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A step backwards on privacy

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  • The Obama administration is proposing its own changes to Electronic Communications Privacy Act ECPA aimed at weakening—not strengthening—your personal on-line privacy.
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  • The administration's plan would allow government officials to obtain more of your personal information using warrantless National Security Letters, without going to court and without any suspicion of wrongdoing.
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Anthony D. Romero, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Will Shapira

Tens of thousands of supporters added their names to the ACLU's Protect Our Privacy Petition—calling on Congress to update and strengthen the decades-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

But now, the Obama administration is proposing its own changes to ECPA aimed at weakening—not strengthening—your personal privacy.
ECPA is one of the few laws that can protect our privacy online, but the administration's proposal would warp this crucial law—expanding the government's power to collect Americans' email and internet use records in national security investigations.

That's a huge step in the wrong direction for personal privacy even as we're trying hard to advance our privacy protections.

Sign our petition and demand changes that strengthen, rather than weaken, our personal privacy.

The administration's plan would do exactly the opposite by allowing government officials to obtain more of your personal information using warrantless National Security Letters, without going to court and without any suspicion of wrongdoing.

That means more secret requests for your personal information—and more gag orders to stop companies from disclosing what they were forced to turn over.

Congress has already held hearings on updating ECPA, and the issue will soon come up again.  We must make sure that any changes to our laws come down on the side of protecting privacy.

Add your name to the petition and tell Congress to strengthen our privacy laws.

We can't sit back and let our privacy protections be replaced by new privacy invasions.  Please raise your voice today.

Thanks for speaking out.

Protest: End the War on Terror!

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  • Saturday, September 11th @ 1pm @ Hennepin & Lagoon in front of the Walker Library (2880 Hennepin), Minneapolis
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  • 'Our Lives Post 9/11' Conference in NYC
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Initiated by the Anti-War Committee.

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

Demand an end to the U.S. war on terror throughout the world! Say NO to the U.S. occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq ! Say NO MORE aid to Israel and Colombia because they use U.S. tax dollars to fund massacres! Say NO to the use of "terrorism" as an excuse to justify killing, torture, and an erosion of our civil liberties!

In 2001, three thousand people lost their lives in the attacks on September 11th. And though we have not forgotten this tragedy, we cannot allow it to hold us captive. The U.S. government has used these deaths to justify a war agenda which has created September 11ths around the globe every day in places like Afghanistan, Iraq , Palestine and Colombia . Let's come together to demand that U.S. tax dollars be spent helping people stay in their homes, keeping people out of poverty, and educating our children, instead of spreading terror abroad. 

Endorsed by Al-Aqsa Institute, Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc), the Iraq Peace Action Coalition, Iraq Veterans Against the War - MN, Military Families Speak Out - MN, Palestine-Israel Justice Project of the United Methodist Church, RNC 8 Defense Committee, sds at the U of M, Twin Cities Peace Campaign, Veterans for Peace Chapter 27, the Welfare Rights Committee, & Women Against Military Madness.

Related:

'Our Lives Post 9/11' Conference, Luke Rudkowski from WeAreChangeNYC
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

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  • Stream all the events live including, the Press conference from city hall, workshops Thursday the 9th, All Souls church Friday the 10th, street actions from Ground Zero Saturday morning of the 11th , and the entire “Our Lives Post 9/11” conference. Go to LiveOnLocation.TV, <http://liveonlocation.tv/>  scroll down the page a bit and register for “Our Lives Post 9/11 Conference”.
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  • $10 includes all. A portion of this goes to help 1st responders. We will send you the url and access code on Thursday the 9th. If you have any issues with that site, do not contact us, if you do you there will be a 0.02% chance you’ll get an answer. You must contact gbutler@greencity.com LiveOnLocation for details about Livestreaming and “Pay Per View”.
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An Open Letter to George W. Bush: Speak Out Against Bigotry

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  • The fearmongers rallying against the "Ground Zero Mosque" are missing the point: messages of hatred get us nowhere. In fact, they hurt us.
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  • Urge President Bush to speak out against bigotry like he did 9 years ago.
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  • What would Martin Luther King Say?
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Human Rights First

9/11 is (less than) a week away. Instead of remembering our loss with an affirmation of our nation's unity and confidence, some politicians are eager to exploit the tragedy of 9/11 to score political points.

The fearmongers rallying against the "Ground Zero Mosque" are missing the point: messages of hatred get us nowhere. In fact, they hurt us.

George W. Bush understood this. When he was president, he said: “America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab background or Muslim faith,” and repeated this message during his presidency. We're urging him to speak out now in an open petition we'll publicize widely. Join our efforts by signing here.

More...

