Let's save the middle class!

Let's save the middle class!

Today, many Americans consider themselves “middle class.” However, compared to the standards of the 1960s, the so-called middle class is dead, and the war on unions is directly responsible. In 1965, Americans willing to take dangerous, difficult work – like a midnight shift shoveling waste at a steel mill – could earn about $2.30 an hour. That may not sound like a lot, but it's the equivalent of over $17 dollars an hour today. These jobs were often filled by unskilled workers with high school diplomas or less, but they still paid well enough to cover the cost of an apartment and car.

Today, those same unskilled workers are often forced to work for corporate giants for minimum wage - $7.25 an hour – less than half of what they would have been paid in the 1960s. Automation and outsourcing did eliminate many of the manufacturing jobs that previously paid decent wages. However, it's the fact that workers have been unable to unionize that's really kept wages low in the service jobs that replaced manufacturing.

In the 1950's, more than 35 percent of private-sector jobs were unionized. Today, less than 6 percent of private-sector workers belong to a union, and that number continues to decline. Those labor groups fought for higher wages, workers' rights, and employment regulations – including many of the protections that workers now take for granted. Today, the average employee has virtually no power against their employers, and the corporate masters are fighting hard to keep workers from standing together.

This is why today's labor battles are so important. The “Fight for 15” isn't only about higher wages – it's about bringing back the middle class. For a real chance to make the American Dream a possibility for all, we must fight for our labor unions, so that they can fight for us.

Comments

JA JR's picture
JA JR 41 weeks 2 days ago
#1

I am a strong believer in the unionization of work. I not only led a movement to unionize a shop but spent half my working life in unions working as a member and as a union steward on many jobs. I worked in construction starting as an apprentise carpenter and milwright as well as an operating engineer in steam and chiller operations. I understand the value to the worker the union provides but I also watched the union destroy itself. I am not naive about the agressive war on the unions that came in with the election of R. Reagan. Although the carpenter and some of the milwright unions were honest and worked with the contractor the Iron Workers and Boilermakers were aggresive about their misuse of the power they had built up over the years. I worked in mostly construction of industrial plants and I cannot see how the contractors building these plants could make a profit. During the time I worked in this industry I saw power plant construction go from nearly 100% union to less than 50%. I later worked as a manager in aerospace for the second half of my working career and saw how the unions there also cheated the employer on a regular basis. If unions are to ever regain credibility again the unions will have to require and police itself to provide ethical, honest and reliable work for the employer. I think many anti union workers feel that way because they are honest and reliable and don't want to be part of the system that cheats the employers. The union bosses also cheated the workers on a regular basis. The union question is a complex one not as simple as it is made out to be. I think that cooperatives are the best way to go. There is no emphasis to cheat and the other workers are not going to tolerate cheating. Workers in general are facing a terrible reality, productivity is driven not to make work easier to do, rather it functions to reduce the requirement for workers. Much of the lost high paying jobs are not going to China as much as being replaced by computers and robots,

markincorsicana 41 weeks 2 days ago
#2

The public hospital I work for in texas didn't pay time and a half for hours over 40 in a week for more than 10 years for RN's. And if we stayed late less than 1 hour they edited our time cards and paid nothing. Because of the nature of the job and the disorganized work environment many hours of overtime a week were compulsory in many areas .The US wage and hour laws are trumped by texas law. The US departrment of labor has little clout in texas when it comes to big organizations. And yet if you tell virtually any of the texas born RN's (yes, wages were suppresed by the importation of large numbers of foreign born RN's { and it's not a work quality issue the foreign RN's on average are just as competent as the US RN's on average}) that we would not have been cheated if we had a union; the texas born RNs will recoil in horror as they recount lines from Reagan's little red, white, and blue book about problems with unions. Blue states fight to stay Blue, once people become indoctrinated with anti-union paradigm turning back is very difficult.

t-bird's picture
t-bird 41 weeks 2 days ago
#3

How we got here If you want a really thorough account of the discrimination, and de-unionization, etc, of America from its beginnings to the present generation, you will find Howard Zinn's book "A people's history of the United States" to be a well researched, well-written, comprehensive account. It really explains how & why the US finds itself in the state it is today:

http://www.amazon.com/Peoples-History-United-States-Present/dp/006083865...

Highly recommended.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 41 weeks 2 days ago
#4

Do you realize how many families have already been torn apart, how many lives have been destroyed since 1996, by social/economic policies chosen by this generation of middle class workers? And now that it's their own butts are going over the cliff, they suddenly want to change the rules? The middle class very firmly stated that any aid (by any name) provided must be strictly time-limited, with those limits serving as an incentive to "get up every morning and find a job." This is required of some of our most disadvantaged, so how can we expect less of middle classs workers? Bill Clinton declared, "There is NO excuse for long-term unemployment!" Many of our (former) middle class now have to live with the policies that they chose. The middle class has breen getting phased out for years. Those pushed out of the middle class often become the poor. We got tough on the poor.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 41 weeks 2 days ago
#5

Mr. Hartman, You can't rebuild a middle class out of thin air. As our own history shows, it's necessary to shore up the poor, putting rungs back on the ladder out of poverty. We won't do that.

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 41 weeks 2 days ago
#6

We'll soon have more to worry about than low pay. They (international bankers) want 80% of the world's population dead. The Twin Towers were just the beginning.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#7
Quote SHFabian:Do you realize how many families have already been torn apart, how many lives have been destroyed since 1996, by social/economic policies chosen by this generation of middle class workers? And now that it's their own butts are going over the cliff, they suddenly want to change the rules?

SHFabian ~ First, I can only imagine what the SH stands for. Yet I digress. Nobody here is going to argue with you that the middle class in this country is composed of some of the stupidest people to have ever walked God's green Earth. Let's face it, they supported the Vietnam war when they couldn't logically explain why. They supported both Iraq wars... for the same reason. They elected Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama not once, but twice. They are a prime example of Darwin Laws in motion. But please don't blame the victims. They were BS'ed by some of the best BS artists money can buy.

In 1996 when they demanded limited unemployment there were plenty of good paying jobs to go around. Also, massive unemployment due to free trade wasn't yet a reality. Of course, dispite the verbal warnings of economists and celebs such as Ross Perot, these people were too dumbed down and too short sighted to believe the stark truth laid out before them. Why, because they were too busy working and too busy minding their own business. In fact, their only major mistake was believing their elected officials. At the time, they had no urgent reason not too. Only after seeing it with their own eyes do they now realize the misjudgement. A day late and a dollar short for sure. Nevertheless, they were mislead, cheated, robbed, and disenfranchised. They are the victims and not the problem. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes of judgement.

To continue on a path of blaming these victims is to defend the vile establishment that caused all these problems. It is a course not unlike that of every citizen of Nazi Germany in the 1930's. It is a course that if embraced by others would open the door of opportunity for the elite for greater exploitation of the underclass and greater human hardships in this country. You can wave any flag you want for the establishment trying to misplace blame for this tragedy on the victims who are in such dire straits right not that most of them are incapable of defending themselves on this forum. However, know that you will not get away with it here.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#8
Quote michaelmoore052:We'll soon have more to worry about than low pay. They (international bankers) want 80% of the world's population dead. The Twin Towers were just the beginning.

michaelmoore052 ~ Tell me, are you referring to the Georgia Guide Stone; or, is there some other conspiracy theory I don't know about? Any link would be appreciated.

Kend's picture
Kend 41 weeks 2 days ago
#9

The biggest change in the work force is loyalty. There is none. Either way. Employers will let you go in a heart beat for the bottom line and employees will leave you in a second when they can get a 50 cent raise.

It will get even worst when the ACA kicks in and you don't have to stay in a job for the health care. It will help bring wages up as it will be harder to keep employees.

delster's picture
delster 41 weeks 2 days ago
#10

Not only do corporate dictates hiring and wages but they are pretty F'n picky as well. They want to hire well experienced well trained workers for less. They are certainly not willing to do any on the job training or working with unionized training or apprentice programs. They want it all. A perfect utopian work force which more often than not are expendable. Not too old and not too youg, not militant or demanding for rights. There are a potential wealth of minimum wage jobs that goes untapped in most states in America. Here in Oregon we have service station attendants. If all states were required to hire service station attendents it would create a great deal of work and we as consumers would actully get something for the price we pay for fuel. In oregon we pay no more for fuel than our neighboring states so cost should not be an issue and right now it would really help a great many folks who need help. Another move corporations are moving on here in Oregon is the recycle bottle bill. If that falls through in Oregon we will be faced with a major mess on our streets and highways. I've been around long enough to remember what Oregon was like before the bottle bill. It wasn't pretty. From a corporate standpoint it requires employment to recycle and they don't like that.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#11

DAnneMarc: I had never heard of the Georgia Guidestones but Wikipedia shows a photo of the vandalism. And as you probably already know...the face of one stone was defaced by red ink saying: "The elite want 80% of us dead"
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/Georgia_Guidestones_v...

And that is most likely true...but I can't agree with everything that was painted on those stones...referring to "Jesus will beat U Satanists". And it was just such a shame that people would desecrate a piece of art like that. Maybe they were upset that everything wasn't written in English. Arabic script is just so threatening...you know!

Those poor ignorant people must have thought Satan was showing his stuff when they saw fireworks shooting out of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai on new years. That was a pretty stunning display.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#12

Palindromedary ~ The first mandate on the Georgia Guidestone states that it is the responsibility of mankind to maintain world wide population under 500,000,000; or, roughly 29% of what it is today. That translates into eliminating over 71% of humanity. Read it for yourself.

http://www.thegeorgiaguidestones.com/Message.htm

Whether or not you are speaking of 71% or 80% is rather irrelevant. How massive needs to be mass murder to be wrong? The vandalism of the Georgia Guidestone is news to me; however, considering the circumstances, not surprising.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#13

Palindromedary ~ I know you are treating the "Satanist" statement on the vandalism with respect; however, before you might criticize it, maybe you would like to explain why the Republican party turned the stars on their emblem upside down the day GW Bush was elected; and, never offered a public explanation!

bobcox's picture
bobcox 41 weeks 2 days ago
#14

Chris hedges gives some of the similar, thkough different numbers, in his explanations. One of them involves the comparison of waages in the sixties if inflated according to the inflation rate of CEO's salaries. Very interesting!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#15

Ducinni ~ All I can say is... Very well said!!!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 41 weeks 2 days ago
#16

Ducinni, you anger and frustration sound justified. I too have characterized the deadbeats in Congress, and the billionaires they serve, as welfare queens. But you've lost me on that last sentence. Thom is not the enemy. If this isn't another example of misdirected anger, I don't know what is. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#17

Aliceinwonderland ~ Point well taken. I can't argue with your logic. However, concerning the former "middle class", as I have stated in post #8, they were never the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. It is fully understandable for them to strike out in anger. I don't deny them the right. Yes, indeed, it is misdirected anger. I fully agree. Yet it is that misdirected anger--that is the responsibility of those of us who understand the grand picture--to redirect where it will do the most good. I say, God bless Ducinni, and everyone in his shoes. It is they who built the wealth of our nation; and, it is they who we owe our debt of gratitude when we wrestle that wealth back from those who stole it from us all.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#18
Quote DAnneMarc:maybe you would like to explain why the Republican party turned the stars on their emblem upside down the day GW Bush was elected; and, never offered a public explanation!
Why...because they are all Satanists, of course! And look how many fools they have beguiled! Beware the people preaching Jesus when they act like Satan.

And, you're right, about the 80%...I haven't been keeping up with Alex Jones lately. So I am out of touch with what is really going on in this world. So, is this a Rosicrucian plot to kill off 80% of the world's population? Are the Rosicrucians ...Satanists? By the way, have you ever gone to the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose? I went there a couple of times many years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4q6Zx5n9Jw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgrSyokK6H0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVugsBipaMA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8DgTnPq2S4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQcV3gNHFmA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naqOC0vLWv0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7BaTsBMKWQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PgsECLKde0

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#19

Palindromedary ~ Rosicrucians? Never heard of that before. San Jose? You mean San Jose CA? Could you provide the coordinates/address? I might just visit this "museum" soon. Thanks for that heads up!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#20

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, founded by the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, is a museum about Ancient Egypt located at AMORC's Rosicrucian Park in the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose, California, United States. Wikipedia
Address: 1660 Park Ave, San Jose, CA 95191
37deg 19'54.00" 121deg 55'25.00"
Hours:
Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm - See all
Phone: (408) 947-3635

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#21

By the way...here's a little trick:
Just change this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4q6Zx5n9Jw
To this:
http://www.youtube.com/v/P4q6Zx5n9Jw
And see what happens...

(just delete the watch? and the = leaving the /v/ and it works for any youtube video)

It also works to show videos that youtube has deemed too "sexy" and says you have to sign in to view...but with this method...you don't have to sign in.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#22

Palindromedary ~ Seriously! You take the turning of the stars in the Republican party logo that lightly. Then I am so sorry. Obviously you are not the sophisticated intellectual I took you for. Even Thom takes that particular gesture seriously! Anyone else got any serious ideas?

Before you laugh at an idea, why don't you look for a logical explanation for it. Without that you come across as a crack pot!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#23

Palindromedary ~ Why don't you watch this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB8DTd5Di3E

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#24

Other than using it as a way of making fun of the bible-thumping Republicans, I think it is pretty ridiculous that the "upside down" star really means anything at all. Satanism? Not really any different than Christianity....just another stupid religion that drives people nuts... or that nutty people choose to believe in. Do we really want to sound as idiotic as people like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or some thumpin' bumpkin' from the bible belt? Who is more intellectual someone who believes in all manner of nonsense or someone who doesn't?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#25

Palindromedary ~ Why then flip the stars? Surely there was some reason? You don't suddenly take on a Satanic symbol to win an election do you? Why? That is all I ask. You suggest it was an unintentional accident. I don't buy that. Neither does Thom. If you don't know just say, "Hey, I don't have a clue?" At least that is honest.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#26

Intellectual ~ As defined by Wikipedia...

Quote Wikipedia:An intellectual is a person who primarily uses intelligence in either a professional or an individual capacity. As a substantive or adjective, it refers to the work product of such persons, to the so-called "life of the mind" generally, or to an aspect of something where learning, erudition, and informed and critical thinking are the focus.[citation needed]

Jacques Barzun, a French-American intellectual.

The intellectual is a specific variety of the intelligent, which unlike the general property, is strictly associated with reason and thinking. Many everyday roles require the application of intelligence to skills that may have a psychomotor component, for example, in the fields of medicine, sport or the arts, but these do not necessarily involve the practitioner in the "world of ideas". The distinctive quality of the intellectual person is that the mental skills, which he or she demonstrates, are not simply intelligent, but even more, they focus on thinking about the abstract, philosophical and esotericaspects of human inquiry and the value of their thinking.[citation needed]

Traditionally, the scholarly and the intellectual classes were closely identified; however, while intellectuals need not necessarily be actively involved in scholarship, they often have an academicbackground and will typically have an association with a profession.

Intellectuals include not only philosophers, interested in epistemology, but also others in the arts and sciences, plus the humanities, with no boundaries as to fields of study.

"...with no boundaries as to fields of study."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#27

DAnneMarc: Thanks for that link. So, what I see is Thom approaching this subject with a bit of slightly embarrassed hesitations as he meekly presents, almost stutters, this potentially embarrassing proposition. It looks to me like he really doesn't believe this nonsense but is merely projecting it in jest. What better way of poking fun at the raving lunatics who think God is on their side than to point out that their star symbol now represents a Satanic symbol. Sure, I hope it make the Republicans embarrassed over it. I hope it makes all those lowly thumpers that follow their Republican masters start to conjure up Satanic likenesses in their leaders so that they might think twice about voting for them the next time. But then, there are a lot of fools in the Democratic party who continue to vote for their corrupt leaders as well. Jackasses are stubborn animals.. you have to hit them over the head with a 2 by 4 just to get their attention...so goes the common belief.

Like I said...nothing wrong in jesting...as long as people don't take you too seriously..nor you take yourself too seriously...then they begin to see you as just as nutty as the well established nuts...like the Republicans.

Thom has always been a bit hesitant about being viewed as a conspiracy nut. He stays away from the 9/11 issue...although he did have on a guy that talked about it...all the while Thom was rather laid back, non committal, and did not try to look like he really bought any of it.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 2 days ago
#28

Palindromedary ~ Fair enough! Nevertheless I still don't buy that there is no reason behind flipping the stars. To some of us the reason is obvious. The same reason the Skull and Bones society exists. The same reason Bohemian Grove exists. If you don't know your enemy you will lose. Plain and simple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExmO8UgQL4E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpKdSvwYsrE

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#29
Quote DAnneMarc:Why then flip the stars? Surely there was some reason? You don't suddenly take on a Satanic symbol to win an election do you? Why?

Well, I certainly don't know why. Maybe they knew how much fuss the Democrats would put into it and make themselves look just as foolish as they have looked in past years? Just what they want...foolish Democrats spouting off about some idiotic thing like Satanism based merely on turning their stars at a 35 degree angle. Oh, you thought it was 180 degrees? But it could have just been 35 degrees. In which case that man in that symbol that Thom showed us was not morphed into a goat symbol.

Maybe it was just Bait. Democrats are usually very level headed when it comes to most things..they don't get as riled up and hateful as the Republicans do..certainly not as ridiculous as most Republicans. They certainly don't spout the idiocy that most of the Republican talking heads or even the politicians do. I think most people can see how ridiculous they are and the Republicans know it too...but of course, would never admit it. Maybe this was just bait to lure Democrats into behaving just as nutty as the Republican have behaved so often.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#30

DAnneMarc: Even if they were Satanic...so what? Satanism is just another stupid religion probably not even as criminally insane as Christians who have murdered so many innocent people over the history of mankind. I don't see any supernatural force that is so all powerful...it's all in the mind. What people do to one another is all because of what is in their minds. There is no external demonic force at work. Evil only exists in the mind.

Usually, people gravitate to Satanism because they are so fed up with the hypocrisy of Christianity that it is a way of hitting back at the institution that they found disgusting and degrading. Other people just find it appealing for various reasons...some being the errant and misguided belief that it brings them powers (not any different than when Christians believe that God will help them). Others may become Satanists because...it's like Halloween all the time...or going to a scary movie...the thrill of being scared or the feeling of being or possessing some unnatural power over others. Others are just plain insane...just like their counterparts in Christianity.

