The Party of Open: Open Government, Open Culture, Open Innovation & People First

Monthly archive: April 2016

Somerville Cryptoparty, Wed., April 27th

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The next monthly Somerville cryptoparty will be Wednesday, April 27th.  It will be from 6-9pm, and will be at Parts & Crafts at 577 Somerville Ave., Somerville. If you want to help organize a cryptoparty in your area or just discuss protecting your privacy, sign up for the cryptoparty mailing list.

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Somerville Cryptoparty, Wed., April 27th

Aaron James Campaign Off With a Bang

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Aaron James’ campaign for 27th Middlesex State Representative (Somerville) is working hard to get him on the ballot.  They have been out the last two weeks going door-to-door to gather signatures and likely collected half of the signatures he needs. They have until 5pm on May 3rd to get 150 valid voter signatures from his district. His campaign is focusing on ensuring that people who get out of drug rehabilitation programs get the support they need to stay in recovery and to continue the Pirate Party’s efforts to give voters a choice on election day.  Aside from Noelani Kamelamela’s 2014 campaign, the 27th Middlesex district has not had a contested general election since 2006.  Aaron believes that our democracy is stronger when there is a civil debate on the issues affecting voters in the district. To find out more about his campaign, visit  To help with his campaign, please email

published under Elections, Main Topic | Comments Off on Aaron James Campaign Off With a Bang

No IRC Meeting Tonight. Enjoy the Snow

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I am canceling tonight’s IRC meeting.  There is a lot to take in with the Panama Papers reporting, we don’t have all the information we need to decide on the location of PirateCon 2016 and there nothing else pressing on the agenda. Enjoy the snow folks.  Talk with you next week.

published under Organizing | Comments Off on No IRC Meeting Tonight. Enjoy the Snow

#PanamaPapers, Anti-GE Subsidy Rally and Pirate Candidates

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In the World Yesterday, the Panama Papers, 2.6 terabytes of details of secret bank accounts of some of the wealthiest in the world, was released Sunday.  Among the revelations is that the prime minister of Iceland kept a sizable secret bank account.  The Iceland government could fall as a result, and with polls showing the Iceland Pirate Party as the most popular party there, the Pirate Party, with its focus on transparency and democracy, is likely to form the next government. Here at Home The Massachusetts state government and Boston will be giving General Electric a windfall of $250 million in tax breaks and government spending to entice GE to move its headquarters here.  Why are we doing this while our schools, MBTA, and housing are underfunded and when we are cutting health care spending for those who need it? There is a demonstration at 60 State St. starting at 3:30pm today and ending at 5:30pm.  If you are in Boston, please come down and join us and all of the many sponsors of this event. Democracy Needs You! The Iceland Pirates can take advantage of revelations such as the Panama Papers due to their election laws.  In Massachusetts, candidates have to get on the ballot months before election day on November 8th.  State Representatives and State Senate candidates have until May 3rd to get 150 or 300 signatures respectively from valid voters in their districts.  Candidates for US House of Representatives have until August 2nd to gather 2000 signatures. Aaron James is running in the 27th Middlesex State Rep. district that First Officer Noelani Kamelamela ran for in 2014.  We started gathering signatures for him last week.  60% of State Rep. candidates run unopposed in Massachusetts.  The percentage for US House Rep. incumbents is much higher.  Aaron is continuing … Read more

published under Elections, Main Topic, Organizing, Transparency | Comments Off on #PanamaPapers, Anti-GE Subsidy Rally and Pirate Candidates

US Customs & Border Protection Body Camera Feasibility Study

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Last fall, I came across an article titled “US border patrol staff reject body cameras, citing cost and terrain“. This article opens with the following two paragraphs: SAN DIEGO (AP) – Customs and Border Protection staff concluded after an internal review that agents and officers shouldn’t be required to wear body cameras, positioning the nation’s largest law enforcement agency as a counterweight to a growing number of police forces that use the devices to promote public trust and accountability. The yearlong review cited cost and a host of other reasons to hold off, according to two people familiar with the findings who spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been made public. It found operating cameras may distract agents while they’re performing their jobs, may hurt employee morale, and may be unsuited to the hot, dusty conditions in which Border Patrol agents often work. Body cameras come in many different shapes and forms, and I’m not surprised that some models aren’t well-suited to certain environmental conditions. But the part about “hurting employee morale” really caught my attention. If you’re not familiar with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), they’re a federal agency with jurisdiction over any area within 100 miles of US international borders; that includes areas adjoining Canada, Mexico, and of course, a very large chunk of Massachusetts. During recent years, CBP has gotten something of a reputation for harassing people at border crossings and interior checkpoints. For example, they questioned a father as to whether he had his wife’s permission to travel with his children. Agents took the father’s phone, citing concerns that he would record, upload, or share the interaction. In the southwest, CBP is known for “internal checkpoints“, where they can “conduct brief stops for the limited purpose of verifying residence status”, aka a … Read more

published under Civil Liberties, Main Topic | Comments Off on US Customs & Border Protection Body Camera Feasibility Study

Amusing Stuff that winds up in our Mailbox

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As the Pirate Quartermaster, one of my rituals is making a weekly trip to Davis Square to check our PO Box. Occassionally we receive things that are amusing enough to share. For example, here’s a marketing letter from a company that sells greeting cards: I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at mistargetings like these. Yes, there’s a “Party” in “Mass Pirate Party”, but that doesn’t mean we’re a business that sells things for birthay parties, graduation parties, and halloween parties. More amusing are the solicitations that assume “Pirate” means (a) a costume shop, or (b) an organization that does booze cruises in Boston harbor. Perhaps I should thank them for their offer, but suggest they contact the Democratic Party (or the Republican Party) instead. The folks at the greeting card company were kind enough to include samples, and they are nice greeting cards. I will personally send one of these lovely specimens to the next three people to donate to our policitical action committee! 🙂 Act now! Limited time offer! While Supplies Last! Speaking of Democrats and political action committees, here’s another item that wound up in our physical inbox: Inside was an invitation to attend a benefit for the Committee for a Democratic Senate PAC. Tickets prices were a bargian, at a mere $200 — $500 each. I didn’t order a ticket, but I did write a letter in response: Dear Ms. Ganley, Thank you for sending an invitation to attend April 25th’s reception to benefit the Committee for a Democratic Senate PAC. As the name “Massachusetts Pirate Party PAC” indicates, we are members of the Pirate political designation and we respectfully decline your offer to attend. That said, if you have any interest in organizing a benefit to elect a Pirate Senate, we would be more … Read more

published under Fun and Games | Comments Off on Amusing Stuff that winds up in our Mailbox

This Monday: No Tax Dollars for GE!

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On April 4th, the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Gov. Baker and Mayor Walsh are welcoming military manufacturer General Electric to Boston and celebrating the $250+ million in tax breaks and free public services we are giving to GE so they will relocate the headquarters here. Why are we doing this while our schools, MBTA, and housing are underfunded? Why are we doing this when Governor Baker is trying to cut the Health Safety Net program for those that do not have insurance to get free care at a hospital?  It is more important to Baker and the Democratic legislature that we give hundreds of millions of our tax dollars to benefit GW while reducing free health insurance eligibility from 400% poverty level to 300%. On Monday, April 4th, we will join with hundreds of others to oppose shifting more money from working families to wealthy corporations that don’t pay their taxes.  We will meet in downtown Boston at 60 State St. from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.  If you want, you can show others you will come out. Thanks to Budget for All Campaign, Jewish Voice for Peace Boston and Massachusetts Peace Action for organizing this event.

published under Corporate Welfare, Main Topic, Out And About, Peace & War | 1 Comment

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