Friday, February 24, 2012

US Elections & Occupy Valentine's Day / OWS Week 02-22-2012

Press TV's new program; 'OWS Week' highlights 7 days of the protest movement's happenings as viewed from American protesters' eyes.
The program also examines the wide range of social issues addressed by the 'occupy' movement in the US.

This episode of the show looks at the NY Occupy fun workshops, "who are you in bed with?" awakening game, Occupy St Valentine Day demos and examines the US presidential campaigns from the 99ers perspective

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Phone Transcript / Santorum Campaign Donor Revealed!

Exclusive [sarc] by Gabrielle Price

Partial phone transcript from one of Santorum's donors 
after this 2008 recorded speech flooded the internet the week of 02/12/12:
[Transcript below]

[Campaign staffer's name withheld for her protection.  Only half of the conversation was recorded, but we thought it worth sharing.
You heard it here first.]
"Hello, Rick Santorum's office? 
I have a message for Mr. Santorum. 
I'm with the ACME straight-jacket company...uh huh...seems there was a mix-up, um, miscommunication about the campaign funds we allotted.
Well, ACME management decided they already have enough models for one party...[inaudible] but if he would please come in for a fitting, then we
could avoid the company asking for a refund.
Yes, I understand Mr. Santorum doesn't want bad press, but he has an obligation.
 Correct, they skipped over him before as we were busy fitting Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich took longer to make, as you can imagine.
Yes, Mitt is very tall.
We didn't realize Mr. Santorum would still be in the running and do understand Mr. Santorum is busy bringing crazy back - but ACME would like to get our money's worth from the campaign fund checks that were already cashed.
I see.
What's that?  Yes, they do come in different sizes but many must be
custom fitted, as with Mr. Gingrich.
Wait, I have an idea...[inaudible] put you on hold?
Thank you.
[Gnarls Barkley - 'Crazy' - on muzak]
Thanks for holding, [name withheld].  I spoke with management.
They mentioned that Mr. Santorum may be the same size as Mr. Perry and since there are time constraints, we could send that jacket over if there wasn't time for Mr. Santorum to come in for a fitting. 
 What's his jacket size?
Thank you, this should work nicely.
Mr. Perry? No, we didn't donate to his campaign, he just showed up
for a fitting.
Yes, that is pretty crazy.
Management told us to hang on to it in case we needed it, since Perry won't be back.
Not a problem.  Can I ship it to your attention?
Wonderful, thank you.
What's that? Mr. Paul? No, he wouldn't take a donation.
Well, between you and me, him wearing anything solid white is a bad move.
Oh, yes! Actually, we are hiring! 
Business is great!
There is a lot of job security in this line of work, currently.
ACME is always looking for intelligent people who can spot crazy.
So your work with the Santorum campaign will look great on paper here.
Let me get a pen.
I'll give your name to our PR, [name withheld].
Sorry?  Oh, good question.
If Santorum doesn't win the next primary, you can ship the jacket back here.
We never know who else will jump into the race or show up for a fitting.
Well, I don't like to gossip but Palin and Trump?
Yes, like I said, we are very busy!
Nice talking to you, too.

Have a great day!
[end transcript]


Public Service Announcement / Leonard Cohen

Monday, February 20, 2012

Unemployment & Bank foreclosures / US-OWS Week-02-15-2012

Press TV's new program; 'OWS Week' highlights 7 days of the protest movement's happenings as viewed from American protesters' eyes. 

The program also examines the wide range of social issues addressed by the 'occupy' movement in the US. 

This episode of the show is dedicated to the desperate state of the US jobless, President Obama's bank foreclosure deal and the 99% demos outside of the CPAC annual meeting in Washington DC.

Global Bank Rat Resignations

by Gabrielle Price

February has been a busy month for jumping ship.  The time for rearranging deck chairs is coming to an end -- are you prepared?

1) Feb. 6, 2012 / Bank of India CEO Chaturvedi resigns

2) Feb. 10, 2012 / Tamilnad Mercantile Bank CEO resigns

3) Feb. 13, 2012 / Kuwait Central Bank CEO resigns

4) Feb. 15, 2012 / World Bank CEO Zoellick resigns

5) Feb. 15, 2012 / Anz Bank CFO Australia resigns

6) Feb. 15, 2012 / Nicaraqua Central Bank Pres Rosales resigns

7) Feb. 15, 2012 / Royal Bank of Scotland Austrailin CEO Stephen Williams resigns

8) Feb. 15, 2012 / Nova Kreditna Banka Maribo CEO resigns

9) Feb. 15, 2012 / Nova Ljubljanska Banka CEO resigns

10) Feb. 17, 2012 / Credit Suisse Chief Joseph Tan resigns

11) Feb. 18, 2012 / GERMAN PRESIDENT Christian Ruff resigns

12) Feb. 18, 2012 / GOLDMAN SACHS CEO Blankenfein Asked to resign, says No.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Shift Is Coming - Part I / What Is It?

by Gabrielle Price

I used to write a spiritual and progressive column on an internet site that claimed to reach a broad audience and could make me some part time money if I just kept writing and plugging away.  The money was 'pay per click' with some commission for ad revenues initially - now that site just gives away coupons, travel miles and vacations or some manner of toy, gadget or consumer item.

For a writer trying to eek out a living is hard write progressive content about dumping the corporate mindset of political greed and consumption on a page full of ads that I had no control over and could potentially be about the very companies buying our democracy?  It just made me feel like an asshole.  Not that I wasn't pleased with my final work but I felt the advertising would call my integrity into question.  That and I just can't eat a coupon.

I quickly created my own site and never looked back.

Until recently.  I revisited both columns -- I'm a firm believer that we don't know where we're going until we remember where we've been.  It was the spiritual column that found me chuckling at myself.  Not because of the work -- it was at best indicative of a time during my own personal journey of intention and positivity -- at worst it was incredibly naive.

I recall at the time that I struggled internally to write the words 'power of positive thinking' and 'law of attraction.'  Not that there isn't a little something to that -- but I'm also a realist.  That comes through in my photography.  I don't like to photoshop the hell out of a simple image but work with shadows and lighting until the essence and feeling of that moment reveals itself to me.  Sometimes it is a completely happy accident.  I think the world is plenty photogenic and mother nature doesn't need candied-up like so much glitterati.

A quote has resonated with me over time that has been attributed to one of my favorite photographers, Dorthea Lange.  "A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera."  As one of the photographers who recorded the haunting and famous black and white images of The Great Depression, she would know.

Life, like photography is a balance of shadows and light.  I had to admit to myself that a lot of what I was seeing without my camera was worrisome.  The political and environmental concerns were too real to imagine positive thinking could 'change' all that.  It's the same as praying which I didn't put too much stock in at age 8, let alone in my 40's.  Then I saw a video that made me realize I was on the right path and that no path is full of rainbows and unicorn farts -- unless you're a sheltered pre-teen or a character in a Disney movie.

Using a photographer's analogy:  A lot of 'new age' spirituality never resonated with me because it literally 'photoshopped' right over reality, like many religions before.  I never liked The Secret and was a critic of it from the get go -- but there were other 'new age' problems.  These problems were made very apparent to me after my first viewing of Josh Fox's documentary, Gasland.  I had to pause the movie several times because I was moved to tears.  Things were worse than I had ever imagined and something had to be done.  I was changed.  I shared via my social network that I had viewed the film, and stated that, "I wish I could unsee Gasland but what has been seen cannot be unseen."

Within 5 minutes there were two 'new age' folks asking me, 'Why can't you?' and 'Pretend you didn't see it.'  This, ladies and gentlemen, in a nutshell is what my intuition had already been telling me was absolutely, inherently wrong -- so very, very wrong -- about this country's inability to take their own blinders off.

I have the Smile or Die video bookmarked to share with others like me who share my same concerns.  They are more often than not, deeply spiritual people who know how bad things are right now but that listening to their own intuition serves them well.  They are incredibly vigilant.  The keen observers, scouts and warriors for humanity and the environment that has sustained us. 

"Has" being the operative word here.  That's all about to change in a big way.

What is the shift?
I believe it is an energy shift that is happening in waves.  Part of the shift, the human aspect, is happening right now.  All around us.  You may not believe it has much to do with politics, markets, resources or government -- but I put to you that is has everything to do with these things because they are, in fact, globally intrinsic and effect all people.  The web of life.  Whether you pay attention to the news outside the idiot box or not there are many things happening in other countries that your government does not want you to see -- and if you are a truth seeker, like me -- you dig until you find what resonates with you.

