Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Updates 10/10/12

Hello everyone.

My wife's computer is on the fritz, and I took quite a bit of time last night trying to fix it. Now I'm up early, and dragging around the house cleaning before the Terminix guy gets here. My brain is trying to tell me that 4 hours of sleep is not enough to function on. It didn't help that I overloaded on caffeine while I was frustrated at two in the morning... I hope I'll remember that next time.

On to the news.

-- Fishermen have been protesting the construction of the world's third largest dam across the Xingu River in Brazil's Amazon, and now they have been joined by protesters from at least six groups of indigenous peoples. The fisherman say the construction companies have ignored their agreements and closed dialogue with them, while the indigenous peoples are concerned about the massive displacement and environmental impacts. 

-- [Chuck] US oil giant Chevron is unhappy with a ruling by the Supreme Court that refuses to block a judgment from an Ecuadorian court. The case was originally against Texaco, which Chevron bought in 2001. The ruling stated that Texaco contaminated land in the country for almost thirty years, and ordered the company to pay $8.6 billion, which has gone up to almost $19 billion because the company refused to publicly apologize. Chevron claims the ruling is fraudulent and not enforceable under New York law.

-- [Chuck] The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to test drones over US airspace, conducting search and rescue missions, surveillance, chemical searches from the air, and flight tests in the name of "public safety." They are calling for drone manufacturers to supply the testing drones, which must have Infra-red sensors and chemical search capabilities. The FAA expects as many as 30,000 drones to be working in US airspace by 2020.

-- Occupiers in San Francisco have found an interesting way to get their point across. A group called OccupyILWG (Ideological Liberation Working Group) has developed trading cards that show the faces, biographical information, and crimes of Wall Street moguls and bankers. They are handing them out at the recently raided campsite by the Federal Reserve Building.

-- [Chuck] Remember the RFID chipped ID cards that students in Texas are being forced to carry? Well, it's getting worse. Students who refuse to wear the tracking chips, citing their right to privacy, are now experiencing backlash against them. Students say teachers have been punishing them, and that they are not allowed to participate in school functions, such as voting for homecoming participants, without the new ID, even though they were expressly told their old IDs would work all four years of school. One girl's family went to the Deputy Superintendent to stop the issues, and was turned away after he refused to stop criticizing the program. According to a member of Texans for Accountable Government, the problems don't just end with the school. She was able to pay $30 for a Freedom of Information Act request, and was given the names and addresses of every student at the school. (Holy shit. That's seriously ridiculous. How much danger are they willing to put these children in?! Some of the things said in this article are awful. You should read it to see how the administration reacts.)


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