Saturday, December 31, 2011

Occupy Portland: Goals & Declaration (Including the complete draft of The Declaration of Occupy Portland)

From 2011-11-17 (Occupy Portland - N17)

End of the year, crawling out of my cave for a minute to throw this up.  I am not sure if this draft has been revised at all…

Blah.  I cannot speak to the health and direction of the local movement.  I’ve been out of the loop in self-imposed exile for a couple weeks.

One thing that pops into my mind glancing over the draft of the declaration is...  Well, it is hard to put into words.  But, basically, it is this...  These are national level statements and demands from a local level organization.

To me, the role of a local level organization is to bring local attention and publicity to the national movement. Early on, OWS released a declaration of demands.  Is Occupy Portland protesting in solidarity with OWS and the national movement, or are they trying to be a local group making a national impact?

My concerns are vague, and I understand the desire to have a specific document to point to when asked by people, "Why are you doing this?"  And that is all well and fine...

To some degree, it strikes the same nerve in me that is tweaked when local city councils make resolutions concerning national and international issues.  It is all fine and dandy, but what does it really mean and how is it really their business?  And, bottom line, for the most part it, is just words.  A city council can decry the, let's use a common example, the invasion of Iraq back in 2003, but there is absolutely nothing they can do about it.

I suppose the purpose of such a declaration as the one below is to say that we, locally, stand in support of those across the country who are upset about these issues, and that is fine.  And protest at a local level is an important part of a national protest movement.

Maybe this is the plan, and from my cave I just haven't heard the plan...  But the real function of a document like this, in my view, would be to, say, be the locally agreed upon platform to be worked out in some sort of national convention where a declaration for the national movement was hammered out.

Alright, I am not expressing my thoughts clearly today.  Back into my cave.  I hope some sense of my vague thoughts came through here...

Anyway, here is some food for thought.
Goals for Occupy Portland | Portland Occupier:
Occupy must not be captured by narrow interests and lose sight of its goals. If we are fighting for the 99%, then we must stand for principles that most of the 99%, and nearly all of us, will agree with. We cannot win a fight for democracy unless we stay focused on what we’re working for, remain unified, and have the support of the majority of the public. We must strive to avoid fractious issues and fighting battles we cannot win.
Occupy Portland needs a simple document that affirms the right of the people to govern and lays down the basic principles on which we all can stand. We can and should evaluate many specific proposals from all of our supporters and take action to support the ones that match our principles, and oppose those that conflict, whether in our city, state, or nation. Issues change; tactics change; principles remain.

The Declaration of Occupy Portland | Portland Occupier:
I have seen a vision of the end of Occupy Portland. It looks like a meeting with no actionable agenda, no notes, and no plan for a follow-up meeting. It is organized–maybe–on Facebook alone. And it will have the phrases “ninety-nine percent”, “unity”, and “positive” repeated upwards of twenty times each.

It looked a lot like the Convention for the Declaration of Occupy Portland, held at the Mission Theater on the night of Sunday, December 19th. If I thought for a second that this meeting was all there was to the Occupation, I might have been convinced that this was the end. Thankfully, I know better. But if you want to quantify the distance between this event and a consensus GA after shutting down the city on a Tuesday afternoon in October, it would be measured in miles.
By Owen Sanders in Occupy Portland 

This is the proposed draft of the national Declaration of Occupy Portland to Congress. The Declaration contains a preamble, which details our grievances, as well as our belief that conservative and liberal ideas are not naturally opposed but are actually naturally complimentary. Next come the 32 demands, which offer a bold and comprehensive set of solutions to our common problems. Then the Second Bill of Rights, as originally envisioned by FDR with some additions to reflect our 21st century needs. The final paragraph details the strategies we will use to get our demands met. Please let me know what you think, and whether you would be willing to adopt this document as our official Declaration!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Burnout Tastes Like Burning… Welcome Solstice & Goodbye 2011

Note: Cross posted from Suburban Eschatology Part Two.


