Sunday, September 30, 2012

Updates 9/30/12

Hello everyone.

More stress, more stress. I don't even want to think about anything right now.

Here's the news:

-- [Chuck] The protester turnout in Spain has been amazingly high. Here's an image from yesterday.

-- [Chuck] If you are looking for ideas about how to protest from home, and what you can do to support locals, look here. (great list)

-- [Chuck] A huge concert in New York starring The Foo Fighters, The Black Keys, and Neil Young was performed in front of a huge audience with the low ticket cost of watching videos on topics like poverty and malaria. It was provided by Global Citizen, which you can learn more about in the second link.

-- What's going on in the Romney camp? It seems that even his supporters and advisers believe he doesn't have much of a chance.

-- Protesters in Madrid remained calm and peaceful for hours during an anti-austerity march, but when police moved in to break up the "unauthorized" demonstration, all hell broke loose.

-- Occupy DC is planning their own one-year anniversary celebration, but this one is scheduled to last a week. Check out their plans here.


Thanks for reading and sharing. I'm having even more issues right now, so I hope you understand why today's newsblog is so short. Thanks as always for your support. Things are getting a little bit crazy.

You can contact me at I welcome all thoughts, opinions, and criticisms. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Updates 9/29/12

Hello everyone.

This post is rather late today compared to when I've been posting. I finally got to sleep in for the first time in a few weeks, and I took advantage of that. 

So it's probably time that I let you all in on why I was panicking a bit and asking for positive thoughts. 

Sometimes, when you have a potentially life-saving surgery, your mindset changes. You get confused about the things you are doing, and the reasons behind them. For me, a major thought came to the forefront over and over again. 

Before I had the surgery, I was already having thoughts that Sociology may not be right for me. One of my professors sat down with me and we talked about how Sociology and activism don't really go hand in hand. You have to be objective, and if you're an activist, you have to PROVE that you're objective. While that objectivism (in my research) isn't an issue for me, proving it might be. We also talked about how, as a Sociologist, you need to be less focused on changing the world, and more focused on explaining it. I will be forever grateful to her for the honesty she displayed during that chat.

After the surgery, I had nothing but time to think. I became so introspective. I wanted to figure out why I had these bad feelings. Why I felt like I was doing something horribly wrong. I didn't know if it was sociology or grad school in general. I didn't know if it was normal to feel this way about your field. I didn't know. I cried. I talked to people. I called my mother at 2 in the morning, screaming in tears. Then... I figured it out. 

I needed to go back to linguistics. While sociology is a brilliant field, with great teachers and fantastic peers (I mean that, they are amazing), the actual CONTENT was not for me. I started emailing my old linguistics professor to ask her for advice and help. At first, she was more concerned with my health. Then she realized I was serious. She asked me what I wanted to do, and I told her. She said it would be difficult. I need to make lots of calls, fill out forms and applications, and before all that, the department needs to be willing to accept me. The Director was leaving town the next day, which made things even harder.

My advisor caught up to her before she left. The Director is the one who has to sign the forms saying they will accept me, and my funding. BIG DEAL. If I don't get funding, I don't get school Simple as that. The Director listened to what my advisor had to say, then came up with a plan. A faculty meeting was scheduled for that day. Even though the Director couldn't be there, she said that the advisor should bring it up in the meeting, and she would go along with whatever the faculty decided. They had the meeting that afternoon.

Not one faculty member objected to my return to the field.

So now I'm working on paperwork, applications, phone calls, and the like. I will be starting up in linguistics next week. I have a lot of catching up to do, but it's worth it.

I don't feel panicked or wrong anymore.

Let's get to the news.

-- [Chuck] Just last night in the Gateway to the West (aka St. Louis) the Mayor announced that the city will be taking drastic measures to curb the recent rise in youth violence. He is instituting a city-wide curfew, city-wide dress code, and arrests for anyone who violate these or loiter in certain locations. There will be no warnings for these kids, just arrests. The mayor addressed concerns about the Constitution by saying that the recent upswing in violence constitutes probable cause (no, it doesn't), that the extreme measures are justified (nope), and that anyone walking, riding a bicycle, or driving a car will be searched and must have a state ID (so not legal, I think my head is going to implode.) Minors who violate curfew or are seen out during school hours will be arrested on sight. 

That's it. I've lost it. You ready for a rant? Here's a rant:

What on Earth makes this man and his fellow leaders think that they are justified in violating the Constitution? Seriously?! The law states that you must have probable cause for a search, and a sweeping remark about the rise in violence in a city does NOT constitute that for any individual, no matter how you attempt to interpret it. It just doesn't make sense. I understand the severity of the situation. I live only a few hours from St. Louis now, and my hometown is less than an hour away. I used to visit St. Louis all the time. The violence is a problem. But is arresting every home-schooled child sent to the store for a gallon of milk, or every teen who stays home to help Mom with a sick brother and runs out to grab medicine going to fix the problem? NO. Is arresting every person wearing Crimson or Royal Blue going to make it so no one joins gangs? If you think the answer to that is yes, you've got some serious logic issues. These teens can't even be out after 10 p.m. on any day of the week now. Nada. If you have a job that runs late, you better get your ass home before the cops see you, or you're in a gang and going to jail, no questions asked, no reasons accepted. This is not going to fix anything. In fact, it's going to clog the court systems. Massive amounts of searches will be declared unconstitutional and thrown out. Police budgets will skyrocket as these already overworked officers are now forced to arrest not only criminals, but a kid waiting for their ride home on the street corner. This has to be one of the most faulty decisions for stopping crime that I have ever seen. ARG.

-- After the charges were dropped against the hundreds in Chicago in a park, multiple articles came out describing what was going on. Now the Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is having a bit of a fit. He says they are appealing the ruling, saying that the judge was comparing "apples and oranges" when he decided the case after concluding that Occupiers were arrested but President Obama's rally attendees were not. The mayor believes the ruling will be reversed.

-- [Chuck] A lot of banks are hypocritical, but this story may take the cake. Wells Fargo advertises heavily to the Latino/a population, with one of their prized points being that you do not need an ID to open an account. That potentially gives undocumented immigrants a chance to safely store their money until they find a way to achieve citizenship. But one man pulled his money out of Wells Fargo as soon as he found out what the bank was actually doing. The problem? Wells Fargo caters to immigrants, but also heavily invests in the private prisons that detain those same undocumented immigrants, making a hefty profit. 

-- Occupy Albany's case for Free Speech in a public park was rejected by a federal court and sent back to a lower one. The judge rejected the motion that the First Amendment violations make it a federal case, saying that his court lacks "original jurisdiction" in the matter, among other reasons.

-- Tom Morello. Serj Tankien. Tim McIlrath. What do these three men have in common? Plenty. First, (They're awesome) they all are in bands that regularly write protest songs of many different forms. Second, they are well known individuals in the Punk-ish Rock-ish scene. And third, they all got together to write a song as a gift for Occupiers. Their new protest anthem "We Are the 99 Percent" can be found at the link, for free. 


To contact me, email Thanks for reading. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Updates 9/28/12

Hello everyone.

I've been feeling loads better lately, although I am a bit depressed right now. See, when I had the surgery, I took a long, hard look at the health insurance offered by the school. It really isn't terrible insurance, at least not by the way insurance works in the US. It's a $100 deductible (great, right?) and 80% of everything is covered. So that is pretty damned awesome. Then I thought about it a little more. First up I had several doctor's visits before the surgery, with several Cat scans and blood tests. The Cat scans with the weird dye run about $800 normally, and I have no clue how much blood tests cost. Emergency visits are expensive too, and I had one of those before the surgery. So let's round that all to a low number, saying I owe about $500 for pre-surgery visits after insurance. The average pre-insurance cost in our area for laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is around $10,000, with another $5,000 tacked on for anesthesia, medication, and outpatient care. Add to that my second emergency room visit the next day, and my overnight hospital stay, the second Cat scan, more blood work... and the total right now pre-insurance is $24,500. If that's roughly accurate, that means that I will be responsible for about $5000 of my surgery (and etc.) costs. It's probably going to be more, because I took the lower average costs for things. I also didn't factor in the costs from the doctors themselves, as our hospital is one where doctors act independently of the hospital, so they charge you independently. 

I do not have $5000. Yikes. My insurance doesn't feel so great anymore. I suppose I am grateful for it though. I could have to pay for it all myself. 

Let's get to it. I've got a busy day, and I bet you do too!

-- [Chuck] Democracy Now! is an interesting TV show where they discuss any and all things related to Democracy. Yesterday, they had some great discussions about Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Corporate Legislature. It's fairly long, but I really enjoyed (read: was mildly disgusted at some parts of) it. The first link is to the Democracy Now! website, where you can watch each piece individually. The second link is the entire show from yesterday, if you'd rather watch it all at once. 

-- [Chuck] Are you one of our readers from outside the United States, and want to know if and how you can get involved? Well, we love you for coming here, and here's a link from GlobalNoise that shows multiple protests across the world! There are dozens of events listed and described from at least 20 countries. 

-- [Chuck] As European countries are swarmed with protesters due to their austerity measures, one has to ask: Why are they doing these measures anyway? Enter New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who writes a piece to explain what is really happening in the governments of countries like Spain and Greece. What can be done about these serious issues? What caused them in the first place? He writes understandable explanations and offers his advice and opinions.

-- Great news out of Chicago today. A judge has ruled that due to the differential enforcement of a park's curfew hours, over 90 protesters will have their arrests thrown out. The judge ruled the arrests unconstitutional, citing a rally for President Obama in the park that also broke curfew, but brought no police action.

-- The last-ditch motion to stop a judge and prosecutors from receiving an Occupier's tweets has been denied. Twitter had fought back against the demands for the tweets, citing their policy that tweets belong to an individual, not the company. The tweets will now be available for use in court, causing great disappointment to both Twitter and the Occupier facing charges.

-- The city of Austin has lost their case against Occupiers, as the judge ruled that their ban on protesters attending demonstrations was, in fact, unconstitutional. The judge provides a list of stipulations required to be followed in order to provide such a ban, and notes that the city did not follow them, instead opting to prevent individuals from attending an open-forum in a park through threats. 

-- London's new anti-squatter laws are officially in effect, and one man will be spending up to 12 weeks in jail after breaking them. Many feel the punishment is excessive, and that he is having an example made out of him. The new law makes it illegal to occupy someone's property without their consent. The man was squatting with two other people while they looked for work in the city. Those two are also facing trial soon. 


To contact me, email 

Thanks to all of you who read and share.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Updates 9/27/12

Hello everyone. 

I'm still panicking and nervous over what's going on in my life right now, but I feel resigned to the fact that it isn't going to be a successful endeavor. I haven't received news yet, but it feels as if I'm not going to achieve the goal I have, which means that I will be stuck and sad where I am now. I cannot make public what I'm concerned with yet, and I apologize for that. If it doesn't happen, I won't be telling anyway, because I don't want to cause hostility between myself and a few others who may feel as if I'm trying to reject them through this. That wouldn't be the case, of course, but I have no doubt that it would be seen as such. I just feel so sad...

Let's get to the news. 

-- [Chuck] While people sit in trees to block TransCanada from completing the Keystone XL Pipeline, things have gotten horrible for those activists in Texas. Police have pepper sprayed and tased them, after scratching open wounds into their arms, which they have locked together on logging machinery meant to tear down trees. The activists managed to remain calm despite the pain they were in, but mutually reassuring each other that it would be okay. (This seems to be extremely out of order for the police. These people are OBVIOUSLY not causing any physical harm to people, yet they decided to use tactics meant for criminals on them. I would say to the activists, "Thank you for standing strong and continuing to fight back." I would say to the police, "This is not okay. You need to be immediately removed from duty until you can undergo remedial training on weapons discharge and methods. Obviously, you have an emotional -or financial- charge in this as well, otherwise you would not be so hasty as to harm individuals who can generally be classified as "harmless.")

-- [Chuck] Here's a great blog sort of post that has a ton of interesting articles included. It discusses everything from how Mitt Romney isn't the only liar in this campaign (to which I say 'I think I knew that, but thanks for the actual proof. Much obliged!'), to the riots and protests in Spain, to what it is like for the people in Pakistan who know of America only through drone attacks, which often kill not only the citizens, but also first responders. (I read through several of these before deciding to post this. It's chock-full of pertinent information for anyone interested in both domestic and world news and politics. Great link, Chuck!)

-- The Occupy encampment on Market Street in San Francisco is gone, raided in a surprise visit by police around midnight last night. While many people involved left immediately to avoid arrest, two protesters took up bullhorns to remind police that they were, in fact, protesters, not a homeless encampment. Police had been warning individuals that sleeping on the sidewalk is "illegal lodging." Police moved quickly to prevent backup protesters from arriving on scene.

-- UC Davis has reached a settlement with the 21 student demonstrators who were leisurely pepper sprayed by a police officer last fall. Each of the victims will receive $30,000, with their attorneys splitting $250,000, and an additional $100,000 set back for anyone else who may be able to prove they were also sprayed in the incident. It totals roughly one million dollars.

-- [Chuck] Consumerism is a major issue here in the States, with billions (if not more) of dollars being spent each year. Here. CNET wants to take you on a journey to understand something about being a consumer, which we would not normally see or even consider during our purchase plans. What is it about the iPhone that makes everyone want one? How is it made? Who makes it? What kind of conditions are the working in? These questions, and more, are examined here.

-- Student debt is setting records left and right. Earlier this year, it broke the trillion dollar mark. Now, another record has been broken, with the news that nearly 1 in 5 people are saddled with student debt. The study also shows that the debt disproportionately affects the young and poor, a sad thing to see in an already sluggish economy.


Oh My GOSH! It seems that my feeling was wrong! I've gotten in touch with someone, and it appears that what I've been hoping for, and so scared would NOT happen, will be going through. I will tell you all more about it once I get the ball rolling on this. But for now, I want to thank each and every one of you for your positive thoughts, energies, and prayers. It means so much to me to have your support, even if I haven't yet told you why.

I sound so cryptic, don't I? 

Might as well make it sound like an advertisement. "Tune in next week for more info on what's going on!" Just kidding. I'll let you all know soon! :D


To contact me, email Thanks. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Updates 9/26/12

Hello everyone.

Wish me luck today, please. I can't tell you why yet, but I need it. 

-- The revolution occurring in Spain is remarkable in so many ways. Corporate media is estimating crowds at 6,000. People in attendance say that number is drastically less than reality. Some counts estimate between 100-150,000 people. A hundred thousand or more people. There are several links for this today, and each one of them deserves a read. First, why are the Spaniards Occupying to begin with? Will they be able to influence or dissolve the Parliament? 

-- [Chuck] Secondly, here's a blog from a person who has attended their protests. Included are videos and images, as well as a personal account of what happened. Scroll down a bit to be sure to read the post titled "Battlefield Madrid."

-- [Chuck] In the previous link, the author talks about police being surrounded. They weren't kidding. Here's an astounding photo of it.

-- [Chuck] Spain isn't the only country in protest though. A 24-hour general strike is happening today, in a country we've all been hearing about- Greece. The Grecians are angry about the planned austerity measures, many of which are detailed in the link. (These so-called "measures" have obviously not been measured. Reading these things makes me extraordinarily angry and sad.)

-- Occupy Oakland has big plans for next month. The group plans to retake the Frank H. Ogawa Plaza on October 25th. 

-- Who would allow this ad to be run? I'm sorry, I know that we have free speech, but I think that if you are going to buy a full-page ad in a newspaper, the paper should at the very least fact-check your ad to make sure you aren't telling blatant lies. These papers didn't. Follow the link to see one of the most lie-packed advertisements you have ever seen. Remember, I'm no fan of President Obama or Republican Candidate Mitt Romney. I just can't believe someone would have the balls to lie about all this. If this were a blatant attack of lies against Mitt Romney, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'd be just as mad. (Read: I hate liars. I cannot stand them. It's my biggest pet peeve.)


To contact me, email Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Updates 9/25/12

Hello everyone.

