Activism

Here are some interesting attempts to publicize things that people don’t want to think about anymore:

* Dronestegram is an Instagram feed of drone strike locations.

* Strike Debt is an OWS-affiliated effort to buy up debt for pennies on the dollar, and instead of collecting it, forgiving it.

I’d like to add the iPhone app Drones+, which gives alerts whenever a drone strike occurs, to this list, but Apple blocked it on the grounds that it was “objectionable and crude”.

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42 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    people don’t want to think about anymore

    Yes, because I can’t remember the last time drones were brought up here.

  2. 2
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Dronestegram is redundant when we can all just subscribe to Glenn Greenwald’s RSS feed.

  3. 3
    dr. bloor says:

    Yeah we get it already. Apple is the source of all evil in the universe.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    So she uses the N-word, but no, she’s she’s not a racist. Because shut up, that’s why.

  5. 5
    Howard Beale IV says:

    The big issue with Strike Debt is that a non-trivial portion of said debt isn’t valid in the first place, so you’re spending capital retiring debt that should have never been sold in the first place.

  6. 6
    piratedan says:

    still, kicked in for their rolling jubilee because I’m doing something to help rather than just being mad.

  7. 7
    Thlayli says:

    @Baud:

    Oh no, the election’s over. You’re allowed to talk about how awful Obama is because DROOOOOOONEZZZZZZZ.

  8. 8
    mistermix says:

    @dr. bloor: So should I bury the two iPhone 5s we just bought deep in the earth, or is there some other way to purge that evil from our lives?

  9. 9
    dr. bloor says:

    @mistermix: I’m wrong and you’re a hypocrite. Works for me, I guess.

  10. 10
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Punchy: Looks like I owe Cold Stone Creamery a thank-you visit for firing her.

    Not that I’m complaining…

  11. 11
    forked tongue says:

    What about that Rolling Jubilee, anyway? My first thought was “Fucking Brilliant!” Second thought was “Too good to be true?” Is it going to work?

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    If you have a family that is being hounded by debt collectors, and you buy up and cancel that debt, i have a hard time believing the family will be less grateful because the debts weren’t properly authored.

    Perhaps bringing in an army of lawyers gets you more bang for your buck. If so, do the research, find some lawyers, make a donation site, and you’ll have my $20. Until then, lets not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    And I would give a shit when a drone strike happens because why? I am not anti-drone. Drones are always, always, always better than bombs or boots on the ground. I am aware that we are battling an enemy but I don’t need to know every time we try to hit one of them. So what’s the point? Other than the fact that I’m pretty sure Glenn Greenwald faps over this sort of thing?

  14. 14
    mistermix says:

    @mistermix: Living in the world as it is, rather than the way I would want it to be, I recommend iPhones as good smartphones to my family and friends, while at the same time believing that the iPhone app store rules are over-restrictive.

  15. 15
    Michael says:

    I remain convinced that the best chance to affect drone policy will be during the end phases of the Afghan wind down ad immediately after the full withdrawal. The status of the AUMF will be uncertain and the Obama Admin has been reluctant to push the legal argument that the Pres has inherent authority to do this type of stuff during peacetime.

    But you need to be organized and have some not-insignificant numbers behind you when those days roll around.

  16. 16
    Citizen Alan says:

    My concern about Strike Debt (and I have asked in other forums and have yet to hear a response) is this: Anyone who gets more than $14k forgiven through this program may have to pay money to the IRS equal to the difference. It’s called “phantom income” and can have the effect of converting normal unsecured debt into priority unsecured debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

    There’s also the fact that in a lot of cases, this scheme may simply result in creditors receiving a pay-off for debt which is completely uncollectable anyway (past the statute of limitations, for example). But really, I’m most concerned about the idea of well-meaning do-gooders inadvertently sticking struggling debtors with thousands of dollars in additional tax debt.

  17. 17
    blingee says:

    Ahhh yes, back to progressivism and blaming Obama/Dems for not being progressive enough (ie…job security… so to speak)

    I particularly get a kick at this obsession with teh dronezzzz. Talk about a losing issue for progressives and guaranteed to keep them marginalized. So maybe that is a good thing. You can’t really do too much damage if you’re marginalized.

  18. 18
    aimai says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Why would your “debtor” essentially losing the bill count as “phantom income” for you? If your debt collection agency, the owner of your debt, went bankrupt and had no one to pass the debt collection rights to would you still “owe” some portion of that debt to the IRS? I don’t even begin to understand how that would happen.

    aimai

  19. 19
    sharl says:

    In comments over in TBogg, I linked to what I thought was a pretty good critique of excessive drone use in Yemen. It was an interview on Sunday’s NPR Morning Edition – both transcript and audio (6:51) are available there.

    The interviewee is Gregory Johnsen, who appears to be a genuine expert on Yemen and its people (his blog is here). He’s not philosophically against drone use, and in fact he opined that there is a place for their use (at least in Yemen), but he thought they were far too often chosen as the option of first resort, and that such overuse was aggravating an already difficult situation there.

    Just thought I’d toss it in here, since the discussions on drones seem to suffer from a dearth of input from actual experts on the various facets of their use, and consequences of same.

  20. 20
    imonlylurking says:

    @Citizen Alan: I had a huge reply typed out and lost it-FYWP-nut just go read IRS form 4681. The short version-debt cancellation meant as a gift is excluded from income.

    I’ll be emailing them to ask about plans for contacting the credit reporting agencies-those collection items can be removed from the credit reports once Occupy is the owner of the debt.

