Monday, December 29, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
As I get older the idea of holidays, seems to be less about food and presents and more about spending time with people. I like that, a lot.
Here are some ironic/and or amusing Christmas headlines:
The Pope talks about selfishness and solidarity, uhmm okay.
Bush gives some Xmas gifts.
Israel is scary and both the Palestinian and the Israeli civilians are in my thoughts.
Aww, German Navy foils Somali Pirates, BUT they are immediately released! Yea!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Then I had a break where I drank tea and watched snow flakes float in the sky. After my break I got back to work.
I pulled on all of my snow clothes, diligently applied sunscreen, and then romped around in the snow until my nose was running and my clothes were wet. Then I went into the conservatory and watched koi fish for about twenty minutes.
After that I was really tired so I ate some lunch and then I took a two hour nap. After I woke up I went to the zoo and watched the giraffes eat hay about two feet away from me. Giraffes are the most wonderfully awkward animals ever made. Then I came home, read some books, ate some dinner, and watched polar express.
Being a nanny is definitely the best job ever.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Also why isn't the national media covering this? Of course it is better covered independently here and here.
Our lame duck has good reflexes ...
He just did what we've all been wanting to do for the past eight years!
The journalist that threw those shoes is Muntadar al-Zaidi he's a 29 year old journalist, and the bravest person I've seen in a long time. As the first shoe is thrown he is quoted saying: "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog." and shortly after the second shoe: "This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq." and finally, "You are responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis."
According to United for Peace and Justice, "This bold statement also has to be understood in its cultural context. Showing the soles of your shoes to someone, let alone tossing your shoes at them, is a sign of contempt in Arab culture. Unfortunately this brave man is being held without being charged in an Iraqi jail, and has suffered multiple broken bones. This is how the people of Iraq are reacting, solidarity. Sign an e-petition for the release of Muntadar al-Zaidi, click here.
Also, sorry I haven't updated for a too long time. So much is happening.
Monday, December 01, 2008
In other news:
Secession - Yea for squatters!
Recession - Today the Dow plunged over 600 points when news hit Wall Street that America has been in a recession since December 2007. Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke said he stands ready to lower interest rates yet again. Is that his only answer to an economy imploding in on itself? What happens when the rates hit zero?
I've always fancied pirates.
This Is Change? Obama's foreign policy picks. Blah blah blah.
Today's entry is so random right? I am a slave to my moods. Where are you sweet Marie?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
"A Wal-Mart worker on Long Island, N.Y., died after being trampled by customers who broke through the doors early Friday, and other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man. At least four other people, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals...Tension grew as the 5 a.m. opening neared. By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault."
34 year old Jdimytai Damour of Queens was killed by capitalism. What an awful and stupid way to die. All for some stupid discount electronics that will probably break in a couple of months.
Is anyone being prosecuted for his death? I hope his family is suing the pants off of Wal-Mart. If something like this had happened at say, a political rally do you think that the reaction would be the same?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I hate Windows Vista. I can't believe that they have such a monopoly on the pc industry that they could (and did) get away with releasing such an awful buggy operating system.
Every time I update this piece of crap (and Vista won't let you NOT update) something new goes wrong. The first time it was the wifi, next the sound, and recently the disc drive stopped working for no obvious reason. I uninstalled and then reinstalled the disc drivers and even restored to a restore point almost three weeks ago to no avail. I honestly just want to throw this piece of crap down the stairs. I can't believe that I payed money for such junk.
Last night I almost convinced myself it would be okay to buy a Mac online. I am the cheapest person in the world and I am now kicking myself in the bum for not springing the five hundred extra dollars for something that works well and lasts more than a year. Grrrrr.
So if you are in the market for a new computer, I seriously cannot steer you far enough away from anything with Microsoft products pre-installed. Bill Gates became a business man shortly after he realized his tech tendencies could make him money.
Microsoft I'd like to say, I'm very disappointed you fucking thieves.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
You dislodged from the earth and fanned out into the sky before falling onto my body in motion.
I squished you between my toes.
You were stuck beneath my fingernails, streaked across my face, and smeared across my palms.
I was dirty. I was happy.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I liked him for what he was, dirty.
Clouds cast deep dirty streaks across the sky. I was there and I was dirty.
But not as dirty as the man.
We were the only ones left in the world. Two dirty souls.
That is, until the clean little girl asked us to push her on the clean rubber swing.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The thing that brought me to my blog is what I came home to tonight. I've been off of work for five days and in the life of toddlers a lot can happen. As I unlocked the door to the condo I heard the familiar whimper of my most troublesome little friend. I tiptoed into the room to see a bleary eyed little boy in a big boy bed where once a baby in a crib lay.
My boys are growing up so fast! Now there has been talk of swtiching the boys to beds, but Mother has resisted. It's a combination of not wanting to see her kids growing up so fast and not having a place to throw them when they are being naughty! I'm sure nostalgia finally gave way to utility.
