The Senate is abandoning the unemployed.
Three days after Christmas, 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits. And, another two million will stop receiving assistance if Congress doesn't extend long-term benefits by June. Our nation is barely pulling out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, and we're abandoning those who are out of work because of this economy. The unemployment rate is officially sever percent, but there are still at least three unemployed workers applying for every open job.
People on long-term unemployment aren't sitting around collecting checks – they're fighting like hell to be given a chance to get back to work, but the competition they face is intense. Rather than our government stepping up to be the employer of last resort, Republicans in Congress make the absurd argument that cutting off this economic lifeline will somehow help out-of-work Americans suddenly find that nonexistent job.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the Senate will vote in early January on a temporary extension of unemployment benefits, and that it's “just the first step” toward addressing income inequality in our nation. But, that date means that – even in the best case scenario – more than a million Americans will see a delay in unemployment benefits, which could be much longer if Republicans hold up or block the upcoming vote.
It is utterly un-American to abandon those who need our help. Our nation learned from history, and recognized the importance of keeping people from falling through the cracks, yet here we are, repeating those mistakes once again. We shouldn't be cutting unemployment benefits, we should be investing and creating jobs, which are the only real ways to help Americans get back to work.
May I recommend the new Tedtalks by Paul Piff related to the effect of wealth inequality on societal health and mores. (17 minutes) Google 'tedtalks piff'
Thom, Listening to you rant (justifiably so) against the bigoted homophobic dude from dumb-down-Duck Dynasty and Martin Bashear (BTW, Martin Bashear worked for MSBC, not CNN) I am hit with how we as progressive intellectuals, (arguably you obviously are, at least), are being sucked into the social engineering taking place at the highest levels of global industry. Just as I sat down to respond to your blog post yesterday, Abby Martin came on. She had on an environmentalist, Guy McPherson, Professor Emeritus at University of Arizona and author of the book 'Going Dark', who confirmed what I have known for 25 years. We have , +/- 3ish years, until 2030 before an all out crash of civilization and industrialization fueled by fossil fuel. We passed the tipping point in the 70s...in terms of the rate of population growth and it’s artificial acceleration brought about by creating a society depending on fossil fuels. This in conjunction w/ the environmental destruction we have caused has created a scenario whereby, unless industrial society as we know it is halted immediately, and maybe even if it is, most of us will die.
If we keep trying to approach problems from the polarized us V. them Dems V. Repugs, business-as-usual approach...flogging the dead horse our Congress, Exec. Branch and Scotus has become, we will drag our fellow Man/Women off the cliff along with us.
Solutions: we must completely eliminate the concepts of ownership in global culture, eradicating ‘me’, ‘mine’, ‘yours’, ‘ours’...etc. We must learn to live tribally instead of as individual families in towns..using technology to convert our wasteful individual homes into cutting edge green tech shared dwellings. We must share resources- tools, musical instruments...everything. We must presume the inalienable rights of life(as in total access to that which is necessary for comfortable survival in terms of food, shelter, clothing and health care) Liberty(as in freedom of expression and movement, etc.) and thus, the ability to pursue happiness. In the pursuit of happiness IS the productivity that gives back to society as a whole. Although perhaps a bit rigid in their approach, http://www.thevenusproject.com has some really good ideas.
This may sound, and indeed be, totally unrealistic, but short of the proverbial ‘Christ” returning on a space ship to save us, these are the only solutions we should focus on. An industrial, Capitalist US Government system has not only proven corruptible, failing miserably in less than 300 years, but as well meaning as the founders who wrote the constitution were, lets not forget, that at the time, anyone who was not white, and male was considered property.
Globalism in the form of a democratic socialist governments run in turn via lottery (like jury duty) by those who pass a civil service exam required to be taken by all students in order to graduate high school as long as they are academically able would go a long way to getting money out of politics...and indeed, the POLITICS out of politics.
In the mean time, we must hold the Planet in the light and go gracefully into, with love whatever awaits us...knowing that if as individual souls we are drops of water, what awaits us at worst, is the Ocean. Keep the Faith, no matter what Tag, We’re IT.
ckrob -- Have you read "The Spirit Level"?
While emergency assistance is necessary, Thom Hartmann is another one-factor thinker: LABOR ONLY!––with a focus on wages rather than income, and "full employment" rather than "full production" as the economy's panacea.
The political maneuvering in Washington is directed at benefiting the wealthy capital ownership class, not the average person on "Main Street." Such policies as are pursued will further concentrate ownership of wealth-creating, income-producing productive capital assets among the 1 to 5 percent of the American population and further enhance the economic and political power of the wealthy ownership class.
Technological change makes tools, machines, structures, and processes ever more productive while leaving human productiveness largely unchanged (our human abilities are limited by physical strength and brain power––and relatively constant). The technology industry is always changing, evolving and innovating. The result is that primary distribution through the free market economy, whose distributive principle is “to each according to his production,” delivers progressively more market-sourced income to capital owners and progressively less to workers who make their contribution through labor.
