Localism

Where is Your Money?

A consideration of public banking

“It is well enough that 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.”
~Henry Ford

Cash wall 3

Where is your money?  Well…okay…if you actually had some, where would you put it?  Why? Wherever you store your monetary wealth, do you gain benefit from allowing that storage solution to reliably insure your financial security? Can you trust that solution to work in your best interest?

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What if We Owned the Banks?

Economic Inequality: Part 3

In June of 2015, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Barclays, among other Libor-rigging giants, pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the [Libor] conspiracy and greed to pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines to U.S. regulators.

Protesters and Chase(AP Photo / Edouard H.R. Gluck)

Representing only a single instance of a commonplace practice played out the world over, this corporate criminality instigated the outage of Craig Brandt, an attorney from Oakland, California. He set out to enact an audacious plan. With other individuals, Mr. Brandt endeavored to have the Oakland City Council “take radical action to combat plutocracy, inequality and financial dislocation”. Mr. Brandt wanted to create a city-owned “public bank”.

Recent posts on this blog have explored economic inequality and its ramifications. The post this week continues this series, beginning to focus on potential solutions to what some see as a looming economic catastrophe. As Part 3 our Economic Inequality series, consider this article by Jimmy Tobias: “What if People Owned the Banks Instead of Wall Street?

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Free Tea in the South

Human freedom is not freedom from conditions,
but freedom to take a stand and to face whatever conditions
might confront [us]” ~ Viktor Frankl

Tea Man in Selma_5881-1024x768

Remember the nomadic Giusepi Spadafora, the Tea Man? Instead of going west last fall, it turns out, the Tea Man and Edna Lu (the traveling Tea Bus) went south.  You can read a detailed account of what he has been up to the last few months on his blog.

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Go West, Tea Man!

 

Ruby Sue and Edna Lu

Traveling the land, this free tea house cultivates community,
health, peace, sustainability, and genuine human interactions.

Follow Edna Lu the Free Tea Bus and her operator,
Giusepi, as they adventure through America.

We introduced our young friend Giusepi Spadafora, the Tea Man, to this community back in January with a follow-up query about possible summer projects for Giusepi and Edna.  As noted in his newsletter below (full text included), he is looking for a place to settle for a bit, perhaps for the winter, to write–somewhere in the southwest. Since some of you live in that area, you might have some ideas.  If so, and especially if you are not familiar with the Tea Man’s lifestyle and more than a decade of Good work, take a look at his newsletter and the links within it.  Giusepi expresses an exemplary lifestyle characterized by small group community coupled with personal responsibility worthy of the idea “We, the People!”  We should support him in any way we can. (more…)

Summer Plans for the Tea Man

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We introduced Guisepe Spadafora, the Tea Man, several months ago.  Guisepe and his traveling Tea Bus continue to spread hope, to lend a hand and to spur community organization in several western U.S. states.  If you are not familiar with his work, take a look at his website or the videos and news coverage of his endeavor (which has been on-going for more than a decade!).

Guisepe is putting together his plans for summer 2017 and would like our input as noted below.

  • I want to know where we should visit, whom we should see, and where we should serve tea.
  • Second, I am looking for a place to call home base for the summer in Colorado. Where can Edna, myself, and Ally plug into that wants good company, a handy man, and a community organizer?
  • Thirdly, I am looking for a good project or two to plug into for a month or two. I would love to help fix or build anything, especially if it has to do with small-scale, mobile, off-grid, low-cost, DIY, eco-friendly, and reclaimed projects.

Guisepe is the kind of person who infuses the phrase “we, the people” with real, tangible meaning.  Thank you, Guisepe!

If you really want to help us become Us, explore Guisepe’s story.  Take it as a model of personal initiative in the name of us all.  If nothing else, you might simply find the inspiration that sparks an idea of change for yourself.

 

Locally Green

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“Let’s get together and make the world a better place!”  We often hear such sentiments.  Sometimes we even hear ourselves uttering these words.  As often as not they are just words, but some folks infuse their words with purpose and follow-through.  The people associated with Square Roots Grow just might be some of those people.

Launched in August 2016 by co-founders Tobias Peggs and Kimbal Musk (brother of entrepreneur Elon Musk), Square Roots Grow describes itself as representing “an urban farming accelerator powered by human ingenuity, technology, and most importantly a deep love for local, real food.”  Eh…OK…So what is it—really?  Well, can you image ten, two-acre farms in Brooklyn, NY—in a parking lot no less?  CEO Tobias Peggs describes the plan.

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