Occupy Oakland Lowered Crime Rate

Amid all the poo flung at both sides of the Occupy vs. Police lines, it turns out a little benefit came from the Oakland occupation. The crime rate went down. The City was saying crime was unmanageable during the Occupation, but the opposite was true.

When Jordan received an update that crime was actually down 19 percent in the last week of October, he wrote an email to one of Mayor Jean Quan’s advisers.

“Not sure how you want to share this good news,” he wrote. “It may be counter to our statement that the Occupy movement is negatively impacting crime in Oakland.”

Police and the city said Occupy has had an ongoing impact on their ability to respond to crime.

In all of the emails there was not a single one written by Quan.

Her office told KTVU she prefers face-to-face communication.

I’m pretty sure that Occupy Regina had a similar effect on Victoria Park, if not Regina as a whole.

Cattle Starved for Globalization & to Preserve Self

A few weeks ago, my friend Seong (he’s from Korea), told me about the effects of Globalization on South Korean farmers. With cheap beef flooding into the country, farmers have been unable to sell their cattle, and unable to pay for feed. Cattle could be heard crying as they starved to death. This naturally destroyed a lot of farmers’ spirits as well.

Here is a section of an academic essay he’s written, as a proposal to study the textbooks of Korea for bias toward Globalization and its underlying political ideology. I’m going to highlight some passages I found particularly striking. People in the Occupy Movement may especially find this interesting. Continue reading

Lazy Loitering Louts

In light of the Occupy movements, younger people will find this vintage video from Vancouver, very vivid. You have to wait until the very end too for a killer video joke. The mayor, pictured in 1968, passed away yesterday at age 85. His vision lives on in the 1%.

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TD Bank made record profits again recently (they almost always do manage that), and here’s a part of why/how. I didn’t use my line of credit very much, always paying it off entirely very quickly when I did use it. Last year though I decided to borrow a little from it, to pay for my wedding. Expecting to pay it off sometime next year, I had a rather reasonable ~7% interest rate. I got a letter in the mail the other day from TD, however, stating that I was having my interest variance rate reviewed, and it was being upped by 1.25%! I phoned today to complain, and the call taker said that many people are calling, unhappy with up to 4% interest rate changes! Yet another reason to consider quickly switching more completely to credit unions instead, eh?

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Here’s where I saw the Vancouver mayor clip. It was on the Big Oily Questions for MPs page. Our lazy, loitering, louts in the House of Commons for the most part won’t give you a straight answer to these tough questions. I can answer them though. The answer is beneath the questions, as it’s the same answer for all of them.

1. Why aren’t some oil sands revenues being set aside for future Canadians?

2. Are we harming our democracy?

3. Are you aware of ‘Dutch Disease,’ and if so, how do we prevent it from eroding vital parts of Canada’s economy?

4. Have you examined the geopolitical risks of tying our fate to China as superpower?

5. Are we boarding an economic roller-coaster that could crash?

6. Why aren’t we taking a strategy that would directly shore up our own energy security?

7. Why raise fears about charities whose foreign funding is a tiny percentage of what China invests in Canada’s economy and politics?

8. Does becoming more oil rich mean we also will become more militarized?

9. Have we abandoned commitments to lower carbon emissions to help prevent catastrophic climate change?

10. Why not refine it here, creating jobs and lowering risks?

11. Were you elected to hasten pollution and increase cancer risks for Canadians?

Answer (in my best Harper voice):
In these challenging economic times, we have to remember that Iran frightens me. Therefore we must diversify our markets, and focus on the economy. I don’t see a recession coming, but these foreign special interests are trying to stop our ethical oil production and exports which must now be allowed to falter. The most dangerous thing in the world is Iran, not cancer. Don’t let the hippies turn Canada into a giant National Park for our American friends.

Chantal Hebert – liveblog at UofRegina

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Intro by Mitch D.
Then Rick Kleer
Last time she was here was 2004 when Martin won PM.

Journalists drank Regina out of white wine.

