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Che Guevara

Petition for Texas to secede from US government gets enough signatures for White House response

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People everywhere are sick and tired of what the government is doing and have been growing more frustrated by the day.

Along the way it has been fun and interesting to see the kinds of creative things that people do to undermine or peacefully work against the various systems of oppression that we are forced to live under.

This week one such plot made the news, in a situation where 15 people in different areas of the country each filed petitions to secede from the United States government.

One of these petitions has actually reached the threshold needed to be considered for a response from the white house.

Not long after the story hit the news the petition in Texas gained a ton of support and quickly reached the 34,000 signatures that was needed to break the threshold.

Bullseye

What are you holding on to?

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Tell me what actual benefit you receive from living the "normal" lifestyle - a 2-hour commute to work each day, spending 8 hours in a corporate cubicle that removes your individuality and creativity, to receive a paycheck from which the government has taken its huge and undeserved bite from leaving almost enough to cover your bills and expenses - just so that you can live in the kind of house and drive the kind of car that your friends and relatives think you should live in and be driving.

We all must admit that for some strange reason we don't really understand, we feel a profound sense of accomplishment when we get approved for a mortgage, get a new credit card, or get the "big promotion" at work. There is a scene in the movie Brazil, (a version of 1984), in which Michael Palin lifts his mask as he is about to begin torturing Jonathan Pryce and says glibly, "Confess quick - you don't want to ruin your credit rating!"

We strive, we sacrifice health, family, and well-being for the opportunity to be a better slave.

Stormtrooper

Pinellas Park man describes being blasted with Taser as he fought house fire

Dan Jensen was trying to stop the spread of a fire
© James Borchuck/Times
911 Dan Jensen was trying to stop the spread of a fire onto his property when police halted his effort with a Taser blast.
Florida - The fire was all around Dan Jensen.

He could see it. He could smell it. He could hear it.

It was close enough to touch. It was burning down his neighbor's house. It was creeping toward Jensen's own fence 10 feet away, and he started spraying the fire with his hose.

Police ordered Jensen to get back, and he complied.

But after a few minutes passed without firefighters arriving, a frustrated Jensen stepped forward and leaned down to grab the skinny gray garden hose once again.

That's when he heard the order.

"Hit 'em! Take him down! Tase him!"

Within moments, Jensen was on the ground. He felt electric.

"It was all over me," Jensen said. "Crawling all over me."

Black Cat

World famous 'Cat Man' who spent years morphing himself into a tiger may have died by suicide

Cat Man_1
© Medical Daily
Dennis Avner, known as "Cat Man", the Nevada native who spent years trying to morph his body into that of a cat died earlier this month at the age of 54 under unclear circumstances.

Avner, who holds the world record for body modifications, had undergone numerous tattoos, piercings and other cosmetic surgical procedures to look like a female cat.

The veteran of the U.S. Navy, who also had whiskers, cat ears and a mechanical tail, was found dead on Nov.5 in his home located in Tonopah, Nevada.

Avner, who likes to go by his Native American name "Stalking Cat", had become famous for morphing his face to resemble a tiger.

"I am Huron and following a very old tradition have transformed myself into a tiger," he said on his now-defunct website.

He had reportedly felt inspired after a discussion with a Native American chief told him to "follow the ways of the tiger."

V

The Rolling Jubilee - Why Occupy's plan to cancel consumer debts is money well spent

debt relief rolling jubilee
© KeystoneUSA-ZUMA/Rex Feature
The 'Rolling Jubilee' debt relief plan has re-energised the Occupy movement.
Occupy's Rolling Jubilee idea transcends politics and will be difficult for lenders to oppose

A new initiative is re-energising the Occupy movement. Called the Rolling Jubilee, it is a plan to use money from donations to buy distressed consumer debt from lenders at a marked down price, just as debt collection agencies normally would. But instead of hounding debtors for payments, it will simply cancel the debts. The hope is that the liberated debtors will themselves contribute to the fund, "rolling" the jubilee forward.

The Rolling Jubilee is a genius move for several reasons. First, debt relief is a transpartisan message that eludes conventional political categorisation. As such, it returns Occupy to its origins as an advocate for the wellbeing of ordinary people, neither leftwing nor rightwing. The Rolling Jubilee says, non-threateningly, "We just want to help people in this unfair system."

But despite its non-threatening appearance, the Rolling Jubilee has significant transformative potential. Two pillars uphold the present debt regime: the moral legitimacy of debt in society's eyes, ie, the idea that a person "should" pay back what he owes; and the coercive mechanisms that enforce repayment, such as harassment, seizure of assets, garnishment of wages, denial of employment or housing, and even imprisonment. The Rolling Jubilee erodes both. It destigmatises debt by saying, "we're all in this together, we believe your situation is unfair, not shameful, so we're going to help you out". And it lessens the severity of the consequences of default. If defaulting means you might get bailed out, why keep paying?

Dollars

Big surprise - GOP quashed superb report on income tax rates for the rich

tax rate reduction
© Alex Wong/Getty Images
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, left, and Jon Kyl of Arizona. Republicans objected to a Congressional Research Service report that refuted one of the party's tax-cut arguments.
If last week was all about politics, maybe this week we can put ideology and partisanship aside and apply a more objective, scientific approach to some of the tough issues we face. What do history and data suggest might be the best course for our nation to follow? Specifically, what is the impact of increasing the top marginal tax rate on investment and job creation?

If the numbers showed that raising the top tax rate injured job creation, I would reconsider my belief that the wealthy should pay more, because job creation is issue No. 1. On the other hand, if the record established that raising the top marginal rate did not in any way injure investment and job creation, then those who have been unalterably opposed should be forced to reconsider their views. Analysis should trump ideology.

Comment: News the Government doesn't like is still suppressed. The question is why this tidbit was allowed to see the light of day. A little ray of 'hope and change' for the masses maybe, that will of course, not come to pass.


Light Sabers

Anti-austerity strikes sweep southern Europe

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© Reuters/Hugo Correia
Glass factory workers, wearing vests that read "General strike", stand on a picket line at the entrance of Saint-Gobain Sekurit Portugal in Santa Iria Azoia November 13, 2012.
Spanish and Portuguese workers will stage the first coordinated general strike across the Iberian Peninsula on Wednesday, shutting transport, grounding flights and closing schools to protest against spending cuts and tax hikes.

Unions in Greece and Italy also planned work stoppages and demonstrations on a "European Day of Action and Solidarity" against austerity policies, which labor leaders blame for prolonging and worsening the continent's economic crisis.

The international coordination shows "we are looking at a historic moment in the European Union movement," said Fernando Toxo, head of Spain's biggest union, Comisiones Obreras.

Spain, where one in four workers is unemployed, is now teetering on the brink of calling for a European bailout, with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy trying to put off a rescue that could require even more EU-mandated budget cuts.

Airplane

Plane crashes in Jackson, Mississippi neighborhood

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© Associated Press
Nov. 13, 2012: Flames and smoke billow from a home in west Jackson, Miss., Tuesday evening after authorities say a small plane carrying three people crashed into the residence shortly after 5 p.m.
A small plane with three people aboard crashed into at least one home near an airport in Jackson Tuesday evening and authorities did not have immediate information on casualties.

A Jackson deputy fire chief told WJTV-TV that one person escaped the burning home with minor injuries, but it was not immediately clear if anyone else was inside. One patient from the scene was in good condition at University of Mississippi Medical Center, said spokesman Jack Mazurak. He wouldn't give the person's name or gender or the extent of the injuries.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen did not immediately have information about the condition of the people aboard the Piper PA-32 single-engine plane.

Roger and Michele Latham, from Superior Pallet Company in Flowood, Miss., own the plane, said their grown daughter, Emily Latham. Latham was near the crash site and said her father was supposed to have been on board but changed his plans.

Post-It Note

Yoga's dark side

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There's a giant pink elephant on the yoga mat, and I'm just gonna come out and say it. How come when I go to any new-to-me yoga studio, or hang out with a group of "yoga people," I feel more judged there than anywhere else? At least half the time these yogi cliques are way too cool and I feel more like I just crashed the party at the Mean Girls lunch table, not like I'm about to spend a relaxing hour in stretch and meditation.

Yoga has begun attracting a crowd that promotes exclusivity and division. I'd like to underline the point that people in the yoga community can be some of the harshest and meanest critics out there. Once I suggested egg whites as a reasonable, light snack to have a couple hours before a yoga class, and was sternly (and seriously) asked by a fellow yogi if I'd taken my "stupid pills" that day. He was flabbergasted that I, as an instructor, could endorse the consumption of animal products despite my efforts to go out of my way to always buy organic, local, and humanely-raised meat and dairy.

This is just one very small incident that happened to me, but this is definitely not the only one of its kind. This is what's happening: In my own experience -- and in tons of others' I've spoken with about this -- judgment and what seems like genuine aggression toward yoga teachers and practitioners who don't fit the yoga stereotype.

Target

Arizona woman runs down husband with car for not voting

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© Reuters/Gilbert Arizona Police Dept/Handout
Holly Solomon, 28, is shown in this booking photo supplied by the Gilbert Arizona Police Department supplied to Reuters November 12, 2012.
Phoenix - An Arizona woman, in despair at the re-election of Democratic President Barack Obama, ran down her husband with the family car in suburban Phoenix on Saturday because he failed to vote in the election, police said on Monday.

Holly Solomon, 28, was arrested after running over husband Daniel Solomon following a wild chase that left him pinned underneath the vehicle.

Daniel Solomon, 36, was in critical condition at a local hospital, but is expected to survive, Gilbert police spokesman Sergeant Jesse Sanger said.

Police said Daniel Solomon told them his wife became angry over his "lack of voter participation" in last Tuesday's presidential election and believed her family would face hardship as a result of Obama winning another term.

Witnesses reported the argument broke out on Saturday morning in a parking lot and escalated. Mrs Solomon then chased her husband around the lot with the car, yelling at him as he tried to hide behind a light pole, police said. He was struck after attempting to flee to a nearby street.

Obama won the national election with 332 electoral votes compared with 206 for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Arizona's 11 electoral votes were won by Romney.