Occupy The Highway—The Walk from NYC To Washington DC

Folks started walking from New York City to Washington DC beginning November 9th as part of the “Occupy” movement.

The walk is called Occupy The Highway.

The March on Washington started today with a small group of occupiers walking from New York City into Washington DC.  At some 20 miles each day they should arrive about November 23rd in time for the Congressional Super Committee meeting about our nations debt ceiling.

You remember the debt ceiling?  A long long time ago (like in July 2011) the Republicans decided to hold our nation hostage because they did not want the debt ceiling raised.

And so we got right down to the final final last minute.

And then our nations credit worthiness was downgraded.

And then the price of money went up and the price of every goods and service went up, and we may never in our lifetime regain our stellar credit rating.

And because the Republicans so much want to regain the Whitehouse in 2012, they refused to increase the debt ceiling through the end of 2012, which would have  removed it from the discussions that either party has during the Presidential election cycle.

Instead, here we are beginning to talk about it again.

And I know the Occupy groups want to remain apolitical, but this is my blog.

And I say the Republicans and any Democrat who stood with them during the summer on the issue of the debt ceiling are utter assholes.  You sold my great-grandchildren, who are yet to be born, down the fucking proverbial river.

November 10th

Day 2 brings the group into New Brunswick, New Hampshire as darkness falls.

The photo below shows a lot of folks in the streets of New Brunswick doesn’t it??

My understanding is that the walking group has spots to stay each night.  I hope so because I am sure it is mighty cold!!


Move Your Money Day, Change Your Bank Day

So today is our very first Move Your Money Day or Change Your Bank Day.

Just a few days before this post was written an article appeared that showed more than 650,000 people and families have closed their major bank accounts over the previous four weeks and moved their money into credit union accounts.

Also during that time, CUNA estimates that credit unions have added $4.5 billion in new savings accounts, likely from the new members and existing members shifting their funds.”

There is a bit more in the article at the link above.

If you are still banking in one of the big USA banks like Bank Of America, Citi Bank, Wells Fargo, Chase Bank or others, today is a good day to take your money out.  Close your account and move your money to a smaller credit union or to a small community bank.

The “Bank Transfer Day” Facebook page attracted 81,900 RSVPs up to the “move” day.  (Not me, I don’t facebook.  I keep thinking I should sign up when something like this comes along, but….)

Check the Mashable article at the link above.

Did you see the report showing that five of the largest banks (Wall Street them all) actually got away with paying zero in taxes during a period when they received hefty bail-outs from  the Feds (the TARP)??  Check the Moral Outrage view of it HERE

The iWatch News analysis of the report is HERE and really worth reading, especially if you remain “on the fence” about moving your money.

Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group, PNC Financial Services Group, Capital One Financial Inc. and State Street Corp. were among 78 of America’s largest and most profitable corporations that managed to avoid paying income tax in at least one of those years (2008-2010).”

Most worksites are connected to a credit union and they would be happy to have your business.

Most larger towns and cities have community banks and they will also be happy to hold your money and give you quality customer support.

None of this $5.00 fee just to use your card and access the money you have in your account.  An account that the bank, the financial institution, is making money off of.

Don’t allow them to abuse you.  There are other institutions that will support you and will be more likely to lend you money when you need it to buy a car or a house or finance your sons or daughters college or their wedding.

And community banks are focused on putting the money they earn right back into the community in the form of housing loans and business loans.

Did you watch your local news or your Twitter account and see the number of large banks (Wave your hand Bank of America)  who thought they could just turn customers down and say “no” when they asked to close their account?  Maybe you got away with it a few times BofA.  Maybe you made a few bucks.  But everyone will out you.   Everyone will tell the people that it is wrong.

And tomorrow will be an even bigger day.

For those who got their money out today…way to go!

You have had HUGE successes this week:

  • you shut down the 5th busiest port in the United States of America (Oakland, California)
  • you shut down a full six busy city intersections in Washington DC as part of the Occupy the City Center of our nations Capitoil
  • One million people moved their money OUT of the biggest banks in the nation DESPITE the banks attempts to keep you there, charging you ten dollars to close your account, harassing you and arresting you just because you wanted to close your bank account

Congratulations to the American people for having the grit and determination to get the job done!!!

November 6th:

Didn’t get a chance to move your money yesterday?

Don’t worry about it.  I reopened my checking account at a credit union about 6 weeks ago after @Chase charged me more than $50 for two books of checks.

I am in a wheelchair and have my pension on direct deposit so I can’t afford to screw the money up.

So instead the deposit goes into Chase.  Then I write myself a check and move the money into my credit union.

It costs me a couple of days and a bit of hassle but I think it may actually be better.

I’m figuring Chase gets my money and says “Oh, goody!!” and then it disappears before they can even count it.

This may cost them a few bucks, but hey.  I banked there for more than 30 years before Chase took it over maybe a year ago.  It has had takovers before, the last was @WashingtonMutual a big bank but I came to like them.  But my point is the checks NEVER cost me any money.  NEVER means NEVER!  Pissed me off…

Plus all the little pissant charges they have hit me with.

My mother uses the same bank and I told her she needs to do like me and write a check, move the money over to the credit union.

Anyway, end of my rant today.

 Move your money next month on the 5th of December, if you missed yesterday.  The reason to do it on a coordinated day is to hit them with something like one million withdrawals.

Make them notice.  Cause them some pain.

No one notices me moving my money except me.

The bank doesn’t even scratch that itch.  Dammit.

To me, The Primary Purpose of moving your money from the BIG Banks to smaller community banks or credit unions is to:

 GET the $$$$ off of Wall Street.

So when you close your account and move your own dollars out of BofA or Citi Bank or Chase or Wells Fargo or some other big bank and millions of others do the same thing ALL IN ONE DAY we take big American bucks off of Wall Street.

They cannot put that money in their pockets.

When people tell us “Oh, the American economy lost $100 Billion or lost $4 Trillion” or whatever, we need to ask “where did that fucking money go?”.  Because it went somewhere.

And if we move it, if it lives on Main Street and not on Wall Street, at least the assholes on Wall Street, the Mega Mega rich cannot pocket it.

Rich people still might do it, I’m not stupid enough to believe the money is safe.

But if just ordinary rich peeps steal it I say “OK, at least the Mega Megas Rich bastards did not get it this time.”

Check out how the folks in SanFrancisco handled their Bank Transfer Day HERE.  Excellent day people!!  News anchors and comedians laugh about San Francisco, the people that live there, things that happen there…but this was a thoughful well prepared and executed action plan.  And it worked!  Congrats to @OccupySF  @OccupySanFrancisco for an excellent day.

“They marched on Chase , Wells Fargo and Bank of America with a police escort . At each bank Occupy protesters sat down in the street and listened to different speakers. They discussed the problems with the Federal bank bail out and toxic loans. A high light of the march was  Brenda Reed a Vietnam war widow who was arrested previously for contesting her foreclose with Chase Bank. “

Read more at link above plus lots og great photos of the day.

But just WHY should I move my money out of my bank?  Why should I be unhappy with them?  I’ve been banking there for years!!

Just educate yourself a little.  They hide all the really important stuff that would make our blood boil and make us grab the closest machete’ if we only knew.

Like this from a Mother Jones article:

“After Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley announced hefty profits in the fall of 2009, the Obama administration’s pay czar said that he’d cap pay at Citigroup, Bank of America, and five other bailed-out companies. The move was largely symbolic: It capped salaries for only 25 executives, kept big stock bonuses in place, and did nothing to address the culture of rewarding folks who sowed our economic destruction.”

But the best part of the article is the actual list of the Wall Street “players who made out like bandits”, the guys that received the very biggest payouts.  How many are on Wall Street?  And how many represent the very big banks??  And how many also show up on that previous list of bankers who actually paid ZERO in income taxes from 2008-2010???  The answer for almost each of those questions would be “Nearly all,  if not all”.

Check it out.  I’m telling ya, it will make your blood boil.

Machete’ anyone?

November 8th:

And beware:

Many Credit Unions rival large banks in their size.  And if you are concerned about the pay of CEOs or bonuses for Executives, do some research before you select a CU.  high salaries on their own may not be a no-go for you, but make sure you don’t get surprised later.

In California many Executives of Credit Unions make annual salaries of more than $600,000 per year.  God knows what (or if) the taxes paid by some turn out to be.

Check at the link for California CU CEO salaries.

November 9th:

Guess How Much $$$ Was Moved On Nov 5th???

$4.5 Billion with a “B”.  That is major money for a “minor” movement.

Some 650,000 new accounts were opened at Credit Union.

Wow, wow WOW!

November 10th:

I really like this article from @OccupyReno about their effort in Reno closing accounts, moving money and causing a little chaos.  “Piece of Cake” they call it.

Things went smoothly in Reno and the Credit Unions did well.

“The city’s credit unions made out like bandits. While Heritage Bank of Nevada and Frontier Financial Credit Union are always closed on Saturday, some credit unions were open late specifically to take advantage of Bank Transfer Day. Great Basin Federal Credit Union stayed open four extra hours. The break in routine paid off, said Elisabeth Hadler, marketing manager for Great Basin Credit Union.

“Just on Saturday, we opened 18 new accounts, and six existing members came in to open up checking accounts,” she said. “That’s on top of the 18 brand new accounts. Since Sept. 29 of this year [through Nov. 5], we’ve opened 239 accounts. Last year in that same period, we opened 97.”

Considering the total eclipse of the economy, there was plenty of wealth to spread around.”


Unite and Act Globally on October 15th: United For Global Change

On October 15th it is our chance to unite globally.

“We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us

People throughout the world are seeking change and asking for relief from oppressive systems and governments.  Just look at the Occupy Wall Street actions and the US citizens being arrested from East coast to West coast protesting against the big banker and silent politicians.

The Unite Globally website shows the list of sites worldwide with planned events.  Show your support for the struggles of the common man & woman.  Share the poster below.  Post it on your site, send it to your friends and tweeters, print it and hand it out.

Learn and tell others.  We can create global change if we unite.

“We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us

The live streaming website is here.

Click here for a list of October 15th Unity Day events worldwide.

Events in the United States of America include:

Washington D.C. starting on October 6th.  Their website is here and includes videos, a blog, and a toolkit

A Facebook page is here.

“Stop the machine!  Create a new world.”.

October 12th:

The 1% controls economies throughoput the world: The 99% are a slumbering giant who are beginning to stir in the U.S. and in other countries as well.

Join together on October 15th and send a message of unity!!

Much more at the link in both English and Spanish.

In New York City, Occupy Wall Street and others will Take Times Square.  More to come, check the link.

2011 American River Music Festival in California, September 16 & 17

The American River Music Festival is an annual, 2-day music event held on the banks of the American River in friendly little town of Coloma about one hour east of Sacramento and two hours east of the San Francisco Bay area.

Coloma is one of the original gold rush towns in California.  in fact, gold was first discovered in Coloma.  In 1848 John Marshall, who ran John Sutter’s mill in the settlement of Coloma, noticed something sparkling in the sluices in the American River.  What sparkled turned out to be gold and sparked the biggest gold rush in history.

In 2011 the American River Music Festival will run from September 16th to 17th.

How do I get tickets and how much?

  • You can get tickets online here.
  • You can buy tickets by phone:  530-622-6044
  • You can buy tickets at the Main Stage of the event beginning at 10 am

Adult tickets are $35.00 per day plus a $2 fee.  Youth(youth are 8-17) tickets are $15 per day plus the $2 fee.  Under 8 years old are free.

Tickets for 2 days are $59 for adults and $20 for youth plus the $2 fee

There are also campground tickets which include entry for the music, you can check those prices here.

You cannot enter the campground without a music ticket.  There are three campgrounds and you can find out more about them at this link.

Check-in at the campgrounds begins at 9:30 am on Friday, September 16th.

Are you adventurous??  Check out the whitewater rafting. camping AND music package!!  This ticket includes lunch at the “gorge”.  Click here for more info on this package

How do I get there?

The map is here.

OK, so what kind of music are we talking about??

.This is the schedule of musicians on the Main Stage.

Saturday, September 17, 2011 Sunday, September 18, 2011
11:00 A.M. Jill Knight Trio   11:00 A.M. Ma Muse
  12:15 P.M.       Elliot Randall and the            Deadmen   12:15 P.M. The Brothers Comatose
  1:30 P.M. Keith Greeninger with  Dayan Kai, Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald   1:30 P.M. The Band of Heathens
   3:00 P.M. Ryan Shupe and the         RubberBand   3:00 P.M. Blame Sally
  4:30 P.M. Truth and Salvage Co.    4:30 P.M. James McMurtry

They will also have shows and workshops in the campgrounds.  Check the list here.

Here are three videos where you can check out the music.

BiPolar Pizza, Hope In The Truck

Truth And Salvage Company, Call Back


Blame Sally, Bird in the Hand


What can I bring?  What can I NOT bring?

There are lists here for what you can/cannot bring to the Main Stage concert area and into the campgrounds.

So tell me more about Coloma.

You know I am from Sacramento and that my family has been here since 1850.  Actually one relative traveled to San Francisco by ship around the Horn and tip of South America, in 1847/48 and traveled inland to Sacramento.  He returned to his home in Washington DC before gold was discovered….dammit!!

His relatives eventually made it back to California after the Civil War.  So, we have been in this area for a bit.

Coloma is an interesting site and has been preserved and restored.

The discovery of gold and the stories of James Marshall and John Sutter and the subsequent gold rush has been told in thousands of books and I could not even attempt to tell it here without boring most of you.

But, take my advice:  when you go to the American River Music Festival take some time to visit Coloma and explore the area.  Even try panning for some gold.  They say the American River still holds four times as much gold as the 49ers removed from the riverbeds.  People still find very big gold nuggets.  hard work, definitely.