Thursday, October 18, 2012

America R.I.P.

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
This article originally posted on: Institute for Political Economy
During the second half of the 20th century the United States was an opportunity society. The ladders of upward mobility were plentiful, and the middle class expanded. Incomes rose, and ordinary people were able to achieve old-age security.

In the 21st century the opportunity society has disappeared. Middle class jobs are scarce. Indeed, jobs of any kind are scarce. To stay even with population growth from 2002 through 2011, the economy needed about 14 million new jobs. However, at the end of 2011 there were only 1 million more jobs than in 2002.

Only 426,000 of these jobs are in the private sector. The bulk of the net new jobs consist of waitresses and bartenders and health care and social assistance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the 9 years, employment for waitresses and bartenders increased by 1,188,000. Employment in health care and social assistance increased 3,087,000. These two categories accounted for 1,000% of the net private sector job growth.

As for manufacturing jobs, they not only did not grow with the population but declined absolutely. During these nine years, 3.5 million middle class manufacturing jobs were lost.

Over the entire nine years, only 48,000 new jobs were created for architects and engineers.
In the 21st century the US economy has been able to create only a few new jobs and these are in lowly paid domestic services that cannot be offshored, such as waitresses and bartenders.

The lack of jobs, especially high value-added, high productivity jobs, is the reason real median household income has declined and the distribution of income has worsened. Without rising real household income, there cannot be a consumer economy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Religion as a Control Mechanism

by S. Paul Forrest

We discussed this as one of the stories - 10-08-12 - Breaking Taboo - - 7:00 PM EST - Be sure to LISTEN HERE.

Religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. It has always been and will always be, the most powerful tool ever devised to control the masses.

Since Man could first understand his place on this Earth and the.inevitable end of life which was forthcoming, there has been a desire based on the primal instinct of survival, to imagine life would continue on in some way after death. To many, the idea of an afterlife in the spirit world was comforting and helped to not only accept the deaths of their loved ones but acceptance of their own. Gods were imagined to reign in this after world and if the people were loyal in this life to those gods, they would enter into the chosen realm. Some men on Earth accepted rule over the masses as representatives of these Gods but as their influence and power grew, so did their hunger for more of it. With power comes inevitable corruption and as the power of these Earth bound men increased, so did the growth of that corruption as was seen in the Catholic Church of old.

In today’s modern world, one would think the idea of some Ethereal Plain in which we will all exist after death would be seen with a bit more skepticism but the religious masses still continue to believe that when death arrives the soul somehow ascends into some mystical place. All one has to do to enter this realm is hold true to and worship the supposed teachings of characters like Christ, Muhammad or Buddha and pledge fealty to those who claim to represent these “prophets” without question. It is no small wonder why so many claim to represent them. After all, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac and what better way to acquire it than through the fear of spending an eternity in the pits of a fiery abyss if the rules set forth by these false leaders are not followed, without question.

Instead of the threat of eternal damnation, religion in America is being rekindled by utilizing other, modern fear factors: A bad economy, “terrorist” threats and a failing system of government. Many politicians and self-touting religious representatives across the nation are using today’s troubles to herd a new flock toward following their self-serving ministries. This use or rather, abuse of the people’s faith and the irrepressible drive toward a closed minded, sheep filled society, stems from the very real, very frightening growth of extremism within the recesses of the Christian Right’s desire to control. They and their media counterparts are doing this by condemning any who would stand against them as un-American and the sheep are following without question. This type of religious falsity represents not God on this Earth but rather, the greatest evil ever devised by man.

Despite protests from the faithful of how religion brings peace, the truth of it is quite clear if one were to spend but a moment to open their eyes to it: As Karl Marx has rightly stated; “Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” If the conditions were not so soulless; the people not so oppressed, religion would not have such an impact and the people not following so blindly. One cannot help but consider whether religion is meant to salve the masses from oppression or whether it allows the propagation of it so those who oppress can flourish unchecked.

In terms of the here and now, one thing is most certain: Despite the insistence by politicians of this new, American age that God should be put back into all American lives, religious belief will not save this Nation; it will only allow those who stand to profit from it to gain more power and will inevitably cast us all into a hell of our own, ignorant making, moving our society backward into servitude rather than forward to acquire that Liberty and Justice so many have already died for.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Indigenous Urge Celebration of Native Culture & Teaching of the Americas’ Genocide

Democracy Now

As the nation commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the so-called "New World" in 1492, indigenous activists at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, are pushing for schools to teach the "real history of the Americas" and to celebrate indigenous culture. "Columbus Day" has long evoked sadness and anger amongst people of color, especially Native Americans, who object to honoring a man who opened the door to European colonization, the exploitation of native peoples, and the slave trade. We’re joined by three guests involved with the "Real History of the Americas" day: Esther Belin, a writing instructor at Fort Lewis College and a member of the Navajo Nation; Shirena Trujillo Long, coordinator of El Centro de Muchos Colores at Fort Lewis College and chair of the the Real History of the Americas Committee; and student activist Noel Altaha, a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Fort Lewis College senior.