Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Occupy Houston Now One Month Old—A Solar Oven To Bake Bread

At the center of the picture above is a solar oven. I took this picture a few hours ago at the nightly General Assembly of Occupy Houston.

The solar oven will allow Occupy Houston to bake bread.

Occupy Houston is about individuals working together for a more fair and equitable society. Hope and change will not come from above in a political system rotten with big money, and with legalized bribery of politicians of both major parties.

Occupy Houston is now one month old.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is the Occupy Galveston website.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

You can also follow these and other Occupy efforts on Facebook.

I support Occupy Wall Street because I’m a hard-working, taxpaying citizen of our nation who votes in every election. I want a nation where the willingness to work means you can get a good job, where the most wealthy pay a fair share of taxes, and where we care for each other when times are difficult.

November 7, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. I guess I could comment on the uselessness of using a solar oven at night to bake bread. Actually, that may yield more results than the entire Occupy movement in the end. By the way – when is the end? Has a clear goal for the occupation been defined yet Neil? At what point would the banks have to bend to make this movement a success? Your bullet points may be in contradiction of one another too. “Willingness to work means you can get a job”. I believe I could work a new job every day for the next month without missing a day. I may have to lower my standards, but I won’t go hungry. What you really mean is everyone should find a job that pays a high salary (you may use the word fair – but I believe that to be subjective) gives benefits, paid holidays, break rooms, etc. etc. Unfortunately those folks who provide those jobs are the ones you would like to pay “a fair share of taxes” – which in this case you mean they should pay a higher percentage of income than anybody else – how is that fair?

    The majority of SMALL BUSINESSES that will have to pay MORE taxes in your “fair world” are those that would provide more jobs. But when they are taxed into submission, they have to reduce overhead and the biggest expense in any business is usually salaries. It’s a vicious cycle. Have you ever ran your own business Neil? If you have, then you will know that you put your name, finances and future security on the line. You make the investment of hard work, time and money. You risk almost everything to see a dream come to fruition. You will have to pay exorbitant fees for employee benefits, health insurance, payroll taxes and business insurance. You will pay annual taxes on the furniture and equipment that you have already paid taxes on when you bought them. You will pay taxes on the building and all of the assets. And then once the reward comes and you become “wealthy” or you slide into what may be considered the 1%, you will be asked to help support those who didn’t have the will, the talent or the tenacity to do what you did. You will have people outside of your house clambering for “financial equality”. Where were these people when you were doing all of the work and taking all of the risk alone? Where were they when you got 3 hours of sleep at night, exhausted from the physical and mental exertion, scared and on the brink of bankruptcy? When you had to miss a meal or eat beans and rice to save money to re-invest in the business – where were all of these people looking to work…to help…to dream?

    They wouldn’t be there Neil, because you wouldn’t be able to pay them the “fair” salary that their college education was supposed to provide for them. I went to college. I never once EXPECTED to be given a job for that. I simply put what I learned to use and someone saw value in it. In your start up, you wouldn’t be able to cover the payroll tax to have all the A-List players on your team. But when you build the business up from the muck and the mire and you move your 15 year old facility to a new, shiny, high-rise with the team that helped build the company- will you smile and shake hands with the guy who graduated the same year as you and is picketing your office because it’s not fair that he doesn’t have what you have? Will you gladly help support his lack of effort because your salary is out of line with the average salary in America? People who work hard are not average.

    It’s the moral lesson of the ant and the grasshopper. The grasshoppers are surrounding the ant mound right now and are shouting about the inequality of the situation. I am proud to be an ant. Which one are you?

    Comment by Mike | November 8, 2011

  2. As for the solar oven, my understanding is that it holds a charge after the sun is set. In any case— sometimes on the Earth it is day and at other times it is night. I happened to take this picture at night.

    I’ve not run a small business. I’m certain it is difficult. You’ve made your case here that it is difficult.

    I don’t understand the assertion that people taking part in Occupy efforts are not hard working people. I’m a hard working person. I’ve simply never heard anyone who supports Occupy Wall Street talk about envy or not wanting to work. Much of what is involved in making Occupy as successful as it has been so far comes from people wokrking hard to keep it going.

    I also don’t understand how people can simply say anymore that getting a job means you won’t go hungry. A low wage job where you can’t get more than 20 hours a week will not pay the bills. I’ve read recently that many people who are now unemployed no longer get unemployment benefits. These are not people milking the system.

    No one expects to be given a job. You acquire skills. You apply and interview for a job. Nothing is given. I hear this from the right saying that people feel they should just be given a job, and yet I never hear this view expressed in private conversations I have with people who share my views.

    The whole premise you start from seems to come from misconceptions.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 8, 2011

  3. “Much of what is involved in making Occupy as successful as it has been so far comes from people wokrking hard to keep it going.”

