Saturday, June 30, 2012

Updates 6/30/12

Hello everyone.

The news is abuzz with stories about the upcoming National Gathering in Philly. Lots of speculation going on.

-- A story running on has members of Occupy Portland upset, and rightly so. A woman found out her home was going to be foreclosed upon last September, and moved in with her daughters before it happened. She then got an eviction notice in the mail, and assumed they would be selling her home. Then she found out that it was not yet foreclosed upon, but Occupiers had taken to squatting in her home, causing issues and damaging the property. They apparently moved in in September. There is a major problem with the story though--Occupy Portland didn't even begin until October. Occupy Portland believes the squatters moved in and began calling themselves Occupiers after the movement began. (That's one problem with being part of a large movement. People can call themselves part of it to make it look like they're doing good, rather than being honest.) To read the story, and the responses of several Occupy members in the comments, follow the link.

-- Occupy Oakland has filed suit against the city of Oakland and Alameda County, seeking damages stemming from the January 28th "kettling" outside the YMCA. The $10,000 is being sought secondary to attempting to change the way law enforcement handles demonstrators. They are hoping for policy changes, and named multiple officers in the suit as well, namely the ones who mistreated them, and the Alameda County Sheriffs who took them to and held them in the Santa Rita jail. (I was watching live that night. I think it is about damn time Alameda got sued. From what I saw in all the nights that I watched, the Alameda County Sheriff's were the most violent and outburst-prone law enforcement officials on site.)

-- The Minneapolis City Attorney is putting heavy charges on Occupy MN, as they are attempting to stop the foreclosure of a house owned by Alejandra and David Cruz. Three protesters who have been arrested are being retroactively charged with third degree rioting, among multiple other charges. The riot charges alone could land them in jail for up to a year, along with a $3000 fine. Read what other charges are being placed, as well as Occupy MN's response in the link. 


To contact me, please email Thanks. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Updates 6/29/12- News and Obamacare.

Hello everyone.

I know my updates have been getting later and later throughout the day. Sorry about that. I've been fighting off an illness of some sort, which has been keeping me in bed longer than I'd like. I'm still not sure what kind of illness it is, but I can't afford to visit the doctor until August, when my health insurance picks up again. 

Speaking of health insurance, I've seen quite a few articles in which the CM claims that Occupy hates "Obamacare." I feel it's important to note, once again, that we are made up of a diverse group of people, and we don't all have the same opinions on things. I, for one, support the Affordable Care Act. I am what is considered "uninsurable." I have multiple pre-existing conditions, and I also have a history of complete renal failure. Insurance companies look at me and laugh. The only health insurance I have is supplied by my university, and I pay for it in my fees. Without Obamacare, when I graduate college for good, I wouldn't be able to afford insurance. My premiums would be about the size of a house payment. I know, I've looked. It's ridiculous to think that we have so many uninsured people out there. 

Some people are angry about having to purchase a service they say they wouldn't buy on their own. Well, most people have auto insurance, and people don't scream about that. You can be ticketed if you don't have it. So people buy it! Nearly every person, at some point in their lives, will need health care. Why is it so wrong to prepare for that?

Now personally, I would prefer that the government simply tax us all, and make health care free. Eliminate the insurance company middleman. But for a regressively thinking country like the US, it will be a while before people are okay with that idea. Until then, this is the next best option. Only 2% of Americans will have to purchase insurance without help from the government. Everyone else either already has it, or will be provided with assistance to help get it. If you've actually read the law, crunched all the numbers, and thought about it, you realize that this is actually a step in the right direction. 

So, of course, I have questions for you. What do you think of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)? Does it go too far? Not far enough? Why do you think so? What good or bad do you think ay come of it? If you disagree with it, what would you do instead?

You can post your replies here, or send them to the email at the bottom. I'd love to see your responses, even if they don't agree with mine. 

On to the news.

-- Occupy DC has returned to McPherson Square, and they say this time they're here to stay. The group abruptly left several days ago, with plans to work out of office space, but now say they are trying a different approach. They've raised tents and hung banners and signs, with one reading "Occupy DC Here to Stay."

--  This Saturday, two Occupy groups in Philly will be holding events in preparation for the National Gathering on the 4th. The protesters have plans to march, camp, and feed the homeless in defiance of Mayor Nutter's ban on doing so in public parks. Tons of other events are planned, and the mayor says extra police will be added until the 4th is over. Occupiers from across the country are heading to Philly for the National Gathering, and many media sites have news teams standing by to catch any action.

-- Sponsors of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association are pulling out after major backlash hit social media networks, concerning statements made in the Association's bimonthly newsletter. The editor of the newsletter is under fire after he responded to a letter from a member of Occupy Boston by repeatedly insulting Occupiers. Some of the sponsors pulling out their support took to social media as well, in order to voice their concerns. To read the editor's "highly offensive" and "sexist, racist commentary," as well as the responses from groups and sponsors, follow the link. (It's a pretty interesting read.)

-- What does NATO have up its sleeve, and why is it expanding? The Centre for Research on Globalization may have the answer, and they are more than willing to share it with you. Find out what they think the giant organization is working on here:


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Updates 6/28/12

Hello everyone.

