Category Archives: webmaster

VICE Magazine: Who stole the four hour workday

 VICE Magazine: Who stole the four hour workday

In the 1930s, unions were already looking ahead to the reduction in time spent working per week. Less hours means: Less Alzheimer’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, families with children who raise themselves and more jobs to go around.

European countries such as economic power Germany works 300 hours less per year than American counterparts. National productivity in our country is already three times, per worker, than it was in the 1960s. With automation and computers going the ‘heavy lifting ‘ for most of us already, it’s it really that outlandish? The 12 hour work week once was standard, then 10, and 8 as the depression hit… We’re losing ground.

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Aaron Swartz, Dead at 26. fightforthefuture.org e-mail (Copy)

fightforthefuture.org
Don’t mess with the internet

From: Holmes Wilson, Fight for the Future (info@fightforthefuture.org)

Sent:    Thu 1/17/13 10:45 PM

Dear Christopher,

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the win against SOPA, and instead this week has been crushingly sad.  Aaron Swartz was a friend, and we went to his funeral Tuesday.

Aaron was behind so much of the amazing activism you see on the web.  He helped Lessig start Creative Commons and helped get Reddit off the ground.  With David Segal he founded Demand Progress.  He gave us tons of advice and encouragement on Fight for the Future and even swooped in to fix our website at a crucial moment in the first SOPA protest (it was amazing to watch him work).

The tool that delivers your letters to Congress when you take action on our sites?  He built that.  Probably in a day or two.

It’s fun and comforting to be in awe of him.  But all that “boy genius” stuff is not the important part.  The thing that distinguished Aaron more than his intelligence was that he was political and effective.  He didn’t use his ability to make apps– he used it to right wrongs.  But he didn’t let the deep corruption in his Chomsky books turn him into a helpless cataloguer of the world’s sins and scams.  He worked backwards to some steps he thought might–just maybe–make things better.  Part of my horror at losing him is how clutch he was to have on our side.  He was so powerful, versatile, and independent.  If this was chess, they took our queen.

But that’s the one way he can be replaced.  Not as a friend.  And probably not by any single person on this planet.  But by a network of people infected with his brazen courage.

I remember Aaron saying that one of the best things Fight for the Future could do– beyond stopping or even passing any piece of legislation– would be to encourage activists and geeks to think bigger and bolder.  In a world where any one of us can build things or say things that mobilize millions, handfuls of people can do so much.  So it matters what you think.  It matters what your dreams are.   And it makes a difference when you step up.

Seriously, this is 2013.  Kickstarter exists.  Bitcoin exists!  Half the planet will soon have the Internet in their pockets, and most of them aren’t very happy with their governments or employers.  That’s a lot to work with.   So try something! 🙂  In this email, there’s no simple link to an action you can take; it’s on you to make a plan.  But once you do, post it to #ForAaron … we’d like to read it.

Aaron had so many friends and allies, and all of them want to make some lasting change in his memory, both to advance the causes he worked for and fix the unjust system that lead to his death.  These include:

  • Fixing the CFAA, the law used to prosecute Aaron that makes harmless “terms of service” violations felonies
  • Requiring open access to *all* research that receives public funding
  • Building ever greater archives of open data
  • Creating consequences for prosecutors who bring disproportionate cases against the innocent or harmless

We’ll be helping on all of these fronts, personally or as FFTF.  As Massachusetts natives, we’ll work to end the political careers of the prosecutors here who targeted Aaron.

Finally, if you do anything right now, learn about depression.  Tiffiniy and I agree 100% with Aaron’s family and closest friends that the actions of federal prosecutors and MIT were what killed him.   But there’s more to it than that, and we can’t shake the feeling that our community’s responses to depression are failing brilliant people like Aaron.  Anyone who dreams big is going to encounter extreme stress.  Anyone who works independently, driven by their own values and goals is especially vulnerable to spirals of guilt, frustration and depression when they hit a wall or push past their limits.  The private, quiet lives that fuel our focus when we’re happy become hellish traps when depression starts.  All of us someday will lose a parent, a partner, a sibling, or someone close to us.   If it hasn’t happened to you, it will– and it can throw you, hard.  So get help, don’t be afraid to rely on others (including doctors or therapists) and when it hits your friends, go above and beyond for them.  If you have a project you’d like to pursue to address mental health issues at scale, using the Internet, be in touch– we’d love to help in some way.

