Photos from July 18 Detroit Moratorium NOW Rally and March

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Austerity and Corporatization in Detroit: Cleveland Could Be Next

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The Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shutoffs held a raucous rally and march in Detroit on Friday.

Several thousand Detroiters and “Detroiters for the day” who were attending the Netroots Nation 2014 national conference poured into the streets near Cobo Hall, site of the 2010 US Social Forum, to call attention to the severe austerity measures being imposed by the power elite in Detroit (including elected and unelected officials and multinational corporations) against residents.

2014-07-18 13.21.59Attack on public pensions, replacing public schools with corporate charter schools, rising insurance costs, home foreclosures, and privatization/corporatization of city assets and services are austerity realities Detroiters are increasingly experiencing before and especially since the city was forced into a state-imposed bankruptcy by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr – former Jones Day law firm attorney, headquartered in Cleveland. Jones Day is the “restructuring consultant” for Detroit.

2014-07-18 12.18.37Among the most egregious actions by the power elite has been water shut offs to thousands of families for lack of payment of a mere $150. The situation has become so extreme that a United Nations commission has condemned the shutoffs as a violation of international human rights. Call it a drive to drive poor people from the city and corporatize the water system. While the city is unable to afford keeping water turned on for the poor of Detroit, J.P. Morgan Chase corporation, UBS corporation, Morgan Stanley corporations and others were paid $537 million by the city in termination fees on interest rate swaps out of $1 billion in city bonds issued from 2010-2013. Among the protestors many demands was calling for the city to stop the shutoffs and recover the $537 million paid to the banking corporations out of water bonds meant to help city residents.

It’s been speculated that the French water firm, Veolia corporation, would run the city’s water system if it’s corporatized – with all the added costs, reduced services, reduced staffing and lack of local control that corporatized public services entails. The same corporation was, supposedly, in line to acquire Akron’s sewer system if voters had passed a measure proposed by Akron’s power elite back in 2008. However, the Save our Services (SOS) coalition, of which AFSC was a part, organized to defeat that measure by a 2:1 margin. On the same ballot, a separate initiative calling for any proposed future corporatization of any city public utility needing to be first voted for by citizens at the ballot (and not by council) passed by a 2:1 margin.

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If the power elite gets away with all the cutting, slashing, transferring, abolishing and removing programs and people that they have begun implemented in Detroit, then no community with debt – which is just about all of them – is safe.

2014-07-18 12.39.21That includes Cleveland. Jones Day, fresh off their successful “restructuring consultations” will be more than happy to offer Cleveland’s power elite advice on ways to impose austerity measures that will ensure that water and other valuable public assets are turned over to any number of willing multinational corporations.

The costs of privatization/corporatization would surely be, just like Detroit, reduced services, diminished public services, fewer public employees and higher costs. But that’s not all. It also costs what’s left of our democracy. Decision-making would be shifted from the public to the private/corporate realm. The right to decide what takes place in our communities will be in the hands of corporate entities which were intended to be subordinate to We the People with zero inalienable constitutional rights. Our rights will be usurped by our own legal creations.

We can’t let this happen. We must work against it. For now, we must all be  “Detroiters.”

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Additional photos at https://www.facebook.com/greg.coleridge/media_set?set=a.768587319853126.1073741830.100001055953397&type=1

NEO AFSC July 18, 2014 Podcast

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We summarize last week’s activities; announce upcoming events for next week; and comment on a new plan to forgive student loans, the warning by the global central bank on rapidly rising debt, the growing “public-public” alternatives to privatization/corporation of services, the growing power of corporations over our food supply, and how we only have one realistic chance to amend the US Constitution concerning corporate rights and money in elections.

We Only Have 1 Realistic Chance to Amend the Constitution

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The Udall Amendment to amend the Constitution to end money as speech doesn’t go far enough.

It’s hard enough to pass any sort of legislation these days, which addresses real problems given the political gridlock and the capture of the political process by corporations and super wealthy individuals. Yet, legislative change is still in a reasonably short amount of time if there’s widespread public support.

Not so with amending our Constitution — which is extremely difficult. It’s only happened 27 previous times in our nation’s history.

Realistically, we only have one lone chance on this issue. The Udall Amendment only addresses one aspect of corporate constitutional rights — as it related to money in elections.

The corporate usurpation of the 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments would continue, as would the corporate perversion of the Commerce and Contract clauses.

The corporate so-called “right” not to speak would also still stand — meaning the recently enacted Vermont law (supported by more than 80% of the public) calling for labeling of products with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could still be struck down as infringing on Monsanto Corporation’s right “not to speak.” The 1996 Vermont law requiring the labeling of products with bovine growth hormones, in fact, was overturned when Monsanto corporation, Dow chemical corporation and others connected to the International Dairy Foods Association won in court using their constitutional first amendment right “not to speak” defense. This is not democratic.

Challenging local communities favoring locally owned businesses over big box stores over 14th Amendment “equal protection rights” would not be affected.  The recent decision granting corporations religious “rights” would also still stand.

In other words, if we’re going to go through all the time, energy and effort to end corporate personhood and money as speech, it might as well in its entirety end corporate personhood and money as speech. Otherwise, the corporate crowd will simply resurrect other untouched constitutional “tools” or “rights” still at their disposal that go back more than a century to trump democratically enacted laws and regulations.

This is why Move to Amend, unlike the Udall Amendment, is calling for an end to all never-intended inalienable constitutional rights for corporations and an end to money being defined as free speech.

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR July 14 – 20

Greenback.

JULY 14

1833 – DEATH OF WILLIAM M. GOUGE, ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON, EDITOR OF THE PHILADELPHIA GAZETTE, PUBLISHER OF THE “HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN BANKING SYSTEM” AND A “FISCAL HISTORY OF TEXAS”
“The large extent of bank influence is not easily seen.  We seldom see an identified bank or a money corporation candidate running for office; but when questions arise which affect them, the banks have agents at work, whose operations are the more effective because they are unseen.”

JULY 16

1979 –  FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF SAN FRANCISCO AD FOR COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS IN “COMPUTERWORLD MAGAZINE”
“Some people still think we’re a branch of the Government. We’re not.”
[Note: You can’t get any clearer or more succinct than this!]

JULY 17

1780 – BANK OF PENNSYLVANIA ESTABLISHED
Pennsylvania first introduces public banking in the colonies. The state owned the bank and issued its own paper scrip, which it lent to farmers.

1862 – PASSAGE OF POSTAGE CURRENCY ACT
The act authorized the issuance of 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent notes – which were needed to substitute for gold, silver and copper coins which were hoarded. These fractional currency US debt-free notes, sold in perforated sheets like stamps, were redeemable by the US Post Offices at face value in postage stamps until 1876.

JULY 18

BIRTH OF STEPHEN ZARLENGA, DIRECTOR, AMERICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE, AUTHOR, “THE LOST SCIENCE OF MONEY”
“We propose that ultimately the monetary power should be constituted as a fourth branch of government, like the executive, judicial and legislative branches.  We have concluded that the nature of man and society requires four, not three, branches of government.”     “True monetary reform must take a better path. AMI’s research indicates that money, properly defined, is a legal institution of society and government; not a commodity or economic good of the markets; that if money is a legal institution, then the control of monetary systems can be rightfully viewed as a proper function of government; much as the law courts are.”  “When society loses control over its money system, it loses any control it might have had over its destiny.”

———————–

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR July 7 – 13

Greenback.

JULY 7

1896 – REMARKS OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN BEFORE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, CHICAGO, IL (BRYAN WAS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT)
“We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government…Those who are opposed to the proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business.  I stand with Jefferson…and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business…When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible, and … until that is done, there is no reform that can be accomplished.”

1947 – DEATH OF HENRY FORD, INDUSTRIALIST, FOUNDER, FORD MOTOR COMPANY
“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

JULY 9

1778 – FIRST STATES RATIFY THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
Eight states signed the Articles on this day. Other states followed shortly thereafter. The Articles granted the Federal Government the authority to issue money and determine its value if nine states agreed.

2007 – CITIGROUP CEO CHARLES PRINCE INTERVIEW WITH THE FINANCIAL TIMES
Explaining his bank’s excessive money creation through the creation of risky sub-prime loans,
“When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will get complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance.”

JULY 10

1509 – BIRTH OF JOHN CALVIN, FRENCH THEOLOGIAN AND PASTOR
“For we altogether condemn usuries, we shall impose severer restrictions upon the consciences that the Lord himself desired.”

1832 – ANDREW JACKSON VETOES LEGISLATION TO RENEW THE CHARTER OF THE PRIVATE SECOND BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
“Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature has so little to bind it to our country?… Should its influence become concentrated, as it may under the operation of such an act as this, in the hands of a self-elected directory whose interests are identified with those of the foreign stockholders, will there not be cause to tremble for the purity of our elections in peace and for the independence of our country in war? Their power would be great whenever they might choose to exert it; but if this monopoly were regularly renewed every fifteen or twenty years on terms proposed by themselves, they might seldom in peace put forth their strength to influence elections or control the affairs of the nation. But if any private citizen or public functionary should interpose to curtail its powers or prevent a renewal of its privileges, it can not be doubted that he would be made to feel its influence.
JULY 11

1862 – LEGISLATIVE ACT AUTHORIZING US GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE MONEY
Congress passes legislation to issue and circulate $150 million in non-interest bearing, debt-free notes – Greenbacks. This is authorized in the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8.

2007 – STATEMENT BY STEVEN KEEN, ECONOMIST, ON QUANTITATIVE EASING
“This is the biggest transfer of wealth in history,” as the giant banks have handed their toxic debts from fraudulent activities to the countries and their people.

JULY 12

1804 – DEATH OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, FIRST SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
He was a major proponent of First Bank of the United States – a privately owned national bank. The name was to deceive people into thinking that money creation was done by the government instead of corporate banks. The nation’s money was created out of thin air and loaned to the government – at interest – and to private individuals. Eighty percent of the stock was privately held. Hamilton called the public debt “a public blessing” because of his belief that it would tie the wealthy (who would own the government bonds) of the country to the government, and they would, in turn, provide political support for higher taxes, to make sure that there was enough money in the treasury to pay off their principal and interest.

1895 – BIRTH OF BUCKMINSTER FULLER, AMERICAN ARCHITECT, SYSTEM THEORIST, AUTHOR, DESIGNER, INVENTOR, AND FUTURIST
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
That’s what the NEED Act does.

JULY 13

1832 – CONGRESS FAILS TO OVERRIDE PRESIDENT JACKSON’S VETO TO RENEW THE CHARTER OF THE SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
In his veto message to renew the misnamed “national bank” (it was actually a private bank controlled/owned by stockholders, a majority of whom were foreigners), Jackson stated: “Controlling our currency, receiving our public monies, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence…would be more formidable and dangerous than a naval and military power of the enemy.”

1956 – QUOTE OF J.R.R TOLKIEN, AUTHOR (THE HOBBIT AND LORD OF THE RINGS) AND UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD PROFESSOR, IN CONTOUR MAGAZINE
“The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or what is most important of all, the banker of the backer. Enthroned above all, in a manner without parallel in all past, is the veiled prophet of finance, swaying all men living by a sort of magic, and delivering oracles in a language not understood of the people.”

———————–

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, contact monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

Move to Amend “Light Brigade” at July 4 Cleveland Fireworks

We “declared our independence from corporate rule” yesterday in the midst of fireworks, picnics and hotdog eating contests.