Thursday, October 18, 2012

Updates 10/18/12

Hello everyone.

They couldn't save my tooth. Yay.. I'm minus another molar. It really doesn't make sense. I brush and floss regularly, and take the best care of my teeth that I can. I still have teeth and fillings breaking. My dentist is even confused. It's like my saliva is caustic or something. Who knows? I'm probably going to have false teeth by the time I'm 35. All I can say right now is that at least I have not yet lost any teeth really visible to others. 

On to the news. 

-- [Chuck] Thousands of students hit the streets in Madrid and dozens of other cities across Spain to protest against major cuts to education. The students are angry not only because funding for education is being dropped, but also because the country's government is still pouring money into banks while cutting it. Grants, scholarships, and textbook subsidies are disappearing while class size and tuition are dramatically rising. 

-- The tricky actions of the FBI are annoying TruthOut, which filed for Freedom of Information requests concerning their surveillance of Occupy. The FBI told TruthOut reporters that no such information existed, and an appeal declared the same thing. Later on, the FBI admitted they may have found some files on Occupy, but have not yet sent anything. Now TruthOut is filing a lawsuit. Read this article by one of the reporters who is requesting the info to find out more about what's going on.

-- [Chuck] TransCanada is facing some unlikely opposition to their Keystone XL Pipeline, and for good reason. Texas residents are usually quite happy to allow oil pipelines to criss-cross their state, as long as the company uses local workers and American products. But TransCanada is having none of that. The steel they are using is mostly manufactured elsewhere, and they aren't guaranteeing local workers. Texas residents are fighting back, but the oil giant is having parcels of their lands condemned by the courts in order to take them. The usually calm Texas landowners are getting arrested, filing hundreds of lawsuits, allowing activists on their land, and doing anything and everything they can to stop this land-grabbing corporation.

-- [Chuck] When these corporate bosses sent out emails warning their employees about the results of their votes, many of us cried "Illegal!!!" But it turns out that thanks to Citizens United, it is no longer against the law to politically campaign to your employees. In a conference call on June 6, Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney actually encouraged employers to tell their workers what they believed would happen if President Obama wins. The recording of this call is included in this article. Also mentioned in the article is that thanks to Citizens United, it could be legal to force employees, under threats of termination, to campaign for them. 

-- Occupy Des Moines is busy this week, as the World Food Prize Foundation's awards ceremony is going on this week. The Foundation presents awards to people who help improve the quality and availability of food to reduce world hunger. While this sounds like a very positive event, many believe that it is actually hurting by convincing farmers to focus more on profit and GMOs than the safety of the food and environmental concerns. Several people in the protests plan on getting arrested today as they hope to disrupt the event.

-- Trinity Church in NYC has canceled their annual children's Halloween celebration, and they're placing the blame squarely on Occupy. The church is blaming the protest group for the loss of the event due to the Occupation surrounding the church, saying they are worried for the safety of those who would attend. According to church officials, the Occupiers protesting the church regularly harass people and block the sidewalk, and in one cased caused serious and continuous injury to a custodian by blowing an air horn directly into his ear.

-- While not Occupy related, a man named Quazi Mohammed Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, from Bangladesh, has been arrested after he used dummy supplies from the FBI to attempt to blow up the Federal Reserve building in lower Manhattan. He had previously attended Southeast Missouri State University (a mere hour drive from us here; we call the school SEMO - pronounced see-mo) where no one suspected that he would have tried to commit such an act. Some media outlets are calling him "Mohammad," even though he actually went by Quazi (pronouced Khazi) according to former fellow students.

-- Lastly, some crazy person has been hanging up flyers in Oakland, asking people to bring out their baseball bats and other weapons to attack anarchists and vandals during the next Occupy march. No one is claiming responsibility for the flyers, but the group listed on them is called DOOM, aka Defend Our Oakland Movement. City officials are extremely unhappy with the flyers, saying that the person placing them is "obviously an extremist and crazy." (I certainly agree. What the heck? Not all anarchists are vandals, and not all vandals are anarchists. Not only that, but asking people to come out and use brute physical force to harm people?! Seriously?! Not okay, not at all. It would be different if these people were marching and snatching kids and beating them up or something, but the person distributing these flyers is asking for people to use vigilante justice to harm or possibly even kill people who do things like spray-paint walls and cars or break windows. Are those actions okay? Of course not, but they also don't deserve a punishment of a brutal beat-down at the hands of an angry mob that would VERY LIKELY go overboard. I had previously suggested that other protesters or witnesses try to identify or detain these individuals who contribute to violence, without harming them. I do so again. If you attack someone based on nothing more than the description provided in the flyer "Caucasian, black clothes," then I --and many, many others-- would be beaten to a pulp for doing absolutely nothing! I'm a Caucasian woman wearing all black right now. Does that make me an anarchist? No. Does that make me a vandal? Of course not. Please, use your common sense. Don't cause harm to anyone! It is NOT the right thing to do, and you know it. Stupid groupthink-mob mentality crap makes me want to hide in a closet until the combined idiocy goes away.)


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