ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Them That’s Not Shall Lose

Them That’s Not Shall Lose
By Charles M. Blow
Information Clearing House

June 29, 2011 "NY Times" -- “Anyone who has ever struggled
with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”

James Baldwin penned that line more than 50 years ago, but it
seems particularly prescient today, if in a different manner than
its original intent.

Baldwin was referring to the poor being consistently overcharged
for inferior goods.

But I’ve always considered that sentence in the context of the
extreme psychological toll of poverty, for it is in that way that
I, too, know well how expensive it is to be poor.

I know the feel of thick calluses on the bottom of shoeless feet. I know the bite of the cold breeze that slithers through a drafty house.

I know the weight of constant worry over not having enough to fill
a belly or fight an illness.

It is in that context that I am forced to assume that if Washington politicians ever knew the sting of poverty then they have long since vanquished the memory.

How else to qualify their positions?

In fact, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, nearly half
of all members of Congress are millionaires, and between 2008 and
2009, when most Americans were feeling the brunt of the recession,
the personal wealth of members of Congress collectively increased by
more than 16 percent.

Must be nice.

Poverty is brutal, consuming and unforgiving. It strikes at the soul.

You defend yourself with hope, hard work and, for some, a helping
hand. But these weapons grow dull in an economy on the verge of
atrophy, in a job market tilting ever more toward the top and in a
political environment that would sacrifice the weak to the wealthy.

On Thursday, the Pew Research Center released a poll that showed
how disillusioned low-income people have become. Those making
less than $30,000 were the most likely to expect to be laid off or
be asked to take a pay cut.

Furthermore, they were the most likely to say that they had trouble getting or paying for medical care and paying the rent or mortgage.

But at least those numbers include people with incomes. A vast subset is chronically unemployed and desperately searching for work.

According to the Consumer Reports Employment Index, “In 23 of the past 24 months, lower-income Americans have lost more jobs than they have gained.”

It continues, “Meanwhile, more affluent Americans seem to be gaining more jobs than they are losing.”

And the current election-cycle obsession to balance the books with
a pound of flesh, which is being pushed by pitiless Republicans and
accommodated by pitiful Democrats, will only multiply the pain.

Until more politicians understand — or remember — what it means
to be poor in this country, we are destined to fail the least among
us, and all of us will pay a heavy price for that failure.

Mr. Charles M. Blow is an Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times.

Monday, June 27, 2011

USA: The world's most indebted country

USA: The world's most indebted country
by The Debt We
The Southern Times/Southern Africa

There is a lot of talk about the national debt of the United States these days, but the truth is that most Americans still do not really grasp how horrific it really is.

Today, the US national debt is rapidly approaching US$14 trillion.

It is the single biggest debt in the history of the world. It has grown in size for a whopping 53 years in a row, and every single month it gets even worse.

Things were bad enough before the economic crisis of 2008, but since then US government debt has soared into the stratosphere.

We are now running deficits that are well over a trillion dollars each year with no end in sight. We are literally running out of people to borrow money from.

China is still the largest foreign holder of US government debt, and we have to constantly keep sending top government officials over there to beg them to keep lending us money.

But they are getting tired of our nonsense.

Now the Federal Reserve is saying that they probably will just buy up
massive amounts of US government debt.

That is essentially a gigantic Ponzi scheme, but the truth is that there is not much about US government finances that does not resemble a Ponzi scheme at this point.

In a recent article in which Boston University economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff analyzed the financial condition of the US government, he summarized the situation by making the following statement:

'Let's get real. The US is bankrupt.'

After analyzing Congressional Budget Office data, Kotlikoff
concluded that the US government is facing a 'fiscal gap' of
US$202 trillion.

That number includes our current debt and unfunded future
liabilities that the US government has already committed to.

What a complete and total mess.

So what can the US government do about this situation? Raise
our taxes through the roof?

Oh yeah, the American people are really going to go for that
about now.

Well, perhaps we could sell some US government assets. After all, don't we have a whole bunch of gold sitting in Fort Knox?

The truth is that nobody knows for sure what is in Fort Knox because there has not been an accounting of it in years, but assuming the gold is still there, perhaps we could sell it.

So how far would it go?

Well, according to one estimate, there is 147 million ounces of gold in Fort Knox. It would be worth approximately US$176 billion at today's prices.

That would cover the US government budget deficit for about a month or two.

The sad reality is that we are literally drowning in debt, and
we are going to pass this enormous debt on to our children
and grandchildren.

Do you think that they will thank us?

What we are doing to future generations is absolutely unconscionable.

But hey, now you can help.

If you would like to help address this problem, the federal
government is actually taking online donations that will go
towards paying off the national debt.

Try to resist the urge to laugh.

Seriously, though, the horror that this nation is facing is beyond comprehension.

The following are 12 statistics about the national debt of the United States that are almost too crazy to believe....

1. From the founding of the United States until Ronald Reagan took office, the United States had accumulated a total debt of about US$1 trillion.

2. In just the last 30 years we have accumulated US$12 trillion dollars more debt.

3. If you were alive when Christ was born and you spent US$1m
every single day since that point, you still would not have spent
US$1 trillion by now.

4. If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31 000 years to spend US$1 trillion.

But somehow the US government has accumulated a debt that is
well over US$13 trillion.

5. It is projected that the US government will issue nearly as much
new debt in 2010 as the rest of the governments of the world combined.

6. If you do the math, the truth is that it is simply not possible to pay off the US national debt.

In fact, if you took every single dollar out of every single bank and out of every single wallet in the United States there still wouldn't be anywhere close to enough money to do it.

7. According to an official U.S. government report rapidly growing
interest costs on the US national debt together with spending on
major entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare
will absorb approximately 92 US cents of every dollar of Federal
Revenue by the year 2019.

That is before one penny is spent on anything else.

8. Back in 1950, each retiree's Social Security benefit was paid for
by approximately 16 workers. Today, each retiree's Social Security
benefit is paid for by approximately 3.3 workers. By 2025 it is
projected that there will be approximately two workers for each

9. According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2010 the Social Security system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes.

That was not supposed to happen until at least 2016.

10. Over 41 million Americans are now enrolled in the food stamp
program and the US Department of Agriculture is projecting that
more than 43 million Americans will be on food stamps by the end
of 2011.

11. A trillion US$10 bills, if they were taped end to end, would wrap around the globe more than 380 times.

That amount of money would still not be enough to pay off the US national debt.

12. According to Democrat Erskine Bowles if some truly significant changes are not made, the US government will be spending US$2 trillion just for interest on the national debt by the year 2020.

Considering the fact that the total budget for the US government in 2010 was less than US$4 trillion, that is a very troubling prognosis.

Anyone with half a brain can see that this is not anywhere close to sustainable.

Anyone with half a brain can see that this is destined to end very badly.

Anyone with half a brain can see that we are headed for absolute financial disaster.

We have been living far, far beyond our means for decades, and
now a day of reckoning is fast approaching.

As a society we have been completely addicted to debt, and now
we are going to pay the price.

