RE: SOPA/PIPA – Please Join The Censorship Protest

[New post on WordPress.com News] –

Help defend our right to freedom of speech…

Join Our Censorship Protest! by Jane Wells

Have you been paying attention to all the hubbub online about the proposed U.S. legislation (SOPA/PIPA) that threatens internet freedom? I wrote about it last week over on WordPress.org, but the gist is this: there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that if passed would put publishing freedom severely at risk, and could shut down entire sites at the whim of media companies. Fight for the Future created this nifty video to sum it up better than I can.

http://vimeo.com/31100268

On January 18, 2012, sites all over the internet will be blacking out to protest and try to mobilize more people to speak out against this bill coming up in the Senate next week, S. 968: the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in an attempt to let U.S. lawmakers know how much opposition there is. WordPress.org, Wikipedia, and even WordPress.com VIP I Can Has Cheezburger? will be participating in the blackout to raise awareness and spur you to action.

Here on WordPress.com, we want to participate as well. Freshly Pressed will be blacked out during the strike. Sorry to take away your daily fix of yummy web content, but this bill threatens to do that on a much wider scale. You don’t want that, do you?

More importantly, we are making it possible for you to participate in the protest. There are two options: a “Stop Censorship” ribbon and a full blackout. The blackout portion will be in effect January 18 from 8am to 8pm EST, while the ribbon will be displayed until January 24. Here’s how to join in:

1. Go to Settings → Protest SOPA/PIPA in your dashboard. 2. Select if you want to join the blackout or show a ribbon. 3. If you choose to join the blackout, you can edit the message that will be shown on your site during the blackout. 4. Preview what your protest will look like. 5. Click “Save Changes” button to activate your protest. That’s it! Easy-peasy activism right at your fingertips.

The “Stop Censorship” ribbon will display in the upper corner of your site and links to americancensorship.org. It will display until January 24, 2012 (the Senate vote date).

If you choose to do the blackout in addition to the ribbon, then we will black out your site from 8am to 8pm EST along with the official strike. You can customize the message that will appear on your blacked-out site to tell people why this issue is important to you. Your site will return to just displaying the ribbon after the strike is over.

I hope that a significant number of you on WordPress.com will join in this protest. Publishing freedom is a right we must protect.

And one last pitch: whatever you decide to do about your site, please take a few minutes to head over to americancensorship.org and take action. It only takes a few moments of your time to be an agent of change!

Jane Wells | January 18, 2012 at 1:25 am | Tags: Censorship, laws, PIPA, Senate, SOPA | Categories: Community, Features, Freshly Pressed | URL: http://wp.me/pf2B5-2vn

Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser:

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/join-our-censorship-protest/

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The Origins and Historical Significance of Labor Day

Labor Day (aka. Labour Day) is a United States Federal Holiday, now annually observed on the first Monday of every September, celebrating the economic and social contributions of workers. It also symbolizes, for many, the final days of summer, and is widely celebrated as such through parties, parades, and other various events…

Labor Day originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters, and was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.
In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, even children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.
Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”
But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

Observation Dates:
Last year (2010) = Monday, September 6th
This year (2011) = Monday, September 5th
Next year (2012) = Monday, September 3rd

Sources:
• United States Department of Labor
• Wikipedia
• For more interesting facts and educational information about Labor Day… Go To: History.com | Labor Day

Senator Johanns e-Update: “Path to Prosperity: A Step in the Right Direction”

Historical government spending by major functi...

Image via Wikipedia

The following, is an email I received earlier today from the office of Senator Johanns (Mike_Johanns@Johanns.senate.gov):

 

Senator Johanns e-Update
April 5, 2011 6:40 PM

Today, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin introduced a plan entitled The Path to Prosperity to tackle our nation’s debt problem. The plan offers a stark contrast to our current course of trillion-dollar deficits and runaway spending. It cuts more than $6 trillion in spending compared to the President’s proposed budget levels over the next decade, reduces government spending by limiting it to a percentage of the economy, and paves a path to pay off our bloated debt. This is now the second serious proposal introduced in recent months to address our debt crisis. While I may not fully support either proposal in their entirety, I applaud the leadership being shown on this important issue and hope the President will step-up to advance the discussion.

 

KEY PROVISIONS OF THE PATH TO PROSPERITY

SPENDING

• Cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President’s budget, and $5.8 trillion relative to the current-policy baseline.
• Eliminates hundreds of duplicative programs, reflects the ban on earmarks, and curbs corporate welfare bringing non-security discretionary spending to below 2008 levels.
• Brings government spending to below 20 percent of the economy, a sharp contrast to the President’s budget, in which spending never falls below 23 percent of GDP over the next decade.

DEBT AND DEFICITS

• Reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion compared to the President’s budget over the next decade.
• Surpasses the President’s low benchmark of sustainability – which his own budget fails to meet – by reaching primary balance in 2015.
• Puts the budget on the path to balance and pays off the debt.

TAXES

• Keeps taxes low so the economy can grow. Eliminates roughly $800 billion in tax increases imposed by the President’s health care law. Prevents the $1.5 trillion tax increase called for in the President’s budget.
• Calls for a simpler, less burdensome tax code for households and small businesses. Lowers tax rates for individuals, businesses and families.
• Sets top rates for individuals and businesses at 25 percent. Improves incentives for growth, savings, and investment.

GROWTH AND JOBS

• Creates nearly 1 million new private-sector jobs next year, brings the unemployment rate down to 4 percent by 2015, and results in 2.5 million additional private-sector jobs in the last year of the decade.
• Spurs economic growth, increasing real GDP by $1.5 trillion over the decade.
• Unleashes prosperity and economic security, yielding $1.1 trillion in higher wages and an average $1,000 per year in higher income for each family.

*Source: House Budget Committee

 

It certainly sounds compelling, but what does it all mean -in “layman’s terms” (ie. what’s it going to entail for the average, everyday American)? It’s the “fine print”, afterall, that generally spells it out for us and will ultimately give us the whole story …the “bigger picture”, if you will.

…What’s your take, or view, on the topic?

 

 

dEfyant Message Sent via BlackBerry

Nuclear Disaster in Japan

Concerned Citizens of the World,

The recent disaster unfolding in Fukushima, Japan is a devastating, and pivotal, reminder of the dangers of nuclear power.

Right now the President has $36 billion in taxpayer giveaways, going to the nuclear industry to build more plants here in the U.S., in his proposed budget. Please join me and tell the President and your members of Congress that there is no place for taxpayer giveaways for the nuclear industry in the budget. Just click on the link below…

GreenPeace.Org | Advocacy

Bright Blessings*
And thank you so much, in advance, for both your time and your support!