She broke a rib and got to cover an election from the ground, where most voters are anyway, giving her a better perspective.
Our new tools have built better silos. Sharing isn’t routine.
Background info from the govt is treated as FYEO (For Your Eyes Only).

140 char delivery is not delivering enough details to people. 30 seconds means 12 in radio. She’s had to edit some people down a bit so they sound effective, and to save her 8 seconds.

Rene Levesque was explaining a policy in detail once she recalls, and politicians don’t do that often anymore.

Layton didn’t produce a lot of memorable quotes prior to his deathbed letter filled with them.

Form response from government gives us “cones of silence”. A human can’t make themselves give detail-free form responses five or six times, but computers give us boring responses that people tune out.

She’s talking about media tech during Meech Lake. The TV was the best place to learn about a national debate. There was no great advantage to being in Manitoba or Newfoundland with only the politicians meeting there.

Ignatieff speaking at a rally in Quebec, talked about Harper barring attendees from his rallies. Some man told Hebert he wanted to hear about something the audience there cared about.
Twitter as a window into what people are interested in, is a distorted mirror.
“People on Twitter are junkies”.

People need to take to the streets still to finish the change started in cyberspace, like in Egypt for instance.

Not totally kidding, couldn’t use “prorogation” in news because it was too long.

Long form census scandal in July was surprising.

Nenshi in Calgary started at 1% in the polls. (Phone corrected Calgary to Calgarygrit – I must be a blogger.)

“Disconnected chattering class” is part of the problem.

Questions start. It’s unlikely that I will ask one this year.

Hebert likes a spin free environment. Know when they are going on holiday and ask them things when they have nothing going on. Know what they sound like when they are telling the truth. Each MP thinks what they are doing is in the public good.

Most politicians sound smarter when they are not in politics anymore. Party line is often a problem.

Twitter used to bounce stories off of it.

Election night publication law.
Elections Can may sue a lot of ordinary people. Voting isn’t like First Communion. BC might want to undo the damage done by voters in the East.

Municipal election lacks entertainment, except Toronto might object. She has a low interest in municipal politics these days.

Coverage of Ford is interesting in part because the cities are bigger than they once were, and many people vote for a mayor, as opposed for an MPP.

The nonConservative voters don’t have an easy way to win now that the Conservative party is united.

The Liberals and NDP are struggling for the same voters. Bruce Anderson argues the Liberals may come back as the spare wheel of Canadian politics. Minority govt is likely.
NDP and Liberals fight for the voters that Harper doesn’t want.

“We vote, and you don’t” is why govt talks about old age pensions instead of childcare.

Dan B. asks a question and starts out by mentioning that he isn’t a journalist. “Good” she said. (Too much competition in a field makes it harder to stay in a job anyway.)
Need healthy debate for healthy politics.
She votes as a citizen. Does a doctor like cancer more than cardiac arrest?
Vote as a parent to show your kids it is important.

ADDED:
Toward the end of the questions, someone wondered why OWS gets less coverage than he feels it deserves. She said OWS has unclear objectives, and doesn’t see the value in occupying public space. I found that odd, since earlier she praised youth in Egypt for taking their protest into the real world off of MySpace and Twitter. She thinks the ballot box is the way to make change happen, but also knows that her generation is more likely to continue to win, since it votes.

Another questioner was also disappointed by the answer they got regarding electoral reform. Hebert said voters and politicians don’t bring it up, so journalists shouldn’t. She neglected to mention that every political party uses methods other than FPTP to elect their party leader and/or executive. She did say that there is no voter appetite for PR or electoral reform. She thinks PR would work well federally though.

Dark Orwellian Future: Top Secret America

Julian Assange isn’t the only person concerned that Facebook is the greatest spy machine ever created. There are lesser known surveillance nets and data mining underway. Did you know that most text messages sent on 9/11 were captured by a secret system, and later leaked to WikiLeaks?

NSA employee: “A vicious campaign against whistle blowers started under Bush, and has come to full fruition under Obama”.