The digging is also a spiritual undertaking.  An excavation.  Investigating for your own peace of mind is one thing, to do it for the benefit of your craft, sometimes your own consciousness can take a good beating.  You learn to assimilate information that makes you uncomfortable -- but that is the purpose of any real spiritual undertaking -- to get out of our own comfort zone.  Learning to handle the truth, when we have been lied to for so long about so much, takes not only mental but spiritual stamina...stamina we have to want to obtain.  This can be difficult when pushed or pulled in other directions, even from well intentioned others.  This is when solitude beckons and only then can intuition be developed.

When I say 'consciousness takes a good beating', what I mean is that it is challenged -- you challenge your comfort zone, your own way of thinking.  The outcome of this practice is keener observation and your intuition becomes acute.  A sharpened sword molded under your own blacksmith's hammer.

This is not an easy task in the world we live in now -- shifts are happening faster.  One must make time to do the work, study, practice and meditate.  Yes, meditate.  The mind is a big place with lots of bright lights and swirling data coming at us at an alarming rate every day.  It's the best tool for quieting one's mind in order to focus our best intentions even when the information we receive seems confusing.  Finding the truth is like separating the wheat from the chaff.  The best way to start to do this is turning off your television and picking up a book.

The journey isn't about arriving
I know a lot of people who enjoy traveling but not always for the reasons that seasoned travelers take to the road.  Arriving isn't the goal -- it is the journey that teaches us about observing.  Speed bumps on the road aren't so much of a surprise when we're able to slow down and move over them smoothly.  Many people are ill-equipped to deal with the slightest hiccup in their lives -- the fastest way from point A to point B can be more fraught with difficulty than if we take our time -- and in rushing, we miss an awful lot of the scenery and opportunities to learn from our surroundings and other people.

People in a hurry to get where they're going are usually not attentive for long periods of time -- so reading, researching and absorbing information can be a chore for them.  Perhaps this is why it is frustrating to me to read badly written headlines, when many only read them like so many Twitter updates, rather than reading the content.  Headlines are designed to capture attention.  How long that attention lasts is of no concern to most media spin doctors.  Some headlines are inflammatory, others are just plain shocking.  To the point at which a satirical piece can be taken seriously, even by people we tend to imagine should be much more observant than the average Joe.  Then again, politics doesn't always denote intelligence.

What I have found is that the more I seek -- I am sought by people who share my sensibilities and love of life.  In the past two years, I've met people with a lot of courage to change what they see broken in the world we share.  They think little of themselves and more of the greater good.  They know what effects them, effects everyone -- we really are all connected in more ways than one -- but our biggest connection has been being fellow passengers on this boat.  When people seek to sink the boat, some of us take it personally.  This is exactly why people are in the streets with Occupy.  This is why people complain about their government being corrupt.  It's also why politicians and banks that own them are nervous -- they know we're right.  Quite simply, there are more of us then there are of them.  When you don't do right by the people and they finally learn the truth, they will let you know about it.

Imagine all the things that have come to light already by switching off televisions and reading alternative news sources!  There really is an underground college that has taken shape via the internet.  It is a very important tool for learning, sharing ideas and meeting people with common goals and concerns.  Even a thousand miles away!  I have found it to be a marvelous place for spiritual growth in this way as well.  The shifts that are occurring are less scary when you find other people experiencing them - the same problems - the same suffering, and that connection is healing medicine for the planet.  It is what the Buddha taught -- that in our suffering, we also learn compassion for ourselves and others -- because all beings suffer.  Awakened beings wish to help ease this suffering, or what is called Samsara, by teaching a way of detachment of earthly possessions, among other things, which cause us unnecessary suffering and keep us from enlightenment.  I'll be touching upon this again in Part II.
Representation of samsara in Buddhism / wheel of life
Right now, there are many people in the 99% globally, who have learned this lesson quite acutely, not through spiritual practice or a guru but by physically losing their savings, work, homes and loved ones.  You don't see them giving up, nor their neighbors give up, their towns will not give up and a whole glorious wave of compassion is being unleashed and what I see now is that America, the sleeping giant,  is finally coming out of REM sleep.

