Battle For The Net

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do?

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.

Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown

Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.

Honor them with peace, not war

I originally posted this nine years ago.

Honor them with peace, not war.

It has been a year since the tragedy of 11 September. Today we personally remember in whatever manner we deem fitting. Nationally, we will be flooded with messages from many corners telling us how we should feel and act. Today, my thoughts, compassions, and prayers go to all who lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and relatives of every kind, co-workers, casual acquaintances, and complete strangers.

I don’t know what else to say except that I hope that we, individually and collectively, can begin to piece our lives and our world back together. Perhaps we will then begin to quit starting at shadows and whispers. Perhaps then we can rebuild our society of freedom, openness, and trust we have left behind.

This will doubtless include bringing more to answer for the murders of so many. This is right action. Many other things that are contemplated are not right action as they are motivated by personal, political, and, I fear, corporate gain. This is not right action.

When we have returned to our lives we can truly say we are honoring the innocents slain a year ago. Of course, this is my opinion. You may have a differing one. That is part of being free.

Except for what is above, blivet will have no postings today.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-27

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‘Yes Men’ at it Again

April 19, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DOW THROWS A DISMAL PARTY, FEW ATTEND
Underattended “Run for Water” plagued by death, zombies, and dozens of “Dow spokesmen”; truth seems to run free

Video: Yes Men video coming soon here; other video here
Stills: Yes Men pictures coming soon here; numerous others here
Contact: Whitney Black (803)466-3786; press@theyesmen.org

Brooklyn, NY — Bucolic Prospect park in Brooklyn, NY played host to a bizarre spectacle on Sunday, as a dramatically under-attended Dow-sponsored “Run for Water” was infiltrated and turned upside down by hundreds of furious activists, including a hundred dressed as Dow spokespeople.

New Yorkers who came to the park expecting a light run followed by a free concert found themselves unwitting extras in a macabre and chaotic scene as runners keeled over dead, Dow-branded grim reapers chased participants, and a hundred fake Dow representatives harangued other protesters and and handed out literature that explained Dow’s greenwashing program in frank detail.

The actions called attention to Dow’s toxic legacy in places like India (the Bhopal Catastrophe), Vietnam (Agent Orange) and Midland Michigan (Dioxin Contamination), and to the absurdity of a company with serious water issues all over the world sponsoring the Live Earth Run For Water.

After race cancellations in London, Milan, Berlin, and Sweden, on-site Dow brand managers were in damage-control mode. But their job was made harder by the hundred fake “Dow” spokespeople who loudly but clumsily proclaimed Dow’s position (“Our race! Our earth!” and “Run for water! Run for your life!”), spoke with many runners, screamed at the other protesters, passed out beautifully-produced literature, and all in all looked a whole lot better than the real Dow reps, who seemed eager to make themselves scarce.

“I don’t know what’s going on here,” said Tracey Von Sloop, a Queens woman who attended the race. “All I know is these people are both crazy, and Dow is f*ing sick. I’m outta here.”

The event was the latest blow to Dow’s greenwashing efforts, the most visible element of which is the “Human Element” multi-media advertising campaign, one of the most expensive, and successful, marketing efforts in recent history. It even won an “Effie Award” for the most effective corporate advertising campaign in North America.

"Effective," perhaps — but also completely misleading. To name just a few examples of Dow’s water-related issues: Dow refuses to clean up the groundwater in Bhopal, India, site of the largest industrial disaster in human history, committed by Dow’s fully-owned subsidiary, Union Carbide. As a result, children continue to be born there with debilitating birth defects. Dow has also dumped hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic chemical byproducts into wetlands of Louisiana, and has even poisoned its own backyard, leaving record levels of dioxins downriver from its global headquarters in Midland, Michigan.

“We thought it must be a joke when we first heard that Dow Chemical Company was sponsoring a run for clean water,” said Yes Woman Whitney Black. “Sadly, it was not. One of the world’s worst polluters trying to greenwash its image instead of taking responsibility for drinking water and ecosystems it has poisoned around the world? What an awfully unfunny way to start off Earth Week. We decided the event needed a little comic relief.”

Irony was piled on irony throughout the race, which Dow absurdly claimed was going to be “the largest solutions-based initiative aimed at solving the global water crisis in history. At one point, organizers were caught on tape dramatically throwing out excess water left over because of an embarrassingly low turnout.

Groups organizing the action included the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign, the Wetlands Activism Collective, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, Kids For A Better Future, The Yes Men, and hundreds of assorted volunteers, activists and mischief makers.
[Thank you, Claudia!]

Dada Massa and the Slate Political Gabfest

David Plotz made this great [paraphrased] comment (aside: I’m not Plotz’s biggest fan) on Slate’s Political Gabfest about the sad tale of Eric Massa especially as concerns his interviews with Glenn Beck and Larry King.

Large electoral sweeps [Democrats in 1974, Republicans in 1994, Democrats again in 2008] tend to bring a lot of lunatics along with others. [Eric] Massa is ‘the weirdest of the weird’ from the 2008 Democratic Sweep.

Heh. Too true.

BTW, IMNSHO, their podcast is well worth following