The main reason, I think, that people gravitate to these inane beliefs is because they were proselytized by their parents and community that were themselves proselytized by their progenitors. It's a form of abuse...mental abuse that causes a kind of insanity. Parents play this little game of Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny mixed in with Jesus and God and by the time they realize that Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny were merely lies they are, at least subconsciously, apt to have serious doubts about Jesus and God...but that conflicts with what is expected of them...so they can either pull themselves out of the conundrum or go on to be full fledged wackos as teens and adults. They'll always have a deep seated doubt about the veracity of their beliefs that they will have to fight in order to fit in with what they have been made to believe was proper.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 2 days ago
#31

DAnneMarc: I watched that first video and part of the last one...I believe I had seen it before. In fact, a number of years ago I went to Monte Rio and tried to find the entrance to Bohemian Grove. My memory of that trip is rather fuzzy but I believe that I got to the entrance and didn't go in. I can't even remember what the entrance looked like. I sort of remember some of the buildings in Monte Rio...but of course, BG is out away from the town a bit.

I'm certainly not as concerned about all of this as obviously some other people are. Skull and Bones Society ...just a rich and influential man's club where they can feel some kind of attachment to other men of their stature. Others, I've been told, participate in another kind of attachment which I won't go in to. ;-0

They have these fraternities and rituals just about everywhere...college fraternal initiations...even Sailors crossing the equator have ridiculous rituals...kissing the belly of Neptune...getting whipped by wet fire hose lengths as you pass through the line...all total nonsense, of course.

Christians have their nonsense rituals as well. Baptism. Communion. Listening to the ravings of the head lunatic for an hour every Sunday. Then some churches choke people by using incense. There may be graven images all around staring down at you. And statues too! All quite necessary if you expect to get into heaven, of course.

There's so much ridiculous horse sh1t in all of these things it is so nice not to believe in any of them. My mind is free of them.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 41 weeks 2 days ago
#32

Marc says "Yes, indeed, it is misdirected anger.... Yet it is that misdirected anger--that is the responsibility of those of us who understand the grand picture--to redirect where it wil do the most good." Marc, come on now! Other people's emotions are well beyond my control, along with where they choose to direct it. I can only re-direct my own anger, as I see fit. If I perceive someone else misdirecting theirs, all I can do is call them on it, which I have done on this blog many times. However I doubt it's had much impact.

I grew up middle class, surrounded by white middle class culture. There were various aspects of that culture that bothered me. What bothered me most was this patronizing, judgmental attitude many middle class and working class whites had towards those who were poor. I was very turned off by that. Much as it hurts to know how some of these folks are suffering, I can't help thinking it serves them right... specifically, those who supported policies like strict time limits on unemployment benefits. Kinda reminds me of that old Dylan song, "Like A Rolling Stone".

There has never been a time when good jobs with a livable wage were available to everyone in this country, even in the boom times of the 1990s. Many of those lucky enough to have secure, decent paying jobs seemed to take it for granted as though it were an entitlement, shrugging their shoulders dismissively at those less fortunate than themselves. I think this is the attitude Fabian is talking about. Far back as I can remember, the vast majority of Americans have either been in denial of, or ignorant about, America's own version of a caste system. Now that reality has caught up with these people, many of them are pissed off. Understandably. But now they get to see how it feels to be dispensible, invisible, no-count peons. Many of these people were in favor of NAFTA, which as you know, ultimately lead to the demise of our middle class. If these newly disenfranchised Americans aren't the wiser for it; if they aren't feeling more compassion for others down on their luck, then maybe it's time they taste their own goddam medicine. - Aliceinwonderland

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 41 weeks 1 day ago
#33

Obama 2006—”Too many of us have been interested in defending programs as written in 1938″

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-5Y74FrDCc

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 1 day ago
#34
Quote Aliceinwonderland: I grew up middle class, surrounded by white middle class culture. There were various aspects of that culture that bothered me. What bothered me most was this patronizing, judgmental attitude many middle class and working class whites had towards those who were poor. I was very turned off by that. Much as it hurts to know how some of these folks are suffering, I can't help thinking it serves them right... specifically, those who supported policies like strict time limits on unemployment benefits.

Aliceinwonderland ~ Very true! I'm not arguing with how you or Fabian feel. I feel the same way. I grew up witnessing the same travesties. All I'm saying is that it is easy to revel in the karmic turn of fate. Yet, as the saying goes, "To aire is human, to forgive is divine." I think these people have suffered enough. They have learned their lesson. Now is the time to extend the divine hand of compassion to they who have foolishly denied to extend it to others. It is the final part of the lesson.

I remind you of the famous words of Dr. King...

Quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 1 day ago
#35
Quote Palindromedary:DAnneMarc: Even if they were Satanic...so what?

Palindromedary ~ That's just it. So what? So what if your elected leaders believe they are serving the high prince of all evil. As long as you don't... it can't possibly have any impact on you, can it? Just by telling yourself this spiritual being is nonsense protects you from such nonsense, right? That is what you are saying isn't it? It doesn't matter that the car headed toward you is driven by someone who believes there is no one in front of him, right? He won't hit you because you know the truth and he doesn't, right?

