Tag Archive: exxon


I’ve been sneezing all day & now in the dwindling hours I’m left feeling groggy and uninspired. So, I’m just going to post some links and be done with it…

 

Andalusia’s history is peppered with occupations of latifundias – huge agricultural estates dating back to Roman times – by landless workers. Mr Sánchez Gordillo claims these estates make up about 50 per cent of the region’s land, but are owned by just 2 per cent of Andalusia’s population. He says Andalusia is also covered, now, with dozens of empty industrial estates that are mute testimony to the unemployment that blights the region – one sits just 12 miles away from Marinaleda, where the only visible “green shoots” belonged to weeds flourishing amid the patchwork of rusting streetlights, crumbling service roads and pedestrian crossings leading nowhere.“It is true we form part of a tradition, but we’re doing something new here too: we’re insisting that natural resources should be at the service of people, that they have a natural right to the land, and that land is not something to be marketed,” says Mr Sánchez  Gordillo. “Food should not be speculated with either. It is a basic human right. We also believe in the [common] sovereignty of [food] as a way of profoundly changing agriculture in the world, not just one particular place.”http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/27-of-spaniards-are-out-of-work-yet-in-one-town-everyone-has-a-job-8612920.html

 

Art for Advocacy – 13 posters for sustainable social change: http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/culture/graphic-advocacy-posters-digital-age/?utm_source=feedly

 

“The New York Times said: The U.S. Department of Justice secretly seized two months of phone records for reporters and editors of The Associated Press in what the news organization said Monday was a “serious interference with A.P.’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/us/phone-records-of-journalists-of-the-associated-press-seized-by-us.html?pagewanted=all

 

Monsanto’s practices both in the courtroom and on the farm have made the company increasingly the target of criticism in recent months, and a series of affairs in Washington has done little to weaken the opposition. Campaigns against the company have been renewed as of late following the passing of a congressional agriculture spending bill that included a provision — dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by its critics — that provides legal immunity to biotech entities that experiment with genetically modified and genetically engineer foods. Additionally, the relationship between Monsanto and the country’s high court has been called into question since one of the justices, Clarence Thomas, formerly served as a lawyer for the St. Louis-based company.

On May 25, an international series of rallies to protest Monsanto is scheduled to occur with demonstrations planned on six continents. http://rt.com/usa/patented-monsanto-court-patent-210/

Speaking of which:

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“For many, many generations, women and children were told: don’t let yourself get raped, and if you do, for god’s sake don’t whinge about it. Don’t act like a slut. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t ever assume for a second that you have the same right as a man to exist in public or private space without fear of assault and humiliation. That message is slowly, finally, starting to change, so that instead, we’re telling men and boys: do not rape. Do not grope, assault, bully or hurt women, children or anyone over whom you have temporary power. Doing so will no longer increase your social status. If you do it anyway, you will find yourself publicly shamed and possibly up on criminal charges. This is the age of the internet, and nobody forgets.

Confronting structural violence is intensely painful. It’s like squeezing out an enormous splinter you hadn’t realised was there. The pain comes, in large part, from the understanding that you yourself might be implicated by virtue of easy ignorance; that you yourself might have stood by while evil went on; that people you know and trust and respect might very well have done terrible things simply because they thought they were allowed to. Questioning the morality of slave-owning was, until comparatively recently in human history, a minority position. It would be crass and simplistic to equate rape culture with slavery even if there weren’t complex historical links between the two. There is one important similarity, however, and that’s in the reaction when dominant, oppressive cultures finally wake up to the idea that evil on an immense scale has been taking place right in front of them.”

http://www.newstatesman.com/broadcast/2013/05/not-persecution-old-men-prosecution-rapists-and-we-should-applaud-it

 

Asparagus Pesto: http://www.yumsugar.com/Asparagus-Pesto-Recipe-30388639?utm_source=feedly

 

“Take a step back for a moment. Letting children have their own way? Doing just what they like? Wouldn’t that be a total disaster? Yes, if parents perform only the first half of the trick. In the cultural lexicon of modernity, self-will is often banally understood as brattish, selfish behaviour. Will does not mean selfishness, however, and autonomy over oneself is not a synonym for nastiness towards others – quite the reverse. Ngarinyin children in Australia traditionally grew up uncommanded and uncoerced, but from a young age they learned socialisation. That is the second half of the trick. Children are socialised into awareness and respect for the will and autonomy of others, so that, when necessary as they grow, they will learn to hold their own will in check in order to maintain good relations. For a community to function well, an individual may on occasion need to rein in his or her own will but, crucially, not be compelled to do so by someone else.

