Culture


MTV Movie Awards Scraps Gender-Specific Categories

8th April 2017

Audiences watching this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards will not see some familiar categories.

The Viacom-owned network announced Friday that its flagship awards show would eliminate gender-specific categories for the first time. In lieu of categories like “Best Actress” and “Best Actor,” this year’s ceremony will honor “Best Actor in a Movie” and “Best Actor in a Show,” the Associated Press reports.

The move from MTV follows similar decisions among entertainment award shows to honor stars with non-gendered awards.

This month, Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who identifies as gender non-binary, submitted for Emmy consideration under Best Supporting Actor, because the Television Academy allows anyone to submit under either Actor or Actress categories, according to Variety.

“The Television Academy celebrates inclusiveness, and as we discussed with Asia, there is no gender requirement for the various performer categories,” the Television Academy told Variety. “Asia is free to choose the category they wish to enter.”

In 2011, the Recording Academy, which sponsors the Grammy Awards, scrapped more than 30 nominating categories, including best Native American album and best spoken-word children’s record.

This year’s Grammys featured its first-ever male and transgender “trophy girls” tasked with presenting music’s top honors onstage.

MTV’s ceremony will also rename its Best Fight category to Best Fight the System, the AP reports, as a nod to social activism.

 

 

 

source:http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/04/07/mtv-movie-awards-dumps-gender-specific-categories/

Workplace Surveillance Is The New Office ‘Perk’

big brother facebook

8th April 2016

James Jordan rolled out of bed just before 5 a.m. on a recent Saturday and went straight to work. A job was available as soon as he logged into the Mechanical Turk website from his computer at home, a small duplex he shares with his grandmother in Bakersfield, California.

Images of t-shirts and polo shirts flashed on Jordan’s monitor, and he was asked to rate their similarity. He would earn a penny each time he completed the tiny task. The rest of the morning was a blur as Jordan raced to get more than 3,000 of them done. He skipped taking a shower and stopped only for the occasional cigarette outside — each puff a reminder that he didn’t earn money during breaks. Between batches of photos, Jordan also managed to pick up a handful of short academic surveys offered through the site, which farms out an array of digital piecework day and night to workers around the world.

For each completed survey Jordan earned 50 cents a pop.

“There are days when you can’t look away from the screen,” said Jordan, 26, who has earned a living for the last year-and-a-half tagging photos, participating in studies, or tackling whatever day labor Mechanical Turk has to offer. “Days like that make you really question why you’re doing what you’re doing.” 

By the time he wrapped up that afternoon he had made just over $60. His earnings as a virtual laborer that month, including some 12-hour days, would come in at $1,174.24. “I’ve been poor my whole life,” said Jordan. “So $1,200 is pretty good.”

Jordan is among thousands of low-paid workers toiling behind isolated screens to make the internet and an array of ephemeral factories hum.

The rapid growth of Silicon Valley companies such as Uber, TaskRabbit, and Airbnb have cast a spotlight on parts of the burgeoning gig economy. But ventures like Mechanical Turk — and the men and women who power them from bedrooms, couches, and coffee shops — remain less known and largely invisible. Tackling millions of digital micro tasks daily, these crowd labor platforms comprise a web of virtual assembly lines that can be as precarious and low-paying as their predecessors from the industrial era. Moreover, they can offer a startling glimpse into the bleak future of low-wage, low-skilled work.

“Dystopian would be one accurate way of describing it,” Moshe Marvit, a labor lawyer and scholar who has written extensively about crowd labor, told Vocativ. “The worst possible world for workers might be another.

Proponents of crowd labor offer a markedly different vision for this digital workforce, one that’s as disruptive as it is democratic. “The crowdsourcing industry [is] bringing opportunities to people who never would have had them before, and we operate in a truly egalitarian fashion, where anyone who wants to can do microtasks, no matter their gender, nationality, or socio-economic status, and can do so in a way that is entirely of their choosing and unique to them,” Lukas Biewald, the CEO of CrowdFlower, a San Francisco-based platform, told the Nation in 2014.

Sites like Crowdflower, Mechanical Turk, Clickworker, UpWork, and its dozens of competitors comprise a large — and growing — market for small, digital tasks outsourced around the globe. The World Bank estimates that the online outsourcing industry generated close to $2 billion in revenue in 2013, a figure that could increase to $25 billion by the end of the decade. Crowdwork companies boast about workforces that number in the hundreds of thousands.