I'm short on time today, so I'm just going to link you to two major stories from today.

The first is the affirmation of the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and what this means for you:

The second is a response article, written by one of the other University of Texas sociology professors, concerning Regnerus' anti-gay study. (One of my professors is actually assigned to review the editing process to find out how in the hell the article made it into the journal to begin with.)


To contact me, please email me at Thanks.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Updates 6/27/12

Hello everyone.

I'm irritable today. Not much to say, other than that.


-- A judge has ordered that the names of police involved in the UC Davis pepper spraying fiasco last year must be released. The University's police union had previously refused to release the names of police officers involved, citing a state law and saying that doing so could cause harassment for them. The lawsuit was filed by the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times, and the judge agreed with the papers, saying that the names were subject to release under the California Public Records Act. The judge stayed the ruling until July 27 to give the police union time to appeal.

-- The Oakland police commission is being examined again, and this time it's a community group with political ties at the forefront. The group has put out a proposal that would improve oversight on the force, and possibly prevent the judge from placing the department under federal control. Not everyone is happy about the proposal, and some groups say it is unnecessary, as reforms are already being implemented. 

-- My heart goes out to the families of the lesbian couple who were apparently targeted in Texas during Pride month, simply for being gay. It's difficult for me to speak about this without getting angry, so follow the link to read more if you haven't heard about it. 

That's all for today, everyone.


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Updates 6/26/12

Hello everyone.

Sorry about the missing update yesterday. It was a hectic day. I'm back visiting my family, and being in this town has hyped up my fibromyalgia again. My wrists, ankles, and knees are all letting me know they don't appreciate the chemicals in the air and water here in this town. It's gotten to the point where I can only drink bottled water while I'm here. I can't even rinse my toothbrush in the water or I get sicker quicker. Nice, right?

Anyway. I've noticed an interesting trend, and I feel it needs to be mentioned. I get my news through a variety of sources, although I tend to cite major Corporate Media sites. I see news on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, and then I search for it in the news. It's an easier way to look for stories after I find something out. But there's been something disturbing happening...

Six days ago, Corporate Media sites began reporting that the UN was after the US for not treating protesters properly. The UN claimed that the US was ignoring human rights. Six days ago, the Corporate Media began blatantly and completely ignoring Occupy. I figured this was like any other time, where the CM just got tired of writing about Occupy, and would be back to writing about it soon. They aren't. Don't believe me? Pull up Google right now, and type in "Occupy." Specify "News." Then look at the major stories.. not the ones that are just continuations of another story. There aren't any right now. There are only stories that have been previously written about it about a week ago. There's the artist's house being Occupied in London, which actually happened a week ago. There's a story about Santa Barbara fighting foreclosures, which has been ongoing for quite some time. There's Lansing, where people that have been in the park for over a month are being ticketed again. 

Where's the new stuff? According to CM, there isn't any new stuff. Which we all know is not accurate. Put two and two together, and what do you get? We get the CM doing a media blackout of Occupy in response to the UN verbal attacks of the US government. I wish I could say that I was being all conspiracy theorist right now..

On to the short bit of news I was able to dig up.

-- Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is being called out again, this time for misstating facts about city crime rates and locations. Quan apparently picked an undisclosed 100 block radius in the city and declared it to be the crime hub, stating that it included 90% of shootings and homicides in the city. Too bad for her that the actual numbers definitely don't agree with her, as crime is actually dispersed throughout the city, and the most violent 100 blocks only account for 17% of it. Quan has been citing these incorrect "facts" for months now, along with several others. Her "fictional crime plan," as the author of this article calls it, is not actually helping to defeat crime.

-- The HSBC Holdings Bank in Hong Kong has filed for eviction against Occupy Central, but the protesters still aren't leaving. The bank has filed suit against the group and several other people, stating that they are waiting for the outcomes of the case to decide what to do next. Some of the Occupiers haven't even heard of the lawsuit yet, but when asked, say they aren't giving up on their holding place. 

-- Haitian police are fighting protesters thanks to an eviction stemming from government plans. The government wants to evict roughly 400 families from their homes on the hills of Port-au-Prince, saying that living in such slums endangers lives. Protesters believe they are being targeted because they are poor, and have nowhere else to go. The government has blocked development plans to build new homes for the people. In the clashes with officers, one person was injured after flaming barricades were used to hold police back, who responded with tear gas.


To contact me, please email Thanks for your patience, and for reading. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Updates 6/24/12

Hello everyone.

Today there is plenty of news; some Occupy, some not, but all interesting. 

-- Occupiers, parents, teachers, and dozens of other supporters came out roughly 200 strong yesterday in a march to protest the Oakland Unified School District's closing of five schools that catered to mostly low-income minority students. The carried signs demanding recall votes of at least five members of the school board, as well as the resignation of Superintendent Tony Smith. The protesters are angry that the closures are only affecting the communities that need the schools the most.