Among Inuit and Sami people, there is an explicit need for children to learn self-regulation. Adults keep a reticent and tactful distance. A child “is learning on his own” is a common Sami expression. Sami children are trained to control anger, sensitivity, aggression and shame. Inuit people stress that children must learn self-control – with careful emphasis. The child should not be controlled by another, with their will overruled, but needs to learn to steer herself or himself.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/04/leave-them-kids-alone-griffiths

 

Had a difficult time picking just one quote for this one, guys. This distresses me immensely. It’s like this: if we don’t start fighting back against these corporations in earnest, they will continue to treat us all as though we owe our souls to their company store:

“Exxon says it lets evacuated homeowners briefly visit their homes whenever they want. Thursday they decided that wouldn’t be the case.Shortly after stepping onto Senia’s property, we were both told to leave immediately by an unidentified Exxon official who said it was blocked off because of construction.”What I don’t understand is that we’re told that we have the right to be here as property owners,” said Senia. “We’re not in the way, we’re not bothering other people and sometimes they just kick us out.”Meanwhile, countless people from Exxon and other agencies go in and out of his home.”It’s very distressing,” said Senia. “Sometimes it feels like there’s an invading army just in your house.””http://www.katv.com/story/22212987/mayflower-homeowner-kicked-off-of-property-by-exxon

 

Artichoke Asiago Cheese Bread: http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2013/04/artichoke-asiago-cheese-bread.html?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AVeggieVenture+(A+Veggie+Venture)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A note to you: You are you. You are not the situation you are temporarily occupying. I love you for you. Not for what I can, nor in spite of what I cannot, “get” from you. ❤ Me

Fresh Bread.

Fresh Bread.

Nothing much happened today, really.

There was breakfast and reading.

Oatmeal and Wendell Berry

Oatmeal and Wendell Berry

And a long walk through the neighborhood, complete with horses at the school.

Horses in the schoolyard, part 1

Horses in the schoolyard, part 1

Horses in the schoolyard, part 2

Horses in the schoolyard, part 2

Vultures in the road

Vultures in the road

Vultures in the road

Interesting shadows.

Interesting Shadows

Interesting Shadows

And, of course, pomegranates.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates

I visited with a Score mentor about Education Never Ends. Business plan is the next step.

Met up with some superheroes at City Hall who were fighting to keep our elected representatives from transferring power over our publicly-owned utility to an unelected independent board…and also feeding people.

Fight the power, after eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal!

Fight the power, after eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal!

And came home to my messy house. I’m thinking I might at least try to clean the kitchen tomorrow. I’m also thinking my room needs some work – particularly if I’m going to be working from it. No reason why I can’t rearrange things so I have a window next to my desk. And a freaking treadmill.

I have a lot on my mind – most of which I probably won’t be able to talk about for a long time. It’s still sorting itself all out up there.

***

Some links for you:

“Exxon is and will always be a bully,” said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. “Instead of engaging their critics appropriately, Exxon uses its billions to hire high-priced lawyers to make scary-sounding but unsupported legal claims to suppress criticism. It’s a window into how they have preserved billions in taxpayer handouts for their industry for so many years.”

This is the second time Exxon has bullied this advertisement off the air. In February, Exxon sent a cease-and-desist letter to Comcast only hours before scheduled airings during State of the Union news coverage.

The move by Exxon marks the latest in a series of reported strong-arm tactics undertaken by Exxon to censor reporting in the days following the Mayflower tar sands oil spill.http://priceofoil.org/2013/04/11/exxon-pressures-arkansas-tv-stations-to-ban-critical-ad-following-mayflower-tar-sands-spill/

Why Idle No More is so important:

The resolution by the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which is a 1934 Indian Reorganization Act government, explicitly supports the traditional Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council’s resolution approved unanimously on Feb. 18, 2012. The earlier resolution states: “The Great Sioux Nation hereby directs President Barack Obama and the United States Congress to honor the promises of the United States made through the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties by prohibiting the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline and any future projects from entering and destroying our land without our consent.”

The traditional leaders’ resolution, argues against the dilbit pipeline on the grounds of international law, citing the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. http://www.indianz.com/News/2013/009206.asp

Meanwhile, the entire community of Mayflower, AR has been radicalized:

At this early stage of the game, real answers to what’s going on in Mayflower would be hard to come by, even if a mega-corporation wasn’t on the ground in full damage control mode, and local and county officials hadn’t largely ceded jurisdiction to them, with workers and Faulkner County deputies barring the public and media from the scene. The emerging picture, though — a picture that includes wildlife coated in oil, devastated ecosystems in ExxonMobil’s “restricted areas,” residents who say they are sick, and the still-ticking time bomb on the shores of Central Arkansas’s primary water source, Lake Maumelle, where the Pegasus Pipeline comes within 600 feet of the shoreline — might be even uglier than a neighborhood coated in crude. http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/will-mayflower-ever-be-the-same-after-the-exxon-spill/Content?oid=2797633&showFullText=true

It’s not spring until I listen to Key Lime Pie by Camper Van Beethoven. I was holding out in hopes of…but, no. It’s time for spring to begin.

Camper Van Beethoven - June

…and I wrote you this letter…

Weekends are sort of redundant when one is unemployed. Regardless, I had a relaxing one.

Saturday began with Bitch Magazine, coffee, and raisin bran…

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

A trip to Vegfest, to help serve food for Unity Vegan Kitchen.

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Though they didn’t need help, I was thankful for the excuse to make it out to the festival, and enjoyed some yummy food.

Chole Samosa

Chole Samosa

Accompanied a friend to The Great Outdoors, where we gawked at greenhouse flowers before he bought bags of soil for his garden.

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant 2

Pitcher Plant 2

Bougainvillea galore!

Bougainvillea galore!

Nerded out at the opening of the Hats off to Dr. Seuss exhibition with one of my very favorite superheroes…followed by dinner and giggles at surreal-0-vision.

I think this one was called

I think this one was called “Ejecting a Surly Cat.”

Sunday was about much needed solitude.

Abundance

Abundance

Manifesting the inspiration from the preceding day into art.

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

They Obeyed

They Obeyed

Contemplating…

Journaling…

Maintaining…

When I was working, this time of night on a Sunday was a time of mourning for the lost weekend hours. Now, I celebrate the time spent in pursuit of more esoteric goals. I am memorizing the contours of a simpler life-measuring the hours of the days and comparing them to the important things that need to fit within them. I am taking time to listen to birdsong and track the daily growth of the leaves on trees. I am paying close attention to my kinder instincts and (internally, silently) admonishing those who would wish me to be more cruel because that is what they would do. I am appreciating the fact that my child quotes Neitzsche when confronted with my angst (specifically, though paraphrased: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”)

I am listening to Camper Van Beethoven, and welcoming spring.

And now…the news:

Troubling reports continue to come in from the Pegasus Tarsands Pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas about the apparent control of the proverbial chicken coop by the foxes:

Now, Exxon is trying to limit access to the animals impacted by the tar sands crude. A wildlife management company hired by Exxon has taken over all oiled wild animal care. The company, called Wildlife Response Services, is now refusing to release pictures and documentation of the animals in their care, unless they are authorized by Exxon’s public relations department. http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/04/04/is-exxon-trying-to-hide-the-damage-from-their-tar-sands-pipeline-spill/

On Friday morning, Inside Climate Newsreported that an Exxon spokesperson told reporter Lisa Song that she could be “arrested for criminal trespass” when she went to the command center to try to find representatives from the EPA and the Department of Transportation. On Friday afternoon, I spoke to the news director from the local NPR affiliate who said he, too, had been threatened with arrest while trying to cover the spill. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/04/reporters-say-exxon-impeding-spill-coverage-arkansas

Thankfully, the residents of Mayflower are fighting back:

On Friday, homeowners filed a civil lawsuit against Exxon in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas Western Division. In the class action suit, homeowners said the pipeline was unsafe and its rupture hurt property values. http://thecabin.net/latest-news/2013-04-06-1#.UWJPgpPvuSr

And there are superheroes on the ground, gathering information:

Elsewhere, “an activist indy news team” duo called JNL, has been using Ustream and Twitter to report from Mayflower and interview local residents. Yesterday, they were detained by police and forced to leave private property where they were reporting from, despite having permission to be there. http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/mayflower-arkansas-lockdown-following-exxon-oil-spill.html

(sample of the coverage JNL is providing: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30996411. You can find them here: https://twitter.com/jak_nlauren)

We have reports that because Exxon had already partially destroyed this wetland, they pumped diluted bitumen spilled in other areas here to get it all in one place and keep it out of sight of the media. We went in anyway.

This is how we comfort ourselves when we feel helpless:

An Exxon parody Twitter account is tweeting fake public relations updates about the oil company’s ruptured Pegasus pipeline, which spilled at least 84,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into residential streets in Mayflower, Ark., last week. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/exxon-fake-twitter-account_n_3024663.html

And I did a little studying up on the history of May Day, in preparation for the planning of picnic/potluckness:

Originally a pagan holiday, the roots of the modern May Day bank holiday are in the fight for the eight-hour working day in Chicago in 1886, and the subsequent execution of innocent anarchist workers.

In 1887, four Chicago anarchists were executed; a fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy is on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea. http://libcom.org/history/1886-haymarket-martyrs-mayday

The farmers, workers, and child-bearers (laborers) of the Middle Ages had hundreds of holy days which preserved the May Green, despite the attack on peasants and witches. Despite the complexities, whether May Day was observed by sacred or profane ritual, by pagan or Christian, by magic or not, by straights or gays, by gentle or calloused hands, it was always a celebration of all that is free and life-giving in the world. That is the Green side of the story. Whatever else it was, it was not a time to work.

Therefore, it was attacked by the authorities. http://libcom.org/history/incomplete-true-authentic-wonderful-history-may-day-peter-linebaugh

And I’m still listening to Camper Van Beethoven’s Key Lime Pie. As per tradition. ❤

Oh, today…

Today, today, today.

*sigh*

Book and breakfast on front porch has officially ingrained itself into ritual…

IMAG0080

And a blurry companion

IMAG0081

Made my first posts on the Education Never Ends blog…took a long walk…tutored for an hour or so…watched Killer of Sheep.

Said Goodbye (I’ll miss you.)

***

Anyway…lots of stuff in the news today.

I’m not usually the kind of person who passes along petitions to sign, because I generally feel like others already have that covered. (I’ll get the same petition by 9 or 10 of my friends, so I assume everyone else does, too.) However, I think this particular campaign is worth the risk of duplication:

The State Department’s official public comment period on Keystone XL Pipeline is now open — and it’s a crucial opportunity for us to flood them with comments. We’ll take your comments and deliver them directly and immediately to the the State Department. http://act.350.org/letter/a_million_strong_against_keystone

The award for the surrealiest headline of a lifetime goes to:

Exxon wins safety award as Mayflower sees no end to spill cleanup: http://rt.com/usa/mayflower-spill-cleanup-video-410/

And best quote from an Attorney General:

“That neighborhood was like a scene from ‘The Walking Dead,’” state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Wednesday after visiting the Little Rock suburb of Mayflower. “There were still Easter decorations on homes, but there was not a soul in sight other than people in Hazmat suits.”http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/exxon-ark-oil-spill-walking-dead-official-article-1.1307468#ixzz2Pedz6X4M

Meanwhile, in case you were unclear about who is actually running this country:

“But the reek is only a hint at ExxonMobil’s presence here. Since thick black sludge first began oozing across backyards and into the streets, surprising many residents who say they didn’t even realize the pipeline was there, the company has instituted something like martial law.” http://grist.org/climate-energy/arkansas-town-in-lockdown-after-oil-spill-nightmare/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=update&utm_campaign=socialflow

But, you know…they’re not trying to block media coverage or anything. News helicopters can just CLEAR IT WITH EXXON first and they should be fine.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford confirms that news media helicopters can now once again fly over the site of the Mayflower oil spill.  Lunsford says if news helicopters want to fly over the site, however, they will need to call ahead of time and clear it with Tom Suhrhoff of ExxonMobil. http://www.ualrpublicradio.org/post/media-faces-barriers-covering-arkansas-oil-spill

At this point, I’m seriously flipping through all of the links that I thought I might want to share today, but they’re all really fucking depressing. hahaha. In thinking about something that we might actually be able to DO about all of this…I’m hoping we can at least get a couple of people from environmental groups around town and maybe some Tarsands Blockade folks to do some teach-ins on Mayday to give people who seem alarmed by all of the spills some ideas for what they can do about it.

That’s all I got. Tomorrow will certainly end more pleasantly.

I managed to sleep in this morning…until 9:30, at least. Through the gauntlet of alarms on all of my various devices. I woke up to grey/rainy/cold morning, and promptly resumed my morning ritual of reading on the porch with coffee. Today’s reading selection: American Splendor.

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It was a great choice, because art like this just makes me all squishy inside. Look at the detail. It’s really evocative to meImage

The only problem is that Harvey Pekar now reminds me of someone I miss, so while my heart was warmed by panels such as these…

Image

ImageI was forced to admit to myself for the first time that I’m a little bit fucking heartbroken. That fucking brat. He went and broke my damn heart.

At any rate, the coffee was good. The garden is growing.

ImageImage

Image

Image

And April showers bring tomato flowers…

Image

So I had lunch, ice cream, and a delightful walk with a new friend, came home and made coleslaw for the kids and I to enjoy tomorrow, caught up on the news, took some deep breaths, and started writing.

Thanks for reading. ❤

***

And now…the news:

Lots of links today about the Exxon Pegasus spill in Mayflower, Arkansas (If I was feeling less lethargic, I’d make up a clever segue between April showers and Mayflower, but you are on your own for that today.)

Here’s a good general roundup:
http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/04/01/everything-you-need-know-about-exxon-pegasus-tar-sands-spill

“When we first head about the Exxon tar sands spill in Arkansas we knew we had to respond. A group of Blockaders arrived in Mayflower late last night to assist affected residents with mutual aid and help amplify their stories. Here is their first dispatch from the scene. You can also watch their livestream coverage.”

http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/exxonspill-dispatches/

Seriously. I was listening to NPR this afternoon, and I heard like a 15 second snippet on the Mayflower spill. Come on, now, media. DO YOUR FREAKING JOB!

http://www.ultimatecivics.org/index.php/contact/exxon-pipeline-spill-media-advisory

Really FAA? So our federal government can spy on non-violent protest movements, but people can’t fly planes over an oil spill?

http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_3_8699.html

Angry yet?

US law says no ‘oil’ spilled in Arkansas, exempting Exxon from cleanup dues
http://rt.com/usa/arkansas-spill-exxon-cleanup-244/
Exxon’s Duck-Killing Pipeline Won’t Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/02/1810571/exxons-duck-killing-pipeline-doesnt-pay-taxes-to-oil-spill-cleanup-fund/

Looking for some solidarity among fellow activists and workers on May Day this year?

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Calling all occupiers and activists: Those of us who were at General Assembly on Monday would like to have a gathering for MayDay. We’re thinking Republic Square Park would be a good place. I would like to organize teach-ins and perhaps a small Un-conference for the event…other ideas are also welcome. We will not be labeling this even specifically “Occupy Austin.” All are welcome to enjoy whatever it is we all decide to do!

If you would like to help organize, or if you have something you would like to teach or something you would like to learn, please contact me at oawelcomewagon@gmail.com OR come to General Assembly next Monday, April 8th, at 7 PM at the Capitol Building (south steps) – we may also choose to move the discussion after General Assembly to the Tactics and Strategy meeting. Contact us for further information.

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Enjoyed these insightful words from Anil Dash, even though they were mostly depressing:

“We should remember that ToS isn’t law. Geeks will hack software but treat ToS as sacred. Our culture is negatively impacted by ToS and we should reclaim our agency over them. “We should think about how to organize action around specific clauses in ToS.” In fact, “people have already chosen a path of civil disobedience.” E.g., search YouTube for “no infringement intended.” “It’s like poetry.” They’re saying “I’m not trying to step on your toes, but the world needs to see this.” “I’m so inspired by this.” If millions of teenagers assembled to engage in civil disobedience, we’d be amazed. They do on line. They feel they need to transgress because of a creative urge, or because it’s speech with a friend not an act of publishing. “That’s the opportunity. That’s the exciting part. People are doing this every single day.”

http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/2013/04/02/berkman-anil-dash-on-the-web-we-lost/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

Heartened by these powerful quotes from Arundhati Roy:

Watch This Video —>http://bit.ly/WBepP6<—’Confronting Empire’ by Arundhati Roy

“The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling : their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathing.” —Arundhati Roy
Verified quote: Book- ‘Occupy This!’, Publisher: Penguin Books, Author: Judy Rebick, source: http://bit.ly/Y7bs8F

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness : and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.” —Arundhati Roy
Verified quote: Book- ‘Empire No More!: The Lion And Wolf Shall Cease’, Publisher: Spokesman Books, Author:
Ken Coates, source: http://bit.ly/13ykxPB

Full Speech ‘Confronting Empire’ By Arundhati Roy, Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 27, 2003 >http://bit.ly/pwleZv

And enjoyed some (quick) physics lessons: http://www.youtube.com/user/minutephysics

*The title of this post should have made you think of this song. Because that’s what I was singing to myself all. damn. day.