Had Cat scans and blood work yesterday again. More bruises. Surgeon says I'm not recovering as fast as I should be, which means that I have to take another week off of school This makes three weeks now. This isn't good. I've already missed three weeks of statistics classes. You don't do that. You don't miss out on stats. I have a feeling I'm not going to do so well in this class.

On to the news. 

-- [Chuck] Violence against women is a horrible thing in our world, yet it happens in every country around the world. Eve Ensler is an activist and playwright who wrote The Vagina Monologues, and is now calling on all those opposed to violence against women to join together and dance until the violence ends. The movement is called "One Billion Rising." The first link is an interview with Ensler concerning the movement, while the second link is for the movement page itself.

-- [Chuck] Today is the day that the people of Spain set out to say they've had enough. They have plans to surround the Spanish Parliament in order to turn it into a symbol for the kidnapping of the institution and rescue by the people. In the first link, there is a full description of what is going on, why this is needed, and what the people plan to do about it. The second link (from me) is concerning the police in the situation, who have already sealed off the Parliament building.

-- A U.S. Representative may have a little bit of paranoia mixed in with his suspicions about being stalked and burglarized. Rep. Bill Young believes that Occupiers and the Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN) are "after" him. Police say there is no evidence of a break-in, but rather a storm door with a faulty lock blowing open. No footprints were found, despite the rainy conditions that would have caused tracks into the home. There are several more incidents that this Representative talks about. Read them here. (It's interesting, in an "Are you sure you should run for another term" sort of way.)

-- [Chuck] The Keystone XL pipeline construction is heavily underway, but several people have taken matters into their own hands to stop it. Eight activists have climbed trees to form a blockade against the machinery devastating the lands. From the looks of one of the pictures posted, they don't have to do much, as the workers flipped one of their own heavy-duty machines. (No one was hurt.)

-- There are a lot of rumors swirling about Occupy and the President of Iran. Supposedly, President Ahmadinejad was to meet with Occupiers, but later articles say that Occupiers instead denied and denounced him. This comes after he reportedly said that Israel has no ties to the Middle East and would be "eliminated." 

Lastly, this is kind of "news," but it's also hilarious and terrifying at the same time. After Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's wife's plane had to make an emergency landing due to smoke filling the plane, Romney mused on his concerns about what could have happened. Here is a quote:

“I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were,” Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem."

I wish this wasn't serious. I really do. When I first saw this, I really expected to read a retraction from the major news site it was on, saying they made a mistake by citing a satirical news site, such as The Onion. Only it's not. It is serious. This man flies all across the country to campaign, yet cannot figure out why you don't want the windows on your plane to open. That is, like I said, hilarious and terrifying. It's hilarious because... I mean, look at that. That's funny. How do you not know about that?? It's terrifying, because a man who doesn't know even basic details about things we all know is running for President of our country. Some people say that it has no bearing on his possible Presidency. I disagree. If a man can't even be curious enough to look up a small detail that he doesn't know about something he does ALL THE TIME, or take the time to look at one of the million news stories about how decompression caused injuries or death, can we really expect him to do his research about anything while IN Presidency?

Just sayin'.

Here's one of the many links to this story.


To contact me, email Thanks.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Updates 9/24/12

Hello everyone.

The news is short today. I may have an infection, and the doctor wants to see me asap.

-- [Chuck] Ever wonder where many of your techie products come from? You don't have to wonder now. Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, has recently been thrown into the spotlight for their harsh working conditions and a slew of workers who committed suicide. what does this have to do with you? Plenty.

-- What has been going on lately with the police. Just yesterday, a story broke of a man in a wheelchair being shot in the head by police as he brandished an ink pen at them. This story looks specifically at the rash of police involved killings in Oakland, and how they're trying to get answers out of police.

-- We had S17, now get ready for S30. In Boston, Occupy is planning a reunion, and police aren't happy about it. 


To contact me, email Thanks.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Updates 9/23/12

Hello everyone.

We have a bunch of good links today, and I feel horrible. So we're making things short and sweet (kinda).

-- [Chuck] In an amazing course of events, the protesting students in Quebec have a lot to celebrate, as their demands become reality.

-- [Chuck] How has Occupy affected our world? In this interview, a journalist and an organizer sit down together to discuss.

-- [Chuck] When this woman got arrested at a protest, her relative said they'd never protest again. Read here to see why she said she'll be back. (This is a great story.)

-- [Chuck] The Social Good Summit is a unification of the greatest minds in innovation and technology, and this year they want your help.

-- Over 500 activists from multiple groups stormed in to San Diego to protest Wal-Mart, both for its "Everyday Low Wages," and its building on a historic spot.

-- Occupy Unmasked is already the top Documentary on Amazon, an amazing feat considering it hasn't been released yet. Even more amazing, considering that, is the many glowing reviews of the film by people who have pre-ordered, but yet to receive, the DVD. (Hmm...)

-- Lastly today, are you one of those people who forgets to vote? What about those individuals who DO vote, but find out that they are supposed to vote on an issue they aren't aware of? Enter TurboVote, a brand new website that will not only help you register, but also offers reminders to let you know what to expect on the ballot. Get informed!


To contact me, email Thanks. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Updates 9/22/12

Hello everyone.

The Corporate Media has once again gotten stuck in a deep groove of a 45. (If you don't understand what that means, you're a youngin'.) They're ignoring any current protests, and continuously discussing the one year anniversary, what Occupy means, how occupy has failed/succeeded/disappeared/reappeared. They're also obsessing about the Occupy Unmasked "movie," which was recently released into theaters. 

So first up we have a couple links from Charles/Chuck, and after that I'm going to show you some of the more interesting (and sometimes asinine) articles that I've found. File this one under "Things That Make Kitty Hiss." (It's come to my attention that I've been calling Charles by the wrong name. I greatly apologize for this. Charles goes by Chuck, and I just didn't even notice that. Henceforth, Charles will be referred to by Chuck, unless he asks me to do different. Sorry, Chuck!)

-- [Chuck] The Lakota people have had quite enough of the destruction of their sacred land and water, and are concerned about all people who live in the region. They have organized to stop any construction on the Keystone XL (KXL) oil pipeline that, if approved, would run from Canada to (at least) Nebraska. The pipeline would be buried in aquifers the people use, and water supplies would likely be poisoned from tar sands and waste water ponds.

-- [Chuck] When our dollar worth goes down, most people incorrectly blame population increases, job losses, or the president. But who really should take the blame for this? Enter "End the Fed," a group of activists who want to end the un-elected group of banks that control inflation, set interest rates, and choose who will receive bailouts. But why are these banks allowed to do this, and how do we stop them? Go here to learn more.

-- In San Francisco, a small Occupy camp remains on Market Street, but many who stay there aren't Occupiers, according to the media and several city officials. While the group does hand out flyers and information, police officers and street cleaners say that the majority of the people inside the camp are homeless, who take advantage of the settlement area. Some Occupiers say they are not happy with the way things are going. While Occupy wants to draw attention to the plight of the homeless in the city, they are instead being associated directly with them. The term "slacktivist" is being thrown around quite a bit.

-- Here's a review of the Breitbart masterpiece by someone who claims to be an Occupier. He agrees with some of the messages in the film, saying that the fringe groups are a big part of Occupy and that the film has propaganda, but is an eye opener. He talks about a conversation he had with a student, where he couldn't understand the student's desire to attend college without having to take out loans. (Personally, I would like to have a chat with this man. He seems to want to understand, but has difficulty understanding why some people cannot work for a year and save to pay for college. As someone who absolutely had (and still has) to take out student loans, I feel like an open and honest discussion with him could show him some of the bigger problems arising from this situation.)

-- In an interview concerning the film, a CNN reporter discussed Occupy with the President of Citizens United. She told him it seemed unfair to judge an entire movement by the actions of the few bad apples within. This opinion piece details the interaction, and calls her out for attempting to "protect" the movement, while simultaneously denying any sort of racism from the Tea Party. (It's funny. The author claims that CNN is trying to "show the worst of the Tea Party and argue for the best of OWS." But isn't that what the author is doing here as well? He brings up all the greatest talking points about the Tea Party while disparaging the worst of Occupy. I see it as this. If you want to compare groups, you have to argue about them fro the same level. You can't lift one onto a pedestal by talking about their most premier members while tossing the other in the dump by looking at their worst. If you're going to compare them, look at the worst OR best of both. If you make this argument, like this author did, you are being entirely hypocritical.)

