Friday 9 December 2011

Heart of the Beast


As many have likely heard already, Occupy Calgary packed up and moved out on their own timeline; rather than have a stand off at today's court imposed 2:00 PM deadline.

Kudos to them for doing this.

In place of their tents this morning was a large metal sculpture titled "Heart of the Beast".

I just heard Bill Bruce (head of by-law) say on the news it will be hauled away as debris left in the park. He went onto explain putting things on property that don't belong there is in fact vandalism.

Given Cory and I were victims of a similar stunt just last night (a tent was erected and other things left in the back of Cory's truck) I can relate to what Bill is saying. However, there is one important difference. What happened to Cory and I was intimidation; the sculpture I see more as a peace offering.

Someone spent time creating it, likely with a great deal of emotion. Whether those emotions at the time were directly connected to Occupy or not isn't important. It would be very interesting to hearing the artists story behind the artwork. I see it as a gesture to remind people our rights to speak out; even when some may not like what you have to say.

I don't think it should stay in Olympic Plaza, but I certainly don't think it should be scrapped or stored away somewhere. In my opinion one of the better ideas coming out of the Occupy group was for there to be a "Speakers Corner" of sorts.  This would be the perfect opportunity to combine that idea with this artwork.

My suggested would be to have it installed at Shaw Millennium Park (skateboarding park).  I think there are a few reasons why this would be a good fit.

First, it is predominately a concrete park and this would add an element of interest. Second, this is the only park in Calgary that is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; a speakers corner needs to be available around the clock. And lastly; it is most popular with our youth. I believe one of the greatest lessons we can instil with our youth is to speak out for what they believe in, even when the odds seem against you.

If someone has a clear picture of the "Heart of Beast" I would like to add it to this blog entry. 

Thanks to @can_kt for sharing her picture.

Thursday 8 December 2011

Occupy Calgary - Some Determined to Stay

I was disappointed to read the following by Chelsea Pratchett. Chelsea, in my opinion, is one of the more well-spoken occupiers. And I also thought more level-headed.

(11:00 AM, Dec 8) Click on image to enlarge.

Too date they have accomplished very little through their antics; to continue down the same path will not help and potential could make things much worse.

Midday discussion.


Wednesday 7 December 2011

Occupy Calgary - Ben Christensen Legal Beagle

Earlier I posted a couple of videos under the "Gems of Occupy Calgary" tab of commentary from Ben Christensen. He presents himself as the legal representative for Occupy Calgary.

If you watch the first video you will see he clearly believed that yesterdays' court decision was a hoax and it is evident in their own comments from yesterday, that a lot of people believed him. Only coming to the realization today (2nd video) that it was in fact real. Today on their Facebook page he was quite short with some one of the other members, I suspect he might have been a tad upset about the reality of the judge's decision.

Below you will find the conversation as it currently exists. You will note some of the responses don't seem to make sense, this is due to Ben deleting his commentary, which he does make mention of as well.

Click on images to enlarge.

My source is working on retrieving Ben's deleted comments. When (and if) they become available, I will add them to this posting.

Edit at 9:30 PM:

Ben's missing comments have been retrieved. These are from an email notification, so they show in the opposite direction time wise to what shows in screen shots above.

Mayor Nenshi - "Adult Conversation"

During his election campaign Mayor Nenshi repeatedly used the phrase; "adult conversation"

Some examples.

In short, they engaged Calgarians, in Nenshi’s words, in “adult conversations.” This was not a campaign of sound bites; it was a campaign of thoughtfulness.

He fields an aggressive question about raising taxes. Nenshi won’t promise not to (“if any candidate tells you that, they’re lying”), and argues for an “adult conversation” about priorities.

You get the idea. Personally I didn't much care for the phrase. To me it sent the message that all conversations up to that point had somehow been childish. I found it condescending.

Alas, he became our mayor and I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt; that what he really meant was that he simply wanted to change the tone and direction of the conversation.

However over the last couple of months I'm seeing less of the "breath of fresh air" approach and more of an "I know best" and others opinions be damned. One area where we have seen this in his recent run ins with fellow council members.

There has been evidence on Twitter as well.  Yes, there is a lot of good to be said about a person in public office who uses Twitter. However, in Mayor Nenshi's case he has gotten to the point where he simply answers puff ball questions, he deflects and/or outright ignores people.

As was the case in my very brief discussion with him last night.
Click on image to enlarge.

When he realized where my line of questioning was going he quickly deflected back to the "lawyers".

Does he answer my follow up questions, no. Once again goes into ignore mode.

By the way, if you enjoy your time on Twitter, I highly recommend against challenging Mayor Nenshi unless of course you have very thick skin. He has a huge following with blinders on. Tweet something positive, they will retweet like lemmings. Tweet something less than flattering, they turn to piranha and you will be thoroughly attacked. Actually, I'm quite certain this blog posting will get me sent to the Twitter gallows.

At any rate, I've determined that in my case, Mayor Nenshi and I can't have an adult conversation on Twitter. So I'm sending him an email and see if we can have success when not limited to 140 characters.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Judge Rules in Favour of City of Calgary - Occupy Calgary Must Dismantle

The Judge's decision has been filed. Remember you can click on images to enlarge.

Copy of the decision is here.

Occupy Calgary initial reaction.

When reality starts to set in they start a new thread.

Now Stephen, I have never once claimed or accused them of being unemployed or hippies.

Hon. Chief Justice Wittmann Decsion

The following images are a copy of the judgement from Honourable Chief Justice, Neil Wittmann in respect the the injunction the City of Calgary filed against Occupy Calgary.

Looks like a couple of the pages are wonky..... I will fix and repost.

Page 4 now fixed. Some are missing pages numbers, but I don't think any content is cut off.

Click on each page image to enlarge.

Monday 5 December 2011

Sean Quigley

I love Christmas music. It's usually all the standard fare, but then every once and awhile we are blessed with a new twist.

As with this video, that I just had to share this video from Sean Quigley of Winnipeg.

Quote from a news clip:

Sixteen-year-old Sean Quigley, a grade-11 student at Winnipeg's Oak Park High School, produced, directed and edited the video of his going-viral rock-heavy rendition of "Little Drummer Boy." Quigley arranged, composed, recorded, mixed and mastered the song, in addition to playing all the instruments on the track.

Amazing. Enjoy.

Sunday 4 December 2011

City of Calgary Reopens Negotiations with Occupy Calgary

Looks like the City has reopened negotiations with Occupy Calgary. Why?

Response from one of the key Occupiers Chelsea Pratchett.

Her last line is very telling:

I recommend that requests for accommodating future events be brought to the weekly general assembly (which is on Saturday at 1:30pm) by someone from your department, preferably yourself.
Are they now the "keepers" of our park?

Click on images to enlarge.

Updated at 2:15

Here is the Facebook response to Chelsea's letter thus far.

Colin Wenger

On Dec 2, 2011 I posted the following as a blog entry.
Apparently I've gotten under the skin of Occupy Calgary.

Case in point.

Colin please explain where and how I have slandered you or your group?

My previous post was a collection of your own words and commentary from Twitter, mostly media reporting on the days events.

So please point me to where I have slandered.


There have been many comments, including a response from Colin. He uses the name DecryptedNight. I promised him I would respond to he comment. Rather than it getting lost in the comment section, I've opted to create this page for it. Later I will archive this as a post. Colin's comments are in red with my responses below.

In response to earlier comments... I am NOT one of the "Squatters". I have a career of 10 years in electronics manufacturing, so no I'm not a jobless whiner either.

Colin I've read and reread the comments. No one has said you were unemployed, jobless or anything to that effect. Perhaps you inferred that from the one commenter who said "If he is one of the squatters..." in which case you've assumed the writer thinks all the campers are unemployed or that is your own belief your are applying to the comment. Also I don't recall anyone saying you were a whiner.

And for your information taking other people's words (especially in text form), cutting out the parts that are no good for supporting your agenda. then spinning the rest to imply that the people in this movement are constantly at each others throats. Is in fact slander... You have removed the "context" of the actual conversation, and largely ignored anything that is actually good or progressive.

I have no "agenda". I'm simply sharing some insight on the goings on of the Occupy Calgary group.   

The screen snapshots, which I get from one of your very own active members, are not altered in any fashion.  You will note that what this person has been doing is repeating the last bit of stream at the beginning of the next one, to show the continuity.

When you say "text form" I'm not clear if you might be referring to the comments section of my blog. Those can't be edited, they are either accepted or rejected.  Have I rejected some, yes.

Slander (as Matt pointed out in the comments), is the spoken word. Specifically, someone would have to speak a lie to be guilty.  

Libel (which is what I think you really mean) is the written word. Specifically, someone writing falsehoods. 

To the best my knowledge, I have neither spoken nor written any lies about you or the Occupy Calgary group. If you feel there is "missing information" that will somehow make anything I've posted be seen in a better light, by all means send them to me.  

It is inevitable when you bring a diverse group of people together that they will in fact disagree. But there are also ways to work together and around that. Case and point, I personally don't actually support the continued presence of the camp itself and I have made that known before. However I am getting ready to head down there again to bring people food and even warm clothing. 
I do this because they are PEOPLE! Standing up for what they feel is right. I might not agree with the specific methods, but if simply spit that in someones face, it destroys any chance of working together on common ground. 
However as for you, and anyone supporting your little laugh riot here. You are achieving nothing that is even the slightest bit productive. Nothing you are doing right here is ever going to solve any problems. You are from what I can see only scheming the next way to get a laugh out of people over how the supposed 'dirty hippies are arguing with each other'. 
If that's all you can manage in the expenditure of time you put into this, then it saddens me to realize you, likely have any real self-worth deep inside.
And if you think a electronics manufacturer don't have the ability to make such a pronouncement. This particular worker happens to spend a great deal of his free time reading philosophy, Psychology, neuroscience and even theoretical physics... Because I like it and it's fun.

Colin I realize you don't know me and you likely don't know my position on the Occupy movement. I also think you and possibly others, are confusing me with my husband. So let me share some things with you to give you a better idea of who I am.

I have a full-time 40 hour a week job. 
I volunteer in my community and as a director for the Wildrose Party. Both of these tie up another 20-25 hours a week on evenings and weekends.
We occasionally help homeless individuals by providing them transitional housing. (Currently we are helping two) 
We give regularly to the food bank, charities and we give blood.

I've been blogging for four years now. I blog about very personal things and about current issues. On average it's worked out to less than 50 posts per year. Actually I wish I could spend more time doing it, but I'm also working on a book

My recent posts come together very quickly simply because someone else is creating the images for me.

As for Occupy.

I fully support everyone's right to protest and stand up for whatever they believe in.
I also believe the laws (and bylaws) should be applied equally to everyone.
I've never called them hippies. Nor have I made any assumptions about you.
I haven't posted the threads that show worst of the bickering. Besides, you and I know they deleted most of them and kicked out the "problem people" 
These blog postings are not meant to solve any problems.

Having said all that, the occupiers and their supporters can't expect to go through life and not be questioned as to their motives and rationale.  I'm not the first, nor will I be the last, to examine what your movement is doing (or trying to do).  Frankly, I've by and large used the groups own words. That can hardly be construed as libelous (or "pathetic slander" as you've stated.)

Added at 11:15 PM

The Occupy Calgary Facebook page was changed to "secret" a couple of days ago.
They have now also made their forum private.

This is exactly the type of thing that lead people to question the sincerity of the group. They repeatedly say they want an "open vibrant discussion" yet their actions don't demonstrate that.

This entry was previously available via a "page" tab. I've converted it to a posting and only way I could move comments was to screen snap them. They were as follows:

Friday 2 December 2011

Under Their Skin

Apparently I've gotten under the skin of Occupy Calgary.

Case in point.

Colin please explain where and how I have slandered you or your group?

My previous post was a collection of your own words and commentary from Twitter, mostly media reporting on the days events.

So please point me to where I have slandered.

Note Colin replied in comments and I responded. You can see that entry here.

Gems from Occupy Calgary

** WARNING ** Images may contain language not suitable for minors.

I've decided to start this separate page as there is just so much comedic gold coming from the Occupy Calgary group.

Dec 8, 2:00 PM

Dec 6, evening. This was day the judgement was released, at this point they thought it was still a hoax.

Dec 7 Seem to have come to terms with fact that it's real.

Dec 7, 1:00 PM

Dec 6, 12:00 PM

Today's gem comes from occupier James Jesso

You can read his entire post here.

Odd at 1:00 he has changed it, ever so slightly by putting the offensive remarks in "quotations".

Dec 4, 9:20 PM

Dec 3, 10:25 AM


Dec 2 approx 7:30 PM

This entry was previously available via a "page" tab. I've converted it to a posting and only way I could move comments was to screen snap them. They were as follows: