An independent Chinese journalist who reported from Wuhan at the height of the initial coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years by a Shanghai court, her lawyer said Monday, CNN has reported.

Zhang Zhan, 37, was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” according to one of her defense lawyers Zhang Keke, who attended her hearing. The offense is commonly used by the Chinese government to target dissidents and human rights activists.

A former lawyer, Zhang traveled some 400 miles from Shanghai to Wuhan in early February to report on the pandemic and subsequent attempts to contain it, just as the authorities began reining in state-run and private Chinese media.

China tries so hard to broadcast a fake image of itself showing it’s supporting human rights and having acceptance from people and at the same time they jail independent journalists who do their job.

Journalism is not a crime. As a matter of fact, jailing journalists shows more corruption than what that journalists tried to report. This is a simple Streisand effect. China should stop this and start respecting people, and a necessity of that is to allow the flow of information be/remain free.

A Pennsylvania school district has asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether students may be disciplined for what they say on social media, New York Times has reported.

The Supreme Court next month will consider whether to hear the case of Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., involving a student’s freedom of speech while off school grounds.

It was a Saturday in the spring of 2017, and a ninth-grade student in Pennsylvania was having a bad day. She had just learned that she had failed to make the varsity cheerleading squad and would remain on junior varsity.

The student expressed her frustration on social media, sending a message on Snapchat to about 250 friends. The message included an image of the student and a friend with their middle fingers raised, along with text expressing a similar sentiment. Using a curse word four times, the student expressed her dissatisfaction with “school,” “softball,” “cheer” and “everything.”

Though Snapchat messages are ephemeral by design, another student took a screenshot of this one and showed it to her mother, a coach. The school suspended the student from cheerleading for a year, saying the punishment was needed to “avoid chaos” and maintain a “teamlike environment.”

The student sued the school district, winning a sweeping victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia. The court said the First Amendment did not allow public schools to punish students for speech outside school grounds.

I think that is right. Students shouldn’t be influenced by school rules, outside of school. I remember few years ago a student was suspended because he had a confederate flag on his car and many black students complained about it.

I supported that suspension as schools should have rules to protect other students, such as being physically and mentally abused. However, in this case, this is happening outside of school and she should be free to express her opinions whether school officials like it or not, without fear of anything happening to her.

I understand that her post (on Snapchat) was about a matter happened in school but the post wasn’t breaking any law or harming any student. If she threatened any student or coach (or official), then it would be OK to take action against her but we can’t see such thing so far.

I believe students, and other people related to school should be able to freely express their opinions or emotions about any matter whether in school or not without fear of anything happening to them, as long as they don’t harm anyone.

There are some social networks I use and there are some I don’t use, for reasons. Some social networks are very good core but they don’t suit the standards I believe an online social networking service should have.

For example, I believe Twitter has a brilliant idea behind it but I don’t use it, because there are more factors than the idea behind the network that matters when we are considering joining a social network.

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If free public libraries didn’t already exist and someone tried to invent them, some people would be condemned as a communist plot. Right-wing should stop linking everything to communism.

When Bernie Sanders start talking about public healthcare, many accused him of being a communist, while he is far from it. I personally don’t support communism because I believe it leads us to a dictatorship but communism is just one ideology on the left, not all, and people should know about this before they link every publicly-beneficial thing to communism.

Free healthcare should and is basic human right. Nobody should be in danger of physical or mental damage/harm because of their financial situation.

Liberty, public libraries, free education, water, clean air, clean environment, and protection of nature are only few items that every human being should have, free of charge and always accessible, with no exception.

Federal prosecutors accuse Zoom executive of working with Chinese government to surveil users and suppress video calls. The case is a stunning blow for the $100 billion video-call giant and raises questions about how the California-based company protects users’ data around the world, The Washington Post has reported.

The question is, security of whom? For a Chinese “security” executive at Zoom, “security” meant the security of the Chinese regime. He reported on users to China, and snooped on meetings. If they discussed the Tien An Men Square massacre, he terminated the meetings and the participants’ accounts, on the orders of China.

Zoom management responded to the scandal by promising that in the future Zoom would only cancel an account on China’s command this way if the user is in China! Like the security, privacy, and life of people matters differently based on their birthplace or region they live.

Such a ridiculous response to a critical question like this. This is why we should avoid these disgusting companies. This is why we should never trust or even respect them. They sicken me.

A homeless man sentenced to life in prison for a $20 marijuana sale is freed after 12 years, CNN has reported. In 2008, Fate Winslow was approached by a plain-clothed undercover police officer in Shreveport, Louisiana, looking for some marijuana.

Winslow, recently homeless at the time, borrowed a friend’s bike and came back 10 minutes later with two small bags of marijuana worth $20, according to the Innocence Project New Orleans, who represented Winslow.The officer arrested Winslow.

And because Winslow had three priors — a burglary of a business when he was 17 in 1985, a car burglary in 1995 and possession of cocaine when he was 36 — the $20 sale landed Winslow a life sentence, according to IPNO.

On Wednesday, Winslow walked free after his case was re-sentenced for 12 years, with credit for time already served.

Good to hear that. I hope he won’t commit a crime again and more than that, I hope the judicial system starts a well-needed immediate reform. The war on drugs must have taken some very bad drugs 12 years ago.

December 25 is the birthday of Isaac Newton. On this day, we celebrate the existence of comprehensible physical laws and we call it Newtonmas or Grav-mass.

The name Newtonmas can be attributed to The Skeptics Society, which needed an alternative name for its Christmas party.

Celebrants send cards with “Reason’s Greetings!” printed inside, and exchange boxes of apples and science-related items as gifts. The celebration may have had its origin in a meeting of the Newton Association at Christmas 1890 to talk, distribute gifts, and share laughter and good cheer.

One other way to celebrate Grav-mass is to decorate a tree with apples and other fruits. Glue them or attach them, but not too well! The idea is that occasionally a fruit should fall.

Another way to celebrate Grav-mass, in a group, is by telling each other about scientific knowledge and understanding, or discussing what kind of experiment could answer an unresolved question about the world.

A Grav-Mass tree
A Grav-mass tree poster

Newtonmass can be celebrated by anybody who loves science and wants to have a reason for a celebration. It’s not exclusive to any specific group or belief.

ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) is an acronym used as a political slogan associated with dissidents who say they are subjected to political persecution and police brutality. ACAB is also one of the main slogans of anarchists.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the acronym ACAB (and 1312) recently. People are arguing that not all cops (blue pigs) are bad, which is true, but that’s not what we’re saying.

First of all, we don’t say all cops are bad, we say All Cops Are Bastards. We don’t mean bastard as an unpleasant or despicable person. Bastard is taken from the word bastardize meaning corrupt or debase.

Cops are inherently corrupted in two ways:

First is that they are corrupted by the possessions of power. They can use their authority to inflict power on people.

The second and the most important reason on why all cops are bastards is because the very laws that they are trying to enforce are corrupt and they are used to subdue different identities and minorities.

So cops can be corrupted by their power and cops are corrupted by the laws they enforce; All cops are corrupted, All Cops Are Bastards.

Now that this is clear, let’s have another example. Imagine you’re in a hospital getting ready for a surgery. A nurse comes to you and says most of our surgeons are very well educated, it’s just a few who don’t have a degree and will kill you.

Or, you’re in an airport buying a ticket and the person behind the counter tells you most of our pilots are very well trained, it’s just a few who don’t have any training and will crash the plane and kill you.

It doesn’t make sense, right? Because everybody in those industries must be well trained and educated, because it’s the life of people that is in the matter. We can’t afford to have a few bad jobs there, everything must be perfect.

That is the same thing with cops and law enforcement. Most of cops being good is not enough. It’s either all of them be good or the whole system be corrupt. Doesn’t matter if most of them do their job very well, it’s those few who kill people and abuse power.

The system that is bringing these into power is corrupt so we can’t take a chance or run numbers. People are not numbers, people are living beings. If a system is corrupt, all of those who are in that system, all of those who are subscribed to that system are corrupt, whether they like it or not.

When we say ACAB, we’re not trying to offend anybody, we’re stating the fact that the system is corrupt and it should be dismantled from power. So, stop making excuses for cops and try to reform, rebuild the system in a way that is fixed and can’t be corrupted.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than one million people (confirmed) worldwide, while the real stats probably is 3 times this. However, this pandemic may not have been bad for all people.

Bloomberg has reported that Jeff Bezos’ net worth was increased $13 billion and is a total of $189.3 billion, despite the U.S. entering its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

This is while Amazon (which Jeff Bezos is CEO of) workers are suffering from the economy situation and many are reported to be even homeless. Many Amazon warehouse employees struggle to pay the bills, and more than 4,000 employees are on food stamps in nine states studied by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Only Walmart, McDonald’s and two dollar-store chains have more workers requiring such assistance, according to the report, which said 70% of recipients work full-time.

As Amazon opens U.S. warehouses at the rate of about one a day, it’s transforming the logistics industry from a career destination with the promise of middle-class wages into entry-level work that’s just a notch above being a burger flipper or convenience store cashier.

This is what capitalism and unfair distribution of wealth is doing to American people. While United States reports these problems, many countries don’t even let medias to report the problems such as this. Capitalism is ruining people’s lives. Rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer.

The system should be reformed. The powerful should not remain in power and the powerless should be treated right. Everybody should be equal and live with justice, equality, and equity.

This is an email message I just received. Autistici/Inventati, one of the very great privacy-advocating collectives is now 20 years old. A very happy birthday to you A/I. We wish you a great 20 more, and more.

Twenty years have passed since the birth of Autistici/Inventati. Twenty years have passed since we ventured down this quite complicated road. Like any respectable end of the year, it is again time for evaluations. End of the year balances are mostly political rather than financial for us, although we cannot deny that we will, as always, ask you to support us economically.

Twenty years ago nobody did what we do. And even today nobody does it the way we do it. This is important to remember because 20 years of work to keep our project alive and functional, relying EXCLUSIVELY on the efforts of the volunteers involved and the spontaneous donations from our users deserve special attention.

Today is very easy to obtain an e-mail address or the space to host a website for free, and we know that mailing lists are mostly replaced by the millions of group chats provided by the various instant messaging platforms. But we think that today it is much more difficult to find a free space where is possible to organize alternatives to the existing. Without alternative places there are no alternative thoughts, without spaces where it is possible to practice other ways of living, organize and imagine different worlds, it is not possible to change the existing one.

2020 has not only been cruel in terms of loss of human lives, it also brought greater difficulty in imagining and practicing change. We do understand how difficult it is to think about change when one has to come to terms with the sudden psychological in as much as social isolation we came to notice , that we recently came to notice. We have been locked down and wedged between the responsibilities towards others and the emergency that leaves no room for alternatives. Some think that 2020 has only actually made more evident how the struggles for an alternative world have become marginal. But the world will also exist in 2021, probably not very differently from 2020, and we will still need to think and practice something completely different.

As always, we do not think that this is possible in spaces that are commodified, monitored, profiled and constantly abused by those who profit from our every word and our every byte. We don’t believe in narratives condemning collectively responsible behavior either: as if it were some sort of weakness or a moniker of slavery. As if the logic of self-interest, laziness or indifference could communicate any sort of value, ie. self-determination, supposedly to be reclaimed, precisely when biology reminds us that no one is free unitl everyone is free.

The bitterness we feel this year isn’t in fact just related to the digital realms. Obviously we feel a strong need for more solidarity: we think that solidarity is unfortunately often lacking both in the priorities that determine the evolution of the real world situation, and in the narrative that derives from it. To say that never like this year there has been a stronger need for solidarity is stating the obvious, but we still feel the need to say it, not only in words, but also with our work, which in 2020 has often had the objective of answering the new needs that the emergency has brought up to the surface.

A piece of work is in fact up to us, to try to provide even more appropriate, effective and usable tools. Coherently with the needs that emerged in 2020, we have added two new services:

https://vc.autistici.org – a jitsi instance for videoconferencing
https://live.autistici.org – a live video streaming platform

They do not require authentication and do not log your data, a combination of features we believe can help change the common attitude we see in relating to technology today.

But outside the digital sphere, practicing change is also a social and common exercise, to which everyone must contribute individually. We have the firm intention of being there. Together.

Some wrote to us saying that the ideas we have expressed in our twenty years old, lyrical manifesto, are obsolete and “out of place” in today’s world. Quite the opposite, we think that they are still exactly the perspective that is missing today. We are not going to change our path. We intend to help change what surrounds us, together with the people around us. This is the way (cit.)

This is what we have always done and what we have always believed in. And it has never been easy. We hope to be able to do it together with the comrades who have been with us all the way here and with the many others who will join us further along the way.

If you want to be part of the next twenty years as you have been in these first twenty, you know where to find us and where to direct those who share our values: https://www.autistici.org/get_service

We take care of the work. But financial support is vital, since we only exist thanks to your donations: https://www.autistici.org/donate

The Autistici-Inventati collective
https://www.autistici.org
donations: https://www.autistici.org/donate
help: help@autistici.org