Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Amazon plastered New York transit with Nazi imagery and nobody is happy

Amazon plastered New York transit with Nazi imagery and nobody is happy: New Yorkers boarding buses and subway trains were surprised with a wall of Axis Powers propaganda, courtesy of Amazon, on Monday.

The e-commerce giant is promoting its new show Man in the High Castle — an alternate-history period piece that takes place in an America ruled by Nazi Germany and imperial Japan — by blanketing symbols of the two fascist governments across buses, subway trains and online ads, as first reported by Gothamist. (Patrick Kulp, Mashable)
Interesting timing, given the psychosis that is the "Islamic State" and the terror they are spreading across the globe.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Spying TVs

Coast to Coast has an item on smart TVs that spy on us. Not new news; this has been known for some time now. But a good reminder of what's out there, or rather, in there, as in, inside our homes:

Smart TVs Are Spying On Us? - Articles - Coast to Coast AM: Reportedly, a new breed of smart TV is actually spying on us!

One of the most popular brands can reportedly track everything you watch and then report them to advertisers, ProPublica reported.

For millions of viewers, the set's “Smart Interactivity” is preprogrammed as a default setting right from the factory.

This Smart Interactivity records a person’s view habits, including what they watched, the time and the channel they were tuned to and possibly what they recorded for later binge watching. (Coast to Coast)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Off the Grid News: "This American City Jails Citizens For Having Garden Weeds (Yes, Really)"

If you are among the 3,000 or so people living in Pagedale, Missouri, you can be fined -- and jailed -- for such things as not having matched curtains, walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk (what side is the right side?) and so much more. Read on:

This American City Jails Citizens For Having Garden Weeds (Yes, Really) | Off The Grid News: Rather than protecting and serving the public, Pagedale sets a revenue goal and then uses its code enforcement powers to achieve it,” House said.
Some of the Institute’s specific allegations against Pagedale include:
Revenue from non-traffic fines makes up 17.68 percent of the city’s budget.
Pagedale actually set a goal for fine revenues in its 2014-2015 city budget: $353,000.
In 2013, Pagedale’s municipal court heard 5,781 cases. The city’s population is just 3,304. (Off the Grid News)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

On-line Game: Flowerville and Veterans

I posted this on my Facebook page today, about a game I play on-line -- "Flowerville." Harmless, silly, and relaxing. But something I noticed that I find disturbing:

"I like to play games on FB, like Flowerville. Harmless, silly, you plant flowers, harvest, etc. No killing or violence. They have different characters that buy from you and award points. One of the characters is "Logan" -- a veteran. Older, gray haired, wears a vest over a tee shirt. Sometimes when he pops up the cartoon bubble says something like "I had too much to drink last night, got drunk, I'm hung over, I need a dozen roses to feel better." Then when you do the rose thing his hangover is gone. Another bubble says something like "I'm really angry, and feeling madder … " so you have to plant flowers so he doesn't go postal. This isn't funny and is in poor taste and very disrespectful to the issue of vets who are suffering and not getting what they need. I am no patriotic flag waving America first kind of person, but come on. Just seems inappropriate in an otherwise silly gentle game. Just what is the agenda here?"

Reading Is Against The Law

Those cute little boxes in people's yards, sharing books? Take a book, leave a book … read a book? Some cities think you need their approval -- paid approval what with fees for permits and fines and all -- in order to read:

Local Governments Crack Down On The Monstrous Evil of Tiny Free Lending Libraries: As The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf explains, local governments in Los Angeles, Shreveport, LA and Leawood, KS have all tried to levy fines and other sanctions against people who put up these tiny birdhouse-like lending libraries. These are just what they sound like: tiny boxes on stilts, where anybody can leave behind a book, or take one of the books that have been left behind by others. They bring pleasure and excitement, and a badly needed sense of civic participation and shared fun, to communities, and most of all, they encourage people to notice and read books. But they violate obscure zoning and other ordinances. (io9.com)

Control and money, that's what it's about. Reminders that "they" are watching, and we need their authority to carry on. Another attempt to regulate and collect our money for their agendas.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Killings, Fires and Strange Events This Summer in Eugene-Springfield, Oregon

I've hesitated writing about this, because I want to respect the people involved: the living friends and families who are also victims. Often it seems to me that when we start writing about tragic events, a veil of disrespect, a blithe aura, appears that ignores the fact of those most affected. It often just seems so damn exploitative.

But it is all so weird and strange and inexplicable, the summer of deaths in our town -- and other odd events -- that I have to put them out there.

Eugene has a population of roughly 160,000. Our neighbor city east of us, Springfield, has a population of about 60,000. And then there are the small towns all around us, like Junction city, with a population of 5,000. In these relatively small towns over the summer and continuing into September, there have been several murders, suicides, murder-suicides (friends of mine knew one of the victims) and attempted murders and suicides, as well as odd events such as the public transportation bus driver who hoaxed a bomb threat, that is transcends statistical "norms."

So much so that the people you wouldn't expect to say anything regarding the observation that this is all very weird, are saying how very weird it is.

When I first moved to this area over thirty years ago, of course the town was smaller, less populated, less built up, friendlier (despite the psychotic anti-California vibe) and less crime filled. Now of course, the town is bigger, more congested, more populated, less friendly (anti-California vibe still strong however) and a lot more crime. But this summer has seen more than the expected in terms of killing.

From the Register Guard newspaper:
12 Dead in Three Months: A look at this summer in Eugene-Springfield area.

Shooting Victim Lured to his Death

The Seattle Times: 3 Violent Deaths in Eugene-Springfield Area Since Friday

Not just killings, but odd behaviors in general, such as the bomb hoax. Bus driver Alex Reutov, a bus driver for over ten years and with "no history of any issues…" was arrested for his part in a hoaxed bomb threat. 

We also had a 4.2 earthquake in Eugene this summer; June 5th.  I was in bed, awake, when it happened. At first I thought the shaking and rumbling was from a truck going by -- a huge uber-truck, to be sure -- but Jim said "Nope, this is an earthquake!" Things shook, the bed moved… scary for a few moments.

It has also been unusually hot, breaking records for summer temperatures.

Fires. The Pacific Northwest, California, the southwest, have had their share of wildfires this summer. The air has been thick with smoke, ash covering cars, asthma patients have had a very bad time (I know I have, I've never had attacks this bad.) Taking Amtrak's Coast Starlight to southern California in late August I could smell the smoke all through Oregon and parts of California, see it in the air. Very bad. But there were also two sad fire related events this summer in Eugene, just a couple of weeks apart.

June 29th, the historic Civic Stadium went up in flames:
Just two months after a deal was hammered out to give it new life as a facility for kids' sports, a 78-year-old abandoned stadium on the National Register of Historic Places went up in flames Monday in Eugene, Oregon, as onlookers mournfully sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." (NBC News)
August 5th, the Southtowne Lanes bowling alley burned to the ground.

The Civic Stadium fire's cause was arson (though unintentional, it appears. young kids playing around with dry leaves and lighters. So far, the view is that the boys didn't think beyond what they were doing and didn't intentionally set the fire) the bowling alley, old electrical wiring gone bad. Both buildings were old, historic sites the community held good memories for.  To have both buildings go up in flames, and a week apart, destroyed without any prospects of being restored, is very strange.

It's a sad but realistic fact that murders, suicides, attempts at both, fires, earthquakes and individuals going off the track are not uncommon, and happen everywhere. Our area however, has seen an unusual, concentrated madness this summer, and it seems to be continuing. The question is why? Is there an answer? It's been off the charts hot, the fires have contributed to fear, illness, pollution, and stress. Suicides, murders, can, and do, trigger others. But those are simplistic reasons, and, while not unreasonable explanations, don't seem to be complete ones.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Idaho: Drones, Begging Oregon

Idaho has now armed drones roaming the skies:

Five Reasons Armed Domestic Drones Are a Terrible Idea | American Civil Liberties Union: The Daily Beast has reported that North Dakota has enacted a drone bill that permits law enforcement drones to be equipped with weapons such as Tasers, rubber bullets, tear gas, and sound cannons. This is a terrible idea. (ACLU.org)
"Terrible idea" -- understatement.

Pot, medical and recreational, is legal in Oregon. This law hasn't stopped many an Oregon county and town in banning legal pot sales. They note that since pot is still illegal on the federal level, these good Oregon citizens don't want to break the law. No doubt these are the same people who blithely ignore federal gun laws and federal gay rights laws. On the Oregon/Idaho border, Idaho has begged Oregon towns to ban pot sales so that illegal pot activity doesn't enter Idaho. Eastern Oregon has agreed.

Back to the police state: eastern Oregon was the site of a "surprise" active shooter drill in the Pine Eagle School district, which scared the bejesus out of teacher Linda McLean. Who is suing. Good for her.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Blog.com's NOTICE

What is this? It's been quite awhile since I've posted here at Octopus Confessional -- just too damn overwhelmed with the never ending putrid arms of the global Kraken of insanity. So I check in, meaning to post random thoughts on some of the insanity, and see this on my blogger dashboard:

European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used on your blog. In many cases, these laws also require you to obtain consent. 
As a courtesy, we have added a notice on your blog to explain Google's use of certain Blogger and Google cookies, including use of Google Analytics and AdSense cookies. 
You are responsible for confirming this notice actually works for your blog, and that it displays. If you employ other cookies, for example by adding third party features, this notice may not work for you. Learn more about this notice and your responsibilities.
I manage several blogs, Orange Orb, Orange Orb Tarot and Oracle, Mothman Flutterings, and many others. Here at the Confessional is the only place where this notice turned up. Just odd.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"Fostering Creative Thinking:"Another Fake UFO Crash

From England, where they really love to stage these fake UFO crashes, complete with injured or missing aliens, the most recent:

UFO crash lands at Semley School | Blackmore Vale Magazine: Pupils at Semley CEVA Primary School, Wiltshire, returned after their half-term break to find there was a flurry of excitement in the playground on Monday morning. Staff dressed in florescent jackets ushered children into the hall and declared a state of emergency… a space rocket had crash-landed on the school playing field! 
The reason given for these scenarios is to encourage creative writing and thinking in children. Well, at least it wasn't the fake WWIII scenario, or the murdered-in-front-of-students scenario.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

School Lockdown; Armed SWAT Dude

Right here in Eugene, two school lock downs and one "modified" school lock down. The reason: armed man in complete camo seen walking near the schools. Turns out he was a SWAT team member on break from exercises. Supervisor gave him the okay to walk into the YMCA (which is across the street from the high school and a couple blocks down from the middle school) to visit his son.

Police were called, lock downs for 45 minutes, all turned out okay. SWAT team guy "felt terrible" about the misunderstanding.

I'm not so sure. I'm not so paranoid (well, maybe I am) that I think this was intentional, since the man in question visited his son at the Y often and staff recognized him. I certainly question the thinking, or, lack of, behind this whole scene. Didn't it occur to anyone involved: supervisor, SWAT team guy himself, etc. that walking around right in front of schools in full camo and visibly armed might set off some alarms?????!!!! Scary to think the lack of thinking was so entrenched.

From KTVZ news site this interesting quote: "Though it was a false alarm, Hankemeier says officers could tell that school staff greatly benefited from a recent active-shooter training program with Eugene police."

Article in Eugene's Register Guard newspaper does mention the "militarization of police" --- on second thought maybe this was intentional. Possible armed camo dad wasn't aware of his part in this little scene but someone knew the intent was to observe the reactions of the community.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Boulder cops declare ‘rock stacking’ a jailable offense to stop local artist who spent 7 years creating sculptures

Boulder cops declare ‘rock stacking’ a jailable offense to stop local artist who spent 7 years creating sculptures: “For the past 7 years i have been creating this art in and around Boulder, Colorado, USA. nearly every day!” he wrote. “[J]ust this weekend, one police officer has decided that balancing rocks in Boulder, Colorado is now illegal, obscurely referencing two city codes [5-4-8 and 5-4-2] about ‘destruction of public property’ in relation to rocks.”

“So now the police have belligerently taken it upon themselves to write tickets and/or arrest ANYONE balancing rocks in Boulder, CO. and specifically threatened to ticket me and/or arrest me if they catch me in the future,” the artist lamented. “[I] encourage as many people as possible (especially locals) to contact the city council here in Boulder and voice your support for this long standing tradition in Boulder. [I]t is something that an overwhelming portion of the community supports.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wyoming law against data collection: Protecting ranchers by ignoring the environment.

According to this article, Utah and Idaho also have laws such as Wyoming. Wyoming's reason? That documenting the presence of E. coli bacteria in the water. That bacteria comes from cattle. Which suggests that the ranchers are behind this law. Hopefully this insane law will be challenged in the courts, as are the ones in Idaho and Utah.

Wyoming law against data collection: Protecting ranchers by ignoring the environment.: Imagine visiting Yellowstone this summer. You wake up before dawn to take a picture of the sunrise over the mists emanating from Yellowstone hot springs. A thunderhead towers above the rising sun, and the picture turns out beautifully. You submit the photo to a contest sponsored by the National Weather Service. Under a statute signed into law by the Wyoming governor this spring, you have just committed a crime and could face up to one year in prison. (Justin Pidot, Slate.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It Can't Happen Here: "Teacher Sues Oregon School District for Traumatic Active-Shooter Drill"

In 2014 I posted an item about a shooter drill in a small Oregon school.  Staff was not informed beforehand. Today, the following item appeared concerning one of the teachers present during the drill. She was, understandably, very upset by the incident and is now suing the school district, as well as the "shooter":
Teacher Sues Oregon School District for Traumatic Active-Shooter Drill - NBC News.com: When a goggle-wearing gunman burst into her classroom two years ago, teacher Linda McLean wondered if she was going to die.

She remembered her grandchildren and the one on the way.

That's when she noticed a pistol on the floor outside her classroom and wondered if she should pick it up and go after the man in black who had just pointed a gun in her face, pulled the trigger and told her she was dead.

But she wasn't dead. She wasn't even bleeding. And a short time later, McLean, 56, and other teachers were gathered in the library of their Oregon elementary school, being debriefed on how they reacted.
These "drills" are becoming more prevalent. Presented to school staff under the guise of safety and awareness -- thereby making well meaning and good people naive dupes -- these programs are increasing, and the surprise element of these drills is meant to be accepted as a good and necessary thing rather than the chilling signal it is of our looming militarized government.

I've often raised the question of armed staff; those who carry a concealed weapons permit. What if an armed school employee shot one of these faux shooters?  Well, so far, the authorities have that possibility covered. The following is from the Eugene Register Guard, on this same incident:
Members of the district’s Safety Committee notified Baker County authorities in advance so they wouldn’t respond to a call from the school, and the sheriff’s office reviewed concealed-carry permits to ensure that no teachers would fire back at Thatcher and school board member John Minarich, the second man with weapon and similar attire. (Register Guard 4.22.15)
So, the concealed weapons angle might be covered for now, but what of the school employee with medical issues? Someone on medication, who has a heart condition, anxiety issues, physical issues? What if someone successfully attacks the shooter with some object (sharp item, furniture, etc) and the shooter is hurt?

Plans have been in the works for some time concerning these drills, as I posted here back in 2011.  It's big business,for one thing. Presenters, "experts" in shooting, safety, etc., slide shows, handouts, pamphlets, books, training exercises, workshops, -- to keep us afraid, to make us fear government/police. More to the point, to make us not even know we're afraid of them, but to comply. All this under the misguided (though well intentioned) belief we're doing our best to protect ourselves, our students, our schools, our communities.

So the question might be asked, why? Why do all of this? As answered, money, for one. Big business, this fake/staged shooter stuff. But it goes deeper than that. Also answered: fear. That low level barley detected rumble of anxiety that is injected into us on a daily basis. Fear so deep it becomes second nature and we begin to think it's normal and, as I remarked earlier, necessary. But again, probing deeper, why? What's in it for "them?" Who is, or more correctly, who are, "they?"

"They" are the ones who need to maintain control in order to protect themselves, their greed and their profits. Control the citizens -- and make them like it, unquestioningly, respect and revere it even -- and you've successfully created the walls of protection (and secrecy) around your empires.

Add in healthy doses of self-righteousness among the majority of the hoi polloi by marginalizing and demonizing those who question such tactics, and your protection is ensured. Indeed, Linda McLean is being harassed in her small community for daring to have such a reaction. Very scary, all around.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Respectability Politics: Act Like The System So That The System Will Listen? | GODS & RADICALS

Anyone who's an outsider, who's lived their whole lives outside the system, outside the mainstream --- no matter how hard and often trying to fit in and play the roles --- will get this.

Respectability Politics: Act Like The System So That The System Will Listen? | GODS & RADICALS: As journalist Aurin Squire notes, respectability politics is “like living your life as a job interview. Forever.”

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Truth? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Truth

Richard Dolan linked to this on Facebook. Agree with much of this, much which seems obvious. However, do not lose sight of the fact there are the religious fanatic psychos who are indeed terrorists that slaughter in the name of their god or gods. They too are manipulated, and we as well. We're all manipulated. Our fear of these racist religious psychos is manipulated under guise of protecting us. They're manipulated -- all it takes is a simple tweak or two to get them going. And so it goes. Within this tangled manipulation game, we need to remember that yes, the terrorists will kill us without a thought, but so will "they" if it is necessary. In other words, it's all shit.  We're given stories to make us feel both afraid as well as grateful for the protection given to us. It's all false of course but that's the cover story. Most of America doesn't bother to look past the evening news...

Truth? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Truth: We are only two months short of two years since the Marathon bombing and the surviving brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has still not been brought to trial. Nor has he or his attorney been heard from.http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/01/06/boston-marathon-bombing-suspect-silent/

According to the official story, Dzhokhar wrote his confession on the side of a boat in which the severely wounded, unarmed 19-year old was hiding from execution. That such an unlikely story could become part of American reality demonstrates the stupidity of both the authorities and the American public. (Read Feedly.com Paul Craig Roberts)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mysterious "dirty rain" falling in Eastern Washington, Oregon | Weather Blog | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News

(cross posted at Orange Orb)

Mysterious "dirty rain" falling in Eastern Washington, Oregon | Weather Blog | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News: Several reports have come in from Spokane, Walla Walla, Pendleton -- and really across much of that region. The rain has left a dirty residue on cars and has flooded social media over there with people wondering what is causing the odd rain.

So far, the official cause remains a mystery, but officials with the National Weather Service offices in Spokane and Pendleton are looking into it.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Bill Would Make Wearing Hoodies A Crime | ThinkProgress

It makes me dizzy, it does:

New Bill Would Make Wearing Hoodies A Crime | ThinkProgress: Oklahoma lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill this February that would make it illegal to wear hooded sweatshirts, or “hoodies,” in public, according to a report from Oklahoma’s Channel 6 News.