Among platforms used to facilitate this market, Mechanical Turk is one of the largest in the U.S. Launched by Amazon in 2005, it now claims to have more than half a million “crowdworkers” powering its digital machine, though an exact number of active users is not available. Their jobs are ones that even the most sophisticated computers, algorithms, or other forms of artificial intelligence can’t perform, but which constitute the very nuts and bolts of the internet that most take for granted. Amorphous shop floors of crowdworkers churn out online product reviews and spam. They tag photos and websites, verify URLs, and fine tune search engine optimization. Some have also probably written the titles to your favorite porn videos online.

Companies or clients, known on Mechanical Turk as “requesters,” farm out these gigs, which are sometimes broken down into hundreds of thousands of microtasks. Workers, who refer to themselves as “Turkers,” accept these jobs — eerily referred to as HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks — that pay anywhere from a penny to several dollars each. For its role, Amazon takes a commission of anywhere between 20 percent and 40 percent.

The sweeping range of microtasks made available on Mechanical Turk is matched by a labor force that’s equally motley. On any given day, the site can draw a mishmash of recent college grads and ex-cons, retirees and former school teachers, said Kristy Milland, a moderator for Turker Nation, one of the many online forums that exist for these workers. There are stay-at-home moms looking to pick up a little extra cash and full-time Turkers hustling to pay their bills. For the disabled and the socially anxious, it can be a lifeline.

“Compared to any other work place it’s insane,” Milland said of the diversity among workers on Mechanical Turk. 

But Turking ain’t always easy.

Like most who earn a paycheck in the gig economy, Turkers are categorized as independent contractors, neither employees of Mechanical Turk nor the requesters using the site. That means they are not legally entitled to a minimum wage, overtime pay, or a host of other protections that cover employees. The HITs can be mind-numbingly monotonous and their availability erratic, leaving some reluctant to ever stray too far from their computers. Requesters have also been known to refuse to pay for work completed —an experience common among Turkers, though one for which they have no recourse.

What’s also drawn ongoing scrutiny is the pay. Two recent independent surveys found that around half of Turkers in the U.S. earned fewer than $5 an hour, far less than the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage. Only eight percent of participants from a Pew study published last year said they made more than $8 an hour. Yet almost a quarter of them said they relied on Mechanical Turk for most or all of their income.  

“Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has become a kind of last ditch for many,” said Milland, who spent nearly a decade working full-time on the site and is now an advocate for crowd workers. “It’s creating a kind of digital underclass.”

To be clear, not all Turkers find themselves toiling as virtual day laborers for low wages. Some, in fact, have carved out a comfortable living and lifestyle around the platform. Dane, who spoke with Vocativ on the condition we not publish his last name, began Turking in 2013 after he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He now says he makes more than $30,000 a year from the site and has time to run a photography business on the side. “This life feels more fulfilling for me,” said Dane, a former field service engineer. “It’s worth an awful lot.”

For Jordan, Turking might not guarantee a minimum wage for the work he puts in. But it also means no long commutes, burning money on gas, or running late. He also has a flexible schedule and no bosses telling him what he can and can’t do. “That’s a pretty nice feeling,” he said.

Such perks or perceived conveniences should not have to come at the cost of substandard pay or basic rights as a worker, said Miriam Cherry, a professor at the Saint Louis School of Law whose research focuses on labor and employment in the virtual world. “There’s plenty of computer workers in an office who get paid minimum wage. Why would that be any different if you work at home?” said Cherry, who last year co-edited the book, “Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World.”

More Turkers are beginning to recognize a need to work together in order to exert more say over their jobs. They’ve devised rating systems for vetting requesters and created various online forums where they can trade tips, alert each other to lucrative gigs, and talk about life outside of Turking. Hundreds even organized a letter writing campaign to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with the message that they were human beings, not algorithms.

These worker-driven efforts have yielded some success. Scamming requesters are now easier to identify. The letter-writing campaign earned international headlines, providing a brief window of visibility for a largely anonymous workforce. But without legal protections for workers, observers like Cherry believe many will remain vulnerable to ever-greater exploitation. “If we don’t do something about it at some point that’s what we’re going to get,” she said. “It’s a race to the bottom.”

