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Occupy Nashville

Why I'm preoccupied with the Occupation (Why OWS is important to me)
I love how republicans are always talking about being free, being patriotic, loving the flag, loving god, etc.  But when it comes to money, and anything that's 'free,' they throw adolescent fits.
Free and Freedom-- 2 different things, no?  Is being free the same as having freedom?
I would like to be free from debt; I would like the freedom that not having debt would afford me. I would like to earn a salary that allows me to pay my debts, while at the same time allows me to live-- i.e., earn enough to afford food, shelter, etc.
The rhetoric around OWS from those who oppose it or those who are not informed revolves around both of these words:  free and freedom.  For example, I hear folks saying things like "They can't have everything for free" and "They just want everything for free."   I've also heard people say that everyone has the same opportunity:  it's not my fault you are poor or make less money.  You have the freedom to earn the same as the wealthy. Well, this isn't entirely true, now is it?
Things happen:  people fall on hard times.  We don't all have connections; we don't all have fathers who went to Harvard and can get us in Harvard; not everyone inherits wealth. There is more nepotism in this country than is healthy.  Not all of us, however, have those connections.
I have felt lucky for the past two years, even though I was laid off from my full-time job. I felt lucky because I had a 2nd job (like many people I know) and was able to continue to teach as an adjunct.  Had I not had that job, I would have been sunk.  I have to say, however, that as lucky as I was to have that, there is another equation that disturbs me.  I have higher education degrees, and not just in one subject.  I earned 3 degrees:  2 bachelor's and one Master's degree.  Even with this amount of education,  it still took me over a year to find full-time, benefitted employment.  I currently hold two jobs once again, and still make less than $30 k annually.  What is wrong with this picture?  This is not economic equality.
So, this is not about hard work.  Everyone I know, who also just happen to be in the 99%, works hard at their job/s.  They earn the pittance they receive.  This isn't about getting anything for free, it's about getting what we earn.
It's also about getting the cost of education under control.  It is, in my opinion, criminal to advise young kids that they must have an education, and then put them so far into debt for it that they never see the light of day again.  So many stories are coming out now (finally) about the predatory lending involved in higher education, the price gauging, the outright robbing of people's futures.  Most folks will never pay off their student debt, which means it will go unpaid.
Which brings me to this:  Why not bail out students/graduates/former students who are drowning in debt?  Why bail out Wall Street for bad investments, when you could save 99% of the Amercian population some stress and heartache, not to mention put back billions of dollars into the economy?  I guarantee that if student loan holders had their debt forgiven, they'd be spending money right now, and stimulating the economy.  Instead, we bailed out the gamblers  investors of Wall Street due to 'bad investments.'  OH, and the banks, too.  All the people who gamble with our money and charge us out the ass for fees and other nonsense get saved.  What did we get?
OWS is about getting equality; it's about keeping corporations from ruling/ruining our lives.
To quote Led Zeppelin:  Now's the time, the time is now.

New Year’s slogans abound in January:  New Year, New You!  being the most common.  The New Year is just a marker; you can resolve to start or quit anything on any day of the year.  But in our culture, January 1st is the day of reckoning.  Resolve to quit smoking, lose weight, etc etc.

I’ll admit it:  I have goals for each new year.  Goals I want to accomplish in the coming months.  Deadlines I set for myself.  I set my sights on goals I know I can reach within 12 months; I work very hard not to set myself up for failure.  I know I won’t accomplish all my goals on January 1st; I might not even begin work on January 1st.  But you can bet I will be thinking long and hard about how to set things in motion.  Planning and scheming are just the beginning.

The word resolution kind of bothers me.  Resolution is all about purpose and intent;  it’s about your resolve to do something.  Not the act of doing something, but the intent to do something.  What’s that saying about the road to hell?  It’s all fine and well to have good intentions, but what about actions?  What about actually making those changes you go on & on about resolving?

So.  My word for the year is Revolution.  One definition of Revolution is ‘a sudden and marked change.’   This requires action, not just determination.

Make the change. Join the Revolution.

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