From 2011-12 (Dec)

8:15 PM
I talk about this later in the post, but I wanted to let everyone know right at the top that this will, probably, be the last post until 2012.  I am taking a break.  It’s been a heck of a year, and I’ll be back, fresh and ready, after Winter Break! 

This includes the Photo of the Day on Rubble.  One sign of my burnout is that the Photo of the Day has become the photo of every now and then.  Daily posts will return in 2012.

2:30 PM
Winter Solstice today, thank the Gods!  Now the days start getting longer.  Happy day.  It was also my birthday yesterday.  These days, though, other anniversaries feel like bigger deals than just making another trip around the sun…  It was a nice day, though.

The sun is out and The Big One and I are going to take the dog out for a long walk.  Hopefully I can take some pictures and keep on getting to know the new camera I received for said birthday and for the upcoming holidays.

Yes.  Burnout.  I am very burned out.  It has been a long year.  The new year is not here yet, but I am a year older and the days are getting longer, so this seems as good of a time as any for a 2011 wrap up post.

This is the last task I am knocking down before stepping away from the computers for a couple weeks.  No Photos of the Day (or of the every few days, as it has been going recently), no posts to any blogs, little to no activity anywhere else.  Stick a fork in me, I am done.  Break time.

For the next couple weeks it is about the kids, books, cameras, watching some movies and catching up with some Breaking Bad, Rescue Me, and some other badly neglected shows.

It is going to be some time to get some perspective, to get some rest, and to get ready for 2012. 
This past year was a strange one and not an easy one.  2012 looks to be very different.  No less easy, but definitely more stable. 

2011 was a year when my life was on hold.  I started in California helping my mother with several issues, and ended in Gresham helping my children through several issues.  Those tasks took up the whole year.

But that leaves me in a strange place where my plans for my life in 2012 look exactly like my plans for my life in 2011.  This is not to say that I did not accomplish anything in 2011, far from it.  The work with my family has been tremendously productive and rewarding.  But in 2012, the main goal is to resume work on my own career and to start earning some damn money.

This also not to say that the work with my family is done, of course it is not.  The boys have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go, a lot of healing left.  Their wounds are no longer bleeding, but they are far from being back to normal.  The Big One still has a long ways to go before he is back up to speed with school.  The Little One, well, he has a long way to go before he’s back up to speed with life.

However, the progress they have made since April and May is amazing.  Some solid foundations are now in place and they are both further along than I would have guessed they would be at this point.  They are far enough along where I am feeling pretty good about heading back to work. 

There will be challenges, of course, with this transition, but I think they are part of the growing process now, challenges encouraging growth, not obstacles hindering it.

Time to get out in the sun for a few.  More later.

From 2011-12 (Dec)
From 2011-12 (Dec)
From 2011-12 (Dec)
From 2011-12 (Dec)

6:00 PM
Dog walked, boy walked, errand ran, dinner cooked and served…


I’ve been putting a lot of work in on the RubbleSites for the last couple months, a lot of posts, but even more time spent behind the scenes getting this and that set up.  I feel, for the most part, this work is coming to a close and that, after a few small projects that will be completed after winter break when the boys are back in school, that I am at a point where I can pretty much just focus on content creation.

And that is a good thing, because once I am back to work, there is going to be little time for anything else.  Posts may get shorter, and fewer and further between…  I think my goal at that point will be one decent post for each blog per week, with some other, smaller “feature” type stuff thrown in here and there too. 

Of course, I’ll be keeping up with my photo of the day and throwing music I like up on Retrovirus Lab, too.

So, the plan is, after the break, to take two weeks to finish the construction of these sites and to put a new portfolio together.  Then my full time work and only major project will be landing a new writing contract. 

One of the things that has been a little rough the last month or so is that I’ve fallen into a strange schedule with life.  Since most of the uninterrupted work time I have these days is at night, after everyone is in bed, I’ve become rather nocturnal these days.  I get a few chores done during the day, then the afternoon and evening has been spent working with The Big One and his homework, cooking dinner, usually more work with The Big One and his the homework (let’s face it, it has been more homeschooling than helping with homework), then getting everyone to bed. 

Only then have I found the time to get the serious work done on the bigger projects I’ve been working on, like the One Day on Earth video, the Occupation photos and videos, etc.  Since The Ex One gets up early, she’s been handling the mornings, getting the boys out the door to school.  Through the end of November and up until the last few days, I’ve been going to bed about the same time she’s been getting up to get her and the boys’ day started.

This schedule actually worked pretty well for that period, for the most part.  The Ex One was fresh for the mornings, and I was fresh for the afternoon and evenings, and the boys were spared dealing with a tired and grumpy parent!

Now that the boys are home, though, this schedule is terrible!  Today we hardly got anything done.  I have a few chores I need to complete before I start my break, the day is almost done and I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything.  Of course, on the old schedule, my real work wouldn’t have even started yet, but I am done with the nocturnal thing.

Once I start the job hunt, I will need to be on a normal schedule.  Since it would be murder on me to swing back and forth between day and night schedules every two weeks for the next month or so, I am not.  I am just going to switch to a days only schedule and keep it there.

After break, my days will be compressed into what I can get done while the boys are in school.  That means I will probably be a lot less productive, but there are no big projects, just a few small ones and wrapping up some big ones, so that should be fine.  The challenge will be not getting sucked into any new big projects.

So, for the rest of break, I am taking some time for me.  I might get caught up editing a few pictures here and there, but that is pretty much it.  I have a small project, also, that I need to complete for my mother’s Christmas gift, but that is a small project. I might also finish the One Day video, but probably not until the boys are back in school.

That is the project, the One Day On Earth video,  that was really burning me out, and it is still not done.  I put a lot of time into that video and, at this point, I am not crazy about the results.  With the limitations of the camera I shot the video well, there’s not much more I can really do with it. 

I took a break from the video for the last 10 days or so, once the deadline was extended for a month, to get some distance from it and to make some decisions about it.

Pretty much, I needed to decide if it was something that I wanted to put another 40 to 80 hours in to or was it something I wanted to just wrap up and move on from.  The break was good.  It is time to put a few final touches on it and to move on.  I was thinking about recording new music for it, nope.  I was thinking about re-cutting the whole thing in Lightworks, nope. 

I do need to put a couple more hours into it, but that is all.  Upload it and move on.  But it took several days of distance from it to realize that this was the best thing to do here.

The other big project I still need to finish is editing and posting all the Occupy Portland material.  Of course, that stuff was sort of time sensitive, so the longer I go without posting it, the less relevant it becomes, the less of a priority...  Still, I do want to get it up while it is still something of a current event and before it becomes history.  But at this point, January is fine.

And that is about it.  All that stuff, in a nutshell, was 2011.  And since I am putting everything not done at this point off until 2012, that means my year is done.  And I am tired.  It is time for a long break and a lot of rest.

See you next year.  It should be an interesting one!

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Well, that’s that… Stick a fork in the Iraq war

From 2011-12 (Dec)

Well, not that it was a “war.”  We haven’t fought a “war” since WWII. 

But yeah, it was a war.  It always seemed silly to me when I was a kid that a lot of people made a big deal about Vietnam not being a war.  Sure looked like a war to me.

And the Iraq conflict, apparently, for now, has entered a new phase where we have no boots on the ground except for those tied to the embassy in Baghdad.  Does that mean it is over?  God knows.  I suspect it is not over for the Iraqis but we can all hope for the best.

I wonder how this will go down in the win/loss/tie column?  The Ba’ath Regime definitely lost.  However, when you hear American military personnel talking about the logistical nightmare of pulling out the forces while still under fire from enemy combatants, it seems problematic to call it one in the win column for the United States.

Obama mail in my inbox this A.M…

Friend --

Early this morning, the last of our troops left Iraq.

As we honor and reflect on the sacrifices that millions of men and women made for this war, I wanted to make sure you heard the news.