Unfortunately, ever since the 1946 passage of the Full Employment Act, economists and politicians formulating national economic policy have beguiled us into believing that economic power is democratically distributed if we have full employment––thus the political focus on job creation and redistribution of wealth rather than on full production and broader capital ownership accumulation. This is manifested in the belief that labor work is the ONLY way to participate in production and earn income. Long ago that was once true because labor provided 95 percent of the input into the production of products and services. But today that is not true. Capital provides not less than 90 to 95 percent of the input. Full employment as the means to distribute income is not achievable. When capital workers (productive capital owners) replace labor workers (non-capital owners) as the principal suppliers of products and services, labor employment alone becomes inadequate. Thus, we are left with government policies that redistribute income in one form or another.
Conventional economist such as Paul Krugman, political leaders and the national media are oblivious to the structural problems that plague our economy, especially with respect to the ways the system further concentrates ownership of wealth-creating, income-producing productive capital assets and growth among the already wealthy ownership class, which represents 1 to 5 percent of the population. With such concentrated economic power, the American majority is barred from participating in the ownership of the non-human factor assets that are doing the bulk of the production of products and services, leaving them with their ONLY income source a job or welfare. Thus they are shut out from a most significant income source to effectively empower them to be "customers with money" and propel economic demand, and thus real growth of the economy.
There is a way out if the Federal Reserve System can be reformed to act as a purveyor of economic growth.
Right now the Federal Reserve creates money by loaning it to banks, who re-loan it multiple times because of fractional banking rules. With Capital Homesteading, money would be created by loaning it directly to citizens via banks at near-zero interest to invest in FUTURE wealth-creating, income-generating (full dividend payout) productive capital assets formed by producer companies. To build real wealth and also phase out our near-defunct social security scheme, the new full-reserve money would go into a long-term retirement account to be invested in dividend-paying, asset-backed shares of corporations. That way, money power would be spread to all citizens. The middle class would be invigorated using the principle of compounding interest, instead of being decimated by mushrooming public and personal debt.
The Federal Reserve could play a more positive role, removing artificial barriers to equal citizen access to acquiring and owning productive capital wealth. By creating asset-backed money for production, supported by growth-oriented tax policies, the Federal Reserve could truly help promote shared prosperity in a market system.
Virtually all the economic gains have pertained to the wealthy ownership class within the top 1 to 5 percent of the population, who own the vast wealth-creating, income-generating productive capital assets of American corporations.
Unless we reform the system inequality will expand and the American people will experience far greater competition globally as teams of people and machines compete to produce and sell their products and services. This means that we must look to increasing the productiveness of technological innovation and invention. The system is rigged by the wealthy ownership class to manipulate the lives of people who struggle with declining labor worker earnings and job opportunities, and then accumulate the bulk of the money through monopolized productive capital ownership. Our scientists, engineers, and executive managers who are not owners themselves, except for those in the highest employed positions, are encouraged to work to destroy employment by making the capital "worker" owner more productive. How much employment can be destroyed by substituting machines for people is a measure of their success––always focused on producing at the lowest cost. Only the people who already own productive capital are the beneficiaries of their work, as they systematically concentrate more and more capital ownership in their stationary 1 to 5 percent ranks.
The reality is that personal and family household income for those who are dependent on a job as their ONLY income source is declining. Wage and salary incomes will continue to decline simultaneously with global competition and, as a result of the necessity to turn to increasingly more productive non-human means of production, destroy jobs that will become unnecessary and devalue the worth of labor.
Full employment is not an objective of businesses. Companies strive to keep labor input and other costs at a minimum in order to maximize profits for the owners. Private sector job creation in numbers that match the pool of people willing and able to work is constantly being eroded by physical productive capital’s ever increasing role. This will not change with companies realizing that they can operate more efficiently with fewer employees. Therefore, unless the employees are owners, the share of corporate profits going to the employees will continue to decline.
The reality is that more and more people are being squeezed financially, faced with dismal job prospects (their only source of income) and on the blink of having to turn to the government for welfare support funded by tax extraction and national debt. Americans, for the most part, are in a mode of retrenchment even though they have tremendous pent-up demand and unfulfilled dreams for a more affluent life, which they see enjoyed by the wealthy ownership class (without realizing that those people are wealthy because they OWN).
Today, the Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan was interviewed on Thom's show about impeaching President Barack Obama. Repeatedly Thom asked him why he believed the president should be impeached. Every answer proved what we all suspected--the Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan is a Blithering Idiot; and, I do not use that language lightly. For the Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan I offer this. If you really want a legitimate reason to impeach the President why don't you watch this short video and let the President's own words speak for you? Remember, this comes out of a Constitutional Scholar.
Everybody hates Congress, everybody loves their own Congressman.
I am fifty nine years old, and I saw all this coming in the late 1970's. After Ronald Reagan was elected, the president that opened up the flooding gates of Neo-con anti-union thugs and the rest of the corporate fascists, I couldn't help but notice that union laborers were vanishing and being replaced by slave wage workers. I was a heavy equipment operator that witnessed what they did to the construction industry. Construction workers before all of that had dignity, pride in their jobs and had a decent retirement and medical coverage, only to see it all disappear.