Come on Palindromedary! If you can't see what a huge problem is being announced in that banner by half of our political system, I can't help you. You have to know your enemy in order to defeat them.

I'm not asking you to believe in any of this nonsense.

All I ask of you is to BE AWARE that there could very well be people in high places WHO DO BELIEVE in this nonsense. It helps to understand their motives in the things they do; especially, when greed alone doesn't always explain everything.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 41 weeks 1 day ago
#36

"All I'm saying," Marc asserts, "is that it is easy to revel in the karmic turn of fate." How very true. I've no argument with anything you've said in response to my last post. You are right. But please understand, there is more than one dimension to how I've responded to this awful spectacle of middle class people stripped of everything, becoming homeless, via circumstances beyond their control. There's WAY more to my response than simply reveling in karmic justice. If you'll recall what I said in other recent threads, you'll hopefully see how horrified I am, and saddened by the catastrophic ruin these people have suffered; all the homeless, not just the formerly middle class.

When I can, I'll occasionally hand a homeless person something, anywhere from a buck to a twenty dollar bill, or I'll buy him or her something to eat. Times are lean for us now and it's been a good while since I've done it, but when we're doing better I'll resume my old ways of sharing with those in need. I make no judgments about the homeless in general, nor do I make assumptions about them; every one has a story. There are many situations and causes that, in today's America, could easily push most workers over edge of the proverbial cliff, down that steep slippery slope between financial solvency and financial ruin.

I'm extremely lucky not to have been bankrupted by medical bills, or by any major unavoidable setbacks in my own life. I'm not a young person, so I've beat some odds thus far. (Knock on wood.) Anyway… not to elaborate any further, Marc, I just want you to understand, I'm not sitting here gloating at anyone's bad fortune. I derive no pleasure from the suffering of others, especially those who've lost everything to this predatory, carnivorous oligarchy. Hell no my friend; to the contrary, I am in some ways traumatized by it... not just out of empathy but out of fear. It stirs up a myriad of emotions for me, spanning that whole spectrum, and none of them are pleasant. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 1 day ago
#37

DAnneMarc: Yes, I suspect that you are right...there may very well be misguided psychos that believe in nonsense, like Satanism, in high places...and that goes for those in high places that believe in any of the other Religious nonsense as well... no matter what particular brand it is. Jesus freaks in high places scare the crap out of me more than Satanists. They are all hypocrites anyway and preach one thing...like peace and brotherhood... but practice quite another. I don't care if they are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, or Satanists. They are all scary psychos as far as I am concerned.

Oh, and I am certainly not "asking you to help me". I don't need help. People who believe in those ridiculous, nonsensical, hocus-pocus things need help. People who can't grasp reality are often, or at least used to be, put into psycho wards. If you claim you are receiving messages from telephone poles or high voltage towers they can put you away. But if you claim you are talking to God...ie: praying...they find that acceptable. If you happen to believe in crazy religious things...they give you a pass....unless one religion gets to be so powerful then they can go around burning people to the stake for not believing in THEIR religion. Some of these misguided fools have even tried to exorcize the demons out of people...even kids...often with disastrous results. But that really is still going on in the world....major religions battling each other for supremacy. The crusades did not end many hundreds of years ago...it's still going on. There are "good" Christians, even today, who would have no problem burning heretics like me to the stake just because I don't believe in their God or Devils. They'd even burn some poor misguided fool who believes in a different religion as well...if they could...just as they did in the dark ages. Torquemada wannabes all!

I got a big kick out of reading some of the comments from bigoted thumpers after those YouTube videos of the fireworks display in Dubai. What uneducated, ignorant,
xenophobic twits!

I suspect that these people in high places, that call themselves Christians, really are acting like many other two-faced, hypocrite Christians, really stand out and are an embarrassment to the whole facade of Christianity..therefore, they are being held up to be "Satanists" instead.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 1 day ago
#38
Quote Aliceinwonderland:Marc, I just want you to understand, I'm not sitting here gloating at anyone's bad fortune.

Aliceinwonderland ~ Of course not. I didn't think you meant to. However, in that last post you weren't the only person I was talking to.