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    @sharl:

    I saw that, too, and found it quite informative. What brings this back around to Patraeus is will his end as top spy chief (I believe the CIA is intimately involved in the current policy) change our drone strategy to one more closely related what Johnsen proposes? A lot of what we’ve heard about the drones in the last few years smacks of “The Surge!” and I wonder if this could change. I liked the Johnsen interview and it made me think a lot. Like him, I am not against drones at all and think they make a lot of sense, in Yemen especially. But they aren’t the be all and end all, just as no weapon is.

  22. 22
    LanceThruster says:

    I’d like to add the iPhone app Drones+, which gives alerts whenever a drone strike occurs, to this list, but Apple blocked it on the grounds that it was “objectionable and crude”.

    The reality of the violence can be handle more readily by not bothering our pretty little minds with it.

    Win-win.

  23. 23
    The Moar You Know says:

    Apple: proudly defending the status quo since day one.

  24. 24
    Ted & Hellen says:

    I’d like to add the iPhone app Drones+, which gives alerts whenever a drone strike occurs, to this list, but Apple blocked it on the grounds that it was “objectionable and crude”

    Ah yes, the military/industrial/corporate/communications complex in action. One ass covering the other.

    The app is of course “objectionable and crude,” unlike drone strikes which are charming.

  25. 25
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Baud:

    Yes, because I can’t remember the last time drones were brought up here.

    Baud: Trying to control the BJ narrative from day one.

  26. 26
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Punchy:

    So she uses the N-word, but no, she’s she’s not a racist. Because shut up, that’s why.

    It always brings me up short when I am presented with someone that freaking YOUNG who is that racist.

    When I was in high school in the early 70s and busing was a big issue, I remember dreamily imagining that busing would end all racism by at least 20 years ago…if we could only get people to intermingle and grow up together all would be well. hahaha

  27. 27
    ericblair says:

    @LanceThruster:

    The reality of the violence can be handle more readily by not bothering our pretty little minds with it.

    Except what’s it telling you? We know drone strikes are ongoing. If you want to argue policy, you’re far better off with analyses like sharl linked to above.

    This is simply an outrage-of-the-day device to keep the base lathered up, exactly how the wingnuts operate.

  28. 28
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @geg6:

    And I would give a shit when a drone strike happens because why? I am not anti-drone. Drones are always, always, always better than bombs or boots on the ground. I am aware that we are battling an enemy but I don’t need to know every time we try to hit one of them. So what’s the point? Other than the fact that I’m pretty sure Glenn Greenwald faps over this sort of thing?

    My god, you are shamelessly dense.

    Good to be reminded of.

  29. 29
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Michael:

    Obama Admin has been reluctant to push the legal argument that the Pres has inherent authority to do this type of stuff during peacetime.

    You know full well that the Warenterra will never be declared over.

  30. 30
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Ted & Hellen: trying to bite all the ankles at BJ from day one.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Ted & Hellen: trying to bite all the ankles at BJ from day one.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Ted & Hellen: trying to bite all the ankles at BJ from day one.

  33. 33
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Ted & Hellen: trying to bite all the ankles at BJ from day one.

  34. 34
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Ted & Hellen: trying to bite all the ankles at BJ from day one.

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Ted & Hellen: trying to bite all the ankles at BJ from day one.

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Dense about what exactly? Because I don’t agree with you or Glenn on DROOOOOOOONZ!

    Yeah, because anyone who would disagree with a shameless attention whore who has no problem taking money from the likes of Grover Norquist (and tangentially, through Norquist, Jack Abramoff) and you, who I’ve never heard of until today, is obviously stupid and dense.

    Please, I’m interested in hearing your theory of why DROOOOOOONZ! are worse than carpet or fire bombing, nuclear weapons, and invading armies put together. Please, enlighten me.

  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    @aimai: Debt forgiveness is considered taxable income per IRS rules. I deal with this all the time because very few people know this and don’t claim it on their tax returns. The creditor is required to report the forgiveness on a 1099 at the end of the year just like all income sources are. I personally think it’s hurting people twice but there it is. There are exceptions, but most involve bankruptcy.

    @geg6: It’s just Special Timmeh proving how special he is. Nothing more, nothing less.

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    For once, I don’t mind the quadruplicate post.

  39. 39
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Do you have any consistent standards of your own, Yuts?

    Or do you come to BJ to find out what you think on ALL your life’s issues?

    Maybe if you thought for yourself once in a while you could be special too!

  40. 40
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @dr. bloor: Yes, what could be more hypocritical than to purchase products from a corporation when you don’t fully agree with every last thing that corporation does? This is a totally reasonable standard, considering the vast number of corporations in the world which only do noble and good things.

    That’s why I became a nudist breatharian luddite. Anything else would be hypocritical. (Oh, and I get my internet from magical elves on a computer built by faeries. Only the purest of purity for me!)

  41. 41
    Paula says:

    Well, even if that drones app wasn’t blocked, who do you think would get it other than the people who already prioritize the issue? What actual outreach does it achieve to people who either don’t know or disagree about national security issues?

    Is it just so the person with the app can feel superior carrying it around on their phone?

  42. 42
    Patrick Phelan says:

    @Baron Jrod of Keeblershire: Oh, and I get my internet from magical elves on a computer built by faeries.

    Ignoring centuries of shameless elven anti-dwarf prejudice, and the continued to this day faery-baby-stealing scandal, you compromised monster.

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