Student Debt Stories – What’s Your Story?

Student debt is bigger than credit card debt — about a $1,000,000,000,000.00, give or take a $1,000,000,000.00 or $2,000,000,000.00 — and apart from the recent PR news that we have a rising economy, it will be impossible for many to pay off that investment.

But so what? Some kid decides to get a college degree in Early Rock Jewelry of Upper-Middle-Earth Hobbits, and they can’t afford it. Why should you care?

For one, if you’re trying to continue a growth-based economy (which, of course, is physically impossible), then having potential consumers taking their money and sending off to the banks, as opposed to investing it into their economy, is a back-breaker for such an economy.

But it goes beyond the numbers you can find in Forbes’ “The American Nightmare”.  Intelligent, well-educated people everyday are choosing between paying their heating bills or student loans. And for those who are lucky enough to skip college, the workforce isn’t going their direction — as enrollment decreases, the amount of jobs for which employers require a degree is not.

One Occupier wrote us and asked us to spread the word about his project. What’s your story?

NewsiT (www.newsit.net) a startup crowd-reporting site covering the
student loan crisis, and we’re looking for students and recent
graduates who can tell us their stories and how student debt is
affecting their lives:
http://newsit.net/assignments/how-will-student-debt-affect-you

Click his link below and fill it in. There’s a lot of storytelling that needs to be done, if we want people to occupy educated.

URGENT: How to Stop Tucson Banning Books and Killing Education

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OccupyEducated.org was created as a response to the destruction of the Occupy Wall Street Library in Zuccotti Park (see below video).  We knew other governments would collapse their libraries — for purposes of both repression of ideas or simply the results of hard decisions required with restricted budgets.  

 

Looks like Arizona (surprise, surprise) is vying to be a leader in this sort repression as well; apparently legalizing racism wasn’t a badge of honor shiny enough.  The powers that be have no interest in letting children know where they come from.  Perhaps it’s because those kids may not like those powers so much, once educated.

Below is a plea from amazing The People’s Library.  Step up; this one will be fun!

REQUEST:
In response to the disgraceful decision of the Tucson Unified School District to end the Mexican-American Studies program and to ban books from the school curriculum The People’s Library is holding a series of book drives (Operation Book Bomb Tucson) to support the students and teachers of Tucson.

  • The first book donation event will be held at the next Occupy Town Square on Sunday, February 26 in Tompkins Square Park from 11AM to 5PM.
  • The second book donation event will be held at Word Up Community Bookshop 4157 Broadway at 176th St in Washington Heights on Thursday, March 1 from 7PM to 9PM http://wordupbooks.wordpress.com
  • The third book donation event is TBA but will be held in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in conjunction with the Sunset Park General Assembly (Sunset GA contact me at franceslikespeace@gmail.com)

For these events we are asking people to bring any Spanish language books, books on Mexican history, or books on Latino culture to donate to Tucson. In addition to this we would like to have teach-ins and readings on topics such as educational oppression, immigrant rights, and Mexican-American history. We are reaching out to you our friends and allies to support us in the following areas. Here is some of what we need:

  • Speakers/Teachers willing to share their time on Sunday, February 26 in Tompkins Sq and or on Thursday, March 1 in Washington Heights. Chris Hedges is already scheduled to speak on March 1, but we are looking for additional people to help educate us and the visiting public on issues regarding Immigrant rights and education in our society. If you are knowledgeable or know someone who is knowledgeable on these issues, and would be willing to hold a teach-in please contact us ASAP at owspeopleslibrary@gmail.com
  • Outreach and Press   We want to spread the word to the Latino community throughout New York City. I have written to Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez regarding this event but I have not yet heard back from his office. If anyone has a contact within his office please let us know. Additionally we would like to have announcements made on WBAI 99.5FM as well as the Spanish language radio station MEGA 97.9FM. If anyone has contacts for these stations please pass them onto us. Also we would like to let our friends at Democracy Now know about this campaign. Please let us know if you are willing to contact your colleagues there on our behalf. If you are in the press or on the media team and would like to highlight our campaign please do so!
  • Transportation & Storage   We could really use a friend with a van. We need to transport our donated books from Tompkins Sq Park on Sunday, Feb 26 and from Washington Heights on Thursday, March 1 and get them into storage. Anyone who wants to volunteer to help us with that wins huge hugs from very grateful librarians!
  • Translation   Since our goal here is to outreach with the Spanish speaking community we need translation. We would like our flyers to be printed in English and Spanish and we would like to have our teach-ins conducted in both languages as well. If you are willing to translate copy for our flyers, or to translate on site on either Feb 26, or  March 1, or both please let us know.
  • Design   We need flyers printed up for the March 1 event in Washington Heights. We would like to get them to Word Up Bookshop ASAP so that they can begin letting people in the neighborhood know about the event. Again we want them to be in English on one side and Spanish on the other. If anyone from our design and printing teams wants to get on that we would be very appreciative.

We have already received donations of books from:

  • Richard Delgado the author of the book Critical Race Theory
  • The SouthWest Organizing Project which publishes 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures by Elizabeth Martinez
  • And Arte Publico Press which sent us Zoot Suit: A Bilingual Edition by Luis Valdez, Y no se lo tragó la tierra… / And the Earth Did Not Devour Him by Tomás Rivera,  Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz by Mona Ruiz and Geoff Boucher,  Message to Aztlán by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, and Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement by F. Arturo Rosales. Additionally Arte Publico is offering us a 50% discount on any books that we order from their catalog for the campaign.

We are very excited about this action and we are thrilled to be able to help the students and teachers of Tucson and to defend the Mexican-American community from this continued injustice. We hope that you will join us in our fight. Please contact us to help with any of these areas at owspeopleslibrary@gmail.com and thank you so much for your continued support.

Warmest Regards,
Frances Mercanti-Anthony
The People’s Library

photo credit: Glenn Beck’s propaganda hit piece “The Blaze”

FOX News’ First Lie Came Before FOX Existed – Richard Nixon’s Infomercial in 1968


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To understand the subtleties of the FOX News propaganda machine, which is so good that even some of its “journalists” think they’re working at a real news agency, you have to understand the history of FOX News creator Roger Ailes. FOX News’ sappling was rooted not its 1996 debut, but in the fertile ground of RIchard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign, when Ailes used the comfy talk-show/town-hall format to create an infomercial designed to redefine Nixon, from perpetual loser to predestined leader.

Ailes’ brilliant idea for this fake town hall is indistinguishable from the real deal, to the untrained eye. Put yourself in the shoes of the 1968 everyman/woman/child, without FactCheck.org, without the diverse view of a hundred pundits and a million bloggers to hear after the airing, and consider whether you would have been able to tell the difference. With this propaganda machine blurring the line between fact and fiction TV, there is no doubt it helped convince voters to anoint one of the more disturbed persons to ever hold the office (though admittedly, there are many candidates in that race).

Here’s the full broadcast. Fittingly, Mitt Romney’s dad makes an appearance at 2:15.

Relying on this program and a barrage of TV ads, Nixon was able to stay in the public eye, even while his campaign kept him away from the press; the only reporters to whom he gave two-minute interviews were already drunk on unlimited food and alcohol provided by the campaign, assuring they “fell into a state of what one can only call astounded torpor.” In modern times, many pundits would questions whether this would assure the public received fair and balanced reporting, so instead, the Republican Party media wing that is FOX News simply provides millions of dollars in salary and perks a year to the only reporters Republican candidates will grant access.*

Get deeper into the technique of psychological manipulation by reading – but for democracy’s sake, not buying – Ailes’s book, You Are The Message: Secrets of Master Communicators

To know more about the policies Nixon was able to pass, and how he did so, see The Shock Doctrine on our Primer List of essential information on understanding the root problems of our system.

*OccupyEducated.org was unable to confirm reports that FOX News green rooms contain abundant Twinkies and other Monsanto-based products.

Because You Are Silent: Journalists Arrested By House Republicans


They are emboldened by your silence.

This is history being made before your eyes. The anti-corporate movement is being met with illegal action by blindly-obedient police, under orders by corporate-owned politicians.

From the original article on the Huffington Post:

Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Gasland” (trailer below on this OccupyEducated.org page) was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing. The meeting of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment had been taking place in room 2318 of the Rayburn building.

Approximately 16 officers entered the hearing room and handcuffed Fox amid audible discussions of “disorderly conduct” charges, according to Democratic sources present at the arrest.

“Gasland” received strong critical acclaim and takes a critical eye toward the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a process in which several tons of highly pressurized water and chemicals are injected into the ground, allowing valuable natural gas to escape. The practice is decried by ecological experts for destroying ecosystems and polluting groundwater. The energy industry keeps the actual content of fracking chemicals secret.

A separate ABC News crew, which did have official Capitol Hill credentials, was also denied access to the public hearing.

Arresting journalists, attacking citizen documentarians… you see it on the streets of Occupy every day. Today you see it on Capitol Hill, right in front of your face, because they are betting they can keep turning up the heat as they boil the American frogs — you. They are betting we will keep becoming ever-more complacent, apathetic, or helpless. We sit online and complain, but do not get out in the streets to stand up against it.

Do you not know that fracking is no fringe issue — it is the permanent destruction of your water supply? Do you not know that fracking, not unlike the Canadian tar sands, is simply a last-ditch effort to get at the last few drops of fossil energy accessible, just so these corporate heads can make a quick billion bucks on development and exorbitant higher rates on your energy bill, getting as much capital as possible before the entire fossil energy sector collapses, at the expense of permanent destruction of entire swaths of American homes?

When and where do you stand? Democrats, Republicans, the American people… they have proven to be ineffective, apathetic, or in on the game, so what are you going to do?

Get educated. Find out how they’re doing it. Learn why it’s madness to do this when we’re at the end of economic and environmental-destruction growth. Learn what this will do to you, your economy, and your environment — you know, that place you get your food from.

For the sake of all that is American, open your eyes, open your neighbors’ eyes. Get to the hearings, get to the streets, and do whatever is necessary to stop this corporate takeover of your government happening before your very eyes.

Commentary by Ben Zolno

#Occupy The Courts – Real Conversation vs. False Debate, w/ Lawrence Lessig and Chris Hedges


Seemingly every week, we are brought a new political “debate”, where the plutocrats from one political party race headlong into a bottomless well of stupidity, fighting for the chance to argue with the plutocrats from the other political party.

What a breath of fresh air it is, to see political discussions like this. With OccupyTVNY.org, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and Professor Lawrence Lessig have a wide-ranging discussion about the deep corruption across our government and society, and the ways we can all work to overcome these problems.

Whether it’s Lessig’s recommendation that we strive for Constitutional correctives to the Congressional gridlock, or Hedges’s call for “mass acts that defy the law in a nonviolent way”, it’s thrilling to hear these people clearly acknowledge the problems we face, and lay out some of the many possible roads ahead of us, in our attempt to reclaim our world. To remind us that “all of the correctives to American democracy came through movements that never achieved formal political power.”

If only we had a way to broadcast this instead of the next “debate”. We need more conversations like this. Watch this one, share it, and then have some of your own.

WATCH: Interactive Interview w/ Author Richard Heinberg: Are We At The End Of Growth?




UPDATE 1/31/2012: We think it went pretty well… despite the interviewer’s audio being a little over modulated; Richard Heinberg sounds great, though!

Please check out the recording below, and comment below or in our forums… http://occupyeducated.org/forums/topic.php?id=320&replies=1#post-629

First go to our page featuring much of his book “The End of Growth” for FREE

Then watch it on this page you’re reading now, or use/share this link for the Live Q&A if the embed is broken: http://www.vokle.com/events/46009-interactive-q-and-a-richard-heinberg-author-of-the-end-of-growth

On Monday, January 30th, 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific, Richard Heinberg, author of “The Party’s Over”, “Peak Everything” and “The End of Growth”, the last of which is featured on our Essential Reading List, will be discussing what it means to be living in a growth-based economy on a finite planet.  If it is not sustainable to grow forever, then what sort of demands should Occupy be making of the system?  Do we need fixes, or a complete rethinking of our economy?  Do we search for economic justice now, or prepare for an entirely new game?

photos from groaction.com (above) and theoildrum.com

VIDEO: How to Talk to Your Family about Occupy at Christmas


Hold on there, partner. You’ve been marching with that Occupy crowd, haven’t you?

Remember, people don’t necessarily to listen to logic — not to start, anyway. They need to hear the truth in their language. This chuckler, giving tips on how to explain your actions at Occupy Wall Street, has some great counters to some really ignorant retorts we’ve all heard at Occupys, #ows twitter battles and around the table.

Good luck.


Occupy Wall Street: A Holiday Survival Guide

Edutainment – The Best Way to Wake People Up?

 

At OccupyEducated.org, we’re asking people to do what they, statistically, are unlikely to do — read.

Perhaps because of the effects of television, social media, and sites like ours, we’re now left with some staggering statistics.

1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
42 percent of college graduates never read another book after their college education.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion, over half of those are not read past page 18.

Even if you profess you are reading, there’s a 1 in 3 chance you’re just saying so to make us feel better about these stats.

Take a look at a few examples, to inspired your comments in the forum.

and from friends at New Message Media

VIDEO: The Deficit and Debt Ceiling Game

The cliché goes: the Democratic leadership want to increase the deficit and go deeper into debt, bankrupting our government, and the Republican leadership wants to cut spending on everything but perks for the rich, bankrupting 99% of the American People. But what are the facts behind this perception?

Here’s an objective video by Khanacademy.org explaining — in layman’s terms — the constant game the government plays with the deficit, to keep up the illusion that the United States is a stable economy, that can go growing forever. It covers the last round of the game, and will not be a much different story from the future rounds. As observed in The End of Growth (first book to be read by Occupy Educated’s new Meetup), such a thing is physically impossible, and keeping up this game may best be described as collective insanity. As seen in Debt: The First 5,000 Years, this game has been a long time coming.

How do you see this game ending, and when? Comment here or in the discussion forums.

Free Seminar: Winning the Mind of a Cop

Captain Ray Lewis, the former Philadelphia cop who joined Occupy Wall Street the night after the Zuccotti raid – featured at the end of our intro video – is the focal point of a new panel on helping Occupiers and the global community understand the psychology behind how a cop could inflict such physical and psychological pain on a peaceful protestor who is demonstrating on the behalf of the police officer him/herself and the rest of the 99%.

Soon, we’ll put up our own video of Captain Lewis’s views on cop psychology, but for now it’s important for you to get the word out – educate and get educated.

Details on seminar here

Call in to 712-432-9945 at 8:00pm EST, 5:00pm PST, and listen to a moderated discussion with Captain Ray Lewis and #occupywallst occupier, Harrison Schultz, on how to win the hearts and minds of the police, tonight at 8pm.

Send your questions to #copwatch on twitter.