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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cellular Wars

The reckless year of 2011 could be described by any of the following adjectives ~ volatile; tumulus; chaotic; liberating. From the rise of the Arab spring to the eviction of Occupy Wall Street, from Big Bank bailouts to BP blow out, from dictator deaths to Head-of-State turnovers, this year has seen more action than a Herman Cain fundraiser for Single Moms.




Even if the Mayan calender promises mankind one more year on earth, could we still manage to happily and mutually exist without the luxury and comfort of our mobile smart devices?

The question is not at all rhetorical, nor is it unrealistic. For example, just in this month alone, cellular phone manufacturers, patent troll firms and convoluted legal decisions worldwide have produced a tangled skein of myriad court orders, rulings and injunctions that threaten to short circuit the Global Wireless Network as we know it.

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Blackberry may have put RIM in the yellow pages, so to speak, as the Canadian handset manufacturer had dominated the corporate wireless market throughout the 1990's. But the hardware giant has now been sacked in the back field in regards to their newly released Playbook Tablet, when RIM announced that - because of market saturation - the new tablet would be dumped on holiday consumers for nearly half the target price, a stock write off of $485 million.

Call it bad luck, or call it uninformed tech thieves; and if not, call it the most brilliant product debut ever devised, but the theft of $1.7 million worth of Playbook tablets from a truck stop in Illinois is hardly even worth mentioning, if it were not for the related fact that the most popular handset in history, the HTC, is banned in the U.S. beginning next year.

If it makes sense to steal flawed devices that nobody wants - and in the same week ban superior smart phones that are in high demand - then chalk my vote up for Newt Gingrich, because ying is yang, up is down and cellular signals really are driving the population of this planet batshit crazy.

Given the recent gunslinger behavior of RIM execs here and here, it is quite plausible that the Playbook - of which freight seemed to fall off the shelf before it was even thrown up - may indeed be an inside job, as RIM had stated neither the truck, the container, nor the pallets contained a single tracking device.

This is curious, considering that the rate of Christmas cargo high-jacking in the United States is trending. Gadget techies the world over salivate at the thought of acquiring pre-release smart devices, knowing full well that every second to crack it is one more second ahead of the rest of the field.

It is almost as if RIM wanted those tablets to go away.

Motorola vs. Handset Industry

Motorola, the mobile device manufacturer whose patented technology had always seemed to be on the defense side of litigation, suddenly came thundering out of the Europeans courts last week with a patent infringement ruling against roughly 85% of it's competitors, basically those of whom incorporated iOS operating systems for android. The list was far reaching, including - quite neatly - Apple.

In fact, it was safe to say that Apple had had their asses handed to them in a court of law.

Perhaps Apple's legal counsel had been ready for this, for Digitude Innovations had stepped onto the playing field by altering the landscape of legal precedent in a fashion deserving of hired goons. The patent infringement suits, filed with the International Trade Commission, included patents which had previously belonged to hardware manufacturers but were loaned or sold to Digitute in a loosely defined consortium, or cabal, who would then litigate on their behalf of the client in the event of a dispute.

Digitude is a new kind of patent investment vehicle because it seeks to team up with strategic players that can invest in Digitude not with money, but by contributing patents. The contributing entity would then get a license for all of Digitude’s patents, according to Digitude Chairman Robert Kramer.

Curiously, of the patents held by Digitude Innovations, four in particular had previously belonged to Apple. In a quiet move back in 2010 these were transferred to Cliff Islands LLC, a shell corporation whose non-exist offices included a mailing address located within the very same building of Digitude.

Founded in 2010, Digitude raised $50 million from Altitude Capital Partners, "with aims to acquire, aggregate, and license key technology areas within the consumer electronics and related technology fields in a patent consortium” — in other words, to buy up patents and then sue other companies until they settle and agree to pay licensing fees.

This, in case you've been living under a rock, is called "patent trolling".

