Sunday, October 30, 2011

Signs from Occupy Wall Street (In NY and around the country)

I was especially moved by the photograph of the police officer with the sign "I'm choosing the people. Whose side are you on." God bless him. Some of photos have been borrowed from the Facebook collections of friends, Occupy blogs, and around Google. Enjoy and please share.
Let's spread the word.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Why Occupy Wall Street? The 99% story told by political cartoons

The first cartoon is from Beartoons, the others are from Cartoonists with Attitude, Cagle Cartoons, Think Progress and Facebook friends

Saturday, October 22, 2011

10 Easy Ways for Progressives to Make the World a Better Place

Progressives are busy these days. Protesters march against corporate takeover of government all over the world, some are turning these protests into all night, all week sleepovers. The underlying message everywhere seems to be that we need to place over our values over profit. Simply put, we want to value people over profits.

Critics claim these marches will accomplish little. I say progressives are making headway at last. For those of us who can't make it to protests but want to have impact, here are a few suggestions.

1. Cut up your credit cards. Use cash or cash-backed cards.
2. Use credit unions instead of large banks. Go to and type in your city, state and zip code. The site will give you a list of the credit unions closest to you. Many have open membership.
3. Use the sharing economy - give to those in need and ask for what you need.
4. Share - create freeware, free art, or donate time to help clean up your community, volunteer.
5. Don't buy mass produced stuff unless you really need it.
6. If you buy meat or eggs, look for the "certified humane" label. This little tag will help you distinguish the good guys from the bad guys in agriculture. Nellie's Nest eggs are certified humane and available in many supermarkets. Certified Humane means the animals are given enough space to engage in natural behaviors, access to the outdoors, they are a fed a nutritious diet and not pumped full of hormones and antibiotics). Nellie's Nest uses plastic from recycled soda bottles to make the egg containers.

If you can't find certified humane products at the supermarket or grocery store, write a letter to the supermarket manager to start carrying them. Many of them are interested in what you think. Put the letter in an envelope marked supermarket manager and give it to the cashier. They will probably get it. I use email and I often get enthusiastic emails from the marketing department - you just have to look up the store email to do this.

7. When you get tired of clothes, give them to friends or donate them to shelters. If you haven't worn it in a year, (and it's in good condition) give it away. Share. It's contagious.
8. Write letters often to your Congressional representatives AND your state representatives. Let them know you care. Donate a small sum to those that do work you like. (The banks can't be the only ones that lobby).
9. Cultivate empathy. Try to imagine yourself living the life of another person. Try journaling that way. Read books about the lives of people very different from yourself.
10. Pray about it. Never underestimate the power of opening your heart to God and pouring out your concerns. Pray about your nation.

Hope this helps in some small way. Please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments. It could lead to a new post!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to fix Wall Street

What do the people on Occupy Wall Street want? Common Dreams, one of the most forward-thinking watchdog groups in the United States, has contributed a list that I think makes a lot of sense.

The List:
1. If a bank is too big to fail then it is too big to exist
2. Cap credit card interest rates to end usury
3. The Federal Reserve needs to provide the same low interest rate loans to American small businesses that it offers to foreign banks
4. Stop Wall Street speculators from artificially inflating the price of gasoline and heating oil
5. Demand Wall Street invest on job creation rather than worthless derivatives - they need to produce something of value.
6. Establish a Wall Street speculation fee on derivatives, credit default swaps, and options and futures.

To these I would add a seventh: prohibit the sale of discharged debt. Banks are inflating their earnings by trading in worthless, discharged debt that is uncollectible. By eliminating this - they will be forced to be more responsible in investing.

When Wall Street complains that this will make credit hard to come by - we need to say -- good. We have excessive credit and it is just as dangerous as excessive inflation.