Current Comedy, 10/29/11:
Occupy Kingman, Some of My Immodest Proposals
Occupy Kingman, Some of My Immodest Proposals
I had the great fortune to be one of the activists who helped semi-organize the Saturday Oct. 29 Occupy Kingman event. It was an incredibly powerful experience for me since i have generally taken an interested spectator position in the organization of most of the events i attend. I don't organize because i am not very organized myself, so i do a lot of personal independent and thus singular protests in addition to the ones i attend. But this issue seemed too important to not act on it so i press my skills and connections to promote the event as best as i could. I put more effort in promoting this than i generally do to anything political in my hometown and for here in Kingman, it was a genuine success.
About 30-35 people showed up. There was much public support and quite a bit of exchange. I debated a right wing contrarian who showed up just to challenge us until i wore him into the ground to the point he walked away. The press that was there was favorable. I think it was a great start but needs months to coalesce. The problems we’re facing won’t go away until we act as a people to drive them away, so this was just the beginning. If the public of America does not come to back the Occupy Movement then it won’t really be “the 99% “and thus will fail.
So, i put more effort in promoting this than i general do to anything and for Kingman, it was a real success. About 30-35 showed. There was much public support and quite a bit of exchange. I gave my first political speech based on my writing in 20 years of writing about politics. I debated a contrarian into the ground to where he walked away. The press that was there was favorable. I think it was a great start but needs months to coalesce. The problems we're facing won't go away until we act to drive them away, so this was just the beginning--organized myself, so i do a lot of personal independent and thus singular protests; but this issue seems too important to not act on it and support and work for it as best as i can. So, i put more effort in promoting this than i general do to anything and for Kingman, it was a real success. About 30-35 showed. There was much public support and quite a bit of exchange. I gave my first political speech based on my writing in 20 years of writing about politics. I debated a contrarian into the ground to where he walked away. The press that was there was favorable. I think it was a great start but needs months to coalesce. The problems we're facing won't go away until we act to drive them away, so this was just the beginning--I spoke a bit in the general assembly but eventually pull this list of proposals out of my sleeve and read from it.
I said this is NOT my list of demands. I am not making demands. I am not some madman trying to kidnap America, I am not some petulant child; I am a concerned citizen, doing what i am supposed to do when i see trouble for my country. This is just my list of changes i wish America would make. Once again, these are not demands & i am not a spokesperson for the 99%, even though i did say many of these things in Kingman’s first general assembly. I was but one voice among many there to protest the crises at hand. I/we hope you will join our efforts in Locomotive Park again next weekend. Until we raise enough voices, we will not be heard.
These may not be the solutions to our problems; but these are my ideas.
1. Wipe out ALL derivative markets and close out the fictitious trillions the bankers have artificially created for themselves at the rest of our expenses. They get nothing. They can keep the loot they've already stashed away if they promise not to whine about losing the billions they never had as they imperiled the planet. If they insist on whining, then we get to sue and/or imprison them and confiscate those funds too.
2. Close the stock market to all mutual funds and small investors, eliminate brokerage firms, ratings agencies, speculation in government bonds, and establish rules will prevent speculation with actual people's actual capital, such as pension funds and mortgages.
3. Close the Federal Reserve. Close all hedge funds. Investigate and prosecute as widely as possible.
4. Halt all foreclosures. Return all unsold properties to their evictees. Re-finance all home loans at current market rates in contracts that continue to adjust the cost of the loan to fluctuations in market values (a reverse ARM). Jail time for any banking executive that can be proven to have fraudulently approved a loan, a refinance or an eviction. All evictees from 2005 till present get a reimbursement check for the value remaining on their homes at their time of eviction and a punitive damage for each month they have been evicted.
5. Arrest of the heads of all multinational banks. Their bail can be set based on 10% of the money they've defrauded the public for.
6. Universal health care, pre-cradle through grave. Health insurance industry dissolved. Executives indicted for the unnecessary deaths they caused through denial of services.
7. Wipe out all existing student loan debt and provide free college education and living allowances to qualified successful students through their doctorates if possible. The expenses of which will be offset through a required commensurate period of public service. In fact, mandatory public service for all citizens upon completed high school and prior to commencing college. Public service performance will affect college choice opportunities.
8. End all wars and close the majority of our nearly 1000 overseas military bases. (Lease the properties to the citizens of the foreign countries we have terrorized around the world through our military might.) Offer alternative government service employment to RTF-ed veterans in programs such as the old CCC or neighborhood renewal services. Hey, if these guys can destroy and rebuild neighborhoods across the Middle East in the name of US democracy, then they can rebuild our neighborhoods here at home too.
9. Eliminate ALL no-bid government contracts, charge, convict, and imprison all corporate officers of companies that have defrauded or grossly overcharged the government. Add an imprisonment component to the fines corporations pay for environmental or employee abuses.
10. Reform the tax code, with a reasonable progressive tax code and no capital gains and income cap for contributing to Social Security. The rich would end up topping out at 50%. They would stop whining about paying these taxes and acknowledge that the playing field in America is designed to tilt their way, like the luck on a blackjack table.
11. Indict Bush officials on treason regarding lying us into Iraq, Halliburton collusion, Enron involvement and signing statement abuse. As is appropriate, also charge officers, Pentagon officials, and DOD admin with war crimes and torture.
12. Reopen the 9/11 investigation.
13. Repeal No Child Left Behind and reinstate or create funding which will afford each school in America to have staff and materials to create class sizes of no greater than 15 to 1 with an aide. A full assortment of electives and shop class will be provided at all schools. School counseling services would also be expanded to include mental health services. Alternative ed programs should be fully funded and students who refuse to function in a normal school setting will be removed for the good of other students. Chronic bullying would be grounds for expulsion.
14. In addition to expanding public access to health care, establish mental health public access as well including the restoration of in-patient facilities for the profoundly mentally ill or debilitated.
15. Reinstate ownership limits in public media and investigate-indict-imprison media executives and personalities who knowingly colluded with the government defraud or deceive the public on policy issues, such as the run up to Iraq.
16. Overturn Citizens United. All elections should be publicly funded and candidate airtime and print space should be limited, equitable, and provided free of charge. Further all elected officials should be paid a living wage and prohibited from working other full-time jobs while in office. They, along high ranking non-elected government officials should be prohibited from working or investing in the industries they have worked to regulate.
17. Reform drug laws to tax cannabis products and services commensurate with tobacco and alcohol products and services. Release all possession-only offenders in prisons. Provide them with rehabilitation services.
18. All companies making money in our country must incorporate and headquarter in our country and pay full US taxes. Let's see what these guys really think of free markets when it comes to being free from the insider breaks they've been getting.
19. All government subsidies and/or tax breaks eliminated.
20. Immigration reform to require citizenship of the twelve million undocumented immigrants currently in the US and a greatly revised process for immigrating that will provide the vast numbers of refugees seeking to immigrate easy clear channels. Reduce illegal immigration by making it easier to do legally.
21. Increase minimum wage and create a maximum wage for any industry doing business with the US public or government. Salary caps not just for CEOs (now making 470 times the salary of their own entry level employees).
22. A violence tax for consumers who wish to purchase and thus support violence. Various sports, books, movies, art and music would be subject to this tax, which would serve as a deterrent to reduce the amount of violence in society, in the same way that we tax other destructive vices such as gambling or alcohol.
I know these aren’t the only solutions to the crises we find ourselves in. I encourage you to disagree and to form and then agitate for your own list. I encourage you to do it soon. I will be at my local Occupy next Saturday.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ.