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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"

Here’s to the losers

There’s a lot of talk these days about “losers.” To hear some folks tell it, the country is full of them. They’re the unemployed people who occupy Wall Street. According to Herman Cain, they’re also the ones who crashed the economy, signing predatory loans (that they knew full well they couldn’t pay) and defaulting once the loans ballooned and their home values tanked. Or they got laid off (losers), fell sick (poor genetic stock or bad habits), or both. Soon they had no health insurance (freeloaders), couldn’t pay their medical bills (deadbeats) and declared bankruptcy. Next they’ll die out of spite—just to make the rest of us look heartless.

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Jump-starting a movement

The media have criticized the Occupy Wall Street movement for a lack of clarity in their demands; for being “leaderless”; for not knowing what they want.

They—and we—are not leaderless, but full of leaders. As Paul Hawken said in Blessed Unrest, ours is a movement so dispersed, so decentralized, that it cannot be categorized, targeted and eliminated. In short, it cannot be put down.

Neither are we unclear as to what we want: A return to democracy. An end to corporate “personhood” and corporate rule; in other words, an end to plutocracy. An end to war and militarism; a dismantling of the military-industrial complex that enriches itself by keeping Americans in a state of perpetual “war” and the rest of the world in a state of perpetual threat.

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A beautiful statement from the Wall Street occupiers

According to Nation of Change.org, this is the first official, collective statement of the protestors in Zuccotti Park:

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together.  We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.  We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profits over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.  We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known: 

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When you create an army of unemployed

When you create an army of unemployed people, they have a lot of time on their hands.

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Breathing with the earth

Saturday night I slept on the ground—stretched out, under the stars, with my body against the earth. I thought it was the stars I was wanting to connect with, as my vision quest experiences have made me miss them when I spend too many nights indoors.

But what touched me most on this night was the connection I felt with the Earth. She wasn’t just inert, hard ground; nor merely dirt and lawn. She was firm and comforting as I lay back against her with my face to the sky. When I turned over and pressed my heart into her, I felt as if she breathed, and I breathed. We breathed together.

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