Whistleblowers: The Best and the Bravest Among Us

This is an homage to whistleblowers, a heartfelt paean of gratitude for your courage and your clarity, your putting ethics and the greater good over self-interest, generously risking your own well-being and safety because of your commitment to principle over profit and transparency over secrecy.  You are the reason we know the extent of corporate corruption of government and the abuse of power, the impetus behind the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement, the catalysts in the struggle for democracy and against authoritarianism. 

It is the Daniel Ellsbergs, the John Kiriakous, the Aaron Swartzes, the Bradley Mannings, the Julian Assanges, and the Edward Snowdens who shine light on the cover-ups and the schemes of the 1% who would subvert democracy and justice in service of their lust for power, greed, and self-enrichment at the expense of the 99%.  You are the best and bravest of us and the truth you disseminate shines brightest and most brilliantly through the strength of your character. 

We will forever be in your debt and honor your service to humanity when we repeat your names as mantras invoking a higher consciousness and a deeper good for all life on this living planet.  May the great goddess protect you from all harm and expand your influence to everyone everywhere and give them the courage and stamina to stand tall against oppression in all its forms!  Daniel, John, Edward, Bradley, Julian, Aaron thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!  You are beacons of light in a dark, benighted world!

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/07/08/snowden-honored-by-ex-intel-officials/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/daniel-ellsberg-nsa-leaker-snowden-made-the-right-call/2013/07/07/0b46d96c-e5b7-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_story.html

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/obama-retreats-on-snowden-even-the-worlds-most-powerful-media-and-intelligence-apparatus-cant-always-control-public-opinion

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/07/edward-snowden-public-opinion

Petitions re Snowden and the NSA:

Tell Congress: Investigate NSA abuses and protect our constitutional rights

http://wh.gov/liZnR

http://bit.ly/10KZOrR

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_prism_global/?taGunbb

Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder: Occupy Dollar Bills

I love this idea that Ben & Jerry are promoting of stamping dollar bills with 99% slogans.  This expression of free speech aimed at taking back our democracy is also referred to as “Occupy George” http://occupygeorge.com/.  If I might add my own suggestions:  “Money is NOT Free Speech!”, ‘This Dollar Bill CANNOT speak”, “Money Talks, but it doesn’t SPEAK!”  “Money’s ‘Speech’ is never FREE!”, “Invalid if used to Bribe Politicians or Pay Lobbyists”, “Invalid if used to pay Corporate CEO’s”, “NOT TO BE USED TO BAIL OUT BANKSTERS OR WALL STREET CROOKS”, “On my way to the Cayman Islands!”, “Kiss Me Goodbye, I’m off to the Orient,  along with your JOB”, and “On Temporary Loan by the 1%.”

One person pointed out in his comment on the above article that “Federal Reserve Notes” are not government money (that is, they are not issued by the government) and therefore the law against defacing currency does not apply.  The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces currency (as well as postage stamps) and the U. S. Mint produces coins; the Federal Reserve produces neither, instead producing only federal reserve notes, which the courts have ruled are “legal tender” and “lawful money”.  So, though a federal reserve note is considered the equivalent of government money, from researching this question it appears that the defacing issue applies more to coins than to paper money, except with regard to altering paper money  in an attempt to defraud (e.g. trying to make a $1 bill look like a $10 bill) or to such an extent that it is rendered “unfit to be reissued”.  See these links for more info:

http://voices.yahoo.com/is-illegal-write-draw-us-money-rules-about-5839668.html?cat=3

http://www.ehow.com/list_6535889_defacing-u_s_-currency-laws.html

http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml9613.htm

http://moneyfactory.gov/historicallegislation.html

http://www.richmondfed.org/faqs/currency/

As many of us are aware, there is nothing “federal” about the Federal Reserve because though it is subject to some congressional oversight, it is a privately-owned,  independent central bank, which has the power to make the decision to print money, for instance. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Under_the_Federal_Reserve_Act_of_1913_the_what_powers_do_Federal_Reserve_banks_have  What is interesting is that while our paper money used to read “silver certificate” across the top, as it used to actually be redeemable for silver from the U. S. Treasury, these stopped being printed in 1964 and were replaced by federal reserve bank notes which had “national currency” written across the top until 1971, when they were replaced with the federal reserve note which reads “Federal Reserve Note”.

There is a movement to end the Federal Reserve  and put the power to create money back in the hands of the federal government and out of banksters’ clutches. Dennis Kucinich has authored a bill toward this end titled the “National Emergency Employment Defense ( NEED) Act”.  You can read more at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/01/kucinich-bill-seeks-to-end-the-federal-reserve/. The following link to a YouTube video also brings up some important points regarding the printing of paper money and its relation to debt and how it would be advantageous for the government to take back the role of again printing money. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tr5BbH6X8s&feature=colike

Amazing, how the more “federal reserve notes” the Fed prints, the less the 99% benefits.  The idea of “Occupying Dollar Bills” is brilliant in my opinion and I’m going to order me some rubber stamps!

Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder: Occupy Dollar Bills

Suggest a Grievance – The 99% Declaration

We must address the current war on women going on in this country and in congress and why I entitled a grievance, “Occupy Patriarchy:  End the War on Women” as women’s civil rights as a group are under serious attack and women are being specifically targeted for discrimination.  Patriarchy is the underlying framework upon which war, environmental degradation, denigration of women, authoritarian hierarchy, rapacious corporate practices, exploitation, and subjugation of individuals, groups, and countries are based.  The passage of the Equal Rights Amendment is fundamental to women achieving true parity and is long past due and should be part of this grievance in my opinion, and should not be put off for any reason, any more than any of the rest of our demands should be.  Women have waited long enough for the yolk of patriarchy to be lifted and we must rise up and claim our full citizenship.  After all, we are 52% of the 99%!

Suggest a Grievance – The 99% Declaration

All for One, and One for All

We need a new national motto.  I have always loved the Three Musketeers’ motto, “All for One, and One for All” (unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno) because it speaks to the best of all systems:  it acknowledges the importance of the collective as well as the individual, and does not put one before the other.  If we were to think in these terms, we would have a much better life and system of government because everyone would be equally important and no one would be sacrificed for the good of the whole.  Think about that.  If we were to adopt this motto instead of the “In God We Trust”, how would our outlook, self-esteem, and behavior towards others change if we felt truly valued and indispensable!  Instead of engaging in endless wars because God is “on our side” and constantly fighting for our piece of the pie, we would instead be looking out for one another, ensuring each other’s safety and well-being, and making sure each person’s needs were met. No one would be attacking Social Security, Medicare, or the commons:  national parks, natural resources, a clean environment, a postal system, libraries, or single-payer healthcare.  They would all be seen as human rights because we as valued citizens would be entitled to them!

There is a serious need to shift towards more pro-social values like inclusion, sharing, and cooperation vs. anti-social values like exclusion, hoarding, and competition and we would be much better off if we switched to the motto, “All for One, and One for All”, which is Switzerland’s national motto, incidentally.  Switzerland, as you may know, never engages in war, doesn’t get embroiled in taking sides, is actively involved in international peace-building processes, home to the Red Cross, is one of the richest countries in the world, boasts cities with the 2nd (Zurich) and 3rd (Geneva) highest quality of life on earth, and has a direct democracy instead of a representative one.  There’s a lot we could learn from Switzerland, and I think their choice of national motto is both a reflection of and a reason for the country’s success.

I would like to suggest that we all give serious thought to adopting “All for One and One for All” as a personal motto.  Try it out for a week or a month, and see if it doesn’t change your outlook.  I’m betting it will help you feel less isolated and alienated,  more peaceful, and less stressed.   I believe it epitomizes the Occupy Movement (and every populist movement) and should become the rallying cry of Occupy.  Then maybe we can convince cities, communities, and eventually the country to consider endorsing it, and then it could become an international campaign.   All for One and One for All!