future.

Worse, as I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we neglected to maintain our freedoms or provide our young people with the tools necessary to survive, let alone succeed, in the impersonal jungle that is modern civilization.

We brought them into homes fractured by divorce, distracted by mindless entertainment, and obsessed with the pursuit of materialism. We institutionalized them in daycares and afterschool programs, substituting time with teachers and childcare workers for parental involvement. We turned them into test-takers instead of thinkers and automatons instead of activists.

We allowed them to languish in schools which not only often look like prisons but function like prisons, as well—where conformity is the rule and freedom is the exception. We made them easy prey for our corporate overlords, while instilling in them the values of a celebrity-obsessed, technology-driven culture devoid of any true spirituality. And we taught them to believe that the pursuit of their own personal happiness trumped all other virtues, including any empathy whatsoever for their fellow human beings.

We botched things up in a big way, but hopefully all is not lost.

Not yet, at least.

Faced with adversity, this generation could possibly rise to meet the grave challenges before them, bringing about positive change for our times and maintaining their freedoms, as well.

The following bits of wisdom, gleaned from a lifetime of standing up to injustice and speaking truth to power, will hopefully help them survive the perils of the journey that awaits:

Wake up and free your mind. Resist all things that numb you, put you to sleep or help you “cope” with so-called reality. From the day you are born, enter school, graduate and get a job, virtually everything surrounding you is notsomething you entered by free will. And those who establish the rules and laws that govern society’s actions dictate what is proper. They desire compliant subjects. Those who become conscious of the chains that bind them and free their minds and decide to disagree are often ostracized and find themselves behind bars. However, as George Orwell warned, “Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they rebelled, they cannot become conscious.” It is these conscious individuals who change the world for the better.

Be an individual. For all of its championing of the individual, American culture advocates a stark conformity. As a result, young people are sedated by the flatness and predictability of modern life. “You can travel far and wide and have a difficult time finding a store or restaurant that is even mildly unique,” writes Thomas More in The Care of the Soul. “In shopping malls everywhere, in restaurant districts, in movie theaters, you will find the same clothes, the same names, the same menus, the same new films, the identical architecture. On the East Coast, you can sit in a restaurant seat identical to that you sat in on the West Coast.” In other words, the repetition that is modern life means the death of individuality.

Resist the corporate state. Don’t become mindless consumers. Consumption is a drug. It makes us unaware of the corruption surrounding us. As Chris Hedges writes in Empire of Illusion:

Corporations are ubiquitous parts of our lives, and those that own and run them want them to remain that way. We eat corporate food. We buy corporate clothes. We drive in corporate cars. We buy our fuel from corporations. We borrow from, invest our retirement savings with, and take our college loans with corporations and corporate banks. We are entertained, informed, and bombarded with advertisements by corporations. Many of us work for corporations. There are few aspects of life left that have not been taken over by corporations, from mail delivery to public utilities to our for-profit health-care system. These corporations have no loyalty to the country or workers. Our impoverishment feeds their profits. And profits, for corporations, are all that count.

Realize that one person can make a difference. If we’re going to see any positive change for freedom, then we must change our view of what it means to be human and regain a sense of what it means to love one another. That will mean gaining the courage to stand up for the oppressed. In fact, it’s always been the caring individual—the ordinary person doing extraordinary things—who has made a difference in the world. Even Mahatma Gandhi, who eventually galvanized the whole of India, brought the British Empire to its knees, and secured freedom for his people, began as a solitary individual committed to the idea of nonviolent resistance to the British Empire.

Help others. We all have a calling in life. And I believe it boils down to one thing: You are here on this planet to help other people. In fact, none of us can exist very long without help from others. This is brought home forcefully in a story that Garret Keizer recounts in his insightful book Help: The Original Human Dilemma. Supposedly in hell the damned sit around a great pot, all hungry, because the spoons they hold are too long to bring the food to their mouths. In heaven, people are sitting around the same pot with the same long spoons, but everyone is full. Why? Because in heaven, people use their long spoons to feed one another.

