And so here lies another one of those fill in the blank with another one of those recycle this blog posts in an attempt to maintain content for this blog and my other blagh whenever bloggers block possible. And before I post that recycle this blog post, there's another Facebook event going on tomorrow along with that Commemorate 9/11/01 event that's going on tomorrow also in that city of New York where I plan to show up and beg to get on stage in between acts to sing my No Police State song. And that Life After Debt: A Gathering of Refusal Facebook event invite reads something like as follows:
Life After Debt: A Gathering of Refusal. Sunday, September, 9th, 4:00pm until 6:00pm
Join us for Strike Debt's inaugural action.
Come with your bills, debt notices, city budgets, and other symbols of debt to burn.
Debt is a way of life; it is the bedrock of
a rotten system. From birth, we're told that in order to achieve
success, we have to get into debt. This happens to individuals, towns,
cities and countries alike. It affects us all, whether we actually have
debt or not. Some of us take out huge mortgages and student loans under
the assumption that doing so will allow us to achieve the elusive dream
of success. We buy things we can't afford and work jobs we don't want,
striving towards promises of success that seem to be getting emptier by
the day. Despite our best efforts, we struggle to find meaningful work,
secure housing, and accessible healthcare. We've been buying into the
system, but getting very little in return. Meanwhile, banks and credit
card companies get rich off our debts and the debts of our communities.
Our labor props up a system based on illusory rewards, and we find that
we have less and less time for our lives and each other.
time to turn our backs on this system of debt and create something new
in its place. In a gesture echoing the draft card burnings of the
1960's, we will be burning symbols of debt to express our refusal to be
conscripted into a life of exploitative work and empty consumerism.
Being in debt can make us feel alone, trapped and inadequate, hopeless
in the face of endless bills and service cuts. But debt can also bring
us together. We believe we can be free if we invest in one another,
rather than in a system that seeks only to take from us. Burning our
debts is a celebration of that possibility.
Join us on Sunday,
September 9th, at 4pm in East River State Park as we burn our debts and
share our stories and hopes for the future. Together, we can step out of
the shadows and light the way towards something better. Let's imagine
life after debt.
Wear your Sunday best. Refreshments will be served.
About Strike Debt:
Strike Debt is a network of debt resistors, debtors and non-debtors
alike, who are sparking conversations about how debt affects us all and
what we can do about it. Through research, direct action, and mutual
support, we are exploring ways that we can break the chains of debt and
create new bonds of solidarity.
East River State Park
90 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, New York
And so back to that recycle this blog post....
Hey Bloggers, is today Martin Luther King Day? That annual
holiday of the year that honors the former peacemaker, marcher,
minister, activist, civil rights leader of the past. I have been seeing
emails today titled "The I Have A Nightmare Speech", and "In honor of
Dr. King on his 79th birthday Jan 15th". Oh, so maybe January 15th is
his birthday, and that was yesterday wasn't it? Let me look at that
Gregorian calendar again and see what it says..... Well this calendar
that I am looking at says January 21 is Martin Luther King Day, so
either this day is here or it is near. And when I think of Martin Luther
King, I think of that German guy, Martin Luther, the guy who started
the Protestant church, and those other great peaceful leaders from the
60's, John F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks and even Gandhi, the guy who gave up
his worldly belongings to wander the earth and preach peace. And what
the heck is that "I have A Nightmare Speech" email all about that I
received in my inbox today. That email title looks interesting enough
that I want to read it now to see what it says.... And I just read it,
and that email is a very long anonymously written passage that I am not
exactly sure what to make of that reads:
The "I Have a Nightmare Speech"
am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as an
insignificant demonstration for complacency in the history of our
Five score hours ago, a White middle class American, in
whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the credit card bill for
his Starbucks Latte. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light
of hope to millions of mainly "so and so" middle class ego trippers who
had been seared in the flames of withering insignificance. It came as a
joyous daybreak to end the long night of their obscurity.
hundred hours later, the mainly "so and so" middle class loiterer still
is not in control of the world. One hundred hours later, the life of the
mainly "so and so etc;" middle class American is still sadly crippled
by the manacles of insignificance and the chains of absurdity. One
hundred years hours later, the mainly middle class American lives on a
lonely island of barely moderate prosperity in the midst of a vast ocean
of material poverty. One hundred hours later, the mainly middle class
American is still languishing in the center of American society and
finds himself an non-entity in his own land. So we have come here today
to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our
nation's capital to ask for a check. When the architects of our
republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the
Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to
which every mainly middle class American was to fall heir. This note was
a promise that all mainly White middle class men, (but, of course, not
black men or Latino men or poor White men and certainly not most women),
would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has
defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her mainly middle class
citizens are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation,
America has given the mainly middle class American people a bad check, a
check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to
believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that
there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this
nation. So we have come to demand this check — a check that will give
us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice taken
from the labor and resources of those who are not fortunate enough to be
"So and so" and/or middle class and We have also come to this hallowed
spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to
engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of
gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now
is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to
the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation
from the quick sands of injustice against the mainly "so and so" middle
class to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a
reality for all of God's "So and so" and middle class children.
would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.
This sweltering summer of the mainly middle class legitimate discontent
will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and
equality. Two Thousand and Eight is not an end, but a beginning. Those
who hope that the mainly middle class needed to blow off steam and will
now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to
business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America
until the mainly middle class is granted the citizenship rights of
everyone in the world. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake
the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice for mainly
middle class people emerges.
But there is something that I must
say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the
palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must
not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst
for freedom by throwing drink from the cup of bitterness and hatred in
the face of other people.
We must forever conduct our struggle on
the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our
creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again
we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul
force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the mainly middle
class community must not lead us to a distrust of all non - "so and so"
people, for many of our non "So and so" brothers and sisters, as
evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their
destiny is tied up to be beneath our destiny. They have come to realize
that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk
alone but must have all others beneath us and carrying our luggage and a
beer or two in case we get thirsty.
As we walk, we must make the
pledge that we shall always march ahead of all other people. We cannot
turn back and even look at those less fortunate than us. There are those
who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be
satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the mainly "so and so"
middle class is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of not enough
police brutality against those who challenge our privileges and
superiority. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy
with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain free lodging in the motels of
the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as
long as the mainly middle class's basic mobility is from a smaller job
or career to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our
children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by
signs stating "Not For "So and so" Middle Class Only". We cannot be
satisfied as long as a middle class person in Mississippi cannot win all
the votes and a middle class in New York believes he actually has to
vote in order to win an election. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we
will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and
righteousness like a mighty stream inot our pockets every time we want
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out
of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from
narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for
free money left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered
by the winds of the lack of police brutality to help you get richer.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with
the faith that unearned money is redemptive.
Go back to
Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to
Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our
northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and but never
will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair - they are
not going to ever overthrow us.
I say to you today, my friends,
so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still
have a nightmare. It is a nightmare deeply rooted in the American
I have a nightmare that one day this nation will rise up
and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be
self-evident: that all middle class men are created equal."
have a nightmare that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of
former slave owners and the sons of former business owners will be able
to sit down together at the table of the exploitation of brotherhood.
have a nightmare that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state
sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of
oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice and
a nice place to rip people off.
I have a dream that my four
little middle class children will one day live in a nation where they
will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of
their bank accounts.
I have a nightmare today.
I have a
nightmare that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with
its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition
and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and
black girls will be able to join hands with poor working class little
white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers all helping the
mainly middle class become more prosperous.
I have a nightmare today.
have a nightmare that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill
and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain,
and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Money
shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the North with. With this
faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of
hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords
of our nation into a beautiful symphony of subordinated brotherhood.
With this faith they will be able to work together to make us richer, to
pray together to make us happier, to struggle together to serve us
better, to go to jail together if they disobey us, to stand up for free
money for us together, knowing that they will be never be free but will
serve us forever..
This will be the day when all of God's middle
class children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country,
'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty for me, of thee I sing. Land where
my fathers stole, land of the pilgrim's theft, from every mountainside,
let free money ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this
must become true. So let free money ring from the prodigious hilltops
of New Hampshire. Let free money ring from the mighty restaurants of New
York. Let free money ring from the heightening Alleghenies of
Let class domination and privilege ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
class domination and privilege ring from the curvaceous slopes of
California! (Or at least from Santa Monica and the Westside and
especially from the Peace Center)
But not only that; let class domination and privilege ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let class domination and privilege ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
class domination and privilege ring from every hill and molehill of
Mississippi. From every mountainside, let free money for US ring.
when this happens, when we allow class domination and privilege to
ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from
every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when
all of God's White middle class children (and a very small number of
token Black men and Latino men Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and
Catholics - but no Muslims or Hindus), will be able to join hands and
sing in the words of the old middle class spiritual, "Free money at
last! free money at last! thank God Damn Almighty, we are have free
money at last!"
And here is that other email "In honor of Dr. King on his 79th birthday Jan 15th", taken from a speech given by Dr. King .
The Need To Be "Maladjusted"
psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word.
It is the word "maladjusted. " Now we all should seek to live a
well—adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic
personalities. But there are some things within our social order to
which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon you to be
maladjusted. I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and
discrimination. I never intend to adjust myself to mob rule. I never
intend to adjust myself to the tragic effects of the methods of physical
violence and to tragic militarism. I call upon you to be maladjusted to
such things. I call upon you to be as maladjusted to such things. I
call upon you to be as maladjusted as Amos who in the midst of the
injustices of his day cried out in words that echo across the
generation, "Let judgment run down like waters and righteousness like a
mighty stream." As maladjusted as Abraham Lincoln who had the vision to
see that this nation could not exist half slave and half free. As
maladjusted as Jefferson, who in the midst of an age amazingly adjusted
to slavery could cry out, "All men are created equal and are endowed by
their Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among these are
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." As maladjusted as Jesus of
Nazareth who dreamed a dream of the fatherhood of God and the
brotherhood of man. God grant that we will be so maladjusted that we
will be able to go out and change our world and our civilization. And
then we will be able to move from the bleak and desolate midnight of
man’s inhumanity to man to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom
And after reading these passages from
above in observance of Martin Luther King Day, I think of that social
tees t-shirt that I have seen with the words black, white, red, yellow
and brown crossed out and replaced with the work human. And I think to
post that coexist photo again on this day. That humanity can coexist
together in a peaceful world. No one is free while other are oppressed.
Is another world possible. Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.
And what does this have to do with a No Police State?