Meanwhile, the low cost and convenience of crowd labor continues to attract interest among a growing number of fields. Researchers at universities and non-profits have increasingly turned to Mechanical Turk to farm subjects for their studies — a decision that’s yielded mixed results. In the last few years, Turkers have even been used at times to diagnose a host of medical cases and work as amateur pathologists to analyze potential cancer cells. For some, such developments don’t bode well for the future of work. 

“There’s never been as deregulated a labor market as the one that exists online,” said Marvit, the labor scholar. “More professional work is going to be eaten up by it.” 

 

 

source: http://www.vocativ.com/410794/are-virtual-sweatshops-the-future-of-work/

British DJ sentenced to jail in Tunisia over dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer

facepalm2
8th April 2016

British DJ has been sentenced to a year in jail by Tunisia for remixing a Muslim call to prayer.

Dax J, who was born in London, was charged with public indecency and offending public morality.

However, he had already fled the country and issued an apology before the court case.

After footage of the event was shared on social media, the nightclub was shut down.

The event the DJ performed at was part of the Orbit Festival in Nabeul in the country’s north-east.

The governor of Nabeul, Mnaouar Ouertani, said: “We will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred”.

Footage from the event showed party-goers dancing to a remix of the Muslim call to prayer.

Dax J offered  his “sincere apologies to anyone who may have been offended by music that I played at Orbit Festival in Tunisia on Friday,” but deleted his Facebook page after allegedly receiving death threats.

“It was never my intention to upset or cause offence to anybody,” he said.

The British-born DJ is based in Berlin, and has performed at festivals all over the world including Glastonbury.

 

 

source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/07/british-dj-sentenced-tunisia-remixing-muslim-call-prayer/

For some transgender students, the school bathroom is a battleground

fuck it thats enough

5th April 2017

Georgie Stone was eight years old when the school bathroom became a battleground.

In the face of daily humiliation and bullying, going to the toilet had become an act of enormous courage.

Born biologically male, Georgie had known from an early age she was a girl.

But despite her transition at age seven — identifying as, dressing as, and asking to be recognised as a girl — she was not allowed to use the girls’ facilities at school.

Georgie’s mother said the principal told her it would confuse the other children and potentially incite tensions with parents.

It led to an incident in the boys’ swimming change room, just before Georgie’s ninth birthday, that she describes as one of the most traumatic of her life.

“I was wearing female bathers, I had long hair and people knew that I’d transitioned. I remember walking in there and it was all boys and a lot of the people who had bullied me in the past were in there,” the 16-year-old said.

“I just remember them jeering at me, making fun of me, shouting at me, saying, ‘What’s a girl doing in the male change rooms?’. It was awful. I ran out half-dressed, crying my eyes out.”

For the rest of the term, Georgie got changed for swimming behind a tree. At school, she stopped going to the bathroom altogether.

Concerned for her safety, her parents found a more understanding school. Now she is thriving and no longer lives in fear.

But the simple act of visiting the toilet remains a minefield for many trans and gender diverse students.

Students wearing nappies to school to avoid using toilets

As global recognition of the rights and struggles of transgender people grows, the momentum is throwing up a complex set of challenges for schools, most acutely around bathroom access.

Principals are balancing the needs of trans and gender diverse young people against the potential pushback from school communities — already witnessed in the United States — where opponents argue girls born biologically male pose a risk to other students in female bathrooms.

Transgender young people and their families say they are no threat and just want to feel comfortable using toilets.

But in the absence of uniform national guidelines outlining schools’ legal obligations, some Australian students are being forced to use bathrooms that do not match their gender identity, in some instances causing them such distress that parents are pulling them out of school entirely.

Michelle Telfer, director of Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital’s Gender Service, said many young transgender people go to extreme lengths to feel safe in school bathrooms.

“We’ve seen kids who’ve worn nappies to school — in high school — to avoid going to the toilet.”

“Kids who don’t drink from the time they get up in the morning to the time they get home from school so that they’re dehydrated and they don’t need to go to the toilet,” Dr Telfer said.

Melbourne student Oliver Kipnis identified as a boy, and dressed in boys’ clothing, until he transitioned at age 10. But until he came out to his classmates he felt obliged to use the girls’ bathrooms.

“When I was about nine I had an incident at school where another girl said, ‘Aren’t you in the wrong toilets?’ So I stopped using toilets in public altogether,” the 14-year-old said.

“It was such an awkward experience and I didn’t want to repeat it so I just stopped drinking water and went to the toilet at home.”

Things are slowly changing

The Australian Education Union has called on state education departments to follow the lead of South Australia, which last month became the first state to introduce a new policy that requires all public schools to allow students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

The education department developed the mandatory guidelines — which also allow students to use their preferred gender pronoun — following a number of queries from teachers and parents seeking guidance.

The policy states that, “failure to provide transgender students with access to appropriate toilet and change facilities may breach anti-discrimination legislation”.

Victoria and Western Australia have introduced similar, although less explicit, guidelines outlining how schools should support trans and gender diverse students, including allowing them to access bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe said it was “vital” schools support trans and gender diverse students to access appropriate bathrooms.

However, there is growing opposition to the advance of transgender rights, particularly in schools, fuelling concerns trans children here will be caught up in the so-called “bathroom wars”.

Australian conservative groups — including the Australian Christian Lobby — have applauded US President Donald Trump’s recent move to wind back federal protections for transgender students, which had instructed public schools to allow students to use the toilets and change rooms matching their gender identities or lose government funding.

“There are lobbyists within Australia who are really keen to import that idea of fear of a threat that really doesn’t exist,” said Laura*, the mother of a 13-year-old trans girl from rural Tasmania, who runs the support group Gender Help for Parents.

“They’re just playing by the same playbook that they’ve used in the US. I think our kids are potentially going to be the next targets.”

Some parents are opting out of the school system

After campaigning fiercely against the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, The Australian Christian Lobby has called on all state governments to “take immediate steps to allow schoolgirls to feel safe in school toilets and change rooms”.

Managing director Lyle Shelton said this meant “boys identifying as girls” should not be allowed access to girls’ private spaces such as toilets and change rooms.

When asked whether he thought transgender girls using female bathrooms was a risk to other students, Mr Shelton did not comment but said: “The idea of allowing biological males identifying as girls who have not had gender reassignment surgery to enter girls’ private spaces is new.

“It is not reasonable for parents to be required, without their permission, to have their daughters participate in such a social experiment.”

In the face of confusion and potential trauma to their transgender children, some parents are opting out of the school system altogether.

Kerri* has home-schooled her 16-year-old daughter Jasmine* since she transitioned at age seven, after her school in regional South Australia insisted she would not be allowed to use the girls’ bathrooms until Kerri provided documents from a lawyer, counsellor, psychiatrist and GP.

“They were worried about legal issues. They wanted documents that would indemnify them if other parents had an issue,” she said.

While Kerri gathered the documentation, the principal offered Jasmine the disabled or staff toilets — a common solution by schools that can often leave the student feeling more alienated.

For Jasmine, it was too late.

“We had to pull her out because she was just too distressed. She would try to hold on but she was having accidents, wetting herself,” Kerri said. “There was just so much shame and fear for her.”

‘The predator myth’

As yet, no Australian student who has been denied bathroom access has publicly challenged their school.

But in the United States, Virginia teenager Gavin Grimm has become the face of the bathroom wars, taking his case to the Supreme Court, after being denied access to the male toilets and locker rooms by his school, citing breaches of federal law.

The equivalent Australian law is the Sex Discrimination Act, which Anna Brown, Director of Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said protected transgender students.

“Schools have a legal duty not to subject students to a ‘detriment’ or limit access to any benefit because of their gender identity,” Ms Brown said.

“In practice this means supporting students as they transition, including allowing them to use toilets that accords with the gender they live as.”

In the United States, opposition to bathroom access has centred on what equality campaigners have dubbed the “predator myth”.

Conservative groups have argued that allowing trans people to use the toilet of their affirmed gender could lead to attacks on women and girls by men or boys posing as transgender females.

In response, a coalition of more than 200 organisations working with sexual assault and domestic violence survivors last year released a statement pointing out that in the 18 states where anti-discrimination laws protect trans people’s access to the bathroom of their affirmed gender, there has been no rise in sexual violence offences.

Catharine Lumby, a Macquarie University professor who researches gender and the media, argues transgender women are more likely to be the victims of a transphobic attack than predators themselves.

“The predator mythology is a smokescreen for some people’s deep discomfort with the idea that gender is fluid … often male conservatives, who’d like return to a world where gender roles were highly structured and easy to identify,” she said.

Young people aren’t ‘choosing’ to be trans

In Australia, much of the opposition rests with a discomfort about young people transitioning too early, and a belief that some will change their minds.

David van Gend, president of the Australian Marriage Forum which opposes same-sex marriage, said he was concerned that allowing transgender students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity “collaborates with a child’s delusion”.

“Given the fact that the vast majority of gender-confused children get over their confusion around the time of puberty, why use the authority of the school to affirm and entrench their confused behaviour?” Dr van Gend said.

Dr van Gend said such policies were “clinically reckless” and likened them to agreeing with an emaciated girl suffering from anorexia that she is fat.

“In both cases, we must strive to help the young person come back to reality.”

Dr Telfer said studies showing children grow out of their transgender identity had been widely discredited and that young people going through gender transition do so in consultation with parents, teachers and medical professionals.

“The young people we see aren’t choosing to be trans. It’s something they’ve thought about their entire life and has often taken a lot of courage over several years to speak up,” she said.

“They’re driven to come out to save themselves from self-harm and suicide.”

Dr Telfer said Oliver’ story was an example of how transgender children can flourish when offered appropriate support.

Before he came out to classmates, Safe Schools Coalition Australia visited the school at the request of the principal and worked out a plan with Oliver, his family and staff, allowing him to use the boys’ toilets and play in the boys’ sports teams.

“Nothing really changed except that they stopped using that old name and they started using the new pronoun,” Oliver said. “It wasn’t a big deal. I was just me.”

 

 

 

 

source:https://medium.com/abc-news-australia/for-some-transgender-students-the-school-bathroom-is-a-battleground-1e219a1ef040

Shia LaBeouf’s latest movie Man Down has sold just one ticket on its opening weekend in the UK

shia la

5th april 2017

IS this the worst opening weekend for a movie in history?

Shia LaBeouf’s new movie Man Down, grossed just $11.51 on its opening weekend in the UK, the price of a single ticket, according to media reports.

“Poor Shia,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Box Office tracking company ComScore told Variety.

“That opening could be in the Guinness World Records or something.”

The film was panned on Rotten Tomatoes, receiving just a 15 per cent rating.

It is a far cry from LaBeouf’s days as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars during his time with the Transformers franchise.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen grossed more than $531 million in the US alone, including $144 million upon opening

Shia’s amazing green-screen rant

Score filed a report on the gross of Man Down, in which LaBeouf plays a US soldier who has come home from war in Afghanistan only to be forced to search for his missing wife and son.

According to Variety the movie played in just one theatre: Reel Cinema in Burnley in the England’s northwest.

It was also released simultaneously on demand.

According to The Guardian it will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in May.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter LaBeouf described the film as “therapy”.

He said one of the biggest drawing cards of the film was the chance to team up again with director Dito Montiel. The pair formerly worked together on the 2006 film A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.

“This script landed on his lap at just the right time, and he came to my house when I was at a really low place and offered it to me like therapy, like, ‘Here’s a healing process where we can jump into together and get well,’” LaBeouf told the publication.

“It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, jump on this job,’ or ‘Jump into this movie.’ It felt like we were going to grow up.”

“This is definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever worked on, emotionally, with anyone, which is why I had to do it with him.

“I needed a friend — otherwise, you can’t get this vulnerable.”

Man Down also stars Australian actor Jai Courtney. Picture: LionsgateSource:Supplied

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints movie grossed $600,000 in the US.

Man Down also stars Gary Oldman, Kate Mara and Charlie Shotwell.

After his roles in blockbusters including Transformers and Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, La Beouf has shifted his focus to independent films with mixed success.

The news comes during a troubled time for La Beouf that included a bizarre anti-Donald Trump protest last month.

 

 

source: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/movies/shia-labeoufs-latest-movie-man-down-has-sold-just-one-ticket-on-its-opening-weekend-in-the-uk/news-story/b076b8ee8788b6296a653283e0a94ee5

WikiLeaks Drops the Mother Lode With ‘Vault 7’

wikileaks

8th March 2017

WikiLeaks on Tuesday dumped a trove of documents and files hacked from the Central Intelligence Agency — the largerst ever published from within the U.S. spy agency.
The 8,761 documents code named “VAult 7” contain amazing things, such as the “weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
“The CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified,” WikiLeaks said in its release.
The documents show that “a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads.”
The CIA also runs “a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware.”
The documents also show that “in addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia, the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( ‘Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe’ or CCIE) are given diplomatic (‘black’) passports and State Department cover. The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany’s counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: ‘Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport.’ “
“There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of ‘Year Zero’ goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective,” said WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

 

 

source:http://www.dailywire.com/news/14173/wikileaks-drops-mother-lode-vault-7-joseph-curl?

Are You Going To Cast A Spell On Trump?

fuck it thats enough

24th Feb 2017

Those who don’t like Donald Trump and the current Republican administration are mobilizing in all sorts of ways. They’re speaking up in town halls and calling their representatives. They’re organizing protests and demonstrations. And, for the magically-inclined, they’re casting spells.

Starting at midnight on Friday, witches around the country are calling for a mass spell to be cast on Donald Trump every night of a waning crescent moon until he’s driven from office.

The spell was publicized by Michael M. Hughes, who told ELLE.com that it was tweaked from multiple spells he saw going around private witchcraft groups. He published it on Extra News Feed because he felt “it would be very welcome to a lot of people.” It quickly spread, with events being formed around the country and support on social media.

Hughes explained that he chose a binding spell because “we’re not wishing harm on anyone, we’re just trying to stop the harm they’re doing. It’s not the equivalent of punching a Nazi in the face, it’s the equivalent of tying him up and taking his bullhorn away.”

The ritual itself is pretty standard magic working, binding Trump from doing harm to others and to himself, rather than asking any forces to do harm to him. There are objects to represent the elements and to represent Trump himself. The tarot card of the Tower represents ambitions built on lies, which are struck down by a lightning flash of truth. For those who believe in witchcraft, it looks to be an effective spell.

However, even for those who don’t, the ritual can have meaning. Witches have gathered to create spells for social justice before, whether it was to hex convicted rapist Brock Turner or exorcise the Pentagon. “My feeling was people were feeling so helpless in the face of all this,” said Hughes, who sees the ritual, as much as anything, as a self-exorcism. “So many of us are overwhelmed by this guy’s face, this energy―it’s ever present and beating a lot of us down. I see this as a way of people reclaiming their own power…it’s not just that we can stop him, but we can expunge him from ourselves.”

Hughes also says that all are welcome, even those highly skeptical of magic. “The real intention is just to get the energy focused at the same time, as many people as possible,” he says. People can participate in their own religious rituals, or even perform this as a joke or an art project. “No matter how you approach it, it’s still great to be part of it.” Plus, we’re sure you have some candles lying around.

 

 

source:http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a43285/casting-spell-donald-trump/

Inauguration-protest arrests lead to Facebook data prosecution

big-brother-1984

13th Feb 2017

If you attend a protest in Washington, D.C., nowadays, better plan on leaving your cellphone at home. That is, unless you want police to confiscate it, mine it for incriminating information and then gather even more data from their BFF — Facebook.

At least one person arrested during protests on Inauguration Day got an email from Facebook’s Law Enforcement Response Team alerting them that investigators wanted access to their data. Another received a Facebook data subpoena.

The email was basically a countdown to when Facebook inevitably handed that data over to D.C. police. That is, unless the respondent figured out how to file an objection within a 10-day window.

When over 230 people were arrested in D.C. during protests against Donald Trump last month, many of those rounded up were not part of the protests. Cops swept up medics, legal observers, and six journalists from Voactiv, RT America and others.

All of their phones were confiscated and retained.

Everyone arrested now faces felony charges and up to 10 years in prison. In the Bay Area, where we love a good protest, it’s very rare that arrested protesters get prosecuted. So it’s odd to think that protesters would have their social media scrutinized after an arrest. Though, like in most cities across America, it’s extremely common for investigators to search the social media of suspects in other crimes if they believe that the suspect posted something related (like photos of a beating). SFPD even has an officer devoted to following social media — most heavily, Snapchat and Instagram, as those are apparently where you find the best crime stuff.

Oakland Police and supporting agencies like California Highway Patrol have been very transparent about monitoring Twitter to determine protest movement and plans. And we’ve been pretty vocal about pushing back. It only makes sense that we’d resist any form of surveillance, seeing that we’re ground zero around here for ethically challenged startups that invade our privacy. Fighting the surveillance state has become part of our DNA. But a wide-ranging Facebook subpoena for felony protest prosecution isn’t something we’ve seen the likes of.

The subpoena issued to Facebook (this one by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on January 27, 2017 and signed off on by a D.C. Metropolitan Police Detective) obtained by press this week is chilling. It targeted another inauguration arrestee, and requests subscriber information from Facebook that includes all names, all addresses (home, business, emails), phone records, session details (IP, ports, etc), device identification info, payment information, and more.

CityLab explained, “The redacted blocks on the second page shield columns of phone numbers, which are connected to other arrestees for whom the district attorney and police are seeking information.”

The list of phone numbers may indicate that police have gained access to someone’s phone and are building a case with what they found. A screenshot provided to CityLab indicates police began mining information from the confiscated devices right after the arrests.

On one hand, that could’ve been automated pinging by Gmail to Google’s servers. Or, it could’ve been something darker. When phones are taken as evidence, they’re supposed to be secured in a signal-blocking Faraday bag to prevent remote wipes. Fred Jennings, a cybercrime defense attorney at the firm Tor Ekeland in New York, told press: “If it had been secured properly and placed in the bag to safeguard it, there’d be no way for it to ping the server.”

For some of us, this sets off a different set of alarms. It’s scary enough that police are arresting journalists and mining our phones for all the terrifyingly detailed data Facebook seems all too happy to give up. But authorities with questionable intent are also collecting our contacts, and pose a very real risk for our protected sources.

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Some of this could be solved by ditching our devices in favor of carrying on-the-scene burner phones. But this presents a new host of complications and problems, even for the well-intentioned protester or march participant. For one, it’s a hassle for most people. It also defeats the purpose of using your Twitter or Facebook account. More than ever, it’s vital that our voices are heard through media we share from our phones. Things like immigration-ban protests and the state-level denial of chaos at the airports can’t be dismissed when the realities are documented through our established Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Keeping a record of what authorities do to us, and being able to send a signal flare for help to our networks, makes them being used against us a much bigger problem than just saying “leave your phone at home” or “don’t talk about the protest online.”

It’s not a stretch to lay blame at Facebook’s feet for taking data we don’t necessarily want to give it, and for its well-established collaboration with police against its users. It’s a bigger stretch to suggest that the agreement between Facebook and its users is any kind of informed consent.

It’s interesting that this news comes up the same week that 333,000 people signed a petition demanding Facebook improve its corporate citizenship, with 1,500 of the signees being company shareholders. That document led to a proposal to remove Mark Zuckerberg from the board.

This, it said, was necessary at a time when Facebook “faces increasing criticism regarding its perceived role in the promotion of misleading news; censorship, hate speech and alleged inconsistencies in the application of Facebook’s community-standards guidelines and content policies; targeting of ad views based on race; collaboration with law enforcement and other government agencies; and calls for public accountability regarding the human-rights impacts of Facebook’s practices.”

It’s that collaboration with law enforcement and human-rights accountability we’ll be hearing more about as the D.C. arrest cases unfold. It’s not a new story, just an old one with a twist: Facebook got called out just before the US presidential election for colluding with authorities against its users’ human rights, specifically US police departments. A coalition of 70 human-rights groups, including the ACLU, wrote a public letter to Facebook condemning the company’s zeal in doing police bidding around the world.

Facebook, of course, just wants us to live our lives so it can keep collecting data we don’t even know we’re creating. Recording and storing our location, connections, contacts, experiences, our secrets and our history.

It’s transforming our memories into a malevolent, atavistic shadow that someday may be used against us in a court of law.

 

source:https://www.engadget.com/2017/02/10/inauguration-protest-arrests-lead-to-facebook-data-prosecution/

There’s An Alt-Left, And It’s Trying To Make America Ungovernable

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13th Feb 2016

President Donald Trump’s White House staff may be longing for the random acts of vandalism committed against the early George W. Bush team by the Clinton White House staff in 2001, including taking the Ws off many White House computer keyboards.

Instead, today, a subversive alt-government is emerging, in line with the alt-left’s growing resistance to use any means necessary to slow, stop and obstruct Trump’s agenda, from inside the government, to make America ungovernable.

Christian Adams, a lawyer and the author of “Injustice,” has witnessed ideological battles inside the Department of Justice. In this exclusive video interview, he condemns the intolerant left wing, with its violence, fire, riots and “totalitarian tendencies,” daring to label others as fascists or nazis.

He says it’s a tactic used to scare and conjure up horrors against their enemies. Adams says that use of such labels, is an Orwellian corruption of the language, showing how far the left has sunk in its hatred of America.

The “civil service has been radicalized and is an instrument of the institutional left,” he says, mentioning immigration, open borders, green energy, labor policy for unions and more. He says, with the power and protections of civil service employment, these bureaucrats are poised to impose their own ideological will through the administrative state, despite Trump’s victory at the ballot box.

As for the ideologically-hostile bureaucrats left in place from the Obama administration, Adams says “there are not enough Donald Trumps in the administration.”

He chides the initial Trump teams for not taking bolder action after Jan. 20. Awaiting the Senate confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sally Yates, the first acting attorney general who voiced objection to an early presidential action before she was fired two hours later, should not have been left in that position, he says. No other Republican though, he says, would have had the courage to fire Yates so summarily either.

In this exclusive interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, Adams warns, “There’s a lot more Sally Yates in the Justice Department just waiting to sabotage the next policy initiative of the President or the attorney general.”

If Trump doesn’t take on the alt-government, he will face four years of escalating sabotage, Adams says.

His recommendations to Trump include removing or transferring large numbers of the federal Senior Executive Service (SES) managers. Additionally, a large reduction in force of federal employees could help, he thinks, but that takes more courage by the Congress.

For context, radio host and author Dennis Prager has deemed what is happening against our new president as a new American civil war. These alt-government tactics, joined with escalating anti-Trump street protests, boycotts, orchestrated congressional obstructionism and slow downs by Democrats surpasses protests of yesteryears.

Previous resistance efforts were designed to irritate and draw attention to a cause. Yet, since election day, the array of third-world revolutionary tactics unfolding throughout the culture, Congress, the media, along with the mass manipulation and name calling is designed to overturn the voters’ choice, and punish and destroy the opposition.

Faceless bureaucrats are maliciously leaking confidential information against President Trump already. Classes are forming to train federal workers on acts of civil disobedience.

Adams mentions the new portal, SecureDrop by the Washington Post, to encourage leaks for whistleblowers. In addition, the ethics offices are often ideologically driven, holding Republicans to higher standards than the last administration, he adds.

A recent report showed 95 percent of federal employee political donations went against Trump.

 

 

source and for video: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/11/theres-an-alt-left-and-its-trying-to-make-america-ungovernable-video/

Most Europeans want immigration ban from Muslim-majority countries, poll reveals

8th Feb 2017

A majority of Europeans want a ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries, a poll has revealed.

An average of 55 per cent of people across the 10 European countries surveyed wanted to stop all future immigration from mainly Muslim countries.

The Chatham House study, conducted before US President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning immigration to the US from seven predominantly Muslim countries, found majorities in all but two of the ten states opposed immigration from mainly Muslim countries.

Only 20 per cent disagreed, while 25 per cent said they did not know.

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A ban was supported by 71 per cent of people in Poland, 65 per cent in Austria, 53 per cent in Germany and 51 per cent in Italy.

In the UK, 47 per cent supported a ban.

In no country did more than 32 per cent disagree with a ban.

Of those surveyed, opposition to Muslim immigration was especially intense among older people, while those under 30 were less opposed.

There was also a contrast between those with secondary level qualifications, of which 59 per cent opposed Muslim immigration, and degree holders, of which less than half supported halting immigration.

A Pew survey of 10 European countries in 2016 found majorities in five countries had an unfavourable view of Muslims living in their country.

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Of those, 72 per cent of Hungarians had a negative view of Muslims, followed by 69 per cent of Italians, 66 per cent of Poles, 65 per cent of Greeks and 50 per cent of Spaniards.

In the UK, only 28 per cent said they had an unfavourable view of Muslims, while in Germany and France 29 per cent said the same.

 

source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/most-europeans-want-muslim-ban-immigration-control-middle-east-countries-syria-iran-iraq-poll-a7567301.html