-- Here's an article about why this person thinks Occupy failed. That's it. That's all I'm saying about it. We haven't changed any laws and we don't have lobbyists, so we suck, apparently. (Idiot.)


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Friday, September 21, 2012

Updates 9/21/12

Hello everyone.

I think today is the first day that I've actually been glad to be stuck at home. There is some crazy stuff happening at my university. First, a threat (of some sort, they won't tell us what) was mailed in to the university post office. Because the sender used the USPS to mail it, the FBI showed up to investigate. They don't think it's a credible threat, but still won't reveal what it was. Then, last night around 11 p.m., the university received a bomb threat on the Brush Towers, which are the three "skyscraper" dorms that house thousands of students. Each building has 17 floors, and every floor has upwards of forty students. It took them about 30 minutes to evacuate, according to the news, and bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in. Two hours later, the students were given the all-clear and allowed back in. A lot of the students are pretty afraid to go to classes now. We aren't sure what's going on. Apparently the FBI is still on campus, from what I've heard. This is some really scary stuff. Usually when we get threats, it's proven false pretty quickly and they catch the person doing it. I don't even know if they have a suspect. If you want to read what little there is about this story, follow the link. 

But our university isn't the only one with problems. I've heard that multiple other universities have been receiving threats recently. 

-- With students in mind, a friend on Facebook posted this story/petition. This is a truly horrifying event that this young man went through, and his attackers should be caught and brought to justice. This young man is Jewish, and was attacked by two men who said they were part of the KKK, performed a Hitler salute, and stapled his mouth shut while other party-goers watched. The police are saying this is NOT a hate crime.

-- [Charles] In Illinois, workers have set up an encampment outside a factory owned by Bain Capital to protest the plans to close the plant and move it to China. Workers are calling on Romney to help save their jobs. The mayor supports the encampment, called "Bainport," and has defended it against calls to remove it. Here is an interview with two of the workers and the mayor. 

-- [Charles] What do we know about GMOs, and what can we do about them? This article addresses the facts associated with the food supply and biotech companies, to differentiate between what is the truth, and what the companies want you to think. 

-- [Charles] Speaking of foods, people in Greece are facing more and more extreme difficulties in securing food and health care for themselves and their families. Hospitals are open, but the staff are protesting wage cuts, and the delay of payment for over two months. Elderly, children, and even healthy people are digging through marketplace garbage to find food, with some denying their actions, trying to retain dignity. This article details how the people are surviving, if only barely.

-- Two Occupiers are suing for false arrests, and their lawsuit names Ray Kelly, Anthony Bologna, and New York City itself. They are challenging their arrests from the first week of the movement last year, saying that both were arrested while legally walking on the sidewalk after being trapped by police netting. 


To contact me, email Thanks.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Updates 9/20/12

Hello everyone.

Trying to get a hold of your surgeon because of concerns about one of your incisions is like trying to pull a rabbit out of your hat with real magic. You might get it eventually, but damn, you're gonna have to try hard.

Here's a bit of a humorous conversation I had with a receptionist.

Me: "Hi, I had surgery with Dr. Martin on Friday, and I was wondering about one of the incisions, but I can't find the phone number to follow up..."

Receptionist: "This coming Friday or last Friday?"

Me: "........Last Friday."

I can apparently travel through time now. Who knew?

On to the news!

-- [Charles] We have a few (belated) birthday messages for Occupy! The first is a video of the OWS Birthday Party, describing the movement and many involved in it. The second is a birthday compilation, as a gift from the crew of The Illuminator!

-- [Charles] People in India are striking and marching against government plans to open the country to global supermarket chains. Officials say the chains are needed to fix the lagging economy, but unions and smaller shops fear that the larger businesses will mean bankruptcies and job and business losses. 

-- As Apple customers settle into line in NYC to wait for the release of the iPhone 5, they aren't alone. Occupiers have been steadily creeping into line near them, apparently planning a protest against the slave labor used to produce the phones by Apple in China. One of the customers waiting in line quipped, "They have nicer sleeping bags than we do." 