Learn your rights. It’s easy to complain, throw up your hands and just accept the way things are. Unfortunately, for all the moaning and groaning, very few people take the time to change the country for the better. Yet we’re losing our freedoms for one simple reason: most of us don’t know anything about our freedoms. Lest we forget, America is a concept. You have to earn the right to be an American, and that means taking the time to learn about your history and the courageous radicals who fought and died so that you and I could live in a free country. At a minimum, anyone who has graduated from high school, let alone college, should know the Bill of Rights backwards and forwards. However, the average young person, let alone citizen, has very little knowledge of their rights for the simple reason that the schools no longer teach them. So grab a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and study them at home. And when the time comes, stand up for your rights.

Speak truth to power. Don’t be naive about those in positions of authority. As James Madison, who wrote our Bill of Rights, observed, “All men having power ought to be distrusted.” We have to learn the lessons of history. People in power, more often than not, abuse that power. To maintain our freedoms, this will mean challenging government officials whenever they exceed the bounds of their office.

Don’t let technology be your God. Technology anesthetizes us to the all-too-real tragedies that surround us. Techno-gadgets are merely distractions from what’s really going on in America and around the world. As a result, we’ve begun mimicking the inhuman technology that surrounds us and lost sight of our humanity. If you’re going to make a difference in the world, you’re going to have to pull the earbuds out, turn off the cell phones and spend much less time viewing screens.

Give voice to moral outrage. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” There is no shortage of issues on which to take a stand. For instance, on any given night, over half a million people in the U.S. are homeless, and half of them are elderly. There are 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line, and 16 million children living in households without adequate access to food. Congress creates, on average, more than 50 new criminal laws each year. With more than 2 million Americans in prison, and close to 7 million adults in correctional care, the United States has the largest prison population in the world. At least 2.7 million children in the United States have at least one parent in prison. At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams. Since 9/11, we’ve spent more than $1.6 trillion to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It costs the American taxpayer $52.6 billion every year to be spied on by the government intelligence agencies tasked with surveillance, data collection, counterintelligence and covert activities.

Cultivate spirituality. When the things that matter most have been subordinated to materialism, we have lost our moral compass. We must change our values to reflect something more meaningful than technology, materialism and politics.

Standing at the pulpit of the Riverside Church in New York City in April 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. urged his listeners:

[W]e as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motive and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

We didn’t listen then, and we still have not learned: Material things don’t fill the spiritual void.

Unfortunately, our much-vaunted culture of consumerism and material comforts has resulted in an overall air of cynicism marked by a spiritual vacuum, and this generation of young people is paying the price. For example, at least one in 10 young people now believe life is not worth living. A survey of 16- to 25-year-olds by the Prince’s Trust found that for many young people life has little or no purpose, especially among those not in school, work or training. More than a quarter of those polled feel depressed and are less happy than when they were younger. And almost half said they are regularly stressed and many don’t have anything to look forward to or someone they could talk to about their problems. Equally alarming is a recent report by The Washington Post indicating that the U.S. suicide rate has increased sharply since the turn of the century, particularly among women.

No wonder many young people have such a pessimistic view of the future. But that can change. As King said, we have to start putting people first.

Pitch in and do your part to make the world a better place. Don’t rely on someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. As King noted, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” In other words, don’t wait around for someone else to fix what ails you, your community or nation. As Gandhi urged: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Finally, you need to impact the government, be part of the dialogue on who we are and where we’re going as a country. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your political ideology is. These are just labels. If you have something to say, speak up. Get active, and if need be, pick up a picket sign and get in the streets. And when civil liberties are violated, don’t remain silent about it. Take a stand!

The only way we’ll ever achieve change in this country is for this generation of young people to say “enough is enough” and fight for the things that truly matter.