This country is sick, a country made sick by evil fascist pigs. The only way we will ever get our country back to the great Roosevelt economic structure it once had is to finally get rid of the fascist that infested our government with their greed and crimes against the people. I'm just glad that my parents didn't live to see what this country has been turned into.
Rush Limbaugh: "Roosevelt is dead, his policies live on, but we're in the process of doing something about that as well."
Me: "Reagan is dead, his policies live on, but we're in the process of doing something about that as well."
Everybody, Mark? Count me out.
I do not need statistics to validate to me that there are not enough jobs in the United States or in the world. Corporations are not in the busines of creating jobs for the unemployed. They never have been
and they never will be. We simply cannot be in the busines of eliminating employment and job creation simultaneously. Not gonna happen. As a reult of technology a handfull of engineers design technology that replaces skilled labor, face to face sales and promotion, and customer service. Corporatie philosophy is not about the expense and social responsibility that comes with employees. I believe modern society has worked it's way into an unsustainable dilemma with a social crisis encouraging a level of unrest leading to the grim possiblity of retaliation at any cost. I don't believe we are coming out of a recession. I believe we are on the edge of a world wide financial colapse. Democracy is a bit like an engine that requires liberty, a little socialism, and a bit of responsible capitalism in order for us to care for one another and be sucessfully sustainable and responsible to one another.
Not to worry, "delster"! The Romneys & Ryans of the world have the answer: Let'em eat sawdust.
Cell phone emissions: Thom, I don't know if cell phone emissions are strong enough to have caused the skin irritation you experienced; but I recall reading somewhere years ago that cell phones emit the strongest electromagnetic radiation when they are ringing, dialing, or are seeking (when you move from one cell to another or lose signal.) And for that reason, what I read recommended that you not have the phone near your head while it is dialing or ring; use a headset/blue tooth, or wait until the recipient answers before putting the phone to your ear.
I have noticed that when my cell rings or seeks; it causes a noise in my car's radio, and the same thing happens with my computer's speakers if the phone is within 2 feet or so of my computer. Also, I have a cheap MP3 player which apparently isn't well shielded; if I have it within a foot or so of the phone and the phone rings or seeks, it causes the MP3 player to shut off (the same thing happens from static if I have the player in my shirt pocket and taking off a jacket builds up static. It usually happens if the amount of static generated is enough to zap you if you touch something grounded.) Since the aforementioned noise only happens when the phone rings or seeks, and not at other times; it indicates that phones do emit the most electromagnetic radiation when they ring or seek.
Those jack ass's have done nothing for the middle class and in November they are ALL going to pay for it. If the dumb fuck democRATS keep any seats, there will be strings attached.
I say that we flush the toilet of washington of ALL democRATs and republiCONs. Both parties suck and are filled with useless assholes.
It seems funny having to use "useless assholes" in the same sentence as "senator, congressman or president" but it has become clearly evident that NO elected official has the power to do anything.
Thats what happens when you live in a police state like this shit hole of a country has become.
I could,nt agree more Aliceinwonderland! Corporate America is starving out our society. They have bought,lock,stock and barrell, all the political capital that they need to dismantle our society. All while the population is looking the other way! Now on to attack the unemployment insurance, further dismantling any hope for these people and the generation behind them, of a chance to a better future.. Assuring more kahos and tragedy in the form of killings and robberies as a direct result from the inequality that they (the oligarchs) are purposely accelerating! The Greed and disregard for the health of this country and it,s people are really apparent now and we really need a messenger to deliver for us! Thank God for people like Thom Hartmann, But we need more of them! We need to recognize that they are stripping us of our intellect for a reason!
Yes, same exploration of inequality and a good, extensive presentation of a huge data set. Tom has cited Pickett and Wilkinson many times tho not much lately. I seem to recall a couple of youTube presentations by the authors.
Gary Reber -- The solution you describe seems to be that of the minimum income that the Swiss are voting on. I still believe the economic policies of the New Deal and the Great Society would work (examples, high tariffs, max tax rate of 92%, Taft-Hartley etc.).
How can labor be only contributing 5% to the growth of the economy, when 2 billion people in China and India are working 60 hour week?
I keep repeating and no one replies (except Palin mentioned how hypocritical it would be to punish China for currency manipulation). To recover the economy all we need is a majority of dems in the house and 61 dem senators. It seems that the acts that Nancy P passed would have turned this ship around; namely, card check, no waivers to Buy America Act of 1936, no credits for shipping jobs out of the country and penalties on China for currency manipulation (there were about 300 more acts that were filibustered as well, but I am too lazy to look those up).
Sandlewould, so much of what you've said really resonates with me. That last paragraph made me cry. It's not only the sadness of it that moved me, but its beauty. Our souls, like drops of water; eternity, or death, like the sea... Wow. I was blown away by that. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.
Yesterday morning as I was driving to work, a little bird hit my windshield, seemingly from nowhere. The odd thing about it was how the bird hit. It didn't smack the windshield or go thud, appearing instead to brush up against it, almost in slow motion. For maybe a second, I hoped it would fly off on its merry way. But the bird's neck was broken. I saw it blink once or twice before it died. I pulled off to the side, parked my car and gently lifted its broken body off the windshield. I held it between my cupped hands and prayed. It wasn't a religious prayer, as I am not a religious person. It was more like a meditation of sorts, on how fragile and precious life is. I stood at the side of the road maybe five minutes, holding that warm little body between cupped hands, feeling so helpless. I kept saying "I'm sorry", repeating it like some sort of mantra. Then I lay the dead bird down under some bushes and continued on. I felt like crap. It was a rude reminder how hard our way of life is on the natural world. Wild creatures like birds and possums didn't evolve to co-exist with things like trucks, cars and planes. Consequently we have the endless carnage resulting from this collision between two worlds: one which is man-made against the other, the real world.
What Sandlewould's post highlights is the necessity of a spiritual awakening, shared by a large enough slice of humanity to bring about major changes in our way of life, our world view; indeed, how we relate to each other as human beings and as creatures of the earth. A major overhaul, of all the above, is our only hope. Without it, we're a doomed species.
A thought that has crossed my mind thousands of times over the past 30+ years is how different life would be today, had the Europeans who first migrated here formed an alliance with the indigenous natives who were here first. Had the European invaders not been the predators they were, setting out to "conquer" the natives and steal all their land, what an amazing outcome there could have been. European culture is what enabled technology to evolve, and our European ancestors were very clever, but they lacked the wisdom and spirituality of the natives. I get overwhelmed just trying to imagine what the end result could have been, had the members of these vastly different cultures come together and learned from each other, extracting the very best each culture had to offer humanity as a whole. What a different world we'd be living in today!
Sandlewould is right; we need to share more. We need to create societies worldwide where greed and psychopathy - the darkest sides of human nature - are discouraged rather than nurtured. The indigenous natives viewed greed & psychopathy as mental illnesses. Individuals with these traits were expelled from the tribe, left to fend for themselves. In this culture, such people occupy the highest seats of power, dictating the terms by which we live, and it is killing us.
A culture with no spiritual awareness is a doomed culture. That lack of spiritual awareness is what enables us to destroy Mother Earth for profit, drilling under oceans, blasting mountains to smithereens, reducing whole forests to acres of naked, dead stumps. All for short-term gains and for greed. Because to this day, our culture embraces the idea that everything is expendable, exploitable and for the taking, and to hell with the consequences. Why? Because nothing - nothing - is sacred. When nothing is sacred, when everyone's just out for themselves, it's not only civilization that's in jeopardy, but everything on the planet.
This psychopathic, corporatized world view has it that our worth is defined and measured solely by how much money we possess. Our employability and employment status is what determines our value as human beings. Congress's refusal to extend unemployment benefits to over a million desperate people and their families is only the latest example of a mentality and worldview that is destroying us, individually and collectively. Like Thom has pointed out time and again, it is like a cancer. And time is running out. - Aliceinwonderland
Let's face it, as the congressional republicans sit around doing nothing but collect their paychecks, they're also reveling with delight in the fact that only one job exists for every three desperate souls seeking employment. It serves their benefactors with increased power to keep wages low, fight off unions, unrealistic workloads, long hours, decreased beneifits, and erosion of all manner of things that promote dignity and respect in the workplace.
The resulting increase in suicide, depression, anxiety, domestic violence..... innocent children cowering and crying as Mom and Dad fight over financial frustrations beyond their control..... will all only amplify as already paid for unemployment insurance gets cut off. Yes my friends, that's the Christmas present being bestowed upon millions of our fellow citizens from the Teapublican Party.
I truly believe the current republican inhumanity is unparalleled in the history of any Democratic Republic. There has never been a more selfish and greedy consortium of billionaires and puppet politicians than what we are now experiencing.
Alice sorry to hear about hitting the bird. I am sure it was pretty tough on you.
the scary thing is that wind turbines are killing millions of them. A estimated 39 million birds have been killed by them. I saw a show on TV the other day on how they are very concerned about the eagle population in the US because of them. The good news is they are working very hard on improving them to be bird friendly. Nobody seems too care. You almost never see or hear anything about it.
2950 -- Some native americans might say we have seen parallels and worse.
"ptg0"- Your anger is absolutely justified and I share it, wholeheartedly. 'Flushing the toilet of Washington" is a metaphor i can get behind. But please, not the baby with the bathwater! If we lost senators like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson, Maxine Waters or Dennis Kucinich (to cite just five examples), I'd cry me a river. These folks are fighting their butts off for us and we'd be in even worse shape without them. Know who your friends are. We do have a few allies in Washington and I can't over-stress the importance of knowing who they are. Otherwise we're playing into the fascists' hands by refusing to vote. Don't let your anger blind you to the good folks out there who struggle so hard to create an environment where we can thrive, where we can have - and earn - what is rightfully ours. Anyone who can afford it should be contributing to these people's campaign coffers. They need and deserve our support.
"k78333"- I love your avatar cartoon. What's the message in the cartoon bubble? It must be a good one or I doubt you'd use it.
What a nightmare we all are experiencing. Stripping people of every last thread of a safety net is tantamount to a death sentence. This is so horrifying. And cutting off unemployment benefits just two days after Christmas!! Just try to imagine what these people are going through and what the holidays must be like for them. How sadistic and cruel can the fascists get?! THAT's who we need to "flush down Washington's toilet". Our country is sick sick sick… We really need to come up with a strategy to rid ourselves of the parasites, the predators, the monsters who've hijacked our government. I'm not being a drama queen when I keep stressing that they're killing us. I mean, from the fascists' point of view, who needs extermination camps?! Why should they draw all this negative worldwide attention to themselves when they can kill us slowly and silently, via starvation and deprivation?!!! (Loren Bliss, I hear ya bro...)
Incredibly, I've continued receiving e-mailed requests from the Rethugs, asking for donations. This last time, I wrote in their reply box: "When I've got food security and healthcare and have you to thank for it, I will donate generously. In the meantime, go fuck yourselves." Of course it was all tongue-in-cheek because even if those fascists did the right thing, I would question their motives after all the suffering and death they've caused.
We've got our work cut out for us, my friends. Like Thom says, despair is not an option. I can only pray more people wake up before the 2014 midterms. May that toilet flush be loud enough to resonate around the world! - Aliceinwonderland
Aliceinwonderland ~ Kend is right. Technically the bird hit you. Birds don't fly into windshields every day. For something like that to have happened the bird must have been in bad sorts already.. Perhaps he/she was on his last leg before the accident. I know how such an experience can make you feel; but, I wouldn't feel too bad. You did everything you could do; and, after all, he's in a better place.
Thank you, Marc. Kend too. Appreciated. - AIW
A friend just shared this film with me about FEMA concentration camps. The most striking claim made in the film is that it doesn't matter what ideology you have; be it, right wing, left wing, pro life, pro choice, anti war, pro war, Black Panther, or Klu Klux Klan, with the passing of HR 5122 and HR 645, strong beliefs in ANYTHING automatically qualify one to be a potential terrorist and enemy combatant and subject to indefinite detention and a lengthy stay in any club USA facility.
Perhaps now is the time to put aside our petty differences and focus on our common problems? United we are unbeatable, divided we are defeated.
Marc, Johnnie D., "10K", "ptg0", "delster", "Sandlewould", Gary R. .... I concur.
By the way Marc, I checked out that link you shared earlier, with the clip of Rachel Maddow showing and talking about Obama's little - (ahem) - contradictions regarding our constitutional freedoms & protections; also the degree to which His Majesty deems it perfectly appropriate to violate such freedoms, all in the name of "security" of course! That smooth-talking asshole is one piece of work. I highly recommend this vignette to anyone who hasn't seen it, in post #7. The contradictions coming out of Obama's mouth, in a couple of speeches made within the very same day, were pretty stunning. Ms. Maddow gave an excellent report & commentary on the subject.
Reading the blog that followed, I was stunned to find such vitriol directed against Ms. Maddow! I actually left a post to counter these attacks against her. (My blog name there is "Lefty Keys" if you'd like to check it out, Marc.) Anyway I am amazed by the cynacism with which many regard anyone in the media spotlight, no matter who they are. As I've stated earlier, I see much grounds for cynicism in regards to politicians, as well as those in the media. However I also believe it's easy to get caught up in a knee-jerk, indiscriminately hostile sort of mind-set that is simply reactionary. Some folks don't bother to distinguish between what few good apples there are and the rotten majority.
I happen to like Ms. Maddow. I have seen and heard nothing thus far to put me at odds with her, or make her suspect in my mind. It troubles me when I observe even the most genuine individuals in those arenas, what few there are, subjected to verbal attacks and character assassinations. Thom Hartmann has been targeted by these attacks as well. People need to choose their targets more carefully, in my opinion. Misdirected anger is counter-productive and gets us nowhere. Why alienate and/or marginalize what few friends we have in Washington, Hollywood or wherever? We've so many adversaries - even enemies - to choose from who are genuinely evil, stupid, corrupt, greedy, etc. Why pick on Hartmann and Maddow? I just don't get it.
We're all in this together. It's time to take back our country; not from blacks, Mexicans or Muslims, but from the self-appointed lords & masters of this evil capitalist empire, along with all their enablers! Let's quit squabbling, roll up our sleeves an' git to work. - Aliceinwonderland
Chuckle:Point well taken and might I add that the treatment of African Americans went off the scale on the inhumanity meter as well. But in the context of time and place I'm even more horrified by the behaviour of the billionaire/political puppet consortium I referred to in my initial posting. How anyone living in the 21st century with a fundamental knowledge of history can so conveniently ignore the pain and suffering of their fellow man is inexcusable.....these bastards know better. Employment is a human right, and should never be reduced to a desperate act of begging and submission to some greedy and power hungry nut.
Physical and moral circumstance make employment a necessity...... it's a Human Right....not to be denied. Our representative government has a mandate to be the employer of last resort.
Wouldn't hold my breath, 10-K.
Quote Aliceinwonderland:People need to choose their targets more carefully, in my opinion. Misdirected anger is counter-productive and gets us nowhere.
Aliceinwonderland ~ Perhaps we should refrain from choosing any targets? I'm serious. That other video I suggested is an excellent example. Alex Jones features prominently in it. Alex is probably the only right winger I've heard lately that makes any sense. He does it by putting aside petty differences and speaking the truth. One interesting thing he noted was how FEMA was placed under the jurisdiction of the DHS. Memos were sent out to all law enforcement agencies that profiled potential terrorists. The profiles could fit anyone, right, left, or foreigners. Essentially, anyone with an opinion about anything. One of the potential profiles was simply having a bumper sticker on your car. Pro life, pro choice, pro gun, even pro Ron Paul. The content made no difference. It was the willingness to voice an opinion that gets you pulled over and harrassed. One of my worst fears was that the government was sowing discord amongst we Americans in order to distract us. Alex Jones takes that to a new level. Apparently these master deceivers are stirring up the pot (no pun intended) in order to provide law enforcement with probable cause to do just about anything with anyone. Meanwhile people on both sides of the isle cheer on the action never realizing that they are next on the list.
I think it is very important that we realize what is really going on and not allow our petty differences to set us up as patsy's in the power game. We all have to wake up, and educate others into waking up as well. Like Lefty Keys so eloquently stated,
Quote Lefty Keys:The threat to the United States is the corporations that have taken over our government. A government is only as good as who owns it.
We have to learn to recognize and side step this mine field of disharmony that has been set up by the powers that be and focus on our true objectives--namely, getting big money out of our government. We also have to be aware of the mischief the federal agencies are up to in our detriment. There is no reason that all of us, right, left, middle, and every group in between, can't put aside petty differences and rally around that goal. Once that is accomplished the rest should fall into place like a row of dominoes. Thanks for fighting the good fight, "Lefty".
Aliceinwonderland: I have no illusions that political action on our unemployment problem will occur as long as the Teabillionaire Party continues to be allowed to effectively shut down our government and deny the will of the people.
The concentration of our wealth into the out of control and unregulated hands of a few is a crime against humanity and should be treated as such. We jail endless numbers of those who steal small amounts, but when a few steal billions it's considered Laissez Fair Capitalism....... this is only legal because we allow it to be.
Hey Kend: I bet you don't know that cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds in the continental U.S.each year. Cars kill up to 80 million and pesticides kill about 72 millon more. Maybe we could work on making cats more bird friendly. The good news is that wind turbines have no carbon dioxide emissions unlike the oil extraction from bituminous sands being converted to energy.
Thanks for the added insight...and sorry 'bout your little bird. You're 'hearing' what I said made my whole weekend. Having spent a brief "moment" on the 'other side' as a result of a near drowning when I was 12 (thus the ocean analogy, I guess) I am simply unable NOT to see the bigger picture, in this case, the end result of our human experience lest a butterfly flaps it's wings and a hurricane is avoided. I can count on one hand the number of times I have NOT been considered certifiable when this topic comes up. I see Thom as a man who knows this, but still clings to the heroes of his youth, his Dad, one of the last great Republicans (no dougt he was...and still is!)..his founding fathers who were wise beyond measure, yet still products of their environment/time...etc. Sometimes I wish he'd just wake up, though my guess is he is wide awake and just has to chose between being considered insane and losing his audience and compromising to get folks to wake up a bit in the hopes they wake up the rest of the way. Thom is still one of my heros, even though I get frustrated sometimes that he doesn't just ditch the whole US gov. machinery and start ponderring the new paradigm. Thanks again for your tenderness, Alice ...Sandle
WOW Sandlewould! You sound like someone I'd like to have over, for tea and a toke. I love your perspective. And without a bigger picture to guide us, we'll never find our way out of the maze. - AIW
10k. Yes I know. It's a shame. More and more cities like mine have changed there by laws so all cats are inside only. Windshields on cars designed to defect as many birds as they can. We are using less and less pesticides every year. Because your government is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies into wind power bird deaths are increasing in certain species like eagles who don't die from the three I just talked about at such a rapid rate it's scary. If it was up to 1/2 the Americans we would have all wind and solar and no birds.
Oil extraction from the oil sands doesn't produce the bulk of of carbon dioxide in your air your car and furnace do. Don't buy it and they won't produce it. Oh and try to go with out plastic for a day.
"10-K"- as you know and I know, and most of our friends here are well aware, there's two sets of laws: one for the pigs, the other for the peons. Doesn't take a clairvoyant to guess which set of laws is the harshest and most stringent. What we the citizens of this grrrrreat country are getting, besides a fascist police state, is taxation without representation.
Marc, as I write this I'm about two thirds of the way through that FEMA documentary. I can only take in so much of that stuff at a time before I have to come up for air.
Wow, so we're all terrorists now! Everything the fascists don't like is "terrorism". What the fascists are, they say we are. Truth is, this corporate-owned fascist regime is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet. Been saying that for years. It's like a movie I can't turn off... Beam me up!
At a town hall meeting a few weeks ago, when they said the pledge to the flag, I was the only person in that crowded auditorium who remained seated. Felt kinda weird, like being walled in. It's been 48 years since I last recited the Pledge of Allegiance; at age fifteen, I recognized indoctrination when I saw it and vowed, never again. I've stuck to my guns ever since. No matter how weird or uncomfortable it feels to be the only person sitting, I refuse to be a party to this jingoistic, insipid ritual. "One nation under God"... Yep... Sho nuff. They can stuff their god and Old Glory down the ole "glory hole", if y'all get my drift. - Aliceinwonderland
4 day work week and a 3 day shift with a liveable wage. Home ownership for single income families that are energy and water efficient. Access to clean water an inalienable human right. New water districts formed on a regional basis with municipalities buying out private owners. A new federal jobs program to usher in the new green economy. Rebuild and refit to utilize 21st century science technology. State banks formed to buy all foreclosed homes. Divest all govt pensions, municipalities and other govt holding from big banks to state and community banks. This is my letter to Santa.
ps. There is a 6 mo waiting line to check out Thom's books from our library. Any extra's laying around?
I haven't heard much said about those that lost their unemployment insurance long ago?
I'll take you up on it! ..'cept I get the feeling that you live on the west coast, perhaps (or New England?) and I live in KY. Have a very Merry Solstice and everything... sand
Craig, you running for office? If so, you've got my vote. I'll even canvas for ya.
Sandlewould, I live on the west coast. Bummer... - AIW
Quote 2950-10K:We jail endless numbers of those who steal small amounts, but when a few steal billions it's considered Laissez Fair Capitalism....... this is only legal because we allow it to be.
2950-10K ~ Very well said, sir. I quite agree!
DAnneMarc: Glad to see you agree... Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Sandlewood: In reference your statement about ditching our current political system in favor of a new paradigm.....first I want to mention that I'm totally on board with your sentiment. That said, I realize guys like you and Loren Bliss regard me as a credulous, two party system, status quo individual, with a noticeable inability to type out his thoughts. With the exception of the latter the other part couldn't be further from the truth. "Naive"... isn' t one of my characteristics.
Let me explain as well as I can. To get to where you and just about all of the rest of us on Thom's blog want to get to, as directly as you seem to want to, would require violent revolution.....not my first choice. It would be nice if citizens like Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, and George Soros would step forward with their financial clout and foment a coup d' etat ending the lying sacks of crap corpse media in favor of plain truth reporting ........but I'm not, as Aliceinwonderland put it, holding my breath.
But the pragmatic side of ole 2950-10K thinks change will come the old fashion way. It will require more time than any of us wish for......and a great amount of endurance and focus. What we really need to do is continue to elect more Elizabeth Warrens and Bernie Sanders.....trust me, the like minded are out there. While it's a fact that Teabaggers who don't know the difference between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, buy their way into office with billionaire money, this doesn't automatically mean we can't beat them at the polls. Money doesn't vote, people do!
Quote 2950-10K:DAnneMarc: Glad to see you agree... Happy Holidays to you and your family!
2950-10K ~ Happy Holidays to you too; and, your family.
Quote 2950-10K:But the pragmatic side of ole 2950-10K thinks change will come the old fashion way. It will require more time than any of us wish for......and a great amount of endurance and focus.
2950-10K ~ Again, I couldn't agree more. Sandlewould's idea is beautiful and practical. However, destroying the current system is not necessary to obtain it. Our system is quite flexible. Just look at how easily it went from a freedom loving Republic to a fascist totalitarian Dictatorship. The Founders knew the environment would change and the people along with it. That is why they made the foundation of the Constitution so pliable. Such a benevolent document would be difficult to improve on considering todays norm of education in this country. The simple fact of the matter is that whatever has been done within the legal limits of the law can easily be undone within those same limits. The main problem today is that there is a giant technological mega propaganda machine that is creating the illusion that any effort at change is futile.
What comes to mind here is the Wizard of Oz. "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." What appears before us is a massive, powerful entity that cannot be challenged. What is really before us is a few little old men with expensive equipment behind a curtain. Remove the curtain and unplug the equipment and the opposition appears as it really is, weak and dependent on technology for it's influence. I believe the winds of change are in the air. I believe those winds will blow the curtain off the puppet masters and unveil the truth to the masses. I also believe that someone like a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren--or even Dorothy and Toto--will take advantage of that moment to seize the opportunity that will get us all back to Kansas. Altogether, "There's no place like home! There's no place like home! There's...!"
