Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bring Back Glass-Steagall and End Too Big To Fail

I just signed the petition to end “too big to fail” banks who had gotten so big in 2008 that when their risky investments went bust, their ruin threatened our entire economy. And instead of demanding a return to the commonsense and time-tested Glass-Steagall Act (which was passed in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression because of the banks’ role in causing it), President Bush and Congress handed the banks big bailouts, paid for with our tax dollars and inflation of the money supply by the Federal Reserve.

 

Now, the consummate Wall Street insider, Sandy Weill, who successfully lobbied Congress to tear down the walls between Main Street banks and Wall Street by repealing the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 (after which he proceeded to build Citibank into the financial behemoth Citigroup), has come out on national television against the very changes he had advocated, the changes which helped create the “too big to fail” financial giants, saying:

 

What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking…Have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail.. That means we need to press our solution hard enough for them to hear us on the rest of Wall Street — and in Washington.

 

Let’s NEVER let these behemoth banks hold our economy hostage again. Let’s end “too big to fail.” Please join me in protesting the tragic injustice of the repeal of Glass-Steagall in ’99 and objecting to the abuse of power by authority that Congress and President Clinton perpetrated against an entire nation by not doing everything in their power to stop it.

 

This image came from the website of economic journalist Barry Ritholtz.

Take Action: Ask the House of Representatives to Impeach Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

I just learned from my friends at The Other 98% that Justice Clarence Thomas, along with Justice Antonin Scalia, has accepted paid vacations and speaking engagements at conservative think tanks, Koch Brother strategy retreats, and other conflict-of-interest-laden gatherings, just weeks before ruling on cases involving these groups, including Citizens United. This is a true tragedy, my fellow millennials and activists. How did we get here, to a reality where a United States Supreme Court Justice, while checking his online bank account in the morning, asks himself, “Hey, where did this million dollars come from? Oh, yeah, the health insurance company lobbyists who ‘suggested’ I decide the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.” We got here on the smooth road of Apathy and it was paved courtesy of a small group of people whose hearts are closed and cannot feel Love. After forgiving them, we are filled with all the passion for Truth and Justice that every member of the Supreme Court would ideally embody. With this passion and faith in the checks and balances of The System, I urge you to join me in signing this petition.

 

 

From The Other 98%:

Enough. Is. Enough.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

We have a right to expect our Supreme Court to be impartial, fair, non-partisan and uncorrupted by money and access – but Associate Justice Clarence Thomas has so flagrantly betrayed these expectations, that there is no recourse left but to introduce articles of impeachment.

Justice Thomas “neglected” to report nearly a million dollars in household income made from lobbying related to cases before the court – and then, only made the disclosures when forced by legal obligation.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas ignored the calls of 75 members of Congress (and over 100,000 Other 98% activists) to recuse himself from the Affordable Care Act ruling, despite standing to gain millions of dollars in household income through future anti-healthcare lobbying. He then ruled in a way that would make himself richer anyway.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas, along with Justice Antonin Scalia, has accepted paid vacation junkets and speaking engagements at conservative think tanks, Koch Brother strategy retreats, and Tea Party gatherings – in a few cases just weeks before ruling on cases these interests had before the court, including Citizens United.

It’s time to impeach Clarence Thomas.

Justice Thomas has made his partisan allegiances clear. And we must act. It is time to remove this corporate servant from a position where he can continue to cripple our democracy.

Any member of the House of Representatives can introduce the motion to Impeach – it literally takes a single member of Congress brave enough to do the right thing.

This simple step could do wonders for our national discourse – sending a clear message to members of the Court that they act in the public eye, and can no longer let their lifetime appointment be a cover for blatant corruption.

Let’s take that step together.

Party like it’s 1776

Happy 5th of July! Guess what is being clearanced out today because it’s the day after Independence Day?

 

 

 

 

Yes, these awesome paper plates!

 

 

I had an interesting 4th of July yesterday because a friend is staying with me right now till she moves into her new apartment next week. So I am experiencing some interdependence that is new to me and enjoying having someone around instead of my usual high degree of independence.

 

 

For a lot of people, the 4th is just another day off (or a day to get paid time and a half at both jobs like I did) but for me it is a day of gratitude. Here’s what I am super thankful for: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, the right to peacefully assemble, the right to due process and trial by jury in a court of law and the benefit of the doubt of my guilt and the presumption of my innocence, the right to bear arms, protection from torture (the 8th Amendment, although this one has been getting a lot of violation of late — haters gonna hate, Constitution violaters gonna violate), protection from the government searching my home and car without a warrant, the right to vote, and many many many other blessings and benefits we celebrate on the 4th of July, but most of all, the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Why? Because that First Amendment Right is the key to shifting the paradigm, starting at the top: the 7th chakra of Authority where the energy of anyone who influences our quantity and quality of life down in the 1st chakra of Survival resides (via the 7/1 chakra mirror).

 

 

When these rulers, whether members of government, religion, or other ruling bodies, can feel LOVE, they will no longer hurt others. Why? Because they’ll no longer desire to. These are the people who, once they can feel joy again, will no longer take action to declare needless war, profit from the pain and suffering of others, or engage in torture and indefinite detainment. Please join me in asking God to make us all the conduit for the healing power of divine love which will open the hearts of those people who occupy an authority position so that they no longer hurt others for a very logical reason: they will no longer desire to.

 

 

You might find it interesting to know that the Second Amendment right to bear arms was the Plan B of the Founders. They certainly hoped and intended that the six clauses (tools/weapons) of the First Amendment would prevent a recurrence of tyranny — and the recurrence of the use of actual tools and actual weapons as protected by the Second Amendment in a future Revolutionary War. James Madison, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither internal nor external controls on government would be necessary.” The fact that it occurred to them to insert a Plan B into the Bill of Rights is a testament to Jim’s sagacity and foresight (and Tom’s, and Ben’s, et al).

 

 

And the six rights/tools/weapons of the First Amendment of the Constitution that he and the other founders wanted to be available to every future generation to use in order to maintain freedom (and prevent another revolution)?

*Freedom of speech

*freedom of the press

*freedom of religion (government can’t prevent you from worshiping God the way you desire to)

*freedom from religion (government can’t force you to worship God at all)

*freedom to assemble (to gather peacefully for a cause)

*and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

 

 

I am so thankful for the high degree of freedom and independence we enjoy here in the U.S. I thank anyone past and present who has given their life or even a few hours of their life to maintain these blessings. So let’s continue to protest injustice — the peaceful, nonviolent way — not only for ourselves but for the generations that will follow ours, and never take any of our freedoms for granted.

Time is money … or is money really time?

People say that time is money but in truth, money is time. Money is the human attempt to contain and assign a value to time.

 

Money: the human attempt to contain and assign a value to time.

 

We think in terms of how much money an object or service costs, but we really pay for everything we buy with the amount of time it took to earn that amount of money. If you don’t receive a paycheck from an employer for a specific amount (number of hours) of time, for example, if you receive money from family or work on salary, ask yourself how many hours did you actually put in last week or last month or last year? Then ask yourself, how much money did you receive in that same period of time? If you didn’t receive payment only in cash, for example, if you were given a paid vacation, what was the total dollar amount of anything received, including gifts and paid holidays? Then divide that figure by the number of hours you spent providing service to others, whether those others were children, clients, employers, patients, a spouse, teachers, etc. Now, hang on to that amount because we’re about to peel back the next layer of this time=money dynamic.

 

 

Because we buy food and shelter to last for all 24 hours of the day, the amount of money you made in the given time period must actually be divided by all the hours you were surviving during that time period. So whether you worked 40 hours last week or 140 hours last week, the total amount of money must be divided by the total number of hours in that
week, which is 168. (7 days x 24 hours = 168.) So whether you received $1,000 in straight cash for working 40 hours or received $1,000 worth of food and shelter and spending money for 140 hours of miscellaneous services provided, you would still divide the total dollar amount by 168. Why? Because we don’t pay rent or mortgage based only on the hours we spend under the roof of that shelter and we don’t pay for food based only on the hours we spend consuming it. Both the food and the shelter sustain us for all 24 hours of the day. To put this in perspective, you would never tell the bank that holds your mortgage or the landlord you send your rent check to, “Hey, I think it would be more fair if I just paid you for the hours I spend in this building.” They might reply, “This isn’t a hotel. You’re paying for the permission to store your belongings here even when you’re not and the ability to provide this address to the Post Office, etc.”

 

 

Also, because we are forced to give between six and nine hours back to God each night as sleep (talk about a survival tax!), we couldn’t work all 24 hours a day even if we wanted to. So your hourly wage is not really per hour and your salary pay is literally per annum. Per annum means per year, so be sure to divide the total dollar amount of the value of everything you receive from anyone: If you are in school, include the value of all education that is being paid for by your parents if it’s being paid for by them and/or the dollar amount of any scholarships you are receiving and/or grants from the Government (all of which you are receiving in exchange for the amount of time you spend in class and studying) by the total number of hours in a year: 8,760.

 

This figure is the true monetary value of one hour of your time.

 

Neither Time nor Money has value if we do not also value our Autonomy. This is why, as children, we do not usually learn the value of time until we reach an age where we have some influence over where that time will be spent and on whom. Until then, time simply passes; this is why Freedom and the value of Time (and thus Money) are inextricably linked. God deposits 24 hours into everyone’s Time account as midnight. Some people trade 8 of them for cash, some people trade 10, some work all 24 hours, on-call even while they sleep (for example, some parents, especially the primary care-giver). Some choose to live off the grid, choosing a lower quality of life in order to have a higher quantity of time to be autonomous, such as homeless people.

 

 

Question: now that you know that time is the real international currency, how many hours per day are yours to spend however you desire? Take today, for example: how many hours did you spend doing what you wanted to do (being autonomous)?”

 

Time: the real international currency

 

A very high quality of life is often centered in having enough: enough time left over at the end of the month to spend being autonomous, and enough money to spend on doing awesome things and enjoying awesome people during that number of “free” hours. So rich might be great fun for some people and for others, it might amount to slightly better than slavery because they don’t have any time left over at the end of the day/month/year/lifetime to spend enjoying that money! And the homeless person who answers to no one may value their freedom so much, that having no permanent address feels like a fair price to pay. For most people, the ratio lies somewhere in between and the things that really make free time enjoyable, like our soulmate, good friends, a secure feeling of belonging to our unique niche in the community (like hanging out with other social justice activists or other knitters or other Magic: the gathering players, etc.) are what make life feel good and satisfying.

 

 

What would be the ideal ratio of unallocated hours (“free time”) and unallocated funds (“disposable income”) for you? What do you think it might be ten years from today? How about twenty years from day? And now, how about fifty years from today?