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Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter

September 19, 2014


Spying, Terrorism and Protest

This week in Other Voices, we look into the indirect sales of United Sates weaponry to ISIS Militants through Syrian Rebel, spying done by the government on behalf of large multi-national corporations and how propaganda works and who it targets. We also look into ways to create a sustainable method for livestock and farming as well as highlight works and archives that arose out of the Free Speech Movement.


This Week on Connexions.org

Made in the USA: Report Shows ISIS Using US Arms from ‘Syria Rebels’

From the moment the US began sending lethal arms to Syrian rebel factions, there were a chorus of people expressing fears that those arms would end up in the “wrong hands,” and US officials insisted they were going to carefully vet everyone who got those weapons.You know who got a lot of those weapons? ISIS. Just as everyone predicted would happen, once the arms were smuggled into Syria, they quickly ended up spread out among rebel factions, both pro-US and not, and a new report shows massive amounts of ISIS armament was actually stamped “Property of US Govt.” Read more


The U.S. government’s secret plans to spy for American corporations

Throughout the last year, the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets. So critical is this denial to the U.S. government that last August, an NSA spokesperson emailed The Washington Post to say(emphasis in original): “The department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.” Read more


The Insidious Power of Propaganda

To study the effects of political propaganda in what used to be called the ‘free world’ there could hardly be a better time than now. We are living through an instance of insidious propaganda that has clean contours. It fills a common need. In a period of large-scale slaughter and other man-made disaster the morally conscious person can do with some clear categories of good and bad, desirable and despicable. Political certainty, in other words. You can even sell wars using ‘moral clarity’ as a sales pitch, as happened with Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more


How to Spot – and Defeat – Disruption on the Internet

1. Start a partisan divide-and-conquer fight or otherwise push emotional buttons to sow discord and ensure that cooperation is thwarted. Get people fighting against each other instead of the corrupt powers-that-be. Use baseless caricatures to rile everyone up. For example, start a religious war whenever possible using stereotypes like “all Jews are selfish”, “all Christians are crazy” or “all Muslims are terrorists”. Accuse the author of being a gay, pro-abortion limp-wristed wimp or being a fundamentalist pro-war hick when the discussion has nothing to do with abortion, sexuality, religion, war or region. Appeal to people’s basest prejudices and biases. And – as Sweeney explains – push the author into a defensive posture: Read more


Agriculture: Steps to sustainable livestock

The need for efficient food production has never been greater. One in seven humans is undernourished. Urbanization and biofuel production are reducing land availability, and climate change, lack of water and soil degradation are decreasing harvests. Over the past decade, cereal yields per hectare have fallen in one-quarter of countries. Meanwhile, developing nations and the growing world population are demanding more animal protein. Read more

Treasures from the Archives: Free Speech Movement Archives

Connexions would like to mark the 50th anniversary and reunion of the Free Speech Movement (FSM) hosted by Free Speech Movement Archives between September 26 to October 1st. The FSM was a student protest which took place during the 1964–1965 academic year on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. It was not simply a protest about free speech in general, but specifically about the attempts of students who had taken part in the Civil Rights Movement in the American South in the summer of 1964, to inform students on campus about the struggle against segregation. The university administration tried to prevent students from organizing on-campus support for the Civil Rights Movement

Read more →

Book of the Week: Berkeley: The New Student Revolt

This story of the “free speech” uprising on the Berkeley campus of the University of California was begun in the conviction that an extraordinary event, in an historical sense, had taken place before our startled citizenry; and that it should be described for history as it was.

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Topic of the Week: War Crimes

Sadly crimes committed during war time by troops and governments are still a very real problem in today's conflicts despite how modern we might consider them. Looting, rape and the targeting of civilians has been a facet of all conflicts and is done by all belligerents including many western nations such as the United States. For more sources on War Crimes click here. You can also browse or use our search feature.

Website of the Week: LabourStart

LabourStart is an online news service maintained by a global network of volunteers which aims to serve the international trade union movement by collecting and disseminating information - and by assisting unions in campaigning and other ways. LabourStart features include daily labour news links in more than 20 languages and a news syndication service used by hundreds of trade union websites. News is collected from mainstream, trade union, and alternative news sources by a network of over 700 volunteer correspondents based on every continent.

Connexions Calendar

September 19 to 27, 2014
Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival
Winnipeg, MB

September 20, 2014
Solar and Wind Energy Electric Systems Intro
Woodbridge, ON

Read more →

Seeds of Fire

September 19, 1856

United States invades Panama to "safeguard" the canal, as the local government is "unfit".

September 19, 1905

Apostrophes lead to a revolutionary upheaval. On September 19, typesetters at a Moscow printing plant go out on strike. The strike arises out of a demand by the typesetters, who are paid on a piecework basis according to how many letters they set, to be paid for apostrophes. They also ask for a shorter working day. The employer refuses. The strike spreads: by September 24, fifty print works are out on strike. On the 25th, police attempt to crush the strike. They fail: other workers, including bakers, and then railway workers, go out on solidarity strikes. By October 7, Russia’s entire railway system is shut down by the strike, by October 12, a Russia-wide general strike is underway. Revolutionary soviets (councils) form in St. Petersburg and other cities. The government offers concessions while attempting to regain control; by 1906, it has succeeded in defeating the revolution – for the time being.

September 19, 1921

Birth of Paulo Freire (1921-1997), Brazilian educator and proponent of critical pedagogy.

September 19, 1940

Witold Pilecki, a member of an underground Polish resistance group, deliberately sets out to be caught in a Nazi roundup, so that he will be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The only person to voluntarily become an inmate in Auschwitz, his goal is to gather intelligence in Auschwitz and attempt to organize inmate resistance. Pilecki is able to smuggle out reports on what is happening in Auschwitz, providing evidence that it is a death camp. In 1943, he is able to escape and subsequently takes part in the Warsaw Uprising.

Read more →

Trying to change the world? We can help.

Getting your story across can be an uphill battle when your group is challenging the status quo. Our partner organization SOURCES can help you get your message out. As a SOURCES member, you have an array of media relation tools at your disposal to promote your events, books, articles, videos, etc. as well as tools to get you in contact with those who can help you achieve your goals. The SOURCES news release service is especially valuable for groups wants to inform the media (and the public) about their issues. For more information about Sources please click this link.

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Copyright Connexions 2014. Contents are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License. This means you are welcome to share and republish the contents of this newsletter as long as you credit Connexions, and as long as you don’t charge for the content.

Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter, is available online here

Thanks to Tahmid Khan and Ulli Diemer for their work on this newsletter.


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