Activists on Fast Track to #StopFastTrack | The Fifth Column

TTIP must be stopped. I don’t understand why there isn’t more fuss about our elected governments just handing over huge amounts of power to already far too influential, international corporations!
What the hell is wrong with people? Are we really all just brainwashed sheep? I find that hugely depressing.

This is definitely something I want to look into further. Sharing posts and signing petitions just doesn’t feel adequate to deal with something this big. I feel like I need to be doing more and I don’t know how!

hacktivist culture

via Activists on Fast Track to #StopFastTrack | The Fifth Column.

Raymond Johansen, international coordinator for the Norway Chapter of the Pirate Party and advisory board member of FreeAnons, is part of the global movement connected by social media and the internet to oppose FTAs.  He points to the strength of a “network of connections on all continents” that will put an end to the trade deals that primarily benefit multinational corporations.

Profile pix largeI see international trade agreements as a form of economic imperialism where the large economies, such as the US, gets too much power and render democracies in our countries obsolete. From the standpoint of a European citizen and as a strong supporter of transparency I especially dislike the TPP. I also find it incredible that the US people are not more worried about what TPP will mean for them.

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Why I Love Being Me

I love this post, as soon as I read it I knew I had to reblog!

I wish I had felt like this growing up. I was a wreck as a kid. I didn’t fit in. I didn’t trust myself not to say something stupid in front of people that I thought were much cooler than me, which was basically everyone. I was a complete try-hard and I got it wrong every time. I didn’t know who I was so I tried to be all thing to all people and I messed it up.BodyImageInfographic-1self_esteem

And now I have daughters.

I have nightmares about them going through school feeling the way I did. I try so hard to instil them with confidence, to explain the importance of being yourself without caring what anybody thinks. When I look back, the ‘popular’ kids at school were the ones who had enough confidence in themselves to act naturally. They never stuttered when they tried to talk in a group, they never blushed when asked a question in class, they never tried too hard.

But how to explain that to young girls whose whole lives revolve around what people think and how they are portraying themselves? I was trying to explain about the effect being confident has on the image you portray to those around you to my 12 year old daughter recently. Her reply, “Mum, nobody acts like that, that’s how you end up being bullied”. I think my heart broke.

I struggled at school. But at least I got to leave my try-hard self behind when I got off the school bus and could just be myself when I got home. Now, kids have smartphones that keep them constantly connected to their peers. They have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and however many others I’m too old to have a clue about. And every single thing they post is scrutinised by everyone they know, or an attempt to reach the notice of those they want to know. Every thought they have and every picture they take is an effort to bolster their image.

So I found the post below so refreshing to read. The op is obviously quite young, probably not much older than my daughters, and it’s so comforting to see that some kids are coming through this minefield unscathed. I hope my girls learn this confidence much sooner than I did.

I’m only just coming to terms with the fact that I’ve been worrying myself sick for years over something that just does not matter. I love who I am. Nobody else’s opinion matters!love_yourself

If somebody else thinks I’m being stupid, so what? If I’m feeling boisterous and skipping down the street chatting to Charlie, my Staffie, or singing loudly along to Muse while playing air drums, then I’m expressing my contentment and feeling good, and I probably look a complete tit to anyone that sees me, but so what?

Happiness - Aristotle
Happiness is a choice we make, and it takes the same amount of work as misery. Make the right choice!

I suppose I have to accept that this isn’t something I can teach my daughters. They’ll have to come to the realisation that they are just fine exactly how they are in their own time, just like I did. I can bolster their confidence, praise their intelligence and wit, and make sure they know they are loved more than life, but ultimately they have to develop that self-love for themselves.

I only hope they don’t suffer in the learning as much as I did.


Hey guys!

I recently noticed that most people hate certain things about themselves, or wish they were someone else. With me, I don’t. I believe that what I have makes me, me.I may not be the prettiest girl in the world, I may not have the nicest personality, I may be weird, odd, etc, but I am me.