Apple, as most of the world already knows, has recently cast aside their rosy shroud of innocence, embracing a role predominately held by Microsoft Corporation. Perhaps through the Redmond behemoth's early lessons Apple had learned the value (or profit margins) of crushing one's competition through patent law. In any event, Apple's legal counsel have been hard at work earning those salaries in courtroom battles, dispensing the so-called bitter pill - the one of which used to be Apple's drug of choice.

For Apple, negative press noise and saber-rattling is suppose to be a thing of the past, but with the waves they are us making, it's hard to believe Digitude did not stir the pot in the first place. Digitude issued a press release in April:

“Given the significant nature of this partnership and the other discussions underway, we expect to secure only one or two more such strategic partnerships in the coming months before we aggressively begin our licensing efforts.”

It is by these suits that injunctions are in place to de-stabize the current cellular network from anyone retaining a critical mass of technology licensing to operate.

Blood On Their Hand(sets) - The North Korean Wireless Cellular Network

It's hard to imagine life behind the iron curtain, such as the NKPR, or the North Korean despot government. Even after the recent passing death-by-fatigue of Kim Jong il, the reclusive peninsula still shines about as bright as a flashlight from outer space under watch of his son, Kim Jong un.

This is not to say Pyongyang is without wireless communications. In a country where hunger, strife and cruelty prevail on every level of human existence, even possession of a cell phone just as recently as four years ago was a crime punishable by death. It is astonishing now that, at a cost equal to a years' worth of wages, over 1 million cell phones are active among the Pyongyang social elite.

Of course, TMI is an acronym as alien to the North Korean as...well, let's just say they can certainly use some accurate information.

Kim Jong un, who is a self-proclaimed Internet expert, has an ear to the ground in that all Internet traffic is limited to the confines of the state, which offer about 1,500 crap sites - much akin to cable television in the United States.

These are quality sites for the tired, the weak, the spiritless, a propaganda machine that draws uncanny parallels when loosely compared to life in the West (granted, one really has to squint to see it).

Freedom lies along the borders: China, a source of illegal smart phone smuggling and leaky wi-fi networks, provide the Korean free-thinker with a signal into the world, to sanity, to their loved ones. However, one is certain to be quick about it. Signal triangulation can result in public execution.

Unlike China's own state sponsored cellular carriers, North Korea contracts out the service. Legal phones in North Korea are operated by Cairo-based Orascom Telecom Holding SAE and cannot be used for international calls.

The Arab Spring

Going into Iraq in 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed, "Let America bring Democracy to Iraq, and it will spread like wildfire throughout the Middle East". It was looked on as incredibly jingoistic.
Today, however, that statement may well be viewed as 'visionary', giving credit where it is surprisingly due. Egypt and Libya, both who managed to break their bonds, continue to negotiate new Democratic government, while Syria and Tunisia are embattled, but spirited.

Uprisings and protests were spurred on by a burdening government, while hostilities stirred to life from unjust deaths, and in spite of this, coordination of a community comprising an entire country joined together as one. Organizing themselves into One Voice and with the use of communication tools such as twitter and facebook, demonstrators, with the aid of a google employee, managed to pry President Mubarak out of office in front of a world audience - Revolution-Style.

Of Egypt, many factors contributed to the successful revolt, including droves of classified documents released by Wiki-leaks. The U.S. State Department analysis of facebook protest group Kefaya showed that American officials thought little of the Egypt uprisings. It read: “The stated goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections is highly unrealistic, and is not supported by the mainstream opposition.”

Egyptian "thank you" postcards are no doubt flooding Hillary Clinton's mailbox.

Bay Area Protest Plunge

When online hacker group 'Anonymous' called for a San Fransisco Bay Area protest in August, instructions were to assemble within the tubes of the Bay Area Rapid Transit System. Dubbed 'No Justice, No BART',  it perhaps modeled itself after Flashmob modus operandi, the entire unit of the protest organization hinging a signal to be received via twitter and facbook.

