Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Updates 1/16/13

Hello everyone!

Yesterday was a frustrating day, to be certain. I wrote the news blog yesterday, even though you didn't see it. I wonder about the wisdom of our monopolized utilities companies sometimes. Like yesterday, when our power company decided that they would shut off the power to our entire complex all day, while they changed a transformer. I can't help but wonder if it couldn't have waited until next week, when it is supposed to mildly warm up again, or if they could have done it last week, when it was sixty degrees and very mild outside. Instead, they decided to shut off the power for several hours in 25 degree (F) weather. So I had the blog all written up when they shut it off, and I was a bit on the "You've got to be kidding me," side of things. Without any further delay, here's the news from both yesterday and today.

-- Over 400 Occupiers from Oakland filed suit against Oakland and Alameda County for their arrests last year, which they say violated their civil rights. The suit is a class-action one, and adds that protesters were not given a dispersal order before being arrested. (Personally, I'm just glad to see someone suing Alameda County. Every time I watched a livestream, it was almost always the Alameda County sheriff's office deputies who were being violent. It made me so angry that no one could stop them.)

-- [Chuck] In America right now, we have one of the most shameful problems, and it isn't the people plagued by it that should be ashamed. It's the rest of us. We have so many resources in this country -- in this world -- that no one should have to be homeless. Here's a great idea: a petition to create a homeless bill of rights so we can start to help those who need it.

-- [Chuck] Think insurance companies want to help you? You'd be dead wrong. Even with the disastrously tragic events we've had in the world in the past decade, insurance companies are still well in the black, making millions. How can this affect you? Here's one story from the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand.

-- [Chuck] This is a pretty good reminder of what has happened throughout the past year, brought to you by Al Jazeera.

-- In Tacoma, Lady Gaga started off her tour with the Born Brave Bus, a sort of tailgating vehicle meant to allow people to feel comfortable and safe no matter who they are. While this seems like a great idea (and I think it is) there are some people unwilling to allow it. Conservative groups including the Florida Family Association (what the hell were they doing in Washington state?) hired an airplane to fly over the concert hauling a banner that stated "NOT Born this way."

-- In France, employees of the Peugeot automobile factory brought production to a halt in an Occupy-style protest against the eventual selling of the factory. The struggling auto company said it was fire or lay off over 8000 people last year. 

-- [Chuck] Coca-Cola has finally admitted that its Dasani brand of water (at least in the UK) is nothing but bottled and refrigerated tap water. (To this I say great, at least we know that it's regulated and tested, unlike other bottled waters that do not come from tap sources.)

-- The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the Israeli government can legally remove the tents of Palestinian protesters who stood up against the Israeli government's most recent land grab. The Supreme Court agreed with the argument that leaving the tents up could attract "violent Palestinian protests," which is one of the worst excuses and obvious passes I've ever seen.


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