Friday, November 2, 2007

In a nutshell

Exerpt taken from Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Frederick Engels.

III. Proletarian Revolution

Solution of the contradictions. The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialised character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialised production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the state dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organisation, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master - free.

To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to the new oppressed proletarian class full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific socialism.
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Thursday, November 1, 2007

In The Event That Everything Should Go Wrong...

...take a weekend getaway with your favorite survivor to Svalbard's doomsday vault.

The end of the world could be the beginning for you.

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Any Government, Other Than Self, Bleeds Oppression

"Tear gas used at Venezuela rally"

Venezuelan troops have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of students in the capital, Caracas.

The students are demonstrating against constitutional reforms proposed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

One of the reforms would abolish term limits for the presidency, thus allowing President Chavez to stand for re-election indefinitely.

The students want a December referendum on the reforms to be postponed, to give voters more time to study the plans.

Leaders of the protest have been granted a meeting with Tibisay Lucena, the president of the National Electoral Council to discuss their demands.

The protest follows a similar demonstration on 24 October, in which at least five demonstrators suffered minor injuries after riot police acted to disperse the crowds.

Bypassing legal controls

In addition to abolishing presidential term limits, President Chavez is also proposing to bypass legal controls on the executive during a state of emergency, bring in a maximum six-hour working day, cut the voting age from 18 to 16, and increase presidential control over the central bank.

The Venezuelan congress - dominated by Chavez supporters - recently voted through the reform package.

If the reforms are approved in the December referendum, then they will become law.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/11/01 22:20:58 GMT

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Picture of the Day

`Bloodied' anti-war protester gets in face of `criminal' Rice

Oct 25, 2007 04:30 AM

WASHINGTON–An anti-war protester waved blood-coloured hands in U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's face at a congressional hearing yesterday and shouted "war criminal!" before being pushed away and detained by police.

"The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands!" yelled protester Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz of the Code Pink organization.

Rice, an architect of U.S. President George W. Bush's Iraq policy, appeared unfazed by the incident, which occurred when she entered a House of Representatives meeting room to testify at a hearing on U.S. Middle East policy.

"Out!" shouted the chairman of the foreign relations committee, Representative Tom Lantos, as security men and police hustled the woman away. The California Democrat also ordered the removal of several other Code Pink activists.

Capitol police said later five people were arrested, including Ali-Fairooz, who was charged with disorderly conduct and assault on a police officer.

Meanwhile, two Code Pink activists who were denied entry into Canada because their arrests for protesting the Iraq war landed them on an FBI-run database say they will try again to enter the country today.

The activists and their supporters presented petitions Tuesday at Canadian consulates in several U.S. cities, demanding Canada reverse what they say is a policy that keeps foes of the Iraq war from visiting.

Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army colonel and diplomat, was turned back at the border along with fellow Code Pink member Medea Benjamin on Oct. 3. She said they plan to fly to Ottawa today in the hopes of attending a public forum organized by NDP MP Alexa McDonough. Read more!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Real ID in NY

Real ID That Spitzer Now Embraces Has Been Widely Criticized

Published: October 29, 2007

Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to provide three kinds of driver’s licenses, two that would meet new federal security regulations and a third that would be available to illegal immigrants, has put New York on pace to be among the first states to adopt the federal identification program known as Real ID.

Mr. Spitzer seemed to be ignoring the federal mandate several weeks ago when he announced that illegal immigrants would be allowed to get the same type of license as other state residents.

The proposal set off intense criticism — a Siena College poll of 620 registered voters found that 72 percent opposed it — even as Mr. Spitzer made clear that he would consider creating a class of driver’s licenses in the future to abide by federal regulations.

Mr. Spitzer’s new position, announced on Saturday in Washington, places New York among a handful of states agreeing to implement a federal identification system that has faced intense opposition from civil libertarians, immigration advocates and many lawmakers. Concerns focus on privacy protection and the costs to states that implement the Real ID program.

The program is supposed to be phased in nationally by 2013, but Mr. Spitzer wants to put his plan in place next year.

“The costs involved in this program are by no means insignificant,” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian policy group in Washington.

The Department of Homeland Security puts the price of the program nationally at $23 billion over 10 years, while the National Governors Association estimates that the cost to states will exceed $11 billion in the first five years alone. Still, Congress appropriated just $40 million for start-up costs in 2006, leaving the burden of paying for most of the costs largely to the states.

“There’s going to be an irreducible expense that falls on you, and that’s part of the shared responsibility,” the secretary of homeland security, Michael Chertoff, said in August at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Real ID law, which Congress passed two years ago, sets national standards for state-issued documents like driver’s licenses and other identification cards, requiring applicants to prove citizenship or legal residency to obtain them. One of the goals of the legislation was to make identification documents harder to forge.

Under the program, an estimated 245 million drivers will have to renew their licenses in person and present a form of photo identification and documents proving date of birth, Social Security number and address.

Proponents of the act say that it responds to recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and that its stricter and standardized rules could keep terrorists and illegal immigrants from obtaining legitimate identification.

But 17 states have passed laws defying the mandate, while others are considering similar measures.

One criticism that has been raised is that the personal information will be entered in databases that will be shared by every state, raising questions about how the data will be secured and how safe its storage will be.

“That’s an identity thief’s dream,” said Christopher Calabrese, counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s technology and liberty program.

Mr. Calabrese said that Mr. Spitzer’s proposal to create a driver’s license that would appeal largely to undocumented immigrants presents “a much more dangerous condition” for them.

“What we’re going to have,” he said, “is a list of undocumented aliens, and there’s no way New York will be able to keep the federal government’s hands off this list and protect the people whose names are on the list.

“Spitzer may have had the best of intentions at first,” Mr. Calabrese continued, “but he buckled to political pressure and it seems now that his good intentions have backfired.”

Mr. Spitzer’s new plan would also create an even more secure type of license, which would be particularly useful for New Yorkers who frequently cross into Canada.

For more information on why Real ID is BAD BAD BAD! click aqui and aqui. Read more!