Alas in the flicker of an under sea night lite lit room a surge of pride welled up in me as I stroked the back of an upset kid. We've come a long way and a seemingly silly milestone felt pretty damn cool. What a wonderful surprise after a wonderful week away. Now if we could only get potty training down!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
As I've stated before a part of me wanted McCain/Palin to take it, because so many people would be furious. Change was going to come either way. But as I broke out of my little radical mindset and really began to get intimate with the issues at hand I slowly began to realize what was at stake. I thought of my father who has worked his ass off for more than thirty years in the same factory, how first they cut his overtime, then slowly the employees that surround him. In an already busy factory he does the work of four men while his retirement fund slips further and further towards the poverty line. I think of my best friend who has a serious 'preexisting' medical condition that once she graduates will no longer be covered by her school or family insurance. I don't want her to have to make the choice between chipping away at the crushing weight of student loans or her health. I think of the inner city kids of Chicago whose education is no match for mine, a suburban kid, simply because of their location and income level. I think of the people losing their homes, jobs, and dignity. I think about birth control in all it's forms and how under a McCain/Palin administration those choices wouldn't be allowed to me. I think of the people whose basic rights are denied because of their sexual orientation.
The other part of me wanted to like and support this amazingly charismatic man named Barack Obama. With a fistful of cynicism I made the commitment to vote for him, because the alternative was too ghastly for me to imagine. I wanted to spend my time fighting for the ideals of a lifestyle based on mutual aid and self discovery not the basic rights that I feel should be granted to every person in the world (food, shelter, choice, freedom of religion). But as I began to learn more about this man it is not a lesser of two evils scenario that caused me to vote for him it's the unyielding sense of optimism that rests in my heart. It's hope that leads me to tears.
This morning sitting at my computer I cannot hold back the tears. For once with cynicism pushed to the back of my mind I will let that very real sense of hope that Barack Obama trumpets invade my very being. This man inspired millions with not only his charisma, but truly with his words and ideals. I was cynical, I still am cynical, but along side cynicism an unrelenting hope. Because the most radical, the most angry, the most down trodden, all cling to hope. Hope of something stronger something better hope for an alternative better than what we've had for the past 200 years and 43 presidents.
According to BBC news, "Since the end of Reconstruction - the period in the aftermath of the US civil war - there have been just three black US senators. Only two states, Massachusetts and Virginia, have elected a black governor."
With the election of a black president, what many considered the politically impossible has now become real. Barack Obama isn't an oil man, and he doesn't have interests in some other shadowy corporation. He spent his post graduate years practicing civil rights law, representing victims of housing and employment discrimination. He was active in his community making changes that mattered. He has one wife, one house, and one car, or rather he did.For a country with such a rich history of racism to come together and demand a new leader despite steep odds (latent racism, blatant racism, white supremacist history, general political trends, voter purging, mud slinging etc.) and take on an establishment that repressed anything that even threatened to upset the status quo is truly exciting.
My hope is that somehow the man that sparked so many hearts will follow up on his word, will somehow have the audacity to continue to resist the lure of major corporations and the all mighty dollar staying true to his working class roots and the people he represents. I hope that this man can continue to stoke the flames of an excitement not seen since, well forever.
Last night I marched with a couple thousand college students chanting Obama on the campus of Illinois State University. Their was no fire no destruction just a bunch of half drunk kids of all races, sizes, genders, and colors excited about the history that took place tonight. Did they want to see change? Would they care after a few months? How many of them were first time voters? How many of them will be last time voters, never thinking twice about the change that is purportedly coming. One of the true challenges for Barack Obama is to figure out how to maintain the momentum of not only the youth movement, but of people taking an interest in the political process.
Barack Obama you seem like a cool guy, and I can put stock in a lot of your ideas (except border issues) but please please don't become one of them. Don't fuck this up we're all counting on you. I want to congratulate the American people for overcoming the bullshit that is American history and voting based not on race but on principle, because we all know it doesn't matter what color your paint is, but the art you create with that paint. This is a truly historic event and I'm so glad that it happened in my time. What comes after, time will only tell. This is a defining moment in U.S. history and I hope it sets the precedent for all presidential campaigns to come.
All power to the people. Barack, we'll be watching, please don't disappoint.
Also, speaking of disappointment. Dear California, what kind of self-righteous jerks are you?
Friday, October 31, 2008
A few life mandates:
I'll always root for the underdog. I will be a champion for mediocrity (WHY does someone always have to be the best? Can't we all be pretty good?). I won't resist change. I'll always break the rules and never settle in the suburbs. I promise not to stop appreciating life. I promise not to ever let fear or anger run my life (heart& mind). I'll constantly reevaluate my mandates.
Trick or Treat?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
"You are paying taxes for the cops to come and whoop your ass." - Bobby Lee
This is an interesting documentary about how a true 'Rainbow Coalition*' on the basis of opposition to poverty and police brutality in the tumultuous 1960's worked together to try and take back their communities.
In 1969 Mayor Daley tried to stop the release of this film he used his influence with the Screen Projectionists Union to make sure that no theater would screen it. It took Hugh Hefner’s money to finally show it. When it finally did Roger Ebert gave it four stars.
Did I mention you can watch it for free? Did I mention I really think that the Black Panthers were the coolest activist group that ever hit the United States? The Free Breakfast for School Children program in itself was awesome, not to mention its countless other social programs! Oh yeah, they fed and took care of anyone that needed it, not just blacks. Who wants to revive the Panthers with me?
* Before Jesse Jackson took the name for his own campaigns, The Rainbow Coalition was truly a group made up of all different colors.
Black Panthers (African Americans)
Young Patriots (poor southern whites living in and around Chicago)
Young Lords (Puerto Ricans living in the United States)
Brown Berets (Mexican Americans)
What would happen if Palin became president? Find out here! (hilarious)
Friday, October 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
When one thinks of poverty what comes to mind? A homeless man begging for change on the street? Maybe the more compassionate mind brings an image of a foreign child swatting flies away from her ragged clothes. While both of these images may be an accurate portrayal of poverty it isn't the full picture.
