Thursday, August 23, 2012

Updates 8/23/12

Hello everyone.

If you are running low on time, please at least look at the last entry on today's list. It's simply beautiful.

I had my first official day of class yesterday, and also met with my researcher to find out what I'll be working on. It would be in bad faith and bad ethics for me to spill all of the research being performed, of course, but I can tell you that I'm going to get to know some groups very well. I commented "Know thine enemy." At least I know I have a bias, which in this case may help me find what I'm looking for. Luckily, it isn't my research, so my bias will have no effect. I'm simply finding data. In class, I have a presentation next week, which is actually the second day of class. Why did I volunteer for that? Geez...

Writing is hard today. So is reading. Have you ever fallen asleep on the side of your face and woke up half blind? I've been awake for like an hour now and still can't see out of my right eye. I smooshed it while I was sleeping. It's slowly getting better, though. Oh, and my crazy bank account is sorting itself out. Finally.

Let's get to the news. 

-- As factories in Leicester close down, workers are getting angry. Unions have been staging strikes and will perform a four day walkout starting August 28th. Disabled workers occupied the head offices after they lost their jobs due to the closures of the Remploy factories. The majority of the facilities will close down or be sold by next year as part of the UK government initiative to move spending into helping individuals find jobs in mainstream sectors.

-- [Charles] As we look through the news every day, we often hear about "Chalkupy," and their bouts with police for scrawling drawings on pavement. Now you can meet one of the groups behind it. The Fresh Juice Party (FJP) hosts Chalkupy events weekly, inviting others to join in as they laugh, dance, and draw. The group has a great sense of humor, but know that there is a bit of seriousness to their work. They've found that, when it comes to the police, they are on their own, in both good and bad times. Learn more about them here.

-- The FBI and Homeland Security joined forces to release a bulletin concerning what attacks may happen at either of the National Political Conventions. Occupy is not mentioned in the bulletin, which instead focuses on "anarchists" and "extremists." They warn that extremists may try to blockade traffic and bridges, or use Molotov cocktails or acid-filled eggs in an attempt to disrupt goings-on. (For cripes sake. If you go to either convention and see people filling up eggs with acid or making Molotovs, get the hell away from them and call the police. We are protesters and activists. We should not cause harm to people, and we should attempt to stop those that try to. That may be my opinion, but dammit, what the hell is hurting people going to do? It doesn't get your point across. It makes you and your entire movement look bad. And you've harmed someone, possibly permanently. Some people may believe that any attention is good attention, but that isn't true.)

-- [Charles] We deal with consumerism, corporate takeovers, and monetary issues every day. They all have an effect on us, no matter where we stand. The feature-length documentary, "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward," addresses these issues, among many others, and is available to watch online for free. The film shows the need to move past our current (money=life) paradigm into a more resource-based economy to better life for all. (I haven't watched this yet. I will later today, after class, when I can hopefully see normally again.)

-- Have you ever heard of Tartan Metrics? Chances are they've heard of you. RT may have put together a tie between TrapWire Surveillance and the double-speaking company Tartan Metrics, which states on its website that it is the "must-have application for the national security sector, politicians, and federal law enforcement." The person who registered TrapWire in Virginia is Margaret A. Lee, who appears to be on the board for Tartan. It seems that these corporations may be actively investigating Occupy.

-- [Charles] If you only have time for one video today, make it this one. Luke from WeAreChange asked people to submit videos for his birthday, asking followers to tell him what they would say to humanity given the chance. This video is the result. It is touching, heartwarming, humbling, and shows that many of us have beautiful ideas and hearts. Take the time to watch this.


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