December 24th, 2010 :: Year 7, Issue 44

Dec-24-2010 | Comments Off

Two week break for travels and festivities. Regular Tikkunistas resume January 15th, 2011


* London Protests A terrifying four minute video of the “kettling” actions is the focus of a Guardian article: The chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority’s civil liberties panel has condemned video footage appearing to show protesters being crushed by police attempting to contain them in a “kettle” during student anti-fees demonstrations in London two weeks ago as “appalling” and “ghastly”….

Musab Younis, 22, from Manchester, [shot this video]. Younis estimates that around 1,000 people were being held next to Westminster tube station, around 20 metres from the bridge, when police began moving in from both sides, crushing those in the crowd. “We were hemmed in by a wall on one side, vans and horses on another side, and two lines of police moving in on us,” he said. “I don’t know [if] I’ve ever been in a situation where I’ve been so crushed before. The police didn’t care whether you had any space to move, and if they had to trample you to move forward, then they would.”

* What We’ve Learned From Wikileaks In U.S. elite media, the main revelation of the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables is that the U.S. government conducts its foreign policy in a largely admirable fashion….These conclusions represent an extraordinarily narrow reading of the WikiLeaks cables, of which about 1,000 have been released (contrary to constant media claims that the website has already released 250,000 cables). Some of the more explosive revelations, unflattering to U.S. policymakers, have received less attention in U.S. corporate media. Among the revelations that, by any sensible reading, show U.S. diplomatic efforts of considerable concern….

* BP Oil Still There

The oil BP tried to hide with nearly 2 million gallons of chemical dispersant has been discovered in thick layers on the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico. The area of contamination covers several thousand square miles and scientists from the University of South Florida say the environmental damage is “significant.”

All the marine life in the settled oil was dead, according to the scientists who saw the damage from research vessels. The disruption to the food chain could be significant. Scientists may not know the full extent of the damage for months, if not years. Fish and other marine life that depended on the worms and other microorganisms to survive may also die if they are unable to find other food sources

1. Actions

Dec-24-2010 | Comments Off

* Support the CBC :: Sign the Petition!

On November 23rd, Stephen Harper’s secret plan for the CBC was revealed when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage mused publicly about killing our public broadcaster! You can hear the audio for yourself here. On Dec 6th, the matter of the government’s plan for the CBC was raised in Parliament. The Heritage Minister was asked to disavow his Parliamentary Secretary’s idea of cutting all funding to the CBC. Twice Minister Moore was asked to dismiss the notion that the government should kill public broadcasting. And, twice he refused to do so. You can see the exchange in the House of Commons here…. We recognize the threat posed by Harper could be the most serious peril CBC has ever faced. Now is the time for all of us who love and depend on the CBC to stand up and be counted.

* Stop Torturing Bradley Manning Glenn Greenwald reports that U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning is being tortured.  Manning is accused of leaking unflattering information about the Afghanistan war to WikiLeaks, but hasn’t been convicted of — or even tried for — any crime. The Guardian reports that the United Nations is investigating a complaint on behalf of Bradley Manning that he is being mistreated while held since May in US Marine Corps custody pending trial. Sign a petition to either end the torture and put him on trial or set him free.

* Contribute to the EFF When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people’s radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations.

2. Good News Stories

Dec-24-2010 | Comments Off

Bird’s Eye: Even as alternative a news medium as Tikkunista falls into the MSM trap of seeing the most important news as being the bad news. So for the last issue of 2010 we’re looking at some of the good news that has happened in the past month. We do a lot of kicking at the darkness: in this post-solstice week we’re celebrating the cracks where it’s bleeding daylight.

* The White House’s Scientific Integrity Directive Union of Concerned Scientists (Thanks, Dave!)

On December 17, 2010, recognizing that political interference in science had become a serious problem, the White House released a Scientific Integrity Directive. If fully implemented by federal agencies and departments, the directive could help protect government scientists from pressure by special interests, and would ensure that the government can make fully informed decisions about public health and the environment.

* Ireland blocks Allied Irish Banks from paying 40m bonuses Telegraph

The Irish government has blocked Allied Irish Banks from spending €40m on bonuses, saying it would withhold state aid if the pay-outs went ahead. Irish finance minister Brian Lenihan warned that state aid was ‘conditional on the non-payment of bonuses awarded, no matter when they may have been earned’ …. The finance minister last week said that he is pushing for a 90pc tax on future bank staff bonuses.

* Internet Rallies Behind Teased Star Wars Girl Yahoo! News

Katie Goldman’s mother, Carrie, wrote on her blog that first-grade boys at Katie’s school in Evanston, Ill., were teasing her over her Star Wars water bottle because “it’s only for boys.” Katie (whose Star Wars enthusiasm has earned her the nickname “Little Jedi”) already felt different for being adopted and for having to wear an eye patch. In response to the bullying, she asked her mother if she could bring a pink water bottle to school instead — and then cried when her mom asked her why she wanted to switch.

Katie’s story zoomed around several Star Wars message boards and sites the past month, picking up momentum as fans on Twitter sent messages of support and photos with the hashtag “May The Force Be with Katie.” On Friday, 30,000 people on Facebook say they are wearing Star Wars-themed clothing in support of Katie. Even the cast of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” took notice, and sent Katie light sabers and other gear, according to CNN.

* On Reddit, r/Atheism and r/Christianity Have A Friendly Competition Up For A Holiday Charity Drive

So, long story short, yesterday maggieed suggested in r/Christianity that they get together to fundraise for Christmas. While the details were still being worked out in r/C, a post went up in r/Atheism by sjmarotta suggesting that r/Atheism take that idea and run with it. A handsome fellow by the handle Denny-Crane set up donation pages for r/Atheism to donate to its consensus choice for a secular charity, Doctors Without Borders. Soon thereafter,maggieed set up a comparable page for Christian charity World Vision’s Clean Water Fund.

In an interesting wrinkle, it turns out that we have stopped calling each other infidels long enough to cross-promote these drives on the subreddits mentioned, as well as r/Religion and some others. People have donated on the Christian page leaving r/Atheism in the comments, and people have donated to the Atheism page leaving r/Christianity in the comments. And we’d like to throw the door open wide to the whole reddit community. (Editor’s Note: As of Christmas Eve, Atheism has raised $45,000 (target 42,000) Christianity $12,360 (target, 12,500) Targets are based on subreddit sizes)

3. A Creative 2011

Dec-24-2010 | Comments Off

Bird’s Eye: Which is what we wish to all our readers (currently over 200 hits per week, btw.) Here are a few possibilities to get you going.

* 8 Great Ways to Spend A Year Boing Boing

Noah Scalin is the creator of Skull-A-Day and author of “Skulls.” His latest book, “365: A Daily Creativity Journal,” is designed to help people make their own yearlong creative projects. See all 365 of the skulls Noah made here. [Editor’s Note: WOW!] I’ve been doing a lot of research on yearlong creative projects lately and I thought I would share (in no particular order) some of my recent favorites and hopefully encourage more people to spend this coming year being creative … Inspired yet? And hey, if you’ve done a yearlong project or are in the midst of one, I’d love to hear about it and share it on my 365 blog!

* She Takes A Photo Every Day YouTube

Self photography, for a bit over three years, in a 33 second video

* Make a Crazy Paper Thing StumbleUpon (thanks, Bonnie!)

* Wonderful New Free Fonts

Over 1000 fonts, free, for Mac or PC. Stop kidding yourself that using Comic Sans is edgy. The #1 font is a great Christmas font too, so get it now, before it melts.

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