PovertyNet says it best, "Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom." Poverty is a loss of dignity and the loss of motivation to pursue your true desires, because one's basic needs cannot be met.
Poverty is a lot more serious and far reaching than we in the Western middle class world may ever understand. According to the United Nations, one person every three and a half seconds, dies of poverty related illness. It is children who die most often. Think back to a time when you were the hungriest you've ever been. Reach into your brain and recover that feeling that takes a hold of your stomach when you've merely skipped a meal. It's hard to think about anything else when your stomach is constantly rumbling. Now imagine that feeling of hunger as a way of life. Imagine that wrenching in your stomach always there constantly reminding you of what you don't have, and may not get for a long time. Could you live like that without turning to theft or just giving up? Many of us couldn't, but millions are faced with those options every single day.
The thing with poverty is that it doesn't have to exist. Studies have proven that there is plenty of food and water to go around. If everyone shared a fraction of their resources no one would go hungry, everyone would have shelter, and not one single child would die of hunger or hunger related illness.
As a global culture we need to create ways of meeting our individual needs that simultaneously provide for the needs of others. Otherwise, every time we take care of our own needs, we simply reinforce the system of scarcity that makes others suffer,and it is in no one’s best interest that we live in a world of misery.
What can you do to end poverty? Well, a whole lot. First off arm yourself with a realistic picture of where poverty is, and why it exists. Do you think the United States is free of this burden? Think again. You can help at home or abroad. If you don't have dollars to donate change the way you live your life. Consume less so others can consume more. Give your leftovers to the mother and daughter begging for change on the EL. Employ underemployed or at-risk workers. Micro-finance a loan for the working poor (as little as $50 to microfinance). Demand that your local government enact programs that break the cycle of poverty that exists in your school and prison system. Participate at a food shelter or food not bombs program. Get creative, you want to be in charge? Create your own group or plan a fundraiser to give money directly to the people who need it!
Here are a few websites to get you started:
Analysis of Poverty in our day and time
Wikipedia on Poverty
Spotlight on Poverty: What the current presidential candidates have to say about this issue.
Food Not Bombs Movement
Heifer International: Ending Hunger, Caring for the Earth
Microfinancing: Small person to person loans that save lives and alleviate poverty. This idea is relatively new and majorly cool! Microplace.com and Kiva.com
Also, Happy Birthday to Rahmon and Juan whoop whoop
Monday, October 13, 2008
During the RNC in early September, St. Paul was a police state replete with steel fences, protest pens, military- style checkpoints, and thousands of riot police. Before protests even began, police raided homes and activist gathering spaces, detaining hundreds of people and confiscating people's belongings.
Throughout the RNC, the police systematically violated the rights of thousands, violently attacked protesters, and arrested over 800 people. St. Paul city officials were complicit in enabling this scenario, and now they need to hear from you!
Eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee are currently charged with Conspiracy to Commit Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism, a 2nd degree felony that carries the possibility of several years in prison.
These people among many others facing misdemeanors were arrested for exercising their free speech. We cannot let free speech become a crime! You must question your government and demand accountability.
You can help out these folks by calling St. Paul officials and demanding all charges be dropped or you can donate your dollars to cover legal costs. Be a part of the solution!
1. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
(651) 266-8510, firstname.lastname@example.org
Coleman did nothing to prevent the militarization of St. Paul and the numerous violations of peoples' rights that occurred there. After the RNC, he called the actions of police "nothing short of heroic." Call him to demand a real, independent investigation that holds police accountable!
2. Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner
(651) 266-3222, RCA@co.ramsey.mn.us
Gaertner is responsible for prosecuting all felony cases, including the RNC 8 who are facing 7+ years on trumped up charges of "terrorism," under the first ever use of the Minnesota version of the Patriot Act. Gaertner plans to run for governor in 2010. Call her to demand an end to the repression of activists and an immediate dismissal of all charges.
3. St. Paul City Attorney John Choi
(651) 266-8710, Choi@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Choi is in charge of prosecuting all misdemeanor RNC-related cases. He referred to RNC protesters as "outsiders who wanted to create mayhem." The vast majority of those arrested were Twin Cities residents who were protesting the agenda of the real criminals gathered in the Xcel Center, site of the RNC. Call Choi to defend our right to protest without permits and demand that all charges be dropped!
4. Friends of the RNC8, Donate.
5. Cold Snap Legal Collective, Donate.
6. National Lawyers Guild, Donate.
7. United for Peace & Justice, Donate.
8. A reminder of what a police state looks like, Ground Noise and Static.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperance. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.I don't like McCain. I don't like him as a person, I don't like his awful big money policies, and I don't like how stiffly he moved during last night's presidential debate.
It might be a good thing if they win the presidency because you will see a whole lot more pissed off Americans that are willing to get off their butts and do something about the way "their" country is run.
But, if Mccain/Palin win the presidency I think we're all quite screwed. I'm really astonished (and terrified to be honest) that the approval ratings, according to the most recent gallup poll, Obama only leads McCain by 11 points. Really? It's that close? 53% to 41% respectively? REALLY? What is the American public thinking? Are they thinking that Palin is so loveable or that Obama really has less experience than a hockey mom who believes that dinosaurs existed with humans 5,000 years ago? Do you want the type of person that will openly call his wife a cunt to be deciding legislation on your reproductive rights?
