Special Edition: Public Service Announcements


Today, I am chock full of Public Service announcements.

1. Sydneysiders, I am sure you are aware of the anti-American protests last weekend that turned violent. The U.S. Consulate issued warnings to American citizens that there may be more protests planned for this weekend. 
“U.S. citizens should avoid Sydney’s Hyde Park and its perimeter area and Martin Place on both Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23. “

They also mentioned possible protests in Melbourne and Perth. I think that the number of protesters inciting violence is small, and hopefully nothing will come of this, but just better to be aware and stay safe. 
Most of you probably already know this, but if you’re not aware, American citizens can register their presence abroad and receive updates about possible security threats from the Consulate. Your interest in doing this would depend on how comfortable you are with the government knowing your whereabouts, but I personally felt the benefit of the consulate having a record of my presence outweighed my latent libertarian tendencies, so I registered that I live in Australia.
2. Vote! Maybe you’ve heard that there’s an election coming up? 
It’s going to be a tight one, so make sure that you go to the trouble to vote. I don’t care who you vote for (I mean, I have a preference and if you need a recommendation, drop me a line. I’ll be happy to advise. 😉 ) – just vote in an informed way!
Americans living abroad can register for an absentee ballot using a number of different websites. I have used Vote From Abroad (I think that it has a mild affiliation with one party, so you might hunt around for other sites if you’re not comfortable with that, but they don’t try to convert you into darkness or anything. This is just what I’ve used successfully in the past). Even if you’ve registered in the past and have been receiving ballots, be aware that you must request a new ballot every year. Since this is looking like such a tight election, you really want to make sure that your ballot is going to be valid!
And thus concludes my public service announcements for today. The more you know, people. The more you know…