The hope is that it does not behave like a rudely awakened child because we have a lot of work ahead of us and we need to catch up with the rest of the world.  As you will see in the Part II / What Can I Do?  Begin by embracing the reality that we no longer passengers on this ship, we are all crew.  Prepare to roll up your sleeves.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Two Updates and a MIC CHECK

With spring fast approaching and a lot of plans to be made, much of what I've been doing here over the winter has been to forge connections with my fellow occupiers-in-arms, the folks on the street, the citizen media and other writers and activists who have made this movement such a joy to witness...even when there is sadness and setback...they are there to help keep discussion alive and well and focused. 

That is what community is about. And that's what democracy looks case anyone has forgotten.

I'm still working on the documentary film from the December Occupy Fear and Loathing Media Tour, which has been an interesting leap into the unknown territory of editing, not to mention a lot of writing to go along with it.  The news feeds are fast and furious and sometimes draining and breaks must be taken to recharge the soul.

One great recharge was a recent re-release of the online report that started the amazing occupy journey, and which coined the meme, the 99%, has been made available in book form with added information since Sept. 17th to now.  I was honored to be asked to contribute to this book as a commentator, along with many others who have long been admired by this writer/activist and mother.

Mama is just getting warmed up...

Yesterday, I was interviewed by a wonderful woman who works on a news show specifically for Occupy, which airs in many countries [not much here in the US, since we're only supposed to hear the spin] but this show reaches millions of viewers who watch with great anticipation what the occupy movement will accomplish here.  The world is looking to us to be that bright light.  Not our government - but the people!  You'll be hearing more about this show going into March.

Our new logo is being made now, too -- I can't wait for you to see it.

So much of American culture is loved by many [not particularly our current culture - oh no, that bar is too low] but the gritty westerns, the soulful music and the rock 'n roll, the incredible artistry of telling stories of determination, humor, creative genius, honorable journalism and hard truth delivered with care.

Do you remember?  It's the America I know and love, too -- and miss like hell.  I visit it a lot online because it doesn't exist on the television or the radio anymore.  And it's exactly why I do what I do and why my blog reflects a different time...full of ingenuity.  The current corporate culture bores me silly because it kills creativity - so I want to be part of helping to create a new one.

There are people not unlike you or me in other countries who love our country's creative spirit, too.  Many are struggling far more than we are -- but not for long unless we DO SOMETHING CREATIVE.  The people of the world want Democracy because they have never tasted it.  Here we are the supposed beacon of it, so we better shine -- we damn well better flame -- if we don't want to lose that precious thing that the world needs.

NOT what our government is selling.  

It is time to dust our cowboy boots, get up off the couch and let's rock some Democracy like an encore.  Intermission is over and we may not have another shot at this.

In order to embrace opportunities and continue to manifest more of them, I need your help to sustain The Refreshment Center.  

I have had numerous offers of assistance, talent and suggestions, as well as space provided to me -- only to see work waylaid by personal [or political] agendas, negativity and short-sightedness.  As much as we all complain about our government, we are still relatively free to speak, write, create and push back.  Maybe you feel you can't because of your family, employer, spouse or even your church -- but I CAN.  

I want to do that for you because I am in a unique position to do so. 

I do not work for a party, a candidate, the status quo or the 9-to-5 matrix -- I am giving this my last, best shot.  Sponsor a strong voice and keep it steady moving forward.

Opportunity is knocking and so let's all swing that door wide open together.  I'm not ready to close the blinds, are you?  I've got boots for hire and they are ready to kick some ass for democracy and freedom.

This Chip-In is open-ended as far as an amount.  I'm not going to put a cap on my worth or your generosity.  Give what you can until the deadline.  [May 1st - I found it appropriate since it is globally recognized as 'International Worker's Day' - which IS the 99%]. 

Spring is on it's way...let's make it one the world will never forget.

Rockin' for a free world ~ Gabrielle
Unfortunately, Chip-In has been giving us raspberries with unsecure site certificates,
SO - we'll no longer be using their services, as to protect your privacy.
Please send your gift securely via Paypal

You may also mail a donation to The Refreshment Center:
Check or money orders made out to Gabrielle Price | Memo: TRC
The Refreshment Center
c/o of Linda Jones
3330 Founders Road
Indianapolis, IN  46268