With sadness, and love,

Holmes Wilson

Fight for the Future

P.S. We’ll be launching something in the morning.  Apologies in advance for the frequent emails.

Best post of 2012… I’ll give it deeper thought, maybe reply with my spin. Thanks

Doctor Quack

When I turned twenty, I was under the impression that life was going to be a party for the next ten years. I was sorely mistaken. You see… I was warned about a couple things: my metabolism will decrease, I’ll get fatter, academic work will get harder, I’ll have to pay taxes; but there are a lot of things no one warned me about.

So I have written this list, projecting my personal experiences onto my fellow twenty-something friends and colleagues who are themselves possibly struggling with the same things I struggle with in this deeply confusing decade we call our twenties.

1. Twenties are the new teens.

People in their thirties often tell me that the thirties are the new twenties, so what does that make us? Well, unfortunately, as if we didn’t already suffer enough in the confusing and disorienting teenage years, we have to do it all…

View original post 2,949 more words

Why Legalizing Drugs — All of Them — Is the Only Forward Path For Black America

Posted by Easy Rider onJanuary 4, 2011
Prohibition EndsInteresting article from John McWhorter in the New Republic:

This should change, as I have argued frequently over the past year (listen to part of a speech I did on this here). Of the countless reasons why this revival of this Prohibition that looks so quaint in Boardwalk Empire should be erased with all deliberate speed, one is that with no War on Drugs there would be, within one generation, no “black problem” in the United States. Poverty in general, yes. An education problem in general — probably. But the idea that black America had a particular crisis would rapidly become history, requiring explanation to young people. The end of the War on Drugs is, in fact, what all people genuinely concerned with black uplift should be focused on, which is why I am devoting my last TNR post of 2010 to the issue. The black malaise in the U.S. is currently like a card house; the Drug War is a single card which, if pulled out, would collapse the whole thing.

That is neither an exaggeration nor an oversimplification. It comes down to this: If there were no way to sell drugs on the street at a markup, then young black men who drift into this route would instead have to get legal work. They would. Those insisting that they would not have about as much faith in human persistence and ingenuity as those who thought women past their five-year welfare cap would wind up freezing on sidewalk grates.

There would be a new black community in which all able-bodied men had legal work even in less well-off communities — i.e. what even poor black America was like before the ’70s; this is no fantasy. Those who say that this could only happen with low-skill factory jobs available a bus ride away from all black neighborhoods would be, again, wrong. That explanation for black poverty is full of holes. Too many people of all colors of modest education manage to get by without taking a time machine to the 1940s, and after the War on Drugs black men would be no exception.

Read More in the New Republic

All Drugs Have Been Legal in Portugal Since 2001: Did Decriminalization Work?

Posted by ralphonSeptember 30, 2010
Interesting article in TIME from last year. Maia Szalavitz writes:

Pop quiz: Which European country has the most liberal drug laws? (Hint: It’s not the Netherlands.)

Although its capital is notorious among stoners and college kids for marijuana haze–filled “coffee shops,” Holland has never actually legalized cannabis — the Dutch simply don’t enforce their laws against the shops. The correct answer is Portugal, which in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal’s drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. The argument was that the fear of prison drives addicts underground and that incarceration is more expensive than treatment — so why not give drug addicts health services instead? Under Portugal’s new regime, people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail.

The question is, does the new policy work? At the time, critics in the poor, socially conservative and largely Catholic nation said decriminalizing drug possession would open the country to “drug tourists” and exacerbate Portugal’s drug problem; the country had some of the highest levels of hard-drug use in Europe. But the recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, suggest otherwise.

Read more in TIME

DISINFO.COM

Civil Liberties–CointelPro… The USA PatriotAct… and You?

The FBI is interested in you. Do you know what democracy looks like? Then you might be a threat. Thought Crime is real crime in AmeRikkka. CrimeThInc Now!

The (new and improved) American Way TM

The New York Times picked up on these ‘criminals’ as well.

For Anarchist, Details of Life as F.B.I. Target

Caleb Bryant Miller for The New York Times

For at least three years, counterterrorism agents monitored the comings and goings at Scott Crow’s home in Austin, Tex.

By COLIN MOYNIHAN and SCOTT SHANE
Published: May 28, 2011

AUSTIN, Tex. — A fat sheaf of F.B.I. reports meticulously details the surveillance that counterterrorism agents directed at the one-story house in East Austin. For at least three years, they traced the license plates of cars parked out front, recorded the comings and goings of residents and guests and, in one case, speculated about a suspicious flat object spread out across the driveway.

That’s right “Texas Al-Quesada” … or wtf ever they thought… it continues…

 

 

 

 

Continue reading Civil Liberties–CointelPro… The USA PatriotAct… and You?

The World States the obvious… and America doesn’t care… still. (The Drug War Cease Fire)

June 2, 2011

Calling drug war failure, global group says end it

U.S. dismisses call for legalization, regulation
Ken Ellingwood
Tribune Washington bureau

Proposal may cut crack sentences

WASHINGTON – Thousands of federal prisoners could be released beginning later this year to correct wide disparities in sentences between crack and cocaine offenders under a proposal that won the key support of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

Inmates serving lengthy terms for crack cocaine offenses could have an average of three years shaved off their sentences.

While more than 12,000 federal prisoners – nearly 6 percent of the inmates in the vastly overcrowded U.S. prison system – could be affected, Holder recommended that only 5,500 should be released because the others’ crimes involved weapons or they have long criminal histories.

The proposal is intended to remedy a historic legacy of the war on drugs that meted out vastly greater sentences for crack cocaine users, who are mostly black, than powdered cocaine users, often white and sometimes affluent.

Tribune Washington bureau

MEXICO CITY – Calling the global war on drugs a costly failure, a group of high-profile world leaders is urging the Obama administration and other governments to end “the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.”

A report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and past presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, recommends that governments try new ways of legalizing and regulating drugs, especially marijuana, as a way to deny profits to drug cartels.

The recommendation was dismissed by the Obama administration and the government of Mexico, allied in a violent 4 1/2-year-old crackdown on cartels that has led to the deaths of more than 38,000 people in Mexico.

“The U.S. needs to open a debate,” former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria, a member of the panel, said by telephone from New York, where the report is scheduled to be released today. “When you have 40 years of a policy that is not bringing results, you have to ask if it’s time to change it.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a conservative, has made the battle against drug cartels a centerpiece of his administration. Though the growing death toll has stirred widespread public dismay in Mexico, Calderon shows no sign of turning back before his six-year term ends next year. A poll on security matters released Wed
nesday found broad public opposition in Mexico to legalizing drug sales.

The U.S. government has backed the Mexican crackdown with law enforcement equipment, training and encouraging words from President Barack Obama.

“Making drugs more available, as this report suggests, will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe,” said Rafael Lemaitre, spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Although the Obama administration has emphasized a “public health” approach to drug policy, officials have taken a hard line against legalization.

“Legalizing dangerous drugs would be a profound mistake, leading to more use, and more harmful consequences,” drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said this year.

Administration officials dispute the idea that nothing can be done to reduce U.S. drug demand. A spokesman for the White House drug agency said consumption peaked in 1979, when surveys showed that 14 percent of respondents had used illegal drugs in the previous month. Now that figure has dropped to 7 percent.

The new report said the world’s approach to limiting drugs, crafted 50 years ago when the United Nations adopted its “Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs,” has failed to cut the supply or use of drugs. The report, citing figures from the world body, said global marijuana consumption rose more than 8 percent and cocaine use 27 percent between 1998 and 2008.

The group cited a U.N. estimate that 250 million people worldwide use illegal drugs, concluding, “We simply cannot treat them all as criminals.”

More treatment options for addicts are needed, the report said. And it argued that arresting and incarcerating “tens of millions” of drug-producing farmers, couriers and street dealers have not answered economic needs that push many people into the trade.

The group’s members include former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, the writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, and Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group.

Wikipedia – Dailyish Fact (Opiate withdrawl – Morphine)

Withdrawal

Cessation of dosing with morphine creates the prototypical opioid withdrawal syndrome, which unlike that of barbiturates, benzodiazepines, alcohol, or sedative-hypnotics, is not fatal by itself in neurologically healthy patients without heart or lung problems; it is in theory self-limiting in length and overall impact in that a rapid increase in metabolism and other bodily processes takes place, including shedding and replacement of the cells of many organs.[citation needed]

Nonetheless, suicide, heart attacks, strokes, seizures proceeding to status epilepticus, and effects of extreme dehydration do lead to fatal outcomes in a small fraction of cases.[citation needed]

Acute morphine and other opioid withdrawal proceeds through a number of stages. Other opioids differ in the intensity and length of each, and weak opioids and mixed agonist-antagonists may have acute withdrawal syndromes that do not reach the highest level. As commonly cited[by whom?], they are:

  • Stage I: Six to fourteen hours after last dose: Drug craving, anxiety
  • Stage II: Fourteen to eighteen hours after last dose: Yawning, perspiration, lacrimation, crying, running nose, dysphoria, "yen sleep" (a waking trance-like state)[clarification needed]
  • Stage III: Sixteen to twenty-four hours after last dose: Rhinorrhea (runny nose) and increase in other of the above, dilated pupils, piloerection (gooseflesh), muscle twitches, hot flashes, cold flashes, aching bones and muscles, loss of appetite and the beginning of intestinal cramping.
  • Stage IV: Twenty-four to thirty-six hours after last dose: Increase in all of the above including severe cramping and involuntary leg movements ("kicking the habit"), loose stool, insomnia, elevation of blood pressure, moderate elevation in body temperature, increase in frequency of breathing and tidal volume, tachycardia (elevated pulse), restlessness, nausea
  • Stage V: Thirty-six to seventy-two hours after last dose: Increase in the above, fetal position, vomiting, free and frequent liquid diarrhea, which sometimes can accelerate the time of passage of food from mouth to out of system to an hour or less, involuntary ejaculation, which is often painful, saturation of bedding materials with bodily fluids, weight loss of two to five kilos per 24 hours, increased white cell count and other blood changes.
  • Stage VI: After completion of above: Recovery of appetite ("the chucks"), and normal bowel function, beginning of transition to post-acute and chronic symptoms that are mainly psychological but that may also include increased sensitivity to pain, hypertension, colitis or other gastrointestinal afflictions related to motility, and problems with weight control in either direction.

Some authorities[which?] give the above as grades zero to four, and others[which?] add chronic withdrawal as a seventh stage. Some separate post-acute and chronic withdrawal, others do not. For and example of the use of the above system, methadone clinics require, in the absence of a direct and documented referral from a doctor, Stage II withdrawal symptoms and/or recent needle marks and/or surrender of injecting equipment and/or unused drug at the intake appointment to begin the methadone maintenance or withdrawal process; two urine tests positive for opioids must then be collected shortly thereafter.[citation needed]

The withdrawal symptoms associated with morphine addiction are usually experienced shortly before the time of the next scheduled dose, sometimes within as early as a few hours (usually between 6–12 hours) after the last administration. Early symptoms include watery eyes, insomnia, diarrhea, runny nose, yawning, dysphoria, sweating and in some cases a strong drug craving. Severe headache, restlessness, irritability, loss of appetite, body aches, severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, tremors, and even stronger and more intense drug craving appear as the syndrome progresses. Severe depression and vomiting are very common. During the acute withdrawal period systolic and diastolic blood pressure increase, usually beyond pre-morphine levels, and heart rate increases,[13] which have potential to cause a heart attack, blood clot, or stroke.

Chills or cold flashes with goose bumps ("cold turkey") alternating with flushing (hot flashes), kicking movements of the legs ("kicking the habit"[14]) and excessive sweating are also characteristic symptoms.[15] Severe pains in the bones and muscles of the back and extremities occur, as do muscle spasms. At any point during this process, a suitable narcotic can be administered that will dramatically reverse the withdrawal symptoms. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 96 hours after the last dose and subside after about 8 to 12 days. Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are in poor health is very rarely fatal. Morphine withdrawal is considered less dangerous than alcohol, barbiturate, or benzodiazepine withdrawal.[16][17]

The psychological dependence associated with morphine addiction is complex and protracted. Long after the physical need for morphine has passed, the addict will usually continue to think and talk about the use of morphine (or other drugs) and feel strange or overwhelmed coping with daily activities without being under the influence of morphine. Psychological withdrawal from morphine is a very long and painful process.[18] Addicts often suffer severe depression, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, amnesia (forgetfulness), low self-esteem, confusion, paranoia, and other psychological disorders. Without intervention, the syndrome will run its course, and most of the overt physical symptoms will disappear within 7 to 10 days including psychological dependence. There is a high probability that relapse will occur after morphine withdrawal when neither the physical environment nor the behavioral motivators that contributed to the abuse have been altered. Testimony to morphine’s addictive and reinforcing nature is its relapse rate. Abusers of morphine (and heroin) have one of the highest relapse rates among all drug users, ranging up to 98 per cent in the estimation of some clinicians, neuropharmacologists, mental health/AODA professionals and other medical experts.[19]