Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An 'Occupied' Reflection

I have never enjoyed politics. I see politics as a long sporting match where neither team can score without being called on a technicality. When a winner finally emerges from the rat race, you come to realize all of your favorite players have been traded.

Plainly put, politics are boring, however change is exciting!

This may be one reason why many individuals find their way into politics at a time after we suffer a large and often painstaking shock to our system or when individuals collectively challenge the existing system.

We are in in mix of both of these things today. The movement- Occupy Wall St- that began in Manhattan over month ago spread to Seattle October 1st. Shortly after the ‘occupation’ began, I started to attend the general assembly sessions and regularly spent my evenings in Westlake plaza-where the occupation has been occurring.

After several nights of sleeping in the park and nearly two weeks of spending my evenings and eating my dinners in the park I reflect on the experience and opportunity I have been provided.

Why was I compelled to join this movement? For what reason am I participating?

The answers to these questions emerged quickly. Our system is broken. It does not take an economist or academic to realize that our system has been disrupted and no longer serves those whom it represents. Simply put, we want a system that works for all us; a system with greater economic equality; a system that holds people -including the people upheld through Citizens United (corporations)- accountable for their actions.

Please keep in mind that I am an optimist. I approach this movement with the idea, “democracy only works if people get involved”. That is what I believe this movement is about. It is about reinvigorating the greater portion of our society. Our moral has been squandered, our believes are hijacked, and this movement exists to demand, as a collective, we take these back and bring attention to our discontent.

The movement represents community. I have become a member of the greatest community I have found since leaving the suburban oasis, of which I am still

recovering from, 6 years ago. Since becoming a member of this community I have been given the opportunity to learn, to reflect, and converse, with individuals who lie all over the spectrum. Many of these individuals would probably never found their way into my live without joining this movement.

The movement represents education. As I previously stated, I have ever been interested in politics. Now I find my social life revolving around politics, my spare time exists to read further into proposed legislation, past and present, and researching the thought leaders and academics I learned about juts hours earlier.

The movement represents economic justice. Turn on and tune in to any of the movements through the county and you are bound to hear, ‘we are the 99%’ which references the largest income gap we have scene since 1928.

This movement provides motivation for those searching for change. This movement exists to include those who have felt alienated, and dissipated within our society. I continue to occupy to show my support of those less fortunate. Realizing I have been privileged, I still suffer from the failing economy, increasing unemployment rate, furthering gap between the rich and the poor, corporate domination, and the involvement of big money in politics.

More than anything else, this movement represents self grow. I have learned about myself, my political ideologies, and have become actively involved in a movement aimed at creating a society with greater equality. Just as everyone, I have formed my own ideas on what will assist us in getting there, however will leave this for another time.

I realize the movement has flaws, and I write this leaving all of my frustrations with the movement aside. I encourage others to think critically about where we are headed as a nation, a word, and as a species. The media coverage will not suffice the education of this movement. I call on you to become a part a something much bigger than yourself!


  1. So- I went to the doctor today, and she was sick. I asked her why she was working, and she said she was only paid if a patient came in, and had no sick leave.

    My doctor has no sick leave. Wow.

    This is America. Tim - you are doing such good things by staying with this movement, and I hope you can convey to those who are down there that the other 99% really is all of us. The 1% just do not show up- and many of the 99% may have nice homes and careers, but they are slaves to this broken system.

    You are awesome!

  2. Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified!

    Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

    1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when
he/she is out of office.


2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for
any other purpose.

    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

    5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.

    Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.