Bringing this war to a responsible end was a cause that sparked many Americans to get involved in the political process for the first time. Today's outcome is a reminder that we all have a stake in our country's future, and a say in the direction we choose.

Thank you.


Nine years, nearly a trillion dollars later, with perhaps an additional trillion to go over the next 30 years when it comes to taking care of the veterans (figures from NPR), and, well, I just do not know….

It all just leaves me feeling pretty hollow at this point. 

Last U.S. Troops Make Quiet Exit Out Of Iraq : NPR:

Gen. Lloyd Austin, who commanded all U.S. troops in Iraq, says he was also worried about roadside attacks as the troops pulled out. He flew down to COB Adder for the last casing of the colors, when the army division's flag is put into its case and sent back home to the U.S.

This war is not like other wars that have ended with the signing of treaties or an exit from friendly territory, Austin says. One American base not far from COB Adder recently had 47 rocket attacks in a single day. Pulling tens of thousands of troops out in this kind of environment is a logistical marvel, he says.

"You're reposturing while people are still trying to cause you harm," Austin says. "That means that every element that moves has to be protected. It is the most difficult undertaking in our lifetime, in our military career."

Deadly Iraq war ends with exit of last U.S. troops -

Early Sunday, as the sun ascended to the winter sky, the very last American convoy made its way down the main highway that connects Iraq and Kuwait.

The military called it its final "tactical road march." A series of 110 heavily armored, hulking trucks and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles carrying about 500 soldiers streamed slowly but steadily out of the combat zone.

A few minutes before 8 a.m., the metal gate behind the last MRAP closed. With it came to an end a deadly and divisive war that lasted almost nine years, its enormous cost calculated in blood and billions.

Iraq, lost in the fog of war - Opinion - Al Jazeera English:

War draws combatants, their societies and politics, into its vortex and forever changes them. It does so not just once, but over and over again, until people forget who they were before the guns started firing.

War has a tendency to generate uncertainties and ambiguities of the most fundamental kind, about who is winning, about what has happened, and about just who we are.

At a moment of supreme - if relative - world power, the US invaded Iraq in March 2003 to prevent Saddam Hussein from rising from the ashes of the sanctions regime of the 1990s. The US sought also to supplant a hostile Iraq with a friendly American client. Iraq would be a base from which to exercise US influence and a replacement for the pliant Gulf monarchies, whose stability in the face of al-Qaeda was then far from assured.

For political consumption, and for gullible idealists, these goals were packaged as the threat of WMD and the spread of democracy.

A mere three years later, the most powerful armed forces in human history were facing defeat at the hands of a many-sided ragtag insurgency. Each pinprick attack in Iraq bled popular support from the war in the US, and made the dream of a stable, democratic Iraq seem fantastical. Meanwhile, around the world, US legitimacy lay in tatters: stained with the WMD that never were, the chains of Abu Ghraib and the blood of Fallujah.

Most of all, the US' reputation as the unquestioned superpower was destroyed. The war in Iraq brought an end to the American century.

The goals shifted. Now the problem was to find some way for the US to exit Iraq "with honour". This was the same problem that the US faced in Vietnam after the Tet Offensive of 1968.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What is Anonymous? (It is not the Occupation…)

Some videos going around on Facebook and other places recently originate from Anonymous, and I am sure that many believe, because of their topical relevance, that they are from people within the Occupation Movement.

While I am sure that there are many members of Anonymous that are also participating in the Occupation Movement, it is a separate entity.

Both groups, however, like to don the Guy Fawkes masks…

I spotted this first clip via Mashable.




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Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Product: “Will Work For Democracy” Mug

Note: Cross posted from Rubble.


"Will Work For Democracy" - Large Mug

"Will Work For Democracy" Sign shot at the Occupy Portland launch rally on October 6, 2011


Also available in black from deviantArt.

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Occupy Portland: Laundry list of parks “damage”

Chapman Square.  Portland, Oregon.  November 17, 2011.  From 2011-11-17 (Occupy Portland - N17) - Photo

I need to focus on some other projects, not on posts.  But this was a bit much for me

Itemized list: Repairs at Occupy Portland parks | Portland

Looking at the list, quite a bit of this needed to be done anyway.  It gets to be a bit much when they are blaming the leaves on the protesters!  Damn them and their power to change the seasons!

This list is all well and good.  But other than damage to the lawns, which were pretty trashed before the occupation, to my eyes the parks really look in pretty good shape.

These bathrooms are always trashed.

And there are a lot of leaves.  I think they are kind of pretty.

Here’s the list, but what I want to see is what NORMAL park maintenance expenses for the winter are so we can compare…  Only then can we really have a conversation.

General Park Repaint restroom interiors, exterior trim at Chapman and Lownsdale -  $2,200

General Park Steam clean surfaces - restroom interiors, benches, poles -  $3,000

Park Benches Replace 2 benches, repair 7 benches - $16,500

Bollards and chain Replace 5 bollards, one chain section -  $4,000

Paths Power wash paths - $1,600

Restrooms Soda blast exteriors to remove graffiti -  $1,100

Turf Rake to remove leaves and debris -  $600

Turf Install erosion control-  $1,000

Turf Winter - fill low areas, hydro mulch, lime, fertilize, seed, enzymes -  $8,100

Turf Spring - fine grade, slice seed, top-dress - $3,800

Shrub beds Prune to correct damage, replace damaged plants, fertilize, mulch - $4,000

Trees Inspect, monitor tbd Trees Place soil to cover exposed roots -  $750

Restrooms Chapman - Clean sewer, inspect, repair as needed - $600

Restrooms Chapman - repair sewer as needed (Potentially up to a $7,000) tbd

Restrooms Chapman - tile and grout repair-  $700

Restrooms Chapman - Re-install door, jamb, and frame - $2,500

Restrooms Refurbish octagonal windows includes frames, re-glaze - $2,300

Restroom Lownsdale - Remove/ replace 3 destroyed toilets, one pedestal sink, repair plumbing in walls, wall mounted braces, floor attachments. - $28,000

Restroom Lownsdale - Repair door lock - $100

Restroom Lownsdale - Tile and grout repairs - $1,800

Art The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) to assess, recommend, implement repairs (cost paid by RACC) tbd

Memorials RACC to assess, recommend, implement repairs (RACC cost) tbd Fencing Temporary fencing - $3,200

SUBTOTAL $ 85,850

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Monday, November 28, 2011

NOW AVAILABLE: A. F. Litt 2012 Wall Calendars

Note: Cross posted from Rubble.


It’s been a long and winding road, but at long last and just hours before my hard deadline, here it is.

There are two versions to choose from.  The only difference is the size, the content is the same

Oversized Wall Calendar; Calendars; RubbleShop by A. F. Litt:

Oversized Wall Calendar

A. F. Litt - 2012 Calendar


Product Information

Keeping track of important dates on your calendar is easy when you can view 12 months of inspiring images that reflect your personal interests. Our high-quality calendar has oversized date boxes providing plenty of room to write in important events.

    • Each page measures 17" x 11"
    • Measures 17" x 22" when hung on wall
    • Full bleed dynamic color
    • 100 lb cover weight high gloss paper, wire-o bound
    • January 2012 - December 2012, 2013 preview, US holidays marked


Wall Calendar; Calendars; RubbleShop by A. F. Litt:

Wall Calendar

A. F. Litt - 2012 Calendar


Product Information

Keeping track of important dates on your calendar is easy when you can view 12 months of inspiring images that reflect your personal interests. Our high-quality calendar is printed on thick 100lb cover weight paper and adds impact to any room.

  • Each page measures 11" x 8.5"
  • Measures 11" x 17" when hung on wall
  • Full bleed dynamic color
  • 100 lb cover weight high gloss paper, wire-o bound
  • January 2012 - December 2012, 2013 preview, US holidays marked

2010 Calendar 11282011 12754 AM

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Republicans Too Liberal For Today’s GOP: Yep, it’s Teddy again!

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A dysfunctional system goes Super… And fails.

From 2011-11 (Nov)

On Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources this morning, Kurtz was asking if the media was over-hyping and over-blowing the consequences of the “Super Committee's” failure to come up with a debt reduction plan.

He asks if all these “terrible things” that may happen as a result of this failure are “just media hype?”

In these teasers for the segment, it seemed to me that he was missing the real punch line here, but after a weak panel discussion on the topic, he did get to the point I feel needs to be made.

The real story here is how the failure of the “Super Committee,” which was set up to actually succeed without a lot of the procedural chains that bind the rest of Congress, brings into sharp relief the fact that, in Kurtz’s words, “nobody seems to be able to get anything done in Washington.”

He points out how this failure “highlight[s] the utter dysfunction of Washington.”

To me, this is the real story here.  Of course Congress will find a way to avert the “disaster” of across the board budget cuts, of course tax codes will remain ridiculously full of loop holes for the richest individuals and corporations…  Of course the traditional and non-traditional media will make a lot of noise about small political maneuvers that distract everyone from the real issues and problems facing our country and binding our system…

Nothing much will change.  Few real problems will be solved (or even mentioned), problems manufactured for use as political weapons will be howled about…

And nothing much will change.

This is the story that is not being covered. 

I saw this quote earlier, from Andrew Sullivan, explaining the Occupation and Tea Party movements… 

"The theme that connects them all is disenfranchisement, the sense that the world is shifting deeply and inexorably beyond our ability to control it through our democratic institutions. You can call this many things, but a “democratic deficit” gets to the nub of it. Democracy means rule by the people—however rough-edged, however blunted by representative government, however imperfect. But everywhere, the people feel as if someone else is now ruling them—and see no way to regain control."

The system has become nearly impossible to change.  The far right’s reaction is to just break it.  The left wallows in ineptitude.  The center rolls its eyes and simmers in a weak broth of futility.

For awhile, I’ve been thinking that if I ever took a sign to an Occupation event, it would be this:

The Status-Quo is

working for someone.

Is it working for you?

What is the solution?  Well, there are no big universal fixes.  But this is the conversation that we need to be having.

Finally, I loved this quote from Kurtz this morning: “miillions and millions unemployed and that is becoming an old story and that does bother me.”

Exactly.  It should bother everyone.

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Chart: Income, Profits, and Taxes 1960 - 2010

Source: The Dish by Andrew Sullivan

The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast:

The graphs above need no more elaboration. What they show is that, at a time of soaring public debt, corporate and personal taxes are at historic lows, while wages are in the toilet but corporate profits, after tax, have never been as healthy as they currently are, as a share of the economy.
Does this seem to you to be an era in which the president knows nothing about business and needs to get out of the way of the great American job-making machine by, er, cutting taxes even further? Or does it seem an era in which global corporations can make serious global money even when domestic workers are suffering, and where the obvious primary worry for any government would be the collapse of demand and risk of deflation at home?

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Occupation Images: Alan Moore on the mask and Shepard Fairey’s new poster

Note: Cross posted from Rubble.

Alan Moore – meet the man behind the protest mask | Books | The Observer:
…speaking on the phone from his home, Moore seems variously baffled, tickled, roused and quite pleased that his creation has become such a prominent emblem of modern activism.
"I suppose when I was writing V for Vendetta I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn't it be great if these ideas actually made an impact? So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It's peculiar. It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction."
Shepard Fairey Designs 'Occupy Hope' Poster, Replaces Obama's Face With 'V for Vendetta' Mask - Los Angeles News - The Informer:
​Here we go again. L.A. street artist Shepard Fairey has released a second original design for the Occupy Wall Street movement -- and this time, instead of playing it safe with a wistful scene out of an Angela Davis documentary, he's given his own (in)famous HOPE poster from Obama's first election campaign a rebellious makeover.
It uses all the same colors and graphic-design aesthetics as the original. Only difference is, Fairey has replaced President Obama's heavenward gaze with a "V for Vendetta" Guy Fawkes mask -- one of the key props used by Occupy Wall Street protesters.

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What I Am Listening To Now: “I Ain’t Afraid” by Holly Near

Note: Cross posted from Retrovirus Lab.

Spotted by Jennie on the FacyFace… A nice little ditty.



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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Mass Slaughter Day, and a Merry Rampant Corporate Belittlement Day Tomorrow!

Ur, I mean... Happy Thanksgiving...  Maybe it is my mood today...

From 2011-11 (Nov)

Not vouching for the accuracy of the details here, but the broad strokes sound about right.

Posted by Daniel Young on the Facebooks:
Time to feast on some Truth while you feed on that turkey.
Most of us associate the holiday with happy Pilgrims and Indians sitting down to a big feast. And that did happen - once.
The story began in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery. They left behind smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had escaped. By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay they found only one living Patuxet Indian, a man named Squanto who had survived slavery in England and knew their language. He taught them to grow corn and to fish, and negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honoring Squanto and the Wampanoags.
But as word spread in England about the paradise to be found in the new world, religious zealots called Puritans began arriving by the boat load. Finding no fences around the land, they considered it to be in the public domain. Joined by other British settlers, they seized land, capturing strong young Natives for slaves and killing the rest. But the Pequot Nation had not agreed to the peace treaty Squanto had negotiated and they fought back. The Pequot War was one of the bloodiest Indian wars ever fought.
In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day Of Thanksgiving" because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.
Cheered by their "victory", the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered. Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.
Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of "thanksgiving" to celebrate victory over the heathen savages. During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls. Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts -- where it remained on display for 24 years.
The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War -- on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota.
This story doesn't have quite the same fuzzy feelings associated with it as the one where the Indians and Pilgrims are all sitting down together at the big feast. But we need to learn our true history so it won't ever be repeated. Next Thanksgiving, when you gather with your loved ones to Thank God for all your blessings, think about those people who only wanted to live their lives and raise their families. They, also took time out to say "thank you" to Creator for all their blessings.
The title of this post is a comment Young left on his original post.

On a lighter note...
Thanksgiving Made Easy: 'Just Put the F___ing Turkey in the Oven' [VIDEO]
The culinary teacher of “f__ing 40 years” shares her uncensored thoughts about the Thanksgiving staple in this 8-minute instructional video. From a kitchen in San Francisco, she quips, “Don’t worry about it. Turkey really never tastes good. I’ve never had an outstanding turkey. … Just remember, it’s just a f__ing turkey. Just stick it in the oven.”

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Occupy Portland: A Statement from the General Assembly (November 24, 2011)

From 2011-11 Occupy Portland Eviction - Photo

A Statement from the General Assembly of Occupy Portland | Occupy Portland:

We remind the people of Portland and the people of the world that we
have come together to address the deepest problems of our economic and
political system, and that these problems have no easy solutions—
especially when those openly seeking the solutions are painted as
filthy, ignorant, violent hooligans by those with a vested interest
in maintaining the current broken system. We remind them who we are:
mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, the unemployed and
underemployed, students, teachers, government employees, laborers, and
pensioners. We remind them, two months after this movement began, and
on the eve of the most lucrative commercial day of the year, to not
lose sight of the original animation of this movement.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy Portland - N17: Occupy the Banks... Officer B9 & the Peppersprayed Protester (Video)

I wasn't there for this incident, but I was able to hear the story from someone who was very close to the action...

I was wondering if the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) would release their videos. God knows they've been as busy filming as the protesters have.

KGW video of the incident...

KATU Video...

PPB video of the Mounted Police Unit horse getting punched and Officer B9 whacking protesters. The PPB has not, to date, released any more video of the officers "deploying chemical agents" on the crowd.

NWCN video... Interview with PPB Lt. King (11/17 5:18 PM)

MegaHorizon 11...