    I completely agree that Occupy’s success is correlated with the diligence of its supporters.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | November 10, 2011

  4. Matt—We’ll see how it all goes.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 10, 2011

  5. Thanks again for the education Neil. I always wondered about the sun disappearing for 7-8 hours every day. I am clear on that now. But what I find amusing is you didn’t answer any of the other questions I posed. Are you running for office or something? You evade direct questions pretty well.

    I certainly didn’t assert that the Occu-people weren’t hard workers. I simply believe they are whining about what other people have.

    Having a job means you won’t go hungry, because you will get paid and you will buy food instead of cigarettes, beer or anything else that is considered discretionary.

    You state no one expects to be given a job? You may not hear it in private conversations, but look around the Occupied World and see what the other 99% are saying. How about a few “whiners” from WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT website.

    – I am 25.
    – For my 26th birthday, I will lose my insurance.
    – I have a law degree.
    – I have a master’s.
    -I have $150,000 in “student” (bondage) loans.
    – I have no job.
    – I am the 99%

    -I am an 18 year-old college freshman. My schooling costs me $56,000 per year. I know it will be hard for me to get a job without a master’s degree. I sold my car to pay for books this semester. I have nothing else to sell, and I don’t make enough money to pay for books, let along pay back my loans. I am already so in debt.
    I am the 99 percent. (SHE HAD A NOSE RING – HOW MUCH DID THAT COST – mike)

    -I’m not poor, and I’m not homeless, but i hate the way the world is setup. It is setup so the average joes lose at everything.
    I want to go to school and get a highpaying job, but I dont want to waste my time when there won’t be any jobs available when i graduate. Reality is, its not going to happen if society continues as it is.

    -I went to school to get a degree to better myself and my living situation. 3 years later the recession hit and my career path was made irrelevant by budget cuts.

    Since then I have taken jobs that barely cover my costs and student loans with no benefits.

    I have no health insurance and my car is falling apart as I barely live paycheck to paycheck.

    The jobs out there aren’t what I was led to believe when I heard of the American dream.

    I AM THE 99%

    -I’m 26 years old, and have a masters degree. I work in my field but need four jobs to pay my rent. Today I couldn’t go to work because there is no gas in my car and I don’t have enough money to buy any. My 4 jobs combined literally don’t even pay enough for me to go into work. I look for another job, or a better job every day. There are none! I am the 99% http://www.occupywallstreet.org

    Now I am not saying these folks have it rough, but when I was 25 I wasn’t rich and I faced the same trials and tribulations. I didn’t live outside of my means either. I didn’t take a loan out and then cry about it afterwards. If I couldn’t afford rent, I would move to somewhere I could afford rent. Recently I lost my job. I didn’t sweat it, because I had worked hard to pay off my debt and build a nest egg that others may say I should share. I didn’t drive the coolest car and I didn’t where a Rolex and I didn’t waste my time playing X BOX. There are two problems with education: it is too expensive and is it doesn’t provide common sense.

    Comment by Mike | November 10, 2011

  6. As for night and day, the Republican repudiation of basic science has been such that I’m not sure what is believed and not believed any more by some folks.

    We are not hearing the same thing from these messages you’re posting here. In terms of the college loans, they were likely the only way these folks were going to be able to go to college. And we’ve reached a point in our nation where you are taking a big risk for your future if you don’t go to college. I agree with you that it costs too much.

    What I see here are people who feel they have played by the rules, but that the syetem is rigged for the benefit of a few. What I’m not seeing is a sense of entitlement. What I’m seeing are people who want to work and who simply want fair play in our political and economic systems. Is that radical? These are not folks worried about driving anything but a car that simply works or that are interested in making big purchases to the detriment of more important things.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 11, 2011

  7. Mike, solar ovens do not hold a charge. They’re not electrical devices that turn sunlight into electricity, store the electricity in a battery, and then use power from the battery to run a heating element.

    A solar oven is basically just a box lined with reflective material that concentrates heat inside the box in a useful way.

    “you are taking a big risk for your future if you don’t go to college”

    According to the 99-percent sign-holders, it wasn’t much of a risk at all. They’re claiming that their college educations are useless. Indeed, many of them are in pursuit of graduate degrees, and they predict that those degrees will be useless upon matriculation. Why are we subsidizing the overconsumption of education services?

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | November 12, 2011

  8. If the term is hold a charge or heat retention, the thing can work at night.

    Maybe folks feel the need to go to college because the blue collar jobs were shipped overseas.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | November 13, 2011

  9. Thanks for the info on the solar oven Matt. But even confronted with good, intelligent information, Neil still argues. It may be a lost cause to talk sensibly to him.

    I state again, I could work every day for a month, getting a new job every day if I wanted to. These jobs may not be the glamorous jobs I dream of, but they will pay my bills and keep me fed. They are out there if someone is willing to work them.

    Comment by Mike | November 18, 2011

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