Is there any way out of this mess? Not under the current system.

The cold, hard truth is that the US government is headed for a debt nightmare that is going to shake the financial system of the entire world.

For years, many of us tried desperately to warn the American people that we were headed for disaster, but most people did not listen.

In fact, most Americans still do not understand how horrific this financial crisis really is.

Unfortunately most Americans will probably not wake up until a
complete and total economic collapse happens, and by then it
will be too late. -

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Does the Bible Say About Money, Wealth, & Being Rich?

What Does the Bible Say About Money, Wealth, & Being Rich?
June 23rd, 2011

What Is Money? What Does the Bible Say About Money?

Let’s face it, we all need money to pay rent, eat, provide clothing, etc. So what is money?

Money is simply a measure of resources. There are several
different types of resources.

There is land, there is labor, there is scarce minerals & goods, etc. Money simply represents these resources. It represents worth. It represents utility or “usefulness.”

In the old days, they didn’t use money. They would simply barter
or “trade” goods. However, as life grew more complex, the need
for a monetary system quickly developed.

Suddenly, there was a need to do complex trading. So to simplify things, money was used as a standard. Of course, like almost any other thing in the world, money would soon be abused by people.

What Does the Bible Say About Money, Wealth, & Being Rich?

You may be reminded of several biblical principles when you think of money. Quotes such as “money is the root of all evil,” quickly come to mind.

Also, let’s not forget what Jesus had to say about money:

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love
the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not
worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the
body more important than clothes? So do not worry, saying, ‘What
shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father
knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his
righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
(NIV, Matthew 6:24-25, 31-33)

The verse above shows a few biblical principles very clearly.

First, it acknowledges that God is aware of our need for money.
Of course we need money to survive. God fully knows this.

Second, it says that if you seek the kingdom of God first, all of
those things (money, food, etc.) will be given to you.

This is a very interesting verse.

Jesus says that if we seek the kingdom of God first, everything that we need will be provided. This tells us that God indeed has plans to give us money.

So those are two powerful points. God knows we need money, God plans to give us money if we seek his kingdom first.

Is Being Rich or Wealthy a Sin? What Does the Bible Say About
Having Money?

With all the above being said, we must look closely at the question
of what God & Bible says about money.

God’s view & the Bible’s scriptures can be summed up in these
main points: God understands that we need money

God has indeed blessed some with incredible wealth in the bible.
This means it is not necessarily a sin to be wealthy or rich.

God expects us to handle our money very carefully & wisely. This means not wasting it & being efficient

God clearly also expects us to give, and help others who have less money or resources than ourselves.

The bible clearly indicates that God has blessed people with wealth. Also, keep in mind that some of the most holy & righteous people in the bible were wealthy.

God blessed Job with wealth after testing him. God blessed King Solomon with both wealth & wisdom. In fact, Solomon is considered the wealthiest person who has ever lived.

God also blessed Abraham, Jacob, and many others with wealth. So this indicates that God does not view being rich or having money as being sinful.

If that were the case, He would not have blessed so many faithful people with money.

There is nothing wrong with saving money, working hard to better your life, setting financial goals, or even being wealthy/rich.

However, let us not forget the dangers of money as well.

Money becomes a tool of the enemy (Satan) when we spend every hour of the day plotting on how to make more money.

Or if we do immoral or corrupt/evil things just to get more money.

Or if we are very wealthy & we refuse to help others by giving financial help when they need it badly.

All of these things make money evil. Money itself isn’t evil, and
even having a lot of money isn’t a sin or evil.

It is the worship of money that is evil. It is falling for the temptation to sin or doing wrong just to get money. That is the problem.

The bible warns us of this kind of behavior in two scriptures below:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (NIV, Matthew 6:19-21)

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show
restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they
will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” (NIV,
Proverbs 23:4-5)

It is truth that money doesn’t make you happy.

In fact, some of the most wealthy people in the world have
committed suicide, had diseases & problems that all of the
money in the world couldn’t cure.

I love the quote by Zig Ziglar that says, “Money won’t make you happy, but everyone wants to find out for themselves.”

Regardless of your net worth, you will still die on this earth. You will witness hardships, lies, fear, health problems, sadness, frustrations, & all of the other human emotions.

Sometimes great wealth also carries with it greater problems & burdens.

True happiness only comes when you fully embrace the life God
wants you to have-regardless of how much money you acquire.

This means living by His incredible word, loving everyone, forgiving those that have wronged you, & following the commands & teachings of the bible.

Conclusion of What the Bible Says About Money, Wealth, & Being Rich

Money is a great resource. It is meant to represent worth & value in our society. It should be treated with respect & managed wisely.

God clearly understands that we all need money. He even wants to give us money if we seek His way of life.

However, don’t let money rule you. Let God be your true master,
not money!

There is nothing wrong with acquiring wealth, having nice things, improving your life, etc.

But don’t forget all of the others who will need YOUR help, and my help along the way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Conspiracy Theorists

Why are those seeking the truth labeled conspiracy theorists?

By Bill Linder
Digital Journal
June 21, 2011

Always one to be proud of America and all she stood for -- truth,
freedom, justice etc. -- I believed in the rule of law, equality and
so much more. I was never interested in politics or questioned the
government's actions.

That all changed on 9/11.

Whenever politicians and the corporate media want to stifle discussion and dissent over gaping holes in information presented as "fact" by the government to actualize its lies, criminal actions and other malfeasances, the first thing they do is label those seeking the truth as "conspiracy theorists."

That label, like "communists" during the McCarthy era, is nothing more than a tool used by the government to encompass reckless, unsubstantiated accusations and demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political dissenters.

The "conspiracy theorist" label has been widely used to slander people and groups for decades.

Millions of people are seeking the truth for good reason. For the past several decades politicians have grown more corrupt, immoral and deceitful and politically corrupted the Justice and Judicial systems.

Corporate media, often in collusion with the government, keeps the government's corruption out of the spotlight and accepts whatever information it’s fed as fact without question, which has created a nation of ignorant, uninformed citizens kept in the dark.

Forcing fallacious ideology on populations without public discussion and input only works when people stop asking questions and seeking the truth. Look at the attacks of 9/11. Air planes weren't the only thing hijacked that day.

Corporate media was ordered by the government not to question the official "facts" of the attacks, and the "conspiracy theory" label has been used to excoriate those who criticize the powerful that are covering up the truth about what really happened that day.

Mark Twain wrote many years ago "A conspiracy is nothing but a secret agreement of a number of men for the pursuance of policies which they dare not mention in public.”

There are mountains of evidence revealing the official 9/11 "facts" to be nothing more than a fairy tale, and everything the government is now doing in the Middle East was planned before 9/11.

This country needs to know the truth about what happened that day and what has happened since.

But questioning the lies of that day contrived by the Bush administration has been considered unpatriotic and reporters were threatened with arrest for even challenging the Bush administration's lies.

Realizing the fact that war is a racket and all wars are based on propaganda goes a long way towards understanding the truth.

There is a lot of evidence that false flag attacks have been used
regularly to justify government propaganda which raises red flags
and reveals the illegal depths of deception the government will go
to in order to keep criminal actions covered up.

Creating terrorists to fight terrorists is destroying everything this country ever stood for.

Theories are based on the lack of facts, and arise on the preponderance of evidence. It's foolish to come to a conclusion on any matter without looking at the available evidence and using common sense.

It's usually safe to assume a level of guilt or complicity on the part of anyone who lies about an event, or anyone who tries to hide, plant, or destroy any type of evidence.

The first thing the Bush administration did after the attacks of 9/11 was to remove and destroy all the evidence from the World Trade Center and confiscate all kinds of videos and other pertinent evidence.

Pushing lies as "fact" -- which is prevalent in modern day politics -- works for a little while, but only until evidence appears revealing those "facts" to be lies.

A closer look at how and why "conspiracy theorists" are labeled as such is an eye-opening experience. When you take the power of words and apply them to an ideology, the possibilities for actualizing lies are endless.

"Conspiracy Theories often arise from Evidence"

Conspiracy theories often arise from evidence. Once the government releases an explanation of a particular event, conspiracy theories develop because evidence exists that disproves or calls their explanations into question.

There is nothing insane or dubious about questioning the
government's explanation, unless of course, sanity is defined
as believing everything the government tells you.

Being that the government lies to us regularly, believing everything the government tells you falls under utter stupidity, not sanity.

Modern politics are rife with collusive corruption, double speak and double standards. In the U.S., history has a way of repeating itself because too many Americans never learn from their previous mistakes.

But, as noted by Rense, why people theorize about conspiracies
is not the real question. The real question is why so many people
choose to believe the government when it's obvious the government
is lying.

Part of the answer lies in the fact that corporate media hides the facts, and immediately associates everyone who questions the government with people who see Bigfoot and Elvis.

Corporate media is no longer the watchdogs of the people. Corporate media is the lapdog for the government that lies to the people and is often threatened for exposing the truth.

Maybe people choose to believe the government's version of events despite overwhelming evidence that they're being lied to because it's easier and simpler, and they don't want to believe that they're being governed by traitors.

It's the civic duty of every U.S. citizen to participate in their
government and keep themselves informed of its actions, but
many people don't.

Choosing to ignore the government's lies and believing whatever
they're told has resulted in the massive destruction of America
we’ve experienced since 9/11.

The Political establishment wields a lot of power over everyone's lives, and with a lot of power comes a lot of corruption, so it needs to be constantly watched and scrutinized.

When you repeat lies long enough, some people will believe it. At least that's what many politicians hope.

Words are powerful, and the government has perfected the arts of double speak and double talk.

As noted by Philip K. Dick, "The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."

To see what someone is saying, examine the words they use. I.F. Stone noted that a thought or concept clearly held finds expression in a word that embodies it. The way to delve into their minds is to look into their vocabulary.

Politicians have mastered the art of using the power of words deceptively.

Claiming that those who wish to discuss topics like 9/11 truth, the Federal Reserve, or the death of Osama bin Laden are out of bounds and don't belong in proper political discussion is nothing but a diversionary attack on free speech, truth, and justice.

Ideas or opinions deemed crazy, paranoid, or cynical by our political leaders, those who own them, and the media usually indicates that they are afraid and have something to hide.

Words can shape a person's destiny, hide ugly truths from the
people, and protect those who have committed treason against
the U.S. from retribution for their crimes.

Words are a bigger threat to freedom, justice and truth than
weapons because authoritarian governments use words to
enslave millions of minds and turn people into obedient clogs
in the machinery with no will and no understanding of their
actions beyond the lies they're fed by their leaders.

The "conspiracy theory" term has contributed more to the destruction and enslavement of the American population than the oligarchical establishment’s assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, Martin Luther King Jr. and other political reformers who actually spoke the truth.

Labeling ideas and topics that could prove stigmatic to our political leadership is designed to prevent people from thinking critically about their true intentions, the illegal agendas they're pursuing, and the policies they enact.

“Conspiracy Theorist” labels used for precise Political purposes

All wars and revolutions are fought with words and ideas. U.S. leaders mask their intentions with eloquent words, but their actions always give them away.

Washington's culture of corruption has instituted draconian changes in Democracy in a far less violent way than leaders in China, Russia, and the Middle East who use violence to make their citizens obey.

U.S. leaders have been slowly destroying rights and freedoms since World War II by relying chiefly on propaganda, censorship, mental brainwashing, political harassment, trying to change history in ignorant minds, subversive advertising, psychological conditioning, and perception management techniques.

In addition to threatening freedom of speech, labeling those who see through the lies and question the truth as "conspiracy theorists" is an attempt to stop critical thought from becoming informed opinion about history and political corruption.

"Domestic terrorist" is another word that destroys freedom that is conveniently misused and abused by the Department of Homeland Security and other unlawful government authorities to try and stigmatize a person or group who resist the government's criminal policies.

These labels are tossed around repeatedly by politicians and corporate media for precise political purposes: to destroy free thought and free speech, people who question the government, people who have awakened to the government's crimes, to vilify freedom fighters, law abiding citizens, patriots, those who support the principles of freedom, and constitutionalists.

Do your own research. Investigate things and examine the evidence.

A majority of beltway media outlets cater to the U.S. government and don't question anything it tells them, especially these past ten years. Dumbing down the masses is destroying this country.

As the nation awakens to the government's ways, words lose their power regardless of how often they are repeated.

To compensate for that, threats of "terrorism" are overhyped by the government to try and reinvigorate those words with meaning and redefine them to energize the "conspiracy theory" agenda.

Staging another false flag after 9/11 will prove extremely difficult for the government since it is already using overreaching, illegal spying and surveillance and it would be well aware of a "terrorist" attack, as they were on 9/11.

Since millions of people around the world are awakening to the Government's actions, the "conspiracy theory" agenda isn't working.

That agenda is being counter-attacked with new words such
as "politically awakened," "false-flag," and "truth-telling" by
millions of "conspiracy theorists."

Despite the overwhelming evidence that George W. Bush never won an election and his cronies committed massive election fraud, he served two terms in the White House after being illegally appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court, where he illegally shredded the U.S. Constitution, fraudulently stole America's wealth and freedom and allowed a "terrorist" attack that opened the floodgates to implement his fraudulent "War on Terror," too many Americana are either too stupid to see it, too lazy to do anything about it, or both.

Since 9/11, not one government official has been held accountable for destroying more of America than any terrorist ever could.

Both major political parties have exploited the power of words and propaganda while pursuing illicit agendas in America and the Middle East, but the political spin machine and political campaign directors are well aware of that power too.

President Obama is smart, but not wise. "Hope" and "change" were used by President Obama to get elected, but instead of keeping the promises he made to America while campaigning, he catered to Washington's culture of corruption and has further enabled or worsened many of the illicit agendas started by George W. Bush.

When you look at the words the government uses while trying to
justify their criminal actions and actualize their lies, the pattern
of deception becomes crystal clear.

"Truth and those who speak it are the biggest threat to the Political Establishment"

Words are powerful and they work both ways. Words can be used for good and evil. American history is and has been made by words.

Words can be used to make people believe a certain thing --just look at Fox "News" and its viewers. Words can enslave you or set you free. Lies can separate and confine populations. Truth can heal and free populations.

Mixing the power of words with fallacious ideologies leads to endless opportunities to cultivate propaganda while trying to actualize lies.

An ideology is an applied mythology. Those inside an ideological structure must believe, or say they believe in that ideology or they will be harassed, ostracized, and labeled as a "whack job," a "nut job" or a "conspiracy theorist.”

Politicians and those who own them construct ideologies to justify their criminal acts and alienate critics and those who question their ideology from the rest of society.

The government's attempts to kill Medicare, privatize Social Security, suppress voters, illegalize abortion and all the other targets in its sights, impose draconian austerity measures and kill the Middle and Lower classes are all based on fraudulent ideologies being touted as the only way to fix the economic crises caused by their criminal actions.

They want us to believe that all other options such as taxing
corporations and billionaires, recouping all the money Americans
were defrauded out of by Wall Street and friends, cutting the
trillions of dollars being wasted on illegal wars in the Middle East
are impossible or evil, despite the fact that they are not.

Holding Washington's culture of corruption accountable for their actions is neither impossible nor is it evil.

Truth, and those who speak it, are the biggest threat to the political establishment because it reveals the never-ending depths of corruption and criminal actions perpetrated by governments against their citizens and it reveals political officials as the criminals they are.

Washington's culture of corruption is running scared because their actions have awakened a sleeping giant that wants to know the truth.

The awakening giant wants a voice in the debate over National Security and the excessive secrecy surrounding it, the Patriot Act, and a host of other things being misused to destroy this country.

As the giant grows, it will demand accountability and justice.

Millions of people are finding out that demanding the truth and
questioning government malfeasance does not make you a
"conspiracy theorist."

Allowing people with different opinions to debate and speak with each other is important.

America was built on free speech but being caught betraying their country and committing treason doesn't fit into Washington's ideology.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dinner for Schmucks

from Barack Obama
to Tony Whitcomb
date Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 12:23 PM
subject Dinner?

Tony --

I've set aside time for four supporters like you to join me for dinner.

Most campaigns fill their dinner guest lists primarily with Washington lobbyists and special interests.

We didn't get here doing that, and we're not going to start now. We're running a different kind of campaign.

We don't take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs -- we never have, and we never will.

We rely on everyday Americans giving whatever they can afford -- and I want to spend time with a few of you.

So if you make a donation today, you'll be automatically entered for a chance to be one of the four supporters to sit down with me for dinner. Please donate $5 or more today:

We'll pay for your flight and the dinner -- all you need to bring is
your story and your ideas about how we can continue to make this
a better country for all Americans.

This won't be a formal affair. It's the kind of casual meal among friends that I don't get to have as often as I'd like anymore, so I hope you'll consider joining me.

But I'm not asking you to donate today just so you'll be entered
for a chance to meet me.

I'm asking you to say you believe in the kind of politics that gives people like you a seat at the table -- whether it's the dinner table with me or the table where decisions are made about what kind of country we want to be.

It starts with a gift of whatever you can afford.

Please make a donation of $5 or more today, and we'll throw
your name in the hat for the upcoming dinner:

I've said before that I want people like you to shape this campaign from the very beginning -- and this is a chance for four people to share their ideas directly with me.

Hope to see you soon,


Thursday, June 16, 2011

White House Crackdown on Whistleblowers

White House Crackdown on Whistleblowers; Exposing Corruption is now Espionage!

By Brian D. Hill
June 16, 2011

As and The New Yorker news site brings out, a NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake now faces 35 years in prison for charges of espionage.

The reason why is because he leaked information to the press
about the fact that the NSA is not properly maintaining it’s
large surveillance data it has on Americans.

So in other words if you bring the truth out about something the Government wishes to keep secret then it is considered an act of espionage.

The espionage charges are due to the Espionage Act of 1917 that presses criminal charges in instances of any national security leaks.

Apparently The New Yorker is bringing out that this man is alleged five instances of National Security leaks.

Also I have heard about whistleblowers being assassinated in high numbers as well.

There is one problem though, it is actually legal to blow the whistle against the Federal Government according to the Whistleblower Protection Act.

According to Wikipedia this is what the law is suppose to do:

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers, who work for the government and report agency misconduct.

A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities make (or threatens to take) a personnel retaliatory action with respect to any employee or applicant because of any disclosure of information by the employee or applicant.

Whistleblowers may file complaints that he or she reasonably
believes evidences a violation of a law, rule or regulation; gross
mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or
a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

So Obama and the White House has violated Federal Law to silence any critics and dissent.

His only crime was leaking information about the NSA’s wasting
of it’s resources while the Whistleblower Protection Act protects
whistleblowers for this very reason.

So what does this mean for all whistleblowers?

That now we have a Executive branch that has been caught committing fraud, breaking laws, and getting away with it by having a judge and congresswomen at Tucson Arizona shot at by a crazy gunman, how are we not living under a military dictatorship?

The fact that Terry Lakin went to prison over just questioning his commander in chiefs legitimacy of being the commander in chief legally, that George Bush Jr. said that “I am the decider!”

The fact that any executive orders passed by one presidential administration can be passed on to the next president, and the fact that Obama is acting more forceful then even the past presidents means that we are very close to a military dictatorship.

Even Wikipedia talks about the abuses of executive orders and that they can violate the U.S. Constitution.

It is quite common for US Presidents to issue executive orders that
instruct federal agencies to promulgate administrative regulations
in order to circumvent the legislative process in the US Congress
altogether, though, as alluded to above, this can violate the US
Constitution in a number of ways.

US Presidents are quite aware that US congressional politics can defeat or otherwise prevent the passage of legislation presidents deem politically important.

In this regard, US Presidents have issued executive orders calling upon federal agencies, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE), to issue administrative regulations where the political process of adopting congressional legislation necessary to implement multilateral environmental regulatory treaty obligations a president wishes for the US to assume would prevent US ratification of/accession to that treaty.

US Presidents, furthermore, may use an executive order or a presidential memorandum to ensure that federal courts abide by international tribunal rulings interpreting the provisions of an international treaty.

Perhaps, President Obama has in mind to pursue one or both of
these uses of executive orders to ensure the US abides by any
successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Convention
on Climate Change and by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The only problem for Obama is that he is just a puppet of the establishment so if they don’t like his lust for power then they can force him to behave himself or be assassinated by an elite sponsored gunman then they can use this to make the 2nd amendment more violated.

Although if Obama were allowed to become a dictator to enforce
world policies instead of the U.S. laws then Obama has no doubt
become the figure-head leader of the world as we are heading into
the New World Order, a One World Government.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lie To Me

Lie To Me
By Joel S. Hirschhorn
Dissident Voice
June 14th, 2011

What is the main lesson from the recent fiascos of former Senator John Edwards and Representative Anthony Weiner?

If you follow the news shows you saw a number of video clips where each of them had lied many times about what eventually they confessed to, their stupid, sleazy sexual misconduct.

As I watched the videos I was amazed how good their lying behavior was, without any hint of their blatant dishonesty in how they looked or sounded.

Of course, I was also reminded how terrific a liar Bill Clinton was when he went on television to lie about his sexual misconduct.

As a fan of the TV show Lie To Me where the experts can detect
minute physical signs of lying or micro-expressions, I felt that the
politicians had developed the talent and skill to lie without giving
any sign of it.

Here is what Americans should learn: All elected Democrats and Republicans have succeeded because they are excellent liars and, therefore, not one of them can ever be trusted to be telling the truth.

When you vote for any of these two-party politicians all you are saying is: LIE TO ME.

And when they get elected that is exactly what they will do, and
not just about their personal behavior.

The larger lesson is that American politicians will also lie effortlessly about public policy and just about everything they have anything to do with.

Make no mistake, President Obama has lied about many things just as presidents before him also have.

Can you have an effective representative democracy when elected officials can never be trusted to tell the truth to citizens? No.

Elected officials no longer feel they have a profound responsibility to tell the truth. It appears to be behavior that has become automatic, not something they agonize over.

Lying has become normal behavior whether it is done in Internet communications, on TV, in speeches or during campaigning for office.

Lying may have become so commonplace that politicians no longer spend time justifying it to themselves or their closest staff or supporters.

Sure, when they get caught, they easily apologize and accept
responsibility in some glib and usually tearful way. But their
moral decrepitude should not be forgiven.

Dishonest politicians are chronically ill, selfish, egoistic betrayers of public trust. Severe punishment of them is necessary, starting with legally required removal from office and loss of all pension and health insurance benefits.

In the US political system public trust of elected officials is passé,
or should be.

This is not a matter of cynicism; it is just prudent and logical to mistrust just about everything said by elected officials.

Of course, if you think that a particular politician lies supports your views, then it may not bother you, but it should.

Forget about the rationalization that politicians merely misspeak or that they are just fallible human beings like the rest of us. My point is that an essential skill and regular behavior of politicians is lying without any hint of it.

The only thing that politicians now fear is losing control and inadvertently telling the truth!

Has it always been this way? Have American politicians always been ubiquitous liars? I don’t think so. What was once aberrant behavior has become normal behavior.

It is yet another sign of just how much the US has sunk. It is not just that the country is on the wrong track; it is off the track, falling into an abyss.

When it is rational to always be suspicious of everything politicians say, then why keep listening? Why keep voting for them? Why keep believing that the US is still a functioning democracy? Why believe lies about reforming government? Why think that the overpowering corruption of government by corporate interests will change?

The biggest insanity of all is that when politicians get caught lying about sexual behavior they pay a high price, but not when they get caught lying about the economy, how they have voted on issues, how they have implemented their campaign promises, what they have taken from corporate supporters, and other substantive issues.

They get away with it.

In large measure because the media do not make a big deal of
ordinary lying. Lying is the new normal. Expectations of honesty
are gone.

The US political system is broken. That is the truth. You can trust me.

Take a little satisfaction knowing that the biggest lies politicians
tell are probably to themselves.

Joel S. Hirschhorn, is a widely published Author, Professor, and former Senior Staffer for the U.S. Congress.

Mr. Hirschhorn has a new book, Delusional Democracy: Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing the Government, which supports constitutional conventions and other peaceful ways to restore American democracy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Economic Hell

The Coming Economic Hell For American Families
By The Economic Collapse Blog
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tens of millions of American families are about to go through economic hell and most of them don't even realize it.

Most Americans don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about
things like "monetary policy" or "economic cycles".

The vast majority of people just want to be able to get up in the
morning, go to work and provide for their families.

Most Americans realize that things seem "harder" these days, but most of them also have faith that things will eventually get better.

Unfortunately, things aren't going to get any better.

The number of good jobs continues to decline, the number of
Americans losing their homes continues to go up, people are
having a much more difficult time paying their bills and our
federal government is drowning in debt.

Sadly, this is only just the beginning.

Since the financial collapse of 2008, the Federal Reserve and the
U.S. government have taken unprecedented steps to stimulate the
economy. But even with all of those efforts, we are still living in an
economic wasteland.

So what is going to happen when the next wave of the economic crisis hits?

During one recent interview, Peter Schiff made the following statement....

"If you look at the economic relapse that’s going on right now, look at Friday’s abysmal job numbers, look at the housing numbers, understand that all of this is taking place with record monetary and fiscal stimulus. What happens if we remove those supports?"

At the end of June, the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program is slated to end. The U.S. Congress and state legislatures from coast to coast are talking about budget cuts.

The amount of borrowing and spending that has been going on is clearly unsustainable, but will the U.S. economy start shrinking again once the current "financial sugar high" has worn off?

Already, all sorts of bad economic news has been coming out and all kinds of economic indicators are turning south. The American people are becoming increasingly restless.

One new poll has found that 59 percent of the American people
disapprove of Barack Obama's handling of the economy (which is
a new high).

According to another recent poll, 63% of Americans say that they
feel "not good" or "bad" about how the U.S. economy is performing.

If most Americans had good jobs, could afford their mortgages and could pay their bills, the economy would not be such a big issue.

Unfortunately, times are really tough for American families right
now and they are about to get a lot tougher.


The official unemployment rate just went up to 9.1 percent, but
that figure only tells part of the picture.

There are some areas of the country where it seems nearly impossible to find a decent job.

Millions of Americans have fallen into depression as they find themselves unable to provide for their families.

According to CBS News, 45.1 percent of all unemployed Americans have been out of work for at least six months.

That is a higher percentage than at any point during the Great Depression.

Just two years ago, the number of "long-term unemployed" in the United States was only 2.6 million. Today, that number is up to 6.2 million.

Can you imagine being out of work for 6 months or more?

How would you survive?

What we are going through now is really unprecedented. The
average duration of unemployment in this country is now close
to 40 weeks.

So will things get any better soon?

Well, there were only about 3 million job openings in the United
States during the month of April. Normally there should be about
4.5 million job openings. The economy is slowing down once again.
Good jobs are going to become even more rare.

There are millions of other Americans that are "underemployed". All over the United States you will find hard working Americans that are flipping burgers or working in retail stores because that is all they can get right now.

Most temp jobs and most part-time jobs don't pay enough to be able to provide for a family. But there are not nearly enough full-time jobs for everyone.

Sadly, the number of "middle class jobs" is about 10 percent lower than a decade ago. There are simply less tickets to the "good life" than there used to be.


But without good jobs, the American people cannot afford to
buy homes.

Without good jobs, the American people cannot even afford
the homes that they are in now.

U.S. home prices have fallen 33 percent since the peak of the housing bubble. That is more than they fell during the Great Depression.

This decline in housing prices has caused a lot of problems.

28 percent of all homes with a mortgage in the United States are
in negative equity at this point. There are millions of American
families that are now paying on mortgages that are for far more
than their homes are worth.

Millions of American families literally feel trapped in their homes. They can't afford to sell their homes, and if they simply walk away nobody will approve them for new home loans for many years to come.

Many Americans are sticking it out and are staying in their homes until they simply can't pay for them anymore.

As the number of good jobs continues to decline, the number of Americans that are losing their homes continues to rise.

For the first time ever, more than a million U.S. families lost their homes to foreclosure in a single year during 2010.

If the economy slows down once again and millions more Americans lose their jobs this problem is going to get a lot worse.


Even if they aren't losing their homes yet, millions of other
Americans families are finding it increasingly difficult to pay
the bills.

Wages have been very flat over the past few years and yet the
cost of most of the basics just seems to keep going up and up.

According to Brent Meyer, a senior economic analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the cost of food and the cost of energy have risen at an annualized rate of 17 percent over the past six months.

Have your wages gone up by 17 percent over the past six months?

As 2009 began, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the
United States was $1.83. Today it is $3.77.

American families are finding that their paychecks are going a lot
less farther than they used to, but Ben Bernanke keeps insisting
that we have very little inflation in 2011.

Most Americans don't care much about economic statistics - they
just want to be able to do basic things like take their children to
the doctor.

According to one recent survey, 26 percent of Americans have put
off doctor visits because of the economy.

Sadly, soon a lot more American families will not be able to afford
to go to the doctor.

According to one recent survey, 30 percent of all U.S. employers will "definitely or probably" quit offering employer-sponsored health coverage once Obamacare is fully implemented in 2014.

As the economic situation has unraveled, an increasing number
of people are being forced to turn to the federal government for

One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one
anti-poverty program run by the federal government.

Some of the hardest hit members of our society have been our
children. Today, one out of every four American children is on
food stamps.

Back in the old days, a large percentage of American families
were self-sufficient, but that is no longer the case.

Back in 1850, approximately 50 percent of all Americans worked
on farms. Today, less than 2 percent of Americans do.

So these days when American families can't feed themselves what
do they do? They turn to the federal government of course.

At the moment, approximately 44 million Americans are on food stamps. But our federal government cannot afford to spend money like this forever.

According to a recent USA Today analysis, the U.S. federal
government took on $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations
during 2010.

USA Today says that the U.S. government now has $61.6 trillion
in financial obligations that have not been paid for yet.


Who is going to end up paying that bill?

So with so much bad news, are our leaders alarmed?

Not really.

According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, "growth
seems likely to pick up somewhat in the second half of the year."

Yeah, we'll see how that prediction works out.

Others are not so sure that everything is going to turn out okay.

Recently, James Carville warned that we could literally see rioting
in the streets if the economic situation does not turn around soon.

The truth is that America is in decline. Just like with all of the great empires of the past, our empire is starting to crumble too.

A recent article in the Guardian touched on some of the reasons for America's decline....

"The experience of both Rome and Britain suggests that it is hard to stop the rot once it has set in, so here are the a few of the warning signs of trouble ahead:

Military overstretch, a widening gulf between rich and poor, a hollowed-out economy, citizens using debt to live beyond their means, and once-effective policies no longer working.

The high levels of violent crime, epidemic of obesity, addiction
to pornography and excessive use of energy may be telling us
something: the US is in an advanced state of cultural decadence."

The economic news is only part of the puzzle. This country has
rejected the ancient wisdom that was passed down to us and
we have rejected the principles of our founding fathers.

We have piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world and yet somehow we expected that everything would turn out okay.

Well, everything is not going to turn out okay.

All of this debt is going to come down on us like a ton of bricks
and the U.S. economy is going to continue to fall apart.

Millions of American families are going to lose their jobs and their homes.

Economic hell is coming.

You better get ready.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Political Myths

10 Myths That Politicians Want You to Believe
By John DeFeo - The Street
Thursday, June 09, 2011

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The financial system is on the brink of collapse after trillions in bad loans were issued by greedy bankers.

If you were a U.S. political figure, would you:

A.) Tell everyone to suck a lemon, and (maybe) let the economy implode.

B.) Fire the bankers who made the bad loans, prosecute the guys
who broke the law and guarantee a portion of the loans in a grin-
and-bear-it show of good faith.

C.) Reward the bankers who made the bad loans with billions of dollars in bonuses and guarantee every loan with U.S. taxpayer money (with interest, because we borrowed the money from China).

If you answered C, then maybe you should run for office, support
laws that funnel billions to insolvent companies, retire from politics
and start working for one of the companies you helped bail out.

Heck, that's what former Republican-senator Judd Gregg did
(newly hired by Goldman Sachs).

But don't worry, the revolving door between Wall Street and
government is just a "myth", and here are 10 actual myths
that politicians want you to believe:

10. Quantitative Easing Helps the Economy

Make no mistake, quantitative easing is a gift to bankers
and nothing else.

Let's take a deeper look:

Quantitative easing is when the United States' central bank,
the Federal Reserve, buys U.S. Treasury bonds.

Treasury bonds are a future obligation of the United States,
paid out with Federal Reserve notes (dollars).

Federal Reserve notes are a current obligation of the United States,
redeemable for goods and services.

If the Federal Reserve purchases bonds directly from the United States Treasury, they are electronically creating dollars (current obligations) in exchange for future obligations.

This is inflationary if the amount of obligations (money) is increasing faster that the amount of capital (goods, services, products and ideas).

But the Federal Reserve doesn't buy bonds from the Treasury,
it buys them from "primary dealers."

Primary dealers are a network of banks (including Goldman Sachs
(GS_), JPMorgan Chase(JPM_) and Citigroup(C_)) that are obligated
to buy bonds from the U.S. and serve as a trading partner with the
Federal Reserve.

So Goldman Sachs can buy a bond from the Treasury on Monday
and sell it to the Federal Reserve on Tuesday (at a profit) -- the
blog ZeroHedge has named this game "Flip That Bond."

Bottom Line: If Americans weren't already saddled in debt, quantitative easing might work.

But as things stand, the Federal Reserve is giving bankers risk-free trading profits and causing food and gas prices to surge (making it even harder for Americans to get out of debt).

9. Republicans Are Fiscal Conservatives

Since 1968, the U.S. national debt accelerated fastest under President Ronald Reagan until President Obama claimed this distinction.

The national debt does not take inflation into account, so perhaps
we should look at inflation-adjusted deficits instead.

According to research by Dave Manuel, From 1946-2010:

Democratic President Total Years: 29

Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $150.73 billion

Republican President Total Years: 36

Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $202.28 billion

A president is not solely responsible for the nation's deficit, but he does sign the budget into law.

And Republicans have put their John Hancock on some really short-sighted budgets while preaching conservatism.

8. President Obama Is an Enemy of Wall Street

When he was on the campaign trail, then-candidate Obama had
some tough words for those who repealed Glass-Steagall (the law
that prevented banks from acting like hedge funds), calling the
process of deregulating banks a "legal but corrupt bargain."

But get a load of this:

The two men who served as principal negotiators for banking deregulation: Gene Sperling and Larry Summers.

The two men who President Obama appointed to become his
top economic advisers: Gene Sperling and Larry Summers.

Two guys who happen to be paid millions of dollars in consulting
and speaking fees by "too big to fail" banks: Gene Sperling and
Larry Summers.

President Obama is the best friend Wall Street could have.

7. The Financial System Is Safer Today Than in 2008

The Federal Reserve, which neglected to use regulatory powers to rein in the last crisis, has been awarded more regulatory powers.

The majority of "too big to fail" banks are even bigger.

And while the government is guaranteeing fewer mortgages through Fannie Mae(FNMA_) and Freddie Mac(FMCC_), it's made up the difference by guaranteeing mortgages through the Federal Housing Authority.

"Good as cash" money market funds are full of mortgage-backed
securities backed by the government (who needs to borrow money
to back them up).

Meanwhile, high-frequency trading is alive and well and the
causes of the Flash Crash have not been addressed.

In fact, the solution of stock-specific "circuit breakers" (the percentage a stock can plummet before it stops trading) will guarantee future crashes. Here's why:

Having a defined breaking point provides high-frequency traders
with an arbitrage window:

If they can create an event that causes a stock to temporarily plummet, they can use "sweep to fill" orders (a special type of order used to buy stock rapidly, in small increments) to buy the stock back up to fair value.

The size of the circuit breaker limits the size of the profit, but this removes the uncertainty of what trades will be honored or killed.

6. The 'Bush Tax Cuts' Increased Tax Revenue

Washington has always had a spending problem, but since the "Bush Tax Cuts," we have a revenue problem as well. From 1990 to 2000, U.S. tax revenue had a period of exceptional growth.

Following the 2001 tax cuts, revenue plummeted -- then recovered -- then plummeted again.

You can attribute the sustained revenue growth of the 1990s to the fact that the decade didn't have a recession, but if you expand the timeline to 1965, we've had numerous recessions without substantial drops in revenue.

5. 'No One' Could Have Seen the Financial Crisis Coming

No one -- except for everyone who did. TheStreet has interviewed numerous economists and money managers who have been pounding the table for years.

4. If You Support Capitalism, You Support Big Business

Can a corporation be socialist? Well, let's analyze an unnamed company:

A small, centrally located corporate management of fewer than
50 people plans the operations of hundreds of thousands of

Corporate managers can make more money in one hour than an associate makes in one year. The majority of corporate managers have never worked as an associate.

The benefits of corporate managers and associates are very, very different. Corporate managers are trained to respond to dissent by using propaganda to turn one associate against another.

Corporations and governments are very similar entities, and both
can have capitalist or socialist leanings. If a politician praises big
business while chastising big government, or the other way around,
be skeptical.

3. Republicans Are a Bunch of Fat-Cat Millionaires

Well, this is true -- but a "half-truth" in the context it is usually told:

Both Republicans and Democrats are a bunch of fat cats.

The average congressperson is a millionaire, and if you break down the 50 richest members of Congress by political party, here's the split: Republican: 22 Democrat: 28

When it comes to political contributions, Wall Street gives both parties lots of love (recently favoring the Democratic party).

2. The U.S. Has the Highest Standard of Living in the World

According to the United Nations' most recent Human Poverty Index (from 2008), the U.S. standard of living ranks 17 of 19 among developed countries.

The ranking is a composite of life expectancy, literacy, long-term unemployment and income equality -- while this data is over three years old, it's not unthinkable that our situation has worsened in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

1. U.S. GDP Is Growing

U.S. GDP has increased by 4.26% from 2007 to 2010, according to
data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In the same period of time, the U.S. national debt has increased
by 61.6%, according to the U.S. Treasury.

Looking at these numbers, you don't need to be an economist to
see that something is very, very wrong.

How You Can Fight for the Truth

America is still a great place to live -- we've just lost our way,
misled by Republicans and Democrats alike.

If you're fed up with the way things are and you want to make
a real change, don't buy into the hype around political parties.

Political parties are like unions:

They do the absolute minimum to keep constituents happy while doing everything they can to raise money and hold on to power.

In the days of the Internet and free-flowing information, there is never a good reason to vote along party lines.

Vote for the best man or woman -- he or she might be a Democrat, Republican or independent.

When people say things that make you uncomfortable, they might
be onto something and are at least worth listening to.

Bill Bernbach, one of America's most innovative businessmen, used
to carry a slip of paper in his pocket. It read: "Maybe he's right."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Politically Incorrect

Why Washington Isn’t Doing Squat About Jobs and Wages
By Robert Reich
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The silence is deafening.

While the rest of the nation is heading back toward a double dip, Washington continues to obsess about future budget deficits.


Republicans don’t want to do anything about jobs and wages.
They’re so intent on unseating Obama they’d like the economy
to remain in the dumps through Election Day.

They also see the lousy economy as an opportunity to sell Americans their big lie that government spending is the culprit — and jobs will return if spending is cut and government shrinks.

Democrats, meanwhile, don’t want to admit the recovery has stalled. They worry such talk will further undermine consumer confidence or spook the bond market.

They don’t want to head into the election year sounding downbeat. And they don’t think they have the votes for anything that will have much effect before Election Day anyway.

But there’s a third reason for Washington’s inaction. It’s not
being talked about — which is itself evidence of the problem.

The unemployed are politically invisible.

They don’t make major campaign donations. They don’t lobby Congress. There’s no National Association of Unemployed People.

Their ranks are filled with women who had been public employees, single mothers, minorities, young people trying to enter the labor force, and middle-aged men who have been out of work for longer than six months.

You couldn’t find a collection of people with less political clout.

Women who had been teachers, public health professionals and
social workers have been hit hard. These jobs continue to be
slashed by state and local governments.

Public schools alone accounted for nearly 40% of the nation’s total
public sector job losses in the last year. From March 2010 to March
2011, women lost 214,000 public sector jobs, compared with a loss
of 115,000 public jobs by men.

Unmarried mothers are having a particularly difficult time getting back jobs because their work was heavily concentrated in the retail, restaurant and hotel sectors.

Many of these jobs disappeared when consumers reduced their discretionary spending, and they won’t come back in force until consumers start spending more again.

According to a new report by the California Budget Project,
the recession erased more than half the jobs single mothers
in California had gained from 1992 to 2002.

The result has been a drop in the share of unmarried mothers in
jobs, from 69.2% in 2007 to 58.8% in 2010. Unmarried mothers
who still have jobs are working fewer hours per week than before.

Blacks also continue to be hard hit. Their unemployment rate here
in California reached 20% this past March, up 5% from a year ago.
That’s more than double their rate before the downturn.

Some of this is because of the comparatively low education levels of many blacks, and their weak connections to the labor market. Some is due to employer discrimination.

Blacks were among the last hired before the recession and therefore among the first to be let go in the downturn. That means they’ll be among the last hired as the economy recovers.

Many young people who have never been in the job market are
unable to land a first job. Employers with a pick of applicants see
no reason to hire someone without a track record, particularly those
without much education.

Unemployment among high school dropouts is hovering around 30%.

Even recent college graduates are having a much harder time than usual finding a job. Many are settling for jobs that don’t ordinarily require college degrees, which pushes those with less education even further back in the line.

Older workers who have lost their jobs are at the greatest risk of continued unemployment. Employers assume they aren’t as qualified or reliable as those who are younger and have been working more recently.

According to research by the Urban Institute, once you’re laid off, your chance of finding another job within a year is 36% if you’re under the age of 34.

But your odds drop the older you get. If you’re jobless and in your 50s, your chance of landing another job within the year is only 24%. Over 62, you’ve got only an 18% chance.

What do these jobless have in common?

They lack the political connections and organizations to get the
ears of politicians, and demand policies to spur job growth.

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

He has served in three national administrations, most recently
as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written
thirteen books, including The Work of Nations, Locked in the
Cabinet, Supercapitalism, and his most recent book, Aftershock.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Walls of Jericho

The Walls of Jericho
By David R. Reid

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days. ~ Hebrews 11:30

Just about everyone has heard the story about Joshua and the walls of Jericho.

It's probably because of the song, "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and walls came a-tumblin' down." In any case, the story is no legend or myth.

About 40 years after the Hebrews made their exodus from Egypt, they fought a decisive battle at Jericho in order to establish a beachhead in the new homeland.

Jericho was a walled city and presented a major obstacle to the
Hebrews because it was right smack in the middle of their path
into the Promised Land.

Jericho had to go! Because the Hebrews looked to the Lord in faith, God miraculously took Jericho out of their way and the conquest of the Holy Land was able to proceed.

The sixth chapter of the book of Joshua gives us the dramatic
account of this unique battle in history. Read Joshua chapters 1-6
in order to see all the important steps leading up to that climactic
moment when the walls of Jericho collapsed.

All of this is important history, because it is the divine record of
how Israel received the land that God had promised them long
before (Genesis 15:18).

Through this nation in this land was to come the Savior for all mankind!

Besides the important history contained in the book of Joshua, there
are some valuable spiritual lessons to be learned as well. There is
the practical and devotional side to Joshua as well as the historical.

The records of the battles that Israel fought contain spiritual
principles for Christian warfare. We know from Scripture that we
are involved in spiritual struggles with the "enemy of our souls"
(Ephesians 6:11-17).

Satan wants to keep us growing Christians from enjoying the
spiritual blessings which are available to us in Christ.

There really is love, joy, peace, rest, freedom, hope, security,
and intimate fellowship (and whatever else you long for) to be
experienced in the "promised land" of the Christian life.

But Satan puts up his Jerichos to keep us "out of the land." The walls of doubt and discouragement and despair become major obstacles in the path of the Christian.

A particular sin or hangup in the growing Christian's life can become a Jericho.

The barriers seem insurmountable, and Satan laughs as we cringe
in fear or are content to live "in the wilderness" of Christian experience.

Are there any Jerichos in your life? The walls must fall!

Israel was God's earthly people. He gave them an earthly inheritance and promised them earthly blessings (Joshua 1:3). All they had to do was go in and possess the land (1:11). God did not want His people living in the wilderness any longer.

They had been there for about 40 years because of murmuring and
complaining and disobedience and unbelief. (See Numbers 32:13;
1 Corinthians 10:5-11; Hebrews 3:15-19.) Now they were to move
out with renewed dedication and claim that good land--the land that
"flowed with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8).

The Lord promised them victory over Jericho and over the whole land. He also promised them His constant presence with them (Joshua 1:5 and 6:5). There was no need to be afraid or dismayed (1:9).

What a picture of the Christian life! We are God's people and He has given us a heavenly inheritance and all kinds of spiritual blessings.

We see from this picture that there are two possible reasons why
we fail to enjoy the "milk and honey" of Christian living.

Murmuring and complaining and unbelief are bound to result in
"desert living." Failure to claim our "promised land" will lead to
the same.

We are not to wait until we get to heaven to enjoy our heavenly
inheritance. God wants us to "cross the Jordan" now and claim
the blessings which we have in Christ right now.

This is what Ephesians 1:3 means when it says, "Blessed be the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with
every spiritual blessing in heavenly places with Christ." (Check out
Ephesians 1:4-14 for a list of some of our spiritual blessings. Are
you enjoying all these?)

Yes, the good things of the "Promised Land" are ours for the taking, but we must claim them and appropriate them before we can call them our own (Joshua 1:3).

A Christian who is afraid to die has not really claimed his security
in Christ. (See Hebrews 13:5.)

A Christian who is worried about his future has not really appropriated the "rest of soul" which is available in Christ. (See Matthew 11:29.)

A Christian who is always complaining and discontented has not really experienced the joy and peace of the Kingdom. (See Romans 14:17.)

A Christian who can never get along with his brothers and sisters
in the Lord has not really walked in the land of overwhelming love
which is available to every Christian. (See John 15:9 and think of
how much love exists between Father and Son--that's how much is
given to us!)

But what about these Jerichos? They're there because Satan knows that the frustrated Christian is an ineffective Christian.

He also knows that the Christian who is enjoying the blessings of
Christ is a Christian who is moving out and spreading the Kingdom
of God.

Therefore, Satan will do anything in his power to keep us defeated and scared and "throwing in the towel."

But God has promised us victory (Romans 8:37) just as he promised Joshua. He has also promised us His constant personal presence (Hebrews 13:5) just as He promised Joshua.

There is no need to fear (2 Timothy 1:7). There are no Jericho walls that are too high or too thick for our God.

What is the Jericho that is keeping you from fully entering the "land of blessing" that God has in store for you?

The walls of doubt and fear or temptation or a secret sin or an "I couldn't care less" attitude are not impregnable!

Victory over Jericho was guaranteed, but it was not automatic. Israel had to follow the instructions that God had given them to be sure of victory.

We too must follow the instructions that God has given us if we are to see the "walls come tumbling down." In the steps leading up to the fall of Jericho we see some spiritual principles which, when applied, bring sure victory.

The first and foremost principle is to know and obey and apply the Word of God (Joshua 1:7-8).

The "law" here means the first five books of the Bible--the Scriptures that the people had at the time. We must do more that "get a little Bible" each week.

We must study God's word until it is such a part of us that it characterizes our talk (1:8). We must obey it without compromising (1:7). We must obey all that is written (1:8).

Then and only then will we be successful (1:7-8). This surely is the secret of success for the Christian. Don't knock it until you've really tried it!

There are many other spiritual principles of victory contained in the book of Joshua, but these two "biggies" are enough to get you "into the land" where you will start to enjoy your inheritance in Christ.

If we put Christ where He belongs in our lives and soak up His word until it characterizes our lives, there will be no room for those Jericho obstacles.

Those barrier walls will just disappear.

The Jerichos in your life may take a little time to fall--remember, the walls did not fall until the people encircled the city by faith for seven days!

But if the principles are really applied (no shortcuts!) the walls cannot remain.

The walls of Jericho will fall down!