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Related:

What would Martin Luther King Say? Mosques and the New Jim Crow in America, Juan Cole, Informed Comment

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  • Muslim Americans are Americans. There can be no government Establishment of Judeo-Christian traditions, and no prohibition on how and where Muslim Americans worship. We are seeing attempts to foment a new Jim Crow, centered on mosques, which involves all the same fear-mongering, segregation, and special pleading for the majority that characterized the old (Jim Crow).
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  • The Community Center at Park 51
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New York Times demands criminal investigation of Bush officials

Medical experiments conducted on torture victims

IndictBushNow

The latest shocking revelation that the Bush Administration performed medical experiments on its torture victims has caused a new wave of outrage and a demand for criminal prosecution by the New York Times, and human rights and legal organizations.

Based on a newly released physicians report the New York Times is demanding that the “White House and Congress to investigate the potentially illegal human experimentation and whether those who authorized or conducted it should be punished.”

IndictBushNow and a wide variety of organizations are working non-stop to collect evidence on all of the Bush-era crimes, take testimony, organize public events and build global pressure.

Here is the latest news:

Following a six month long investigation a preeminent physician’s organization has published a major report revealing that the Bush Administration carried out medical experiments on its torture victims. This is a gross violation of the Nuremberg Code that barred the use of medical experimentation on detainees, following the exposure of Nazi experiments during WWII.

The Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) used public records showing health professionals worked under the supervision of the Central Intelligence Agency during interrogations of "war on terror" detainees after the 2001 attacks.

PHR's new report, "Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program," provides new evidence that CIA used doctors and other health care personnel and engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation on detainees who had been tortured under the direction of the Bush Administration.

The “Experiments in Torture” report is the result of six months of investigation and the review of thousands of pages of government documents. PHR says it has been peer-reviewed by outside experts in the medical, biomedical and research ethics fields, legal experts, health professionals, and experts in the treatment of torture survivors.

The purpose of the medical experiments during the Bush years was apparently to measure the effectiveness of particular torture techniques on the victims. This is an abomination.

"Such acts may be seen as the conduct of research and experimentation by health professionals on prisoners, which could violate accepted standards of medical ethics, as well as domestic and international law," states the Physicians for Human Rights in a report it has now made public.

"Not only are these alleged acts gross violations of human rights law, they are a grave affront to America's core values," the report said.

"The CIA appears to have broken all accepted legal and ethical standards put in place since the Second World War to protect prisoners from being the subjects of experimentation," states Frank Donaghue, chief executive of the organization.

Take action now!

IndictBushNow joins in the growing call by many, including the Physicians for Human Rights, that the Obama Administration order "an immediate criminal investigation of alleged illegal human experimentation."

The PHR also called for a probe of violations by the CIA of protections against human research experiments and for Congress to amend the War Crimes Act "to eliminate changes made to the act in 2006 which weaken the prohibition on biological experimentation on detainees."

"In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA appears to have committed another alleged war crime -- illegal experimentation on prisoners," said PHR leaders.

We urge all IndictBushNow members to send another letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding a criminal investigation into Bush era crimes based on the new information that not only did they torture those who had been arrested or kidnapped but they violated international law by engaging in medical experimentation to further refine their torture techniques. Click here to send a letter today.

It's Time to Show Alan Simpson, Vet Hater, the Door

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  • I call on the Congress and President to show Alan Simpson to the door of the deficit commission’s deliberations and to restore honor and decency to our national conversation on veterans!
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  • I also call on my fellow citizens to hold their President, Congressional Representatives, and Senators accountable for removing Mr. Simpson by contacting them and reminding them that their oath of office demands meeting this country’s obligations to its veterans.
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  • Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange
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  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson
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David Culver, Evergreene Digest

Just who does this sadistic, uncaring, ignoramus Alan Simpson think he is? I can tell you right now, the guy’s starting to get on my nerves, to put it charitably.

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I know he’s a former GOP senator from Wyoming, co-chairman of Obama's deficit commission, and an Army veteran who was once chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.  But who does he think he is?

His contention that “veterans are not helping to save the country from debt” is an unwarranted slap in the face to veterans, questioning as it does our right to be returned to wholeness.  It’s sadistic, unmerciful, ungrateful, and wrong-headed in its implications.

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It may interest this uncaring ignoramus to know:

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1.    that this nation has never even remotely come anywhere close to paying veterans fully for their service; (To suggest, therefore, that we’re part of the budgetary problem is beyond the pale.)
2.    that veterans have already bled several times for their country, psychologically, spiritually, physically, and are, therefore, under no obligation to give more; (The bills we’ve presented to this country for our service and care are fair and payable on demand.)
3.    that if a balanced budget (a ludicrous concept for a government anyway) is that important to him and his colleagues of twisted logic, then I suggest he propose to balance it, not on the backs of veterans (or social security recipients) but on the backs of a fairly taxed bloodthirsty oligarchy and their corporate friends in the arms business who are the only ones who have profited from the carnage Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC, Retired, calls “a racket.”

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There was a time not so long ago in this country when talking about veterans and their affairs in such a derogatory, ignorant manner would mean the immediate end of a person’s political career and, sometimes, an invitation to a private tar and feather party. (Mr. Simpson doesn’t know how lucky he really is. The very vets he dishonors with his vulgarity and stupidity were once in situations where they could shoot back!) That he is still in a position of power after making such incredulously stupid and insensitive remarks is a sad commentary on how far we’ve come in tolerating the public’s ever-increasing negative view of, and responsibility for, veterans and is a sad reflection of what President Obama’s opinion of veterans really is.

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I call on the Congress and President to show Alan Simpson to the door of the deficit commission’s deliberations and to restore honor and decency to our national conversation on veterans! He’s already called social security recipients (I and a lot of my fellow veterans are SS recipients, too) suckers on cows’ teats, and now he’s blaming vets for part of the deficit problem. How much more negative behavior will he have to demonstrate before our public officials gets fed up with him?

I also call on my fellow citizens to hold their President, Congressional Representatives, and Senators accountable for removing Mr. Simpson by contacting them and reminding them that their oath of office demands meeting this country’s obligations to its veterans.

After all, this is a country of, by, and for the people, not the uncaring ignoramuses!

Related:

Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange, David Dayen, FireDogLake

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  • Maybe if Simpson and the ruling class weren’t so damned bloodthirsty, we wouldn’t have choices like this to make.
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  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson.
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Oil spill cleanup workers at risk!

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BP's record on worker safety is beyond pathetic.
Sign our petition: Any worker who wants safety equipment – like respirators – should get it, and BP should pick up the tab.

Manny Herrmann, American Rights at Work

Did you know that over 27,000 men and women are working to clean up BP's toxic mix of oil and chemicals without any breathing protection? Every day they go without respirators, their lungs – and ultimately, their lives – are put at risk.

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Just how dangerous is it to be exposed to oil and dispersants without proper breathing protection? Well, cleanup workers have already reported nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, headaches, and chest pain.(1)

Sign our petition for BP to pay for proper safety equipment and respirators for cleanup workers.

Despite clear evidence that folks are getting sick from its toxic mix of oil and chemicals, BP won't provide respirators to the people cleaning up the Gulf Coast. In fact, there are even reports of BP threatening to fire workers who tried to use their own respirators. Why? For starters, BP is afraid that news footage of people wearing this critical safety equipment will show the public just how bad the spill is. The company is putting PR above workers' lives.(2,3)

Fortunately, we know that BP responds to public pressure. So we're joining with our friends at the leading progressive blog and advocacy group Firedoglake to launch a petition to BP. We're also delivering copies to the government agencies responsible for worker safety in the Gulf Coast, and Admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the government's cleanup efforts.

Our request is simple: Any worker who wants safety equipment – including a respirator – should get it, and BP should pick up the tab.

Demand respirators and other safety equipment for the workers who are cleaning up BP's toxic disaster in the Gulf Coast. Sign our petition now!

BP's oil disaster isn't the first time in recent history that workers responding to a hazardous emergency have had their lungs – and lives – put at risk. In the aftermath of 9/11, police, firefighters, and cleanup workers spent months in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, and many inhaled toxic ash. Over time, that ash has caused major health problems for tens of thousands of people, and even caused some people to lose their lives.(4)

The longer Gulf Coast cleanup workers go without respirators, the greater the danger. Don't let history repeat itself: Sign our petition to protect the men and women who are working to clean up BP's toxic disaster!

Eleven BP workers died when the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up. And so far, over 100 people in the Gulf are reportedly sick. But that's only scratching the surface. Because right now, 27,000 men and women are working with their lungs totally unprotected. And many aren't speaking out because they're afraid they'll befired.(5,6)

Sign our petition to BP: speak out for the workers who are afraid to speak out for themselves!

Thanks for all you do to protect working men and women across America.

P.S. OSHA – the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which is responsible for overseeing worker safety – has been working non-stop to figure out which kinds of respirators are most effective against the specific toxins in the Gulf Coast. Because not just any generic respirator will protect workers well, this is critical work that needs to continue. But as the government figures out these important details, we can't lose sight of the big picture: oil cleanup workers must not be asked to work with their lungs totally unprotected. It's common sense! Sign our petition now!

1 http://www.propublica.org/documents/item/oil-spill-surveillance-summary-report
2 http://www.georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/06/bp-tells-cleanup-workers-theyll-be.html
3 http://www.racewire.org/archives/2010/06/bp_threatens_to_fire_cleanup_workers_who_use_their_own_safety_gear.html
4 http://workinprogress.firedoglake.com/2010/06/09/rep-maloney-address-health-of-gulf-cleanup-workers-now-before-they-lose-it/
5 http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0611/rfk-center-bp-discouraged-crews-respirators/
6 http://workinprogress.firedoglake.com/2010/06/18/bp-failing-to-report-workers-sick-from-pollutants/

Protest Glenn Beck - Boycott FOX Advertisers

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  • Glenn Beck doesn't just poison the airwaves with hatred. His hatred actually incites violence and murder.
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  • Our boycott of Fox News advertisers is having a huge impact - over 200 advertisers have pulled their ads from Beck's show.
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Bob Fertik, Democrats.com

Today (Aug 28), Glenn Beck tried to hijack Martin Luther King's legacy for his own rightwing agenda - and the corporate media gave saturation coverage to help him.

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Yes, the same Glenn Beck who insisted President Obama "has a deep-seated hatred for white people ... This man is a racist."

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  • Yes, the same Glenn Beck who said social justice "leads to death camps" and "a Jew, of all people, should know that."
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  • Yes, the same Glenn Beck who called progressives a "virus waiting for their chance to suck all of the blood out of the Democratic neck."
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  • Yes, the same Glenn Beck who called Hillary Clinton "the stereotypical bitch."
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Join over 60,000 progressive activists who are boycotting Fox News advertisers.

Glenn Beck doesn't just poison the airwaves with hatred. His hatred actually incites violence and murder.

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  • On 7/18/09, Beck inspired a gunman to attack the little-known Tides Foundation, after demonizing them for 18 months. The gunman got into a massive shootout with police and wounded two of them.
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  • On 4/4/09, Richard Poplawski murdered 3 Pittsburgh policemen after posting Beck videos on a neo-Nazi website.
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  • On 4/9/09, Beck poured "gasoline" on an "average American" and asked, "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?"
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  • On 8/16/09, Glenn Beck dramatized giving Speaker Pelosi a glass of wine with poison.
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Join over 60,000 progressive activists who are boycotting Fox News advertisers.

Our boycott of Fox News advertisers is having a huge impact - over 200 advertisers have pulled their ads from Beck's show. No sane company wants to destroy its brand through association with Glenn Beck's hate.

The advertiser boycott is cutting deeply into Fox revenues and alienating investors who want profits, not hate.

Join over 60,000 progressive activists who are boycotting Fox News advertisers.

Thanks for all you do!

Protest Glenn Beck - Boycott FOX Advertisers

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  • Glenn Beck doesn't just poison the airwaves with hatred. His hatred actually incites violence and murder.
  • \r\n

  • Our boycott of Fox News advertisers is having a huge impact - over 200 advertisers have pulled their ads from Beck's show.
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Bob Fertik, Democrats.com

Today (Aug 28), Glenn Beck tried to hijack Martin Luther King's legacy for his own rightwing agenda - and the corporate media gave saturation coverage to help him.

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Yes, the same Glenn Beck who insisted President Obama "has a deep-seated hatred for white people ... This man is a racist."

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  • Yes, the same Glenn Beck who said social justice "leads to death camps" and "a Jew, of all people, should know that."
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  • Yes, the same Glenn Beck who called progressives a "virus waiting for their chance to suck all of the blood out of the Democratic neck."
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  • Yes, the same Glenn Beck who called Hillary Clinton "the stereotypical bitch."
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Join over 60,000 progressive activists who are boycotting Fox News advertisers.

Glenn Beck doesn't just poison the airwaves with hatred. His hatred actually incites violence and murder.

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  • On 7/18/09, Beck inspired a gunman to attack the little-known Tides Foundation, after demonizing them for 18 months. The gunman got into a massive shootout with police and wounded two of them.
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  • On 4/4/09, Richard Poplawski murdered 3 Pittsburgh policemen after posting Beck videos on a neo-Nazi website.
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  • On 4/9/09, Beck poured "gasoline" on an "average American" and asked, "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?"
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  • On 8/16/09, Glenn Beck dramatized giving Speaker Pelosi a glass of wine with poison.
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Join over 60,000 progressive activists who are boycotting Fox News advertisers.

Our boycott of Fox News advertisers is having a huge impact - over 200 advertisers have pulled their ads from Beck's show. No sane company wants to destroy its brand through association with Glenn Beck's hate.

The advertiser boycott is cutting deeply into Fox revenues and alienating investors who want profits, not hate.

Join over 60,000 progressive activists who are boycotting Fox News advertisers.

Thanks for all you do!

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