-- Also in California, the city of Berkeley seems to want to move in the right direction. The Berkeley Police Department and the Berkeley City Council have stated that they will no longer honor the agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in which they agreed to hold illegal immigrants for minor offenses. The City Council is reviewing the policy to see how much, if at all, they will comply with the ICE agreement. The Council believes the current set-up is flawed, in that immigrants are held regardless of their crime, even if it is something as simple as civil disobedience. Many believe this is a step toward Berkeley putting constitutional and human rights first.

-- Malaysian citizens are increasingly becoming concerned with the health and safety of themselves and their children, and they finally stepped out with a funeral protest against a rare earth mine. Protesters brought coffins  and decorated them with wreaths and other symbols of mourning during the 24 hour protest. The citizens do not believe that the government has taken the proper precautions or performed accurate safety tests, but officials have assured them that waste will be disposed of properly and that the area is safe.

-- The Republican National Convention is coming to Tampa in August, but it seems that most of the protesters will not be sticking to Tampa's guidelines concerning protests. The city has denied all requests for marching permits, saying that Occupiers and other protesters will be offered spots along the "official parade route." Several different Occupy groups are expected to be in attendance, and not all of them will be taking the same tactics. 

-- Many children in foster care typically tend to have some forms of behavioral problems, but is that really cause to dope them up on multiple medications? It seems the government may not think so. The federal government is holding a meeting of three government agencies to figure out what can be done. Some children in foster care have committed suicide after they were prescribed hefty anti-psychotics meant for adults only. The Administration for Children and Families, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will be convening August 27 and 28 to discuss possible new medication guidelines.

-- Residents of Frederick, Maryland, are going hungry for the USPS. Starting on Monday, at least a dozen people will be participating in a hunger strike for the Postal Service, saying that government mandates have caused drastic financial issues for the already financially deprived agency. Some of the protesters include retired postal carriers, who plan on speaking with legislators. Some believe the massive cuts and forced funding of retiree health benefits for 75 years in the future is just a Draconian tactic to push the USPS into privatization.

-- Police in Bolivia have stepped out and committed mutiny over low pay and almost non-existent pensions. The low-ranked officers are demanding their pay increase from $115 monthly to $287. Their spouses have also jumped into the fray with a massive hunger strike, with over 60 spouses striking in multiple cities. On Thursday, the angry protesters entered police buildings used by higher ranking officers, seizing computers and documents, destroying them while others threw rocks and burned papers and furniture in the streets. Armed forces have come in to take over the police jobs while they protest, but government officials are still hoping for peaceful negotiations. 

-- This article details the clean-up of Skid Row, and how it was actually a CCA and police operation to oust homeless people from the streets. It's a good read, and details how the money-rich voices of a few can trample the helpless very quickly.

-- On Friday, residents of Tel Aviv took to the streets to protest against police brutality, and instead many received a hefty dose of it. Roughly 6,000 Israelis attended the rally, with upward of 85 people being arrested. Vandalism took place after protesters attempted to push past a police line, with windows being broken and a prominent activist being arrested as protesters shouted for her release. She later appeared on television with her arm bandaged and a fractured rib. Many feel the government is using repressive tactics in a attempt to prevent the tent-camps and protests that cropped up last year.


To contact me, email Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Updates 6/23/12

Hello everyone.

Today's news is rather short. I'm sure you remember why. 

-- The Moscow Times does an interview with an attorney from the NLG representing the Chicago men facing charges stemming from the NATO protests.

-- A group of residents in Tampa is attempting to collect signatures to toss Occupy Tampa off the private lot they've been Occupying since December.

-- Elderly protesters in Barcelona have been hitting the streets more and more often, this time demonstrating at the German Consulate. 

-- Loan interest rates are getting ready to double in the US, and students across the country (including me) are worried about the outcomes.


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Friday, June 22, 2012

Updates 6/22/12

Hello everyone.

I'm doing a link day today, and it may be like this for a few days. We're going to visit my in-laws for a few days, then stop and see my family for a few more. I may have sporadic internet access, so updates may be a little off. July is coming up fast, and that's going to be a crazy month for me. I've got financial issues to survive, and I'll be teaching, meeting with professors, attending weddings, judging a research symposium, and several other crazy things on my list of stuff to do. For now, I have to type fast--I still have to pack!


-- This Rolling Stone article points out some interesting data. Apparently some Wall Street tactics were learned from the Mafia, and they have no problems with using them. 

-- The former candidate for mayor of Portland has been on a hunger strike for almost three weeks now, in an effort to highlight housing issues.

-- Eleven Occupy DC members have been convicted of disobeying police after they attempted to build a wooden structure in the park in December. They have to pay fines, and one man with extra charges has to do community service. 

-- Egyptian citizens are protesting again, with huge sit-ins stemming from worries that the military rulers for the country may attempt to hijack the elections.

-- Occupy Chicago is working to help employees of a staffing agency that abruptly closed, leaving employees not only without jobs, but also without the pay they are owed.

-- Is violence against environmentalists increasing? Yes, says this author. In other countries, being an environmentalist can get you killed. While America hasn't gone that far yet, it seems to be moving in that direction.


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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Updates 6/21/12

Hello everyone.

What a crazy time we live in today. Who would have thought twenty years ago that we would be fighting today for some of the oddest reasons... Women's reproductive rights, the right to marry who you love, the right to eat and drink and live as you see fit, the right to truly achieve the American dream, the right to say what you feel you need to, the right to stand up for others who cannot, the right to own homes without having them taken away for fraudulent reasons, the right to be seen and treated as equal regardless of race, heritage, class, gender, or creed. 

If you went back in time and told people that Michigan legislators would flip out and say that using the word "vagina" could ban you from the floor, they would probably laugh at you, because that sounds ridiculous. If you went back in time and said that the NYC Mayor would ban large sodas, you would probably also get laughed at, because who in their right mind would do that? If you went back in time and said that banks would use shady tactics to take away homes from thousands of people... well... they would probably believe you on that one. It's been a long time since banking was an "honest industry."

I wonder, though, what do you think people twenty years ago would be most surprised at in our society today? How do you think they would react?

Anyway, on to the news. 

-- Liberals are becoming increasingly worried that President Obama may not win the election, because he isn't targeting Wall Street fiercely enough. In attendance of the Take Back the American Dream Conference in Washington, many sad they wanted more of Occupy Wall Street's sentiments in the President's speeches and actions, while others said that he should be pressuring competitor Mitt Romney into revealing his donors, who are bundling donations to funding his campaign. 

-- The UC Board of Regents has dropped their lawsuit against the 15 Occupiers from the Gill Tract as of Wednesday. A campus spokesperson said that while the Regents were sure they could win the case, they have since resumed control of the Tract, and research has continued, so the lawsuit was unnecessary and too costly to continue. They remarked that if research was again disrupted, they could potentially resume litigation. 

-- Occupy Chicago is not giving up the fight against the Chicago Tribune. Back in May, the Chicago Tribune filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, arguing that Occupy Chicago was acting "in bad faith" and attempting to "divert traffic" from their website when the group acquired the domains "" and "" The Chicago Tribune is demanding that both domains be turned over to them. Occupiers are having none of it, and recently wrote a response concerning the issue. They are arguing that this is an issue of political speech rights, and that no reasonable person would confuse the sites. 

-- Protesters in Oakland have been issued a second "stay away" order as of Tuesday, with regards to fighting to keep multiple schools that serve minority students open. The Occupiers, parents, and teachers still aren't leaving, regardless of the orders. A spokesperson for the school district told the media that they could choose to remove protesters at any time, and that the encampment "can't continue indefinitely."

-- The three men arrested before the Occupy NATO protests now have at least a half-dozen new charges in their indictments. Defense attorneys for the men say that prosecutors will often use more charges to give them more leverage for a plea deal or ensure at least some convictions in a trial. Prosecutors have repeatedly rebuffed the defense attorneys' attempts to talk with them, and even refused to hand over the indictment, forcing the defense to go to the County Clerk's Office to attain it. To see what new charges have been added, follow the link.

-- The Pride Parade in San Francisco will have a few more marchers this year, as Occupy will be joining the ranks to protest the unequal treatment of LGBT persons by everyone from law enforcement to the corporate sponsors of this year's parade. Gay Occupiers have formed their own offshoot of Occupy SF, called Occu-Pride, and won't yet disclose what form their protest will take. Not all the marchers are happy they will be there, though. Some believe that the corporate sponsors for the parade should be rewarded for their views on equality, not reviled for their business tactics. 


To contact me, please email Thanks. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Updates 6/20/12--Soda bans and stupidity.

Hello everyone.

I'm noticing an intriguing trend as I look for news lately... But it has to do with an American favorite for quenching thirst. It seems that more and more cities across the country are considering "soda bans" on at least some scale. There are bans being considered in Los Angeles, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts, with at lest one of them following the NYC Bloomberg train. The Los Angeles ban wants to keep them from public parks and libraries, and is proposed by a councilman whose daughter couldn't find anything but soda in the vending machines. The Cambridge ban is a bit confusing. The Mayor, Henrietta Davis, says she wants to regulate the size of sodas and sugar-sweetened beverages served in restaurants, but the website for the city says they are looking for an outright ban of restaurants serving them at all. So which is it? Mayor Davis says she doesn't want to ban them at all, only to add "government regulation" that people "need." 

Now, I drink about 2-3 bottles of soda a month. Not much at all. I used to drink a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper in less than two days. One day I ran out and just decided I wasn't going to buy anymore until I actually wanted one, and that I would buy only as much as I wanted, not more. Look at that... self-regulation. I supplement my caffeine fix with unsweetened tea or iced coffee when I feel like I want or need it. Because that's my choice. Now I do agree that we probably shouldn't serve sodas in schools, unless, perhaps, it's a high school where students are old enough to choose what they want and understand the benefits and consequences of drinking it, as well as buy it for themselves, possibly out of a vending machine. But why is it okay for our government to say we can't drink a soda, especially if we are educated, informed, tax-paying adults? If I want to have a Pepsi with my dinner at Houlihans, I damn well should be able to order one. If I choose a Coke when I'm on a business lunch with my professor at a local establishment like LongBranch (a great vegetarian eatery here in town with amazing coffee, try it if you pop through), should the mayor come running in with a paper to wave in my face, screaming that I obviously don't know what's best for my health, so they'll order for me? What's next, banning bacon because of its high sodium content? Forbidding donuts, because they're obviously sugar-laden? Here's an idea. Why don't we just make it so everyone has to stand while they eat at restaurants, because too much sitting is known to cause obesity! That's sarcasm, of course, because we all know how dumb that actually sounds. Why is this any different, though? 