I shall end as Dr. King ended his commencement address to the graduates of Oberlin College in June 1965:

Let us stand up. Let us be a concerned generation. Let us remain awake through a great revolution. And we will speed up that great day when the American Dream will be a reality.

Carl Herman/Washington’s Blog: Clintons, Bush, Obama stand on ~500 million innocent dead from intentional wars & poverty: a pile of bodies equal to 23 NYC ‘Freedom Towers,’ and adding another every year. Arrests are when now???

Re-posted from Washington’s Blog, with thanks. Please visit there on an ongoing basis for fearless investigative reportage with a focus on the real Truth of what is going on in the USA and the world.

I post this highly detailed and informative article with intent.  Did you know:

The everyday American knows that the face presented by a warring government to the world is not the real face of who we are, as Americans. We are an awakened, conscientious, and conscious people who cannot anymore condone acts of war and exploitation committed abroad—and at home—in our name, and in the false name of American “Freedom”.

We Must call for the arrest of criminals in high places who continue to commit crimes every day of exploitation, war, injustice, weapons-testing, and experimentation on us. We must call Crime Crime, and not commit it to oblivion, as mainstream media encourages us to do. We must report to the whole world that criminal actions committed by governments in our name and against us do NOT have our consent.

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dollartower

“Crimes against humanity” include any of the following acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

▪ murder;

▪ extermination;

▪ enslavement;…

▪ the crime of apartheid;

▪ other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.

International Criminal Court (ICC)

This article documents that since Bill and Hillary Clinton occupied the White House over 23 years ago, ~500 million human beings have died from preventable poverty. So-called “developed nations” have promised to end global poverty since 1969; an accomplishment with technically easy solutions for sustainable human economic needs. These nations’ “leaders” have reneged on all promises to end poverty, public and private, despite an investment of just 0.7% of GNI for ten years that is overwhelmingly supported by those nations’ citizens.

We can calculate the physical volume of 500 million bodies. If we assume an average human dimension of 5 feet tall, average width of 1 foot, and average depth of .5 foot, this average is 2.5 cubic feet, with total of 1.25 billion cubic feet. The dimensions of NYC’s One World Trade Center, the “Freedom Tower,” is 200 x 200 feet with a roof 1,368 feet high. If we just calculate its volume as a rectangular prism, we have a volume of ~55 million cubic feet.

This means the pile of human bodies killed by ongoing preventable poverty is roughly equal in size to 23 “Freedom Towers.”

This is also roughly equal to a new “Freedom Tower” of dead bodies added to this “monument” every year.

Important to our essential question of when public demand for arrests will break through in an Emperor’s New Clothes relative moment, the related crime of creating what we use for money only and always as debt payable to the private banking system (think adding negative numbers forever) now adds a trillion dollars of US federal government debt every year. This physical volume of $100 bills is roughly equal to twice the size of the Statue of Liberty, as sharply visualized in this 2-minute video from Demonocracy:

The policy “developed” and “former” colonial nations deliver to humanity rather than ending poverty is war.

Among hundreds in alternative media, I document illegal US/UK/Israel lie-started and illegal Wars of Aggression that continue hundreds of years of psychopathic would-be empires, now focused on Syria.

We’ve documented and proven that US “officials” outrageously lie to demonize Russia (and here) acting at the request of Syria’s government for military operations within their own borders against rogue terrorists. These terrorists apparently are agents of the US/UK/Israel illegal Wars of Aggression for empire (also here, here, here).

Global polling proves demand for these “leaders’” arrests are near: the US is recognized as Earth’s greatest threat to peace; voted three times more dangerous than any other country.

The data confirm this recognition:

The categories of crime include:

  1. Wars of Aggression (the worst crime a nation can commit).
  2. Likely treason for lying to US military, ordering unlawful attack and invasions of foreign lands, and causing thousands of US military deaths.
  3. Crimes Against Humanity.

Such crimes OBVIOUSLY call for legal arrests of “leaders” in government and corporate media (for “covering” those crimes with easily verified outrageous lies).

An arrest lawfully stops a crime in commission. We do this to stop public harm now, and avoid further harm from more criminal acts.

In just 90 seconds, former US Marine Ken O’Keefe powerfully states how you may choose to voice “very obvious solutions”: arrest the criminal leaders (video starts at 20:51, then finishes this episode of Cross Talk):

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Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.

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Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Source: Washington’s Blog

The Shift Network/Support the Peace Process in Syria: Global Shift Meditation with James Twyman, March 1

If you’d like to add your light to a global meditation event for peace in Syria and the world, please join The Shift Network in a global peace meditation led by James Twyman on Tuesday, March 1 at 3 pm/Eastern Time for Syria.

A Free Virtual Event
With Special Guest, The Peace Troubadour
James Twyman
 
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
12pm Pacific / 3pm Eastern / 8pm GMT
Register to tune in or receive the recording
 
Hosted by David T. Nicol, Gaiafield Project Co-Founder & TSN Faculty Member

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From Stephen Dinan/The Shift Network, via email:

Are you concerned about the crisis in Syria? Do you want to help support positive peacebuilding in the Middle East?

Last year in the Summer of Peace, we launched the first ever Subtle Activism Summit. Our host David T. Nicol interviewed a wide range of scientists, spiritual leaders, and activists to discuss how the power of prayer and meditation can complement outer peacebuilding efforts to foster both personal and social transformation.

We are delighted to be continuing this innovative work with the Global Shift Meditation series, a monthly program of global meditations that focus on world situations calling for our collective support. Please join us on March 1 for our next event in the series: Peace Prayers for Syria, with Peace Troubadour James Twyman.

To register for free: click here.

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Our special guest James Twyman is known as the Peace Troubadour. On the first of February, 2016, James led a worldwide global prayer vigil for peace in Syria from a small village in Israel overlooking several Syrian villages held by ISIL or Hezbollah. Ten days later, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that world powers had agreed to an ambitious ceasefire plan in the region.

The ceasefire agreement is fragile and the roots of violence in the region are deep. Syria still very much needs our prayers. James will share stories from his remarkable recent trip to the Middle East, discuss the inspiration behind the event, and guide us in deep meditation and prayer for the success of the Syrian peace process.

Your host for the call will be Gaiafield Project co-founder and The Shift Network faculty member David T. Nicol.

James F. Twyman is the New York Times bestselling author of 15 books, including Emissary of Light, The Moses Code, and The Barn Dance. In 1994 he put the peace prayers from the 12 major religions to music and began traveling the world as “The Peace Troubadour,” often being invited by world leaders and peace organizations to perform the concert in countries at war. He has performed in Bosnia, Iraq, Serbia, South Africa, Israel, Northern Ireland, and many other places.

James has also produced seven music CD’s, and is the producer/director of five films, including the award winning “Indigo” and the upcoming “Redwood Highway.” He is also the founder of The Beloved Community, a network of spiritual peace ministers around the world, as well as the Seminary of Spiritual Peacemaking which has graduated and ordained over 500 ministers. James lives in Portland, Oregon.

You can keep up with world meditation events at his website WorldPeacePulse.

Paul A. Philips/Activist Post: The Growing Tyranny of Free Speech Suppression and What You Can Do

Re-posted from this op-ed, posted Feb 22, by Activist Post, with many thanks. Paul A. Philips’ site is New Paradigms.

“Don’t become an unquestioning, compliant docile sheep. Don’t live your life muzzled, glued to the TV. Don’t let the pillar of public apathy keep the suppression of free speech propped up and standing.

Educate yourself. Understand the bigger picture of the growing tyranny of free speech suppression and spread the word. Understanding the bigger picture ought to be enough to make anyone want to shout down from the rooftops.

The solution is to confront. More people need to muster enough courage to speak out about what isn’t being said than ever before. Confront those politically correct weasels. Confront any control freak with ulterior motives to shut people up.