Oh DAnneMarc, AIW, Sandlewould and all the other great souls on here, there's so much in my heart I want to say. I'll have to take time to compose it. In the meantime it heartens me to see that there are such gems (diamonds even) in the desert of the US political landscape.
Keep up the good work and never despair.
Thank you "ccowley01", for your kind words. By all means, compose your thoughts and share them! You just never know who you're touching "out there"... - AIW
Merry day after solstice...
First up, just to clarify if it matters, I'm not a guy...except in the generic sense...I am a woman.
I am in the process of putting together a workshop as to how we can approach this peacefully...not that I claim to have any answers. Revolution will happen violently if we DON’T figure out how to get to a new paradigm. Those in power will deprive the masses of resources until revolt erupts...my goal is to avoid that...unrealistic though it may be. The earth cannot sustain, and as of now without fossil fuels there isn’t enough energy, to grow the economy by providing jobs in the conventional sense to help 7 billion people achieve stability....UNLESS access to the basic needs for survival are no longer attached to income...perhaps. I respect your faith in the process of the current paradigm and while I hope I’m wrong in the near term, I can’t help thinking I’m not...at least when considering population growth curve over the last 100 years as compared to the previous 12000...all thanks to energy derived since 1900 from oil.
Happy New Year...I truly hope...
DAnneMarc... I'm not bucking for destruction of the systam...just preperation for it's collapse and how to AVOID violence and destruction and how to reestablish a system that is far less and indeed hopefully un- , corruptable than the one we have now.
Happy New year to you...
Quote Sandlewould:I am in the process of putting together a workshop as to how we can approach this peacefully...not that I claim to have any answers. Revolution will happen violently if we DON’T figure out how to get to a new paradigm. Those in power will deprive the masses of resources until revolt erupts...
Sandlewould ~ Agreed! Greed knows no satiety. Greed is spiritual sickness. There is no fulfillment through the worship of money. Therefore there is no amount of money that can bring contentment. The greedy few will push until the dam breaks. There is no doubt about that in my mind either. Also, most of us have known you are a woman for some time. From your thoughts I'd say a most fascinating woman at that.
Quote Sandlewould:The earth cannot sustain, and as of now without fossil fuels there isn't enough energy, to grow the economy by providing jobs in the conventional sense to help 7 billion people achieve stability....UNLESS access to the basic needs for survival are no longer attached to income...perhaps.
Sandlewould ~ I must ask, have you every considered the substitution for fossil fuels with Hemp? I've stated the advantages of a Hemp based economy on this blog site:
It seems to me that Hemp is the only natural solution that would sustain 7+ Billion people on our planet. Not only that, it would provide lucrative jobs for such people; and, most important of all for humanity, reverse the green house effect. Perhaps if you are not aware of the scientific aspects of Hemp, you are also not aware of the Biblical aspects as well. In the Bible, Hemp is described as the Tree of Life. The Herb bearing seed that God created so that Mankind may live...
The Holy Bible KJVQuote The Book Of Genesis, Chapter 1:Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 ¶And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 ¶And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
The end times and the significance of Hemp is also prophesied in the Book Of RevelationsQuote The Book Of Revelations, Chapter 22:Revelation 22:1 ¶And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Since this utopia is already foreseen in the literature of our own most dominant contemporary Religion, isn't it a promising and practical way to approach solving our greatest problems? After all, "...the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Perhaps violent revolution, permanent dependence on fossil fuels, or a massive die off is not necessary to resolve our problems? What do you think?
A very Happy New Year to you too!
10K -- The less obvious parallel (and perversely encouraging) is the Robber Baron era. Thom mentions from time to time that the median income in 1900 was $9000 adjusted for inflation (2008 timeframe). That is far worse than today and we recovered from it with a Republican President whose hand was somewhat forced by the 3rd party candidate Teddy Roosevelt.
Until or unless we get these teabrains out of Congress, our country will continue its downward spiral as more and more people fall through the proverbial cracks; some of them forever. I hate to be a pessimist, but I see this situation getting a whole lot worse before it reverses itself. I think one of the greatest barriers to us improving our lot is this corporate media, hellbent on keeping us ignorant and out-of-touch. They seem to have been very successful at it.
I'm frankly discouraged by the mentality I encounter on a daily basis. This common assertion that everyone in Congress is bad is the rationale that keeps people from voting, thus perpetuating a status quo that is literally killing us. How many people will bother casting a ballot in the next midterm election is anyone's guess. I think most Congressmen & women are indeed worthless, but not all of them, and only those who bother paying attention can know the difference.
The intellectual laziness in our society is absolutely breathtaking. It perpetuates this cycle of decay and neglect by enabling the same worthless politicians to remain in office, year after year after year. It was this sort of passivity and apathy that kept so many Republicans holding their congressional seats. Look at where that's gotten us! Until more people are willing to take responsibility for their role as citizens, I see no possibility of reversing this awful trend. I wonder how much more suffering and death it will take to motivate enough of us to get engaged as citizens, and fight back. These fascists are killing us... What are we going to do about it? - Aliceinwonderland