The governments, large and small, have been trying to regulate our lives for a long time now. We all know that. The problem is not that they want us to be healthy people. That's usually a good thing, to encourage healthy activities and eating. The problem is that they try to force us to be healthy, while simultaneously allowing corporations to push things like pink slime on the children who have to eat at school, GMOs on people who have no other choice, and chemically laden crops on the farmers and pickers who are trying to live and feed us, causing them problems like lung diseases, heart problems, birth defects, and many other issues that need to be dealt with to stay healthy. 

So here's an idea, oh governments of ours... Why don't you pay attention to what BOTH of your hands are doing? Regulating one group while letting the other one run amok obviously isn't working out well. Especially when the group you choose to regulate should be the one with free choice, and the one you forget can KILL people with their actions.

Here are two links to the considerations for soda bans:


On to the news.

-- Oakland's Mayor Quan could be forced to pay up if reports aren't filed in a timely manner. The judge in charge of the internal investigations going on in the Oakland Police Department warned on Monday that if the reports aren't carried out and filed on time, he may not fine just the city, but also the mayor. While Mayor Quan did not comment on the proceedings, a spokesperson said they fully intend to cooperate with the judges orders. The judge is attempting to get the reports before time runs up. If a year passes without them, any police officers found to have committed wrongdoings cannot be charged under state law.

-- This article has things all wrong, and made sure to interview the few people who didn't know what was actually going on. Occupy Oakland Patriarchy protested the 2012 National Human Exploitation and Trafficking Watch last week. The author of this article is appalled that they would do such a thing, and includes multiple statements of disdain for Occupiers, at one point quipping "This issue should be of universal concern, but apparently not for the OWS crowd, whose strange rational [sic] for protesting has something to do with being in 'solidarity' with victims of sex trafficking." The author seems to believe that Occupiers were protesting in order to allow the continuance of such terrible crimes. However, Occupy was actually protesting due to the treatment of sex trafficking victims after they are caught. Many victims are treated like criminals, thrown in jail over and over again, berated, and treated as disgusting animals both by society and the law enforcement who is supposed to rescue them, only to be released back to the people that force them into the streets. Repeatedly. And that, my dear author, is what Occupiers want stopped.

-- Transplants for undocumented immigrants? No, say many hospitals. But one has changed its mind after hunger fasts by multiple groups. Read on to find out how they're helping, and how the life of one man may be saved due to their diligence.


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Updates 6/19/12

Hello everyone.

A quick update on the story I posted a few days ago concerning the websites The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk: Charles Correon, the lawyer for FunnyJunk, has took it upon himself to personally file suit against The Oatmeal, as well as the fundraising company IndieGoGo and the two charities that would be receiving the donations; the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Why does he think they all need to be sued? Read here to find The Oatmeal's response to him, and find out more info.

On to the news. 

-- Eight Occupiers have been convicted of trespassing in NYC, concerning the December 17th incident where many protesters climbed over a fence to gain access to the Trinity Church's lot. Among the convicted includes retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard, who was dressed in his robes as he went over the fence. His lawyer says they are disappointed, but not surprised by the verdict. Seven of the Occupiers have been sentenced to community service, while the last, who also faced two misdemeanor charges, was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

-- Occupy Iowa is stepping out to protest the World Food Prize in Des Moines this October, in an effort to fight against GMO's, which stands for foods that have been genetically modified. They are specifically targeting the "corporate ownership of the World Food Prize," and the heavy dominance of genetically modified foods found in the event. The President of the World Food Prize commented that many world leaders, scientists, and academicians from around the globe attend the event to discuss the latest issues in agriculture, and that there are discussions on world hunger issues as well. 

A big thank you to Charles for sending me this next article. 

-- Two UN envoys have stepped up to criticize the treatment of the Occupy protests here in America, and are pleading with the US government to protect Occupier's rights. They have sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but have yet to receive responses. The letters detail multiple events in which Occupiers were brutally handled with excessive force by law enforcement, a tactic the UN fears may be related to protesters' "dissenting views, criticisms of economic policies, and their legitimate work in the defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms." Read more about what is going on here:


To contact me, please email Thanks. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Updates 6/18/12

Hello everyone.

We've got plenty of interesting things today, so it's going to be a link day.

-- An Occupier is working with the Vermont Credit Union after being elected to the position at the state's fourth largest credit union.

-- Occupy Raleigh is coming out together against fracking in the state.

-- Occupy Oakland is working with parents and teachers to build a tent city against the closure of multiple schools that mostly serve minority students.

-- Should police wear cameras to record protest events and their own side of the story? More and more departments think so.

-- Is stop-and-frisk right? Thousands of activists from multiple groups don't think so. (It started out as a good idea, but isn't that way anymore.)

-- Occupy Eagles Bridge members in Bulgaria have gone very green in their fight against the government's alterations of the Forestry Act.

-- With so many people saying Occupy is dead, do they really think it will be gone forever? This writer doesn't think so.

-- Rodney King, the man whose brutal beating by police (and their subsequent acquittals) sparked the LA Riots, has died at age 47. It is reported that he was found in the bottom of his swimming pool by his fiancee. A sad event, to be sure.

-- Occupy London is dead after evictions, say some... But not hardly! The Occupation is moving again. See where here:


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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Updates 6/17/12

Hello everyone.

Happy Father's Day, if that term fits you in any way. :)

On to the news.

-- Students who were staging a sit-in against deportation of undocumented students at President Obama's campaign office in Oakland have given up the protest in favor of other methods. The pair were the last two left in the demonstration, and they had run out of food, as well as being denied restroom use by the building's security guards. Family and friends called the pair to convince them to protest in a different way. Some of the calls they received were from people involved in deportation proceedings. The two are happy that President Obama announced that people who fit certain criteria will no longer be deported, but say their fight is far from over, as the new rules still do not move toward gaining citizenship.

-- The Oakland Unified School District will close five schools that predominantly serve minority children, much to the dismay of parents, teachers, and students. Parents and teachers have pleaded with the Board, and even filed lawsuits, but they have had no effect. The children will be sent to schools over 10 miles away, while the buildings will be used as administrative offices and private charter schools. There is no guarantee of transportation for the children to their new schools. Occupy has gotten involved with helping in the fight, and are working hard to keep the environment open for children to attend protest events as well. You can read the when, where, and how at the link.

-- Here's another article questioning whether or not Occupy is actually going somewhere. The difference in this one? The author actually interviews an Occupier for their opinions and views. Check it out.

-- This Wednesday, J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon stood in a congressional hearing and watched as people whose homes his company helped take were dragged away in handcuffs. The Occupy Our Homes DC members confronted Dimon, with one woman being dragged away from the microphone in cuffs after she asked him to face the thousands of people, who, like her, had their homes foreclosed on by shady business practices. 

-- What's going on in Russia? News concerning Occupy movements in the country has been fairly silenced, but some smaller news snippets make it through. Yesterday, while an anti-corruption blogger was being questioned, Occupy members showed up in an unsanctioned protest to support him, leading to ten arrests. The story is fairly short and straight to the point, showing that if the news wants to make it through, it better be on the President's side. (Don't get what I mean? Read the article. They use a bunch of little stabs at some of the people they talk about, calling other parties "unregistered" and stating that the May 6 protests were "violent clashes between police and protesters," although early reports mentioned very few injuries on either side. )


To contact me, please email Thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Updates 6/16/12

Hello everyone.

Sorry about the lack of updates yesterday. I wasn't feeling well.


-- An Alameda County judge is facing charges of theft from his elderly neighbor, after he allegedly befriended the woman and her husband and took over her power of attorney. The husband died in 1999, and Judge Seeman then banned her from her home, forcing her to live in a hotel while he sold off her possessions to a tune of roughly $200,000. The woman died in 2010. After his first court appearance, Seeman was met by Occupiers outside who were waiting on another case. They heckled him, as many of them had appeared before him in court. An Occupy attorney commented that this sort of case is exactly what reinforces the belief that our justice system is corrupt.

-- Protesters in Bulgaria have joined up to form Occupy Eagles Bridge. They are angry about controversial amendments to the Forestry Act, noting that the amendments benefit the "shady oligarch." The public was assured that lobbyists would have no say in the Act, which was supposed to benefit skiers, but they say this is not the case. The law apparently provides State help for private corporations, and moves away from public tenders to public/private partnerships.

-- The newest report on Occupy Oakland has been released, discussing the event of October 25. The report states some of the obvious---police were definitely in the wrong with how they handled things. But they weren't alone. The report also loads blame on the Mayor as well, citing her indecisiveness and leadership failures. While Mayor Quan says they are working to change the outdated and dangerous tactics used, Occupiers aren't seeing it.

...I just spilled coffee on my keyboard. Oops... Continuing on...

-- Occupy Portland got a note from the city yesterday, telling them that they are no longer allowed to hold meetings in the park without a permit. Follow the link to read the note and some reactions to it. 

-- The aniti-fracking Occupy group in Pennsylvania has been raided. The group came together when fracking company Aqua America bought the site of a mobile home park, giving each resident only $2,500 to move out by June 1. Fracking is known to cause pollution and ill health effects, and many of the people in the area oppose it. This article is a detailed account of what has been going on in this smaller town, and why these 6 families are holding their ground with the support of hundreds.


To contact me, please email Thanks. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Updates 6/14/12

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well. I'm still sick. Joy.


-- Six people were arrested on Tuesday as part of the Chicago Mental Health Movement, as over 50 demonstrators protested against the loss of half the city's mental health clinics. The six clinics have been closed for about two months now, but protesters Occupied the Chicago Department of Health demanding a promise that they will be reopened and a resignation letter from the Health Commissioner. 

-- The last Occupy London encampment has been evicted, with no arrests or incidents reported during the eviction. Occupiers were concerned about the eviction, considering that they last reported 88% of the 99 peaceful Occupiers remaining were homeless with no place to go. City Council members say they are working with the homeless members, but also say that the Occupation has cost them roughly 100,000 pounds. 

-- Occupy Philly is unhappy with a judge's ruling that convicted a dozen Occupiers of "defiant trespassing and conspiracy," stemming from the Nov. 18 citizen's foreclosure of a Wells Fargo Bank. They were trying to raise awareness of the bank's predatory lending practices, which have disproportionately affected Black neighborhoods. Each of the 12 has to pay a $500 fine and court costs. Occupiers plan to appeal the convictions.

-- This I don't even know what to say about. San Francisco is fighting panhandling with an odd them puppies instead. The people receiving the dogs have to meet certain qualifications and will be given a stipend to care for the animals, but it is unknown how things will be enforced as of yet. If they are caught panhandling with the puppy, it will be returned to the shelter. I see at least one major flaw in this plan, though. If these people decide they are able to move out of the housing or hotel they are living in, it is much more difficult to do so with an animal. I have three pets, and finding a rental apartment or house that will allow animals at all is extremely difficult. It's probably not much easier in SF. 


To contact me, please email Thanks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Updates 6/13/12 + LONG rant.

Hello everyone. 

The news is fairly short today. I'll be following it with a little bit of a rant. (WARNING: CURSE WORDS AND POSSIBLY UPSETTING THINGS AHEAD.)

-- The "Occu-Pirates" are under attack by the Parks Department, after a resident took his boat out in the Hudson River in protest. Tom Fox owns the sailboat, named Druid, and says that he cleared his activities with the Coast Guard. Fox received an angry phone call from the Parks Department demanding he cease his protest actions, but Fox has no intention of doing so.

-- Here's more background information on the increasing protests in Russia, including the detainment of opposition leaders, and the opinions of those marching in the rallies.

-- Police are turning to a popular social media outlet to increase transparency. More and more departments are putting their own videos up on YouTube, for multiple reasons. One department even put up a video of an officer punching a woman, to show why he was fired. It seems they are looking to establish credibility by showing their side of the story.

-- A New Haven High school Class President will not be giving the graduation speech she thought she was, and she believes her connection to Occupy may be the reason. While the girl admits that Occupy has not been mentioned, she finds it odd that steps taken previously were not taken with her. She was not informed of a deadline to submit her speech, and not contacted, as her brother was when he was President back in 2010. What's going on here? Find out more at the link.

Now that the news done, I have a small rantish-type-thing for you. 

My wife and I had a bit of a discussion the other day, and it stuck with me. She asked me an interesting question, and I had a hard time answering it. Now, the rant has a lot to do with Democrat v. Republican, but it means much more than just those two groups. It can be applied to anyone who has these views.

There were actually multiple questions that I talked through concerning several things. Here are a few of them:

Why is it that most Republicans don't want pay equality for women/minorities/special interest groups?

Why is it that most Republicans don't want equal protections for women/minorities/special interest groups?

Why does it seem that most Republicans are unaware of the major inequalities for these groups still in our society today?

Now, like I said, this doesn't apply to only Republicans. There are many types of people that see things this way, regardless of their political affiliation, race, gender, etc. There are multiple theories as well to why these people think this way, and I'm going to discuss them a little bit. This has been weighing on my mind for a little while, and I feel the need to get it out. In the words of Ray Bradbury, "Don't talk about it... Write."

So, of course, there are people who really don't want these types of equality for others. There always has been. Ethnocentricity and racism and sexism and homophobism still exist, and for most of us, there is no denying that. We see it. We feel it. Some of us deal with it on a regular basis. As a child, I was warned by my great-grandmother on her deathbed to keep my Roma heritage a secret. I did for a very long time, but as I aged, I became proud of my Gypsy lineage, and no longer afraid to share it. I have lost friends and (most likely) chances at jobs because of it, but if they can't accept me, they don't deserve my companionship, right?

However, I refuse to believe that the majority of the people who attempt to deny equal rights do so because of their prejudices. I simply don't think it's so, at least not for all who see things that way. I'm going to give you a few reasons that some people see things the way they do, then go into detail on them a bit.

1. They believe in the American ideal of "Anyone who works hard enough can achieve their dreams."

2. They believe that these problems do not actually exist, or that ignoring them will make them go away.

3. They believe that we have moved past the need to protect others. I call this having a "futuristic mindset."

Each of these ties in to one another. Each of these represent a big problem with the views of the people that believe them. 

1. They believe in the American ideal of "Anyone who works hard enough can achieve their dreams."

This is not always wrong, but it is far from being always right. What many people do not realize is that this mindset only works if we all actually have the same set of circumstances, opportunities, and experiences in our lives. We don't. If you grow up a poor, Black man in inner-city Detroit, you are not going to have the same anything as a Middle-class white man from the suburbs. The inner-city child will more likely attend a school that has a poor student/teacher ratio, have a home in a violence-ridden neighborhood, and may even have an absent parent for one of many reasons, which can cause financial instability. The suburban child will have a better-funded school, a safer neighborhood, and may have only one parent, but likely has two. Is that the same? Do you think that these children could turn out to be successful? Of course they could. But it's going to take a lot more work and luck on the part of one of them, don't you think? 

The American Dream is all about working hard to get what you want/need. The sad thing is that for some people who don't get the right opportunities, working hard may NEVER be enough. Circumstances can change so much in a person's life. Take one of my good friends for example. I'll just say his name is R. R works hard, a 90 hour week sometimes, caring for people at a home for the disabled. He's good at his job, and makes good money. R had to drop out of high school after it became more troublesome than it was worth, as he was being targeted by the administration because of his attitude and living situations. He lived with his mother and much-younger brother for years until he finally got up enough emotional strength to move out. R's mother counts on him for everything, as she can't work to support the family because of several debilitating illnesses. Even though he has moved out, he still pays many of the bills for his family. He can't give the money to his mother, as she'll just use it to buy marijuana for the pain, so he pays the bills directly. When he gets off work, he goes to his grandfather's house to care for him. R's grandfather is very ill, but R feels responsible for him, and won't put him in a home due to the poor levels of care he sees in some of them. R wants desperately to return to college, but can't forsake his family to move away to school. R's job also pays him too much to allow him to qualify for aid, but R uses that money to support THREE households- himself, his mother's, and his grandfather's. Is that equal? How should he move on? Can he? Could you?

R would be very upset if he saw that I posted this about him. If you are reading this, oh best friend of mine, I want you to know that your story matters, and that I am here for you. You have my support, and likely the support of many of my readers.

2. They believe these problems do not actually exist, or that ignoring them will make them go away.

This is a serious issue in our society today. One example can prove it wrong, but most people who feel this way will exclaim, "It's not the same thing!" But it is. When America, as well as many people outside and even inside Germany, turned a blind eye to what was happening, did it go away? Obviously not. 

Pretending that a problem isn't there doesn't rectify the situation. For every one of you that says, "but if we ignore it, it will go away," there is someone else out there going "great, they're ignoring it. Now we can turn against these people." It sounds like a conspiracy theory, but sadly, it isn't. Racist groups take advantage of turned heads to make things harder on the people they hate. Only the most rabid group will make an attack while people are watching. Look at it like a coyote. If you have food sitting out, and you face away from it, a coyote may sneak up and ravage it. It knows you aren't looking. Only the most rabid or desperate coyote will attempt to take it while you stare at it. 

Really looking at the true statistics are all you need to understand that racism is still prevalent in our society. A little while ago, a scientific study was done to determine how strongly racism still existed. An equal number of students were selected to participate in the study. All were male. All were given the same qualifications and told to apply for jobs. Half of the potential candidates were White. Half were Black. The students were divided up again. Half of the White candidates and half of the Black candidates were told to write on their applications that they had a felony on their records. All went out and applied for the same jobs. 

How does this story end? Well, if you are aware of racism, you already know. The White candidates WITH FELONIES were twice as likely to be called back for interviews as the Black candidates WITH NO FELONY. It didn't matter what they had done wrong. White men were more likely to get the job. Sad, don't you think?

3. They believe we have moved past the need to protect others. I call this having a "futuristic mindset."

Of course, this is a problem as well. People who believe this may say things like "We don't need an equal pay protection clause for women. Women should just be paid equally regardless," or "Why do Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Trans individuals require protection to prevent them from being fired for their Orientation or Identity? They shouldn't be getting fired for it to begin with."

These people have the right idea, but they are too far ahead of their time. When it comes to protection, we need it now. We may not in the future, but we haven't progressed that far yet. These individuals believe that, as a society, we have gotten far enough that everyone should just be doing the right thing. 

If we all did the right thing, we wouldn't need protection. Not everyone does the right thing.

If employers care as much about people as they did profit, we wouldn't need unions. Not everyone cares about employees.

If people didn't see color, we wouldn't have racially-motivated crime. Not everyone is color-blind yet.

If sexual orientation/gender identity was accepted, I wouldn't be afraid to go out to the bar with my wife. I'm terrified.

If we all cared about others as much as we do ourselves, we wouldn't be IN THIS GODDAMN FUCKED UP MESS TO BEGIN WITH, NOW WOULD WE?!?!

Humanity pisses me off sometimes. Stop being blind. Stop being selfish. Stop being douchebags who just want to hurt others, make money, take things that aren't ours, make others work for us so we can profit from their loss, take homes that people should have a fucking right to, make a profit off the illnesses of a sick and poor population. STOP EXPLOITING OTHERS. 

For the sake of whatever God may be out there, if you do any of the few things I just listed directly above this, piss off. 

Thanks and Solidarity,


P.S. Please don't write to me about how Democrats are stupid too, or how Republicans aren't really like that, or how blah blah anything like those things. I know that. I said in the beginning that this could apply to ANYONE that holds those views. K? Thanks. 

Love you guys.