Monday, 19 December 2011

Speech: Rebecca MacKinnon - Let's take back the Internet!

In this powerful talk from TEDGlobal, Rebecca MacKinnon describes the expanding struggle for freedom and control in cyberspace, and asks: How do we design the next phase of the Internet with accountability and freedom at its core, rather than control? 
She believes the internet is headed for a "Magna Carta" moment when citizens around the world demand that their governments protect free speech and their right to connection.




Friday, 16 December 2011

Article: Max's privacy war brings Facebook to heel

Original Article written by AP for The Age - Thursday 27, October 2011


Austrian student Max Schrems sits with 1222 pages worth of his personal data 
that Facebook provided to him. Photo: AP

Max Schrems wasn't sure what he would get when he asked Facebook to send him a record of his personal data from three years of using the site.

What the 24-year-old Austrian law student didn't expect, though, was 1222 pages of data on a CD. It included chats he had deleted more than a year ago, "pokes" dating back to 2008, invitations to which he had never responded, let alone attended, and hundreds of other details.
Advertisement: Story continues below

Time for an "aha" moment.

In response, Schrems has launched an online campaign aimed at forcing the social media behemoth that has 800 million users to abide by European data privacy laws - something the Palo Alto, California-based company insists it already does.

Yet, since Schrems launched his Europe vs. Facebook website in August, Facebook has increasingly been making overtures not only to Schrems, but to other Europeans concerned about data privacy, including Germany's data security watchdogs.

"Have we done enough in the past to deal with you? No," Facebook's director of European public policy, Richard Allan, testified before a German parliamentary committee on new

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Speech: John Pilger - Obama and Empire (2009)

A truly inspirational speech by author, journalist, film maker John Pilger, at Socialism 2009.
Filmed by Paul Hubbard at the Womens Building in San Francisco 07-04-09.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Article: WikiLeaks Posts Spy Firm Videos Offering Tools For Hacking iTunes, Gmail, Skype

Original Article written by Andy Greenberg for Forbes - Thursday 08, December 2011

It’s no longer a secret that firms like Gamma International, maker of Finfisher spyware, sell tools for hacking computers and secretly surveilling Internet and cell phone users. But nothing captures the creep factor of that business quite like the firm’s own low-budget, computer-animated marketing videos.

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks released a series of video files obtained from UK-based Gamma that show how its products can be used to monitor Wifi networks from a hotel lobby, hack cell phones and PCs with fake software updates, or infect computers from a USB key to intercept Skype conversations, log encryption passwords and read private files. The videos were posted as part of the secret-spilling group’s ongoing project in cooperation with Privacy International and Bugged Planet known as the Spy Files, which aims to collect and publish marketing documents and other revealing materials from technology firms that sell surveillance equipment.

While most of the capabilities shown in the videos have been previously revealed in a special report by the Wall Street Journal that published dozens of surveillance firms’ sales documents, the Journal had posted only screenshots and short segments of the videos, perhaps fearing that Gamma International would take legal action against the newspaper for copyright violations. WikiLeaks seems to have no such concerns.

After the downfall of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, the BBC obtained evidence that Gamma had offered its technology to the country’s regime for surveilling Egyptians’ use of tools like Hotmail, Yahoo! mail, Gmail and Skype.

Click on the screenshots below to see the full videos on WikiLeaks’ site. (Though I should warn that each is temporarily obscured by an obtrusive fundraising pop-up window.)

And check out the complete collection of Gamma’s videos here, along with the reust of the Spy Files here.


An Internet service provider tool offers a fake iTunes update to a machine that infects it with spyware.

A desktop tool allows the customer to sit in a hotel lobby spy on fellow users of its Wifi network.


The company's spyware intercepts a user's Skype conversation and data he transfers from a folder encrypted with the common encryption software TrueCrypt.


Gamma's fake BlackBerry update infects the user's phone and offers access to its data.


Finfisher claims its training course can show staff how to break into webmail services including Gmail.