Also, I have to admit that I have done the same thing myself. More times than I care to admit. Everyone has at one time or another. It is very human to do so. I'm glad that we both managed to evolve past that. Now if we can just help and inspire others to do the same, the world will be a better place.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 1 day ago
#39

From my perspective, "the high prince of all evil" and "God" are really the same thing...both nonsensical ideas that believers have used in various ways to justify killing each other.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 1 day ago
#40

Palindromedary ~ You make a very good point... What is worse a hypocrite Christian, or a sincere Satanist? I can't answer that one. Don't want either one. I'd take an honest Atheist or Agnostic over either one any day. That's about all I can say for sure on that one.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 41 weeks 1 day ago
#41

I'd also like to add my observation that some athiests & agnostics are a heck of a lot more spiritual than many calling themselves Christian... that is, if one's spiritual qualities are measured by how generous they are, and loyal, and accepting of others as they are. - AIW

tghorne's picture
tghorne 41 weeks 22 hours ago
#42

Nothing comes out of "thin air". We actually have what is needed as far as a framework to refer to, However, this is now. The past is a reference and guide, so we must be educated, but, this is the moment of opportunity. I am guilty of the same helpless cynicism that seems to have slowly but steadily handed the advantage and control to the predators of our society. What has to has happen first is to keep on with the conversation of what is really going on while move to support the whistleblowers, conscientious objectors and others who have come to and gotten active. Our Congress is a small prototype of what happens when you have enough contempt for education to privatize it so t hat only the priviledged get one, and they seem to be very selective about what they want to know. Our masses are undereducated, over medicated, mal-nourished and basically sqeezed dry of resources. We have to decide that we begin with fundamentals like demanding that basic pay must always be commensurate with the cost of living. Period. Right now for a single parent to make it they need to make a minimum of 19.00 to 22.00 / hour or else they will never be solvent. All these pieces; making banksters accountable to their communities instead of the gambling circuit of Wall St and other stock markets, taking the profit out of health care and education, changing the basic principle of minimum wage so it need not be debated again, regulations!!!!!!!!!, they do not impede, they empower the many, commensurate taxation of all, prosecute tax evasion of the super rich, etc...... Basically take our world back. This happens when public awareness becomes a daily reality. People need to make the connection as to how the news bytes directly affect their lives. No significant change comes quickly, but, it has to come fromt he people who are affected, all of us. It is a broad spectrum of challenges, but for me, it is obvious that one basic truth is the driving force of all this deterioration of our quality of life. Everywhere there is a problem of huge impact, it began with some individual deciding they are entitled to more than their fair share of money, resources & power. So, like the basic bully on the playground, violated the basic rights of any all around them who stood in the way of them getting more than their due. Why do we let bullies bully? It is global and the bullies are abounding. Do we sit around whining and hope they devour each other? I don't have t hat kind of time. Sociopaths don't come around to do the next right thing. Sometimes their minions do before they have drunk too much of the
kool aid", but fo rthe most part, if they are to be stopped, we have to do it. Most of us at the poverty level will work very hard for very little, so it isn't a matter of will, iot is a matter of better use of that will, like a budget of human activism. We must embrace the principles of the Eleanor Roosevelts, Martin Luther KIngs, Nelson Mandelas, John Perkinss, Edward Snowdens, Bernie Sanderss, etc..................... Obama could do more with more direct support. We don't have to like him to accept things as they are and recognize we must seize the opportunity to use the vehicle we have in his administration and make them accountable to us and work in our best interest. Faith without works is dead. When we stop worshipping and idolizing the mystery of the very wealthy, we'll see the man behind the curtain and we will be mindful of him, then arrest him, charge him, prosecute, and take over those controls for the sake of our families of now and the future. The future can only be protected by the actions of now. Thanks

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 41 weeks 15 hours ago
#43

"tjhorne" whoever you be- That was one of the most lucid, eloquent, inspiring posts ever to grace this blog. Thank you and namaste. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 14 hours ago
#44

tjhorne ~ I must concur with Aliceinwonderland. Bravo!

I especially like the part where you emphasize the need to utilize President Barack Obama. It never hurts to ask. President Obama has particularly tried to make himself accessible to everyone. That alone is a characteristic sorely missing in almost all the other recent administrations. I must admit, 85% of the time he has heard exactly what I've asked for. I even think he consulted my budget last year that I offered him. His was almost identical to mine.

It is truly silly to complain before you raise your voice. This rare opportunity may disappear in 3 years. Now IS the time to take advantage of it. It may never occur again. Thanks for that cool headed wisdom!

700101erw's picture
700101erw 41 weeks 13 hours ago
#45

It is good to up in arms about saving the middle class. But let us set the record straight about who caused the decline of the middle class. One of the BIG PROBLEMS was the creation of NAFTA in the early 1990s. See the top photo at this link:

http://www.thenation.com/article/so-far-god-so-close-wall-st

This link’s photo shows those who celebrated the signing of this agreement by Bill Clinton. They were all the Democratic and Republican luminaries for a generation. Both parties are at fault. These same leaders also encouraged large corporations to ship “low wage” manufacturing jobs overseas because they wanted “high wage” jobs in this country. See the comments by Vaclav Smil in WIRED magazine:

“In every society, manufacturing builds the lower middle class. If you give up manufacturing, you end up with haves and have-nots and you get social polarization. The whole lower middle class sinks.”

from: This Is the Man Bill Gates Thinks You Absolutely Should Be Reading
By Clive Thompson; WIRED; November 25, 2013
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/vaclav-smil-wired/Also, a $15 minimum wage may work in New York City and other high cost of living venues, but on a national scale it would decimate the lower classes in the South and the Midwest where the cost of living is much lower.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 41 weeks 7 hours ago
#46

The top 20% own 90% of all wealth, so this means 80% of us get to lift ourselves up by the bootstraps and fight over the remaining 10% size bone. Of course if we continue on the Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, anti-union roadmap to hell, 80% of us will soon be fighting over 1% of the wealth.

The spector of continuing concentration of wealth screams out for a law making it mandatory for all companies with 100 or more employees to have labor unions. For fair wages, benefits, and workplace safety, collective bargaining is a must. Share the wealth!

When will Rand Paul exercise his own damn "right to work,"........ get a job, and stop sucking off the taxpayers' tit? I've never seen such a dimwitted hypocrite in my life. As a taxpayer I'm opposed to paying anymore of Rand Paul's government salary until we close some tax loopholes on his free market Teabillionaires. Revenue loss is out of control!!!!!!! Randboy.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 41 weeks 4 hours ago
#47

Palindromedary ~ What do you think about this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPcRQubF8cY

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 41 weeks 4 hours ago
#48

DAnneMarc: Old Saint Carlin was quite a funny guy! And I certainly heard some of the ideas he had that sounded very familiar.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 40 weeks 6 days ago
#49
Quote Steve Gibson of Security Now:
Steve: Okay. So, yeah. So the idea of this is just so bizarre. The story broke that for 20 years the U.S. was using eight zeroes as the so-called "nuclear launch codes" for the nuclear arsenal. And this came from a site called TodayIFoundOut.com. And the title of the posting was "For Nearly Two Decades the Nuclear Launch Code at all Minuteman Silos in the United States Was 00000000" was their deal. So the background here is that we originally had no protection for, I mean, other than all of the sort of standard - these things are not out on the street corner. They're in highly secure bunkers and silos. But JFK, our U.S. President at the time, in 1962 he put out a National Security Action Memorandum 160 , which required that there be some, essentially, passcode, password protection on nuclear weapons, and that they be really functional. They're a thing called a PAL, P-A-L, and that stands for Permissive Action Link. And during my research I found a really interesting, I mean a really interesting paper. You can see the link in the show notes, Leo, that www.cs.columbia.edu link, where they discuss what is known in the open community, not triple-top-secret and so forth, about this whole PAL technology, that is, this whole notion of controlling the accessibility, essentially, of a nuclear warhead's explosion.

And what's interesting about this, I think, is that, well, first of all, where the 00000000 came from was that the military commanders, specifically the people at SAC,the Strategic Air Command, were miffed at the idea of the politicians telling them how to do their job. So what we learned from the story is that shortly after the politicians oversaw the fitting of launch codes with the very first PAL technology, they reset the codes to all zeroes. So it is apparently true that, in fact, for two decades this extra interlock - I mean, this is not the only way of, obviously, getting to arming and engaging these bombs.

https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-433.pdf

https://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb/nsam-160/pal.html

Tom Ardavany 40 weeks 6 days ago
#50

The 'Crash of 2016' by Thom Hartman outlines it all. 'The Power Elite,' by C. Wright Mills was written in 1956. These two books, one written in 1956, the other in 2013 tell the whole story. The Military-Industrial-Congressional complex has been with us at least since World War II. It will take a separation of the state (Congress) from corporations by voting out Congressmen who only represent those corporate entities that line their pockets. Changing the 14th Amendment is a great idea, but it has to be prefaced by the vote. The state must pry the hands of corporations off the military by enforcing laws that serve the public domain. The Founding Fathers did not intend the state to serve corporations; and it certainly did not intend the military to serve corporations. The military is very used to the idea that corporations run the show and not Congress. Church, family and schools have been sidelined by this interlocking directorate. Why do we now ask whether the Pope is aligned with Republicans or Democrats? Why is marraige an issue? Why is the student debt so high? We have become 'the masses' with no worthy opinion. We the People, we the public, have an opinion about war, poverty, education, health care and the food we eat. Feudalism is here. Feudalism has been our reality for decades. Private property? What is private about it when corporations extract profit from what we the people own: the public domain. The power elite: the revolving door of politicians and military generals and corporate executives are an Interlocking Directorate that govern everyday life in America.

End. Fracking. Now!

California is already dealing with the worst drought in that state's history. So, the last thing residents needed was to learn that some of their dwindling water supply has been contaminated.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall