Monday, May 24, 2010

Protesters Give Bank of America Exec What He Deserves

Over the weekend, a group of approximately 500 NPA and SEIU protesters, armed with signs and bullhorns, converged on the front lawn of Bank of America lobbyist Greg Baer and demonstrated their anger toward the giant evil bank. And, it has been reported that DC police actually escorted the busloads of protesters to Mr. Baer's address. Brilliant!

Apparently, Baer's teenage son was the only one home at the time, and the peaceful protesting frightened the poor little rich kid so much that he barricaded himself in the bathroom and phoned his daddy to rescue him from the demonstrators. Of course, the kid could have opened a window or the door and told the gatherers that the target of their protest was not home, and asked them to leave. But he didn't. Poor little gutless child of privilege...!

The protest has incited the voices of the more conservative among us, who are likening the event to some sort of union terrorism. One of these voices, Greg Hedgepath, states, "Here you have thug unions that have no interest in the people they represent at all. They are only interested state maintained pensions. A bailout is what they are after. " What Hedgepath fails to acknowledge is that the banks that these unions are protesting have done exactly what he's accusing the so-called "thug unions" of having just done. The banks have demonstrated no interest in the very customers who have made them ungodly rich; they are only interested in the multi-million dollar bonuses they can give themselves; and they GOT a bailout (which did nothing to help or benefit the taxpaying public as a result).

Well, as they say, payback is a bitch. Perhaps the conservative bloggers who are vocalizing their opposition to groups of citizens gathering on the lawns of the very same people who caused the economy to tank, who are responsible for doling out bad loans and then collecting on them through foreclosure, and who, like Greg Baer, have taken our money to go to Capitol Hill and prevent legislation that would benefit the general public, are doing so because they are afraid of the backlash that may be heading their way. I don't think that a backlash against Wall Street is unwarranted. In fact, I think it's well-deserved.

Unlike in Greece, where unions have reacted violently against the targets of their anger, the NPA/SEIU protesters were peaceful (albeit perhaps loud). They wore t-shirts with the message "Put People First / Take Back Our Democracy" and brandished hand-painted signs with slogans like "Reclaim America" and "Hold Banks Accountable". They chanted "Bank of America, Bad for America" and shared their personal stories of the bank's abuses via a bullhorn. Far as I can tell, nobody set fire to anything, broke windows, held the banker's candy-ass kid hostage, bombed the Baer's house, tried to enter the domicile, or did anything remotely violent. And they returned to their caravan after Baer returned home to coddle his Little Lord Fauntleroy and asked the protesters to leave. Even so, Hedgepath and his right-wing blogging cronies are accusing the demonstrators of being thugs. THUGS! Do they even know what that word means?

According to the dictionary, a "thug" is:

1) A cutthroat or ruffian; a hoodlum. A tough and violent man, esp a criminal. A violent, brutal person
2) One of a band of professional assassins formerly active in northern India who worshiped Kali and offered their victims to her. (Historical Terms) (sometimes capital) (formerly) a member of an organization of robbers and assassins in India who typically strangled their victims.

Sorry Mr. Hedgepath and others of your ilk, but the 'thug' shoe doesn't fit here.

What I think is most important is that the voices of the right wing are conveniently neglecting that the banks have pushed hard-working Americans right to the brink, and now those with their backs against the wall are fighting back - by taking their money away from the banks that have abused them, and by protesting. So far, protests at the banks have yielded imperceptible results. Is it surprising that the protesters are taking their battle to the front yards of the enemy? Not to me. I think it's not only about time, it's completely appropriate. We SHOULD protest these goons where they live. We SHOULD publicly humiliate them. We SHOULD be vocal about our unrest. Their selfish and greedy actions have harmed an unprecedented number of families and ruined the economies of many countries. Did they expect there would be no backlash? Did they think we would not fight back?

If protesting them at the office does not result in the change of practice the public demands; if the lawmakers are unable to resist the bribes people like (alleged 'lifelong Democrat') Greg Baer offer them; and if Wall Street continues brushing aside the requests of the President, the People have no choice but to protest - loudly, and in the front lawns of the perpetrators. Wall Street has only itself to blame for the crushing anxiety that grips this nation. Not only for causing it, but also for perpetuating it. So many Americans are desperately trying to pay for the overpriced homes they bought before it all crashed down, yet the banksters are enjoying a million-dollar property boom in their playland of the Hamptons - fueled by the enormous bonuses they received last year (LA Times article, 5-22-10:,0,1217672.story), despite President Obama's request that such bonuses be reeled in. Clearly, while the country crumbles around them as a direct result of the things they have done, the Wall Street racketeers are continuing to revel in the spoils of their - er, I mean OUR - money.

Greg Baer and his fellow goons need to remember this: Actions have consequences. What they do runs completely against what is best for the masses. There is a strong penalty to be paid, not only by the mob bosses on Wall Street, but also by those like lifelong Democrat Greg Baer who prostitute themselves to said mob bosses and schmooze Congress in order to block bank reform. The People are angry. Banks should count their blessings that we are not violent. I for one do not promote, nor do I condone, violence. And if it were within my power I would free the world of all of our violent actions. But I cannot do that, and I cannot predict the future. However I do understand the nature of people, and if injustices persist to the point no option is left, people do eventually resort to violence as they historically always have. If the financial industry wants to prevent the kind of retaliatory anarchy that has gripped Greece in recent times it needs to change NOW while the American people are still willing to demonstrate peacefully.

In the mean time, I think we SHOULD continue to gather and protest - in front of the banks AND in the executives' front lawns. Public humiliation needs a renaissance. Keep organizing, my friends. Keep pulling your money out of the banks, keep sending your letters and making your phone calls, keep distributing the Proclamation Of Required Change, keep encouraging your friends, families, and co-workers to participate in these protests, and above all, keep a sense of humor about this. Use your anger to drive your efforts to effect change, but don't lose sight of the humorous side of sticking the knife into the banks and their prostitutes (figuratively speaking, of course) and turning it.

Peace and bullhorns,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Bank Of America Fails in Adopting PROC-7. Customers Are Urged To Close Accounts.

That’s right folks. After 90 days of our attempts to coerce Bank of America to change its policy from one of greed to one of gratitude, the bank has failed to take action of any sort. In short, Bank of America has now clearly told us through its inaction that it does not care about its customers, our wishes, or our individual or collective well being.

All we have asked the bank to do is end its predatory practices and give back to the community it has robbed, especially now as we all try to work our way through the hard economic times that Bank of America had a significant role in creating. They have shown no remorse for their recklessness, nor for their greed-fueled practices. The billions upon billions of dollars they have wrested from our accounts are apparently not sufficient to them, as they continue to exploit us for our money. And to add insult to injury, Bank of America has produced a new line of television commercials filled with partial truths in order that they may try to win over a new crop of suckers. I call these commercials “TOC’s” as they are nothing more than Truckloads Of Crap.

Q) So what now?
A) Well, I do not believe PROC-7 to be a failed endeavor. I believe we did not reach enough people in time for the 90 day deadline, which I originally thought would provide sufficient time for us to rally the support we needed. Apparently not. But that’s OK. The Proclamation is out there, and there’s no reason we need to extend the deadline. Bank of America knows it exists. The time period for Bank of America to comply is now passed. They failed to meet us even part way by the deadline. There is no grace period, therefore we bail.

You see, we do have to be people of our word. The original Proclamation allowed that, should Bank of America do the right thing and start adopting the demands in PROC-7 within the 90 day period, we would reward them by returning our business and our money to them, otherwise we would take our financial support elsewhere. They did not, and thus we are no longer obliged to return our funds to them.

Bye-bye BofA! You had your chance and you blew it.

Over the last 3 months a few people told me they thought that it was too much work to dangle our cash in front of them like carrots to get them to change their evil ways. (too much work???) Instead they said they would rather pull their money out of BofA’s vaults and be done with the corrupt institution once and for all. Well, that may or may not have worked against our movement. I don't know. But now that Bank of America has clearly confirmed that they do not have any intention of changing their abusive policies, we who have been holding small sums of money in the bank pending the outcome of this experiment may now close our accounts.

Please do this right away. And please also continue to spread the word that the thieves running Bank of America have no desire to make banking with them a pleasurable and mutually beneficial experience. Please implore all of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances to close their accounts. And, please also encourage them to deliver copies of the new proclamation when they close those accounts. PROC-7 is not dead. We’re just going to have to play hardball with it. A revised version of PROC-7 will be posted shortly, which will contain more demands without any further deadlines. It will also be more generic so that you and your acquaintances may use it with any bank, not just Bank of America.

The banks as a whole, including all of Wall Street, must learn to respect us. They must learn that there is great value in respecting us, even if it means that their respect for us is borne of the fear that we can destroy their industry if we get angry enough. We have only begun to tap our collective power here. I fully believe that an ongoing campaign to withdraw our money from the corporate banks will eventually have a positive outcome for us all. For those of you who have been sitting on the sidelines and haven’t pulled your support from Bank of America, I must ask… how much more proof do you need that the bank is a corrupt organization hell bent on bleeding you dry? Are you seriously OK with supporting the obscenely lush lifestyles of your bank’s execs and investors while they would rather you have to eat mac ‘n cheese from now until you die? Would you really rather be in debt to these people for the rest of your natural life? Or would you rather have more of your earned money in your pockets so that you could enjoy the things and experiences YOU want in your life? The power to change things lies squarely in your hands. Go from being victim to victor. We’re here to help you. Close your Bank of America account today so we all can share a more prosperous future tomorrow.

Oh, and when you do get around to closing your BofA accounts, please give them the new Proclamation if the spirit moves you. Repetition is, after all, the mother of learning.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Something to think about. Wall Street vs Wall Pee

While I was writing a reply to Jim, a commenter to my last post, a thought occurred to me. We had been discussing the real John Quincy Adams' favoring of a national bank that regulated the currency. In my reply I mentioned that I believe what I am doing within this protest is helping each visitor reintroduce himself and herself to our forgotten power. By doing this I hope that our culture can become more aware and diligent against those who prey on others, and self-reliant enough to do away with the need for another government botched agency.

And that's when it hit me... the realization that sexual predators (including but not limited to the crimes of rape, sexual assault, child molestation, looking at naked pictures, taking pictures of your children naked in the bath, and urinating in public) are sentenced for the crime, do their prison or home imprisonment time and community service, and then are forced to register and be restricted for life. This was running in my head alongside the simultaneous realization:

Financial predators are pardoned, forgiven, and rewarded.

We have a problem here.

First of all, have the banks not symbolically raped the general public repeatedly and relentlessly? Has this not had a corrosive and damaging effect on our society? Have they not preyed on those with less advantage, and created the means to trip the customer up and rape him some more?

Wall Street executives are every bit as dangerous to our society as - at the very least - the guy who is serving a lifetime sentence as a sexual offender because he got caught peeing on a wall. Yes, the profiteers in the whole economic meltdown are every bit as dangerous and criminal as the wall-pee-guy. Honestly, I think more so.

Wall Pee. That's funny.

So think about it. As states like Illinois prepare to pass even more over-reaching, restrictive and debasing laws to punish those labeled as sex offenders, should we perhaps call for the same iron clad punishment for the greedy financial predators on Wall Pee... er, I mean Wall Street?

If I can find a way to set up a poll on here I'll ask you to vote on this.

When you need a little chuckle in your day, remember: Wall pee.