I am a lot more comfortable doing what I want, rather than what the people around me think I should do. I hate dresses with a passion, and am a lot more comfortable in a tux. I HATE makeup, and am a lot happier without it. I am not girly at all. I don’t run around lusting after attractive people. I don’t keep myself in a shell so I don’t embarrass myself. I will laugh when I throw the ball in the complete opposite direction it’s meant to go in PE…

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#24 This makes my blood boil

I agree with so much of this post.
So many people seem so wrapped up in how others who are different to them don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms. We blame immigrants for a lack of jobs. We blame the disabled and unemployed for being too lazy to work. Desperate people turn up on our shores, half crazed with malnutrition and fear, fleeing from terrifying circumstances that have forced them to escape their own homes, circumstances that all too often we had a hand in causing in one way or another, and we send these people on. They’re lucky to get some bread and water from us before getting sent on their way. Or if we do let them ashore we lock them up in privately run refugee camps where allegations of torture and sexual abuse of children are rife, yet the UN don’t have the power to investigate because the private international companies that run the camps won’t allow them access.
And the government love it. All this pointing fingers at each other, finding people worse off than we are to blame for all that’s wrong with society. If we have no community to fall back on, if they keep pushing the erosion of family values, we become ever more submissive. If we’re picking fights with each other then we’re not looking up at the people at the top of the pyramid, we’re not paying attention to how they’re keeping us downtrodden while they live the good life. Divide and rule!
The only way to put things right is for us to come together. Cherish diversity while concentrating on the ways in which we’re all the same. Look after the people less well off than you so that everyone living in your community can thrive.
Society’s values are all wrong right now and it’s up to us to put it right. People or animals, have respect for all living things and fight to make your community strong again.

Stop Taking The Blue Pill

I don’t normally “write” posts but as the title says, this topic makes my blood boil and I couldn’t keep silent.  This isn’t going to be a popular post because 99% of the people I know would hate it and not agree with me.  Most humans get super defensive on this topic and don’t want to even think about it.

With that said, here is what got me going:

Headline and excerpt from December 5, 2014

‘Apeus corpus?  Chimps not human, says New York court’

“A New York court has ruled that a chimpanzee is not legally a person and is therefore not entitled to human rights. An animal rights group had sought to free a chimp from captivity, likening it to a person suffering unlawful solitary confinement.

Tommy is the great ape at the center of the scandal. Formerly in the entertainment business, his life has fallen on…

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#26 Everything We Know About the Drug War and Addiction Is Wrong

Stop Taking The Blue Pill

I started this web page because I would read or watch things that I was passionate about and wanted everyone to know.  That these things, if they were known on a broad scale, would inspire change of a severely broken system.  Until eventually, one by one, all of the pieces of this system were fixed.  This interview is a perfect example of that.  Thanks for watching!

Aired Febuary 4, 2015 on Democracy Now

Interview with Johann Hari, British journalist and the author of the new book, Chasing the Scream:  The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

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#41 Building a Mass Movement

Stop Taking The Blue Pill

Three leaders of the struggle, Cornel West, Eddie Conway and Rev. Sekou, speak about how to build and sustain a mass movement.  They discuss the lessons of the 60’s and what’s needed today.  Great discussion and ideas.

–  aired May 18, 2015 on The Real News Network.

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Judy Blume, on the Age that Defined Her for Life

Judy Blume: the voice of my childhood!


Blume does think that she turned toward children’s fiction because she was still living a relatively sheltered life. “I didn’t have any adult experience when I started to write,” she said. “So I identified more with kids.” Her own fate felt sealed, airless. “I felt, I made this decision. This is it. It’s not all open for me anymore.” To her, it was only natural that she look backward, to the age when she felt most powerful and adulthood still promised the adventures her father wanted for her. She had been a fierce and creative child; on the page, at least, she still was. Blume likes the idea that everybody has an age that defines them for life. For her, she said, that age is 12.

— From a profile of beloved author Judy Blume in The New York Times Magazine.

Read the story

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I had a culture column at WIRED. And then I didn’t. Here’s what happened.

monica byrne


Photo: an illustration by Eric Battle and John Jennings from Nnedi Okorafor’s The Book of the Phoenix. 


A month ago, with the Hugo fracas in full swing, an editor at Wired wrote me and said, “If you have something to say, you have the platform.” Given Wired’s enormous readership, what an incredible thing. I wrote the piece in an afternoon, they put it up, and it did well.

Shortly thereafter, the same editor said she and the Culture editor wanted me to write a column for them. Which was even more thrilling. And given that my op-ed had been about systemic bias in favor of white men in literature, I thought they knew exactly what they were getting with me: a commitment to changing the conversation around what’s considered newsworthy art. I wrote to the editor, “Boyhood or the new Avengers movie? I could give a shit. A Girl Walks Home Alone at…

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