landowning

Today our hearts are with Texas landowner, Susan Scott. Susan used her entire life’s savings to purchase her dream farm in Winnsboro, Texas. She has now been fighting to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline from crossing through her land, which could risk the lives of her family and her grandchildren. Susan’s story inspired activists, blockaders, and our team to continue the fight against KXL! LIKE and SHARE if you will help US fight for Susan, her home, and the Earth! Consider a donation on Kickstarter today! http://kck.st/13qylwh

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The landscape in York County, Nebraska glows in the winter sun: gently rolling hills, vast expanses of corn fields (now stubble), black soil, cattle ranches.

TransCanada says it’s gotten 84% of landowners along the route through Nebraska to sign easements, allowing the company to lay Keystone XL pipeline four feet under their land. The holdouts - some of whom farm land that’s been in their families for 150 years - are adamant that the pipeline poses a serious environmental threat. Others see it as an unjust encroachment on their property rights.

By the way, XL? That stands for “express line.” The planned route is a diagonal starting in Hardisty, Alberta, and slicing across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Keith Allison was removed as a teacher by the Green Local Schools in Smithville, Ohio in August 2014. Why? Because of a Facebook post in which he shared his personal beliefs about the treatment of dairy farm animals and encouraged people to drink plant-based milk.

He posted about the need for compassion toward animals. On his personal time. In his own home, using his own computer. And for this, he was fired.

Keith’s post did not violate any laws. And as passionate as Keith is about veganism and compassion toward animals, he did not promote these causes in the classroom. School Superintendent Judy Robinson said that Keith, who tutored elementary school students in English and math, was terminated because his Facebook post offended the owner of a farm that was shown in a photo attached to the post. But the post didn’t even identify either the landowner or the location of the farm.

Teachers, like all American citizens, have a First Amendment right to engage in free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio reminded the Green school board of this fact in a letter dated December 10, 2014.

“A school district cannot punish an employee because a member of the community objects to what the employee has to say,” said Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio. “As the training ground for future citizens, schools have a special obligation to follow the Constitution,” said Joseph Mead, representing Keith as a cooperating attorney with the ACLU.

You don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to understand that Keith should be applauded for his big heart and compassion. He certainly shouldn’t be punished. We need more, not less, love and kindness in the world – especially in our schools.

Please sign this petition to urge the Green Local Board of Education to put Keith back where he belongs – in the classroom, serving as a much loved and highly respected educator.

In response to the rising tide of tribal and landowner opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which is slated to destructively cut through numerous sacred sites and compromise the safety of land and water for all citizens, several tribes and allies of the Ponca Nation will participate in a Spiritual Camp on the Ponca Trail of Tears near Neligh, Nebraska on Nov. 8-11, 2013. The State Department and the Nebraska DEQ reports failed to study the impacts and risks of the pipeline to this culturally significant area.

The Keystone XL pipeline cuts a swatch through the historic Ponca Trail of Tears — the forced migration route for the Southern Ponca who were exiled from their homelands in Northern Nebraska during the 1800s. The famous Ponca leader who challenged the government and eventually returned to his homelands was Chief Standing Bear, now buried near Niobrara.

With this new erosion of tribal rights, this time at the hands of a foreign company, tribal families are saying “enough.” The entire KXL pipeline path cuts through Treaty and aboriginal lands without respect to water rights, sacred sites, and threats to the environment. Landowners feel the same way, their scared land and water is being taken against their will. The Ponca Spiritual Camp — the first of four tribal spiritual camps scheduled for the fall and winter of 2013 — will send a strong message to President Obama, Congress and TransCanada that this pipeline and tarsands development will not be allowed, is not wanted and is not in our national interest.

The Ponca Trail of Tears Spiritual Camp is hosted by Ponca Tribal families, Brave Heart Society, Oceti Sakowin tribes, the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, and Bold Nebraska.

The beard makes it closer, but…

5 Historical Figures You’re Picturing Almost Exactly Wrong

#5. Braveheart's William Wallace Was Actually a Rich Landowner Who Wore Armor

William Wallace has been Scotland’s national hero for centuries, but let’s be honest: most of us know about him thanks to the movie Braveheart, which makes Wallace out to be a blue-faced, half-naked highlander with all of the murderous, wild-eyed passion of the actual Mel Gibson. … First of all, Wallace wasn’t an unwashed commoner in a shit-caked kilt. He was an unwashed knight hailing from a privileged family, and he wore expensive armor. As we’ve explained before, the kilt wouldn’t even exist until 400 years after Wallace’s death, and in medieval times, plaid wool skirts would have been about as useful on the battlefield as Nerf swords.

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1) View human conflict from a social perspective (as opposed to personal, psychological, or universal) and see society in terms of economic classes.

2) Portray these classes in conflict (as Marx described them): workers versus bosses, sharecroppers versus landowners, tenants versus landlords, have-nots versus haves.

3) Develop a “working-class consciousness,” that is, identify with the oppressed class in these conflicts, rather than maintaining objective detachment.

4) Present a hopeful outcome to encourage working-class readers. Other outcomes are defeatist, pessimistic, or “confused.”

5) Write simply and straightforwardly, without the aesthetic complexities of formalism.

6) Above all, politicize the reader. Revolutionary literature is a weapon in the class struggle and should consciously incite its readers if not to direct action then to a new attitude toward life, to recognize his role in the class struggle.

—  Milton Cohen, Beleaguered Poets and Leftist Critics.

The Diggers are a community trying to escape consumerism and subvert the power held by Britain’s small proportion of landowners, by building homes on vast plots of private land. Kinda like occupy - but with a much clearer focus.

I’ve just started contributing to a community radio program (Neighbourhood Watch on 2ser) and a few minutes ago I interviewed Simon Moore, who became so disillusioned in his career in sales that he helped start the group. One of their biggest inspirations, he says, was the original group of Diggers who did the same thing back in the 16th century.

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Whistleblower, Landowners: TransCanada is Botching the Job on Keystone XL Pipeline


For five years, Vokes had inspected TransCanada projects across North America and, too often for his liking, found they were poorly constructed and didn’t meet engineering codes. He’d tried to get his superiors to address the problems, to no avail, and was fired last year. In East Texas, he found that TransCanada hadn’t changed its way—even on what may be the most controversial pipeline ever proposed for North America.

The Homestead Act of 1862, considered one of the most significant pieces of legislation in American history, persuaded eastern-European immigrants, adventure-seekers in the East, and women seeking independence to embrace the notion of founding a home place out on the desolate prairies of the Dakotas, the wooded timber regions of Minnesota, the valleyed mountains of Colorado, and the expansive plains of Nebraska.

The Homestead Act led the legislative course of successive homestead laws, rules and regulations and congressional provisions that opened up western lands for settlement. Homestead acts were those which granted a free piece of land to a settler who would stay on the property, improve the tract with the building of a home and farm site, then return to the local land office and file the proof papers that would substantiate his or her efforts to meet the requirements of the law. When the proof papers were allowed, the new landowner received a patent.

 ”Homestead Records: A Glimpse Into Your Ancestor’s Past.”

A demonstrator is engulfed in flames of the Molotov cocktail he was about to throw at the police during protests against the construction of the New Tokyo International Airport. To acquire the initial land, the government had to evict protesting landowners

solas’s banter with sera is all about radical socialist revolution and violent upheaval and what she needs to do to CRAFT THE PERFECT UPRISING and then he zooms way past what she’s actually capable of (not much) and lands right back in DREAD WOLF FALLEN ANGEL SEIZE ThE MEANS OF PRODUCTION territory

then she ???????s at him until he gets overwhelmed and stuttery and sad and shuts the hell up again.

perfect.

If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that people love reading about the weird and unexplained, real-life horror and the supernatural. But even though we love reading about them, there are a few places on Earth that hit all our “NOPE” buttons, places only the bravest - or craziest - of us would visit.

I’m one of those people :3

Here are five of the freakiest places on Earth.

1.) Isla de las Muñecas - Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico

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There’s a district of Mexico City, Xochimilco, that’s full of canals, lakes, and islands. One of those islands is very, very creepy - the Island of the Dolls.Did I say “very, very creepy?” I meant, “never going to sleep again creepy.” The island full of nightmare was created by landowner Julian Santana Barrera. But why in the world would he do such a thing? According to the story, Barrera found the body of a dead girl floating in the canal near the island, which is creepy enough. But Barrera decided to ward off evil spirits and bad luck by out-creeping them.

He started collecting dolls and random doll parts and hanging them from the trees in an attempt to scare off ghosts and evil creatures, and, apparently, every single other living thing that might have once visited the island.

After he died in 2001, the island was abandoned, but the dolls remained, slowly decaying and becoming even more terrifying than they were before they started rotting and falling apart.

2.) Aokigahara Forest - Japan

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All you need to know about Aokigahara Forest, near the base of Mt. Fuji, is that it’s also known as “Suicide Forest.”

This isn’t a random nickname either - Aokigahara is the second most popular place in the entire world for people to commit suicide (the first being the Golden Gate Bridge). In fact, the suicide rate is so high that officials have placed signs in both Japanese and English urging visitors to reconsider their actions if they are feeling suicidal, and squads sweep the forest once a year to search for bodies.

And while that’s horrifying enough, the truly creepy part is the forest itself, which is eerily silent thanks to the density of the trees and strange absence of wildlife. Hikers have been often known to get lost, even when marking their route with tape.On top of that, many blame the suicides and lost hikers on demons, which locals say haunt the forest, along with the angry spirits of those who were left to die by the ancient and barbaric practice of ubasute, which was practiced in Aokigahara as recently as the 19th century.

3.) Willard Asylum - Willard, New York

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So many of its inmates died within its walls that it became a running joke that the only way you left Willard was in a wooden box. And since the inmates were deemed too “insane” to be allowed into society (though sadly, many of their “incurable” mental illnesses were probably things like PTSD and post-partum depression), a great number of them were abandoned by their families, their bodies unceremoniously buried in an unmarked cemetery on the property. According to local legends, many of those inmates never left Willard, even in death, and their insane, restless spirits still haunt the halls - including the overcrowded morgue - today.

4.) The Borley Rectory - Borley, Essex, England

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In England, a country full of haunted places, unsettling folklore, and bloody history, one place is known as “the most haunted house in England,” and that’s the Borley Rectory. 

The history of the rectory itself is fairly recent, being built in 1892 by Reverend Henry Dawson Ellis Bull, the new rector of the parish. However, the land upon which it was built had a much older, violent history: The rectory was built atop the site of 14th-century Benedictine monastery.The legend goes that one of the monks fell in love with a nun from the nearby convent. When the elders discovered their plans to elope, the monk was executed and the nun walled up alive in the convent, and their spirits have haunted the area ever since.Over the years, the rectory has experienced various paranormal events, such as unexplained fires, multiple accounts of ghost sightings (including a carriage drawn by a headless horseman), lights turning on and off, ghostly footsteps, poltergeist-like phenomena, and more.

5.) Hoia Baciu Forest - Transylvania, Romania

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Along with asylums, what writing this list is teaching me is that forests are also full of “HELL no.” If you thought Aokigahara up above was bad, the stories that surround Transylvania’s Hoia Baciu Forest make it look normal by comparison - but what else would you expect of a forest that has Vlad Dracula’s history stamped all over it?

Because Hoia Baciu doesn’t just have a few kinds of creepy, unexplained supernatural phenomena attached to it - it has all of the supernatural phenomena.

People who enter the forest regularly complain of severe headaches, anxiety, sudden nausea, and, in some cases, mysterious burns and scratches appearing on their bodies.

The forest itself is just as strange and unexplained, with sections where trees grow in strange, unnatural shapes, and other areas where the forest is dead and nothing grows or moves at all.But that’s not where the terrifying weirdness stops: Along with the already strange physical reactions and strange trees, the forest is rife is reported UFO sightings, with people often claiming they see lights floating through the trees.

Reports have also been made of visitors to the forest experiencing that hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-standing-up feeling of being watched by unseen eyes, along with mysterious giggling and crying. But when hikers trace the sound to their location, they find…nothing. Oh, and people regularly vanish, never to be found again.

Scientists claim there’s a logical, scientific explanation for the phenomena, but locals steer clear of the forest, claiming it as an evil, cursed place.

From Evolve Campaigns:

Have you heard about this? Keith Allison, a vegan school teacher from Ohio, was removed from his position because he shared a post on his personal Facebook page, in his own time, about the mistreatment of dairy cows and encouraged people to drink plant-based milk. The reason given for Mr Allison’s termination by Superintendent Judy Robinson was that it offended the owner of a farm depicted in a photograph on the post, even though the identity of the landowner or location of …the farm was not specified.

Please stand up for free speech and sign the petition asking for him to be reinstated: https://www.change.org/p/compassion-toward-animals-got-this…

More details here:
http://fox8.com/…/12/vegan-teacher-fired-over-facebook-post/
http://www.acluohio.org/…/aclu-urges-school-board-to-give-t…

True story: I’m a teacher by profession and I work in an elementary school in a small farming community. Although I never hide my veganism, I’m not as vocal irl as I would like to be. It’s all because the threat of something like this happening is very real. Free speech is not always a reality if you oppose the status quo.

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As a little gift to them, I drew the character designs for moami from our zombie!au thread.

Bonus, some scenes from the roleplay:

and

It takes the world less than a year to go to shit. Jean and a group of friends are staying in a prison on the coastline of a certain European country. When they visit an island off the coast to see it it’s inhabitable, they realize this place has also been infected. There Jean rescues young Marco and adopts him into the group. Their main objective now is to try taking over the impenetrable steel fortress on the island that is guarded by selfish landowners seeking to only keep themselves alive.

As public outrage at police brutality grows, we take a look at a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern police system.

I wanted to look at Martín’s second reason a little more closely:

  1. "The decriminalization of almost every crime


What is considered criminal is something too often debated only in critical criminology seminars, and too rarely in the mainstream. Violent offenses count for a fraction of the 11 to 14 million arrests every year, and yet there is no real conversation about what constitutes a crime and what permits society to put a person in chains and a cage. Decriminalization doesn’t work on its own: The cannabis trade that used to employ poor Blacks, Latinos, indigenous and poor whites in its distribution is now starting to be monopolized by already-rich landowners. That means that wide-scale decriminalization will need to come with economic programs and community projects. To quote investigative journalist Christian Parenti’s remarks on criminal justice reform in his book Lockdown America, what we really need most of all is ‘less.’”

In California, where I practice law, all we need for a new crime to be put on the books is a majority vote — 51%. This means that just slightly more than half of the voters need to believe that the activity in question is harmful or immoral.  

This is crazysauce (to use the legal maxim).

In 1994, a majority of California voters enacted the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law, which mandated a sentence of lifetime incarceration for anyone who committed a crime defined as “serious” or “violent” in the California Penal Code.  Because the Penal Code’s definitions of “serious” and “violent” are extremely inclusive, crimes like theft and nearly all drug-related offenses became “strike-able.”

(Aside: I recently worked on a case with four defendants accused of conspiring to rob a store.  The robbery itself never occurred; the defendants were driving around the neighborhood with a gun in the car when they were pulled over by police. The prosecutor was demanding Strike convictions for all four defendants because conspiracy is a “serious” felony per the penal code.)

Soon after The Three Strikes law passed (by simple majority, mind you) California prisons were overflowing with offenders sentenced to life in prison because of their record. As you can imagine, this law disproportionately affected minority and low-income populations.  California jails and prisons became so overcrowded and dangerous that the federal government had to intervene.

Fortunately, California legislators and voters have been chipping away at the 1994 Three Strikes law and instituting reforms that would reserve a Strike for only the most serious offenses.  (although see my example of a case where no actual crime was committed and the prosecutor still believed Strike convictions were appropriate — that is still very much the norm). 

Anyway.  A simple majority was all it took to throw the California criminal justice system into freefall, eroding the rights of millions, making our prisons the most dangerous places in the state, and throwing people in jail for life for crimes of poverty, addiction and desperation.  The Three Strikes Law should be a source of great shame for the people of California.  It should be a lesson about the dangers of leaving something as important as who is deprived of his liberty in the hands of more than 51% of the voting public.