A friend just pointed me to this really cool project, and I thought others might be interested:

Swing Districts are places where the winner of the last House of Representatives election was determined by a thin margin. Swing Left helps you find and commit to supporting progressives in your closest Swing District so that you can help ensure we take back the House in 2018.

Find your closest Swing District and join the team to learn about actionable opportunities as they become available.

I’ve been aching for tangible things to do, and I know others have too. This isn’t nearly enough, but it’s something to start.

Donald Trump wants to ‘close up’ the Internet

Donald Trump wants to 'close up' the Internet:



Donald Trump has called for a shutdown of the Internet in certain areas to stop the spread of terror.

In a speech at the U.S.S. Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Monday, Trump referenced the use by ISIS of social media as a recruitment tool.  He recommended a discussion with Bill Gates to shut off parts of the Internet.

“We’re losing a lot of people because of the Internet,” Trump said.  “We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening.  We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way.  Somebody will say, ‘Oh freedom of speech, freedom of speech.‘  These are foolish people.  We have a lot of foolish people.”

Some totalitarian governments do it

The notion that the Internet could be shut off is not completely off base.  North Korea does it.  Some countries have been known to shut off Internet service to their citizens in times of crisis.  Egypt restricted the Internet during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

Other countries block certain Internet services and sites.  China is the most famous example, forbidding most social networking sites as well as websites that deal with subjects the government doesn’t want its citizens to know about.

Most Western countries, including the United States, regulate the Internet very loosely.  There are few restrictions about what American citizens can do and say on the Internet.  Child pornography is one example of forbidden Internet activity in the United States – Google is barred from linking to it, and websites cannot display images of it.

Why the United States can’t do it

But a full-on “closing up” of the Internet “in certain areas” would be an impossible task.  There are so many players with so much redundancy built into the system, that the Internet is not just something that can be turned off with a wave of a magic wand.

Virtually every part in the United States has multiple Internet service provider options.

Comcast, (CMCSA) Time Warner Cable (TWC) and the other major broadband companies don’t overlap much.  But Verizon (VZ, Tech30), AT&T (T, Tech30), Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) all provide the same service to roughly the same areas.  Satellite companies also provide Internet to most parts of the country.

Removing Internet service in certain areas of the U.S. would require those companies to turn off their cell towers and fiber networks, and to restrict satellite access to people living in those regions.

America can’t shut off the Internet overseas either

Shutting down Internet service in foreign countries could be even more difficult.

Despite a common belief to the contrary, the United States does not control the global Internet.  Servers on foreign soil serve up the Web and other Internet services to people living abroad.

So foreign Internet infrastructure would need to be disrupted or shut down to turn off service in certain areas – already a tricky task made even harder if the countries and companies controlling those servers and cell towers abroad don’t cooperate.

Whatever, Donald Trump wouldn’t want the Internet shut off anyway.  Then he couldn’t tweet.

While Trump clearly doesn’t know the first thing about how the internet works (outside of his Twitter account), don’t let “it couldn’t happen in America” blind us to some very real ways in which the internet can be made less free, less accessible, and less useful for things other than government propaganda and surveillance.  And don’t doubt that President Trump (and his party) would be happy to implement them.

the time honored tool of every dictator, censorship is one of the first things out of trump’s mouth. this is real censorship, as opposed to when someone tells you you’re wrong on twitter.

it should come as no surprise whatsoever that 45′s pick for FCC commissioner, ajit pai, is SUPER excited to strip net neutrality from american citizens.  if you didn’t know, net neutrality is the principle that currently allows you to access whatever internet site you want, at the same speed as all the other sites, without your ISP spying on you TOO much. the US regulations that protect you in this way are an annoying speed bump for ISPs in their quest to wring you like a wet dishrag until all your money falls out, and of course Team Spraytan works for them, not you.  

and hey, if they do want to enact the fuckin lunatic censorship proposed in the article above, getting rid of these protections will be their first stop.  what’s the most likely target of this anti-internet offensive?  obviously, it’ll be american activists, scientists, and anybody who’s ever used the phrase “tiny hands” – or, as all those folks will be called in newspeak, terrorists.

just one more thing you should keep on your list of Horrible Things To Yell At Representatives About.

refinery29: Donald Trump and his senior staffers are all using…


Donald Trump and his senior staffers are all using unsecured email servers. Right. Now.

If you paid any attention during the presidential campaign, you know that Donald Trump repeatedly harped on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State. The controversy fueled the common “lock her up” chant at Trump’s rallies. And now something even more hypocritical and enraging about Trump’s staff information security has come to light.

social-justin-warrior: trapqueenkoopa: nightpiercer: osunism: …











Welcome to the space age, ladies and gentlemen

This is really quite a big deal. A tremendous amount of modern research ends up being sold to journals which require unreasonable payments to access it and only pay the original authors a pittance. It’s nice to see an agency like NASA deliberately widebanding its findings.

Not sure if people fully realize just how big of a deal this is. THIS is how science is advanced. Not through biased corporate research, business secrets, marketing, paywalls and patent wars. But through open, uncensored and unrestricted public access to knowledge.


^ There’s the direct link to all the studies.



NASA is the hero we don’t deserve.

This deserves every reblog.

DOWNLOAD AS MUCH AS YOU CAN bc there’s good reason to believe this isn’t going to stay available.

save it on waybackmachine!