From the Fringes of Sleeplessness

raaawrbin:

I feel like very few, or at least not many of the people of tumblr are aware of what is going on in my home country Hong Kong right now.

You guys gave alot of coverage and support when Scotland was voting for its independance, so I’m hoping you’ll all support the people of Hong Kong as well.

Right now, many of us are in a mass demonstration of pro-democracy against China. But wait a sec, isn’t Hong Kong China? This is a big misconception amongst foreigners, but please, we are far from being similar to China at all.

A little history class: Hong Kong used to be colonized by the British, and before you white-knights begin going all “them damn white racist ppl taking over another asian country” please don’t. We are thankful Britain took us under its wing and instilled in us values that I feel made us what we are today; that is, a democratic people with respect for free speech, amongst many things.

On the other hand, China is communist, with government controlled media and news. Google, instagram, facebook and many tv shows are blocked in China. It really is just a few steps from North Korea imo.

So what’s the problem here? Britain unfortunately had to hand back Hong Kong to China, but one of the requirements is that Hong Kong be allowed to operate as ‘one country two systems’, meaning Hong Kong should be able to have its own democratic government. But China has broken its promise. A while back, China tried to put a mandatory ‘national education’ curriculum in all our primary schools. We all know what that is; a communist brainwashing regime. And now, they have announced that in 2017 Hong Kong will be able to vote for its president; BUT only from 3 candidates hand picked by its PRO-BEIJING legislation.

As you can see, China is trying to takeover completely and turn us into another communist state.

Of course, we have taken to the streets. In a mirror if the Tiananmen protests, students have also stepped up to fight for our rights and our future, albeit in a peaceful protest of course. But the police force who have always been a friend of the people, are now responding with force, something that had never been done before in Hong Kong.

First it was pepperspray, then teargas. Then, armed forces came in qith rubber bullets. They warn they will come out with live ammunition soon if we do not get off the streets but the people continue to sit tight, disrupting businesses China so strive to takeover and make use of. It’s been 2 days now, but the people plan to continue at least till 1st October or even beyond. The significance is that October 1st is China’s National day, not ours, Hong Kong has not been granted it’s own National day.

Please spread the news. This is a country we’re talking about. These are my people.

You can join this event to wear yellow in support of my people on October 1st.

You can also read a more detailed explanation of what’s going down here and watch a live feed here.

lacigreen:

WHY ISN’T THIS THE LAW ALREADY ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND ALSO THE WORLD

lacigreen:

WHY ISN’T THIS THE LAW ALREADY ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND ALSO THE WORLD

s-k-apegoat:

My city is in chaos.
This is what’s happening to Hong Kong right this minute.


image

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It is difficult for me to put into words, but simply put, University students started a class boycott movement demanding democracy and universal suffrage from the Hong Kong and Chinese Government this week, and the movement has escalated into citizens occupying Government Square and now, a main road leading into Hong Kong’s central hub.

Most protesters are younger generation Hong Kongers, including university students and even secondary school students. The leader of the student movement himself is barely even old enough to drive a car. 
The movement began peacefully with citizens merely sitting quietly and occupying a public space in a silent protest on Friday night. 

Then at 7:00 in the morning the next day, policemen stormed into the public square and began clearing out the area by force, dragging youngsters out violently, injuring many of them. Policemen have also been witnessed to beating youngsters without reason, and using high-concentration, anti-riot pepperspray on civilians who are merely attempting to protect themselves. No civilian put up any sort of fight or attempt at assaulting the police as far as i know,
(Police justified clearing out the area with the reason that protesters are holding illegal meetings in a public space.)

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(Protesting civilians who remained on the streets overnight are wearing plastic wraps and raincoats under 30 degree weather in an attempt to protect themselves should the police utilize peppersprays again.)

The movement escalated again tonight when the protesters (now 4 times the size of the student movement the previous week) occupied a main road leading to the central hub of Hong Kong.
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The police barricaded the roads and attempted to stop more people from joining the crowd this whole afternoon, but the peaceful crowd remained persistent and would not leave the area even after the police issued verbal warnings. (I emphasize “peaceful”, because protesters continued to be orderly and did not display any forms of aggression. They even cleared out a path for cars to pass the area, something the police didn’t even bother to do.)

At around 6:00, the police began using peppersprays on civilians again, this time high-powered ones that came in tanks instead of in bottles. Our people continued to shield themselves with umbrellas, but the umbrellas were also soon snatched away by the police. Live feed videos have also confirmed that police have been misusing peppersprays by firing them at close proximity, and also not giving any sort of verbal warnings before firing.

Video of a policeman firing at an elderly man at point-blank range:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0r4jKkcDA7E

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Yet again, protesters remained, and at 7:00, armed forces were sent into the crowd. They began firing tear gas capsules INTO the crowds and even INTO First-aid stations. The rounds came every few minutes and i counted at least 5 capsules being fired in a 10-minute period according to the live feeds. 
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at least 30,000 people continue to stand their ground right this second, more armed policemen are being sent in, and news is that these police are ordered to use guns (loaded with plastic bullets) on civilians if protesters continue to remain. 

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I fear for the people because policemen are not what they used to be anymore. These “police” who should be protecting us are now private armies for the government. I am watching my city die. It’s a terrifying feeling. If the police feel they are justified to use force on innocent civilians, tonight could end up in another massacre just like that of the Tian An Men June Fourth Massacre in 1989. 


And at this point I am too emotional to say anything else except that we need your prayers and your support. Please spread this out, people all over the world need to see what is happening right now. 

LIVE FEED OF THE CURRENT SITUATION:
http://sonoapp.net/stream/u/MeeJTV

I have often wondered if Mr. Conservative/Libertarian turns down raises his company offers to *him.* Because I’ve only ever heard this argument applied to low-wage workers. Apparently, when you increase executive salaries and bonuses, that money comes out of a magical portal somewhere, so prices are unaffected. And no one ever tries to tell middle-class knowledge workers that getting a raise would only leave them worse off in the long run. It’s only ever the working poor. I guess they get paid with a different, more sinister kind of money.
beingliberal:

Today is National Voter Registration Day. Spread the word!Make sure you’re registered, that you have whatever is required to vote, and ask your friends and family to do the same.
Image via Worley Dervish: on Facebook and Twitter. 

beingliberal:

Today is National Voter Registration Day. Spread the word!
Make sure you’re registered, that you have whatever is required to vote, and ask your friends and family to do the same.

Image via Worley Dervish: on Facebook and Twitter

detrea:

The premise of minimum wage, when it was introduced, was that a single wage earner should be able to own a home and support a family. That was what it was based on; a full time job, any job, should be able to accomplish this.

The fact people scoff at this idea if presented nowadays, as though the people that ring up your groceries or hand you your burgers don’t deserve the luxury of a home and a family, is disgusting.

guardianshishi:

windypenguin:

tuiteyfruityundead:

i-like-the-tuna-here:

America, you do not exist in a vacuum.
Gun control works.
Higher minimum wage works.
Free health care works.
Free higher education works.

we know

too bad the government doesn’t

telling us isn’t really helping

New Heights of Paranoia

thebicker:

kohenari:

Earlier today, I asked whether or not gun advocates who extoll the virtues of defending your home with a weapon wouldn’t perhaps do better to buy an alarm system or adopt a dog.

This question was met with a level of paranoia that’s at once depressing and exhilarating, as it provides a look into the minds of some of these gun advocates.

Here are just a couple.

The first guy explained to me that buying a gun is a sensible and cost effective way to deter crime, which a spoiled bourgeois like me obviously doesn’t understood:

It’s almost as if some of these people can’t afford to maintain a large dog or to install electronic alarm systems. It’s almost as if some of these people aren’t privileged enough to live in high income areas where these countermeasures are common. It’s almost as if some of these people would rather spend 200 bucks on a shotgun so that they can continue to afford to feed themselves and make payments rather than investing bundles of cash into alarms and dogs.

Drawing a weapon on someone who is attempting to harm you is deterrence. Most defensive uses of firearms do not result in anyone being shot. The logical response to someone pointing a gun at you as you try to rob them is to run away.

If you notice, he suggests that alarms and dogs are only to be found in fancy gated communities like mine. I suspect that he’s desperately wrong, at least about dog ownership. But, then, I don’t often drive my Ferrari out of the suburbs so I can’t know for sure.

He also suggests that drawing a weapon is deterrence. And that’s fine … as long as we’re changing the definition of deterrence. You see, deterrence involves preventing someone from doing something (in this case, home invasion). But if they’re already in your home and you’re drawing a gun, you haven’t deterred them. You’ve just significantly raised the stakes.

The second guy went about a thousand steps farther:

Wait even if you do have those things how about we cut the power to your home? No alarm? Dog? Poison it days before you plan To break in or simply lead it out and dispose of them quietly. Look your first line of defense is gone now I’m in your home armed. Checkmate.

You see, in this guy’s mind, the criminal wants so badly to break into your home that he’s planning his home invasion days in advance. He’s poisoned your dog; he’s cut the power to your house so your alarm doesn’t work; and now nothing stands in the way of his nefarious schemes. This burglar is a criminal mastermind and no one but an armed homeowner will ever be safe from him. And criminals are all like him. So forget about dogs and alarms; they’re pretty much worse than useless.

Get your guns and a pile of ammo, board up all the doors and windows, and stay awake for the rest of your life.

Oh man. I had a hearty laugh at both of these. “But home invasions!” is a piss-poor defense of American’s gun violence epidemic. Despite what police procedurals would have you believe, there are not scores of violent burglars sitting in a van with a blueprint of your home and your neighborhood’s electrical grid. Most crimes like that are crimes of opportunity: They notice a window left open, or see the lights haven’t been turned on for a few days, or think you make an easy target. A large, visible alarm and/or a barking dog is a much more obvious way to say “It’s a bad idea to rob me!” than having a gun in your nightstand.

Yahoo put out a list of nine ways to deter burglars. Dogs and alarms (along with visible surveillance cameras and motion-activated lights) are on there. So is having neighbors make it look like you’re there when you’re out of town. Notably, the list — compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services — does not have “own a gun” on there. Alarms and dogs make criminals think twice before robbing you. Having a gun in your house makes it significantly more likely that you or a family member will die from being shot with it.

If a criminal comes to your house, cuts the power, and poisons your dog, they proooooooobably have a plan for if you have a gun. Look, I don’t want to scare anyone, but if someone is going to that length to get into your house they’re going to get into your house.

Yes, there are occasionally news stories about someone shooting and killing a home invader. But there are many, many more about kids or irresponsible adults accidentally shooting someone.

If you want a gun because you hunt or shoot or because you think America is destined for ~tyranny~, at least those are semi-valid reasons to have one. Owning it to protect your home is just a bad and dangerous plan.

stevewyshywaniuk:

azspot:

Fight for 15 // Strike Fast Food

Nobody should be surprised by this, but they will be.

stevewyshywaniuk:

azspot:

Fight for 15 // Strike Fast Food

Nobody should be surprised by this, but they will be.

thebicker:

charles-a-green:

charles-a-green:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.
The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.
But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!""But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”
"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)
And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!
Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.
And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.
Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.
And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.
The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?
TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 
But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.
Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.

This is wonderful commentary and I really really hope that we can have something like this in the US

I’m reblogging this TWICE because I love it that much

A couple things worth noting:
The "mincome" experiment didn’t run in all of Canada — just in one town. It was in the late 1970s, but the results weren’t analyzed and published until just a few years ago. Here’s an interview with the researcher who analyzed the outcome. TL;DR version: It went really well. But the experiment only lasted five years and has never been repeated anywhere else.
The idea of a guaranteed minimum income has gained popularity with a surprising group: Libertarians. The government would theoretically abolish Social Security, welfare, food stamp programs, disability, and other social programs and replace it with “here is the amount of money everyone gets no matter what.” It would drastically reduce the size of government, which gets those Ron Paul folks on board. And it would eliminate poverty (assuming the minimum income was at or above the poverty line), which gets us bleeding-heart types on board. Obviously, opponents include big banks (who make money processing food stamps, among other things) and every person who considers poverty a moral failing (the wealthy, the entire Republican party, that one uncle everyone has who you dread getting seated next to at Thanksgiving). Also, some elderly people, since a minimum guaranteed income might be lower than their current Social Security benefits.
I think, if nothing else, it’s worth a try. However, given the political climate, “let’s give free money to everyone!” is not a home run as far as potential legislation goes.

thebicker:

charles-a-green:

charles-a-green:

tank-grrl:

hello-missmayhem:

cptprocrastination:

doomhamster:

belcanta:

nikkidubs:

attentiondeficitaptitude:

belcanta:

Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole. 

Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.

The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.

But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.

"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!"

"But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”

"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”

I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!

The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)

And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!

Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.

And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.

Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.

And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.

The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?

TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.

reblogging for more top commentary

They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours. 

But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.

Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.

The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.

This is wonderful commentary and I really really hope that we can have something like this in the US

I’m reblogging this TWICE because I love it that much

A couple things worth noting:

The "mincome" experiment didn’t run in all of Canada — just in one town. It was in the late 1970s, but the results weren’t analyzed and published until just a few years ago. Here’s an interview with the researcher who analyzed the outcome. TL;DR version: It went really well. But the experiment only lasted five years and has never been repeated anywhere else.

The idea of a guaranteed minimum income has gained popularity with a surprising group: Libertarians. The government would theoretically abolish Social Security, welfare, food stamp programs, disability, and other social programs and replace it with “here is the amount of money everyone gets no matter what.” It would drastically reduce the size of government, which gets those Ron Paul folks on board. And it would eliminate poverty (assuming the minimum income was at or above the poverty line), which gets us bleeding-heart types on board. Obviously, opponents include big banks (who make money processing food stamps, among other things) and every person who considers poverty a moral failing (the wealthy, the entire Republican party, that one uncle everyone has who you dread getting seated next to at Thanksgiving). Also, some elderly people, since a minimum guaranteed income might be lower than their current Social Security benefits.

I think, if nothing else, it’s worth a try. However, given the political climate, “let’s give free money to everyone!” is not a home run as far as potential legislation goes.