-- George Zimmerman claims self-defense for killing Trayvon Martin, saying that the young man reached for his weapon before he was able to shoot him. A problem has arisen for Zimmerman concerning that story, as Martin's DNA was not found on the gun or holster. It seems he will not be using the "Stand your Ground" law as his defense, as the case does not fit the qualifications.

-- At UC Davis, prosecutors have decided not to pursue criminal charges against the police officer who pepper sprayed a group of sitting students back in November. While school officials ruled that too much force was used, it was also found that the police officers involved genuinely believed they were in a hostile situation. The prosecution says there is insufficient evidence that the use of force was illegal.

-- Twitter has given the deleted tweets over to the court, with the stipulation that they remain sealed until an Appellate Court rules this Friday. The company was going to be forced to reveal their profits, which the private company did not want to do. They also faced large fines. The man facing charges in the case is unhappy with the results, of course.

-- [Charles] Here is a brilliant article by Truth-Out, discussing the minimum wage, and why it needs to go up. They give real statistics and examples here, and detail why those at the top aren't so interested in that happening. But here's the dig: We, as a country, overwhelmingly want that wage to rise. Yet they still won't do it.


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Updates 9/19/12

Hello everyone.

I hope you are all doing well. I'm starting to feel so much better. I usually have terrible stomach cramps and other issues, and besides the leftover muscle pain (and severe itchiness OMG SO ITCHY) from surgery, I've really had no stomach pain at all since the operation. It's amazing when you get so used to having these terrible pains, and then you find out that no, that isn't normal, and yes, it can be fixed. So nice! But really though, I cannot stop from wanting to scream at how super-itchy this is. Don't worry, I'm being good and not scratching at them. I've been scratching around them, so I can get at least a little relief, making sure I don't disturb the actual area. 

I tell you these things like you care about the state of my itchiness... Haha.. Sorry about that. :) 

Let's get on to the news. We've got Occupy stuff and international stuff today.

-- [Charles] Jesse Ventura has always been pretty outspoken about his beliefs, and this video is no different. In a segment of 'Breaking the Set', host Abby Martin interviews him to discuss the two-party system and the war crimes of the USA.

-- While I don't agree with some of the rhetoric against the police in this opinion piece, it does get better as you read. The author talks about the movements of S17, and how police and Occupiers acted and reacted on that day. It's pretty interesting. 

-- [Charles] This note from Occupy Roseburg says perfectly what many people think about Occupy. It's a thank you letter and note of encouragement and action all rolled neatly into a paragraph.

-- [Charles] This blogger from Reuters responds to the scathingly anti-Occupy letter by Andrew Sorkin, in which Sorkin decries Occupy for "not getting anything done." You can read why this blogger thinks that's inaccurate, as well as look at Sorkin's post.

-- An Occupier involved in a protest had been charged with assaulting an officer. The man was being arrested when he began to convulse, causing officers to race to get an ambulance on scene. Rumors are circulating that a stun gun was used on the man, but police say that is untrue.

Now let's move on to international news.

-- In France, officials have said they will not approve protests concerning the anti-Islam film put out by some idiot here in America. They are ramping up security details to prevent any incidents from getting out of hand. To add insult to injury, a satirical magazine in the country will be running a comic that pictures the prophet Mohammad--an action considered blasphemy by Muslims.

-- The confrontations over a group of islands and ocean between several Asian countries are reaching boiling points. Anti-Japan riots burst out in China recently, leaving the government to clean up the mess after it was discovered that Japan purchased the islands. It is unlikely that the territorial disputes will end anytime soon.

-- In Georgia, angry citizens have taken to the streets to protest the treatment of prisoners after footage was released showing prison guards violently torturing them. People carried images of relatives who have been beaten and sexually assaulted by guards, and the minister in charge of prisons has resigned in the wake of the allegations. 

-- Rumors are swirling that Israel is preparing to launch an attack on Iran, and the US may not be far behind in assistance. In a recent show of strength, the US military and 29 other countries have begun a mine-clearing exercise in the Persian Gulf. The show of force comes at a time when tensions continue to escalate.


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