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Bland Justice
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Bland Justice

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After taking a few days to recharge, I'm back. I have a lot of respect for the folks actually camping out in the many various Occupy locations. I needed to take a few days and get some better mental perspective and all I'm doing is acting as a voice on the web. I'm not sure I'd have the persistence to have it be only the only topic I'm surrounded by in an in-person scenario. So to all the Occupiers, my hat's off to you.

That's all I have for the moment... Expect more to come.

- B
OccupyTogether.org
OccupyWallStreet.org
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Bland Justice

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Since I had a moment...

It's October 15th where are you at today? I'm pretty sure an #Occupy location near you could use your presence...

If there are reasons you feel you cannot go in person I understand. In this day and age companies can't fire you directly for your opinions, but having and voicing your opinion can make you a "target" for downsizing. Suffice to say that makes many who would otherwise support the #occupy movement actively, sit in silence for fear of losing what keeps them afloat.

While the world begins to focus in on this we need to start doing our homework... We need to be informing others and spreading the word further. We need to make it a point to encourage our kids to pay attention not to what the politicians say, but to what they actually do. If we want to have accountability in our governments we must act as part of the "checks and balances" system. The biggest thing we can do is stop shying away from discussing politics and decisions that affect all of us. No one wants confrontation, but unless we can approach the difficult issues personally and keep an open mind we can't come to a place of mutual respect even in disagreements.

Will this be easy? No... Will it be worth it? I think so... but I'm only one voice in the crowd.

- B
OccupyToegether.org
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Once more...

After spending some quality time catching up with the events of the day and giving up on trying to keep up with the massive quantity of tweets flying around in regards to the OWS movement I think a significant number of our elected officials need some remedial Civics lessons. Best tweet I've seen in relation to it:

RT @AnonNewsNet: Since when did city sanitation ordinances trump first amendment guarantees? This is why we need actual change. #OWS #Politics #Economy #p2

The sad part of course is the fact that this represents the majority of what people being arrested are being arrested for... City ordinance violations. Could someone please explain to me how in the hell it is appropriate to enforce ordinance laws against people practicing their First Amendment rights if the occupiers are doing a better job of maintaining the area than the city itself? So far the movement has been peaceful and generally cooperative with reasonable requests from city and local officials from what I've read around the net. It saddens me to think that due to propaganda from mass media the folks sitting in their homes are thinking that the Occupy movement has nothing to do with them when nothing could be further from the truth.

Point for the day: Tell someone about the real story behind #OWS, get them informed... Pass out flyers, do something, but lets make sure that the real story of what this is all about gets to all the people who it affects... The 99%...

- B
OccupyTogether.org
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**** originally shared:
 
The real takeaway here is...put all your money in your local credit union before it's too late.
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Food for thought...
Will Shetterly originally shared:
 
Stat of the Week

"The 5.6 percent surcharge on income over $1 million that U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid from Nevada proposed last week would raise the tax bill of only the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans, a Citizens for Tax Justice analysis shows. In only one state, Connecticut, would as much as 1 percent of taxpayers face a higher tax bill. In over half of the nation’s states — 27, to be exact — the surcharge proposal would impact only the richest 0.1 percent of taxpayers."

http://www.toomuchonline.org/tmweekly.html
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A word about money and a warning

Anyone who's studied a bit about history could tell you that the Great Depression really got into full swing when bank customers made a run on the banks in a desire to get their money out of the failing financial institutions. Having read around the web, I see people calling for just this sort of action and I question the wisdom of it. I do feel that we need to send a message to the "Big Money" set, but if we expect to survive the fallout of that message we must do so cautiously.

Since before the Great Depression, money has existed as more of a concept than a concrete thing. It is the illusion that a piece of paper is equal to a certain amount of goods or services. I realize this sounds like the start of a Socialist rant, but bear with me for a moment. In recent years, the last several decades actually, credit has been king and allowed us to get the things we need/want. Credit is the perfect expression of virtual money, we don't actually have it in our hands most times, it's entire existence relies on a piece of paper or a digital record indicating that we owe someone else something. After finding out that making it easier to use credit more people would, banks began extending credit to everyone. This is where things went wrong... Somewhere along the way, the banks stopped looking at the credit score as an indicator as to who would be capable of paying back their loan and started looking at it as a way to see who would be able to pay the minimums into perpetuity and thereby pay the exorbitant amount of interest applied to their balances.

I was always taught not to carry a balance on my credit cards, but sometimes it's unavoidable. With the ease of use offered by credit cards you can get a fair way into debt before you realize how much you're spending. Advertising sells us the spoils of "A better life" every day, in every form of media. For too long we have been in race fabricated by mass media and big business to "keep up with the Joneses". What they're not telling you is that the Joneses are deeper in debt than you are.

So, while we occupy together let us pause and accept our place in this as well. Did we occasionally live beyond our means, yes. Were we encouraged to do so by popular media and big business, yes. Were we facilitated the means to live beyond our means by big banking, yes. Were we faced with paying ever-increasing medical expenses from big medicine, yes.

We can fix these problems, but only if we accept that all of us have a part in them. Some of us had no choice but to reach into credit for survival due to lost jobs, but some of us did it for flat screen TV's. If we want to make sure that the Big Money set really get our message we need to stop buying in to the American Dream and start buying in to the American Reality. I don't know what will ultimately come of this movement globally, but regardless of what happens let it change us. Let it grant us the desire to be more aware of our world and more active in our own democracy. Again I urge anyone reading this, whether you agree or not to think about it, discuss it, pass it on.

- B
OccupyTogether.org
OccupyWallStreet.org
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Jussta's profile photoBland Justice's profile photoRebecca Dafydd's profile photo
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The sudden shift that a run on the major banking institutions would cause could cripple the already destabilized economy. Any plan of action at this point would have to be very carefully considered and staged cautiously. As I pointed out in my earlier post, money as we know it is predominantly virtual. If all of a major bank's customers came in on one day in an attempt to close their accounts, the bank would not be able to service the demand. In addition, given existing laws and regulations on banking, any funds transfers by way of cashier's cheques or electronic funds transfers could be held up for multiple days for verification creating overdraft or returned cheque scenarios, thus worsening the financial status of the individual in question.

I do agree that local credit unions are the best overall solution for the current issues in the financial sector, but I would warn against immediate action.
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Bland Justice

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Daily Dose

Editorial isn't typically what I would consider my best voice but in the current climate, it's all I can offer. I freely admit that I don't have the answers. Frankly I don't think any one of us does. One of the things I can offer is an opinion... Let those who want to be involved, be involved. Refrain from turning away people because of past political affiliation or income status. If someone is serious and willing to accept that their position or pocketbook doesn't grant them any more voice than anyone else let them in. We need every voice and mind willing to work seriously toward a resolution to our current problems that we can get.

I think that if we can see past partisan politics and have serious discussions and open-minded disagreements, that we can find a common ground that doesn't destroy an already destabilized infrastructure and allows us to move forward. The mass media wishes to paint the 99%in broad strokes as "hippies" or "bleeding heart liberals", but in person... These are our neighbors, our friends, our families...ourselves. Right and left have lost meaning in this climate... Now we only have in or out...

The time for apathy is over. The time for "wait and see" has gone past... The bell tolls for action, from every quarter, from every demographic, from every country. Corporations built their fortunes and power on the backs of the 99%... Its time for them to understand what that means.
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Mike Mozart originally shared:
 
.
BREAKING! HOT OCCUPY NEWS!
.
Bo Diddley Jr. ARRESTED by Gainesville Florida Police as they Surround the "Occupy Gainesville" and Arrested ALL Protestors at "Bo Diddley Park NAMED FOR the Protestor Bo Diddley Junior's FATHER!

Poor Cell Phone Video JUST UPLOADED to YouTube Seconds Ago!

Gainesville, Florida began its occupation Wednesday. At midnight Thursday police arrived and attempted to evict the 70 people who remained for the night. 30 people who were willing to face arrests began to be arrested including Bo Diddley's oldest son - ironically for occupying the Bo Diddley downtown Plaza named in honor of his father and with a stone with the Bill of Rights recognizing the area as a speaker's corner.
Bo Diddley Jr. Arrested @ Bo Diddley Plaza Occupy Gainesville Florida
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A change of pace...

Given the tenor of my last several posts I felt a need to take a step back and spread some information of immediate use for the folks camping in the various Occupy cities. Given that most major cities have regulations regarding the use of fire and BBQ grills within city limits I would strongly suggest visiting instructables.com and looking at the survival, green and living sections for help with alternative ways to get hot food and beverages to all. My personal favorites are the solar ovens and the Altoids tin BBQ grills. While it won't render out gourmet cuisine if you can heat/boil water it solves a lot of other food issues.

Additionally there are a number of good suggestions for recycling/repurposing things that would otherwise be hauled away as trash. Given that it is fall and many places in the US will begin to see steadily dipping temperatures it is best to have preparation on your side in the event that this requires a longer occupation or occupation through severe conditions. It occurs to me that most of the politicians and corporations are banking on the fact that once the going gets too tough many will retreat.

Staying the course with Occupy physically may prove to be impossible or significantly impractical, but through the use of social media and regular gatherings we can make sure that we Occupy the minds of big business and politicians everywhere. We need to make sure that this doesn't become a footnote in Wikipedia if we want to move towards the goal of a sending the clear message that we demand accountability in our governments, financial sectors and corporations.

Right now they're thinking they can wait us out, thinking that the movement will dissolve on its own if they don't report on us honestly and try to paint us as dangerous liberals... Our ultimate goal should be to prove them wrong. We won't vanish, we will educate and our numbers will grow.

- B
OccupyTogether.org
OccupyWallStreet.org
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A note about research... And a scary concept...

After spending some quality time reading a leaked CitiBank memo from 2005 regarding Plutonomy (http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php?topic=25129.0) and cross-referencing it with investment trends from 2005-2008 I find myself wondering how the "best financial minds" could have missed the writing on the wall. Based on information in the memo and trends in marketing from 2005 onward, I postulate they DID see the writing on the wall.

In a nutshell, the memo examines certain irregularities in the global economy that have historically confused financial advisors. In the process of examining these irregularities the authors propose the concept that the income inequality fostered by the concept of the super rich ("Plutonomy") actually explains some of the stranger market fluctuations rather handily. The authors also rather clearly state that within countries that support income inequalities (US, UK, etc) that the concept of the "average" consumer is a falsehood. It makes sense, if you think about it. If 1% of the population accounts for 25% of the total income, while the bottom 40% only accounts for 10%, the consumer reports and marketing statistics that drive production corporations heavily favor the rich due to their massive purchasing power over the rest of us. It makes even more sense when you start factoring in that advertising is aimed at the moneyed few with the knowledge that the remaining demographics look to the ultra-rich as an example of success and would be brought to market by a desire to emulate that success.

Other things mentioned in the document clearly state that the Plutonomy participants would be relatively unaffected by a decline in the housing market as most of their sedentary income is tied up in equities rather than real estate. If you follow the saga of Countrywide Financial from 2000-2008 you begin to see financial moves that responded to a perceived "lack of demand" for the housing market, and it's subsequent collapse. Given the war economy that America was in, the market was surprisingly soft during the whole of President Bush's (Jr) tenure, possibly in part related to the Plutonomy again driving speculation with skewed numbers about the "average" consumer.

Admittedly a fair bit of this is speculation on my part and I certainly think that others may be able to offer a more objective picture, but given documents like these it's hard to think that no one knew what was occurring. The document itself pretty directly states that someone had a clear picture of the situation, complete with an action plan for how to best capitalize on it in 2005.

I urge you, read the memo for yourself...Educate yourself, formulate your own opinion and discuss it. Only by being informed and active thinkers can we hope to come to the best overall solutions for all of us.

- B
OccupyTogether.org
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Bland Justice

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Will Shetterly originally shared:
Eleven charts that explain what's wrong with America.
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Jussta
 
Thanks, I shared!
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Chris Voss originally shared:
 
Its time to end the BS. This is not left or right. This is the destructive bleeding of the middle and lower class thats been going since the mid 1900's by stupid politicians who have sold us out for corporate America to drain us. This is a political error that lets Corporations run wild. This guy nails it and so does this guy http://youtu.be/dib2-HBsF08
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