Those instructions never came, because management for BART - who had caught wind of the demonstration beforehand - had ordered wireless wi-fi networks at specific locations to be switched off.

While detractors worldwide cried foul, transit management reserved the right by reinforcing this policy in a recent review.

This had marked the first time that cellular antennas were switched off to prevent a public demonstration anywhere in the world. It's also ironic to point out that this had occurred in a country that actually has a constitution protecting free speech, whereas many Middle Eastern monarchies sentence protesters to death.

NTSB Guidelines For Cell Phones

Take a look at the most recent recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board. It seems that our Dearly Beloved Leader, Big Brother, would like to gently remind americans that it might be a wise idea to support legislation banning the use of mobile devices while operating motor vehicles.

While we could applaud this as a genuine, conscience effort to raise awareness, the fear instilled by the possibility of an inattentive texting driver is a joyride by comparison to the absolute terror when police have the right to search and copy your mobile devices at any time, including pictures and video.

Anything can and will be used against you in a court of law.

According to IQ Carrier, your smart phone does record and track locations by GPS, and - only for the purposes of improving research - keeps a running log of websites visited, with no known removal or opt out privilege. However, don't fret: digital rights in the 21st century include your 1st amendment right to a password, and the right to shut up about it.

The computer brain in every motor vehicle can be used as evidence in a court of law, and in some states, even basic individual protections from illegal search are stripped from arrestees. Much the same case law can be equally applied to cell phones.

In theory, the only way to prove that a driver was not texting is to examine every device in the passenger compartment. If a texting ban were to be strictly enforced, then a simple Police backup application will hang all of our dirty laundry out to dry.

Cellular Towers And Our Health

To recap, one can easily understand the social risks that come with possession of a mobile device. But these only address outside influences who attempt to control by the use of sheer force.

It should be noted that the effects of cellular signals on other species who inhabitate this planet are having a time of it. The disappearing honey bees have been a subject of controversy for a decade, attributing the decreasing populations to Colony Collapse Disorder. Studies can be done with your own handset to prove how cellular signals can affect bees.

Cellular towers that are erected in populated areas often spawn skin rashes, diseased cattle, infertile ducks, spinning children and E.P.A. quotes that would scare any Mobile Giant.

And, just as Herman Cain had said; "It still ain't over yet..."




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Portland Occupy Movement Part 2: The Earth Guardians

Forty-some-odd volunteers showed up at Chapman and Lownsdale Square to help reopen for reconstruction, reported local news channels in Portland.

There certainly was no shortage of free hands to help with refurbishing the turf in the wake of the Occupy Portland camp site. If one listened carefully, a soundbite from the newscaster did actually attribute 'at least a couple' of volunteers to the former Occupy movement, deftly implying that even during the coldest part of the season, stampedes of Oregonians are just tickled pink with the thought of lining up in the freezing cold to re-sod an iced over park -  one of which damage supposedly rang up to a staggering $89,000 tab of taxpayer money.

Never mind that $2,000 of that was charged for 'leaf removal'. It seems that Occupy Portland even pissed off the trees, whereby the noble woods declared themselves not in solitary with the 99% and proceeded to crap leaves all over the entire encampment, as trees tend to do.

The fact that the city charged Occupy Portland for the responsibility of raking and disposing of said leaves just goes to show how vitally important of a role the Occupy movement - and all of it's spokes councils - play in restoring not only our parks, but some intelligence, integrity and civic duty in regards to public policy in our local government.

And even amid all of this spin, we leave it to our blind and still ambitious mainstream media to tear at the corners of a portrait until all you see is a distorted image.


The Earth Guardians: Who Are They?

I had become an Earth Guardian the very day it was created, the very hour, the very second it was breathed into the central court in the middle of Chapman Park.

"Mic Check"![Mic Check!], "Mic Check"! [Mic Check!]

Three to five syllable sentences punctured the early morning silence of a post dawn-camp.The precise words uttered that day are likely forever lost to folklore, but to sum up the mans speech, it was put to all listeners within hearing range that the present group of occupiers had decided to form 'The Earth Guardians'. The designation of the de-facto group would hence forth be "the last of the camping occupiers to vacate the park squares, charged with the duties of restoring the parks to their original condition, and, where possible, making improvements to landscape and foliage".

It was a memorable day indeed - for it was in the first week of Occupy Portland that the Earth Guardians were born.

We all had stories, visions, dreams and ideas - all pertaining to the environment, to growing, and more importantly, directly applied to the restoration of the parks that we were just barely 4 days into the process of trampling. I, myself, had an interest in applying Actively Aerated Compost Tea to all portions of the soil within both squares, and had also pledged an interest in teaching others the benefits of growing with microbes.

The Earth Guardians were instrumental in putting the word out to remind people to keep clean and tidy. They had helped stamp out what was the the first of several waves of untidiness to inflict the camps.

They are also lining up in the cold to work.

The Earth Guardians Today

So, when you heard the local news talk about droves of people, not to line up for bed space or for a hot meal, not for the first 100 ipad2's at half price, not even for Mall Santa with a bonfide beard ~ no, these people line up to do backbreaking landscape restoration and repair work to an otherwise iced over pit of mud -

These are dedicated Earth Guardians, and they've been waiting to do their duty. This is their Calling.

The Earth Guardians do not have their own spokes council, nor do they have an allotted budget of any type. They are, arguably, one of the least important and least recognized members of the Occupy Portland movement. However, in the same respect, the Earth Guardians at this moment are in the limelight, despite the fact that mainstream news casts them in the shadows.

As of Wednesday the Earth Guardians description and guidelines as follows:

Earth Guardians -

Assisting in restoring the parks of Lownsdale and Chapman.
Mailing list: opdx-park-restorationATgooglegroups.com

from www.occupyportland.org/organize

Your thoughts on this article? Should Mayor Sam Adams himself find it en vogue to volunteer one day to help clean up after his fellow 99%? Send your comments to g.brunty@gmail.com or twitter @endhour

Occupy Sanitation Crew: The Story That Nobody Wrote

In the first week of Occupy Portland, at least two dedicated occupy 'media' tents were erected. One in particular had a six foot portable table, six chairs and power strips juiced by silent generators. Some came to briefly peck away on their own devices; others came to meet, presenting their own ideas, or seeking stories. This tent was exclusively for journalists.

Illona, spotted by trademark orange duct tape, greeted me sheepishly, almost shy. She is anything but this, come to find. We first discussed the condition of the camps, sharing the opinion that such garbage littering around us was an incredible eyesore. The topic of sanitation had first arose, the idea that someone should write about what they do.

Who They Are

"What who do"? I remember asking. From there, Illona and I traversed the square bearing south, ending in the corner of SW 3rd and Madison."This is where the trucks pull up," she points, indicating the curbside of the busy one-way, two-lane southwest street of Madison, proving without a word the insurmountable odds of getting garbage out of the squares - for free.

"It must be next to impossible to stop here", I surmised, as an occupier from the sanitation crew stood in the street diverting traffic from the coveted 12 feet of curbside. He directed drivers with an intensity, having to shout more than once, "You can't park here. A truck is circling the block to stop here. This is the Occupy Portland Sanitation loading zone"!

Indeed, the southeast triangle of grass strip consisting roughly 40 square feet represented what this makeshift society had determined to be a proper location for waste disposal, all in a simple do it yourself work station. This was the birth of the Occupy Portland Sanitation Crew. (PIC)The trash containers lining up along the Chapman Square walk was an obvious call to recycle and reuse. This played well in proximity to the Engineering and Electrical camp which had lodged behind: plenty of debris that someone left for junk other crafty engineers had found use for.

Where They Are Now

One would be hard pressed to put a name to face, but the return of Occupy Portland in what organizers had coined "Occupy West Coast Ports" was the only formal call to action to officially come from the Occupy Portland movement since the camp closure in November. But familiar faces they we, as the late model Ford Ranger pulled up, a Shultz portable restroom in tow.

Arriving to swap out clean portables and deliver vital toiletries was none other than volunteer Glenn of the Occupy Portland Sanitation crew. Glenn, who works for a road construction company as a flagger, had rented six port-a-potties for the "Close The Ports" event here on Monday December 12.

"You paid for these restrooms out of your own pocket"? Not exactly.

Even though television news crews shared full access, the restrooms, toilet paper pyramids, family-sized hand sanitizer bottles and stacks of 2 gallon spring water containers had all come from the Occupy movement - paid for jointly, by vote, from the General Assemblies of Occupy Portland and Occupy Oakland from their respective general funds. "Even the gas for my truck", he grins.

In all, roughly 18 portable restrooms were allotted for Portland West Coast Shut Down alone, not including cases upon cases of premium grade toilet paper, first aid supplies, emergency drinking water, paper towels and feminine hygiene.

This is an example of the kind of organizing our city should consider at it's grassroots, to deem a personal bar of minimum acceptance, as a guide to proper city event planning.

Glenn, who had donated his time, labor and vehicle for the event had his own hoops to jump through.

"Does Shultz know your rented the portables for this event on behalf of Occupy Portland"?
"Nope, not a word, so far", he puts, tersely. Glenn, as it were, drove to Shultz to rent six portables for the event on Sunday. An event on Monday, they exclaimed? What kind of event is this that happens on a Monday?

Explaining he is merely a flagger, curiosity-turned-monotonous had carried the subject away, much to his relief. Glenn does not want to get caught up in politics, though he doesn't mind being quoted as a source.

"Are you Hungry? I have apples, bananas, fruit rolls-ups, granola bars..."
"Hmmm, a granola bar would go well with my lunch", I venture. Glenn rips into a new box of Nature Valley. These, along with the fruit, had come out of his own pocket.
"Here, ya go, bro. Thanks for stopping me to ask", he adds with a smile.
"And thank you for answering my questions", I responded jubilantly.

It is exactly two months past deadline, but the story of Occupy Portland Sanitation has now been told. The Sanitation Crew is a Spoke in The Wheel.

As of Wednesday, the Sanitation Team description and guidelines is as follows:

Sanitation

Making sure that the occupation is a sanitary space for all campers while practicing environmental stewardship. This committee currently has no POC. Care to start?

from www.occupyportland.org/organize

Your thoughts about this article? Could a Sanitation Spokes Council acquire a seat on Mayor Sam Adams city planning committee? Email your thoughts to g.brunty@gmail.com or twitter @endhour

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mainstream Media Joins The 1%

In a time when momentum for the working class has peaked, it's interesting to note just how many non-relevant issues have risen to the top in mainstream media. No surprise, the right will always try to confuse and distract from the glaring truths; But when it comes from our very own left, that's when I put my foot down.

Take John Hlinko, for instance. Normally a left-leaning, whistle-blowing, support group for liberal democrats, today's email newsletter, emboldened, reads: "Don't Robo Call My Cell Phone". The newsletter attempts to appeal to my interests by telling me they are championing for my cell phone rights. It is silly to think that an inanimate object could possess more legal rights than myself...

Or is it?

Following one day after the boldest move yet, Occupy Foreclosed Homes should have sparked controversy, reciprocal communication and bridges between classes of Americans of whom it had never occurred - that we are all cut from the same stock.

Take, for instance, the discharged servicemen who served our country and who's tour of duty resulted in permanent disability, or the writer who made clear that we should not have had to treat disabled war veterans because they were not suppose to live long enough to make it home.

Where is the heart and soul of fellow man?

It's not hard to recognise your brethren. They are never the ones that you frown upon, because those very people who live their life in such reckless shame make understanding them impossible. There has to be a conscience correlation to circumstance that permits one to see through the eyes of another.

When I joined the Portland Occupy protest in downtown Portland, Oregon, my response to my friends and family was typical; "Those are my people. I have to be there". The reaction from my new girlfriend was horrifying: "Your not worried about catching something"?

Actually, I was not worried at all. In fact, I was praying I would catch something. I was hoping to catch a whiff of freedom, a sense of camaraderie among brothers and sisters who feel the same way I do about an unjust political and economic system. What we all caught was fire.

Despite the fact that the mainstream media has painted a portrait of a loose movement with no clear agenda, #OWS has garnered well over 50% support of the average American, a number that is still considered to be squelched. It's rather easy to conclude that, even though 99% would never fully commit, the inequities are there. Those other 49% are suppressed, and it's not hard to understand why.

Take, for instance, every person who has both a paying job and a home mortgage. What responsible person in their right mind would sacrifice all their hard work when, if you lose it, you'll likely never have another opportunity to earn it back. Our country was born on the ax ion that if you work hard, you will get everything you want. But on the other hand, popular opinion  today professes that if you lose your job and home by doing something unintelligent, it's a dog-eat-dog world, sorry about your
luck.

Standing up for your rights and freedoms in unison, in unity, in solidarity, is the only way Americans are going to take their freedom back. Everyone sacrifices; everyone wins.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Oakland: Litigators Flocking To The Bay Area?

  
   The City of Oakland will have some demons to purge in the next coming weeks, in form of politicians and officials who were directly responsible for unleashing the terrorist attack against citizens of the public who were doing nothing more than participating in peaceful demonstration. And weeks, it will be ~ this won't take more than a month or two. The citizens of Oakland will be swift.


                                                Mayor Jean Quan telling it like it is: the 99% cannot Occupy Oakland -
                                                                it belongs to the 1%!




   Oakland Police wreaked havoc on the ground, as tear gas canisters, wooden dowels, rubber bullets and concussion grenades filled the entire five mile radius of Occupy Oakland with colored smoke, causing all visibility and flashes to bring alive a surreal war movie - except that you find yourself in it, wondering if the Police attack could spark a stampede, that one can lose a life in. It's a very grave concern when you are that someone in the street with unfreildly, no - unsensible  - police firing upon you and your comrades. To think that my life could end tonight in Oakland by trampling is not a comforting thought.


                                                            Instead of burning millions of dollars making life more difficult, why not provide 
                                                            generators so our disabled may not be stranded in the middle of tear gas?



   As was widely reported, Ex-Marine Scott Olson was caught with one of these unassuming 'non-lethel' projectiles. Whether it be a cannister or a fragmented rubber bullet, we live in a world where people are held accountable for their actions. If there was actual civil unrest, the Govorner has the right to call in the National Guard. Whether even the Governor has the right to call for non-lethal means in this situation is still debatable. But a mere City Mayor should not be entrusted with authority to authorize such tactics, and by doing so, has opened the city up to litigation.


                                                                   Disperse! Good, that'll learn 'em. Them 99 percenters won't be back.




   Yes, people are going to sue you, Oakland, and you are going to pay for it. Unfortunately, it will be the taxpayers who are going to incur this debt, and in the end, those taxpayers will be the same 99% who were attacked in the first place. The Oakland City Council could begin to staunch the wounds by formally censoring Mayor Jean Quan and interim Police Chief Howard Jordan. After that, if I were a Council member, I would introduce a measure that would release the city of any responsibility of actions for it's elected officials in the future, and make a proclamation to abolish the authority within it's elected officials to permit the use of any tactics that may unduly harm the public, leaving this right and responsibility to the discretion of the Governor.

With a few more of these kind of ideas in the same direction, Oakland may begin to purge itself of evil, yet.

14:00 2011/10/27 ~ Oakland, California

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Portland Threatens to Implode



        "It's not about about Main Street, it's about Wall Street"

        "The 1% don't use Main Street"

        "The Chapman Park Occupation and the G.A. are two different movements

        "The Occupation is Protest; the street closure is Activism"

        "If Occupy Wall Street is about poverty ~ then why waste taxpayer money"?


These are examples of what should be said at the General Assembly meetings.


Of the #OccupyPortland, one thing can be said: open-proposal General Assembly meetings are dangerous in the hands of a divided organization ~ especially one with no particular task to achieve. It appears the movement, consisting of camped tents and core services of a loose knit community in Chapman Square is quite different from the volatile, rambunctious congregation that has taken over the 1100 block of SW Main Street following the end of Saturday's Portland Marathon. Although both groups attend the G.A. meetings, not all opinions are consistent with one another. In fact, the division over whether to re-open Main Street to the city as opposed to 'keeping it' has been one of two major issues that has bogged the functions of the  G.A. (General Assembly) since the street was taken Saturday night.

Initially, the G.A. had been held in Lownsdale Square, across Main  street from Chapman Square. Lownsdale Square was the rental of Portland Marathon (P.M.), and going into last weekend organizers for #OccupyPortland contacted P.M. to inquire about sharing use of the park. The request was answered with a frosty 'no'. It seemed that during one of the preceding Portland Marathons, an Obama booster group had shared use of the park with P.M., promising to respect the condition, as it was P.M.s deposit who was forfeit. And forfeit they did, costing P.M. nearly four times in penalties. The organization almost collapsed, and when they where able to solidify funding to assure the following years' race, the committee vowed to never actually 'use' the Square in which they rented, indefinitely. So, it was no surprise that even though many of  P.M.'s participants rallied the organization for support, Lownsdale Park was not to be occupied.

Thankfully, Portland Mayor Sam Adams stepped to the plate for Portland's 99% by solving the issue in one fell  swoop: #OccupyPorland may have The City's blessing by camping Chapman Square. The city of Portland Parks would incur the costs for wear to the turf, though they were concerned for minimizing the damage under a prolonged Occupancy. Following the Marathon's exit, plans were quickly made to occupy Lownsdale Square once Portland Marathon was cleared by City park officials.

Portland's 99% had closed the holiday weekend with news reports of nothing but unity, cooperation, and incredibly useful techniques in communicating and functioning as a leaderless unit. In fact, it was widely reported that Portland had lead the entire County in astute, logical communication techniques born from PSU students, using hand signs that everyone in the entire meeting may use to silently and quickly give opinions or signal for direct response. These stories generated praise in the National Press.

It seemed that these two forces - the rebellious take over of Main Street as a meet place for G.A.s, and the too-easy to use communication system, had collided in way of an information overload. Since it was so easy for someone to voice an opinion, proposal after proposal was introduced with no conscience effort on the body to recriminate egotism. People were truly trying to solve the issue of the closed street - should they continue to corridor off Main Street to all thru traffic, or should the 99% allow it to be re-opened for an increasingly long list of reasonable concerns? Though the concerns voiced up to that point had included such important issues as Emergency Services, these were not enough to sway a crowd of 1,600 people, when it seemed half wanted the meeting to be over so they could go back to camp and eat, while the remainder stuck around simply because they occupied Main Street, anyway. The deadlock was further muddled because people who voiced their opinions and 'proposed' alternatives that could appease both groups and solve the issues were instead  crucified because they proffered a proposal that many seemed to like and support, but only further divided the consenus: Abandon the street or hold it indefinitely.



Here's one crux to the  matter: the 99% are out in numbers because of poverty. Even though it had been mentioned during every G.A. that Tri-Met and Emergency services would have to be re-rerouted, the decision was to remain in 'contact and in negotiation' with the authorities, but to continue to occupy Main Street. It's quite apparent that occupying the street is going to cost taxpayers money - money that is most definitely NOT going to come from the 1%, nor will it come from Wall Street. The very people that are occupying are going to incur the costs for blocking the street. Is this really how Portland wants to show the Country the way to rally against Corporate spending, by doing exactly what Corporations do, burn money?

Here's another point: The 99% who occupy the 1100 block of Main may represent the interests of their brethren, but the people who NEED the street, not to protest, but to commute, need the street more than OccupyPortland. This 99% - who happen to have jobs - are the actual 99%, and these taxpayers outnumber the hundred or so Activists occupying a busy causeway in downtown Portland.

This is all aside from the fact that the authorities, who have maintained pleasant negotiations concerning the street, have signaled as of Tuesday October 11 that Main Street does not belong to the People's 99%, it in fact belongs to the city, and the Police will be forced to remove Occupiers. As of the close of Tuesday's General Assembly , the consensus was that time remained to further debate the issue at the next G.A. meeting the following day. It was a decision not to decide.

This can destroy every single fiber of goodwill this movement has recently earned, in the media, and in general focus. Many real taxpayer citizens did not want to take part in this protest, initially. But when the past weekend spurred a vast array of committees and service tents, the whole feeling of good, kind, wholesomeness kicked in and everyone got on their devices, said 'Oh, how neat', and more people, real people, came. Remember why people came - because it wasn't stupid, because, initially on Columbus Day Weekend the protest didn't cost anyone any money. It was a protest; it was not activism.

But Tuesday morning bore a whole new animal, and the one's who occupy Chapman  Square seem to understand that. Some people believe that the G.A.s are mostly populated with outsiders whose opinions are not quite in line with the Occupation. It is fact that many of the Camp's Service's members, leaders and committee members do not even attend the G.A.s solely because they are such a  headache of confusion and agitation. It was also quoted that nothing of interest ever gets done during these meetings.

So, who are the real people attending the G.A.s? Tuesday's meeting included a Steve Jobs look a-like who frequently ranted  ' I propose, I propose', when another tiresome proposal was introduced, and would then burst into manical laughter. Many thought it disturbing at first, but as the 7:00 meeting  wore on to 9:30, others actually seemed to somewhat relate to his eccentricism.

It's the opinion of this author that the Facilitators of #OccupyPortland see to it that public expense is kept to zero, or the next best thing to it, so as not to cost our very own percentage a dime, or even a paycheck.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Most Amazing Sight In The World

Forty two years of life on this planet had not prepared me for this.

The sea of people sailed through  Ankeny square and Skidmore Fountain like a tsunami, complete with bits and pieces of floating debris, signs that declared "We are 99%" and the like. The spill continued to flow, creating a walking, living serpent who's tail never seemed to materialize.

Voodoo Donuts was - uncharacteristically - walk up service as the procession eased off Ash and zagged down to Burnside, completely engulfing the west bound lanes. Chants of one kind or another could be heard from various ranges, and all were unique and upbeat. Rain drizzled, but people smiled, laughed, cheered and shared in the spirit, a special bond of knowing that history was being made, and all were a  part of it. Anonymous seemed to be in trend, as the famed Guy Fawkes mask was sighted throughout the night. Puppeteers were in vogue, as were all street performers and those of various talents. One got a sense that some of the people present never actually got out much. The camaraderie seemed to exude from the need to embrace freedom, liberty and expression, and the relief of being able to finally do so in a Voice that would be unmistakably heard.

The dragon hooked  left and tore up 6th avenue, ramming into Pioneer Square and filling it to standing room capacity, while others pushed on to settle and occupy both Chapman and Lownsdale Square on the corner of 4th and Salmon, across the street from the Multnomah County Courthouse. The scent of cannabis could be picked up nearly everywhere one walked, despite the police presence. Law Enforcement were continually seen helping, doing deeds that assisted Occupants, where it be moving water, assisting the disabled, or even just a friendly wave and a curt nod.

What had transpired on Thursday in Portland Oregon changed life as we know it, forever. We are a true Democracy, and We The People are amassing to take it back.

The general opinion of this author is that the time is ripe. This generation has woken up.

I have waited my whole life for this.