Video: Interview with Julian Assange, by John Pilger (2010)



An extended interview with Julian Assange recorded during filming of John Pilger's latest film The War You Don't See.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Article: Tahrir Square And The Occupy Movement

Original Article written by David Wearing for The Occupied Times - Friday 18, November 2011

In the rising wave of international protests happening under the Occupy banner, Cairo’s Tahrir Square has gained iconic status, frequently invoked by activists from New York and Oakland to Barcelona and London. The substantial differences between what is happening now in Zuccotti Park, or outside St Paul’s Cathedral, and events in Egypt at the start of this year, are obvious enough. Concerns about the abuse of civil liberties and the undemocratic distribution of power in Western societies are certainly real, but thankfully we do not live in anything like the sort of authoritarian police state that was presided over by Hosni Mubarak (and which in many ways persists today under the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces). In one sense, it is those very differences that form part of what makes Tahrir Square so important to activists in the West. If Egyptians can begin to achieve positive social change in spite of the huge obstacles they face, then what excuse do we have for not mounting successful challenges to our own structures of power? Tahrir Square undoubtedly stands as an inspiration, but the connection goes deeper than that.

Throughout his reign, Mubarak enjoyed long-standing and substantial military and diplomatic support from the United States and Britain. Barack Obama’s response, when asked if he viewed Mubarak as authoritarian, given the thousands of political prisoners held by the Egyptian regime, was to say “no, I prefer not to use labels for folks”. While gangs of pro-regime thugs were being unleashed on protestors in Cairo, Tony Blair saw fit to describe Mubarak as “immensely courageous and a force for good“.

During the revolution itself, the position articulated by the British government until very close to the point where Mubarak fell was that the dictator should “listen” to the protesters and make “reforms”. The call from Tahrir Square, by contrast, and as William Hague and David Cameron well knew, was not “the people demand that the dictator listen to our legitimate aspirations and enact reforms”. The call, now famous throughout the world, was

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Documentary: Century of Self - by Adam Curtis (2002)


Watch all four episodes. Descriptions below: 


Century of Self , Episode 1
Happiness Machines

The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires.

Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar.

His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile.

                                                                                                                                          

Century of Self , Episode 2
The Engineering of Consent

The programme explores how those in power in post-war America used Freud's ideas about the unconscious mind to try and control the masses.

Politicians and planners came to believe Freud's underlying premise - that deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires and fears. They were convinced that it was the unleashing of these instincts that had led to the barbarism of Nazi Germany. To stop it ever happening again they set out to find ways to control this hidden enemy within the human mind.

Sigmund Freud's daughter, Anna, and his nephew, Edward Bernays, provided the centrepiece philosophy. The US government, big business, and the CIA used their ideas to develop techniques to manage and control the minds of the American people. But this was not a cynical exercise in manipulation. Those in power believed that the only way to make democracy work and create a stable society was to repress the savage barbarism that lurked just under the surface of normal American life.

                                                                                                                                          

Century of Self , Episode 3:
There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: 
He Must Be Destroyed

In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America. They were inspired by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of Freud's, who had turned against him and was hated by the Freud family. He believed that the inner self did not need to be repressed and controlled. It should be encouraged to express itself.

Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people's minds by business and politics.

This programme shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard's Erhard Seminar Training - into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation.

But the American corporations soon realised that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.

                                                                                                                                          

Century of Self , Episode 4:
Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

This episode explains how politicians on the left, in both Britain and America, turned to the techniques developed by business to read and fulfil the inner desires of the self. 

Both New Labour, under Tony Blair, and the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, used the focus group, which had been invented by psychoanalysts, in order to regain power. They set out to mould their policies to people's inner desires and feelings, just as capitalism had learnt to do with products.

Out of this grew a new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism. One of its stars in Britain was Matthew Freud who followed in the footsteps of his relation, Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations in the 1920s.

The politicians believed they were creating a new and better form of democracy, one that truly responded to the inner feelings of individual. But what they didn't realise was that the aim of those who had originally created these techniques had not been to liberate the people but to develop a new way of controlling them.




Speech: Dan Ariely - Are we in control of our own decisions?

