October 20, 2014 at 9:27am
181,979 notes
Reblogged from rnusicality

rnusicality:

fun statistics for adults!
“when I was a kid, I had no help with college tuition, I was hardworking and paid it all myself”
-Annual tuition for Yale, 1970: $2,550
-Annual tuition for Yale, 2014: $45,800
-Minimum Wage, 1970: $1.45
-Minimum Wage, 2014: $7.25
-Daily hours at minimum wage needed to pay for tuition in 1970: 4.8
-Daily hours at minimum wage needed to pay for tuition in 2014: 17.3

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

8:35am
26 notes
Reblogged from questionall
questionall:

(Credit: AP/Matt Rourke) This post originally appeared on Third Rail News.  

Recently, news broke that Rolling Jubilee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of debt, purchased $4 million in private student loan debt and forgave all of it, relieving some 2,000 Americans of that oppressive burden. The group purchased the loans for pennies on the dollar from the notorious for-profit Everest College. And it’s only the beginning –according to Rolling Jubilee’s website, they’ve forgiven more than $18.5 million in debt, much of it medical, on only $701,000 raised.  Such activism cannot be praised enough. It’s entirely selfless, brings important issues to light and directly aids many Americans. But it can only go so far. 

The total national debt, both public and private, is a preposterous $60 trillion. If Rolling Jubilee succeeded in wiping out $4 million of that total every day, it would take more than 41,000 years for America to be debt-free. Even if they focused only on, say, mortgages, it would take more than 9,000 years.  Of course, a lot more than $4 million moves through the American economy every day. But the numbers still help illustrate the obvious: something much more radical has to be done, a fact that Rolling Jubilee organizer Astra Taylor concedes. In a recent New Yorker profile, Taylor said, “We shouldn’t have to buy this debt. It’s treating a symptom without ever treating the disease.”  The problem of debt is far beyond the scope of any one person or organization to take care of.

 Acting en masse, however, there is a great deal Americans can do. The best solution to the student loan crisis is a very elegant and simple one: stage a collective refusal to make good on student loan debt. Such a boycotting of payments is well within the power, not to mention the rights, of the American citizenry, and it makes good sense to take such a collective action.  In the past, activists have resisted paying taxes on the basis of disagreement with government policies. Among the signatories of a 1968 refusal to pay a Vietnam War tax were Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Gloria Steinem, but the practice dates back centuries – Jesus’s famous “Render unto Caesar” quote relates to the idea. Refusing to pay student loan debt is a similar form of resistance.  

The total national student loan debt is more than $1.2 trillion, the bulk of which – about $1 trillion – is owed by students to the federal government. According to a 2013 study, the average debt held by a graduate in 2012 was almost $30,000. Forty million young Americans are saddled with this burden and 7 million of them have defaulted already.  To slap such exorbitant debt on new graduates, especially in this economy, is an aggressive undermining of human rights. And the punishment for not paying, for those who either can’t find work or are courageous enough to pursue their dreams despite their debt, can be severe: ruined credit, wage garnishment (for those lucky enough to have wages), vicious harassment from collectors and enormous fees as collection of the debt is outsourced to private entities. All of this effectively penalizes poverty. 

With such immense pressure funneling millions of graduates into whatever menial job they can find in order to begin making payments, student loan debt has been compared to a modern form of indentured servitude.  And there is no indication that help is forthcoming from Washington. For all his talk and campaign promises, the most President Obama has done to offer relief is to lower interest rates from 6.8 percent to 4.66 percent, a paltry offering that will be all but undone as the rates go back up over the next couple of years. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Education outsources a great deal of its debt collection to private companies that aggressively bully, intimidate, harass and lie to consumers in an attempt to retrieve the money. Far from helping, this “government of the people” has sent the most bloodthirsty financial bulldogs from the corporate sector after their own weary, broke citizens.  Worse, tuition costs continue to soar even as the degree itself becomes, arguably, much less valuable. The market is so saturated with college graduates that the young person making your coffee just might have a master’s in sociology. 

More tuition dollars than ever go toward covering the costs of bloated university administrations and ever-more grandiose college sports programs and arenas.  Websites like the empathetically named youcandealwithit.com, closely affiliated with the federal government’s student loan program, offer helpful suggestions like, “Take a look at what you have or want and determine what you can’t live without. As hard as it is, you may need to give some things up.” Some of what they suggest living without includes a car, a computer, a cell phone, pets and entertainment. Just be a working, sleeping and eating drone – whatever it takes to pay that debt. 