Wake up America! If this voting for president bull shit has to happen could you at least make it your business to make an effort to really get to know these people. This is serious stuff and democracy only works for the people when the people go into these things armed with a full picture of who these people are and how they are going to make decisions about your life. If they fuck up, it's partly because we fucked up. You dig?
Okay I'll stop. On a sunnier note, an article about a group of people who are benefitting from the housing crisis, "Renters Turned Squatters." The article is about a group of renters that haven't had to pay rent for over ten months! Very neat.
Today starts an almost week long stretch of no work! Wahooo. Hurray for Columbus Day. I've updated my sidebar of good links and blogs I read so check some out and have a great week.
All Power to the People!
I'll leave you with a wonderful video:
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I exposed his exuberance as a lie.
Guiltily I corrected an inaccuracy, I would have loved to accept.
But what then would truth be to me?
An abstract bullshit term like uh huh and no no?
Maybe, but transparency is a lark.
The only vehicle we can rely on in an untrustworthy universe.
I say what I say like a flood gate in a hurricane.
Open lines make every body/any body free.
You won't see Newton cloaking his three laws.
Are you a lark or an owl?
Forgive me for my transgression.
A keeper of truth must be fair and not fair weathered.
Will I Will I Will I wake up early or go to bed late?
I will swoop down upon my prey following the three laws of motion.
Square and Fair.
Monday, September 29, 2008
This weekend, amid stock markets plummeting and politicians seizing I watched the warm crackle of a fire and listened to the gentle lapping of a great lake. I ate cookies. I picked Apples!
I don't need much to be content. Oh, but I have so much.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This weekend I experienced a most killer spontaneous dance party and I think it might have been a great start...
This week boss lady is out of town and I am playing single mom. Single moms of the world I feel for you. I am bored out of my mind and television is making me go blind. Rachel Zoe is the worst person I've ever watched on television in my entire life. Also, the boys and I were out walking tonight and they recognized the golden arches, they are two and a half. Ew.
Go fall! Go Cubs! Boo, Wall Street Bailouts.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Track (check up on) what's going down in your government with a really neat website called, Open Congress. You can read about all the crazy shit that's being passed in congress and who sent the okay! Do you like Obama, see what he's voted for, what about Palin or Mccain? Check it out and get educated.
Today I'm reading about how the gov' is turning into the thought police! Watch out for H.R.1955 coming to an activist group near you! Don't let this administration and those to come fear monger any longer!
I am an American shotgun maker.
I'll shoot you dead.
I want to grab you from the top down.
Trickle effect never took and the city kept sleeping.
Don't say we never told you.
I don't believe in touch downs grand slams or commas.
I believe in you.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Also, I am making a new vow to write for at least 30 minutes straight a day. I've got a little notebook, and damn it I'm going to use it.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
As of today over 400 people have been arrested including professionals of the media, nuns, and war veterans. That seems to be an obscene number of arrests for a largely peaceful group of protesters.
Here is an awesome eye witness account from a non-partisan member of the contracted media and his account of the goings on of the actions and attitudes of law enforcement. Click Here!
Basically the main reason for today's post was to speak about the gravity of what's going on and my position concerning it all. Another long one, but I think a lot needs to be said.
Why Protest the RNC at all?
If the GOP wants to sit around and stroke each others wieners all week so what? Why waste time and resources we could be using more constructively to protest about how much we disagree with republican policies?
Protesting the convention wasn't all about the republicans. It was about protesting a war that's costing tax payers trillions of dollars and thousands of innocent lives, it was about protesting an administration that shows a flagrant disregard for the wishes of it's people, it was about protesting the people who put policies in place that answer to big corporations instead of the needs of their people. It was about exercising our rights as participants in a democracy to voice our grievances. Lastly it was about showing solidarity with the other people of this country who don't want to see money and lives wasted on the quest for cheap oil and big money.
Direct Action/Peaceful Protest vs Violence/Property Damage
Disappointingly but not surprisingly their was a lack of coverage of these historic protests on major (ie corporate owned) media outlets. Why is that? Nearly 30,000 people from all over the country came to march against the war. Everyone in Minnesota knows what is happening, but no one else in the country really does. That in itself is a problem.
The little coverage that is taking place is narrow minded and one sided. Many of the articles don't focus on the 30,000 people of all groups, ages, and nationalities converging on an issue, but the literal handful of "anarchists" that caused property damage.
Which leads me to expand upon the idea of acceptable protest actions that is well augmented by a quotation from well known civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.
"We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive."We have a duty as freedom loving Americans to check our government and speak up in a way that can be heard when we are unhappy with how things are going. When our government doesn't listen we must get creative. Unfortunately some people get angry instead. Am I angry that police tried to silence my voice at the protest hell yeah! You should be too. Did I want to break a window or two? Hell yeah. But I didn't because as angry as I was/am I knew that it would only lead to more problems. Some people have been trying to make their voices heard for a long time to no avail. Those people are frustrated and use property damage as an outlet to get their voices heard.
While I subscribe to creative direct action (blocking intersections, sitting in front of buses, banner drops etc.) as most protesters some people choose to act in a way that will call more attention to their cause. The Black Bloc anarchists that were responsible for the minor damage in St. Paul do not wholly represent the definition of anarchism or the definition of direct action. While I understand their actions to be statements of anger towards the current state of our government it is frustrating that their violent acts are the only instances that are being covered in major media.
The participants of the protests this week are a diverse, well-coordinated, de-centralized group of people working together peacfully to voice their opinions about a war the American people never wanted, but will be paying for, for a very long time. The actions of the police not only from Minnesota, but various towns (they were outsourced) and agencies, brought to light the a vast discrepancy in protocol and how they actually behave on the job.