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Interview: Michael Gundlach (AdBlock For Chrome/Safari Developer)

Original Article written by Jeff Weisbein for BestTechie - Feburary 16, February 2011



I was fortunate enough to have a Q&A session with AdBlock For Chrome and AdBlock For Safari developer, Michael Gundlach. If you’re not familiar with AdBlock For Chrome or Safari, it’s an extension that blocks online advertisements from loading within the browser. There are over 2 million people who use AdBlock every day.

Let’s see what he has to say.

1. What was the inspiration to create AdBlock For Chrome?
Firefox’s Adblock Plus addon — I love it and have used it for years. I had halfway switched to Chrome from Firefox in 2009 because Chrome is so much faster, but couldn’t use it for long because of all the ads. So the first day that extension support shipped in Chrome, I went excitedly to download an ABP port and found to my dismay that it didn’t exist — and that the author had no plans to port it to Chrome. There were a few other ad blocking Chrome extensions in their infancy that weren’t terribly good, so I decided to build AdBlock For Chrome to fill the void.

I was also inspired by earlier frustrations with ABP’s somewhat difficult UI — I’m a power user but when I tried to change my filter settings to opt in to Google AdWords text ads, I managed to break ABP. So I wanted to make sure to make AdBlock For Chrome usable by anybody and their grandma. So I focused on making it work out-of-the-box, and making opting in to text ads a one-checkbox-click experience, and making an intuitive filter creation wizard. I try hard to balance making a powerful ad blocker with keeping the UI simple — a lot like Chrome.

2. Do you personally hate advertisements (online or offline)?
I like ads that help me solve the task at hand, so I like Google’s relevant text ads in response to commercial search queries. And when ads have enough intrinsic entertainment value that they’re virally being watched on demand online, I think the advertiser has done its job well.

But mostly, yes, “hate” might be the right word to describe how I feel about many ads. I hate the message of consumerism behind them: “Don’t value your life, your health, your

Friday, 2 December 2011

Documentary: The New rulers of the world (by John Pilger)

Indonesia is just another gem in the crown of asian capitalism, the prosperity of which is heavily dependent on oppressive regimes, sustainable poverty and the continuous influx of western capital. Our Gap boxers and nike shoes shall remind us all that the words development, democracy and fair trade have long now found their place in an orwellian dictionary. Also check out the documentary the Shock Doctrine (posted below).

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Documentary: The Shock Doctrine

A documentary adaptation Naomi Klein’s 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine. An investigation of disaster capitalism, based on Naomi Klein’s proposition that neo-liberal capitalism feeds on natural disasters, war and terror to establish its dominance.

Based on breakthrough historical research and four years of on-the-ground reporting in disaster zones, The Shock Doctrine vividly shows how disaster capitalism – the rapid-fire corporate re-engineering of societies still reeling from shock – did not begin with September 11, 2001.

The films traces its origins back fifty years, to the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, which produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today.

New, surprising connections are drawn between economic policy, shock and awe warfare and covert CIA-funded experiments in electroshock and sensory deprivation in the 1950s, research that helped write the torture manuals used today in Guantanamo Bay.

The Shock Doctrine follows the application of these ideas through our contemporary history, showing in riveting detail how well-known events of the recent past have been deliberate, active theatres for the shock doctrine, among them: Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973, the Falklands War in 1982, the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Asian Financial crisis in 1997 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998.




Follow to part 2 here!

Article: OCCUPY - Then what?

Original Article written by EricAllenBell for Daily KOS - Wednesday 9, November 2011

In February of 2011 I wrote a very short article for MichelMoore.com called “Egypt is Just the Beginning” (http://www.michaelmoore.com/...). In it I said “LET'S GET TO WORK on removing the Plutocracy in this country. Let's take the power back from Wall Street, from the Military Industrial Complex. Let's be next to peacefully shift power from the privileged few to the restless many - the people who do all the work and deserve to have a government that reflects OUR interests instead of the piggish appetites of the power elite. Egypt is just the beginning.”

We just took a quantum leap forward by getting people organized and out on the streets. This is history in the making. This is an interruption from the regularly scheduled programming. But this is also disorienting and alarming so many people, who didn't see it coming, don't know what to make of it or don't know what it means. It's to be expected that the masses would have an initial knee-jerk reaction to the Occupation of Wall Street - or no reaction at all because they’re busy watching “Dancing With the Stars” and can’t kick the habit of feeding off the entertainment machine that has become America.

And many of us who are involved in this Occupation don't want to see it squandered, hijacked, sold out, fizzled out or forgotten. We know what we want. We know when we want it. And we realize that by a “reasonable” person’s standards, what we want is unreasonable. I write this article with the belief that we can be unreasonable together. History’s greatest achievements were fashioned and shaped by unreasonable people, with unreasonable ideas and unreasonable expectations. We just happen to have been born into a time when we are being invited to join their ranks. And in that spirit, I’d like to share a few ideas with you about how we can work together to revolutionize the world and leave

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Speech: Dan Pink - The surprising science of Motivation

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Speech: Jane McGonigal - Gaming can make a better world

Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Documentary: Run from the cure



The following presentation of RUN FROM THE CURE: The Rick Simpson Story was made possible by Rick Simpson and video producer Christian Laurette.
Made for free to teach YOU how to heal yourself of disease and illness using cannabinoids.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Article: Why Inspiration Matters

Original Article written by Scott Barry Kaufman for Harvard Business Review - Tuesday 8, November 2011

"When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey." — Rudyard Kipling

In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature. Its history of being treated as supernatural or divine hasn't helped the situation. But as recent research shows, inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.

Inspiration has three main qualities. Pyschologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot have noted these core aspects of inspiration: evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation. First, inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention. Inspiration is also transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. Such transcendence often involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities. As Thrash and Elliot note, "The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities." This moment of clarity is often vivid, and can take the form of a grand vision, or a "seeing" of something one has not seen before (but that was probably always there). Finally, inspiration involves approach motivation, in which the individual strives to transmit, express, or

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Speech: Martin Hanczyc - The line between life and not-life

In his lab, Martin Hanczyc makes "protocells," experimental blobs of chemicals that behave like living cells. His work demonstrates how life might have first occurred on Earth ... and perhaps elsewhere too

Monday, 31 October 2011

Article: Psychedelics Open the Mind


Katharine MacLean and her colleagues at John Hopkins Medical School administered a high-dose of psilocybin (the active ingredient of 'magic mushrooms') to 52 people, aged 46 on average, who were not well acquainted with hallucinogens but were curious about their effects. The participants completed two to five 8-hour sessions separated by at least three weeks. During the sessions, they either took psilocybin or a non-hallucinogenic drug, lied down on a couch, put on an eye mask, and listened to music on headphones. They were instructed to focus on their inner experience. To minimize psychological damage, all participants received extensive initial screening (to make sure they didn't have any prior mental disorders) and received extensive support and guidance before, during, and after the sessions. All participants were followed up more than a year after the last session involving psilocybin.

Participants showed a significant increase in Openness to Experience after taking the psilocybin, but showed no differences in Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, or Conscentiousness. The dimensions of Openness that increased were openness to fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, and ideas. Openness to Values didn't budge as much as the others.

30 participants had a "complete mystical experience", which consisted of scoring above 60% on the dimensions of unity, transcendence of time and space, ineffability and paradoxicality, sacredness, noetic quality, and positive mood (I'm not sure I even know what all that means, but I'm sure I would if I took such a high dosage of psilocybin!). For these participants, Openness to Experience remained significantly higher than their baseline score more than 1 year after the sessions were over. The 22 patients who did not have a

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Speech: Iain McGilchrist - Things Are Not What They Seem

Dr Iain McGilchrist*, author of "The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and The Making of the Western World", puts our society on the couch. He suggests that the bipartite structure of the brain helps us to understand why the world so often seems paradoxical, and why we so often end up achieving the opposite of what we intend.

Recorded at Schumacher College.
Schumacher College is part of The Dartington Hall Trust, a registered charity, which focuses on the arts, social justice and sustainability.
For more information about Schumacher College and Dartington visit:
http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/ and
http://www.dartington.org/


Thursday, 27 October 2011

Speech: Iain McGilchrist - The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

Renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how the 'divided brain' has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society.





Also, check out the RSA Animate, taken from the lecture:

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Documentary: The great global warming swindle

"The Great Global Warming Swindle is a documentary film by British television producer Martin Durkin, which argues against the scientific opinion that human activity is the main cause of global warming. The film showcases scientists, economists, politicians, writers, and others who are sceptical of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming. Publicity for the programme states that global warming is 'a lie' and 'the biggest scam of modern times.'"

http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.co.uk/




Also check out this article which criticizes Al Gore's documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, a very well known film about global warming, which claims that it is mainly due to human causes.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Article: Most people don't want to hear the Truth

Original Article written by Doreen Hannes for News with Views - 13, February 2008




Now, more than in the past 100 years or so of our nation's history (USA), we have a great number of people who sense that something 'just ain't right'. So what is one to do? First of all, you begin a quest for the truth about any particular topic. Pick one. Currently, you can choose from the NAU, Real ID, NAIS, the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that aren't in Iraq, the Law of the Sea Treaty, the water boarding issue in Gitmo, the legality of the "income tax," the effects of the 'free trade' agreements on our nation, the "Clean Water Restoration Act," the "Military Commissions Act", Agenda 21, the "CFR" or heck, for some real light study, how about the institution of central banking and fractional reserve banking systems? There are a lot more, but this should at least give the idea that we have a problem. A very, very, big problem. It's like that infamous elephant in the living room that no one wants to talk about and most don't want to see.

Yet those giant piles of elephant excrement keep getting on everyone's shoes, so many have no choice but to begin to contemplate that where there is crap, there is a crapper. And before one can get the elephant out of the room, you have to admit that there is one. Some people will sit with brown stuff running down their faces and look at you with a blank stare saying, "What elephant?" They don't even notice the manure. Those folks are the furniture….You can't help them, so don't waste your time trying. Some people will marvel at the manure that keeps spontaneously generating out of thin air and blame it on the opposing political party; you may or may not be able to help these people. They are certainly worth a try. What you really want is the person that is wondering what kind of

Article: Slavoj Žižek at Occupy Wall Street: “We are not dreamers, we are the awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare”

Original Article written by Sarah Shin for Verso - Monday 10, October 2011

Slavoj Zizek speaking at Occupy Wall Street protests (YouTube: visitordesign)

On October 9, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek visited Liberty Plaza to speak to Occupy Wall Street protesters. 
Here is the original text of his speech — not a transcript, as originally described in error. 

Don't fall in love with yourselves, with the nice time we are having here. Carnivals come cheap—the true test of their worth is what remains the day after, how our normal daily life will be changed. Fall in love with hard and patient work—we are the beginning, not the end. Our basic message is: the taboo is broken, we do not live in the best possible world, we are allowed and obliged even to think about alternatives. There is a long road ahead, and soon we will have to address the truly difficult questions—questions not about what we do not want, but about what we DO want. What social organization can replace the existing capitalism? What type of new leaders we need? The XXth century alternatives obviously did not work.

So do not blame people and their attitudes: the problem is not corruption or greed, the problem is the system that pushes you to be corrupt. The solution is not “Main street, not Wall street,” but to change the system where main street cannot function without Wall street. Beware not only of enemies, but also of false friends who pretend to support us, but are already working hard to dilute our protest. In the same way we get coffee

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Article: Laziness - Fact or Fiction?

Original Article written by Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. for Psychology Today - Sunday 22, June 2008

 Addressing this topic generally, the immortal Dagwood Bumstead once claimed: “You can’t teach people to be lazy—either they have it, or they don’t.” So what is laziness anyway? Is it about being slow to do something?... Or about doing something slowly?... Or about not doing it at all?... Or, finally, is it about not sufficiently wanting to do something? And if this last alternative is true, when we label someone lazy are we really talking about that person’s being indolent, sluggish, or slothful? Or is there something else going on that hasn’t yet been appreciated?

What I'm going to be discussing here is my own, somewhat unorthodox view on laziness. For I believe (apologies to Dagwood, who would otherwise seem to be one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject) that the whole idea of anyone's being inherently lazy--or having a "lazy personality"--is basically a myth.

My experience, both as an individual and therapist, has led me to conclude that laziness as an explanation of human behavior is practically useless. Referring to--or rather, disparaging, or even dismissing--a person as lazy seems to me a glib and overly simplistic way of accounting for a person's apparent disinterest or inertia. And resorting to this term to categorize a person's inactivity suggests to me a laziness more on the part of the describer than the person described. In short, I view this pejorative designation as employed mostly as a "default" when the person talked about is not particularly well understood.

What I'd like to consider here is a more useful--and psychologically accurate--way of understanding people who don't do what we believe they ought to do. And my thesis is

Monday, 17 October 2011

Article: Interview with Chronis Missios

Original Article written for a Greek Magazine and found on this blog - Translation by Niko Paterakis.

Chronis Missios was born in Cavala (Greece) to a pair of tobacco workers. He spent his early years in Potamoudia, a neighbourhood of refugees, workers and illegal communists hunted from Metaksa’s dictatoship [Greek general, serving as Prime Minister/1936-1941]. His family flees to Salonica, where Chronis works as a salesman.

He returns to Salonica after the liberation. He joins the Urban Democratic Army and in 1947 – at the age of seventeen – he is arrested, brutally tortured and sentenced to death. He spends the next 9 months expecting execution every morning. In 1953, he is released, enlists for his compulsory military service and is sent to Makronisos, afterwards Ai-Stratis [significant political exile destinations], until 1962, when the camp is disbanded. Since then, he works as a member of Unified Democratic Left [Greek initials: EDA]. The dictatorship of ’67 finds him a member of the five-strong secretarial office of the Lambrakis administration. He joins other members in forming the illegal party Greek Liberation Front [Greek initials: PAM]. In November 1967 he is arrested and court-martialled to 18 years in prison. Once again, Averoff, Corfu, Koridallos, until the August 1973 general amnesty.

In an interview he gave Car & Driver he stated that: “Life is a gift for all of us. It has an expiration date. And we have the right to enjoy it, share it, create it”.


Below are excerpts of that interview:


‘Some of us romantics believed that we could make something beautiful back then, something special, but as Danton said: “the steps of humanity are the tombstones of the romantics”. We were, I think, the last of the Mohicans, the romantics. We had a myth, we believed in an ideal, we sacrificed our very lives for it. For the betterment of humanity, a more beautiful society, all of that. Well! It turned that the vision of this ideal society we strived for was impossible to materialize because people’s consciousness – that is, their deep internal cultural sensitivity – was not at the same level as the civilization it was trying to create. So, the powers that be climb back on top again and used all pretensions, legally or illegally, to form a new establishment much worse than the previous one. This happened

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Video: Julian Assange speaking at the Antiwar Mass Assembly, London (Oct 8, 2011)

WikiLeaks's Julian Assange speaks (0:50) at the October 8th Antiwar Mass Assembly in London on the 10th anniversary of the Afghan war and the formation of the Stop the War Coalition.


http://fb.com/harryfear

Article: Occupy Wall Street ends capitalism's alibi

Original Article written by Richard Wolff for the Guardian - Tuesday 4, October 2011

This protest pinpoints how dysfunctional our economic system is: 
we must refashion it for human needs, not corporate aims


Occupy Wall Street
A man holds up an anti-Wall Street placard on the march to NYPD headquarters. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Occupy Wall Street has already weathered the usual early storms. The kept media ignored the protest, but that failed to end it. The partisans of inequality mocked it, but that failed to end it. The police servants of the status quo over-reacted and that failed to end it – indeed, it fueled the fire. And millions looking on said, "Wow!" And now, ever more people are organising local, parallel demonstrations – from Boston to San Francisco and many places between.

Let me urge the occupiers to ignore the usual carping that besets powerful social movements in their earliest phases. Yes, you could be better organised, your demands more focused, your priorities clearer. All true, but in this moment, mostly irrelevant. Here is the key: if we want a mass and deep-rooted social movement of the left to re-emerge and transform the United States, we must welcome the many different streams, needs, desires, goals, energies and enthusiasms that inspire and sustain social movements. Now is the time to invite, welcome and gather them, in all their profusion and confusion.

The next step – and we are not there yet – will be to fashion the program and the

Monday, 3 October 2011

Article: What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

Original Article written by Glenn Greenwald for Salon.com - Wednesday 28, September 2011

Wall Street Protest
A few hundred demonstrators protesting against corporations march from nearby Zucotti park to Wall Street, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, in the Manhattan borough of New York. The demonstrators, who have been camping overnight in the park since Saturday, have been surrounded by police officers around the clock with at least 12 protestors arrested in recent days. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo)
(updated below w/correction)
It’s unsurprising that establishment media outlets have beencondescendingdismissive and scornful of the ongoing protests on Wall Street.  Any entity that declares itself an adversary of prevailing institutional power is going to be viewed with hostility by establishment-serving institutions and their loyalists.  That’s just the nature of protests that take place outside approved channels, an inevitable by-product of disruptive dissent: those who are most vested in safeguarding and legitimizing establishment prerogatives (which, by definition, includes establishment media outlets) are going to be hostile to those challenges.  As the virtually universal disdain in these same circles for WikiLeaks(and, before that, for the Iraq War protests) demonstrated: the more effectively adversarial it is, the more establishment hostility it’s going to provoke. 
Nor is it surprising that much of the most vocal criticisms of the Wall Street protests has come from some self-identified progressives, who one might think would be instinctively sympathetic to the substantive message of the protesters.  In an excellent analysis entitled “Why Establishment Media & the Power Elite Loathe Occupy Wall Street,” Kevin Gosztola chronicles how many of the most scornful criticisms have come from Democratic partisans who — like the politicians to whom they devote their fealty — feign populist opposition to Wall Street for political gain.
Some of this anti-protest posturing is just the all-too-familiar New-Republic-ish eagerness to prove one’s own Seriousness by castigating anyone to the left of, say, Dianne Feinstein or John Kerry; for such individuals, multi-term, pro-Iraq-War Democratic Senator-plutocrats define the outermost left-wing limit of respectability.  Also at play is the jingoistic notion that street protests are valid in Those Bad Countries but not in free, democratic America. 
A siginificant aspect of this progressive disdain is grounded in the belief that the only valid form of political activism is support for Democratic Party candidates, and a corresponding desire to undermine

Friday, 30 September 2011

Article: The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian (A Thought Police for the Internet Age)

Original Article written by Jonathan Cook - Wednesday 28, September 2011

There could be no better proof of the revolution – care of the internet – occurring in the accessibility of information and informed commentary than the reaction of our mainstream, corporate media.

For the first time, Western publics – or at least those who can afford a computer – have a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our democracies. Data our leaders once kept tightly under wraps can now be easily searched for, as can the analyses of those not paid to turn a blind eye to the constant and compelling evidence of Western hypocrisy. Wikileaks, in particular, has rapidly eroded the traditional hierarchical systems of information dissemination.

The media – at least the supposedly leftwing component of it – should be cheering on this revolution, if not directly enabling it. And yet, mostly they are trying to co-opt, tame or subvert it. Indeed, progressive broadcasters and writers increasingly use their platforms in the mainstream to discredit and ridicule the harbingers of the new age.

A good case study is the Guardian, considered the most leftwing newspaper in Britain and rapidly acquiring cult status in the United States, where many readers tend to assume they are getting access through its pages to unvarnished truth and the full range of critical thinking on the left.

Certainly, the Guardian includes some fine reporting and occasionally insightful commentary. Possibly because it is farther from the heart of empire, it is able to provide a partial antidote to the craven coverage of the corporate-owned media in the US.

Nonetheless, it would be unwise to believe that the Guardian is therefore a free market in progressive or dissident ideas on the left. In fact, quite the contrary: the paper strictly polices what can be said and who can say it in its pages, for cynical reasons we shall come to.