 The Congressional Budget Office recently reported that over the next 10 years, the federal government will make an astounding $127 billion in profit off of student loans. Thousands of lucrative organizations exist for the sole purpose of extracting money from Middle America, for-profit colleges and debt collectors chief among them. The very practice of buying a debt at a reduced price and then collecting the full amount is one of the most unconscionably immoral crimes that can be imagined – it’s pure corporate piracy with no community benefit whatsoever.  

Student loans provide an easy avenue for resistance. Not paying them would be like taking back the bailout money the government gave bankers and other financial criminals in 2009. The dollar amounts aren’t far off, and if American tax dollars can be used for a CEO’s bonus they can damn sure be used for education. It happens one way and not the other because the moneyed CEO can influence policy in a way ordinary Americans can’t. The balance of power can be shifted, but only by collective action. 

Nothing could send a stronger message than 40 million indebted graduates standing together in a boycott of student loan payments.  Any number of things can happen after that. Perhaps Americans will demand the right to pay back their debts on their own terms rather than those imposed by collection agencies and the Department of Education. Perhaps they won’t pay anything back at all. 

There will be backlash from powerful institutions, but those challenges can be overcome.  Waiting for a debt solution from above is not an option. There is simply no motivation for the government or private businesses to reduce the debt Americans owe – they can collect on it until the end of time. It is incumbent on Americans to resist debt, up to and including, if possible, refusal to pay. Just as laborers, suffragists and civil rights advocates rallied for equal rights and fair treatment, debtors must unite with a single purpose. 

Rolling Jubilee and Strike Debt have championed the charge for economic justice, both in outlining principles and taking action. All of the 99 percent should join them, whether their debt is from medical expenses, student loans or mortgages.  America has the resources to instate healthcare, education and a home as inalienable human rights. It’s a paradisiacal potential we run the risk of squandering every day we voluntarily admit our bondage to debt. There is no realistic way for Americans to climb out of this hole other than by standing together and refusing to allow the oppression to continue.

questionall:

(Credit: AP/Matt Rourke) This post originally appeared on Third Rail News.

Recently, news broke that Rolling Jubilee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of debt, purchased $4 million in private student loan debt and forgave all of it, relieving some 2,000 Americans of that oppressive burden. The group purchased the loans for pennies on the dollar from the notorious for-profit Everest College. And it’s only the beginning –according to Rolling Jubilee’s website, they’ve forgiven more than $18.5 million in debt, much of it medical, on only $701,000 raised. Such activism cannot be praised enough. It’s entirely selfless, brings important issues to light and directly aids many Americans. But it can only go so far.

The total national debt, both public and private, is a preposterous $60 trillion. If Rolling Jubilee succeeded in wiping out $4 million of that total every day, it would take more than 41,000 years for America to be debt-free. Even if they focused only on, say, mortgages, it would take more than 9,000 years. Of course, a lot more than $4 million moves through the American economy every day. But the numbers still help illustrate the obvious: something much more radical has to be done, a fact that Rolling Jubilee organizer Astra Taylor concedes. In a recent New Yorker profile, Taylor said, “We shouldn’t have to buy this debt. It’s treating a symptom without ever treating the disease.” The problem of debt is far beyond the scope of any one person or organization to take care of.

Acting en masse, however, there is a great deal Americans can do. The best solution to the student loan crisis is a very elegant and simple one: stage a collective refusal to make good on student loan debt. Such a boycotting of payments is well within the power, not to mention the rights, of the American citizenry, and it makes good sense to take such a collective action. In the past, activists have resisted paying taxes on the basis of disagreement with government policies. Among the signatories of a 1968 refusal to pay a Vietnam War tax were Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Gloria Steinem, but the practice dates back centuries – Jesus’s famous “Render unto Caesar” quote relates to the idea. Refusing to pay student loan debt is a similar form of resistance.

The total national student loan debt is more than $1.2 trillion, the bulk of which – about $1 trillion – is owed by students to the federal government. According to a 2013 study, the average debt held by a graduate in 2012 was almost $30,000. Forty million young Americans are saddled with this burden and 7 million of them have defaulted already. To slap such exorbitant debt on new graduates, especially in this economy, is an aggressive undermining of human rights. And the punishment for not paying, for those who either can’t find work or are courageous enough to pursue their dreams despite their debt, can be severe: ruined credit, wage garnishment (for those lucky enough to have wages), vicious harassment from collectors and enormous fees as collection of the debt is outsourced to private entities. All of this effectively penalizes poverty.

With such immense pressure funneling millions of graduates into whatever menial job they can find in order to begin making payments, student loan debt has been compared to a modern form of indentured servitude. And there is no indication that help is forthcoming from Washington. For all his talk and campaign promises, the most President Obama has done to offer relief is to lower interest rates from 6.8 percent to 4.66 percent, a paltry offering that will be all but undone as the rates go back up over the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education outsources a great deal of its debt collection to private companies that aggressively bully, intimidate, harass and lie to consumers in an attempt to retrieve the money. Far from helping, this “government of the people” has sent the most bloodthirsty financial bulldogs from the corporate sector after their own weary, broke citizens. Worse, tuition costs continue to soar even as the degree itself becomes, arguably, much less valuable. The market is so saturated with college graduates that the young person making your coffee just might have a master’s in sociology.

More tuition dollars than ever go toward covering the costs of bloated university administrations and ever-more grandiose college sports programs and arenas. Websites like the empathetically named youcandealwithit.com, closely affiliated with the federal government’s student loan program, offer helpful suggestions like, “Take a look at what you have or want and determine what you can’t live without. As hard as it is, you may need to give some things up.” Some of what they suggest living without includes a car, a computer, a cell phone, pets and entertainment. Just be a working, sleeping and eating drone – whatever it takes to pay that debt.

The Congressional Budget Office recently reported that over the next 10 years, the federal government will make an astounding $127 billion in profit off of student loans. Thousands of lucrative organizations exist for the sole purpose of extracting money from Middle America, for-profit colleges and debt collectors chief among them. The very practice of buying a debt at a reduced price and then collecting the full amount is one of the most unconscionably immoral crimes that can be imagined – it’s pure corporate piracy with no community benefit whatsoever.

Student loans provide an easy avenue for resistance. Not paying them would be like taking back the bailout money the government gave bankers and other financial criminals in 2009. The dollar amounts aren’t far off, and if American tax dollars can be used for a CEO’s bonus they can damn sure be used for education. It happens one way and not the other because the moneyed CEO can influence policy in a way ordinary Americans can’t. The balance of power can be shifted, but only by collective action.

Nothing could send a stronger message than 40 million indebted graduates standing together in a boycott of student loan payments. Any number of things can happen after that. Perhaps Americans will demand the right to pay back their debts on their own terms rather than those imposed by collection agencies and the Department of Education. Perhaps they won’t pay anything back at all.

There will be backlash from powerful institutions, but those challenges can be overcome. Waiting for a debt solution from above is not an option. There is simply no motivation for the government or private businesses to reduce the debt Americans owe – they can collect on it until the end of time. It is incumbent on Americans to resist debt, up to and including, if possible, refusal to pay. Just as laborers, suffragists and civil rights advocates rallied for equal rights and fair treatment, debtors must unite with a single purpose.

Rolling Jubilee and Strike Debt have championed the charge for economic justice, both in outlining principles and taking action. All of the 99 percent should join them, whether their debt is from medical expenses, student loans or mortgages. America has the resources to instate healthcare, education and a home as inalienable human rights. It’s a paradisiacal potential we run the risk of squandering every day we voluntarily admit our bondage to debt. There is no realistic way for Americans to climb out of this hole other than by standing together and refusing to allow the oppression to continue.

8:34am
1,505 notes
Reblogged from islamic-art-and-quotes
feministwomenofcolor:

islamic-art-and-quotes:

FBI Frames Muslim-American After He Refuses to Be a ‘Terrorist Informant’

“[He] then (sic) pulls my pants to my ankles with my boxer shorts, touching my butt and penis area. Officer Berrios then (sic) yells out ‘Gun, he has a gun!’…I immediately said, ‘That gun is not mine! You know that gun is not mine! You searched me two times!’”
[…]
“They said that I was facing ten years, but I could walk away right now if I agreed to be an informant…They said that they would give me the names of specific people who they wanted me to target, and I would use anti-government propaganda to incite them to violent action. They implied that they would provide me with guns and bombs to give people.”

[Source]

Another injustice committed against the Muslim-American community. 

feministwomenofcolor:

islamic-art-and-quotes:

FBI Frames Muslim-American After He Refuses to Be a ‘Terrorist Informant’

“[He] then (sic) pulls my pants to my ankles with my boxer shorts, touching my butt and penis area. Officer Berrios then (sic) yells out ‘Gun, he has a gun!’…I immediately said, ‘That gun is not mine! You know that gun is not mine! You searched me two times!’”

[…]

“They said that I was facing ten years, but I could walk away right now if I agreed to be an informant…They said that they would give me the names of specific people who they wanted me to target, and I would use anti-government propaganda to incite them to violent action. They implied that they would provide me with guns and bombs to give people.”

[Source]

Another injustice committed against the Muslim-American community. 

8:33am
159,006 notes
Reblogged from odinsblog
misandry-mermaid:

misandry-mermaid:

(Source: odinsblog)

8:32am
2,910 notes
Reblogged from wilwheaton

When a local government’s very existence depends on its citizens breaking the law — when fines from ordinance violations are written into city budgets for the upcoming year as a primary or even the main expected source of revenue — the relationship between the government and the governed is not one of public officials serving their constituents, but of preying off of them. When the primary mission of a police department isn’t to protect citizens but to extract money from them, and when the cops themselves don’t look like, live near or have much in common with the people from whom they’re extracting that money, you get cops who start to see the people they’re supposed to be serving not as citizens with rights, but as potential sources of revenue, as lawbreakers to be caught. The residents of these towns then see cops not as public servants drawn from their own community to enforce the laws and keep the peace, but as outsiders brought in to harass them, whose salaries are drawn from that harassment. The same goes for the judges and prosecutors, who also rarely live in the towns that employ them.

— 

Why we need to fix St. Louis County (via wilwheaton)

The circle of oppression.

(via liberalsarecool)

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

7:12am
554 notes
Reblogged from ponderation
ponderation:

The Park by Paul Jolicoeur

ponderation:

The Park by Paul Jolicoeur

(via sublim-ature)

7:06am
873 notes
Reblogged from questionall
questionall:

What about you?

questionall:

What about you?

7:04am
82,056 notes
Reblogged from destructive-creature

rrosequartz:

destructive-creature:

"At Rio Americano High School in Sacramento CA, a student named Dejza, was violently assaulted by a vice principal, Matt Collier, for attempting to take back a piece of art with a political message that the administration didn’t like. She was put in a chokehold and slammed against the desk. When she tried to resist this unlawful abuse of authority, she was slammed and held onto the ground. Matt Collier laid on top of her, crushing her with his weight. Dejza could not breathe, and begged Collier to get off of her. Luckily, another faculty member came in and ended the situation. Dejza went to see a doctor for severe whiplash, and yesterday was her first day of physical therapy. Despite this being blatantly wrong and illegal, the administration has put her on suspension for resisting, and Collier was not disciplined. On the fifth day of her suspension, she will attend a meeting held by bias members of the administration to determine if she will be expelled.

They have tried to silence anyone who speaks out on social media, but today we have gathered in person for a silent sit-in protest.

Dejza has been wronged, and brutalized, and now she is receiving punishment. They’ve tried to silence her. They’ve tried to silence us.” -Grant Wright 

One of my friends Grant posted this on facebook and even though im not in Sacramento I want to help. This girl has been mistreated by a full grown man who may never be punished. I want to help spread awareness. So please, spread this around. Let people know that this is NOT okay. The more support we have, the better. 

i’m so proud to have been a part of this today but you guys please please please please reblog/spread this around any way you possibly can it’s so important and her story needs to be heard by people outside of our city because what this man did is so so so incredibly far from okay

(via theblacksunrising)

7:03am
38,506 notes
Reblogged from agameofwerewolves
caninewild:

nymski:

agameofwolves:

Source.

The meat dance

always reblog the meat dance

caninewild:

nymski:

agameofwolves:

Source.

The meat dance

always reblog the meat dance

(Source: agameofwerewolves, via theblacksunrising)

7:02am
41,742 notes
Reblogged from sandandglass

sandandglass:

Bryan Stevenson on The Daily Show.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)