He sees America turning into East Germany, which he used to observe at the end of the Cold War. The sort of free Republic thought of by most Americans, and the pervasive spy-state, are not compatible ideas.

Canadian Banks Made Millions from Illegal Secret Fed Loan

The other day I saw a video of Dennis Kucinich, an American Congressman, reviewing a scandal which I thought was years old. It was actually breaking news with important new information. Just when you thought Wall Street’s scandals couldn’t get much worse, details have come to light this week thanks to persistent investigative journalists who’ve revealed that the Federal Reserve gave $7.7 T R I L L I O N (Trillion, with a ‘t’) dollars to banks since 2008, interest free, to bail them out, on top of the TARP money of $800 Billion. If your mind, and sense of rage haven’t both blown up, you’ve either run out of steam or haven’t yet realized how much this has hurt you.

Free Syria and Occupy Regina

Occupy Wall Street exists in large part due to the people who cooked up this secret Fed loan (which has since been repaid, at no profit to the public, but with plenty of profit to private bankers estimated at $13 Billion). Canadian banks snuggled up to the secret trough too, even though they like to claim they never needed any bailout money. TD Canada Trust, Royal, Scotia, and many other banks all made hundreds of millions of dollars in profit from the American public’s money, in secret, revealed only due to investigative journalism. Congress was deceived (and if it was not, and was secretly in on the scam, then the public has a lot more to worry about).

Americans may be furious that Canadian and world banks made billions from their money, while there are literally millions of Americans living without healthcare that the rest of us take for granted. I expect people to go to jail for this kind of deception. Given what I’ve seen so far, I don’t expect even trials for the criminals who perpetrated this fraud that makes Bernie Madoff look like a schoolyard bully.
Continue reading

Blog Navel Gazing – Tweet Heard ‘Round The World

I’ve never had a tweet of mine be ReTweeted so much.

It was an excerpt from a Facebook post that got liked and shared by about 15 people by this point, but the Tweet is at 83 ReTweets, and that doesn’t count the dozen or more who’ve rephrased it and tweeted it under their own accounts either crediting me or not.

Ask yourself why people camped out to buy crap are glorified, but people camped out in protest of economic injustice & greed are raided.

Later in the day I saw someone had used the same idea, probably arrived at by their own thought, and put tents from both, and crowds from both, and labeled each with the media narrative around them. Mob – shoppers. Illegal camping – Dedicated shoppers.

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Another question that fewer may connect with is, “How would you feel if one of your best friends was an undercover cop sent to spy on you because you want to peacefully change the political system?”

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What if those people using public safety as an excuse for authoritarian action, are actually the ones instigating dangerous situations that harm the public?

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Why can a city tear down temporary homes for the homeless, in the grip of Winter, and not replace them with anything other than blame?

Pizza May Contain Veggies, Boards Contain Nuts

Once upon a time, Saskboy made a pizza. It was not according to the design of the requester, instead it had nutritious onions on it. Saskboy got the cold shoulder when he delivered it.

This short story was brought to you by the makers of pizza. It’s a vegetable on its own?

I hope you take a “fresh look at processed foods”. There are certain foods that should only be purchased if grown organically. Sadly, apples, celery, and peaches are on that list.

I highly recommend this entertaining and appalling report on Food Safety News, which comes complete with photos of a giant can of Goldfish crackers dangling from the trade show ceiling and a Coca-Cola booth bearing the slogan “Promoting the Registered Dietician.” Panels included — I kid you not — one called “A Fresh Look at Processed Foods.”

Help me in the War on Vegetables.

As someone who works for a small co-op, it’s frustrating to no end that large corporations that actively work against our mission statement could easily buy our complicity in this dysfunctional economic system. Why must community minded co-ops be cash starved whenever they are not assisted by generous donations from other co-ops and credit unions, but the largest corporations who are actively poisoning us and destroying our political system never run out of government subsidy?

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Sunset

Community gardens are an important part of municipalities where the majority of people have lost cultural knowledge of how to grow and prepare food. They are dirt schools, and everyone should attend one to make ourselves more capable, independent, and giving human beings.