Boycott the social media giants. There are a growing number of other social media outlets dedicated to alternative-view communities where you’d be better off spending your time.

We have to stand in the gap, maintain our constitutional right to hold up a protest sign, preserve public opinion … whatever it takes to protect our freedom to speak.”

The Growing Tyranny of Free Speech Suppression and What You Can Do

humanfreedomOp-Ed by Paul A. Philips

Some people need reminding that the principled 1st Amendment was written to allow the flow of free speech without government interference. The 1st Amendment allows a person in the minority to say what they want while protecting them from the opposing majority.

What we’re witnessing today on unprecedented levels is the denial of our self-expression through a number of uncompromising authorities taking away our right to free speech.

Consequentially, we’re facing a crisis where citizens’ ability to think for themselves, communicate opinions or disagreement is seriously under threat.

The growing tyranny of free speech suppression can be found:

In schools

Yes, get them at an early age so that they can be under the ruling thumb with ludicrous, moronic prohibitions and zero-tolerance policies making the schoolchildren too scared to say anything for the rest of their lives.

For example, I’m told that schoolchildren in some schools cannot say certain words like, for instance, gun (now referred to as ‘the G-word’). How will this growing word embargo affect the ability to communicate clearly?

Political correctness

Hordes of politically correct weasels and control freaks have been allowed to run amok on citizens of all ages enforcing their petty word characterizations.

Here are just a couple of examples:

Some UK hospital staffs have been severely ticked-off for stigmatizing patients: To avoid the so-called stigmatizing, ‘out-patients’ must be called ‘clients.’

Music teachers have been told that pupils cannot teach the song ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep.’ In line with political correctness it must be called ‘Baa Baa Happy Sheep’!

Reported for speech categorization

Besides political correctness citizens are getting reported for a number of speech categorizations considered to make someone feel uncomfortable, unsafe or cause offense.

College campuses are known to be the hotbed for this. Besides encouraging the snitch-community, students could be reporting each other for ‘trigger warning’,’ micro-aggression’ and ‘red light’ speech categorizations…

In schools besides hateful speech, offending ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, religion … teasing is now considered to be bullying. Bullying is deemed by authorities as tomorrow’s hate crime…

Social Media

Bearing in mind the effects they have on government policy, besides Google, for some time social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter (see video) have been at work on what speech needs online censoring. Taking the case where you’re not approved, deemed by these corporations as ‘anti-government speech,’ then you will be deleted on the basis of ‘extremism.’

Implications, implications??

The consequences of the suppression of free speech

1. Inability to think critically

Already mentioned, the suppression of certain words and speech categorizations will greatly hinder the ability to think critically and communicate views in an articulate manner because of a lack of vocabulary.

2. Easier to control and manipulate

As a consequence of 1, it will make individuals that much easier to further control and manipulate.

Where will it go from here?

3. Creates limited choices

Language and thought creates our reality; and when greatly restricted, our choices will in turn be based on limited or even false paradigms.

4. Breeds ‘unhealthy skepticism’

Typical of a totalitarian scenario, adhering to the establishment’s growing suppression leads to what I call unhealthy sKepticism where more and more people will become fixed, rigid and dogmatic in their beliefs. Instead of investigating, anyone seeing outside of the limited viewpoint will be ignored, ridiculed or rejected, labeled as someone to be ‘skeptical’ about.

5. Encourages intolerance

We’ve seen a number of circumstances where dissent and public opinion has been demonized unjustly. Aren’t the authorities the real extremists or bullies?  

6. Easier to whitewash

If speech is under the control of corporations such as the social media giants (or any other mainstream media outlet) acting on government policy, then it makes it easier to manipulate the general consensus … even to the point of whitewashing dubious or criminal activities.

7. Bottling-up effect

The bottling-up of free speech could lead to violence and rioting on the streets through frustration in the desire to take action.

What you can do to protect free speech

Don’t become an unquestioning, compliant docile sheep. Don’t live your life muzzled, glued to the TV. Don’t let the pillar of public apathy keep the suppression of free speech propped up and standing.

Educate yourself. Understand the bigger picture of the growing tyranny of free speech suppression and spread the word. Understanding the bigger picture ought to be enough to make anyone want to shout down from the rooftops.

The solution is to confront. More people need to muster enough courage to speak out about what isn’t being said than ever before. Confront those politically correct weasels. Confront any control freak with ulterior motives to shut people up.

Boycott the social media giants. There are a growing number of other social media outlets dedicated to alternative-view communities where you’d be better off spending your time.

We have to stand in the gap, maintain our constitutional right to hold up a protest sign, preserve public opinion … whatever it takes to protect our freedom to speak.

You can read more from Paul A. Philips at his site NewParadigm.ws

Source: Activist Post

Eva Bartlett/The Richie Allen Show: I’m Back From Syria, The Media Are Lying To You

Re-posting this video (link below) with thanks, from The Tap Blog. Thanks also to Jean of Co-Creating Our Future on Planet Earth for posting this link.

Terrific, must-listen witness testimony from an independent freelance journalist, Eva Bartlett, post long sojourns in Syria (her first visit was in April 2014), traveling, and speaking to people in various cities and areas devastated by bombing and terrorism. Her intention, she notes, was to listen to what the people in Syria had to say, as opposed to the corporate narrative promulgated by corporate Western media. “As you know the corporate narrative totally ignores the will of the Syrian people, and they take representatives from exile or Saudi-backed representatives as word of the Syrian people.”

“The people in Syria understand that what is happening in Syria is a foreign war (a NATO-alliance war) on Syria designed to topple their government and serve certain agendas, and the agendas of certain neighboring countries such as so-called Israel, and they adamantly support their government, their President, and their Syrian Arab Army.” She goes on to describe the devastation she has witnessed from the terrorism of car-bombings and rocket-launchings in civilian areas in Damascus, Aleppo, and other places, where she says residents are being “punished for not taking the corporate side of this foreign war on Syria.”

“My main intention is to bear witness and to transmit what Syrians tell me, what they want the world outside to know of what is actually happening here.” Later she notes that the Government of Syria is not starving civilian populations in various cities,  as reported in mainstream news, it is the terrorists who are doing so,  the Government is in fact making food and power supplies available to the people. She is aware that corporate media are spinning a completely different narrative, and reports what she has seen on the ground that contradicts this corporate media narrative. The Government is also not gunning down unarmed protesters, as has been reported in mainstream media, she says; she recommends news analysis by Professor Tim Anderson on this subject, which documents and refutes these reports as lies. 

In answering listeners’ queries, she also notes that human rights groups in the UK are being used as front groups to quite possibly send more arms to the terrorists who are waging war on the Syrian civilian population, and who are obtaining funds from deceived UK residents. She notes the manipulated death of Serena Shims, possibly by Turkish Intelligence; Serena Shims was  the young television journalist who was documenting the flow of weapons via Turkey into Syria–other reports since then, she says, have noted this flow of weapons into Syria, also across the large Iraq border. Additionally Western planes have, more than five times, “accidentally” dropped supplies into terrorist faction camps, who range beyond Daesh to many groups, she notes.

This is an absolutely eye-opening interview with information unavailable in current mainstream media news that makes its way to the US. You can find updates and information on Eva Bartlett’s blog, including links to more news resources at her post on this interview.

Much gratitude to Eva Bartlett for her unflinching reportage, her delivery of the truth of what she has witnessed, and her courage in letting the truth about Syrian reality stand against deceiving corporate Western narratives that seek to, as she notes,  reinforce and promote imperialist and Zionist, war-mongering agendas.  Her voice and conviction are inspiring, and will, I can only hope, ignite more of us to stand up and speak out in courage within our own fields of experience and influence, for what is right, for peace, and for justice.