Anonymous calls for internet blackout to protest CISPA


Image from twitter.com

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A mass blackout of internet sites has begun in protest of CISPA, as the controversial law makes its way to the US Senate. Hacktivist group Anonymous urged support for the blackout, storming Twitter with calls for action.

Anonymous has been calling on all websites to blackout their pages ever since the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed the US House of Representatives on Thursday.

At least 347 websites joined the protest on Monday, blacking out their internet pages. Site hackersnewsbulletin.com published a list of the participating websites.

In a statement posted on Pastebin.com, the group has asked all the internet users to dedicate “at least a portion” of their day to help in the fight against CISPA.

 

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Proposed border fee for Canadians ruffles snowbird feathers


Eturbonews | April 21, 2013

TORONTO, Canada – The United States government wants Canadians to pay to enter the United States to help ease their desperate financial situation.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget requests a study to determine the feasibility of collecting a fee from pedestrians and passenger vehicles crossing between the United States and Canada by land.

Whether this fee would focus on those entering or exiting the United States, or both, and how much each crossing might cost has yet to be determined.

“While we appreciate the fiscal challenges faced by our friends in the United States we would prefer the U.S. government focus on ways to reduce obstacles at the border that hinder trade and tourism,” MacKenzie said.

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Adoptions also at stake in gay-marriage decision


DAVID CRARY | The Associated Press | Portland Press Herald | April 20, 2013

NEW YORK – The White House told the Supreme Court it favored same-sex marriage. So did dozens of big corporations, a host of political and legal heavyweights — and 9-year-old Austin Covey.

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Kevin Covey, center left, and his husband, Joseph, stand with their twin 9-year-old sons Austin, left, and Dakota in Newport Beach, Calif. The federal government doesn’t recognize the men’s marriage under the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, under review by the Supreme Court.

The Associated Press

“My dads take the best care of me and my brother,” Austin said in one of the many legal briefs submitted to court. “My family is no different than any other family.”

In fact, his California family is different from most. Austin’s fathers, Joseph and Kevin Covey, are legally married. Yet because it’s a same-sex union, the federal government doesn’t recognize it under provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, now under review by the Supreme Court.

But is such a marriage also different in ways that disadvantage children?

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Christians can extend the love of God further into the world


 

 

In Genesis 12, God says to Abraham, “I will bless you, and you will be a blessing.” It has been a traditional understanding that all “blessings” emanate from God, and as with all blessings, this one has many facets.

 

First, we as Christians discern God’s grace in a couples. We ask for God’s continuing presence and grace to ensure the continuing creativity and mutual affection they share. We ask God for the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit in the couple’s lives (same-sex or not) to bear witness to the Gospel of love and generosity to the world.

 

For many, though, the sticking point in this debate is Scripture.

 

Some Christians believe Scripture emanates from God directly to the pen of the writer. This is the basic fundamental quality of Scripture: It comes directly from God. Otherwise known loosely as “fundamentalists,” they consider the Word of God to be just that. Period.

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American Right-Wingers Are No Longer Conservative — They’re Extremists


Joshua Holland | AlterNet | April 17, 2013

       College students taking Poli-Sci 101 learn that conservatism is an ideology that reveres established tradition, emphasizes a deep respect for the rule of law and comes with a deep distrust of rapid social change – especially change driven by public policy. William F. Buckley Jr., famously described a conservative as, “someone who stands athwart history, yelling stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so.”

Traditional conservatism might provide a valuable check on overly ambitious policy-making. Traditional conservatism doesn’t deny that government plays a role in our society, it isn’t driven by animus towards “unworthy” citizens, and it isn’t based on a fanciful alternative reality.

As American “movement conservatism” has shifted ever further to the right, it has become hard to discern this strain of ideology in our public discourse. The Tea Party right fancy themselves right-wing revolutionaries. They reject long-standing jurisprudence and venerable traditions. And they don’t fear rapid social change, as long as it comports with their worldview – they embrace it. Many of those whom we call conservatives today are, ultimately, reactionaries.