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Monday, November 21, 2011

Council of Elders express solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

Rubble: Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: November 20, 2011, Democracy In Distress

From 000-FB Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day, November 20, 2011. Taken November 17, 2011. Occupy Portland - N17: Occupy the Banks. Wells Fargo 900 5th Ave. Portland, Oregon. 12:29 PM

Buy prints, cards, mugs, mouse pads, magnets, puzzles and other products featuring this photograph on deviantArt. (Art makes great gifts!)

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Suburban Eschatology Part Two - September 12th, 2010: 30 Mosques, 30 Days

Originally posted on: Suburban Eschatology Part Two - September 12th, 2010:

30 Mosques : 30 Days Blog -
CNN (Great Videos) -

I found out about this through The videos there are very good. At this point I have only started going through the actual blog, but what I have read is funny, entertaining, and informative. A good antidote to a lot of the anti-Muslim crap out there right now.

What really strikes me about this, though, is that it definitely makes me feel better about America right now. A couple months ago I watched a couple of PBS travel shows on Iran. In these shows, almost every Iranian, especially the younger college students, all talked about how much they liked the United States and Americans in general. They saw the good in our country and were able to separate it from the often anti-U.S. rhetoric spewed by factions within their government.

I compared this to what I perceive as the prevailing attitudes towards Iranians and Muslims in the U.S. these days, and I doubted that Iranians in America would find such goodwill echoed so consistently by our citizens. I cannot picture some middle-American telling a film crew from Tehran about how much he loved Iran, or even students at some liberal U.S. college campus returning the sentiments of these Iranian kids. Probably the best to hope for with the latter would be a bunch of peaceniks saying that no one deserves to be blown up in a war. Here, most see Iran as the enemy, many see Islam as the enemy, and we seem to have a much more difficult time separating the people from the government than most of the Iranians interviewed in these shows. This is not to say that there are not scary factions within the Iranian government, but the same can be said for ours.

The ability to see the differences between the U.S. government and the American people also, to me, suggests that Iranians know a lot more about the United States than we do about Iran. Of course, it is easier for them to learn about us, since we dominate global culture in a way Persia hasn't in millennia. But still, when a country dominates our news as much as Iran has over the last few decades, it seems like we would know more about the people and the culture than we do. But most people don't, and even for those of us who are interested, there are few opportunities for us to learn.

These days, even when there are opportunities to learn more about Islam, one must be very careful about the sources. Yesterday, a local church here in Gresham offered an all day seminar on Islam, and if I was able to, I would have loved to have attended this. But I was concerned and curious. Was this a real, academic look at Islam, or was it hours of bull shit about how Islam wants to take over America and to convert and kill all the Christians? I don't know, but my guess is that it could have gone either way, especially since this event was hosted on September 11th. Is the date because of 9/11, or because it is Eid, the celebration wrapping up Ramadan, or both? Of course such sentiments do exist in the extreme edges of Islam, but, to counter, I offer up Ann Coulter and her spiritual kin. My question is, these days, do most Americans resemble these Iranians that were interviewed, or do they resemble the Rev. Terry Jones, who proposed, and thankfully called off, "International Burn a Quran Day"?

What strikes me the most about the 30 Mosques guys, though, is that their experience was much more like those PBS guys in Iran than I would have imagined. They were generally met with goodwill and good wishes wherever they went, judging from the CNN interviews. While Americans do not, generally, wear their racism on their sleeves, I was still pleasantly surprised by this. Of course, neither of these guys are Iranian and they are U.S. citizens, so the comparison to the PBS guys in Iran is tenuous at best.

Anyway, this blog and the interviews are an excellent resource to learn more about Islam in America, both its history and its current state, and to learn a bit about American attitudes towards Islam these days. A good find, and I really appreciate the time CNN has spent publicizing this, balancing out the screaming headlines about burning bonfires of Al-Quran, Islamic cultural centers in lower Manhattan, attempts to stigmatize the President by linking him to Islam, etc.
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