The American Bear

Sunshine/Lollipops

The People’s Bailout

howtosharpenpencils:

This is a long post but it’s about something pretty interesting so I hope you’ll indulge …

Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.

Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)

This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. As you can see from our test run, the return on investment approaches 30:1. That’s a crazy bargain!

Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program LIVE and NATIONWIDE, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.

We’re kicking things off with a show called THE PEOPLE’S BAILOUT at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday, November 15. It will also stream online, like a good ol’-fashioned telethon!

Friends, the line-up is insane. Performers include:

- JEFF MANGUM (Neutral Milk Hotel)
- JANEANE GAROFALO
- GUY PICCIOTTO (Fugazi)
- LIZZ WINSTEAD
- HARI KONDABOLU
- TUNDE ADEBIMPE and KYP MALONE (TV on the Radio)
- members of DAS RACIST

and other great talents including a group of radical nuns! I’ll be playing the role of JERRY LEWIS, emceeing in my tuxedo from MEN’S WEARHOUSE.

This will be a joyful, positive night about people banding together and subverting a predatory financial system in order to help each other. BOOM! That’s a movie pitch right there, goddamn why am I not a Hollywood mogul?!

Anyway, HERE IS THE INFORMATION about THE PEOPLE’S BAILOUT:

- The LIVE SHOW is at Le Poisson Rouge on THURSDAY 11/15, 8 - 11 PM. Tickets are $25 (each ticket buys $500 of distressed debt).

- The LIVE STREAM will be at http://rollingjubilee.org (you’ll be able to donate online)

- Here’s the FACEBOOK PAGE

- The HASHTAG is #peoplesbailout

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

- Spread the word! Share this info with your friends, family, and followers
- Donate money via http://rollingjubilee.org

$25 abolishes an estimated $500 worth of debt
$50 abolishes an estimated $1000 worth of debt
$100 abolishes an estimated $2000 worth of debt
$250 abolishes an estimated $5000 worth of debt

- Host a live-stream party! Get together with folks in your town and watch the show online and donate money and maybe even drink a beer if you’re feeling crazy.

- If you are Jerry Seinfeld or Bill Cosby: Call me about doing a set at the live show! We’ll fit you in.

Okay, that was a really long tumblr post. I feel very vulnerable right now. Thanks for reading.

Bye!
— David Rees

(via shrinkrants)

How Police ‘Protect’: Rubber Bullets, Aiding Attempted Vehicular Homicide | Allison Kilkenny

[…] Ari Douglas, a National Lawyers Guild legal observer, was run over by a police motorcycle in October, and video recently emerged of an officer in Atlanta aggressively surging his motorcycle into a crowd, dangerously shoving protesters.

In D.C., a motorist struck three protesters simply because he “had a green light.” Police apparently agreed with that reasoning because the driver was permitted to leave the scene of the crime.

Meanwhile, in Oakland, where police gravely injured not one, but two Iraq veterans, more demonstrators were run over by vehicles without so much as a citation being handed out.

Lance Lavendure still wears hospital bracelets and walks with a cane after being hit by a Mercedes during Occupy Oakland’s general strike. In the video below, Lavendure can be seen banging on the hood of the car just before the vehicle jolts forward. Both Lavendure and his friend were injured during the incident, his friend’s ankle having been crushed by the car.

The driver of the Mercedes was not arrested and a spokesperson for Oakland police told ABC7 she “did not know” if the driver was cited.

A disturbing video emerged yesterday showing a protester filming a line of OPD officers moments before he’s shot with a rubber bullet. What’s alarming about the footage - other than the shooting itself, obviously - is how the cameraman repeatedly asks, “Is this okay?” to the officers, who don’t offer him a verbal warning, at least from what one can determine by the clip. 

It goes without saying that by allowing disgruntled drivers to hit protesters and leave the scene the police are setting a dangerous precedent. There is little to stop anyone from mimicking this behavior if they’re annoyed they have to sit in traffic because of a protest, or they disagree with the political message of the marchers. 

The public is always told the nation’s massive, and growing, police state is necessary in order to “protect” the public, and yet Occupy’s protests have shown that rather than existing to serve and protect, the police are used to stifle and crush First Amendment rights. [++]

jayrosen:

Sensing a theme?
The Guardian: Occupy movement goes global.
Washington Post: Occupy Wall Street protests go global
Reuters: Wall Street protests go global; riots in Rome
MSNBC: Protests go global, rampage, tear gas in Rome
CBSNews: “Occupy” protests go global, turn violent
KABC, Los Angeles: Occupy Wall Street protests go global
St. Petersburg Times (US) Outrage over economic inequalities goes global, turns violent
ITN (UK): Wall Street protests go global
Channel 4 (UK) “Occupy” protests go global

jayrosen:

Sensing a theme?

The Guardian: Occupy movement goes global.

Washington Post: Occupy Wall Street protests go global

Reuters: Wall Street protests go global; riots in Rome

MSNBC: Protests go global, rampage, tear gas in Rome

CBSNews: “Occupy” protests go global, turn violent

KABC, Los Angeles: Occupy Wall Street protests go global

St. Petersburg Times (US) Outrage over economic inequalities goes global, turns violent

ITN (UK): Wall Street protests go global

Channel 4 (UK) “Occupy” protests go global

Occupy Judaism: A "Turning Point" in American Judaism | Sarah Posner

“I don’t want to be a schlepper for Jewish oligarchs,” [Daniel Sieradski, the organizer of the Kol Nidre service] said, who “propagandize Jewish children about their Jewish values and conservative Zionism.” 

Eisner writes that Occupy Judaism presents an opening for Jewish activism in an age in which religious political advocacy has been dominated by conservative evangelicals, eclipsing, for younger Jews, a time “when rabbis like Abraham Joshua Heschel marched for civil rights, and Arthur Waskow created a Freedom Seder, and Catholic priests and nuns were instrumental in anti-war agitation, their actions propelled by a fervent religiosity and expressed in liturgical terms.”

So far word of Occupy Judaism has spread by word of mouth and by social media. Sieradski says people responded to the Kol Nidre service with statements like “this was the most meaningful Jewish experience of my life.”