Even if no one reads this blog, I think it is my duty to publicly condemn the actions of our country's policymakers and law enforcement for treating the voices of their people with violence and disrespect. I would like to publicly congratulate all the groups (far too many to name) for standing up in the face of oppression for what you believe to be the best thing for the country and the people living in it and fighting abroad.
P.S. Here's another silly article written in May about the FBI trying to find moles in"preparation for the RNC." Ha ha, all that money (acccording to CNN the twin cities received 100 million dollars of tax payer money for the convention) intel and we still managed to shut down the streets!
If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.
~Louis D. Brandeis
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Part I: My Experience at the 2008 Republican National Convention
S. and I boarded a bus headed for St. Paul Monday at 2 a.m. We traveled with the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War group. The group was a diverse bunch of old, young, black, white, Hispanic, Indian, and everything in between. The ride up was peaceful and motivating albeit lacking sleep ( boo ).
Our bus was one of the first to arrive and we noticed an extremely heavy police presence as early as 10 o'clock. Officers were stationed at every single intersection and we estimated there to be at least 3 officers for every pedestrian on the street. Despite our solidarity with the permitted marchers we linked up with a group that needed help with a planned demonstration. Seeing as how I could not get arrested due to a date with some babies the next day we agreed to help when needed and maintain a safe distance as legal observers.
The group we were working with planned to create a "lock box" where people tied, taped, and connected each other to make a more secure barrier to block an intersection where delegates would be arriving.
Sitting feet away from a squad car that sat at the corner of the six way intersection the demonstrators planned to block, we felt aimless and a little anxious wondering how the five or so protesters we were with was going to pull this off. Eventually, two of the demonstrators approached an officer and asked directions to the march when out of the bushes, off of bikes, from across streets and over walls approx. twenty demonstrators swarmed the intersection quickly attaching themselves securely to one another.
I was pleasantly surprised. Their group was well organized and everyone fearlessly worked together connecting and planting themselves in the intersection. Within seconds traffic was stopped up with angry Minnesotans honking up a storm in the midday heat. Within minutes additional squad cars arrive. At this point officers were non-aggressive allowing me to stand with them and listen in on their plans as to what they were going to do about this little problem. After a while I was bored of shuffling around and feeling brave so I offered water to the people blockading the street. They all seemed to be very congenial and peaceful people that had passionate views about the state of our government, and we all quickly became friends.
Approximately twenty minutes went by and traffic had to be re-routed (success). Many angry cars had to be turned around and we witnessed a semi hopping a median (dangerous AND illegal). Additional squad cars arrived and what appeared to be a horse trailer... the total number of police on site was approximately 10-15. Rumors of teargas floated around so we decided to forgo our legal observation stance in order to ensure the safety of our new found friends. Armed with vinegar, water, goggles, and bandannas we outfitted the demonstrators prepared to withstand teargas.
Across the intersection some people were illegally being searched so I walked over to make sure they weren't being bullied and in the process I got bullied by an officer in full riot gear screaming at the top of his lungs for me not to cross the street. Of course I crossed the street, but eventually I turned around when they let the kids go. Another officer tried to give me some advice to stay out of the street for my own good. While non-aggressive I told him that I wanted to make sure my friends were okay and was not willing to comply. He then told me to open my bag. I was caught off-guard by this seeing as how I was clearly only an observer mostly standing on the outside and making sure of the safety of the people protesting. Without my consent he grabbed my bag and opened it, which is illegal because I didn't consent to a search and he didn't have a warrant (know your rights!). Of course he didn't find anything except for a water bottle and three disposable cameras.
Pissed off I walked back to the group.
A small meeting was held including the people in the lock box and the other twenty or so loose demonstrators blocking the road and it was decided that the "loose" demonstrators would head downtown towards the march. The walk was very long and sweaty but spirited and mischievous while still remaining completely peaceful. We stopped at a coffee place to fill up our water bottles and headed back out. Six of our demonstrators saw an opportunity to further delay the convention and sat down and locked arms in front of a chartered bus carrying delegates.
Unfortunately this is where our peaceful day gets a little dicey. Police officers storm the six kids yelling and spraying their faces with pepper spray. No warning was given before the pepper spray was used within inches of the face. The officers then dragged the kids across the concrete separating them and putting them face first on the ground. They cuffed them and then continued to step on the backs of the demonstrators to hold them down. The demonstrators were then lined up and sat on the curb.
We requested an ambulance be called for one of the demonstrators who badly reacted to the pepper spray and then we called the legal network set up to help protesters against such things.
An ambulance was called twelve minutes later. The awesome legal team showed up before the Minnesota medics!
Long story long, it was my first brush with police brutality and I am appalled! Of course this is only the tip of the iceberg. While we were trying to maintain contact with our friends in custody and make sure their personal belongings (ie car and cellphone) were taken care of a few miles away chaos was ensuing.
Splinter groups from the PEACEFUL permitted march broke away and clashed with cops prompting a police state where officers tased, tear gassed, rubber bulleted, and used something called concussion grenades. Yes, their was mild property damage (a few broken windows and flat tires ... no really that's it), but the level of brutality and disregard for civil rights was completely unacceptable. There are multiple reports of credentialed journalists being arrested for absolutely no reason, except for the simple fact that they were reporting! Here is a prime video example:
The woman being arrested is Amy Goodman. According to Journalist Mike Burke, "Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and the subsequent criminal charges and threat of charges are a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists." This isn't the only journalist arrested. An AP photographer was arrested along with many others members of the NON-corporate media.
This is the United States and our voices are being silenced by force. As of right now over 300 hundred people have been arrested and the numbers are growing. I just received a text message from organizers that policed just snatched someone out of the PEACEFUL March For the Poor, and is now arresting them. If you'd like up to date messages on the things that are going on text Follow RNC08 to 40404. For more contextually full updates click on this link to go to INDYMEDIA.ORG.
Now Some Visual Candy:
Thank goodness for independent media! Like I said that's only the tip of the iceberg, youtube RNC08 protests.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
"The convergence Space is open as of 2 PM today. The police ransacked the building Friday night, bursting in with guns drawn, throwing people to the ground, and breaking down doors inside the space. They took with them computers, boxes of protest literature, maps, cell phones, digital cameras, a video camera, the landlord’s pvc piping, and poster making supplies. The evidence receipts given contain no mention of feces or human waste, and the landlord can attest to the lack of sleeping mats on the premises. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s office then closed the building for a “fire code” violation. Fire code violations are also being used to close the houses of activists, with officials saying that if the doors on homes that they knocked down aren’t fixed by tonight they will board up the homes. Today, Saturday, the city council representative for the ward that the Convergence Space is in was able to contact the Department of Safety and Inspections who are the actual authorities to determine if there is a code violation. The director of the department came to the space and ascertained that there were no code violations to be found.
A public meeting was held in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis today that was attended by hundreds of people in solidarity with the victims of police violence. Several police raids were conducted on homes today and protest organizers were taken into custody. Police continue to target organizers of protest activities and is “disappearing” any activists they can find. We are calling on everyone interested in protecting their freedom of political speech to maintain a round the clock vigil at the Convergence Center to help prevent further police violence and intimidation. Public pressure is also needed on elected officials who are bowing to the wishes of Bush and friends. The Sheriff’s office continues to lie and spread misinformation in a PR campaign to try to curtail protest plans."(lifted from a nornc.org official press release)
As fate would have it, I'm better (mostly) in terms of health and a two seats on the bus to Minneapolis opened up. S. and I are leaving tonight at 2 a.m. I just hope I don't get arrested. Not because I'm afraid, but because I have some babies to take care of on Tuesday.
Direct action is a beautiful thing.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
PRESS STATEMENT FROM RNC WELCOMING COMMITTEE AFTER SHERIFF AND SPPD RAID OF CONVERGENCE SPACE
FRIDAY AUGUST 29 2008
Assitant Police Chief Bostrom has talked about the St. Paul Standard, and on the anniversary of last years’ critical mass police riot, we saw its true face. The ramsey county sheriff’s dept and the SPPD raided the RNC convergence space and detained over 50 people in an attempt to preempt planned protests of the rnc on Monday.
Looking for items found in any twin cities house like jars, paint, and rags, this attempt to portray us as criminals and destroy our credibility has already backfired as evidenced by the masses who have come to support us.
We are now accused of a simple fire code violation -which is outside the scope of the sheriffs department and clearly not justified provocation for a forceful raid with guns being drawn. Children and elderly people were inside the convergence center when the police violently busted down the doors. The police may claim that the raid was executed according to protocol - however, the violence inherent in this action may only be a hint of the violence to be expected on Monday and beyond, and is only a hint at the violence perpetrated daily by the police.
The convergence center is simply a gathering place and is not used for illegal actions - it is a place for workshops and trainings. Tonight we were watching films and sharing food.
This action will not deter us from our plans to protest the RNC on September 1st. We want to invite all people who oppose this police oppression to join us on Septemeber 1st. See you in the streets.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
On the upside, I've been thinking hard about ways to get active and utilize resources that aren't a couple hundred miles away.
I would like to say that I'm really impressed by all the action I'm seeing in many of the groups and collectives and networks that are organizing for the conventions. If only we could maintain a fraction of that enthusiasm to work on future projects as a unified community.
If you're wondering why people are marching at the RNC the simple answer is because we are angry at how our government is representing us (the people; you me and your children). It's not enough anymore to sit at home and gripe about dumb laws, but ultimately put up with them. This is our country and we should decide how it is run. What is important to you is almost always not what is important to a rich, white, conservative, over forty business man.
Let's open a national dialogue with everyone we know about what it is we really want as a nation, and in our communities.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
But on the upside Google has an impressive array of documentaries you can watch FREE online. Enlightening.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Almost as awful as peppermint baths being interrupted by the outside world.
But not worse than the distance between where you are and where you want to be.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Recently I came to the sad realization that I had lost most of the Spanish I had once known. As I've gotten older I don't get to see my Spanish speaking relatives as much so I am not forced to interpret or communicate.
To remedy this sad malady I decided to get serious about not only relearning the choppy Puerto Rican slang I was brought up with, but really trying to master the Spanish language. I've been rallying around accent marks and tongue trills for a couple weeks now, and to my surprise it's coming along really well. No, it's not like riding a bike, but more like an exciting adventure in a radio flyer.
Seldom do I stick to anything and it's extremely rare that I'm actually excited about said "thing." I know that I have a ridiculously long way to go, but ,unlike usual, the prospect of mastering a skill is highly exhilarating.
Furthering my joy was a series of magical events:
1) I watched a travel show about Spain, and sort of fell in love.
2) My boss watched said show with me and was all "Oh my gosh you really need to go to Spain I think you'd really really really dig it; It's totally your type of place."
3) I found a book about everything Spain perched atop a box of books that someone put out on the street for the taking. (that shit was right on top)
4) In the bourgeois laundry room on the community book case I found 4 magazines on speaking Spanish and traveling to Spain accompanied by four respective audio cassettes.
5) My uncle Fredi has been working on our family tree, and recently discovered our greats hailed from the Canary Islands (off the coast of Spain). Super cool.
So long story long ... I want to visit/slash live in Espana, really badly. I also like when the world sort of converges and gives you a little push in any direction. Anyway, can't you see the Last Unicorn bashing around Spain all messy like?
Cada hora que paso contigo mi parece un segundo. Ay ay! (ha ha)
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Though instead of two different homes, I'll be split amongst four.
How long will it be before I won't feel like eggs scrambled up for someone else's breakfast?
Thursday, July 31, 2008
See all those drops? Uh huh. I can't believe I got up enough nerve. Who do I think I am? Next thing you know I won't be afraid to talk to people!
That conquest aside. Holy, Cannoli I have had the best six days of ever. Uh-huh. I got to hang out with a ton of lovely people and not have to worry about following some busy schedule. I also got to eat some delicious vegan carrot cake and snuggle sleep on a back porch and watch an insane performance in Dark Knight. Imax anyone?
I'm so so glad that S. is back and wishing hard that B. didn't have to go back to CT. so soon. It's about fifteen minutes away from the month of August and I think my calendar must be lying to me.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wooot. Have a lovely weekend, don't believe what they teach you in school.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I'm sitting at a sidewalk cafe. I feel nice. I got an idea for a screenplay today (screenplay what? McKee it up), and I think it will get written. And, it is an inspired story motivated by purging. Ha! I wrote a poem too.
This is a welcome change from late. I'm glad my tired fingers are pumping out some nice combos. Maybe I'll get a power up.
I want to go to Madrid and get all tan and careless and drink espresso and explore cobbled alleyways and stop running into other people's lives. Comparisons killed the kat.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Things have been weird for these last couple of days. Last night I stayed out all reckless like drinking and dancing till 4am. This morning I woke up with the taste of hot dog on my slick tongue and mustard on my tired shoulders. What?
I haven't eaten a hot dog in over six years. At least not a real one. Weird weird. I'm growing bitter towards Alaska. With the absence of S. comes the absence of that calming and leveling property he brings to the fabric of my life. I think I tried to chalk it up to getting older and more accepting of everything, but I think he's just magic.
I need a good nights sleep.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I also recently realized that I like Bob Dylan most when he is trying to sound like Woody Guthrie. I feel like a blasphemer.
*It's actually my mom's bike and if it gets stolen I'm one dead unicorn.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I also won free shoes this weekend! (super sweet right?)
Pitchfork Festival was this weekend; Three days of full on music, muck, and people watching.
This was the first year (out of four) where I didn't feel the pretentious weight of a thousand hipsters crushing down upon me. This was the year that I loved the music and the people and how I interacted with all of the above. I did get sunburned though.
This weekend was almost too much. I reconnected with a lot of things. Perhaps the most important and least destructive is my intimate bond with music. Music where had you been? Maybe it was me that was absent. I just didn't react. BUT NOW...
It's making me feel all squishy and futuristic. I forgot that I could do anything I want.
This is one of the wonderful songs I saw performed this weekend. It shut me up and that's quite a feat.
M. Ward, Requiem.
Wistful doesn't do a rupture justice.
Friday, July 18, 2008
On the next day I read this article, about the future of gaming. Spooky big brother fantastical virtual world.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Currently in Chicago a crime wave is far surpassing the heat. What does Mayor Daley decide to do about this?
Spend 25 millions dollars on renovating the already spectacular (and recently renovated within the last 15 years) iconic Buckingham Fountain. Why? So Chicago can win that bid for the 2016 Olympics of course. After all, it's only appearance that matters, not the lives of the fair citizens of Chicago. Boo to the Olympics. Yea to the Olympic spirit and feats of athletic prowess. If that makes any sense.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Apparently their are some jerks that make a yearly salary of 1.5 billion dollars. The show itself had nothing to do with music by the by. No one needs that much money, except maybe for the continent of Africa or India.
For some reason that show and all those horrible men making money off of everyone else made me very angry. I have a lot more thoughts churning around that go far deeper than Vh1, but I'll just end my post with a question.
Can true personal freedom ever be reached in a framework that is defined wholly by the dollar?
Friday, July 11, 2008
The nights are cool and lazy. The days are hot and hazy.
I've been thinking so much lately about the many shades of love and how to be calm and what to eat so my joints don't flare all angry. I've just been thinking and wondering and growing old and I couldn't begin to convey all these thoughts on this silly screen.
It gives me hope the same. That's all I got to say. Today.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Don't forget that wounded on the battlefield usually means embedded shrapnel and loss of limbs, not scrapes or sprains.
This isn't including the countless numbers of Iraqi citizens caught in cross fire.
The report went out at 10 a.m. how many more people do you think died since then?
Check back next week for the stunning conclusion ... err, sorry there's no end in sight. Check back next week and hope that number didn't jump too many places. Wait, what is this war about again?
Happy Tuesday, don't forget to top off that gas tank!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
All the couples looked so different. Some matched stereotypically, others atypically (to the eye). It is a wonder to me that two people can sync up so seamlessly as to share a life. Sometimes, it seems so impossible in this big world. On the occasion that it does, it bears celebration. It's something of a miracle.
I don't know I just want people to be happy forever. ha ha.
Here are some less lofty thoughts:
I think I need new glasses.
I miss BF, and I hope the jungle is treating her well.
I also need to hang out with old friends, I miss them.
I get to see S. in a few hours and hey holy moly am I excited.
I find it very intimidating to give money/food to people on the street. I always want to, but if I have too long to think about it I panic and just keep walking. It's so weird, and it makes me feel crappy. I can't understand why this is. I don't feel threatened or endangered by these people at all. I think it might have something to do with creating a since of dignity in the transaction. You know? Any thoughts on this? Maybe I'm just a jerk?
HEY YOU ... have a nice weekend.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Father's day was really nice. It was a day devoted to my father whom I care deeply for, but it ended up feeling more like a family day. Which is good for our family, and undoubtedly more pleasing to my father who hates being made a fuss over. I also taught my mom how to use Ebay. Apparently she bid on the same item in a couple different auctions and called to ask me what happens if she wins them all. Too cute.
It was an all star weekend.
I'm in the process of updating my links in my side bar so stay tuned and click away!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
I miss you. Come across the borders, and then my borders, and then we'll come together.
Oh gosh that was honest.
More honesty? I'm embarrassed that I ever tried to convince you (and myself that I could leave you on the other side of the world). Shrug. As Emerson once wrote, "consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Don't ever believe anything I say. Ha ha.
I'm more tired than I have been in a million minutes (can't you tell). I'm out of work (for the week, yipee) also done dodging people making small talk from high school. Eff that noise, I'm not rude, I just don't care to talk to you. C'mon you don't really want to talk to me either!
I feel as though I'm drunk on the summer air. I drank too much and maybe I should prepare myself for the hangover.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Here is a poll:
Should I or Shouldn't I purchase a Wii?
(S. you are exempt from this poll because I already know your answer)
ALSO, yesterday my babies turned two years old. Crazy malazy. John now says, "Et Phone Hooooooome!" It's precious and crazy that they used to not even be able to hold their heads up!
Saturday, May 31, 2008
I skipped PT11 cause it was hokey.
Here is the stunning land conclusion...
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Making these decisions has been tough. Some people think I'm foolish, but I don't care. I know I'll be worlds happier. I'm going to miss living with my best friend, yes, but this will be the busiest time of her life so I am sure it will work out better. This way I won't guilt her into hanging out with me when she has a big paper due!
I still can't quite grasp the idea of distance and relationships. Not just the obvious romantic relationship (although that brings its own set of weights and measures). Sometimes it does't seem fair. Will life always be about balancing an equation of time, distance, and emotions? Is it selfish to say this is what I need to do at the expense of those you love? Or would it be wrong to deny your self your heart's desires?
Oh life was easy when all the decisions were being made for you, but that wouldn't be any fun.
I suppose I'm trying to make the best of all of the above. I might drive myself crazy, but it was bound to happen anyway right?
Here is a quick link to finish off a lanquid post: Lovely quasi-politico, always hilarious guerilla theater. I had the privilege of attending on Friday, and I can't wait to go back!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Myanmar struggled Monday to recover from a cyclone that killed more than 3,900 people and perhaps as many as 15,000.
I have the distinct feeling that the proverbial shit is starting to hit the fan. Things are changing at such a rapid speed that we don't even realize the gravity of the situations that we are placing upon ourselves and the world.
Agriculture, the beginning of the end?
From the article, The Sixth Extinction, by renowned paleontologist Dr. Niles Eldridge,"Indeed, to develop agriculture is essentially to declare war on ecosystems."
* humans did not have to interact with other species for survival, and so could manipulate other species for their own use
* humans did not have to adhere to the ecosystem’s carrying capacity, and so could overpopulate
* Estimates vary, but range between 1 and 10 million people on earth 10,000 years ago.
* There are now over 6 billion people.
* The numbers continue to increase logarithmically — so that there will be 8 billion by 2020.
I suppose the 90's was the calm before the storm eh?
Thursday, May 08, 2008
I tried doing Wai Lana Yoga today. You know that woman on channel 11 that speaks in slow motion while doing yoga in a clown suit while winds blow and waves crash behind her.
That shit is hard.
All I want to do right now is cuddle with S. Seriously that's it. I got nothing beyond that.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Television (smoke and everything)
and bathroom light
He also sprayed all over our apartment for ants with chemicals in a milk jug to which he did not know the ingredients. Did not fix the outlet (the only one we can plug our microwave into) and the front screens that we've been asking for since we moved in.
I'm also sick. Ha ha.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
"We are engaged against thugs and killers"
"We're in a struggle between those who understand liberty and the importance of advancing liberty and those who don't."
Oh yeah president? Enemy enemy blah blah blah. That's bullshit and hopefully most of us now understand that.
He also thinks that instead of exploring alternative energy sources, it would be a good idea to start interior drilling and refining in the National WIldlife Area (ANWR). Bush isn't bothering to greenwash us! For the information of the American people (according to Sen. Charles Schumer) ANWR could only produce enough oil to reduce current costs by one penny.
Schumer said it well when he asked whose side is Bush on? Big Oil or the American People? You can't be on both.
The trickle down affect just isn't working. So much isn't working.
Let's make it work on our own. Obviously the people we've trusted to make our decisions are failing (miserably).
DIY or die trying.
Allright I'm done with this diatribe.