Dec 072011

What can be done?

From the Occupied Lexington Herald

By Austin Parker

Our republic is in a time of crisis. We have seen a large transfer of wealth from the hands of the many into those of the few. This theft has been aided and abetted by a compliant Congress, President, and Judicial system.

In some ways, this should not be a surprise. It is embedded in our history. Continue reading »

Dec 072011

From the Occupied Lexington Herald

Sharecropping with the 99%

Occupied Lexington-Herald News

A garden is an honest investment. Each year the tiniest of seeds sprout and grow diverse and bountiful products. Yields, while variable, nevertheless offer steady rates of return. For the most part, in the summer we can expect a Halladay Mortgage Lifter to produce large pink fleshy tomatoes, or Kentucky Half-Runner vines to tangle and produce more beans than we know what to do with. In the spring and fall, we can count on the arugula’s spicy leaves to rise from, and the Cosmic Purple carrot to slowly root itself into, the soil.

As investments go, gardens offer an alternative to the Wall Street/capitalist model of unlimited growth (known in the real world as cancerous growth). Garden investments remind us that while all currency, all seeds, experience bursts of growth and steady rates of production, they all also have natural periods of decline. We can expect to be overwhelmed with excess in the summer, to plan on scarcity in the winter, and to start the entire cycle over nearly from scratch the next spring. Continue reading »

Dec 062011

From the Occupied Lexington Herald

Occupy Lexington is announcing the beginning of a several month long civic exercise that we’re calling the People’s Budget.  Advocating for specific issues is important and we must continue to do so; however, we must also recognize that the real decision making happens in the budget when programs and initiatives are or are not funded. Continue reading »

Nov 232011

How we got here

By Austin Parker

A fifteen minute channel-surf of cable news will offer many villains for who’s to blame for our collapse. There are Wall Street bankers who point their finger at irresponsible homeowners who signed off on loans they couldn’t possibly pay back. There are the likes of New York City billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg who wag their proverbial finger at Washington, claiming that laws passed under prior administrations forced lenders to make loans to people who would not be able to repay. There are economists like Paul Krugman look to the banks, accusing them of designing these exotic financial instruments and then misrepresenting them to prospective clients—all the while minimizing dangers and falsifying paperwork on their behalf in pursuit of larger bonuses at the end of the quarter. And then there are the centrists, people like Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke who say that it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, that we just have to knuckle under and not point fingers—and certainly not investigate anyone in particular for malfeasance or wrongdoing. Continue reading »

Nov 232011

Occupied Lexington Herald

By Justin Cooper

they gathered together like primal peoples

their village filled the small patch of land

the message was loud, the answer simple

“your house you’ve built was built on sand”


NOW HEAR them as the drum crescendos

voices raised in downright DECREE

refuse to move until you are heard

“better to die on your feet than live on your knees”


bullets & tear gas urge the chaos

deflections from our true cause

fleece of this thing called money

but you will answer to the people’s law


this 1% has hid its power

behind a veil of complexity

our voice is out here in reality

our strength is standing right next to me



you will admit you’ve met defeat

so when the next time you are asked

you will reply… whose streets ?



Nov 092011

From the Occupied Lexington Herald

Letters from 99ers

To the gentleman that yelled “Get a job” at me while I was protesting Wall Street yesterday: I do have a job, thank you—two jobs, in fact. I also go to school full-time. There was a time when I didn’t, though.

I was unemployed for nine months once. I lost my job while Bush was in office, and a month after my wife, stepdaughter and I moved into our first home. Two months later, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Then my health insurance dropped me and my medications went from 20$ a month to 200$ a month. You see, my body does not produce insulin; therefore, I will die without my medication. My wife, who does fairly well with her job as a hairstylist, had enough saved and was able to keep the roof over our family’s head. When it eventually became clear that I was not going to find a job before my unemployment and our savings ran out, I decided to enroll in grad school, partly to ensure a job in the future, but mostly because I needed the health insurance and loans that school provides. Continue reading »

Nov 092011

From the Occupied Lexington Herald:

Photo by Al Marzian. Found on the Occupy Lexington Flickr site.

Be good to each other

By Ian Epperson

We have a bad habit of taking Jesus and molding him into someone who agrees economically with what we already believe.  We do this with the Bible too.  A die-hard opponent of welfare can find the passage “if a man doesn’t work he doesn’t eat.”  A socialist or communist can find “no one considered anything to be their own but shared everything in common.”  A charitable person can find John the Baptist saying, “He who has two tunics should give to him with none, and the one with food should do the same.”

There is a problem, however, with our desire to mold Jesus into our economic ideologies. He then becomes unable to change us, since he stands only to reinforce our already held beliefs.

When we take the scriptures as a whole, we can’t find any popular economic model today that Jesus would endorse.  What we find instead is a consistent message that has to do not only with economics, but also with our more intimate lives.  That message is simple and can be summed up thusly: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  In other words, be good to each other. So let me not drone on about the pros and cons of any particular economic system but instead talk about being good to each other, and being good to each other as a business model. Continue reading »

Nov 092011

From the Occupied Lexington Herald:

How we got here

By Austin Parker

By now, the bare facts of what happened in what’s commonly-known as the “Great Recession” are widely known. Unfortunately, these facts are little reported on by most media, here in Lexington as elsewhere. So in the interests of due journalistic diligence, here’s some information on what is meant when leaders refer to the housing bubble: how it happened, and how it contributes to our current depression economy. Continue reading »