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choke a bitch


Posted on 2012.02.13 at 23:49
Tags: ,
Well, we knew this was going to happen eventually.

MSNBC has a story about homeowners in (where else?) California who have allowed an advertising firm to turn their house into a giant billboard, in exchange for mortgage payments, for a year. Apparently, theirs is the first case, a pilot program, for the ad firm; they had to apply, and compete with other struggling homeowners, to get the gig.

Arguments in favor: Anything that helps avoid foreclosures and keeps people in their homes has that much going for it. (Though the article quotes the family as saying that they plan to use their monthly $2,000 to pay down credit card debt, rather than the mortgage. Why you would do this, given bankruptcy laws, I don't understand, unless you'd already filed for bankruptcy in the past eight years or planned to lose the home anyway - possibly because it looked like a giant billboard. But then, if they lose the home before the contract expires, presumably they don't continue to get paid.) Freedom of contract, blah blah.

Arguments against: It is deeply troubling how society is witnessing a gradual decline in advertising-free spaces; and how corporate sponsorship is increasingly necessary for every endeavor - not just sports stadiums and radio stations, now, but everything including family homes. It's a major step towards the dystopian future we've all been anticipating. And there are zoning laws that will cause potential problems, and, and... after this, does it really matter? Your home is a billboard.

This weekend, I went to an Occupy Portland meetup, intending to offer advice on foreclosure defense. The meeting was about as undirected as the worst stereotypes of the Occupy movement suggest, and lacking in resources. But I'll follow up on the referrals to various organizations and see if there's anything to be done.


A Dawn Rae
adawnrae at 2012-02-14 09:33 (UTC) (Entry)
the_rukh at 2012-02-14 16:26 (UTC) (Entry)
If there is success, its going to be because of people like you.
peramble at 2012-02-18 17:23 (UTC) (Entry)
It's cool that you offered your expertise.

The most organized groups in Occupy Portland are probably core committees (like facilitation, finance, legal, etc.), the Portland Action Lab (which is technically a spinoff group from the action committee), and the radicals (it seems like anarchists and marxists especially care about process and organization). Their meetings have prioritized agendas, facilitators, stack-takers, and note-takers. Members coordinate work that needs to be done among themselves and do research and outreach. For example Portland Action Lab has organized really good trainings on direct action with experienced activists (e.g., people who've participated in a bunch of prior actions with Earth First), legal issues with lawyers from organizations like the Civil Liberties Defense Center, and campaign strategy with long-time organizers to prepare for the upcoming day of action against the American Legislative Exchange Council. Members of my caucus (including myself) took detailed notes which have now been posted on Portland Action Lab's web site. We are organized into small affinity groups in which members trust each other and have designated roles.

Random meetings are much less likely to be well organized, of course. A member of my caucus was just complaining about how a meeting for the state-wide Occupy conference was a wreck with no agenda or facilitator. People at the meeting agreed to her proposal to have ones for the next meeting, though.
onyxrising at 2012-03-10 15:47 (UTC) (Entry)
Most people don't know a thing about bankruptcy laws.

If that family realizes that their credit cards have a higher interest rate than their mortgage, and this is their motivation, then they're doing better than many American consumers. Perhaps they feel that if they pay off some of their higher interest debt, they'll be able to pay their mortgage off of their normal income?
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