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The Fight Over Gun Control Has Revealed America’s New Divisions


Robert Reich | Robert Reich’s Blog | AlterNet | April 21, 2013

My first reaction on hearing of the Senate’s failure to get 60 votes for even modest measures to regulate the flow of guns into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, such as background checks supported by 90 percent of Americans, was to be furious at the spinelessness of the four Senate Democrats who voted against the measure (Mark Begich, Max Baucus, Mark Pryor, and Heidi Heitkamp), as well as the Republicans. And also with Harry Reid, who wouldn’t lead the fight on changing the filibuster rule when he had the chance.

The deeper message here is that rural, older, white America occupies one land; younger, urban, increasingly non-white America lives in another. And the dividing line on social issues (not just guns, but also abortion, equal marriage rights, and immigration reform) runs between the two.

Yes, I know: Plenty of people who are rural, older, and white aren’t regressives on guns, abortion, equal marriage, and immigration. And plenty who are urban, younger, and non-white are. My point is that if you want to explain what’s happening in America on these non-economic issues you have to understand what’s happening to the nation demographically — and why the demographic split is important.

Begich, Baucus, Pryor, and Heitkamp may be Democrats but they’re also from rural, older, white America. That land has disproportionate political power in the Senate, and a gerrymandered House — which may not bode well for immigration reform over the next few months, and suggests continuing battles over “state’s rights” to determine who can marry and when human life begins.

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Bill Moyers: A Mother’s War Against Toxic Trespassers


Bill Moyers, Sandra Steingraber | BillMoyers.com | AlterNet | April 20, 2013

BILL MOYERS: Welcome.This week in the streets of Boston, we were reminded once again that civilization is too often a thin veneer stretched across the passions of the human heart, with those who would commit acts of violence trying to disrupt and even destroy the fragile commons we call society. Fortunately, there are people who will not be deterred from the work of civilization, who will even from time to time go up against authority in peaceful disobedience, taking a nonviolent stand for a greater good. People like Sandra Steingraber, my guest.

SANDRA STEINGRABER: Fight! Fight! Fight!

BILL MOYERS: We met for this conversation the day before she was to be sentenced to jail. It’s quite a story. At the age of 20, Sandra Steingraber was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Several other family members also had the disease, but it couldn’t be genetic because she’s adopted. So Steingraber suspected something toxic in her Illinois hometown’s drinking water and that led to an unusual wager. She talked about it in this 2010 documentary:

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Pat Robertson connects gay marriage to the Illuminati


James Withers  | Gay Star News | April 21, 2013

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Pat Robertson has a history of outrageous and outlandish comments whenever opining on anything LGBT related. He continued that fine tradition.

This week, on his show the 700 Club, the televangelist introduced a spot on the marriage equality fight in France. According to the site Right Wing Watch, Robertson connected gay marriage to the Illuminati and French Revolution.

The reverend offered a history lesson by noting the French Revolution was ‘spurred by the writings of a group called the Illuminati.’ The organization’s writings were meant ‘to destroy the family, to destroy the state, to destroy capitalism and to destroy the church.’ Robertson charged, of course, this is what gays want to do.

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Transgender man gives birth in Chile


Jean Paul Zapata  | Gay Star News | April 21, 2013

A transgender male has given birth to a child in the Chilean city of Arica.

A transgender male has given birth to a child in Chile, in what is believed to be the first such publicly known case for the Latin American country.

Originally born a woman, the individual who goes by the fictitious name of ‘Matthew’ for news interviews, was allowed by a judge to keep female reproductive organs while re-registering as a male.

According to Matthew, the pregnancy was not planned.

Chilean TV news channel Mega interviewed Matthew and his male partner earlier this week, both who declined to appear in front of news cameras and kept all of their details private.

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50,000 anti-gay marriage protesters expected to rally in Paris


Jean Paul Zapata  | Gay Star News | April 21, 2013

50,000 people are expected to protest today in Paris against gay marriage.

The half-naked men of Les Hommen and other anti-gay marriage protesters are expected to join forces in Paris today, in a last-ditch effort to stop same-sex marriage in the country.

France’s Parliament is expected to pass the Marriage for All bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children on 23 April.

The French Senate voted earlier this month to legalize same-sex marriage and adoptions by gay couples earlier this month, putting the bill on track to become law by summer.

According to news site France 24, organizers of today’s march say they expect between 30,000 and 50,000 people.

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