ACTA in a Nutshell –
What is ACTA? ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.
Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”
What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.
Essential ACTA Resources -
- Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
- Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
- Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
- Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
- Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
- Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video
Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.Via Tumblr
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
But what I heard then left me perplex-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected,
"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move Froelich --move over
Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing.
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"
momentrabbit's Schadenfreude Pie. Especially since it followed some Alderaan cookies and a few other sweet treats all on one day. It was the first time I experienced a sugar rush that made me feel sick enough to leave the party and go to bed; I was stumbling around and looked ghastly. But the treats were worth it.
This law has hidden consequences, not just to make abortion illegal, but to criminalize a wide swath of birth control options and potentially open a woman to a criminal murder charge if she miscarries in such a way that the authorities believe she was inducing an abortion. It's a bad law, in that it makes criminals of people who were victims of biology or just wanted to have control over their bodies.
Originally posted by gabrielleabelle at Mississippi Personhood Amendment
Mississippi is voting on November 8th on whether to pass Amendment 26, the "Personhood Amendment". This amendment would grant fertilized eggs and fetuses personhood status.
Putting aside the contentious issue of abortion, this would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages. This is not a good thing.
Jackson Women's Health Organization is the only place women can get abortions in the entire state, and they are trying to launch a grassroots movement against this amendment. This doesn't just apply to Mississippi, though, as Personhood USA, the group that introduced this amendment, is trying to introduce identical amendments in all 50 states.
What's more, in Mississippi, this amendment is expected to pass. It even has Mississippi Democrats, including the Attorney General, Jim Hood, backing it.
The reason I'm posting this here is because I made a meager donation to the Jackson Women's Health Organization this morning, and I received a personal email back hours later - on a Sunday - thanking me and noting that I'm one of the first "outside" people to contribute.
So if you sometimes pass on political action because you figure that enough other people will do something to make a difference, make an exception on this one. My RSS reader is near silent on this amendment. I only found out about it through a feminist blog. The mainstream media is not reporting on it.
If there is ever a time to donate or send a letter in protest, this would be it.
What to do?
- Read up on it. Wake Up, Mississippi is the home of the grassroots effort to fight this amendment. Daily Kos also has a thorough story on it.
- If you can afford it, you can donate at the site's link.
- You can contact the Democratic National Committee to see why more of our representatives aren't speaking out against this.
- Like this Facebook page to help spread awareness.
3) Go on a campaign blitz for two hours.
4) Shop for a dress and suit jacket at Pennington's Customer Appreciation Sale (20% off.)
5) Come home and nap.
6) Have gaming group over. I'm not actually gaming, so I'll knit and listen.
7) Pursuant to #6, sew on ears to Sofie's hat so I can get it in the mail on Monday.
8) Also pursuant to #6, finish charity hat and [REDACTED] Christmas present.
I have to confess that the most appealing part of this at the moment is the nap.
I'd consider voting for her. (As a party member, I'm going to get to vote. That's exciting. Expect to see a lot of NDP stuff in this space over the next few months.) But I won't commit to it.
On the same day that Bob Rae is claiming Liberals can win the next election, Justin Trudeau is quoted (so far only in twitter) musing about being open to a Liberal merger with the NDP. I'm amused.
We started the day in Nathan Phillips Square, reading the chalk tributes and adding our own. After some street meat, we made our way to Queen and University, where we hung out with the hundreds of Toronto cyclists who were preparing to join the People’s Procession as the funeral procession passed that way. There was a samba band, and people danced to it, and there were buskers on stilts wearing orange ties. Orange was everywhere - everyone had a little bit of it and about half the crowd was wearing a t-shirt or dress of it. Mine was in the form of a ribbon in my hair (it wouldn’t stay up around my arm) and my pashmina shawl that I used as protection from the sun.
The funeral procession came down Queen St. around 1:20. We added ourselves to its back end, joining a throng of humanity celebrating and mourning together. I haven’t seen the estimates of numbers, but I can tell you that David Pecaut Square (the public space outside Roy Thomson Hall) was packed full, as were the streets nearby. Thousands and thousands of people, showing admirable courtesy and common purpose. The church next door to RTH (I think it was St. Andrews Presbyterian, but don’t quote me on that) closed its doors just as we went by - it was packed to the gills.
We wove our way through the crowd as the casket was settled at the front of RTH, and eventually found ourselves on the walkway just to the west of RTH, watching on the screen directly opposite at the other side of the square.
There we settled in to work on our sunburns and watch. The sunburn part was a blazing success. winces 45 SPF sunblock, applied an hour and a half late, does not stand up to two hours of blazing sun.
I was the only person near us who understood the French bits, so I kept bursting into applause when nobody else knew what was going on.
The funeral service itself was a celebration of Jack's life. It was also an opportunity to drive home the values that Jack lived and worked for: love, hope, optimism, social democracy, civility in politics, the ability to change the world through the power of community coming together. It was a wonderful moment of community, a single afternoon when it felt like the entire city and country felt the same way. I know that’s not true and I’m not trying to speak for people, but there on the ground, that was the feeling.
I am so glad I went. I hope Jack’s life and legacy energizes Canadians to remember that what he stood for is what we want for our nation - and that the only way to get it is to get out there and work for it, for Jack and for each and every Canadian.
For those not from around here, that's Nathan Phillips Square, the public space in front of Toronto's City Hall. Jack Layton was a councillor for the city of Toronto for years before he ran for and got the leadership of the New Democratic Party at the national level. The square is huge, and since Monday, it has been absolutely covered in chalk messages of condolence as the city of Toronto mourns one of its foremost citizens.
Of course, this all washed away in last night's storm. I predict that between now and the funeral on Saturday it will fill up again.
If he had remained with his family's traditional party - the Progressive Conservatives - or if he had continued in the party of his youth - Trudeau's Liberals - he would in all likelihood have been Prime Minister. In fact, he may have acheived the same had he lived five years longer. He had a powerful charisma paired with intense intellect and rock-solid integrity.
He was a socialist, which means he spoke for those who had no voice, for the homeless, for the poor, and for the LGBT community even before it was common for politicians to do so. He also spoke for the greater good of all citizens, advocating for improvements to infrastructure and health care and workers' rights. When American conservatives use the word "socialist" as an insult, Jack Layton is the reason Canadians look at them like they've grown horns.
His final letter to Canadians is already being quoted widely and I suspect will be among the most well-known political documents in Canada for years to come.
Wouldn't the world be a better place if all politicans thought like this: "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton, 1950-2011
He was a voice for the left, a voice that fought against the framing of debate by the political right. If he had a political fault, it was that he reacted and fought against generally more than he created and fought for. But he always fought, and he believed passionately in his party's ideals.
The NDP has a long road ahead of it, to build a party that can maintain its gains in the face of the loss of so charismatic and valiant a leader.